Travel Nepal

By: Mahendra

Enchantment is everywhere in Nepal; be it in the cool and invigorating shade of the high mountains, or on terraced farmlands carved like stairways out of hill ridges, or still across waterfalls, creeks, rushing mountain rivers amidst gorges, valleys and forests teeming with a cornucopia of flora and fauna. There are lakes amidst breathtaking settings, strong-current rivers for rafting, Wildlife Safaris, the tallest mountains to climb, trekking across vales and dales, and, above all, warm, friendly, welcoming people. In this respect, Nepal becomes a perfect holiday destination for tourists, trekkers, mountaineers, writers, honeymooners, lovers, retired people and people interested in research.
Nepal Geography
As Nepal is sandwiched between two economic and geographical Leviathans, it is rightfully regarded as " A Yam between Two Boulders" as While Nepal abuts on Indian border in the east, the west and the South, Tibetan Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China shares the vast Himalayan frontier with Nepal. The length of the county is 885 kilometers from east to west, and its breath varies from 145 kilometers to 241 kilometers from north to south. The total area is 147,181 sq. kilometers.
?Climate?
Nepal isn't only the home of mysterious Yeti and elusive Snow Leopard, but also a constant cause of wonder for meteorologists for her simply amazing variations in climatic conditions. Divided into three different geographical regions, Nepal houses the snow-capped Himalayas in the north, a vast stretch of plains in the south and two chains of hills, known as Mahabharata and Churiya range, acting as a geological bridge between the northern and southern region.
The most astonishing thing about the geography of Nepal is that the distance between the tropical lowlands and the snow-capped mountainous region is very less. While the distance between the tropical and alpine regions in most of the countries around the globe is more than 1000 km, it is just less than 100 km in some places in Nepal.. The temperature varies between zero in the mountains to over 30 degrees Celsius in the valleys, and to mercury plummeting up to 38 degrees during summer in the lowlands.
Population
'Unity in diversity' is really the mot just for a multi-ethnic, multicultural and multilingual country like Nepal. It had a population of 18,462,081 at the time of the 1991 census. The average population density at the time was 125 persons per sq km (329 per sq mi), although nearly half the people were concentrated in the narrow Terai region.

In contrast, the 2003 population estimate was 26,469,569. The population has grown rapidly since 1950 when there were only 9 million people. In 2003 the population was increasing at an annual rate of 2.3 percent. Only 12 percent of the population lived in urban areas. The rate of population in the urban areas, however, has grown significantly thanks to a number of social, political and economic reasons.
Get in
You may need a tourist Visa to enter the country. A propspective visitor can apply for the visa from several embassies and consulates in most countries in the world. Nepal has diplomatic missions in
?Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Burma, Canada, China, Denmark, Finaland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Myanmar, The Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Phillipines, Spain , Sweeden, Switzerland, Thailand, Tibet, the United Kingdom and the United States of America that issue visas to the propective visitors.
Entrance/Egress
The following entery/exit points have been set by the government of Nepal for the foreign visitors:
1. Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu
2. Kodari, Sindhupalchowk (North)
3. Karkarvitta, Jhapa (East)
4. Belahia,Bhairhawa (West)
5. Birgunj, Parsa (Central Nepal)
6. Jamunaha, Nepalgunj (Mid-East)
7. Mohana, Dhangadi (Far-West)
8. Gadda Chauki, Mahendranagar (Far-West)
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Via Air
Since there is only one international airport, Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu, in Nepal, it is the Hobson's choice for vistors to start their Himalayan voyage from the capital city itself. The following airlines company operate their services from/to Kathmandu:
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1. Nepal Airlines (Run by the Nepalese government, it operates its service to/from Bangkok, Banglore, Calcutta, Delhi, Dubai, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Mumbai, Osaka, Paris, London, Shanghai, Singapore)
2. Korean Air (Seoul)
3. Biman Bangladesh Airlines (Dhaka)
4. Air China (Lhasa)
5. Condor (Munich)
6. Druk Air (Paro)
7. Gulf Air (Abu Dhabi)
8. Indian Airlines (Delhi, Calcutta, Varanasi)
9. Qatar Airways ( Doha)
10. ?Thai International (Bangkok)
11. Martin Air (Amsterdam via Sharjah)
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Via Land
Although Indo/Nepal border is a porous one, you must enter the country by road from India through one of the border crossing points ( as described under the heading Entrance/Egress). If you are coming from Tibet, the route is Kodari, Sindhupalchowk. There is no national passenger rail service in Nepal, but there is a rail service operating from Calcutta, India. A train by the name Mithila Express plies regularly between Howrah Station, Calcutta, to Birgunj, one of the chief entry points to Nepal.
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Contact
Although the comminication infrastructure of Nepal is not to the world's standard, still the pincipal cities across the countries entertain almost all forms of sophisticated communication systems. These include:
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1. Telephone: The international country code for Nepal is 977. There are two to three digit area code and six-digit local phone numbers. The communication system, operated by Nepal Telecom, a quasi-governmental organization, caters its service in almost all the seventy-five district of the country. But some off-the-map villages don't have telephone facilities. However, the East-West optical fibre project, which is on the verge of its completion, is expected to cover all the villages and hamlets of the country within two to three years time. Besides Nepal Telecom, United Tele Communication Limited (UTL), a privately owned company, is providing its services in Kathmandu Valley.
2. Cell Phones
Mobiles are widely used, but due to the geoprphical constraints , some rural areas have only analog service, or no service at all. Nepal Telecom and UTL operate operate CDMA networks; Mero Mobile, a private mobile company, operates the only GPRS network. Travellers planning to bring their GPRS phones with them might do well to check that their handset supports the appropriate frequencies.
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3. Internet
There are cyber cafes in almost most of the tourist areas all over the country. A trekker can surf the net in Solokhumbu, the entry point of Mount Everest Region. Nomal rate is Rs 20 to 30 per hours in the main cities like Kathmandu and Pokhara. New Pokhara Lodge Lakeside Pokhara offer free internet to hotel's customers.
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4. Mail
The snail mail system is there but, as a rule, it is not always speedy. Also, international parcel postal services can be costly. Furthermore, internationally acclaimed courier service providers like DHL and Fedex also have their branches in most parts of the country.

http://www.visit-nepal.com

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