Most people associate Nepal with mountains. Rightly so. The Himalaya stretch over 2400 km through 5 countries and include 10 of 14 of the world’s 8000-meter peaks. Nepal is right in the middle of all this. But Nepal is so much more than mountains.
Nepal is a country of almost 30 million people with over 100 different castes and ethnic groups. Ninety-two different living languages are spoken in the country and there is great religious diversity as well. Not to mention the geographical diversity that ranges from sub-tropical-feeling lowlands to seemingly Arctic alpine terrain.
There is a lot to experience here, but I am certainly not suggesting avoiding the mountains. I’ve been to Nepal twice for trekking in the Himalaya. And I plan to go again to trek to Everest Base Camp. If you are interested, here are some Trekking in Nepal FAQs.
I’m just letting you know there is plenty more to do, like festivals (check out the Bisket Jatra Festival and the Sita Bibiha Festival) wildlife viewing in Chitawan National Park, experiencing a village homestay, exploring sacred Hindu temples , circling huge Buddhist pagodas, and wandering around medieval Nepalese towns.
It’s easy to get to Kathmandu with budget flights on AirAsia. Direct flights go to Kuala Lumpur and onward flights connect to several Asian cities.
Kathmandu is a microcosm of Nepal. Situated in the foothills of the Himalaya, it acts as a central meeting point, bringing together the cultures and people of lowland Nepal with the people of the mountains. You can see a little bit of everything here. When the dust settles, that is. (To get an honest idea of what it’s like to travel here, read my: Nepal: The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly) I’m partially joking but Kathmandu is not immune to traffic congestion and air pollution. However, no traveler to Nepal would want to miss experiencing Kathmandu. This capital city has a huge diversity of religions, cultures, and cuisines.
This Kathmandu in photos post will help you visualize that diversity.