The Garden of Dreams in Kathmandu is a beautiful neo-classical garden which, in collaboration with the Austrians, has been designed as a peaceful oasis in the heart of the city with striking architecture and an array of unique flora and fauna brought here from across the globe.
Having recently returned from Nepal, I blogged about the pollution I encountered in Kathmandu, how I considered it more of a problem than in Delhi, and how hard it is to breath knowing that the very air you take in is a poisonous fume. Yet there are a few parts of Kathmandu where the pollution is not as evident – nor evident at all, actually. The Garden of Dreams, near to Thamel Marg where my hotel was located, is certainly one of those places.
It is true that the area is crawling with both tourists and local Nepali people, and it does get very busy. However, if you are willing to brave the crowds, and pay the grossly over-priced 200 Rupees for entry to the Garden, then this will surely be one of the highlights of your short stay in Kathmandu. After hearing many disapproving stories online for such a high admission fee for a ” simple garden”, I did question whether I wanted to spend that kind of money, as I was running low on local currency in my wallet and I didn’t want to use an ATM here for security reasons. In the end, I thought that it would be too good an opportunity to miss, and one afternoon I took a local taxi literally around the corner from my hotel to the entrance of the Garden of Dreams.
The Garden of Dreams is unlike anything I have seen before in my travels across Asia and the sub-continent. I am used to Japanese-inspired gardens, landscaped botanic gardens, and of course the tropical settings of the likes of the Lodhi Gardens in Delhi, and the Lake Gardens in Kuala Lumpur. But here at the Garden of Dreams, everything was very European-like, and I think that must be the reason it is so popular with the Nepali people, as it must seem like a form of escapism to them. There were many small groups and romantic couples have a picnic on the grasses here, but there is also a coffee shop called Kaiser Café, which serves international cuisine, albeit at rather expensive prices. The Garden is open from 10am to 9pm each day.