So you have a day or two to spare in the Valley, but you wish to make every passing hour count away from your hotel room. Well then, grab a pollution mask (highly advised) and your favourite sunglasses, and also a good guide book, perhaps. Every second counts!
- BREAKFAST IN BHAKTAPUR :
Early mornings are great to ride off to Bhaktapur. Yes, mornings are always mesmerising for anything you want to do, but mainly because, you will be able to avoid a great deal of annoying traffic this time of the morning. Thus Bhaktapur will be one breezy morning experience full of fresh life and rich culture.Entering the Bhaktapur durbar square requires a minimal fee. This particular durbar square is known to be the largest square among the three in the valley, so it’s a wise idea to fill yourself up before you go exploring. There are a number of good cafes in and around, so take your pick and enjoy your morning amid the best of the city’s history and culture. Take your time and browse through the rich cultural
and architectural history of the square. Care to pick up some souvenirs in the Potterysquare, maybe?Bhaktapur is highly regarded for having preserved its way of life since ancient times and keeping things rather traditional and cultural. So it’s always a good idea to explore the alleyways if you want to see the real deal. Worry less about losing your way and find your travelling spirit. Just don’t overdo it!
- BENIGN BOUDHANATH :
On your way back to the valley, choose to get off at Koteshwor and take the next bus from there to Boudhanath. Depending on the traffic, it might take around 30 to 45 minutes (or less, if you’re lucky) to get there. A very nominal entry fee to get into the Stupa premises and just walk wherever your spirit takes you. There is something about the Boudhanath area that just cannot be expressed simply–it has to be experienced. You wouldn’t even realise when you became one with the world of people circumambulating the revered Stupa. Anything outside the Kora is of no concern in here.The surrounding areas of Boudhanath are famous for a variety of Tibetan cuisines. Ask around for some suggestions and follow your nose.
- BASANTAPUR :
On your bus ride from Boudha to Ratna Park, get off at Sundhara if you want to get to Basantapur or Kathmandu Durbar Square. Basantapur is fluid. It can be your place of solace, a window to the history of culture, a relic of the flower generation, a bustling centre of youth. Although the 2015 earthquakes have left a huge dent on it, the Durbar square still prides in the history it holds and the continues to look over the changing generations that still look up to it with admiration and respect.(Taking a route out of Basantapur from somewhere south will also take you to Swayambhunath Stupa, although the road map is abit confusing, but not that difficult either. But if you’re up to the challenge, go for it! We advise you do not rush on your visit to the benevolent Swayambhunath, considering the location the Stupa is situated in and also the experience it rewards the visitors with.
- GETTING PERKY IN PATAN :
On your bus ride from Boudha to Ratna Park,get A bus to Lagankhel will get to Patan. You can get off at Pulchowk and head straight to Mangal Bazaar from there. That is also where Patan Durbar Square is. Or you can get off at the Lagankhel buspark and then walk your way through the shortcuts to get to Mangal Bazaar. We believe the beauty of Patan lies in the narrow alleyways that open up to spacious bahals out of nowhere. Many alleys are interconnected so you might surprise yourself when you end up someplace else unexpected. Get up close and personal with the lively trade and cultural centre that Patan is.If you wish so, settling down in any good cafe or restaurant in Jhamsikhel or Sanepa area also makes for a good way to sum up your adventure, which are at a walking distance from Patan. Or save the address and come back for another round.
Note: Tourists are required to pay a nominal amount of fee to enter these touristic locations. (October/November is the epic festival season and also the time of year when large number of people move across the country. The city becomes unbelievably peaceful during the festival time (which is a blessing in disguise for the Kathmanduites) but is also the time when much of the city remains closed. The local transportation system might also be affected.