My guide's name was Bishnu, who is a Nepali national, and grew up in Kathmandu. The tour was separated into two parts: Durbar Square and Swayambunath Stupa. Bishnu picked me up in my hotel, and we started our way to Durbar, which was only about 20 mins away.
The Durbar square unfortunately experienced a lot of destruction since the earthquake of 2015. Many of the old temples have been badly damaged. The Nepali government has only recently started making repairs. Bishnu told me of the history behind most of the monuments. Even though there were quite badly damaged, they were still quite beautiful. We walked throughout the square and saw all of the interesting architecture. There was a small museum setup to display some of the artifacts found during the excavation after the earthquake. We also saw the Kumari's palace, and Bishnu told me of the history.
We then went off to see the Swayambunath temple. Although this is considered a Buddhist temple, there are several small temples dedicated to Hindu gods interspersed throughout the complex. The view from the top is simply spectacular. An almost 360 degree view of all of Kathmandu valley is visible. To reach the top, be prepared to climb up several flights of stairs. There are some nice souvenir shops at the top. I asked Bishnu to help me select a singing bowl, and he explained the differences between the cheap ones found in Thamel vs a handmade bowl.
Overall I was very pleased, would highly recommend. Great way to get an overview of Nepali culture and history in one afternoon.
This was an excellent way to see Kathmandu! As a solo traveler only in Kathmandu for 2 days, having a guided tour really helped me to make the most of the city in a short amount of time. My guide was really kind and knowledgeable and we had a driver that took us around to multiple locations in Kathmandu. Highly recommended.
This is a tour for people who really want to learn about history, hidden gems/ places/statues/buildings of interest that are not so much visited by tourists because they just don't know the places exist. Professional, knowledgeble, fun and entertaining tour guide. Tell the guide ahead of time if you would like to climb all the steps on your way up the Swayambhunath Temple. There are many of them but the climb is very manageable unless it's a really hot day. If you choose to climb from the very bottom, you get to see a few artifacts more on your way up and of course the view is awesome. Your other choice is to be dropped off at another entry point, more than half-way up so much less climbing.
What an amazing city Kathmandu is. Frontier town still resonates with me, especially with the ravages of the 2014 earthquake, but the beauty still shines through. The highlight has to be a fleeting blessing from the Kumari goddess.
Parfait pour avoir une première impression de la ville lorsque l’on n’a pas beaucoup de temps. Le guide francophone était très bien, m’a laissé dans un autre quartier (Patan) et m’a donné de bonnes et utiles informations pratiques