The people of Nepal live amidst some of the world’s most rugged, and often unforgiving, landscapes. For all that, though, they are among the warmest and most gentle people that any traveler could hope to encounter. Nestled high in the Himalayas, Nepal offers a fascinating study in contrasts, from crowded cities to lonely mountain peaks, and from colorful cities and temples to nature preserves in tones of brown and green, from religious pilgrimages to exciting nightlife. Nepal is a land that gives travelers more than they expect – even when expectations are high.

  1. Nepal is the birthplace of Buddha. As Buddha’s birthplace, Nepal is a site of pilgrimage for the devout. But Nepal’s beautiful spiritual tapestry is woven with Hinduism, Tantrism, Islam, and Christianity. Beliefs live in harmony, and the traditional greeting is to put palms together, bow the head, and say, “Namaste,” or “I salute the God in you.” There are many temples and festivals held in Nepal, which are unforgettable experiences regardless of the traveler’s spiritual beliefs.
  2. Nepal is a mountaineer’s heaven. Nepal is home to the world’s highest point, Mount Everest, but you will also find eight of the world’s ten tallest peaks. Expeditions are arduous; there is literally nowhere else on Earth where you will test your body, mind, and spirit as exactingly. Those who want adventure on a slightly less intimidating scale can mountain bike and engage in shorter excursions. Sites are still guaranteed to wow.
  3. Home of the hardy Sherpa. Speaking of unbelievable mountain peaks, Nepal is also the home of the Sherpa people. Sherpas are often employed as guides for climbing excursions because they are immune to the effects of the altitude. Besides mountaineering, the Sherpa people have a rich and vibrant culture.
  4. Shop till you drop. Whether you are in the market for handicrafts, including woolen carpets, paintings, wood carvings, ceramics, paper products, knitwear, jewelry, and pashmina scarves or want to stock up on Gucci, Chanel, Christian Dior, and Yves Laurent for unbeatable prices, Nepal is the shopping destination for a lifetime.
  5. An abundance of World Heritage Sites. Kathmandu Valley has seven World Heritage Cultural Sites. Clustered in a 15 kilometer radius, the visitor has his choice of exciting locales from which to choose, from Durbar Square with its ancient temples and palaces to Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha. In addition, two natural World Heritage Sites reside there: Sagarmatha National Park and Chitwan National Park, where visitors can hope to catch a glimpse of the rare snow leopard and Bengal tiger.

Nepal is a fascinating country, one that honors its past and its culture, weaving the past seamlessly with the present and creating an unforgettable experience for anyone who ventures into the Himalayan haven.

Enid Glasgow