BUNGMATI, 5km south of the Ring Road, could almost be a Tuscan village. This brick huddle atop a hillock, centred on a sunny central square, is one of the better-preserved Newari towns in the valley. It is also one of the least-visited, so if you prefer your temples without a side serving of droning electronic Om tracks, and without offers of help from persistent guides, this is the place to come. Bungmati is also a renowned centre for woodcarving: open workshops house artisans at work, and it’s always possible to buy direct.

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