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By-Margaret Hampford, UK
Nepal is a country made up of many different landscapes including forests and mountains. It is a secular country, with various religions being practiced within it, the two main being Hinduism and Buddhism. It is a republic country with the monarchy being ended during the Nepalese Civil war in 2008 ending the reign of the last Hindu monarchy in the world. It’s capital, Kathmandu, is a thriving and vibrant city, hosting many travelers due to it being the gateway to the Nepalese Himalayas. The Tourism Times wanted to find out more about what draws travelers to Kathmandu and the highlights that stand out for tourists visiting the area. I spoke to several people and asked them about their experience in Nepal and Kathmandu to find out about the interesting things they had been up to.
Clare and Beth – UK
I meet Clare and Beth whilst they are searching for a bar and they promise to give an interview in exchange for directions. After a tour of India and Nepal, the friends have arrived in Kathmandu for their final destination. Their highlights of Kathmandu so far have been Swayambhunath (or the Monkey Temple as most people know it), which Clare describes as ‘beautiful’. They have also visited Chitwan, Lumbini and Pockhara, and have found them all to be very lovely and interesting, and given them a ‘good mix’ of Nepal. When asked about the incoming rainy weather Beth replies that ‘the rains not too bad’, adding that ‘the thunderstorms are cool!’
Shanti – Columbia
When I talk to Shanti she has only been here for one day, however it is her third time in Nepal, a place that she feels very at home in. In previous visits she has gone to Boudhanath (‘I love the energy’) and Pockhara, where she completed a ten day silent retreat. She finds it most relaxing trekking in the Himalayas, and loves the energy there. When asked about the monsoon season, she explains that she loves coming from India to the cool of the Nepal monsoon season. She also adds that through the rain ‘the mind relaxes too’, and the monsoon season is ‘a time to be in tune with the earth and slow down’.
Will and Nick – UK and Australia
Will and Nick are both enjoying a relaxing time in Kathmandu, after doing a lot of travelling. Will has travelled to India and China on his journey to Nepal and is now enjoying wandering around Thamel. He also admits that he is ‘enjoying the nightlife here’ and a rest from his months of traveling. Nick is also enjoying taking a calm and leisurely look around Thamel, a well deserved break after impressively climbing Everest! Nick comments that it was an ‘amazing experience’. Like Will, Nick is also enjoying going and out and having fun in Thamel’s great bars.
Ocenie – from France but living in Cambodia
I meet Ocenie on the corner of a busy Thamel street whilst she hastily searches on her map for the next tourist destination on her list. I offer to give her some help, but neither of us can seem to find it! Luckily she is still willing to talk to me and tells me that she has stopped off in Kathmandu on the way to a job in Bhutan and also has a friend here which is a further incentive to visit. I ask her what her favorite thing is about being in Kathmandu is and she replies ‘walking around the city, it’s vibrant!’ She is not deterred by the monsoon whether and declares ‘I love it!’
Ida and Elizabeth – US
WhenI talk to the two friends they have been in Kathmandu for five days and have really enjoyed themselves so far. I catch them on their last day in the city and they are busy picking up last minute presents in Thamel. They have visited Swayambhunath and have also just enjoyed experiencing the activity on the streets of the city: ‘there’s so much culture, so different to home.
’ They also very much enjoyed trekking and loved meeting the locals in the villages they stopped in.
Emanuella – The Netherlands
Emanuella has come to Kathmandu for the Annapurna circuit, however has ended up doing much more in her two moths here. In her time here she has gone trekking, meditated and visited Chitwan and Nagarkot. When asked what her favorite thing has been she replies ‘that’s a complicated question, cause everything has their own little special moment or qualities’ but if pushed it would have to be the Annapurna circuit as that was the main focus of her trip. Emanuella would definitely come back to Kathmandu again, and like many others is not put off by the rain!
Maritza and Allen – US
I find out that Maritza and Allen have been in Nepal for two months and still have four months left. I ask them what they have been doing with their time here and Maritza replies ‘exploring the city’ and ‘eating good food’. They have also been trekking, taking the Annapurna trail, which they say has been the highlight of the trip so far. The pair will start volunteering as teachers at a school in a small village near Pockhara, which they are looking forward to. There are more positive reactions to the rain with Maritza adding that she loves ‘the contrast between sunny and rainy weather!’
– Hampford is an intern with Tourism Times