Walking along the streets of Thamel is an assault on your senses. There's almost too much to see, hear and smell all at once. I duck into a compound where it's much quieter. It houses a Buddhist stupa and an arts school. People are lounging about in the afternoon sun, chatting and laughing.
These are the grounds of Kathesimbhu Stupa, a replica of Swayambhunath Stupa (also located in Kathmandu) built in the mid 1600s. History goes a long way back in this country, which, apart from its mountains, is most famous for being the birthplace of Buddha.