The allure of the Himalayas brings many adventure seekers and travellers to Kathmandu every year. And while a trek through the one of the many popular trails is a must, Kathmandu isn’t without her quirks and offbeat experiences. Anything from devouring testicles of bulls to fighting in the skies over Kathmandu for bragging rights, here is a list we’ve compiled to show you a side of Nepal beyond the Himalayas through these offbeat experiences in Kathmandu. 🙂
1. Fear Factor Challenge Kathmandu
Sure you’ve heard of momo and dal bhat being the Nepali staple but did you also know that there are several ethnic groups with eating habits one wouldn’t generally associate with Nepal or the mountains. Here’s a teaser brains, tongues, eyeballs and blood – all cooked in distinct Nepali style. And here’s the best part, in addition to the opportunity to eat them you can also learn how to cook these internal-delicacies yourself from a home chef in Kathmandu! Yes, this is our challenge to you: The Kathmandu Fear Factor Challenge!
2. Secret Street Food Tour
It’s often said that to understand the peoples of a city, one needs to eat as the locals do. Aptly said, but here’s our addendum to that proverb: one needs to eat as the locals and eat where the locals do too. 🙂 The markets of Kathmandu are teeming with street food vendors and a traveller is rarely knowledgeable about the favourite haunts of locals particularly because the narrow alleyways of Kathmandu have them well concealed. Fret not, there are several locals only to eager to show visitors their favourite local joints through secret food tours.
3. The Vespa Momo Tour
All momos are not the same. Yes, you read that right! There are different types of momos that can be found particularly in Kathmandu. While there are no historical records of how momos were first introduced to Nepal, it’s safe to assume that it’s origins can be traced back to the time when Tibetan traders first came to Nepal. Present day though, the humble momos have been taken by the various ethnic groups of Kathmandu who’ve made it their own. We’d love to reveal all the different shapes, sizes and flavours of them but you’ll just have to find out for yourself on this Vespa tour. 😉
4. Make a Madal (Nepali Conga)
For the percussionist in you, this percussion is the instrument of choice for almost every Nepali folk song and if you’re out in the countryside in Nepal then you are bound to hear the madal played around bonfires while locals sing their favourite folk songs. Not only is it a handy little instrument that can easily be carried around (depending on the size), it makes for an excellent souvenir to take back home. There are few surviving craftsmen who still make the madal and they are more than happy to teach you how to make a madal.
5. Make and Fly Kites
A favourite pastime of Nepali children specially during the months of September (in and around the Dashain and Tihar Festival), you will only see countless kites that dot the skies over Kathmandu. In particular, you will see fighter-kites, and as the name suggests the kites are up there specifically looking for fights with others. No prizes to be won here other than the bragging rights of being the meanest fighter in the skies. Unfortunately, this is a dying tradition not only among children but even the people who make these kites as cheaper versions from China flood the market every year. The best way to immerse yourself in this distinct South Asian tradition is to make your own kites and take them to the skies looking for a fight!