Kathmandu is a city of many layers – a modern day assault on the senses, a hub of cultural and artistic heritage and a monument to the medieval era. Timeless and endlessly fascinating Kathmandu is the hub of Nepal, located more or less at its centre in the Kathmandu Valley. The narrow streets of the old town buzz with life, from the dozens of ethnic groups that call the city home, to the habitual sacred cow wandering languidly through the chaos. With a 2,000 year history, Kathmandu has plenty to explore.
Kathmandu’s old city is a web of narrow alleyways centred on Durbar Square. Wandering these alleyways, lined with temples and crumbling old architecture, is a hair-raising but rewarding experience. Durbar Square itself is flanked by the old royal palace (durbar), where kings were crowned and then ruled, and offers a perfect place to people watch and soak up the atmosphere.
Boudhanath stupa dominates Kathmandu’s skyline; it is one of the largest stupas in the world, and Nepal’s most sacred. Built to perfect proportions and with Buddha eyes looking out over the city, Boudhanath is enchanting – join worshippers in circumnavigating its base, spinning prayer wheels are you go.
Swayambhunath stupa sits on a hilltop to the west of the city. Nicknamed the ‘Monkey Temple’ due to the sacred monkeys that live on the hill, the whole area exudes a mystical atmosphere, made all the more potent by the wafting clouds of incense and butter lamps. Both these magnificent stupas are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Club Himalaya is a comfortable hotel sitting high atop Windy Hill in Nagarkot with all rooms enjoying beautiful views of the mountains from their private balconies. Just an hour from Kathmandu the hotel facilities include an indoor swimming pool, spa treatments, two restaurants and a bar.
Hotel Shangri-La is a local boutique hotel in Kathmandu. Set in attractive gardens the hotel offers comfortable and elegant rooms. Hotel Shangri-La features a spa, swimming pool and tennis court; and dining options include an Indian restaurant and garden café.
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The world’s largest and most populous continent, Asia is a vibrant and rambunctious fusion of ethnicities, cultures and customs; an incomparably rich and turbulent history showcased by mindboggling feats of architecture and engineering; a geography that encompasses towering peaks, unfathomable gorges and paradisiacal beaches; and a biodiversity that is so abundant that you’ll be reaching for your wildlife guide.