- Encounters with locals
- Culture (paddy field, coffee, tea ...)
- Place or Religious Monument
- Place or Historical Monument
- Sustainable Tourism
- Unesco World Heritage
An inescapable destination in Nepal, the Kathmandu valley is a little part of the cultural and historical centre of the country. It is situated in the region where three ancient royal cities are located, Kathmandou, Patan and Bhaktapur, capitals of the old Kingdoms of the Newar people. Very rich in monuments, the valley has been designated as a UNESCO world heritage site due to the main squares of the three cities, the Durbar Squares, on which were erected temples and palaces.
The valley is equally rich in religious buildings. The most famous, which are really worth a visit, are the immense Pashupatinath temple dedicated to the God 'Shiva', the Stupa of Boudhanath, a place of pilgrimage for many Tibetan believers and the temple of Swayambhunath perched high on a hill overlooking the capital. Here, it's difficult to become bored, there is always plenty to do, enjoy your stay in Nepal!
*After the powerful earthquakes, which struck Nepal in April and May 2015, the country is being rebuilt little by little. This article was written before the disaster.
If I had to summarise this area, the word "dense" comes easily to mind. Not only geographical density, or population density, or the density of buildings, but the sheer density of everything emitted from each area. Sure, you're going to get pulled aside by wandering street vendors trying to get you to buy their ridiculous wares that you absolutely don't need, his absolutely essential postcards... you get the picture.
But when you go to Bodnath, you see Tibeten buddhists praying silently as they turn around the enormous stupa. When you go to Pashupatinath, you discover their tradition of cremation. And I can assure you that I was not proud when I understood that what they were pushing into the hearth was the foot of one of their fellow monks.
Once again, you're going to go through a fair amount of hassle getting where you want to go (the local bus system is complicated, taxi drivers boost their prices for foreign clients) you'll have to negotiate and you'll perhaps have to be firm in saying no to certain over-zealous Nepalese businessmen. But relax and take this in your stride, I can promise you won't regret it.
*Nepal after the powerful earthquakes that shook the country in April and May 2015. The country is slowly coming back to its feet. This article was written before the disaster struck.
After exploring the labyrinth of medieval-looking little streets in the capital of Kathmandu , my two friends and I decided to go on a trek for several days. Not being able to get to one of the classic north circuits of Nepal , with most passes closed due to the snow at that time of year, we decided to stay in the lowlands. Covering a large area including the capital, Kathmandu Valley is made up of a mosaic of easily accessible landscapes for both the young and the old.
After being captivated by the beauty of the must-see stupa at Boudhanath , we wandered from village to village up to the summit of Nagarkot before joining a great number of people heading to the sacred monastery of Namo Buddha . In the following days, we went back down in the direction of Dhulikhel village, soothed by the sweet perfume of orange blossom. This region of the country is, in fact, an area of fertile land suitable for all sorts of crops.
Allowing ourselves to be guided by the countless prayer flags lining the trails, we discovered a large concentration of UNESCO protected sites in the Kathmandu Valley. Finally, our last stage was none other than the medieval city of Bhaktapur where we admired the meticulous work of potters whilst savouring delicious yak cheese.
*After the powerful earthquakes that hit Nepal in April and May 2015, the country is gradually rebuilding itself. This article was written before the disaster.