Our Bhaktapur Half-Day Tour from Kathmandu
One of the places I included in our itinerary for Nepal is Bhaktapur. A historical city just 12-kilometer east of Kathmandu, it has monuments, temples, pagodas and religious shrines. It is also listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. That alone got me interested to see this old city. I also read online that Bhaktapur has more temples and palaces compared to what is in Kathmandu and Patan. Learning that made me even more interested to visit Bhaktapur. So on our last day in Kathmandu, my friend and I went to a Bhaktapur half-day tour. We wanted to do it on our own. So instead of availing the service of a travel agency, we just jotted down some notable sights to see and searched online on how to get there.
How to go to Bhaktapur from Kathmandu?
The best way to reach Bhaktapur from Kathmandu is taking a taxi. For a 12-kilometer drive, taxi fare can cost about NPR1,200 ($10). My friend and I were on a budget so we opted for the cheapest way to get to Bhaktapur, which is taking a local mini bus. The cost is NPR30 ($0.30) with a travel time that could take for 30 to 40 minutes. From our hotel, we simply walked to Ratna Bus Park, where the buses bound for Bhaktapur are.
Bhaktapur Half-Day Tour
It was already late in the morning when we started our Bhaktapur half-day tour. We arrived in our destination around noontime already. The driver dropped us off at the main entrance. Then, we paid our entrance ticket that costs NPR1,500 ($13) per person. If you are planning to stay for a couple of days, you need to show the ticket office your passport with your Nepalese visa.
Walking is the best way to experience Bhaktapur. With Google Maps on my phone ready, we were able to do our Bhaktapur half-day tour hassle-free. We also have our brochures given to us by the ticket office so it was easy for us to find the places that we wanted to see. There are also guides available in the area if you need one.
Wandering through the narrow lanes in Bhaktapur felt like we’ve gone back in time. There are traditional homes around and the local lifestyle is very evident. The fabulous culture of the neighborhood is also proudly on display. Bhaktapur is also famous for its impressive wood carving and craftsmanship. Along the alleyways we also found some souvenir shops and stores selling unique handicrafts and woodwork.
Places to See in Bhaktapur
It was after having our lunch when we officially started to see some of the significant landmarks in Bhaktapur. The highlight of our Bhaktapur half-day tour is the Durbar Square, which is one of the seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kathmandu Valley. We spent a lot of our time here – and most of the time we were just sitting around watching people.
Surrounding the Durbar Square are also other historical landmarks and attractions such as 55 Window Palace, Siddhi Laxmi Temple, Golden Gate and Bhaktapur Art Gallery to name a few. Other places that we were also able to visit are Dattatreya Square, Pottery Square and Taumadhi Square.
Taumadhi Square is my most favorite in Bhaktapur. It was crowded and a little chaotic but I got really fascinated with this place. It looks really ancient for me that shows a very impressive architecture. This is where we also found the Nyatapola Temple. It’s a five-tiered pagoda constructed in 1701, dedicated to the goddess Siddhi Lakshmi. Other monuments to see around are Bhairabnath Temple and Timadhave Narayon Temple.
During our Bhaktapur half-day tour, I also must say that it was devastating to see that some of the temples were destroyed. This is due to the earthquake in Nepal in 2015. Most of the temples are still in reconstruction works. Despite of, Bhaktapur is still a worthwhile destination because there is still much history and culture to see here.
It was around 4:00 PM when my friend and I decided to go back to Kathmandu. Following Google Maps, we went to the main highway and there we rode the local mini bus bound for Kathmandu.
Variously known as City of Culture, Living Heritage, Nepal’s Cultural Gem, an open museum and a City of Devotees, Bhaktapur is indeed an exciting place to visit. It has rich heritage and wonderful culture that let us able to appreciate Nepal even more. Walking around the alleyways gave us also a glimpse of the indigenous lifestyle of the community. We also had the chance to see the extraordinary craftsmanship that this old city has. Doing this Bhaktapur half-day tour was a great experience completing our Nepal trip.
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