Kathmandu Altitude 1310 m/4, 297 ft.
Meet your guide upon arrival at Kathmandu airport. You can obtain Nepali visa upon arrival if you don't have it yet. Don't forget to bring one passport picture and US$ 25 cash to pay in visa fee. After clearing immigration and custom, meet our local representative outside the airport and transfer by van to your hotel in the city.
After wash and change, set out with our guide to explore the wonders of Kathmandu - which was formerly known as Kantipur, meaningthe city of beauty. Begin from the 2000 year old Buddhist shrine of Swayambhunath Stupa situated on a hillock about 260 ft. above the valley floor. Revered by both Hindus and Buddhist, the monument is a glittering golden spire on a large white lofty dome. There are numerous shrines and monasteries around. We can also enjoy panoramic views of the valley and the mountains from here.
We descend and drive in to the heart of the city to visit the Durbar Square with former Royal Palace and an array of temples rich in wood carving, metal works and stone sculptures. While the interior of the palace that houses some museums is not so appealing, but the exterior and the environs are amazingly beautiful. We visit Kumari House, the residence of Kumari - the Living Goddess of Nepal who is the manifestation of Goddess Taleju - the patron of the rulers of Nepal! On request, the goddess gives a quick audience from her window. Kumari is replaced once she reaches puberty.
Some important parts of Durbar Square were destroyed in a recent earthquake one of which was this interesting and legendary Kasthamandap Temple believed to have been built from a single tree trunk and used to be a heart of the square. Unfortunately, this antique temple was totally collapsed. Yet there are many other things to see like Jagannath temple, Shiva Parvati temple etc.
We take tricycle rickshaw ride through the traditional bazaars of Indrachowk and Assan and end up in touristy Thamel where most budget lodging, restaurants, handicraft stores and bargain places are located. Tonight, you are joined by our local staff for a Nepali welcome dinner in a typical Nepali restaurant where you can also enjoy Nepali folklore dancing shows.
Yak N Yeti or Soaltee Crowne Plaza, 5*.