Kathmandu is one of the most culturally rich, bustling and unique cities in Asia. Populated by stunning Hindu, Buddhist, and Newari temples, there's so much to see and do it can be hard to decide if you only have a short amount of time before you venture off into the mountains.
Swayambhunath – or the Monkey Temple as it’s commonly referred to – is an incredible place to soak up views of the Himalayas and the stretching sea of colorful houses that make you feel like you’re in another world.
The traditional Buddhist Stupa is second in importance only to Boudhanath in Nepal. It’s definitely worth the long walk up the stone-cut staircase. Just watch out for your belongings – monkeys roam the steps, and can get quite aggressive.
Boudhanath Stupa is one of the largest spherical stupas in all of Nepal, and is a very important Buddhist site in Kathmandu.
The entire structure has been designed in the shape of a mandala, which represents a microcosm of the universe.
When you're there, walk clockwise – or sunwise as it was originally referred to – around the Stupa. Spin the prayer wheels as you go, but only in the clockwise direction, as it is offensive to do the opposite.
Thamel is the central tourist district in Kathmandu. Here you’ll literally find everything you need for your Nepalese adventure.
If the shopping doesn’t interest you, check out the impressive variety of restaurants.
My personal favorites are the vegetarian-friendly vedors. After a long trek, the chocolate soufflé will blow your mind!
Also, don’t be shy – try some Nepali dishes at one of the many traditional restaurants. Coffee lovers can find incredible coffee and cakes at Himalayan Java.
Inside Thamel, you can find ample amounts of live music, food, clothing, and trekking supplies, all within walking distance.
Pashupatinath is one of the most important places in Kathmandu for Hindu people, where many of the city’s Hindus are cremated. Of course, it’s important to practice the utmost sensitivity when witnessing the cremations.
For those who visit, you’ll find a surprisingly serene and thoughtful atmosphere, populated mostly by men clad entirely in white, with shaved heads, save for a small tuff at the back.
These mourners will spend up to two weeks and sometimes more in the temple to grieve for their loved ones.
This is one of the best places to see ancient Newari carvings, which are both beautiful and incredibly intricate. It’s a UNESCO heritage site, along with other Newari sites such as Patan and Bhaktapur.
Jase Wilson's trekking trip to Lobuche was put on hold after the 2015 Nepal earthquake.
Bike, hike, or trek, escape Kathmandu’s busy city walls and catch a glimpse the Himalayas’ dramatic views with these unforgettable day trips from Kathmandu.