Kathmandu is the starting point for many great hikes, but it's no slouch when it comes to its own great sights. Over three quick days, stroll through engrossing markets and temples, visit famous stupas to learn about Tibetan buddhism, and enjoy a dinner at a local Panauti homestay, a G for Good project.
Arrive at any time. This evening, take an orientation walk with the CEO exploring Patan Durbar square.<p><strong>ACTIVITY: </strong> Your opportunity to meet your CEO and fellow travellers, and learn more about your tour. Opt to join the group for a local meal afterwards. Don't forget to see the notice in the lobby (or ask reception) for the official time and place to meet up with the group.</p><p><strong>ACTIVITY: </strong> Enjoy a self-guided tour of this spectacular square built primarily in the 16th and 17th centuries. Located within it are the Royal Palace and many temples built in the traditional Newari pagoda style. We also visit the Golden Temple and Patan museum. South of the square lies the Kumari Chowk, home to Nepal's living goddess, the Kumari, a prepubescent girl chosen as the incarnation of the Hindu goddess Talejn. The Kumari lives a cloistered life, rarely leaving the confines of the chowk. When she does, it is for important religious festivals, but her feet are not allowed to touch the ground. Once the Kumari reaches puberty, another 3-5-year-old girl will take her place. If she is receiving visitors, we may be able to stop by for a blessing.</p>
Accommodation Name: Hotel Traditional Stay (or similar)
Meals: ,No Meals,
Location: Kathmandu, Panauti
Tour Boudhnath Stupa and its surrounding markets with our CEO. The largest Stupa in Nepal, it was historically a trading place for Tibetan Buddhist pilgrims and traders. Today the area is alive with the chants of pilgrims, bustling Tibetan shops, and cafes serving authentic cuisine. After, drive to Panauti community homestay, a G Adventures–supported project. Explore the village then help our hosts cook an authentic Nepalese dinner.<p>Many families in Panauti Village have come together to establish a homestay program. Depending on the location, the home offers lovely views across surrounding fields or a post from which to observe street activity. As well as getting to know a local family and exploring this lovely village, you will assist with preparing the evening meal –dal bhat, a traditional meal of vegetables mixed with an assortment of spices (turmeric, cumin, ginger, garlic) then eat together with your host family.</p><p><strong>ACTIVITY: </strong> Enjoy a visit to the Boudhanath Stupa, one of the largest Buddhist stupas in the world. Built in the 5th century, it still attracts many pilgrims, particularly Tibetan Buddhists and local Nepalis, and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. See the compassionate eyes of Buddha gazing from the facade and take in the peaceful atmosphere and observe Buddhist monks at prayer in the monasteries surrounding the stupa. Follow the pilgrims walking clockwise around the stupa, rotating the prayer wheels and chanting "OM MANI PADME HUM" meaning "diamond on a lotus." Continue through the thriving market surrounding the area which is alive with chants, singing bowls, monasteries, shops selling Tibetan wares and cafes serving authentic Tibetan cuisine.</p><p><strong>TRANSPORT: </strong> Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.</p><p><strong>ACTIVITY: </strong> Set up in 2013, the Panauti Community Homestay is ran by a group of women who started the initiative as a way of challenging the lack of opportunity often faced by women in rural areas. The project allows them to raise their social status and income while also providing an opportunity to share their culture and customs with travellers. By sending our groups to a homestay, G Adventures is increasing income for the community and assisting with small business opportunities in hospitality. Although simple, rooms are clean, comfortable and typical of the households in which you are staying.</p><p><strong>ACTIVITY: </strong> Walk through the old town and immerse in local life. This Newari town has its own traditions and culture dating back to the 13th century.</p>
Accommodation Name: Panauti Community Homestay (or similar)
Location: Panauti, Kathmandu
Return to Kathmandu and explore the ancient capital of Bhaktapur, walking through the markets, tea stalls, wood–carved temples and vibrant squares before the tour ends at 5pm. For travellers continuing on to another G Adventures tour, your CEO will help facilitate the joining of the new group starting in the evening.<p><strong>TRANSPORT: </strong> Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.</p><p><strong>ACTIVITY: </strong> Visit this unique old town known as the City of Devotees. Explore Hindu temples, pagodas, palaces, and monuments, including the beautiful wood-carved palace in Durbar Square. You can pick up clay pots and other souvenirs in the colourful open markets and taste home made yogourt, known as khopa dhau, which Bhaktapur is famous for. </p>
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