- Nepal opened its borders to the world in the 1950s and 2011 is Nepal Tourism Year! So make this year count and join the celebration!
- People in Nepal do not greet one another with a handshake, but rather put their palms together and bow their forehead and say Namaste (directly translated as ‘I salute the God in youˇ). This is the same greeting used throughout India.
- A popular and cheap ‘fast food’ is the Momo. Delicious dumplings made from flour and water filled with different fillings like chicken, meat or vegetables either fried or steamed and served with a dipping sauce. My favorites were the yak-meat filled ones at the Yak CafÃ in Kathmandu.
- Nepal is home to one of the few places on earth where you can see both the Bengal tiger and the one-horned rhinoceros. We were lucky to see 3 rhinos on our safari!
- The Annapurna region was voted one of the top 10 best trekking places on earth. The trek to Poon Hill is a moderate 5-day trek with views that will blow you away!
- Everest in the Nepali language is Sagarmatha which means goddess of the sky and it stands at a staggering 8,848 metres (29,029 ft) above sea level.
- Bob Seger wrote a song called Kathmandu in 1975. He wrote it at a time when he wanted to disappear from the record business, media and touring. Kathmandu represented a far way land where no one would be able to find you.
- Little Princes written by Conor Grennan is about child trafficking in Nepal and spawned the NGO Next Generation Nepal which reunites children and their families and aids rural communities. A must read and a portion of the proceeds from every book go directly to the cause!
- The Sherpas are an ethnic group from mostly the eastern mountainous part of Nepal. Many are employed as porters for mountain expeditions as they do not suffer the effect of altitude and due to their genetics and upbringing. Many groups refer to their porters as Sherpas.
- Nepal is the birthplace for the Lord Buddha. Lumbini and a pilgrimage for many devout Buddhists.
- Nepal has the densest concentration of World Heritage Sites. Kathmandu valley alone has 7 World Heritage Cultural sites within a radius of 15 kilometers.
- The Nepali flag is the only nation with non-quadrilateral flag.The two triangles symbolize the Himalaya Mountains and represent the two major religions, Hinduism and Buddhism.
Aaron and I spent 7 incredible weeks in Nepal last year. At the start we accompanied a group up the Everest Base Camp Trek and then we took to the road, designing our new trip Wild and Natural Nepal. We trekked around the Annapurna Region, ate Yak steaks, went on an elephant safari (where we saw one-horned rhinos) and cooked dinner with a local family in small village, where we supported a local home-stay program. We travelled by local bus, rickshaws, ox and boat. I had no idea this tiny country had so much to offer! It is truly a magical place and the people of Nepal are some of the warmest and ‘smiliest’ I have ever come across in my travels. Thank-you Nepal, we’ll be back!