About country: Nepal

Nepal is a constant attraction for all those who are fond of mountains. And not without reason, as some of the planet's highest peaks are on the territory of this small country. And it is most convenient to start climbing the world's highest mountain Everest just there (Everest is on the territory of Nepal and China).

Kathmandu Valley is the center of the country. Here there are the capital, the city of Katmandu, and two more cities, Lilitpur and Bhaktapur. As the density of population is rather high, it is fairly difficult to tell one city from the other. Most tourists stay in Thamel where there are a lot of hotels.

Every traveler must remember that Kathmandu Valley and Nepal properly are in highlands, so you'll have to get accustomed to mountain air.

Swayambhunath is the most important Buddhist temple complex of Kathmandu. It is a huge white stupa atop the hill accessed by 365 steps. Also there are stupas of Bodnath and Pashupatinath.

On the south of Nepal there is the city of Lumbini. This is a sacred place for Buddhists, as it just there that Siddhartha Gautama, known as the Buddha, was born in the six century B.C. In 249 B.C. czar Ashoka erected the column in the birthplace of Buddha. Now it is one of the four pilgrimage sites. There are many Buddhist monasteries and temples here.

If you have special training and wish to see the real Himalayas, you can go to the east of Nepal, to the Sagarmatha National Park, or further to the peaks of Kanchenjunga, Makalu and Everest. Of course, only the highly trained alpinists would be able to climb them, but you can visit Sagarmatha National Park or Annapurna even without special training (though you shouldn’t forget about mountain sickness).

Sagarmatha National Park means «forehead of the sky». The park partially includes Mount Everest. Namche Bazar can be the starting point for tours of Sagarmatha. Nearby there is the world's highest airport. There are six peaks with altitude of about 6 000 meters in the park, with most beautiful woods of juniper and rhododendron at their foothills.

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