Top events in Nepal

February
01

This popular festival is dedicated to Lord Shiva and celebrated by Hindus all over the world. Maha Shivaratri is celebrated in Nepal at the...

February
04

Tibetan New Year, marked by Buddhist processions, masked dances and parades at monasteries and Buddhist stupas across Nepal. Bodhnath and...

February
18

Nepalis flock to monasteries throughout the country to celebrate the Tibetan New Year and welcome good fortune for the upcoming months. You’ll see...

Stupa, Nepal
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Stupa, Nepal

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Nepal Travel Guide

Key Facts
Area

147,181 sq km (56,827 sq miles).

Population

26.4 million (2013).

Population density

208.99 per sq km.

Capital

Kathmandu.

Government

Republic.

Head of state

President Ram Baran Yadav since 2008.

Head of government

Prime Minister Sushil Koirala since 2014.

Electricity

230 volts AC, 50Hz. There are frequent power cuts. Plugs usually have two or three round pins.

Officially the highest country on Earth, lofty Nepal is commonly referred to as the “roof of the world.” That seems like a fitting moniker for this Himalayan nation, where soaring, snow-capped mountains disappear into the clouds like stairways to heaven.

Mount Everest is, of course, the star attraction. Tourists come in their droves to climb, hike and admire the world’s tallest peak, which flirts with the stratosphere at 8,848m (29,029ft).

However, this charming country is much more than just mountains. The birthplace of Gautama Buddha, Nepal is an important pilgrimage site for millions of Buddhists, who come from far and wide to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Lumbini, a temple complex where Buddha once lived.

Temples are ubiquitous in Nepal, but not just the Buddhist variety; Hinduism has a strong foothold in the country and there are many Hindu temples scattered across the country.

If spirituality doesn’t arouse your interest, the Nepali capital, Kathmandu, should prove a welcome distraction. Encircled by mountains, this beautiful, bustling city stands at a cultural crossroads between India and China, whose influences can be seen in the architecture and tasted in delicious cuisine.

Kathmandu is the entry point for most travellers and is worthy of at least a few days exploration. As well as temples, gardens and a fantastic culinary scene, the city has a lively nightlife, particularly in the district of Thamel, which is a favourite for partygoers.

The city is also a good starting point for travellers venturing into the jungle at Chitwan National Park, a fantastic reserve which is home to Bengali tigers, crocodiles and one-horned rhinos, plus myriad bird species. Phewa Lake is another draw for tourists, as are the hiking trails in the Himalayas.

Wherever you go, though, wide smiles will be there to greet you; Nepalese people are amongst the friendliest in the world and it’s not uncommon to be invited into a strangers’ home for tea.

Sitting on top of the world, Nepal is just one step away from heaven – and for those who have discovered the country’s many charms, it feels like it too.

Travel Advice

Last updated: 21 December 2014

The travel advice summary below is provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. 'We' refers to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. For their full travel advice, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.

Never trek alone. Use a reputable agency, remain on established routes and walk with at least one other person. Take note of weather conditions and forecasts, and come prepared. Altitude sickness is a risk in all trekking regions.

All air carriers from Nepal have been refused permission to operate air services to the EU due to safety concerns.

Nepal is considered to be at high risk of a major earthquake.

The Monsoon season in Nepal normally runs from June to September and can make travel in rural areas hazardous.

There is a general threat from terrorism.

Around 40,000 British nationals visited Nepal in 2013. Most visits are trouble-free.

The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.

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