Is it Safe to Visit?
भक्त बहादुर भण्डारी
I want to dispel any rumors about travel to Nepal. As in any large city, there is always to be found areas to avoid but the overall atmosphere is one of welcoming spirits. Crime in Nepal is not a risk for travelers especially with its political scene at rest and stable. The usual precautions for visiting any new destination may exist for food or drink but safety is not a concern in Kathmandu. The locals also watch out for the visitor as they rely on the tourist trade for income and they are watchful for the well-being of its visitors. It is recommended not to drink the tap water but bottled water is readily available.
Other than the city life, the hustle and bustle of the daily commuters, Nepal offers extraordinary hiking trails, where you may find some difficult to bike, but they are well kept and clear. A guide is easily hired to acquaint you with such things as altitude sickness and the experience you may need in some areas. My advice to you is to travel there and enjoy the many amazing assets Nepal has to offer and not over concern yourself with safety.
Visiting the capitol city of any state, province or territory is always a sure bet to find the finest of all possible discoveries and it is no different for Kathmandu. Here in this capitol you will find a gateway to heaven where you experience the cultural heartbeat of the country with its hustling activity and all the sites, sounds and delicious smells around the city.
Nepal is crammed with history, but in Kathmandu you can visit the Durbar Square which dates back to the days when city kings were crowned, and spend time soaking up the times of the third century. Find yourself feeling as though you were in a paradise of architectural design within the courtyard and temples you’ll want to visit.
Kathmandu in all of its beauty suffered a devastating blow from an earthquake in 2015 which ripped through it but there are many wonderful assets of Kathmandu still standing for the world to enjoy. It would a shame to miss and experience the glory of its history…the pagodas, the temples and courtyards. Kathmandu depends on its visitors to survive and it offers so much and where your dollar spreads far and wide..
The best time to visit Kathmandu is between October and December if your interest lay with spectacular views of the valley and mountains. The skies are clear for ultimate viewing. You will feel elevation change from the Kathmandu valley to the mountains with altitudes that varying from 1280 meters (approx. 4,200 feet) to 1340 meters (approximately 4,400 feet) in the Kathmandu Valley to Mount Everest, which is at 839 meters-29,029 feet, and definitely a concern for breathing!..
As in many European cities, the smells I spoke of before can literally lead you around hungering for a taste of that most delicious scent. You simply must visit the stalls along the streets and taste these jaw-dropping foods that would please even the pickiest eater. Do not pass by the Momo stall where what appears to be a dumpling but filled with extraordinary goodness is found nowhere else on earth to offer other than Kathmandu. I could talk to you all day about Nepal and the impressive sites but here is a couple of sites to get you started. I wanted to leave more for you to discover as that is half the fun of planning a vacation.
Visiting the Buddhist shrine (stupa) in Nepal is one you should be sure to do. The Boudhanath Stupa in Kathmandu is a sacred place and the holiest Tibetan Buddhist temple outside Tibet, with each side representing .stages to the path of enlightenment. The giant Buddha eyes on the top of the stupa with the colorful prayer flags draw your attention to a monument worth visiting. Sadly, the stupa was hit by the earthquake in 2015, but it was restored and now open to visitors.
Literally you have the world at your feet. Come and enjoy all of what Kathmandu has to offer while you fall in love with the intoxicating surroundings with the harmony as in a theater. If history is of interest, know that at one time, Kathmandu was three separate kingdoms, Patan, Bhaktapur and Kathmandu and were united during the late 18th century creating our modern Nepal while keeping the integrity of its individual characteristics. In Kathmandu, the city’s center is Durbar square where many such structures remain such as the temples, palaces and golden gates providing you with the magic of yesteryear.
The Bengal Tiger lives around the Kathmandu area and also known as the Royal Bengal Tiger. It is the national animal of both India and Bangladesh.
Imagine seeing such a magnificent animal!
Moving on to places of interest, visit Thamel, which is the oldest part of the capital city where anything your heart desires is likely to be offered for sale at bargain prices. It was also known as Tabitha Bahal. This same area offers restaurants and hotels with rates to fit anyones budget.
• Swayambhunath Temple
It is commonly known as the monkey temple and one of the major landmarks of Kathmandu city with its breathtaking views of the Kathmandu valley. The name Swayambhu, means Self-Created and legend says the religious site came into existence more than 2,000 years ago when the valley was created out of a primeval lake.
While you enjoy the cold and crisp air, the weather remains dry until around April. However, if you enjoy fewer crowds, try visiting in January and February. It can get very cold at night, but your rewards for visiting at this time of year and braving the cold are again, the awe-inspiring panoramic views and quiet trekking trails. Late spring is another time of beauty in Nepal where magnificent views of landscape surround you when the rhododendrons burst into bloom, oleanders grow wild and color fills your world. A word of caution: do not pick the oleanders as they are toxic!
May and forward back to October brings heat, humidity and the monsoon season (June) when the heavens open up and what may feel like endless rain with obscured views of the mountains from the heavy presence of clouds.
Festivals in Nepal occur throughout the year so if looking to celebrate this is the ideal vacation for you. Just do a bit of homework and study areas of interest, festivals you may enjoy and decide for yourself what is important to see or do, remembering history is always there to enjoy.