Kathmandu is an exotic city where one can find small temples tucked among the urban structures, ornate Newar style architecture, narrow streets (especially in the Thamel area) and some strange vehicles.

The city was founded in 723 in a fertile lowland valley of the southern Himalayas near the Bagmati and Vishnumati rivers. Although Kathmandu itself lies at only 4,000 feet (about 1,220 meters) above sea level, it is the meeting place for many expeditions seeking to reach the highest peaks of the nearby Himalayas. For decades, Kathmandu has also been a popular destination for backpacking travelers.

Kathmandu is certainly a city where one risks sensory overload, visual, aural, gustatory and – between the spice markets and the many cows – olfactory, as well. The photos here hardly capture the real pulse of the place, but one can get a sense that Kathmandu is quite different from most other capital cities around the world. In addition, there are a couple of photos of the Yak & Yeti Hotel – a great place to stay!