Nestled between India and China lies Nepal, a relatively small country full of dynamic cultures - perfect for Asia travel.
Nepal's capital, Kathmandu, is part of the city trifecta encompassed in Kathmandu Valley along with Patan and Khaktapur. Within the area, you're able to visit seven out of the 10 UNESCO World Heritage sites in Nepal. If you're considering a trip to Kathmandu Valley, mull over your options for international travel insurance, book your flights and see each of the beautiful Nepalese cities.
The country's capital city is full of interesting temples, statues and people for visitors to take in. In Kathmandu Durbar Square, you can see the Taleju Temple, which sits more than 40 metres high, and the Hanuman Dhoka Royal Palace, according to the Nepal Tourism Board.
One highly recommended attraction is the Garden of Dreams, a 24-acre park that's full of enchanting natural beauty. It's touted for its relaxing environment, especially in the middle of a loud and bustling city like Kathmandu. Although it's located in Asia, the gardens have a European feel, including paved paths, ponds and pavilions. Within the garden grounds, you'll find a cafe and restaurant for a light meal or cup of tea to enjoy during your little escape.
If you're interested in panoramic views, climb the steps of Dharahara, the city's tallest landmark. It was built by Bhimsen Thapa in 1832, during his time serving as prime minister. From the top - 50.5 metres up - you'll have a 360-degree view of Kathmandu Valley, the tourism board explained.
Patan, or Lalitpur, is a city teeming with artists and culture, a factor that helped it rank as the valley's sixth-best attraction on the online travel site TripAdvisor. Hindu temples, historical monuments and Buddhist monasteries bring life to the village. Walk through Patan Durbar Square and stop by the Patan Industrial Estate to take in a selection of handmade crafts. The Tibetan Refugee Camp is also a great place to find souvenirs, not to mention shrines and a stupa, the Nepal Tourism Board explained. According to Visit Nepal, the camp was arranged by the International Red Cross and Swiss Development Corporation in the 1960s to give the refugees a way to create sustainable lifestyles. Don't miss Mahabouddha, a Buddhist monument that was built in the 14th century and is covered in detailed carvings of the deity.
Also referred to as Bhadgaon, the city was built on a hill that's roughly 1,400 metres tall, the Nepal Tourism Board explained. Bhaktapur translates to City of Devotees, and the town itself has maintained its antiquated look and feel. Like in Patan, Bhaktapur's locals are skilled in woodwork and pottery. This village's construction dates back to the year 323 A.D., according to Visit Nepal.
Three main sites to enjoy are its Durbar Square, Nyatapola Temple and Changu Narayan Temple. Its Durbar Square was deemed the most elegant of all three central squares by the Nepal Tourism Board and the second-most recommended attraction in the valley on TripAdvisor. Durbar Square is known for the Palace of 55 Carved Windows, including the stunning Golden Gate entrance. Nyatapola Temple is a five-story structure that has plenty of stone sculptures of mythical creatures and deities for tourists to enjoy. Another temple to check out is Changu Narayan Temple, a World Heritage monument, which is one of the oldest examples of pagoda architecture in the region, according to the Nepal Tourism Board. Travellers on TripAdvisor remarked on the enjoyable drive to the temple and the area's peaceful atmosphere.