Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. The place at the top of the world. You can not help but be overwhelmed by the vibrancy of this amazing city. Full of activity, colors, sounds, and life. That is exactly the thing that makes Kathmandu so special. The life, the joy, and the desire to make the absolute most out of the most precious moment that is NOW. Kathmandu is a metropolis with more than 2.5 million inhabitants. And that doesn’t count the holy cows, the monkeys or the tourists! A place like this can easily leave one dazed and confused, completely unaware of where to start. So we here at the Complete City Guide thought you could use some tips on the best things to do during your next trip to Kathmandu!
1. The City In the Valley
It is interesting how we have these preconceived ideas of what a place must be like. The idea that Kathmandu is this bustling metropolis may surprise you. Covering more than 50 square kilometers in the middle of the Kathmandu Valley there is no question that this is a complete city. Tourism is of great value to the Nepalese, and they will welcome you with open arms into their densely populated capital. Before you head out into the beautiful nomadic countryside, take some time to experience this beautiful city.
2. Take a Ride in a Tuk-Tuk
Kathmandu is a busy city. On your journey here you will find many people on foot, in cars or on motorcycles. But most interesting are the Tuk-Tuks. These are bicycles like you see in this image, with a bike on the front and a carriage on back. This is by far one of the more unique and environmentally friendly ways to get around this fascinating city.
I think that only the most adventurous of us would dare to drive a motorcycle around the city streets of Kathmandu. You are taking your life into your hands. The streets are full of people, animals, cars, and activity. It is virtually impossible to take everything into consideration while driving through the city. Should you be daring enough to do it, this is one experience you’ll never forget in life!
4. Visit the Markets
Once you have mastered transportation, it is time to go shopping! The markets in Kathmandu have everything from fresh fruits and flowers to beautiful Nepalese silver. Be prepared to haggle, and try new things. The shopping in Kathmandu is a feast for the senses!
5. Holy Cow!
The cow is a sacred animal in the Hindu religion. Seeing that Hindu and Buddhism both have a home in this city, the roaming cattle of Kathmandu are holy creatures left to roam the city streets. It is an incongruous thought, the busy hustle, and bustle of the city can be stopped in an instant by a cow crossing the street. It is illegal in Kathmandu to kill a cow, so old cows are often set free to wander the city streets and interfere with traffic!
6. The Temples
There are Hindu temples and Buddhist temples in Kathmandu. Both of which are full of vibrant colors and paintings. Not to mention lots of gold. When you need to escape the chaos of the streets of Kathmandu, visit a temple. Say a prayer, or just sit quiet and admire the intricate beauty of these amazing religious buildings.
The definition of a yogi is one who practices yoga. When visiting Kathmandu you will find the streets full of these interesting practitioners of yoga. That being said, even the most devout yogis are modern in some ways. Case in point, the watch on the wrist of the yogi in the picture above. Do you think he needs to know the time of his next Downward Facing Dog?
After your experiencing morning yoga with some of the local yogis, make it a point to say a prayer in a Buddhist temple. A simple meditation and turn of the prayer wheel may just be the quieting that your soul needs to make the rest of your journey around Nepal.
9. The People
This image really speaks to me. Do what you can with what you have where you are. More truth is rarely spoken. The Nepalese people are proud and resilient. Completely prepared to strive for more,but to be content with what they have now. There is a certain kind of zen in living in this simplicity. One must never underestimate the joy in living authentically. This is a gift that visiting Nepal will send home with you, the knowledge that you are enough exactly where you are right now.
10. The Countryside
When you have seen all the fascinating chaos that is Kathmandu, it is time to leave the city behind. Venture out into the countryside, into God’s country. Massive giant mountain peaks jutting out from within the earth will leave you stunned. If the world of Mother Earth has never humbled you, the mountains of Nepal will. To see, just how harsh the landscape is, and to know that the Nepalese people do not let it stop them from thriving, this will leave you inspired. And prepared for the adventure that lies ahead as you venture out into the nomadic wilderness to meet yourself.
With India being a close neighbor maybe a trip to Mumbai might be next?