In the past, Bhaktapur was a cultural, political, and economic powerhouse in the Newari kingdom which ruled over Kathmandu Valley.
Bhaktapur is said to have the most temples per square kilometer in all of Nepal, and is an excellent place to shop for traditional handmade art and souvenirs.
It is a must-see sight in Nepal, and is located roughly 13km from the center of Kathmandu.
Purchase a 50-rupee bus ticket from the Ratna Park bus stop, close to Thamel, and expect the trip to take around an hour.
Alternatively, pay around 1,500 Rupees for a taxi to go one-way, but don’t forget to bargain.
In Patan, you’ll see architecture and handicrafts similar to those in Bhaktapur, however it’s much closer to Thamel and is more-or-less located inside Kathmandu, on the south side of the Bagmati River.
Taking a taxi should cost less than 500-600 rupees.
Renting a mountain bike in Kathmandu is relatively easy, with many shops in Thamel offering guided trips or bikes for rent.
Himalayan Single Track, for example, rents bikes for $25 a day, and is the best source of information regarding routes.
Generally, the Eastern side of Kathmandu Valley provides some of the most attractive routes. These can be explored from Panauti, or Dhulikel, Nagarkot, as well as Shivapuri National Park to the north, and Last Resort to the south.
Just outside of Kathmandu is a 3000m peak with stunning views of Kathmandu Valley. The hike is quite steep and goes along cut stone steps almost the entire way.
Getting to Shivapuri requires either a 1h mountain bike ride or a 1,000 Rupee taxi. The views and trails are worth it! Leave early, it is a full day of adventure.
Head down to Astrek Climbing Wall to ask about rock climbing day trips from Kathmandu.
The closest rock climbing area to the city is Hattiban, which is located very close to the beautiful Neydo Buddhist monastery, inhabited mostly by young children.
The forests surrounding Hattiban is in ideal place for walking, mountain biking, or doing meditation retreat at the stunning Neydo Monastery.
It’s possible to do a short 6 day trek to Langtang National Park from Kathmandu.
The bus leaves from Gongabu Bus Park to Syabrubesi. It’s best to use a travel agent to arrange the tickets the day before (at a fee). Be sure to bring your passport and arrange a TIMS trekking permit in advance.
The bus ride will take most of the first day, however, it’s also possible to trek from Syabrubesi to Kyanjin Gompa, with stunning views of Shishanpagnma and the Langtang Himalayas throughout.
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Cassie couldn’t understand the ritualistic sacrifice that was taking place on a mountaintop in Nepal, but still felt incredibly moved by what she saw.
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