We spent a few days in Kathmandu, both at the start and towards the end of our time in Nepal. It is the kind of city where a few days would be sufficient, and it is usually best treated as a gateway to the rest of Nepal. It is highly populated and polluted. After a couple of days there, it would not be unusual to develop a cough and have a constant tickle in your throat. If you spend a week there you will certainly feel the effects of the smog in the atmosphere. A harsh contrast from the fresh mountain air if returning from trekking.
However, it is a city that has much authenticity and culture. We are used to travelling in South-East Asia, and we couldn’t help but notice how much more rich the culture in Nepal is. Other cities we have visited throughout the years have become more catered to Western tourists. It is touristy as most cities are, but it hasn’t lost its authentic cultural vibe. Certain practices still remain that date back to ancient times. We got a glimpse of these when we visited various temples and historic buildings, such as Kumari House and Swayambhunath (also known as Monkey Temple). Despite the pollution it was a breath of fresh air meeting the local people and getting to know more about such an interesting culture.