The Lonely Planet travel guides states: "Draped along the greatest heights of the Himalaya, Nepal is where the ice-cold of the mountains meets the steamy heat of the Indian plains. It's a land of yaks and yetis, stupas and Sherpas and some of the best trekking on earth. The Himalaya's most sophisticated urban cultures took shape here, in the three great minikingdoms of the Kathmandu Valley - Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur - home to a world-class artistic and architectural heritage.
Behind the Vishnu shrine of Ichangu Narayan, northwest of Swayambhunath in the Kathmandu Valley, rises the 'Abode of Snows' (Himalaya in Sanskrit), a magnet for trekkers and mountaineers the world over. Only in Nepal can you trek for weeks without the need even for a tent. No longer does your name have to be Tenzing or Hillary to set foot in Everest Base Camp. Out of the mountains, get your adrenaline kick from world-class white-water rafting, kayaking and mountain biking, or from the spine-tingling sight of your first tiger or rhino in Chitwan National Park.
Nepal is not just a bungee-jumping, apple-pie eating Shangri-la. It's also one of the poorest countries on earth. However, many visitors, drawn to Nepal by the promise of adventure, leave equally enchanted by the friendliness and openness of the Nepali people.
From the natural rhythm you ease into on a trek to the rhythm of a tabla drum at one of Kathmandu's palace restaurants, Nepal is an amazingly diverse country that offers something for everyone. One journey through this land is rarely enough. The first thing many people do after a visit is start planning the next one."
Visit http://www.lonelyplanet.com/nepal for more.
Even if trekking is not your interest, there are several places close by that you can visit to make your trip memorable:
Nagarkot is a very comfortable and quite place situated 32 km east of Kathmandu. It is situated at an altitude of 2175m above sea level. It is a popular hill destination of Nepal and is the famous for sunrise, sunset and mountain views. Five of the world's 10 tallest Mountains, Everest (8848m), Lhotse (8516m), Cho Oyu (8201m), Makalu (8463m) and Manaslu (8163m) along with many other summits are visible from here. The place is surrounded by the terraced hillside and beautiful scenery.
Namobuddha is situated on a hill above Panauti near Bhaktapur. You can reach it after an easy drive or good walk. There is an amazing story related to the Buddha which is commemorated by an ancient stone slab and a Stupa with the all-seeing eyes of Lord Buddha. According to the legend, one of the earlier Buddha offered his own flesh to a tiger unable to feed her hungry cubs. It can also be reached after a three hour trekking from Dhulikhel through a number of small villages.
Kirtipur is a small town located eight kilometers south-west of Kathmandu on the top of a ridge. Tribhuvan University, Nepal’s oldest University, sits at the foot of the hill. This historic town has many things to offer, including ancient shrines, temples, traditional houses, and villagers dressed in traditional clothes weaving on hand looms.
The Dakshinkali temple is 20 km South of Kathmandu. The temple is dedicated to the Hindu Goddess of power and energy, Kali, and is one of the most popular places of worship in Kathmandu. Animal sacrifices are made on Tuesday and Saturday in Dakshinkali.
Eight kilometers north of Kathmandu is a remarkable, colossal statue of lord Vishnu reclining on a bed of snakes. The fifth-century statue lies in the middle of the small Budhanikantha pond and is a place of pilgrimage for all Hindus. It is also the scene of great activity during festivals such as Haribodhini Ekadasi and Kartik Poornima. An interesting feature of this shrine is that the reigning King of Nepal should not visit the spot according to an old tradition.
Shivapuri provides most of the water that comes to the Kathmandu Valley and the hills around it. The wildlife sighting here is also excellent as the Shivapuri National Park has access to wider lands and areas behind the Kathmandu Valley. You may also wish to visit the Buddhist monastery set high on the hill.
For a view of the breathtaking grandeur of the world's highest peaks from the far west of Dhaulagiri to the east of Mt. Everest, there is no better place than Daman. It lies eighty kilometers south-west of Kathmandu on the highway known as Tribhuvan Rajpath and has a view tower fitted with a long range telescope.
This historical palace is situated on the top of the fortified hill above the township, about one hour's walk uphill from the bus station. On the west side of palace is the temple of Goddess Gorakhkali. There is also a famous cave sheltering the statue of Gorakhnath Baba (sage).
It is believed that the name of Gorkha was derived from the name of this sage, whose blessings inspired King Prithvi Narayan Shah for the unification of Nepal. From the top of the hill above Gorkha palace and from a saddle east of the bazaar, the view of Manaslu and Himalchuli is spectacular.
On a beautiful ridge south-east of the township of Gorkha lies the holy temple of Manakamana, a temple dedicated to Manakamana mai, the goddess of aspirations. It is a famous pilgrimage site for Hindus. Manakamana is a four hour walk uphill from Aabu Khaireni on Kathmandu-Pokhara Highway. It can also be reched by a cable car ride.
