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Kathmandu - colourful cultural capital
Kathmandu is a colourful city that can be enjoyed by day and night. The city is home to the Monkey Temple, one of the most sacred historic sights in Nepal, alongside a wide variety of restaurants and shops.
Kathmandu's major holidays and festivals
The time of year when landslides and floods are most frequent is between June and early October - during monsoon. It is best to travel between October and April when the climate is drier and more enjoyable.
There are many holidays and festivals celebrated in Kathmandu. Holi is a vibrant holiday celebrated in March that is characterised by many coloured water fights. Additional festivals with horse parades also take place in March and April. In April, the Nepalese celebrate the New Year. Several religious festivals take place in Kathmandu including the Indra Jatra, an 8-day festival celebrating the life of the goddess Indra, and Dashain, a 14-day Hindu festival. Music festivals also take place annually, in November there is the renowned International Jazz Festival.
Important information about Nepal
A valid visa is needed before you enter the country. Visas can be applied for at the Nepalese Embassy in London. Travellers must also have at least 6 months left on their passport.
Before travelling, go to a doctor at least 2 months before your planned trip to Kathmandu. The list of recommended vaccinations is long and includes Tetanus, Typhus, Hepatitis A and Diphtheria.
It is recommended that travellers refrain from hiking alone and that they use official tourist buses for the best experience. Take into account that tap water should not be ingested. Only drink bottled or boiled water and also use this to brush your teeth. Once there, you'll find that most traditional dishes include rice, lentils and vegetables. Many street vendors also sell food called momos, Tibetan-style dumplings. Beers are approximately 320 NPR, non-alcoholic drinks are much cheaper. Restaurant food varies between 200 NPR and 400 NPR.
Kathmandu transport and accommodation in the capital
You may get airport transfers organised by your hotel, otherwise taxis are around 800 NPR if you use prepaid, 500 NPR for others and buses are the cheapest option. Backpacker hostels charge approximately 360 NPR per night, 3* hotels are about 1200 NPR a person while apartments are 2100 NPR per night or above. Walking is often quicker than taking rickshaws, buses, micro-buses or taxis.