Kathmandu, Nepal is a place that is incredibly close to our hearts. We’ve had the opportunity to visit on many occasions throughout the years, and each time we’re struck anew by the beauty and culture that surrounds us. There’s truly no place in the world like it, so today we’re taking you on a tour of our favorite elements that make this place so special. Who knows? You just might find yourself booking the next flight out.
Street life in Kathmandu is filled with endless activity. From markets and motorcycles to tea culture and shops, it’s a place where old and new worlds clash. At each turn, there are people everywhere, and as you make your way through the streets, you’ll see darling kids on their way to school and street dogs curled up for a midday nap. It’s a beautiful blend of life.
The neighborhoods of Nepal are vibrant, filled with interesting architecture, bright colors, private gardens, flowering vines, graffiti, and people going about their lives. They’re both ancient and contemporary, mixing historical structures in the original heart of Kathmandu with newer buildings in the suburban-type sprawl around the city. Yet, as history overlaps with expansion, one thing remains the same: community. The neighborhoods are places of generosity and benevolence where plots of wheat or other produce are planted and shared with the entire community at harvest time. There’s no doubt that to live in Kathmandu is truly to live among friends.
Religion and prayer are also a part of daily life in Nepal, adding to its stunning cultural patchwork. Throughout the city, majestic Buddhist and Hindu temples dot the landscape while colorful prayer flags adorn pathways and buildings, bringing blessings on the community. Open-air cremation, too, is an important tradition in Kathmandu, and while the riverbank ceremony can be unexpected for visitors to see, it is an essential aspect of Hindu spiritual belief. Overall, the religious practices in Nepal are wonderfully unique and incredible to witness.
Finally, following the 2015 earthquake that damaged many important structures in Kathmandu, the city has embarked on a mission to reconstruct its history. Bricks are made by hand in factories outside the city and brick piles are everywhere, awaiting construction by hand (with rare use of mechanical equipment). From residential and commercial buildings to historic sites and temples, the city is a work in progress, moving towards healing and prosperity.
Nepal is a traveler’s dream, and if you’re the type of person who loves to experience rich and beautiful cultures and completely immerse yourself in a unique country, then we can’t recommend it enough. We certainly can’t wait for our next trip!