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A Memorable Ramen Encounter


On a cold winter evening in Kyoto, I coincidentally found a minuscule ramen shop concealed in a tranquil rear entryway. Sitting at the counter, I watched the talented culinary specialist fastidiously... Read more

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  • What to eat
  • How to burn it off
  • Where to Stay

There’s a very good chance you came to Nepal to trek in the Himalaya, in which case you’ll have no trouble burning off those calories. If you didn’t, there are still numerous ways to work it off. While Kathmandu city itself is rather a dust bowl and seriously lacks parks, you don’t have to go far from the central city to find countryside and fresh air.

Where to Walk in Kathmandu

Although Kathmandu isn’t a very walkable city, it’s ringed by forest-clad mountains (well, locals call them hills because the real mountains are the pointy, snow-capped things lying beyond, but anywhere else in the world these 9,500-foot hills would be called mountains). Shivapuri National Park on the northern edge and Mount Phulchowki on the southern edge are great destinations for a day trip. On clear days there are good views of the city from both spots.

Where to do yoga

Kathmandu likes its yoga. The most traveler-friendly, with well-trained, English-speaking international and Nepali instructors and good facilities, is the Pranamaya Studio (top floor of Himalayan Java Tridevi Marg branch, Kathmandu, map), with branches in Jhamsikhel and Thamel. As well as several drop-in classes per day, it frequently holds weekend retreats to places like Hattiban, Namo Buddha, or Pharping, on the outskirts of the Kathmandu Valley.

Where to go rock climbing

If climbing a Himalayan peak is a little far outside your comfort zone—or if you want to get some last-minute practice in before heading off to scale Everest—the Astrek Climbing Wall (Astrek Complex, Amrit Marg, Kathmandu, map) in Thamel is the place to go. This artificial wall is a hangout of local and foreign climbers of all abilities. It rents out shoes and harnesses for a minimal cost.

Where to go biking

Only daredevils and Dutch expats cycle around Kathmandu city, but there are numerous places to rent bikes for a day in the countryside (such as Annapurna Mountain Bike and Adventures, Chaksibari Marg, Kathmandu, map). Once you leave the area within the Ring Road that encircles the city, the roads become less traffic-clogged and quickly give way to farmland and villages, giving a sense of what the real Nepali countryside is like. There are no dedicated cycle paths anywhere in Kathmandu, but with a solid mountain bike, keen cyclists can have fun on the dirt tracks and quieter roads of the outer Kathmandu Valley. Head to villages such as Ichangu Narayan, Chobhar, or Bungamati for a slice of rural life. Refuel at (very local) Newari eateries in these towns.


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