Offbeat Experiences in Kathmandu

Kathmandu is a melting pot of cultures. About 150 ethnicities come together from all over Nepal in the capital, creating a myriad of opportunity for discovery. Here we list some that we have developed for the intrepid traveller.

COOK like a LOCAL | 3 hours

Learn how to cook momos (dumplings) and/or dal bhaat (the traditional rice and curry fare), the two most popular dishes in Nepal, of which you will eat tons during your trip to Nepal. Here at socialtours, we run a rave reviewed three hour course which does not even have a price. You pay what you think it is worth! Book Here

WALK the local MARKET | 2.5 Hours

Walking the markets of Ason is common and everyone can do it on their own, but guided, you will start seeing what this market is all about and in this two and half hours experience, you will walk through specialists markets for spices, readymade garments, trekking supplies, dried herbs, tibetan salt, vegetables, utensils, wedding supplies, dentistry, ayurvedic medicine, jewelry etc. Again, no price. You pay what you think it is worth. We call this experience SPLICE of KATHMANDU. Book Here

RIDE the magical MARIJUANA LOOP | 4 hours

Experience the southern side of Kathmandu and two settlements of Bungamati and Khokana in this three hours mountain biking experience that takes you through suburban trails, paddies, and singletracks to experience the side of Kathmandu Valley not many tourists venture to. Modify this into a full day experience and include the Kirtipur Trails. Great for beginners right upto experts, as we modify the route according to riding ability. Book Here

HIKE Temples & Lakes | 5 hours

Kirtipur is seldom visited by travellers, but its a beautiful Newar settlement on a hillock. We start the trip there, walking the narrow alleyways, and appreciating local lifestyle, before embarking on a walk of paddies and agricultural land all the way to Taudaha, a popular lake for migratory birds that come in winter from Siberia. We also visit the Kevin Rohan Memorial Foundation that has beautiful bottle houses and biodynamic agriculture. Start from Lunch and this trip starts with a local kitchen museum in Kirtipur for lunch. Book Here

Experience DAWN @ BHAKTAPUR | 4 hours

As a morning trip or an overnighter, this exclusive experience is really worth the early wake up. At dawn as this ancient city, we experience the locals going about their daily chores as they always did for centuries. The place is beautiful even during the day, but in the morning you get an extra. It is also the best time if you are a photographer. Post oganic coffee and breakfast at a 700 year old heritage building, you have an option to extend the trip by visiting the Yogurt Making family in Bhaktapur, in our HUMANS of BHAKTAPUR series, where we meet local artisans, businesspeople etc. The yogurt of Bhaktapur is famous all over Nepal. Book Here

LUNCH with NUNS | 5 hours

The northern part of Kathmandu Valley has a National Park and smack in the middle of the park is a nunnery. We hike to this nunnery for lunch, that is prepared by the nuns. This trip was designed as a measure to appreciate Buddhism and find a way to pay the nunnery for service. This will take about five hours in total, including lunch. Book Here

DEBATE Buddhism with a MONK | 4 hours

Buddhist philosophy evolves through debates and logic, and an opportunity to listen to a monk and then ask questions becomes a great way to demystify this philosophy. The experience was developed because we wanted really hard to find a way to get travellers to go deeper into the philosophies that guide Nepal. We also wanted to tell people that just because they wear robes, the monks do not fly! Book Here

WALK Soyambhunath at SUNSET | 2 hours

A standard on the first day of every trip we promote, the walk in Soyambhunath (also known as the Monkey Temple) is short, fun, insightful, and has great views of the valley. Also, traditionally, Soyambhunath is renown as the first place one should visit when they come to Kathmandu. Guided, we explain the history of this ancient site and then bring it all the way to the present time, including the recovery post the 2015 earthquake.


Probably one of the most spectacular hikes in the valley, you start with a cable car ride to Chandragiri and walk the ridge all the way to Hattiban in a five hour hike through forests and open ridgelines. Since it is in the south, the line of the sight allows for fantastic views of the Himalaya, all the way from the Annapurnas to Mt. Everest, on a clear day. Add an overnighter at the well done Hattiban Resort at the end of this hike, if you want to splurge a bit. Book Here

HIKE from a Monastery for LUNCH | 5 hours

Humla is the farthest area in Nepal, right at the northwest tip of the country. The Buddhists there come to Kathmandu during winter to escape the cold and snow, and of course here they also have thier monasteries and culture. One such monastery is at Budanilkanta, in the nothern foothills of the Valley. We visit this monastery and learn more about the culture, before walking for about one and half hours to the beautifully done and highly rated Shivapuri Heights Cottage for a homecooked meal. Add a traditional massage or even an overnight at this wonderful resort to make it memorable.

TASTE Nepali Organic COFFEE | 2 hours

Little known but highly acclaimed, nepal's coffee is grown in the higher range of altitudes that coffee grows in, putting it in a high alitude category. Experience this at KARMA COFFEE, a boutique that boasts everything about coffee - the beans, coffee, upcycled and recycled products etc. Its a great way to discover how many people can benefit form a small social enterprise done well, and how good the products can be. Book Here

WALK Kathmandu through TIME | 6-7 hours

Start at Soyambhunath, which has one of the earliest histories of Kathmandu valley, with statues built in the eight or seventh century, and a community that have lived there almost 2000 years. Continue into Kathmandu Durbar Square with its Living Goddess and the royal heritage, and then wander into Freak Street, famous for its hash dens during the Flower Power days. Later walk the center of Kathmandu's markets at Ason, and get into Thamel, the tourist hub, where everything comes together. Time permitting, go to the amazing shopping area at Babar Mahal Revisited, which is a renovated horse stable. After a short break, continue on to a jazz club, or a blues concert, where you see how modern day Kathmanduites enjoy the evenings.

Beyond this of course, the regular experiences in the valley - visiting the heritage sites, understanding Hinduism and Buddhism, etc are always there to be experienced.