Kathmandu Travel Guide

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Kathmandu Travel Guide

Kathmandu Local History

The original inhabitants of the Kathmandu Valley are the Newars. This valley has been regarded as a cultural and racial melting pot, with people coming to settle here, both from the east as well as the west. This fusion is responsible for the valley's superb art and architecture.

During the 1600's and the 1700's some of the valley's finest temples and palaces were constructed. Competition between the cities in the valley was intense and one architectural innovation would be copied by another and so on through out the valley.

A giant earthquake struck the Kathmandu Valley on 15 January 1934, killing 4296 people and destroying many of the temples and palaces. In the 1950's Kathmandu started to modernize and built the first road, which linked Kathmandu with India. In the 1960's tourist started to flood in, transforming Kathmandu into a tourist Mecca.

Kathmandu Attractions

Kathmandu Shopping

Casa Del Art Located at Makhan Tole, Kathmandu. Casa Del Art is one of the better thangka shops in Kathmandu's Durbar Square area. Their goods are priced reasonably and the quality of their stock is high.

Chrysalis Located in Thamel, Kathmandu. Chrysalis stocks quality casual wear made from natural fabrics such as silk and linen. They also make custom clothing. The store is open from 10am to 6pm daily.

Mahaguthi Located at Durbar Square, Patan, Kathmandu. When you buy anything from Mahaguthi, you are supporting the Tulasi Mehar Ashram, which is a refuge and training centre for destitute women and children. Some of the items sold here are beautiful hand-printed note cards, colourful pillow covers, embroidered napkins and place mats and stylish clothes made from local textiles. The store is open from Sunday to Friday from 10am to 5pm.

Kathmandu Activities

The Central Zoo Located at Jawalakhel, Patan, Kathmandu. The zoo is quite a depressing place, with the animals kept in small, dirty cages. But the one reason why I do mention the zoo is if you want to ride an elephant, this is the cheapest place in town. It cost only $1.50; you can even hire an elephant and take a spin around town at a cost of $15.15 per hour. The tigers kept in the zoo are man-eaters that have been captured after killing villagers in the Terai region. Admission to the zoo is 75 cents for adults and 40 cents for children.

Swimming If you feel like going for a swim, the major hotels have pools that can be used for a small fee, or check out the public pools at Balaju and at the National Stadium.

Balloon flights These are very popular and on a clear day, you can see the vast expanse of the Himalaya, which is quite impressive.

Kathmandu Parks & Gardens

Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve This reserve was established in 1976 and covers an area of approximately 175 square kilometers. This is a major residing area for waterfowls and wanders in the sub-continent. There are about 350 species of birds, 100 species of fish including human size catfish and the famous sporting fish, the Mahasheer.

Balaju Water Garden The Balaju Water Garden is renowned for its bank of 22 stone waterspouts carved in the shape of sea dragons. Several religious shrines, fishponds and a replica of the statue of Budhanilkantha can be found in the gardens. A swimming pool is also located in the gardens.

Gokarna Gokarna houses many wild animals, many of them endangered. Viewing of the animals takes place from the elephant bank.

Kathmandu Restaurants and Bars

Kathmandu Restaurants

Al Fresco Located at Soaltee Crowne Plaza, Kathmandu. Al Fresco is one of the best restaurants in Kathmandu for Italian food. The menu is elegant and has a great selection to tantalize your taste buds, and the wine and liqueur lists have a variety choose from. Don't forget to leave some room for desert. Al Fresco is open daily from 11am to 10:45pm.

Bhojan Griha Located at Dilli Bazaar, Kathmandu. Bhojan Griha serves traditional Nepali cuisine in historic surroundings. Out front is a tea pavilion, where you can sample some Nepali tea from the country's tea-growing region. The cuisine is something that needs to be experienced and this is some of the best cuisine in Kathmandu. The restaurant is a bit touristy, but the experience is worth it. Bhojan Griha is open from 6:30pm to midnight daily.

Chez Caroline Café Restaurant and Patisserie Located at Baber Mahal Revisited, Kathmandu. Chez Caroline's speciality is its classic French café sandwiches. This restaurant works brilliantly as a lunch place, but with the cuisine on the menu, is just as good as a dinner place. With the menu full of choices, you need to accept that indecision is the name of the game, and you will probably be coming back to work your way through the menu. The desert menu is spectacular, so remember to save some room. Chez Caroline Café Restaurant and Patisserie is open daily from 8:30am to 10pm.

Kathmandu Bars & Clubs

Blue Note Bar/New Orleans Café Located across from Kathmandu Guest House, Thamel, Kathmandu. At the Blue Note Bar/New Orleans Café, the atmosphere is great. Live and recorded jazz is played here nightly. The bar is located in a temple-style building. This is a great place to come if you need to relax, but still feel that you are in Nepal.

Rum Doodle Located 1 block east of Hotel Garduda, Thamel, Kathmandu. Rum Doodle's is one of the most popular bars in Kathmandu. There is mountaineering and kayaking gear all over the upstairs bar, and several yeti footprints signed by famous adventurers and mountaineers are plastered all over the walls. You might even get to talk to someone who has just come back from bagging Mount Everest.

Underground Located between Tridevi Marge and the main square, Thamel, Kathmandu. The Underground is a basement-level bar, and it serves those out there who crave a little disco and loud dance music. There are lots of flashing lights and a fantastic atmosphere.

Kathmandu children's activities

The Central Zoo Located at Jawalakhel, Patan, Kathmandu. The zoo is quite a depressing place, with the animals kept in small, dirty cages. But the one reason why I do mention the zoo is if you want to ride an elephant, this is the cheapest place in town. It cost only $1.50; you can even hire an elephant and take a spin around town at a cost of $15.15 per hour. The tigers kept in the zoo are man-eaters that have been captured after killing villagers in the Terai region. Admission to the zoo is 75 cents for adults and 40 cents for children.

Swimming If you feel like going for a swim, the major hotels have pools that can be used for a small fee, or check out the public pools at Balaju and at the National Stadium.

Balloon flights These are very popular and on a clear day, you can see the vast expanse of the Himalaya, which is quite impressive.

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