Kathmandu

Discussion in 'Travel' started by muscat_diver, Feb 23, 2012.

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  1. FlyDubai currently have a 2 for 1 offer on flights (buy one flight get same flight free later in the year) and Dubai - Kathmandu is about 200 quid. It is a place that my wife and I would like to visit and we would like to go to Kathmandu itself for a short trip to explore locally and then return to the area again later in the year for basic trekking. Before I look at flights I would be grateful for advice on:

    The best time of year to visit Kathmandu in terms of weather and visibility and also the best time to visit and do some very basic trekking (kids are 5, 7 and 8 and I have no cartilage in my knackered old knees)

    Cost effective family accommodation (2 adullts 3 children)

    The 'must see / must do' things in the area and also what not to do....

    Many thanks

    M_D
     
  2. Last time I was in Kathmandu sorry to say it was a bit polluted and a lot more dirty than I remember from the first time I went, best time to visit October. You may want to consider Pokhara for a few days if you want some basic treks.
     
  3. Best time to Trek is end of summer (Sep/Oct) or begining of Spring (Apr/May), Summer is V Hot and steamy and can be oppressive and Winter is both cold and wet.

    Pokhara in West Nepal (Annapurna/Machapuchare (The fishtail mountain) is better for lower level trekking and has a great Lodge Fishtail Lodge) on Phewa Thaal (Lake) but you need to either take internal flight or bus(!!) or taxi (!!!!) to get there.

    East Nepal has limited low level treks but you can always fly to Luklha and Trek (half a day) up to Namche Bazar, from where you can get great views of Everest.

    Accomodation is not easy to quantify as it ranges from basic sleeping platform requiring you to provide sleeping bag, right up to 5 (Nepalese) Star. Best advice might well come direct from HQs British Gurkhas Nepal, if you can find a contact there.
     
  4. Phil and OS thank you for quick replies. I shall look at booking this flight deal for the begining of Spring (Apr/May), withthe follow up visit later in October. I shall do some more internet research on Kathmandu and see if I can pick up any recommendations for family accommodation
    Many thanks
    M_D
     
  5. Muscat, Id echo the previous posts, avoid too long in Kat and head for Pokhara ASAP. Its about 40 min internal flight or 6hrs ish by bus - there are tourist friendly buses if you like. If you are interested in a bit of jungle (Elephants and Rhino and Tigers etc) then you might want to have a look at Chitwan NP in the Terrai region.
     
  6. Thanks RTT I shall look at internal flights to link with FlyDubai. The kids would love the animals (hopefully not vice versa) so will look up Chitwan NP. Thanks for the advice M_D
     
  7. Muscat_Diver; There are plenty of things in and around Kathmandu worth seeing and these can be found in any of the guides, one I would recommend is Swayambhunath or the Monkey Temple - within walking distance of Thamel and the kids will love the monkeys! I would also recommend catching the local bus out to Bhaktapur, one of the old capitals of Nepal.

    The internal flights are a bit of a nightmare to arrange from outside the country but very easy to sort out once in country. Be careful when arranging your internal return flight to Kathmandu and leave 24hr spare as the flights often get cancelled/delay because of fog so you may have to get a bus instead so could miss your flight.

    The only advice I would give you for accommodation in Kathmandu is to avoid the Kathmandu Guest House - it is an extremely overpriced dump - far better is available for your money.

    Accommodation in Pokhara is plentiful - you could do much worse than checking out Nepal Accommodation hotel and travel John the owner/host is ex 2 Para and will sort out all the internal arrangements you need, including hotels etc in Kathmandu.

    The FlyDubai deal is a good one but the restrictions on not flying during UAE public holidays and not Thu-Sat is a bit of a pain!!
     
  8. Whilst (briefly) in Kathmandu, du go and see the temple of the all seeing eye (Bodnath); Durbar Square; Pashupatinath (Hindu temple and where they cremate the dead on the river bank).

    In some places (especialy the latter location) there are monkeys. Avoid them and in particular dont feed them as they can be vicious and will steal your handbag, camera etc. Best not to carry any food with you.

    Kathmandu is very polluted and sometimes it's difficult to see across the street through the traffic fumes.

    Having a gyppy tummy in Kathmandu is compulsory. In an effort to avoid this if eating out, DONT eat salads. Only eat cooked foods and only then if piping hot (the bigger hotel restaurants are ok). If you do get a dose of the Kathmandu quick step, try not to use Lomotil as it usually doesn't do much at first and then you find you cant crap for a week.

    I take a supply of SMECTA with me wherever I go, and I take a sachet in half a glass of (bottled) water at the first sign of diarrhoea. It calms the stomach, but still allows you to get rid of the toxins and what have you. Read the Instructions!

    If you are getting a visa on arrival, make sure you have the correct change in small notes as the immigration bloke will tell you that he has no small notes and will pocket your change.

    Whilst rich in history and culture, Kathmandu is in no way sophisticated and you will be pestered by kids and beggars, but at least they will be smiling at you. Usually through a mouthful of rotten teeth.

    I stayed at the Shangri La hotel which was pleasant, if a bit expensive. The Radisson hotel is ok at somewhere between 120 and 180 dollars US per night. Try to get a deal by booking online as the hotels charge the full rack rate if you walk in off the street.

    As stated by others, Pokhara is much nicer and with more things to see and do.

    The Nepalese are a great bunch of people but totally corrupt and great fun to be with. I used to live in Nepal at the Kumjung hotel and my favourite place for getting diarrhoea was a restaurant round the corner called Lip Hang (tasty but deadly food). They had a traditional Sitar band playing most nights and I got them to play various Rolling Stones tracks. Amazing!
     
  9. Make sure you have a couple of passport pictures each too otherwise they will charge you a fortune for them!!
     
  10. Best time to visit Kathmandu is between Sep-Nov…Great weather and a nice place to be then..there is a local festival during this time…I don’t remember it now..You can also check out a small village called Dhulabari for shopping..Remember one thing while in Dhulabari…Bargaining is the key...
     
  11. Many thanks I will try and find the festival dates and research Dhulabari
     
  12. Yo! I come rather late to this forum but fully endorse Oustanding's post:
    'East Nepal has limited low level treks but you can always fly to Luklha and Trek (half a day) up to Namche Bazar, from where you can get great views of Everest.'
    Fly with the aptly named Yeti Airlines for a hair raising flight to Lukla. The trek to Namche Bazar (NB) with small kids is best split over several days - but the paths are easy and relatively flat. There is a Tibetan Market in NB on Saturdays and a great bakers shop. Once you get into the Khumbu Valley and north east of Namche Bazar the paths are steeper and the terrain changes rapidly. Try a trekking company called 'Friends in High Places' for an individually package holiday - very knowledgeable and professional. Staying in Tea Houses is good but try and eat what the locals eat - it is appreciated and means they chop down and burn less wood catering for large groups of tourist trekkers demanding widely diverse western cuisine.
    The most important thing is not to rush to get anywhere; the longer you can spend at each location the better, taking a side trip to a higher altitude and then back to you Tea House for the night before moving on and up. Everest Base camp is one of the great 'things one must do...' but probably a bit to much for very young diddies. The tea house at Gorag Shap is a bit basic but you are really close to Everest and a slog up Kalar Patar gives you a 'I feel I can touch it' view of Everest. Have a great adventure.