My father and I spent a total of one day in Kathmandu earlier this year. Because of the short amount of time, we decided to hit up the main attractions. One side note... my father, he's awesome. Travelling with him was so much fun! Kay, back to Kathmandu...
Pashupatinath Temple: the oldest Hindu temple in Kathmandu. It's quite large and as we walked through, we saw several cremations in progress. It's about a 5km (3 miles) drive from the airport. Tourists can pay 500rps (about $5USD) to walk around the outskirts of the temple complete with encounters by monkeys and cows. Keep your belongings close, like all monkeys... they're curious little fellas.
Boudhanath stupa: a must see! Located in the midst of all the chaos, it feels like you've entered another realm. It's so surreal... I could've spent all day here! This stupa, said to be one of the largest Buddhist stupas in the world, is located about 5km (roughly 3 miles) from the airport. I'd tell you what that meant in minutes but that depends all too much on the congestion whether it be because of rush hour, lunchtime, or maybe a cow blocking the road... you just never know (I love Nepal). Back to the stupa, you'll notice plenty of people walking around the stupa three times, chanting Om Mani Padme Hum. This area has plenty of hotels and yummy restaurants... be sure to check out the ones with rooftops which provide a stunning aerial view of the stupa itself. My father and I enjoyed some yak momos (nepalese dumplings and you guessed it... with yak meat) at Himalayan Cafe (free wi-fi).If you need to buy souvenirs, this is the place to do it. The shops just around the stupa carry so many pretty blankets, fancy locks, and tons of bracelets.
There is no wi-fi at the Tribhuvan airport (KTM) and a sparse selection of food. Here's how I'd gauge my time:
- If you have at least 4 hours before your next flight, I'd say take a cab to Boudhanath Stupa. Leave yourself ample time to get back to the airport. While it is a short distance, the traffic is highly unreliable.
- If you have at least 5 hours, go to Pashupatinath Temple for about 30 minutes to an hour, then to Boudhanath Stupa.
- If you have more time... roam some more. There's plenty to see in Kathmandu though I hear 2 days is more than enough.
If you need a guide in Nepal, contact Anupam Dahal at firstname.lastname@example.org. Kathmandu is one of the three towns I visited on my trip to Nepal. More to come soon!