From LAX to Katmandu, connecting service (change of planes) is available on Korean Airways, Thai, Cathay Pacific and Air India. Restricted round-trip fares begin at $1,260.
To call the numbers below from the U.S., dial 011 (the international dialing code), 977 (country code for Nepal), 1 (the city code for Katmandu) and the local number.
WHERE TO STAY:
Dwarika's Hotel, 447-3725, www.dwarikas.com, is an architectural landmark constructed with wood carvings salvaged from traditional temples and houses throughout the Katmandu Valley. It has 72 luxurious rooms, a beautiful courtyard, swimming pool, restaurant and bar. Doubles $135 to $210.
Hotel Tibet, 442-9085, www.hotel-tibet.com, is a friendly, 55-room, family-owned hotel off Lazimpat Road, about a 10-minute walk north of Thamel. It has a restaurant and rooftop terrace. Doubles $80, including breakfast.
Hotel Vajra, 427-1545, is a handsome compound on a hilltop outside the city center near Swayambhunath Temple. Favored by trekkers, it has a garden setting, elaborate wood carvings, restaurant, rooftop bar and theater; doubles $16-$61, including breakfast.
Kathmandu Guest House, 470-0800, vwww.ktmgh.com, is an old favorite among budget travelers, in a compound set back from the busy streets of the Thamel district. It has 121 rooms, a courtyard café with WiFi, ATM, laundry, bike rental, travel agency and hair salon. Doubles $4 to $65.
WHERE TO EAT:
Chez Caroline, 426-3070, is a stylish and agreeable restaurant serving French onion soup, quiche, omelets, etc., at the Baber Mahal Revisited shopping arcade. $10-$15.
Mike's Breakfast, 442-4303, founded by one of the first U.S. Peace Corps volunteers to arrive in Nepal in the '60s, is in a courtyard shaded by a giant camphor tree in the Naxal neighborhood, east of the new palace; it offers a diverse menu, from gourmet coffee to quesadillas. $5-$10.
Yin and Yang, is an excellent Thai place in busy Thamel. $10-$15.
Thamel House, 441-0388, is in a restored 19th century Newari town house at the north end of Thamel. It serves traditional Newari cuisine at low tables with seating on the floor. $10-$15.
TO LEARN MORE:
Nepal Tourism Board, Tourist Service Center, P.O. Box 11018, Bhrikuti Mandap, Katmandu, Nepal, 425-6909, vwww.welcomenepal.com.
— Susan Spano