When I was given the opportunity to present my mother-in-law along for a helping hand and we went off on our adventure to Kathmandu with a baby!
As always, I was met with the usual cynics prior to my trip. ‘the roads are too uneven for a buggy’, ‘there’s too much pollution’, ‘the food might make her sick’ bla ba bla… Just like I did with Costa Rica and Sri Lanka, I stuck Isla on my back, packed a bunch of snacks and off we went to explore. I took her out of nursery for the week, and do you know what? I’m pretty sure she learnt far more whilst we were in Kathmandu than she ever does at nursery! I have recently come cross the concept of ‘world schooling’ and I am finding this increasingly interesting as I watch how stimulating travelling is for my daughter.
Here is a quick breakdown of our week-
This is the main shopping area of Kathmandu and was the perfect place to stay with a baby. That concern people had over Isla getting a poorly tummy or ‘Delhi belly’ (we weren’t that far away, to be fair) was no issue as there was a huge variety of restaurants to choose from serving up all types of cuisine. The streets here are pretty well made so if you want to use a pram it wouldn’t be an issue (unlike much of the rest of the city), but I prefer to carry the baby anyway. For this trip I used my Kiddy Adventure Pack which Isla loved. As soon as I put her in it she would start bobbing up and down with excitement!
This is home to the largest temple in Nepal. Not only is a fascinating as a working temple and from an aerial-perspective (see pic below), but it is also a fantastic playground for kids. How many temples can you run around AND climb!?
Source: Deposit Photos
Swayambhunath Stupa, more commonly known as ‘monkey temple’ is another fantastic place for kids because there are monkeys, loads of monkeys! Since our trip to Sri Lanka baby Isla has been obsessed with monkeys and so she was having the time of her life at this temple. So much so that I bought this book- Greedy monkey named blue in Kathmandu on Amazon on my return home to remember our adventures in Kathmandu!
This is the main square and the historical centre of Kathmandu, home to many of the beautiful temples that Nepal is famous for (although many of these are ruins since the 2015 earthquake which was very sad to see). Here Isla got to meet some traditionally dressed Sadhus who she couldn’t stop giggling at! She also got to run around chasing hundreds of pigeons- what more can a toddler ask for!?
This is a sacred Hindu temple were dead bodies are cremated. This is an attraction that typically attracts polarised views amongst tourists who visit. Some enjoy visiting the many stupas in the grounds and learning about the history and culture (it is said to be the Varanasi of Nepal and the river does indeed flow eventually into the Ganges). Others strongly dislike the area because of the sadness and grief associated with it. We visited, but only because Isla was too young to realise what was going on. There were also lots of monkeys at this temple so she was occupied with this and was oblivious to the fact that just across the water were dead bodies covered in flowers ready to be burnt. If your children are much older than Isla (14 months) then this might be a place best avoided.
I was keen to see the Himalayas from outside of the city smog so we took a taxi 32km northeast to Nargakot. This was a nice relaxing city escape and although we didn’t get to see Everest (apparently you can sometimes see the tiny ‘spec’ in the distance), it was nice to experience the foothills of the Himalayas. There is a bus but as taxis are so cheap I would recommend hiring a driver when travelling with kids so that you have the freedom to come and go as you please and also to stop for any necessary toilet breaks (I can’t wait to start potty training… sigh). Most people will take a short hike whilst there which was fine with Isla on my back but might not be suitable for little legs so make sure you discuss this with your driver. There is also a tall rickety-looking viewing tower that I wouldn’t climb myself so I certainly wouldn’t take any young children up there, but for those less afraid of heights you may enjoy it.
Garden of Dreams
You may recall this I said at the beginning of this post that this was a work trip, so yes, I did have to do some work whilst here! Whilst I was in the conference my mother-in-law either played with baby Isla by the pool of the hotel or relaxed in the Garden of Dreams. Described as an ‘oasis of calm’ this is a small garden close to the busy streets of Thamel. Whilst it did give baby the opportunity to run around and play, it was super busy and smaller than expected so it was quite as calm as we had anticipated!
Source: Hole in the Donut
So, that was my week in Kathmandu with a baby, and a fantastic week it was! Are you planning a trip to Nepal with your little ones? If you have any questions or comments feel free to drop them in the comment box below!
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