Bopping around Bhaktapur

Trip Start Jul 25, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Nepal  , Bhaktapur,
Wednesday, April 2, 2008

If the chaos of Kathmandu is getting to you, the Bhaktapur is a way to spend a day. Located around 12 kilometres east of Kathmandu, it is an old medieval Newari town in which it is easy to believe life is continuing in much the same way as it has for hundreds of years. Famous for its temples, shrines and palace, a wander through the back streets is as close to time travel as you are like to get. It has a tradition of colourful religious ceremonies, and skilled artisans. Wander down to the Potter's District, and hundred of clay fired pots and urns are laid out in the sun, the technique largely unchanged for hundreds of years.

The old town of Bhaktapur is car free, and makes for a great pedestrian experience. While expensive to visit, (about $10 American), it is worth it for the sense of peace that prevails, the wonderful old buildings, and the little glimpses of life that still goes on when the tourists aren't working.

(As an aside - while you must pay to enter many of Kathmandu's and the Valley's more interesting sights, if you are staying there a while, there is a way to go to these as many times as you wish, while only paying once. When you buy your ticket, ask where the main office is. If you go to the office and tell them you are staying in Kathmandu for a while, and would like to visit whatever location you are at multiple times, they will issue a pass for whatever period of time you agree on. Your passport is required, as is one or two photos, but once done you can wave it at the guards at the site and waltz through. In my case, I used my card for Durbar Square in Kathmandu about two weeks past it's end date, as the guards never bothered to check once they saw the photo and card from a distance. You can save a lot of money this way, and spend a lot more time in these amazing places.)
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