Kathmandu is the capital and largest city in Nepal. It is the cultural, economic and political centre of the country. It is also one of the most polluted cities in the world with horrendous traffic.
I made the decision to stay as little as possible and go straight to Pokhara, which is much more chilled and cleaner.
Where to stay?
If you do choose to spend any length of time in Kathmandu, you will most probably end up in Thamel. I had heard it was a bit of a tourist trap, but was pleasantly surprised. It has a really cool and edgy feel to it with dark alleyways and exotic aromas, which reminded me of India. You will find everything you need there – nice restaurants and cafes, budget and mid-range accommodation, tour operators, art galleries and outdoor stores. Beware of street dealers offering hash. Hashish is illegal and the area is full of police. If you must partake, better to ask at your hostel and they will be sure to provide assistance.
What to do in Kathmandu
The main attraction is Durbar (Royal) square. It is one of three main Durbar squares, the other 2 being in Patan and Bhaktapur. As with the other squares, there is an entry fee for foreign tourists, which can be extended for multiple visits over a week period.
Kathmandu also has several temples of interest. The most famous being the white Buddhist stupa at Boudha and Pashupathinath, the largest Hindu temple in Nepal. Many tourist recommend the Monkey Temple, but I did not visit this place.
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