Darjeeling and Kathmandu help!!

May 19th, 2014, 09:16 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2010
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Darjeeling and Kathmandu help!!

We are trying to figure out the details on traveling to Darjeeling and Kathmandu. We'll be spending several weeks in India prior to this part of the trip. What are some options to get between the two areas? We are flexible in our plans and can travel to either place first. While in Nepal we plan on going to Pokhara and Kathmandu (we will add more places once we research it more). We will be there in early Dec. We don't do overnight hiking, but love day treks. Is there anything between Kathmandu and Darjeerling that is worth a stop to explore?

We are not in love with the idea of an overnight train so we are really hoping someone has done this before and can help.

europe2011 is offline  
May 19th, 2014, 11:35 AM
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We found Sikkim far more interesting than Darjeeling. There are plenty of walks in Sikkim, for instance, around Pelling, that you might consider. We found Darjeeling a disappointment after being in Sikkim. Take a look at my Sikkim?Darjeeling trip report: http://www.fodors.com/community/asia...p-to-india.cfm

Kathmandu Valley that a number of World Heritage sites that are, IMO, all worthwhile. My report on Kathmandu is old by now, but the World Heritage sites haven't changed: http://www.fodors.com/community/asia...mandu-2008.cfm

Note that overland travel between Nepal and Sikkim is very difficult because of the political issues. You will need to fly between them, though lots of driving in required to get to the closest airport to Sikkim and Darjeeling, which is at Bagdogra.

Photos of both trips are at www.marlandc.com
Kathie is online now  
May 19th, 2014, 11:36 AM
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I flew from Delhi to Kathmandu on a discount Indian airline
rhkkmk is offline  
May 20th, 2014, 10:12 AM
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Kathmandu is manic, and suffers severe air pollution.

We recently stayed in 4 different areas of Kathmandu at different stages of our trip to Nepal...

- Swayambhu, with Hindu family;
- Bhaktapur, for Bisket Jatra, the Nepal New Year;
- Thamel, the tourist enclave;
- Boudha,close to The Boudha Stupa.

Of the 4 areas,all completely different, Boudha was our favourite and most atmospheric. Bhaktapur,which is few miles east of the city centre is living museum, but apart from it's Durbar Square which is traffic-free, the rest of the place is spoiled by far too many motor bikes aimlessly surfing the narrow lanes and completely diluting the atmosphere and enjoyment of such a wonderful place.
LancasterLad is offline  
May 20th, 2014, 10:21 AM
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Bhakaktapur and Patan are separate cities from Kathmandu. Originally, Kathamndu, Bhakaktapur and Patan were separate kingdoms. LL has given you an idea of some the areas you can stay in Kathmandu. There is also a "downtown" Kathmandu location, along the Durbar Marg. The old Yak and Yeti hotel is in this area.

While Kathmandu certainly does have air pollution, the air quality is much better now than when I visited back in the 90s. Indeed, you can even see the mountains from in the city on a clear day, something that was not possible back in the 1990s.
Kathie is online now  
May 20th, 2014, 10:32 AM
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Kathie. The air pollution is awful. Of course you can see the mountains on a clear days, but such days are very rare. Even after heavy rain, or bands, the pollution and smog quickly returned.

Have a trawl through some recent articles in The Himalayan Times, or Kathmandu Post to see the latest on pollution and air-borne illnesses in Kathmandu and the Valley.
LancasterLad is offline  
May 20th, 2014, 05:52 PM
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Pokhara was our least favorite place of all the places we visited in our recent 3 week trip to Nepal.

We did day hikes. Look at Balthali Village Resort. Nice hikes from Bandipur too.
julies is offline  
May 20th, 2014, 08:57 PM
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We spent too Long in Pokhara as well (9nights). But how much you enjoy the place will depend on your expectations. I think Lakeside is being too over-developed.

But you can't take away the surrouding scenery. Find the right place to stay, with great views of the Annapurna Range, paragliders descending from Sarangot, the forests and World Peace Stupa, all from the same roof terrace does ease the pain of deciding how to stay in Pokhara.

Had 3 nights in Bandipur, and loved it. A proper living museum completely void of traffic, terrific scenery, and easy treks. Got there from Pokhara by public bus from the main bus station @ 200 rupees. Takes just over 2 hours, changing at Dumre and then taking a local bus up the hill.
LancasterLad is offline  

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