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Cultural Walking Tour of Kathmandu: Swayambhunath and Durbar Square with Nepalese Cooking Lesson

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Highlights
    What to Expect
    Feel like a local as you explore the picturesque neighborhoods of Kathmandu on foot with a guide, finishing your day with a cooking lesson at the home of a Nepalese family. It’s a great way to step off the tourist track and learn about daily life for the friendly residents of this sprawling city.
    Begin your day in the morning, meeting your guide at the Hotel Marshyangdi. Continue to the holy site of Swayambhunath, the oldest stupa in Nepal and a frequent site of devotion for the country’s Hindu and Buddhist adherents. Discover why locals have nicknamed this site the “Monkey Temple,” thanks to its large contingent of primates. The monkeys guard the hills near the site and have been known to entertain visitors with acrobatic tricks on the banisters of the temple’s main staircase.
    The hilltop location of Swayambhunath also offers sublime views of Kathmandu and the surrounding valley. Spend a moment taking it all in before entering inside the inner chamber of this mound-like building. Inside you’ll find various Hindu and Buddhist relics, including the ashes of the deceased. Many use the site for meditation, and it's easy to understand why: a mesmerizing mixture of hypnotic prayer chants, ghostly ringing bells, and smoky trails of incense provide just the right atmosphere for spiritual reflection.
    After enjoying a divine experience inside the stupa, continue with your guide into the labyrinth of alleys and side streets leading to Durbar Square. Among the many sights, you’ll find in this area are picturesque courtyards, ancient temples, and markets full of local handicrafts and brilliant-colored produce.
    Follow the lead of your guide as you purchase aromatic spices, vegetables, and any other ingredients you might want for your cooking lesson (at your own expense). After you’ve bought what you need, head to the residence of a local family to begin your cooking lesson.
    Learn the secrets of Nepalese cooking from this friendly family as you prepare your meal in their inviting kitchen. Once the food is ready, sit down to lunch and enjoy shared conversation with the family, with interpreter services provided by your guide. At the end of your meal, head back to the original starting point to finish your trip.
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    Reviewed 16 March 2019 via mobile

    An interesting walking tour of Kathmandu, with a (very) small group of just me and Odil (?), my guide. (The tour started an hour late with the original guide dropping out, but this was well communicated and the inconvenience was soon forgotten.) We started with...More

    Thank pjb34uk
    kathmanduua, Urban Adventures Coordinator at Kathmandu Urban Adventures, responded to this reviewResponded 12 May 2019

    We Nepalese tend to be somewhat obsessed with Dal-Bhat, I admit! But thank you very much for your kind review!

    Reviewed 24 December 2018 via mobile

    Amit was a warm, friendly and extremely knowledgeable guide. He understood and anticipated or needs and interests. He’s enthusiasm and love for Nepal and it’s rich historical and artistic heritage was infectious. Highly recommend Amit as a guide.

    Date of experience: December 2018
    Thank Janelle P
    Reviewed 12 November 2018

    There is so much activity in this city center, try to climb up to a terrace so you can get a look at everything going on from above. The photo will be excellent. The steps leading up to Swayambhunath is well worth it, try not...More

    Date of experience: October 2018
    Thank Anita S
    Reviewed 1 October 2018

    It really was one of our best days ever - the experience with the local family in Kathmandu was just amazing, and our guide Subash was really professional and friendly. I also liked that there were no additional costs for anything, which is not always...More

    Date of experience: September 2018
    Thank Sunshine824235
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