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One thing's for certain, it's highly unlikely you'd include 'Kathmandu' and 'dull' in the same sentence!
Our capital city just gets bigger and bigger. A seething mass of humanity and everything that goes with that. Colourful, chaotic, alive, aromatic......Kathmandu is an assault on the senses. Thamel is the main tourist area, a maze of winding, narrow streets crammed with a dazzling array of shops, bars, cafes, restaurants, and traffic. However, Kathmandu still retains buildings with ornate, carved, wooden Newari windows (just look up), hidden temples, fascinating local street markets, buddhist stupas and the soaring pagodas of Durbar Square. To many, Kathmandu is a bit like Glastonbury Festival gone mad sometimes. For shopping we highly recommend Pilgrims Book House in Thamel. Most of the large range of goods for sale are of a higher quality and with fixed prices too, there's no haggling. You'll also find a mind-boggling range of trekking related items, from fakes to the real thing in Kathmandu. Dining wise, you're spoiled for choice. Everything from the cheap and cheerful, to high end dining in 5 star hotels. You'll find everything from traditional Nepali style, Tibetan Momo bars, Thai, Szechuan, Pizzas and Burgers, as well as some rather good European style bakeries. One particular delight is the numerous relaxed courtyard/garden cafes. Very handy to escape into when Kathmandu itself becomes too much. All the same, exploring the Thamel area is fascinating and fun, and we're certain you'll want at least some time to do this by yourselves. One way of getting around is by bicycle rickshaw if you've had enough of walking and negotiating the throngs of people, avoiding falling down a pothole, or narrowly missing the family of four on a moped complete with a couple of chickens and a goat for extra ballast!
To link the principle highlights of Kathmandu can be quite a logistical task. Kathmandu is a big city after all. To get the best out of Kathmandu and without much of the hassle, we'd recommend getting us to arrange a guided tour, particularly if this is your first visit to Kathmandu.
Top of most peoples lists for 'must see' sights in Kathmandu are: Durbar Square, Bodnath, Swayambunath & Pashupatinath.
Needless to say all of the main attractions in Kathmandu are busy with other tourists during the day time.
So, an alternative (or addition) would be to take a short, guided walking tour of the backstreets of Kathmandu in the evening. Away from the tourist traps of the Thamel area there's an almost secret world that few tourists make the effort to discover. Hidden court yards, colourful street markets and locals making offerings at their chosen temple.
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