Everywhere you look in Kathmandu, Nepal's capital city, there is something of interest—perhaps a small ancient temple tucked in a row of shops, an old stone figure set in the middle of the pavement, a religious sadhu in bright saffron robes meditating on the steps of a building or a Tibetan refugee spinning his prayer wheel as he walks down the street.

Although their lives are guided by ancient tradition, the residents of Kathmandu are not walking anachronisms, and visiting there is not like a trip back in time. Citizens live very much in the present but have thoroughly integrated their traditions into their modern lives.

Kathmandu's many shops and restaurants serving international cuisine make it seem, in many respects, as sophisticated and cosmopolitan as the far-larger cities of Delhi or Beijing.

A week in Kathmandu should be enough to see the city and most of the valley.

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