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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, Nepal from the monkey temple

Small shops

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.

A shop on the streets of Kathmandu, NepalA food stall on the streets of Kathmandu, Nepal

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!).

Kids filling up water on the streets of Kathmandu, Nepal

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.

Cows on the streets of Kathmandu, Nepal

Shrines/Temples

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

A temple on the streets of Kathmandu

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!

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Jon Algie

A travel blogger from New Zealand who hates talking about himself in the third person and has no imagination when it comes to naming websites.
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6 Comments

  1. October 24, 2014 at 6:13 pm — Reply

    Looks like the fascinating city fit for people watching that I’m really into these days, especially for street photography as there must be something every 5 yards or so to take a picture of.

    That man with the cows didn’t look so happy, did he say anything to you about the photo? Did you ask him?

    • October 25, 2014 at 3:00 am — Reply

      Haha yeah he doesn’t. He had his back turned for a start and I was just trying to get a photo of the cows, but I signaled to him that I took it and he seemed OK with it!

  2. November 2, 2014 at 1:17 pm — Reply

    Kathmandu surely is a colourful city. And its always best to walk around to know a new place.

  3. November 3, 2014 at 7:03 pm — Reply

    Kathmandu was way too crowded for me. As expected though. Nepal, as a whole has pretty scenic places:)

  4. November 3, 2014 at 9:10 pm — Reply

    Fascinating city indeed.

  5. Alejandra
    November 5, 2014 at 11:02 am — Reply

    wow that shop sure looks organized! Kathmandu have been on my list for a while now, would love to experience the bustling city.

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