Trekking and adventure sport aside, Kathmandu and Nepal in general have so much more to offer to travellers – you just have to know where to look. And if you’re reading this blog then you have ‘looked’ in the right place because we have the perfect experiences for you to feel like a complete local in Nepal. 😉

1. Make your own Khukuri

If you’ve heard legendary tales of Nepal’s famed Gurkha warriors then you’ve also heard of their signature weapon of choice, the Khukuri. While this isn’t something you will see locals wielding on the streets of Kathmandu, every local will have at least one Khukuri in their home – mostly decorative but some still use if for household chores that require chopping. In the countryside, however, the story is different as the Khukuri is very much part of everyday life and used for anything from cutting vegetables, harvesting to slaughtering animals. So if there’s any thing that you should absolutely have to feel like a local then it’s the Khukuri. What’s even better? Learn to make it from a local blacksmith with this Khukuri workshop.

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2. Experience Mountain Food: Thenduk

Overshadowed by the more popular Dal Bhat and Momos, both Nepali staples, Thenduk is the dish of choice for the famed Sherpa community. The power-packed Thenduk is among the various foods that gets this mountain faring people up the world’s highest peak, Mt. Everest 🙂 This isn’t to say that every Nepali who eats the Thenduk scales mountains, for many locals in Kathmandu this is comfort food during the winter months and best Thenduk is found in the homes of Kathmandu-ites. 🙂 Here’s a chance to learn how to make the Thenduk with a local at home.

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3. Play the Madal and create your own

If you ever hear a Nepali referring to ‘marching to the beat of their own drum’, the drum they are referring to is probably the madal, the distinctly Nepali percussion that accompanies almost every Nepali folk song. If you’re visiting Nepal and opt for a trek, it will invariably take you through the lush countrysides of Nepal and there you will see village folk singing and dancing to the beat of the madal in the evenings. The madal also makes for an excellent souvenir, and time permitting, you’re better off learning to make them yourself under 5 hours with a master.

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4. Explore Kathmandu through Street food

The city of Kathmandu comes alive in her colourful markets and there’s no better manifestation of the vibrancy and energy of Kathmandu than in the areas around New Road and Basantapur Durbar Square. The little alleys and backstreets of New Road also hold one of Kathmandu’s greatest treasure, street food! and plenty of it. However, to the untrained eye spotting the best stalls will not be an easy task and you’re better off getting a local to show you all the secret hideouts where locals go to satisfy their hunger pangs.

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5. A lesson with a stone mason

Also known as the City of Temples, the Kathmandu Valley has some of the most fascinating temples ranging from temples that house the Living Goddess to stupas that are over two millennia old. The legend and beauty of these ancient monuments have captivated travelers since time immemorial, and the craftsmen who have adorned these structures with exquisite sculptures have passed down their skills down generations and the practice of stone masonry is very much alive today. Immerse yourself in this heritage of Kathmandu by learning how to carve on stone with a master stone crafter, Hom by signing up for this workshop. 🙂

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So there you go, 5 ways in which you can feel like a complete local in Nepal.

Anil Gurung

Anil likes devouring copious amounts of Pho Cuon in Hanoi, Momos in Kathmandu and Kachoris in Udaipur. When not eating, you will find him bungy jumping off bridges or listening to talks by Neil deGrasse Tyson and Alan Watts.