Namaste and welcome!We are Kirsty and Mark Bennetts and Kathmandu & Beyond is the story of our never-ending travels.
We focus on off the beaten path experiences and alternative things to do in established destinations, with growing interests in architecture, particularly from the former Communist world and Post-Soviet States, and street art around the globe. We aim to provide inspiration and advice for independent travellers and armchair explorers by featuring evocative travel photography, how-to guides and storytelling from our travels past and present.
We have spent a lot of time in Asia and, in addition to Kathmandu (Nepal), we’ve either lived in or spent extended periods of time in Chiang Mai (Thailand), Siem Reap (Cambodia), Yangon (Myanmar), Bali (Indonesia) and Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam).
We’ve also travelled extensively in South and Central America and Europe and over the past few years, have spent an increasing amount of time in Central and Eastern Europe, especially countries of the former-USSR and the Balkans.
Our travels have taken us to 100-plus countries around the world – Mark has been to over one hundred and Kirsty is not too far behind. You can see them all here.
Editor in Chief
Number of countries visited: 96
Favourite Countries: India for its incredible diversity, Cambodia and Burma both for the people and the sights, Japan because it’s the country that gave me the biggest culture shock I’d had in a long time, Bolivia for such an amazing contrast in scenery, Thailand because it feels like home and Mexico because it could feel like home. Oh, and I have recently fallen in love with Ukraine, Cuba and Turkey! Can I pick regions too? In that case, add the Balkans and Central Asia to the list!
It’s not a very fair question for a traveller!
Best Travel Memories (from a handful from too many to count on one hand!)
- The Galapagos – I was completely blown away by the proximity of such weird and wonderful wildlife. Having to watch my step for fear of treading on a Blue-footed Boobie or sea iguana freaked me out – but in a good way!
- My first ever time in Asia – it was Bangkok and I’ll never forget it! It was the beginning of my love affair with travel.
- Travelling by fishing boat from Flores to Lombok via Komodo National Park – aside from seeing Komodo Dragons, the ocean was crystal clear with fantastic snorkelling and the scenery was stunning.
- Seeing my first tiger in wild in India at Bandhavgarh National Park and returning to the Taj Safari Lodge to find a rose petal-filled bath and a glass of red wine beside it!
- The enormous nothingness of Mongolia – staying in a yurt on the steppes surrounded by nothing except the stars and a lot of goats …
Kirsty’s Bucket List
- Take a camper van trip from top to tail (or tail to top!) in New Zealand
- Explore wild Papua New Guinea
- See the Northern Lights in all their glory
- Photograph Lemurs and Baobab trees in Madagascar
- Get back to Central Asia so I can visit Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan
- Travel around Iceland
- Visit Iran and experience the hospitality everyone raves about!
- To spend more time in some of my favourite cities in Europe: Kiev, Belgrade, Budapest and visit Berlin and Lisbon to find out if they can be added to the list!
- Anywhere that is likely to get me one step closer to achieving my goal of 100 countries before our 10 year travelarsary in November 2018 (e.g Sweden, Denmark, Israel, Ireland)
- I may have visited India over 20 times, but I miss the craziness and can’t wait to get back there!
He does what he's told!
Number of countries visited: 102
Favourite Countries: India, Nepal, Thailand, Colombia, Iran and I was really impressed with what we saw on our recent visit to Mexico . If I had to pick one then I guess it would either be India or Nepal. I love the diversity and ‘organised chaos’ that India has to offer, but I guess equally I am a mountain & trekking junkie and there is no where better on the planet than Nepal for getting up close and personal with some of the biggest mountains in the world. So, although it isn’t a country, I am going to say the Sub-Continent and cover all my bases!
Best Travel Memories (from a lot!)
- Travelling from China to Pakistan via the Karakoram Highway in the middle of a storm
- Completing a 30-day trek to Upper Mustang in Nepal
- Being invited to an Animist funeral in Torajaland (Indonesia)
- Enjoying a few too many chang (local beer) with a group of Tibetans in Lhasa and spending the whole night talking in Mandarin (I don’t speak Mandarin!).
- The two days spent hitching from Kyrgyzstan to China and all the friendly truck drivers that picked us up along the way
- Looking for spomeniks (Tito-era WWII memorials) in the Former Yugoslavia (see below)
- Getting to trek around Mt. Kailash in Tibet – this had been one of my ambitions for a long time
- Discovering Ukraine for the first time in 2015 (and returning several times since)
Mark’s Bucket List
- Afghanistan. Ever since reading Eric Newby’s ‘A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush’ some 20 years back I have had an obsession with getting to this country.
- Head up to North East India – namely Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura
- See more of Kazakhstan and continue into Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan
- Walk the Great Himalayan Trail, which crosses Nepal from east to west
- Take a long trip across Russia, looking mainly for Soviet-era architecture
- Begin exploring Africa, starting with an overland journey from Egypt to Ethiopia via Sudan and Uganda
- Visit Iraqi Kurdistan
- Looking for more spomeniks in the Former Yugoslavia (namely Croatia and Bosnia)
- Visit (and photograph) British seaside resorts in the depths of winter
From the Road
Where are we now? Keep up to date with our travels – as it usually takes us some time to write about the places we’ve been, our latests posts don’t always reflect our current location. However this page will tell where we are right now and displays our latest social media feed. Go to page
List of Countries Visited
Where have we travelled to? Our latest country tally and a list of all the places we’ve been to can be found here. Go to page
Our Journey Maps
Check out the route we’ve followed since we went nomadic in 2008. See our maps