If visitors are wondering which place in the country would give them a taste of everything, we suggest that they give Tansen a try. Tansen is a small town of approximately twenty thousand people. It is on the way from Pokhara to Lumbini, and it is not very far from the Chitwan National Park.
Located 4,300 meters above sea level, on the south flank of Srinagar Hill, the greatest attractions of this town are its ancient culture, friendly people, excellent mountain views, and, above all, its serene atmosphere. The weather remains moderate throughout the year, and it is a pleasant place to visit in any season.
Pokhara is 200 km to the west of Kathmandu and easily accessible by road and air from Kathmandu. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations of Nepal. From Pokhara, you can encounter the snow peaks of the Himalayas up close without having to go on a trek. Pokhara gives the spectacular view of the Annapurna range, and Machhapuchhre and Dhaulagiri mountains.
Three major lakes of Nepal, Phewa Lake, Begnes lake and Rupa lake are in Pokhara. The other main attractions of Pokhara are Barahi temple, Bindabasini temple, Mahendra cave, Davie's fall, Seti Gorge etc.
Health And Insurance
Medical facilities in Kathmandu Valley are sound. The services of major general hospitals and private clinics are available. All kinds of medicines, including ones that need to be imported are available in Kathmandu. Health posts have been set up by the government in different parts of rural Nepal. However, facilities are not comparable to those found in Kathmandu Valley.
A travel insurance policy that covers theft, loss and medical treatment is recommended. Make sure the insurance also covers the activities that you will be undertaking during your stay in Nepal such as trekking, rafting, etc.
Visitors do not need any particular immunization for visit. Vaccinations for cholera, meningitis, tetanus and diphtheria, typhoid and gamma globulin should, however, be considered. It may be a good idea to get a complete check-up before departure
A simple but adequate medical kit can be very useful while traveling. The following items are recommended: Aspirin for pain or fever; a decongestant for colds, allergies and to help prevent motion sickness; Antibiotics must be prescribed; Kaolin preparation (Pepto-Bismol), for stomach upsets; Rehydration mixture - for treatment of severe diarrhoea; Antiseptic, mercurochrome and antibiotic powder or similar 'dry' spray - for cuts and grazes.
Other Things to Include are
Calamine lotion to ease irritation from bites or stings, bandages and band aids for minor injuries, scissors, tweezers, thermometer, insect repellent, sun block lotion, chopsticks, water-purification tablets, throat lozenges (Strepsils), moleskin, eye drops, Acetaminophen (Paracetamol, Antacid tablets).
International Communications are available in Kathamndu, Pokhara, and even in remote villages on main trekking routes. Internet telephone options are also available
Internet connections are available in Kathmandu and Pokhara, and email is possible on some trekking routes, such as in Namche Bazaar near Everest
Post service is good, except for land packages which go through India and might get lost on the way. Many international Postal Services such as FedEx, UPS, and DHL are operational in Kathamandu.
Electricity in Nepal is 220V/50Khz.
Security for visitors
Tourist Police was established in 1979 under the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation. The special unit has been designated the task of providing security to visitors. The team of Tourist Police consists of officers who can speak and understand English and Hindi. They register complaints, investigate matters, provide protection and safety to tourists. They also try to ensure hassle-free trip for visitors and assist tourists when necessary. There are three units of Tourist Police forces in Kathmandu. While the main office is at the Tourist Service Center in Bhrikuti Mandap(Phone: 4247041, 4247037), the other two are in tourist areas Thamel (Phone: 4429750) and Basantapur(Phone: 44268969).
Here are some tips on how visitors who intend to stay here for sometime can remain safe:
Inform your where abouts immediately upon arrival to the local police or concerned embassy or consulate. Use the services of government registered travel and trekking agencies only. Stay only at government registered hotels, resorts, guest houses and lodges. Use only those porters who are authorized by your travel agency or hotel. Exchange foreign currency only at authorized places. Never carry your wallet in the back pocket. Make sure your wallet is in the inside jacket pocket or side pocket of the trousers.
Carry certified copies of documents and leave the originals and other valuables in the safe deposit box of your hotel. Never leave these items unattended in your room.
Do not carry large sums of cash. Carry travelers' cheques and limited amount of cash while on tour.
Never leave your luggage and other valuables unattended at any time, any place.
In case of theft or loss contact the nearest police station immediately.
Weather in Kathmandu during January:
\Please note that the month of January falls under the winter season in Nepal. Kathmandu is at 1350 meters. The night temperature could go down to O Celcius. Mostly, the temprature is between 18 degree celcius to 6 degree celcius. Between October to February, woolen sweaters, jackets or similar other warm outfits are necessary.
The weather in Nepal not only depends on the time of year, but also on the altitude of he places you are visiting. The width of Nepal is only about 200km on average, but within this short distance, the altitude of the land ranges from lowly 60 meters all the way up to above 8000 meters, and temperature change accordingly. Contact us if you need more information.