About Nepal


Nepal is a gorgeous country and a paradise for mountain climbers. In fact, if you add up all the summits in Nepal, they would achieve a height of more than 1,500,000 meters above sea level. In the last few years, Nepal has become a favorite destination for Asian tourism. It is a country full of mysticism and ancestral customs, characteristic of a people who live in the shadow of the Great Himalayas. One interesting tidbit: the Nepali flag is the only one in the world to not be square-shaped.

Located in South Asia, Nepal is a landlocked country bordered to the south, east, and west by India, and by China in the north. The capital, Kathmandu, serves as the gateway to the Himalayas. All the economic, social, and political activities of Nepal occur in Kathmandu. Eight of the 14 highest summits in the world are found in Nepal, with 240 peaks that exceed 6,000 meters above sea level.

Mount Everest forms part of the Himalayas, and is a world-renowned destination for adventurers and hardcore mountain climbers. All climbers need to obtain permission to climb Mount Everest which usually costs between USD $ 10,000 to $ 25,000 per person, meaning that it contributes greatly to the economy of the country. Access to the peak only generally costs around USD $ 40 per person.

The climate in Nepal depends on the location and height above sea level. There are 5 different climatic areas in Nepal, along with 5 seasons, specifically summer, monsoon (heavy rain), autumn, winter, and spring. In the Kathmandu Valley temperatures generally reach 28 ºC in the summer and down to 10 ºC in winter.

Nepal is a multicultural and multiethnic country. With an area of 147,181 square kilometre, Nepal has a population of 30,485,798 inhabitants, of whom 80% practice Hinduism and 10% practice Buddhism, despite the fact that the founder of Buddhism, Gautama Buddha, is said to have been born in Nepal. The official language is Nepali, a language derived from Sanskrit, although English is understood by the majority of the population who have had access to basic education. Tibetan is spoken in the Himalayan region.

Nepal is steeped in history. The discovery of Neolithic tools suggests that there were people living in the Himalayan area for 11,000 years. The Buddha was born in Lumbini in Southern Nepal, now a Buddhist pilgrimage site. Afterwards, Nepal was under the influence of a few Indian Empires, hence the rise of Hinduism and the emphasis on folklore and traditional tales usually involving stories about love, affection, fights, ghosts, and evil spirits.

Traditional dishes in Nepal are usually prepared with mustard oil, and spices such as cumin, coriander, black pepper, turmeric, garlic, ginger, cloves, and chili. A common meal includes dal, a lentil soup, served over rice and accompanied by curried vegetables.

In 2007, Nepalese political parties agreed to conduct democratic elections that took place in 2008, putting an end to 240 years of monarchy and establishing a democratic government. The political conflict between China and Tibet (represented by the Dalai Lama), has led to a great wave of immigration from Tibet into Nepal. It is estimated that about 60,000 Tibetans are living in Nepal and every year there are about 3,000 more migrants.

Nepal is not a big destination for immigration despite being a refuge for Tibetans. The Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal has had problems improving the conditions of life of its inhabitants, so much so that according to the United Nations Human Development Report (2011), Nepal was ranked the second least-developed country in Asia after Afghanistan.

Nepal is among some of the poorest countries in the world: approximately 50% of its population lives below the poverty line. The agricultural industry brings in the most capital compared to other sectors, employs more than 80% of the population, and accounts for around 40% of the country's GDP.

The Nepalese government has reduced taxes and registration timeframes for granting investment licenses, trying to boost the injection of foreign money. Studies speak of the great potential that exists in Nepal, especially regarding the hydroelectric industry and tourism, but there are factors that hamper those developments, among them, its geographical location (without exit to the sea), susceptibility to natural disasters, and political instability.