A Favorite Find: Bandipur
Nestled onto the top of a ridge overlooking the hills that lead to Kathmandu in east and Pokhara in the west is the small Newari town of Banidpur. Walking into town, which you must do because all the roads to the main square are littered with staircases, you get the feeling that you are walking back in time. Not too far back, there is still running water and electricity most of the time, but back enough. Beautifully dressed ladies can be seen leaning out the small carved wooden windows, while the men talk business in the cafés and the kids and chickens play in the streets. If it wasn’t for the single internet café on the square, you would think time had stood still here for the last 50 years.
The hills around Bandipur are littered with gorgeous vistas and winding trails, the restaurant menus with fresh thukpa soup, momos, dal bhat, and their tables with candle light for the nights with no power. Cobble stone streets lead you in and out of town and concrete buildings are still happily in the minority. The temples take you back to a time when Nepal was still ruled by kings and queens.
If you’re over the super touristy feel of the bigger cities, this is the place to come. Take a few days. Go for a walk. Talk politics. Enjoy the architecture. Sit in the square and let the school kids in their blue uniforms rush around you like a wave. Soak it all in now, because this place is so good, that it too will be super touristy before long.