Another of the three medieval city states of the Kathmandu Valley, Bhaktapur is the best preserved and most atmospheric. With cobblestone streets just crying out to be aimlessly wandered you’ll stumble across many old courtyards, temples and artisans busy at their craft. The old centre is UNESCO World Heritage-listed and displays Nepal’s paramount examples of religious architecture. The Durbar Square here is made up of four distinct squares each full of magnificent historical sights. Must sees include the Palace of 55 Windows with its intricately carved wooden balcony; the Golden Gate with its seriously impressive metal work, whilst the Lion Gate was produced by local artisans. The National Art Gallery is housed in the Royal Palace, which includes an excellent collection of tantric cloth paintings, whilst the Woodcarving Museum and the Brass & Bronze Museum are also both worth a look, giving insight into Nepal’s traditional crafts. Another must see is the Temple of Changu Narayan. Considered the oldest temple in Nepal with a history dating back to the 4th century AD, the statuary here is particularly magnificent, with mythical beasts and gods carved in intricate detail.
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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.