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Travel Directory / Asia / Nepal

Nepal Travel Guide

Nepal is like a magical kingdom, draped by the Himalayas mountain range. This Asian country has 10 of the world's highest peaks including the world famous Mt. Everest and it is sandwiched by China and India.

There are five developmental regions in Nepal namely: Eastern Nepal (Everest region, Arun valley, Ilam, Kanchenjunga), Central Nepal (Kathmandu and Langtang), Western Nepal (Pokhara and the Annapurna), Mid Western Nepal (Dhaulagiri Himalaya, Dolpa, inner Terai valleys and Jumla) and Far Western Nepal (Mahakali River). These major regions are then divided into 14 administrative territories that they call ‘anchal'.

To enjoy the country, it is important to know the different cities of Nepal. Kathmandu is the capital city and is considered the cultural center of the country. Patan is touted as the sister city of Kathmandu, where the metal working center is located. Bhaktapur is the center of Nepali pottery and is a well preserved historical city. In the eastern part of Nepal is Biratnagar which is near Dharan and well known for it's political reputation.

Birgunj is the commercial gateway of Nepal to India and it is located in the mid-southern part of the country. Dharan is a charming city east of Nepal and Namche Bazaar is in the Solu Khumbu region. The latter is a Sherpa settlement popular with trekkers. Nepalgunj is the main city in mid and far western development region and this where Bardiya National Park is located. Pokhara, on the other hand, is a picturesque lake shore town where many of Nepal's trekking adventures drop by.

Nepal has a wealth of sacred sites that has long attracted the spiritual and imaginative. Because of its location, trapped in the snow peaks of Himalayas and intense Ganges plain, Nepal has welcomed many wandering austere yogis. Among the well known sites are the following:
- Lumbini is where Buddha Shakyamuni is born. It is small village that is located 27 kms from Sunauli, near the Indo-Nepal border.
- Parping is a series of sacred caves located in Kathmandu Valley and it is associated with Padmasambhava who is the founder of Tibetan Buddhism.
- Muktinath is famous for Shaligrams, which are ammonites believed to be a manifestation of the god Vishnu. This is located between the upper valley of Kali Gandaki and the Annapurna Range. It has 108 fountains where followers take a spiritual bath and the natural gas has become a constant source of flames.

Other deservedly world famous destinations in Nepal are Royal Chitwan National Park where you can see exotic wild animals such as rhinos and tigers, Khumbu which is the foot of Mt. Everest and Dang Deukhuri which is an area of lowland valleys in western Nepal where the Tharus who are known for their distinctive culture live.

If you wish to have a breathtaking view of the Himalayan Range, make a quick stop at Nagarkot which is a hill station that is only 1 hour away from Kathmandu. If you are a fan of sunrises and sunsets, then Daman is the place for you to visit. It is a quaint village in the mountains which offers remarkable views of the Himalayas especially when the sun sets or rises.

They say that what Nepal lacks in size as a country, they make up with their spectacular sceneries. True enough, it's the kind of travel destination that will long linger in your dreams, way after you have gone.