It’s funny how you meet people on the road. When we first decided to go to Nepal, I immediately sent an email to Katie, knowing that she had lived there with her husband not long ago. Along with sending me two pages worth of recommendations (which were a serious lifesaver) she also put me in touch with her friend Jenna and husband Jon who were kind enough to play tour guide to Jeremy and I for our weekend in Kathmandu. By the end of it I was convinced they could open their own tour company. Here are just a few of the many things to do in Kathmandu, Nepal’s capitol city.
The first stop was the Saturday Farmer’s Market held at 1905 restaurant in the Thamel area. A must go to spot if you’re in town over the weekend. With vendors selling everything from homemade bread, breakfast foods and pastries to jewelry and body goods. Grab yourself a dollar coffee and homemade pastry and sit up on the porch of the restaurant overlooking the market before perusing the other goods for sale. It’s a great way to spend an hour or two in the morning.
The next stop was possibly one of my favorites from the trip. Jenna and her friend Emily took me to a used sari shop to look through pile upon pile of fabric. Pretty much my dream come true. Jeremy knows me too well because with just one look in the shop he turned to me and said ‘you’re going to be awhile aren’t you?’ Yes, yes I am. These girls were pros at sorting through the overabundance of silky material, finding the perfect candidate for scarves, headbands and pillows. At the end of my pillage, and of only about half of what the guy had in his shop, I settled on four saris all for the damage of about $8 USD. I’d be in real trouble if we lived there.
Next up was the Durbar Square. A historical site, yes, but also a popular hang out with the locals. It’s also right next to the Kumari Ghar; a palace in the middle of the city where the Kumari child lives. This was my first time ever hearing about her existence. The Kumari is the tradition of Nepali Hindu’s and Buddhists worshipping young girls pre-puberty as the manifestations of the Hindu divine female energy. It is believed that the goddess, Taleju, occupies the young Kumari child’s body until the day she reaches puberty at which time the goddess vacates her body. If you visit the Kumari Ghar, you can see crowds of people waiting at the entrance in hopes the Kumari will appear at the window inside and they can catch a glimpse of her. One of the many things I love about Kathmandu is the history that’s around every corner.
Our last stop in Kathmandu was the Garden of Dreams. A quiet oasis from the hectic city. First built in the early 1920’s it was just recently completed it’s renovation in 2010 with help front he Austrian government after lying dormant for many years. Now it’s a beautiful place to spend relaxing for an afternoon or grabbing a coffee or bite to eat and one of the two cafes on the grounds.
There’s always something to do and see in Kathmandu and in our three days there I felt like we had only barely scratched the surface. Is there anything else that you would add to the list of things to do in Kathmandu?
Other things to do in Kathmandu:
+Monkey Temple-more on that next week…
+Pashupati Temple-one of the most significant Hindu temples, also where you can see many Sadhu or holy men
+Thamel Area shopping-seriously…bring an extra suitcase because you will want to fill it full with beads, scarves, blankets and more!
+Bhaktapur-a traditional town just 15 minutes outside of Kathmandu lets you look back in time, admire their pottery and enjoy their delicious yogurt that they are renowned for!