You drop down through pewter clouds, down into a valley of green and brown with rivers like veins of mercury. Kathmandu! Even the name is powerfully magnetic, drawing in dreamers and crooks from every corner of the earth. Up until the 1950s the Kingdom of Nepal remained closed, a Himalayan mystery; today fifty dollars cash will buy anyone a visa at the airport, and you are off, down into the city that is a prodigy of every kind of pollution and intrigue and incense-wreathed enchantment.
First published on CapX: read more here