Photo credit: Marina & Enrique
The aftermath of Nepal's devastating April 2015 earthquake is easing, and there's no better time to visit than now. Sure, some of the country's most famed stupas and monuments will take years, or even decades, to be repaired, but the country's picturesque natural beauty, infectious culture, and welcoming people will always remain. It has now been deemed safe to head back to the earthquake-ravaged country, and it's likely that a visit to the Roof of the World will change your life.
The following five reasons to visit Nepal prove that the country leaves a lasting impression on all who visit.
1. You'll Make Cultural Discoveries in the Capital City
Photo credit: SarahTz
It's easy to spend days, weeks, or even months wandering around Nepal's capital city of Kathmandu. This is where you'll travel back in time at Durbar Square, where the city's kings formerly ruled, and discover a Buddhist stupa named Boudhanath that dates back to the first century AD.
The giant stupas, located throughout Kathmandu and the entire country, serve as reminders of Buddha's path to enlightenment, and you'll see locals practicing Buddhist rituals there at all times of day. You'll quickly discover that the 50-square-kilometre city of Kathmandu offers more culture than most cities 10 times its size.
2. You'll Meet Some of the World's Friendliest People
The magnitude 7.8 earthquake that shook central Nepal on April 25, 2015, didn't ruin the spirit of its people. Everywhere you go, you'll be visited with a smile and a "namaste." You'll find that the Nepalese people are eager to show you their favorite cultural sites and scenery. You'll notice that the younger generation and many of the people living in larger cities and near tourist destinations speak English very well.
3. You'll Notice Your Tourist Dollars Making a Difference
Photo credit: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
The recent earthquake affected Nepal in more ways than one. More than 9,000 lives were lost and hundreds of thousands of people's homes were destroyed. Visit Nepal now, and you'll notice the residents are extremely grateful for your tourist dollars. You'll quickly discover that many of the people from which you're buying souvenirs and food were affected in one way or another by the earthquake. Your money may even help them rebuild their home, restaurant or shop.
4. You Won't Believe Your Eyes
If there's one part of Nepal that will remain with you for the rest of your life, it's the postcard-worthy scenery you'll see. Nepal is known as the home of Mount Everest, but whether you're sightseeing on a hike or by plane, the images of the towering, snow-covered peaks of the Himalayas will forever be etched in your mind.
You probably won't venture to the top of the highest mountain in the world, but you'll be blown away by Nepal's scenery whether you're snapping photos of the Gokyo Lakes of Sagarmatha National Park, exploring Bhaktapur, hiking in the Annapurna Mountain Range or boating along the Narayani River. The best advice when visiting Nepal is to come equipped with a quality camera.
5. Your Tastebuds Will Awaken
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Nepal is known more for its mountains than its cuisine, but you'll find yourself wanting to stop in every restaurant and momo shop you see. Momos, or Nepalese dumplings, can be purchased on just about every corner and are something that should be tried numerous times on your visit. They can be filled with a variety of vegetables or meats to suit a wide variety of pallets. Curries, homemade flatbreads, fresh fruits, spicy chutneys, dal and fine Nepali teas are just a small portion of the country's numerous cuisines, which vary with each geographic and cultural region.
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