Travel guide Bandipur: a beautiful hidden gem in Nepal!

Last Updated on by Charlotte van de Sande

Bandipur, a beautiful village in Newari style, where time seems to standstill. Here you won’t find mass tourism and you won’t be attacked by aggressive sellers. The 18th-century buildings are well preserved and because motorized vehicles are not allowed in the village, it is nice and quiet. In this travel guide, I will tell you everything you need to know about Bandipur in Nepal. What you can do here, where you can eat, and the best hotels in the area.

Mountains


Travel guide Bandipur: a charming old mountain village with great views on the Himalayas!

We have just arrived in Bandipur. It is still early and our hotel room is not ready yet, so we decide to walk into the town and have lunch somewhere. Immediately we notice how quiet Bandipur is (there are only pedestrians) and how beautiful the small mountain village is. The brown shutters stand out against the white, orange or red plaster and many balconies are decorated with carvings. On a bright day, you can enjoy the stunning view of the Himalaya’s. More about this later.

Bandipur used to be an important stop along the India-Tibet trade route. The village itself is small, with lots of plants, trees and charming lampposts. Strangely enough, this place reminds us of Hanoi in Vietnam. There you will also find beautiful buildings in the old style. But unlike Hanoi, Bandipur is much less touristy *.

* Less touristy, however, does not mean that there are no tourists here. You see small groups of western tourists walking around and surprisingly enough, there are many Nepalese tourists.


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Bandipur town-9

How many days do you set aside for Bandipur?

We have just been 15 minutes in Bandipur and decide directly that we will stay here for three nights. This way we have all the time to explore this place and the surrounding area. Most tourists we speak stay for two nights and that is enough time for this small village.

Above the clouds Himalayas Nepal


What to do in Bandipur for three days?

1. Stroll around its old city centre

Of course, you have to discover Bandipur itself. Take a stroll through the beautiful streets, view the centuries-old houses, drink a cup of coffee or try some sweet deep-fried dough. The main street is called The Bazaar, which is completely car-free. But don’t forget to take a turn at one of the side streets, where you will see more of the daily life and sometimes have a beautiful view of the surrounding valleys and mountains.Bandipur town-10

2. Hike to the lovely village of Ramkot

The village of Ramkot is five kilometres away from Bandipur. Walking around here really feels like you are going back in time (even more than in Bandipur). Goats and chickens roam the small heirs of the houses. Most houses are made of clay and wood, the corn is drying over the gutter and residents greet you with a cheerful “Namaste”. Not only the village is worth it, but the hike towards Ramkot itself is also beautiful. You walk along the mountain ridges with a view of green rice fields, valleys and in the distance the white peaks of the Himalayas.

You walk from Bandipur to Ramkot in about 2-2.5 hours. Take enough water and sunscreen with you.

Tip: at the end of Ramkot is a small hotel where you can have a drink: Mountain View Hotel. Unfortunately, it was closed when we were here, but the view is phenomenal! Furthermore, there are no restaurants so pack your own lunch.

Sunsets in Nepal
Bandipur town-5

3. Visit the silk factory

Visit a silk factory in Bandipur to see how the silkworms are at work and how the further processing of the garment proceeds. It is a very tourist activity but seems to be fun. During our visit to Bandipur (early November) the factory was closed since it was not the right season for the production of silk.

4. Hike to the Siddha cave

In the area of ​​Bandipur, there are several caves. The largest is the Siddha cave, which is 500 meters deep. From Bandipur, you can walk there in an hour and a half, most of the time with a beautiful view of the valley. The caves themselves are large and even with walking shoes quite slippery inside. For Rs200 you get a 45-minute tour with a guide. If you have seen (big) caves before, then it may not be that special. If this is your first cave, it is nice to see. On your way back you will constantly hike upwards, it’s therefore a very good workout (and we actually found the hike itself more fun than the caves).Butterfly Nepal

5. Visit the Thani Mai Temple viewpoint during sunrise or sunset.

About half an hour’s walk from the centre is Mount Thani Mai with a small temple on top. With 130 meters it is a bit of a climb(luckily there are stairs), but the view of the mountain ranges is definitely worth it. We went here four times, during sunset and sunrise! Let the pictures speak for themselves and you (hopefully) understand why this viewpoint is such a magical place and maybe the best of what Bandipur has to offer.Bandipur Viewpoint sunrise


The best restaurants in Bandipur.

