I think the hippie influx in the 70s must be given as much credit as the mountains of Nepal in being the first to advertise of the natural beauty and open environment of the country. The numerous hashish shops in the streets of Kathmandu pulled the all-white crowd like no other. Many people came to meditate and some to follow the ‘hare Rama hare Krishna’group of Hindus. Well if you are taking the green stuff, all you want to do is meditate and roam around. And roaming around is exactly Kathmandu is all about. There are so many things to see and they are so different from the rest of the world.
For starters Kathmandu is pretty laid back. Tell that to a person outside the capital and he’ll freak out. It is biasedly more developed compared to the other cities of Nepal hence the hustle and bustle is evident but nothing like the west or even India. There are loads of things to admire from the numerous temples built by various kings to the different communities with their religion living here. The hills surrounding the city give you the feeling that a mountain or two is just a few miles away. Tourists especially enjoy the numerous and ever so vivid festivals that could include chariot pulling, hurling colored water filled balloons to grand feasting.
The standards of hotels and food can be from low to high taking into account that Nepal is still a developing country. But trying a bit of everything is the best way to bosom the true spirit of the place. Kathmandu also offers a good spectrum of handicrafts and textiles for souvenirs and casual wear. A little bit of hiking around the hills can also provide the much needed fresh air and fun.
Kathmandu is the just right size for a city. A couple hours’ drive will take you to the country side yet it will take at least a week to visit all the important places within. So if you are thinking a short trip to Nepal, you can enjoy the luxury as well as the history and people of this city. The prices are going up progressively here but still its way economical than what you probably spend back home. You can take back with you nice Nepali carpets, beautiful Thanka paintings, Colorful Cashmere Scarves (Pashmina) and of course the memories of the very cooperative and trendy Kathmanduans.