Photo of the balcony outside my room. Fresh garlands of flowers, called mala, are placed on statues of deities and their steeds.
If your surroundings are chaos, then you must find an inner sanctuary in which to clear your mind.
After the disturbing ride from the airport, I entered Thamel. It is traveler central. Every kind of entertainment, restaurant, hiking equipment, knick-knack, clothing and more are available here. It is impossible to walk the streets of Thamel without being harassed to buy something or smoke something. Taxi and rickshaw drivers constantly ask where you are going even if it is apparent that you are not going anywhere.
The Kathmandu Guest House is dead center in this jumble of mercantile ecstasy. Fortunately, it is gated. A guard is posted at the front and allows approved vehicles inside. And once inside, the noise dissipates and the clutter gives way to sculpted beauty. The guest house used to be a Rana Mansion, built in a very traditional style with buildings on the outside and an open garden space on the inside. It was converted into a hotel by Karna Sakya in 1967 and originally had 13 rooms. Now it is a 121-room hotel, still, I think that they have managed to keep the charm.
There are several hotels that offer beauty and escape from the streets of Kathmandu, but for me, this one offers the right balance of comfort and anonymity.