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undedd Bhaktapur - A travel report by Dave
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Bhaktapur,  Nepal - flag Nepal
3104 readers

undedd's travel reports

Not Trekking in Nepal

  14 votes

Bhaktapur travelogue picture
Talk to anyone about a trip to Nepal and the focus turns to treks through exhilarating mountain panoramas and visions of exhausting uphill battles, smelly feet and thermal underwear.

True, Nepal is a Mecca for Trekkers, but it also shelters a cultural landscape as diverse as any on the planet.

In this report we'll look at exploring the fascinating Kathmandu Valley, an area that combines brilliant hiking and cultural wonders. There's no need to trek 'til your feet drop off to explore this incredible destination...

Favourite spots:
Bhaktapur travelogue picture
Wow, there's so many, but you need to allow time to soak up the atmosphere of these villages. Here's five favourites to start with:

1. Bhaktapur - a living, medieval art museum.
2. Bodhnath - all the best of Tibet outside of Tibet.
3. Changu Narayan - hilltop temple architecture and village atmosphere not to be missed.
4. Bungamati - you'll probably be the only visitor, the atmosphere and raw edge beauty of the place is intoxicating.
5. Patan - some of Asia's (if not the world's) most awe-inspiring architecture.

What's really great:
Bhaktapur travelogue picture
So much. But especially the people.

A third-world country in the 21st century, much of Nepal still resists the 20th century. A melting pot of more than a dozen ethnic groups speaking fifty languages devote themselves, in harmony, to two of the world's major religions, Buddhism and Hinduism.

Their legacy is an incredible architectural and artistic history displayed with pageantry and colour in year-round festivals.

For the first few days in Nepal you constantly ask yourself the big questions. Then the joy and beauty of the people gets under your skin and you're in love, promising to return.

Sights:
Bhaktapur travelogue picture
In addition to the five favourites above, here are a few more unmissable sights in the Kathamndu Valley:

1. Kirtipur - a communist outpost stuck in a time warp.
2. Chobar and its nearby gorge - stay a while and chat, you'll feel like and extra from the 18th century.
3. Pashupatinath - Hindu splendour of an unparalleled scale.
4. Nagarkot - pick a clear day, the views and walks in the area are unmissable.
5. Dhulikhel - more historic temples, scenic landscapes, views, and walking opportunities than anywhere else.

Other recommendations:
Bhaktapur travelogue picture
Here's a couple of useful TIPS for enjoying your time in the valley:

1. Your greatest ally is a reliable contour map - it shows you what you're in for. Here's how we used it to plan our walks:
+ Mark the places to visit, identifying those within walking distance of each other.
+ Link destinations to form walking tours, taking note of the contours. These show the altitude change during the walk and any hills you'll encounter. Plan your walks to minimise the uphill bits - it's much more fun!

2. Base yourself in Bhaktapur - it's Nepal's cultural showcase and you'll have it mostly to yourself before 10am and after 4pm when all the tour groups leave. It's relatively traffic-free, quiet, authentic and the locals are very friendly and justifiably proud of their town. Bhaktapur is also a good transport base for most of the valley as well as a trailhead for a couple of good valley hikes.

*** AND DON'T FORGET - CHECK MY GUIDE TO NEPAL FOR ALL THE BEST PLACES TO STAY AND EAT!

Published on Tuesday October 15th, 2002


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Fri, Sep 02 2005 - 05:12 AM rating by dipaks

Its a good traditional and culture report......to know about Nepal

Mon, Dec 27 2004 - 10:52 PM rating by nate4341

Excellent!

Wed, Nov 10 2004 - 06:46 PM rating by magsalex

Great report - agree about the people! Will be going back!

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