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Patan is the second largest city in the Kathmandu Valley. It is situated across the Bagmati River from Kathmandu, but it is completely different from the capital. Patan is much quieter and a less hectic place to visit and it boasts several beautifully decorated temples. The main sight in Patan is Durbar Square, where you can see the largest concentration of Newari architecture in Nepal. Two of the most striking buildings around the square include the Royal Palace, with its highlight, a beautifully decorated bathtub and the Jagannarayan Temple, a two-tiered brick building. The temple's roof struts boast carvings of figures having intercourse in all sorts of positions.

Not far north of the square is the Golden Temple. That Buddhist temple is guarded by numerous sacred tortoises that can be found in the courtyard. The oldest temple in Nepal, the 1392 Kumbeshawar is also in the vicinity. South of Durbar Square, you will find an area with countless small streets that are lined with metal smiths and brassware shops. East of Patan is a district known as Jawlakhel. There you can buy original Tibetan carpets.

There are also four stupas in Patan, but they are further away from the center. It is thought; the stupas were built around 500 BC. Nepal's only zoo is also situated in Patan, but it is also far from the center. In the zoo you can see leopards, rhinos and tigers amongst others, as well as numerous bird species. In the park outside the zoo are always many palm readers, who, for a fee, may be able to tell you which animal you will be reincarnated as.

There are numerous hotels and restaurants in Patan. The city is only 5 km (3 miles) south from Thamel in Kathmandu. Buses, taxis and tempos (three-wheeled minibuses) ply the route, but you can also get there by bicycle.

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