Exotic and Spiritual Kathmandu
The beautiful capital city of Nepal offers delights both spiritual and exotic and startling views and natural scenery to enjoy.
When to go to Kathmandu
The dry months of October to April are ideal for a visit. June to beginning of October is the monsoon season when flash flooding and landslides may occur. The Holi festival in March is a wonderful time to enjoy the colourful celebrations. From March to April the horse parades of the Ghode brighten the city and in April, citizens observe Nepalese New Year. In August, Gai Jatra or the Festival of cows takes place. An 8 day festival honouring the Goddess Indra is held in September. Dashain, the 2 week Hindu festival is celebration held during October.
Before you get to Kathmandu
Visas are required to visit Kathmandu and are available from the Nepalese Embassy in London. Passports should be valid for at least 6 months. Recommended vaccines include Hepatitis A, Diptheria, Typhus and Tetanus. Visitors should avoid solitary hiking in Kathmandu. The export of any protected species is prohibited. To travel overland you may only make use of official tourist buses. Tap water is not safe and should be boiled before use (including brushing teeth). Alternatively, bottled water is recommended. The average restaurant meal will cost about 200-400 NPR and 45 NPR for non-alcoholic beverages. Beer costs around 320 NPR. Typical foods include Dal Bhat and momos (Tibetan dumplings).
Kathmandu airport transfers may be organised by your hotel. To travel by taxi costs about 800 NPR (prepaid) or 500 NPR for a normal taxi, which takes approximately 25 min to central Kathmandu. Buses are irregular and often full. They cost about 10 NPR and take roughly 30 minutes to get to the city centre. Accommodation at a backpacker's hostel will cost about 365 NPR while a guesthouse costs 850 NPR p/p per night. A 3-star hotel costs around 1200 NPR per person. Holiday apartments cost around 2100 NPR per night. Visitors to hotels and restaurants should be aware that power cuts are a frequent occurrence. Public transport is available in Kathmandu in the form of microbuses which cost 15 NPR. Buses cost from 15-20 NPR. Fares for local rikscha should be negotiated but generally cost from 60-100. A taxi costs about 200 NPR for a 3 km journey and thereafter 60 NPR/km. Walking is generally quicker than public transportation.