What’s the best thing about Nepal? Nope……it’s not Everest! OK…the dream of seeing Everest may be the big attraction for the first time visitor to Nepal, but I’ll wager that Nepal’s “secret” weapon is the fondest and most lingering memory.
This “secret” weapon is usually the reason tourists fall in love with Nepal.
Quite simply the best thing about Nepal are the people of Nepal themselves.
There is no doubt that the people of Nepal are amongst the most welcoming, honest and friendly people you would ever wish to meet.A happy, friendly smile from a local usually does it for me in the heart melting department….and I know I’m not alone on this one.
Once upon a time when I had hair, was younger and much fitter I had the privilege of leading tour groups throughout Nepal….trekking, mountain biking….that sort of thing.
Often I’d fly out to Nepal with the group and then back to the UK with them…..the group usually comprising of first time to Nepal visitors.
Invariably conversations on the way to Nepal would revolve around the Himalayas and why not? Thirty years on and I still get goose bumps every time I’m about to see those incredible peaks again.
But, I soon noticed that on the flight back home, the conversations were about the experiences my group clients had had with the people of Nepal.
Whether it be with our cheerful, hard-working trek support crew, local villagers, the odd yak herder and in particular the very endearing kids they’ve met along the way…it was clear that my clients were just “blown away” by the people of Nepal.
OK….in Kathmandu and just like any other capital city, that’s not where you’ll readily find the best of the people of Nepal.
There’s far too much hussle in Kathmandu…the sniff of making money is always in the (rather polluted) air.
Nepal is not a country of cities…..it’s a country of rural villages. Whether it be the lowlands of the Terai, or the isolated high mountain villages of the Himalayas…..that’s where you will find the real Nepal.
Nepal’s scenery is undoubtedly mesmerising…this is a country that goes from almost sea level down in the steamy jungle to the highest point in the world in just a few miles.
Sub-tropical to Polar. Nepal is much more varied than many people think at first glance.
And with the exception of the extreme high altitude parts of the Himalayas….there are people just about everywhere in Nepal.
Indeed such is the geographical variety as far as the landscapes of Nepal goes…..there is great variety in the people of Nepal too.
People like the Sherpa and other Buddhist peoples found in the mountains are very different to the people who live down in the jungle region.
But, whatever the landscape I have always believed that what makes Nepal so special is the “People within the Landscape”.
To explain why and in words alone is difficult….nigh on impossible with my limited vocabulary.
Then again….how would you describe “love”? Is it tangible and possible to describe something you feel and that just seems to happen?
Hopefully, that old cliche that a “picture paints a thousand words” applies here…these are just some of the people of Nepal.
Maybe you really should go and seek out the people of Nepal yourself…particularly if like me you sometimes lose faith in humanity. I always return from Nepal revitalised and refreshed, not just because I’ve escaped from the pressures of ordinary, daily life….but because I have been amongst kind, friendly and honest people.
Snow Cat Travel arranges custom, exclusive Nepal vacations.