A locals’ guide to Kathmandu, Nepal: top 10 tips

The gateway to the Himalayas has been a backpackers’ haven since the 1950s. Now recovering from the 2015 earthquake, it offers a magical mix of chaos and beauty

For most visitors, a trip to Nepal begins in Thamel. This labyrinth of streets and alleys lined with souvenir shops, bars, hotels and restaurants has been the hub for backpackers since the country opened itself to outsiders in the late 1950s. Of the city’s handful of green enclaves, the Garden of Dreams is a serene spot in which to escape the bustle of the streets. Just across from the former royal palace (which is now a museum), the garden, with its pavilions and ponds, is the perfect spot to unwind with a book or take a nap on the lawn mats.

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