Walking the Colourful Streets of Kathmandu, Nepal
The best way to get a feel for just how chaotic and colourful Kathmandu can be is by hitting the footpaths (actually there usually aren’t any, you’ll be walking on the road trying to dodge traffic while your eyes dart around looking at all the sights around you). They may not be the safest places to walk, but the streets of Kathmandu are attractions in themselves, just make sure you get outside of Thamel, the city’s backpacking district, which is full of restaurants and trekking shops. Thamel is a good place to base yourself but the streets outside are far more interesting.
From the Monkey Temple to Thamel
We did another couple of walks around Kathmandu, including the short trip from Thamel to Durbar Square, but the walk from the Monkey Temple (read a post about that here) was definitely the highlight. It was festival time, so in some parts the waves of locals pouring through the streets made the walk an even bigger assault on the senses than it’d usually be. Here are some of the things I noticed along the way (I guess you could call this a photo essay, but since I denounced that particular term in a previous post, I had to call it something else!).
The streets of Kathmandu are full of small shops selling everything from food, pottery, clothes and pretty much anything else you’d ever be in need of.
Filling up water at the well (or tap)
These kids looked hard at work filling up buckets of water, but were pretty excited to get their photo taken. Children in this part of the world seem to take on a lot more work for the family, which probably doesn’t do them any harm (as long as they are still going to school). I was even checked in by a kid of about 10 at a guesthouse, although he didn’t seem keen on being responsible for the money (I reckon I could have bargained pretty well with a 10 year old!).
Animals on the streets of Kathmandu
It’s pretty common to see animals wandering around the streets of Kathmandu – we saw plenty of goats, cows and chickens, but thankfully we didn’t encounter any rabid, growling dogs, although I hear they are a bit of a problem in this part of the world.
Go for a walk in Kathmandu and you’ll quickly come across a small shrine or temple, sometimes in what looks like the middle of the road. I didn’t see many people praying at these temples, but they give the streets an extra layer of character.
Further reading: I visited Kathmandu before the earthquake – check out some before and after photos
Kathmandu is a fascinating city, and while it’s tempting to take cheap taxis and rickshaws everywhere, walking the streets can be an interesting (although sometimes challenging) alternative.
Have you been to Kathmandu? Do you enjoy walking along busy city streets? Let me know!