By the time you’re reading this piece, I’ll probably get too busy due to Asian Games that will be held in Jakarta and Palembang starting this month.
And it’s not a coincidence that I mentioned it, because this week we’re going to cover a city in Asia for our What You Could Get In The City For $10 series. And not only that, because I’m also volunteering in the event so yeah…
Now, now… Thanks to Yen from Swing Abroad, as he is going to cover the capital city of Nepal, Kathmandu this time.
I’ve never been to anywhere in Nepal before, but unfortunately, 2 of my seniors during high school have been declared ‘gone’ during the huge earthquake there 2 years ago. We’ve never found their bodies, at least not until now. The only thing we found is one of their ID cards a few weeks after it happened.
Like it or hate it, Nepal for me is also associated with the tragedy. So, before we start… I wish everyone safety and good time wherever you travel! 🙂
Which One of These Three Options Would You Like to Go in Kathmandu?
$10 might seem a little negligible when it comes to purchasing stuff. But $10 can be a lot in less-wealthy countries like South Asia and Southeast Asia. Today, let’s have a look at Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, one of the least-wealthy country in the world. And also one of the culturally richest countries on planet earth.
Nepal is located at South Asia, sandwiched between Tibet of China and India. Being squeezed between two heavily religious countries, Nepal has one of the most unique identities and culture. In fact, quite a lot of the people practice Hinduism and Buddhism at the same time.
That pretty much explains why Nepal is such a civilized country despite being so economically weak. Unlike India, the crime rate in Nepal is exceptionally low and is totally safe for travelers.
Quick fact: Nepal is home to the world’s tallest mountain, Mt Everest. Hundreds of thousands of people flew to Nepal just to leave footprints in the Himalayan Mountains.
Enough with the introductory stuff. Let’s dive into the main topic.
What can you get for $10 in Kathmandu, Nepal?
Visit Durbar Squares
An entrance ticket to Kathmandu Durbar Square or Patan Durbar Square in Kathmandu. Let’s break it down. There are three durbar squares in Kathmandu, huge relics from the ancient kingdoms in Nepal. Nowadays, these compounds are tourist attractions for both locals and foreigners.
You can still get a glimpse of living goddess, Kumari in all three durbar squares. Though it requires some luck, you can still do it with good planning.
The compounds are home to several ancient buildings, some were destroyed during the earthquake in 2015. The one in Patan is the smallest among all, and Bhaktapur Durbar Square is the largest. So huge that you can spend an entire day in Bhaktapur just exploring around.
The bad news? Only Patan and Kathmandu Durbar Square have an entrance fee of $10. You need $5 more for Bhaktapur Durbar Square.
Pashupatinath is the most sacred Hindu pilgrimage site in Nepal. It’s a very large complex with temples, shrines, bathing areas and cremation sites. It’s also the largest one in entire Nepal.
The earthquake in 2015 brought some damage to Pashupatinath but most parts of them were recovered by now.
The wandering Hindu holy men, also known as Sadhus are often found in Pashupatinath. But you should know that they actually ask for money form you if you take their photos. They will quote you how much, in US Dollars. Mind-blowing isn’t it!?
When I took photos with them, they asked for $10. Now there are one more “Things You Can Do in Kathmandu for $10”! Yay!
The entrance fee to Pashupatinath is $10. Guides are hirable to explain everything about the holy site to you personally with extra charge.
Visit Boudhanath, Swoyambunath, and Godavari Botanical Garden
Yep, three things at once. And it’s still less than $10. That’s how cheap is traveling in Nepal.
Boudhanath is one of the largest and magnificent Buddhist stupas in the world. Tibetan monks in Kathmandu spend most of their time in Boudhanath. Entrance fee is $2.50.
Swoyambunath, another Buddhist temples in Kathmandu is very easy to get to if you’re staying in Thamel. Walking there also exposes you to the daily lives of average Nepalese people. The golden stupa at the top of the hill is one of the most iconic landmarks of Kathmandu. Entrance fee is also $2.50.
Now, Godavari Botanical Garden. It is located 19km south of Kathmandu city center. Large enough for you to spend half of your day there, Godavari Botanical Garden has an entrance fee of $2.30.
Those are the things you can do in Kathmandu for $10, or less. I hope you enjoyed reading the article and please check out my 10 Best Places to Visit in Kathmandu You Should Never Miss.
Contributor: Yen from Swing Abroad
Yen is a full-time university student who always takes full advantages of his holidays to travel for new experiences. He’s been to New Zealand for Working Holiday before having his road trip and volunteered in Kathmandu, Nepal. Having spent months in foreign countries, he gives in-depth travel tips and guides on his travel blog, Swing Abroad.