Bhaktapur is one of the most interesting places we visit around the Kathmandu Valley. Some time ago it was its own city, but nowadays, Kathmandu has expanded so much that Bhaktapur is another area of the capital.
If you plan to go, prepare to spend the huge amount—for Nepali standards—of 1500 rupees, or do like us and try to sneak in every single street surrounding the square… =P It is not easy, though, as every possible corner is guarded by regular people who don’t seem to work officially for the touristic council and ask you to show your ticket (one man even appears riding a motorbike when we are almost successful in the infiltration!). For this reason, we end up walking pretty far, but this also allows us to soak in the local culture.
As with Patan and Kathmandu, there is a royal or “Durbar” square here, but we find this is the most lively and beautiful of all of them. With our travel guru Belinda (check her amazing blog) we will enjoy a full day here walking its many streets with its many hidden squares and temples, finding religious ceremonies going on near some of them. There are a lot of goats, hens and animals wandering around and many beautiful ceramics and wood carvings being created around every corner. Here are our findings in pictures. Enjoy!
A man crafting pottery the traditional way:
- You can take a local bus from Ratna Park in Kathmandu for 25 NPR. Once at the station, ask around and you will be pointed to the correct vehicle. To go back, take another bus from the same stop where you were dropped off (in front of the main entrance), but beware the last one to KMD departs at 5 pm (or ask to the driver on the way there to confirm). The route lasts one hour approximately.
- If you want to avoid an expensive bill for your lunch, there is a local and small establishment on the square itself where they make tasty samosas for 15 NPR a piece. Ask “Samosa?” and they will point you in the right direction.
- If you are interested in buying a hand-crafted mask or other piece made of wood or ceramics, Bhaktapur is the place!