Nepal: KathmanDUs and DONTs
Nepal was definitely one of the places I was most looking forward to going to in order to hopefully hike the base of Mt. Everest. I was seriously and I repeat SERIOUSLY underestimating the height, complexity, and expertise necessary for such an excursion. Of course, I didn’t end up doing so and my family decided to opt for a helicopter ride around the tallest mountain in the world and more of the Himalayas. It was so beautiful and such a surreal experience to be so high up. Although it was difficult to see the entirety of Mount Everest during the helicopter ride, we were luckily able to catch sight of the glorious peak three times on flights to and from Nepal.
In addition to beautiful mountainous scenery, Nepal also is home to an amazing Buddhist and Hindu culture.
80% of Nepalese are Hindi, 10% Buddhist, 3.5% a combination between the two (exclusive to the Nepalese), and less than 1% Christian and Muslim.
We visited the Monkey Temple which holds a beautiful stupa providing views of all of Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal. The Buddhist temple also was home to families of monkeys, hence the name of the temple, who roamed the grounds freely.
We also visited one of the main city squares called Baktapur, meaning City of Communications and Deputies, which was constructed throughout the 12th–18th centuries. A Hindi city, Baktapur, is home to babas. Babas are Hindus who release everything in their lives, collect money and bread everyday, are deemed the living representation of the goddess Shiva, and pray all the time for the betterment of living things. They are able to go back into society at any point and do and eat whatever they want.
Religion is a huge part of Nepalese culture with over 365 festivals. Citizens are apart of more than 103 ethnic groups that speak more than 93 languages.
While the nature, temples, and culture are very rich, the state of the nation doesn’t seem so prosperous. There were no traffic lines on the streets, but a lot of trash. With the heavy traffic, we were able to see the tin roofs and rickety buildings. However, this is expected since the civil war actually just ended in 2008. Current day, they are trying to strengthen their bonds with India since the 1950 India-Nepal Treaty of Peace and Friendship. This treaty allows free movement of people and goods between the two nations and also facilitates a tight relationship and provides collaboration promises on matters of defense and foreign affairs.
Overall, I really loved my time in Nepal. From the Himalayas to the Hindu temples, Nepal is a beautiful country…I would definitely recommend it for people who love the natural lifestyle and roughing it!
So to conclude…
1- see the Himalayas and Mount Everest – helicopter or flight on a clear day
2- visit the Monkey Temple
1- drink un-bottled water, or eat sketchy foods
2- forget to stay safe!