On 25 April 2015, Nepal suffered a terrible earthquake that
caused shocking damage and destruction. Now, more than one year
later, many travellers are asking: is it a good time to visit
Kathmandu and the rest of Nepal?
This is the perfecttime to visit
vibrant Kathmandu © kapulya/iStock
In a word: yes. In fact, this is the perfect opportunity to
schedule a trip to this stunningly beautiful mountain country.
Despite the strength of the quake, many of Nepal's most famous
landmarks remain in good condition, and a number of its UNESCO
World Heritage sites have re-opened. A British-sponsored structural
engineering firm has also determined that the country - and its
famous peaks - are safe to visit. Airports are operating normally,
hotels and restaurants are open, and the tourist infrastructure is
ready to welcome guests.
Those planning to visit Kathmandu are additionally helping
contribute to recovery efforts: for a country whose economy relies
heavily on tourism, last year's 65% drop in the number of tourists
was further damaging. Take some time, then, to discover the wild
nature, stunning vistas, and hospitable culture that the country
offers. Read on for what to do during your next stay in Kathmandu -
Boudhanath Stupa escaped with
minimal damage © fotoVoyager/iStock
Although photographs taken
after the earthquake captured piles of rubble and destruction, in
reality many of the most famous landmarks in Kathmandu and the
surrounding valley are still standing, many with only minor
Bhaktapur, an ancient city just east of Kathmandu, saw some of
its famous brick buildings collapse, though many of its most famous
structures - including the Nyatapola Temple, the country's highest
- are still standing tall. The famous Boudhanath Stupa, the largest
stupa in the country, also escaped with only minimal damage, as did
Swayambhunath, another ancient religious landmark.
The famous Swayambhunath temple
is also in good condition © korionov/iStock
In the heart of Kathmandu, Durbar Square did suffer the wrath of
the temblor - several of the square's most famous temples fully
collapsed - but the UNESCO site is in the midst of regeneration,
and has now officially reopened for visitors.
Markets and Restaurants
Kathmandu's colourful markets
turn up a trove of treasures © Csondy/iStock
Kathmandu has always been a lively and colourful city, pulsing
with rickshaws, busy with markets, and crowded with restaurants,
and that reality hasn't changed. In the neighbourhood of Thamel,
keep an eye out for street markets, where cashmere, jewellery, and
other textiles can be picked up for reasonable prices.
A stay in Kathmandu is also the perfect opportunity to sample
traditional delicacies, from moreish momos - hearty Nepalese
dumplings - to warming noodle soups. Travellers can also venture to
destination restaurants like The Old
House for a taste of Nepalese fine dining.
From Kathmandu, venture to
Pokhara and Nepal's other stunning destinations © Cn0ra/iStock
First, visit Kathmandu, and then consider branching out to
discover more of Nepal's charms.
Just outside of the city is Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park, a green
oasis that's a gateway to the country's wild side.
Many visitors also head from Kathmandu to Chitwan National Park - where the gorgeous new
Meghauli Serai Taj Safari Lodge has just opened - to get up close and personal
with exotic wildlife. And trekking season is back to its normal
routines in 2016 - a jaunt over to Pokhara should appeal to
Make 2016 the year you visit Nepal, then. You'll uncover a
wonderland of natural beauty and world-famous sites, friendly
faces, and the chance to speed along recovery efforts.