Sunday 18 December: Further north and just round the corner from Ratna Park is the stand where buses depart for the one-hour journey to Bhaktapur, the third Medieval city in the Kathmandu Valley. The least impressive and most expensive (US$12) of the three sites, it's dominated by the five-tiered Nyatapole Temple which, at 100ft high, is the tallest in Nepal. The pairs of temple guardians are said to get more fearsome and powerful as you climb the steps: Rajput wrestlers armed with bludgeons, Elephants, Lions, beaked and horned griffons and finally two Hindu Goddesses. Just south is a labyrinth of alleys leading to Potters' Square, where carefully crafted clay-ware is drying in the hot sun.
To the north is Durbar Square with King Bhupatindra Malla's Column and the stone Vatsala Durga Temple of similar South Indian design to those at Patan, but the wonderful gilded-metal Golden Gate is unique to Bhaktapur.
Photos of Bhaktapur.