What cannot be missed in this Bandipur travel guide are good restaurants!

The Himalayan Cafe – good coffee and tasty MoMos
On our first morning in Bandipur, we settle down at one of the wooden tables of The Himalayan Cafe. It is a cosy restaurant with lovely ladies who do everything to make you happy. The coffee is delicious, just like the Momos. In the end, we go back here twice. Bandipur town-6

Bandipur Chhen – good for breakfast
The most delicious breakfast will be served at hotel Bandipur Chhen. They make thick pancakes and tasty yoghurt with fruit and muesli! Furthermore part of their proceeds goes to the education of the local children.

Falcha – food between the locals
Falcha is a nice restaurant where mainly locals come. We all ate dishes that we had never eaten before, such as two different nut salads and Chatamari, a kind of pizza bottom with egg on it. The prices are low and the service very helpful!


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Fantastic restaurants in Bandipur!

Samay Baji – local Nawari dishes
At Samay Baji, an old restaurant, next to the temple at the end of the bazaar, you will only find Nawari dishes. Nawari is the tribe that lives here and it is really a must to try their food. Order the Samay Baji dish and you’ll get a mix of Nawari food such as lentil pancakes, dried rice and potato salad.

The Old Inn – chic dining on the terrace
At hotel The Old Inn you can enjoy a nice meal on the beautiful terrace overlooking the Himalayas. This is not a cheap place, but the food is very good. The evening we were here, they had a menu with local Nepali and Nawari dishes. You pay Rs 890 for this menu.

Walking up at sunrise Himalayas Nepal

Pratiksha Restaurant – Samosas and other snacks!
There are always people at Pratiksha Restaurant, enjoying lassi, cold cola or a samosa. This cheap place serves local snacks and simple dishes. Perfect also for a cheap breakfast.


Where do you sleep in Bandipur?

Even though Bandipur is not large and the number of tourists remains limited due to accessibility, there is still a considerable number of hotels. Below three good hotels in different price ranges, from a low-budget hotel for backpackers to more luxurious hotels.

The North Face €

The north face bandipur

This nice budget hotel has spacious rooms and a beautiful view of the valley. The owner is very helpful and tries to make you happy. From €11 per night (two people)

Book now

Bandipur Chhen €€

Bandipur chhen

You will find this nice non-profit hotel on the main street of Bandipur. With a stay you sponsor education in the mountains. Nice rooms including their delicious breakfast. From €40 per night (two people)

Book now

The Old Inn €€€

the old inn bandipur

This hotel right in the city center is located in an 18th-century building. The rooms are spacious with a beautiful antique interior! You can eat well on the large terrace. From € 94 per night (two people)

Book now


Click here for our free hotel guide for Nepal!


How do you reach Bandipur by public transport?

The fact that Bandipur is more difficult to reach by public transport means that this place is not yet visited by mass tourism. And as far as we are concerned it can certainly remain that way. Below I describe how you reach Bandipur. It may sound a bit complicated, but it was not that bad at all.

From Pokhara to Bandipur – 3 hours

We travel to Bandipur from Pokhara. There are small minivans that the locals use to come to Dumre ( a town close to Bandipur), these cost a few hundred Rupee. Ries, who still had nightmares from the tiny matatu’s in Kenya, prefers a slightly more expensive tourist bus to Kathmandu (Rs 600 pp). This one makes a stop especially for us in Dumre, from where we take a taxi (Rs 500) for the last 8 kilometers. It is also possible to wait for the local bus (Rs30 pp) but it had just left before we arrived.Bandipur town-4

From Kathmandu to Bandipur – 7 hours

From Kathmandu you take a tourist bus to Pokhara, asking the bus driver to drop you off two hours before arriving in the village of Dumre. A ticket to Pokhara costs between Rs700 and Rs2500. You may be able to negotiate the amount slightly lower if you indicate that you will get out in Dumre.

From Dumre you take a taxi (Rs 500) or a local bus (RS30 pp). The latter comes every 45 minutes. Wait at the intersection where the bus drops you and a taxi driver will approach you soon.


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