Where the Orient meets the Subcontinent
For more than a decade, Nepal suffered as Maoist rebels battled the government, seeking an end to the country’s monarchy. Now the shooting has stopped, and tourists are returning in droves. Regional airlines provide access to Kathmandu, where travelers can arrange for a variety of Himalayan excursions, like helicopter tours, mountain treks, and visits to Everest base camp. Travel into Tibet is another popular option, but due to Chinese regulations, all who enter from Nepal are required to travel as part of a tour, and must return across the border before their permits expire. The altitude change is drastic, and those who make the trip are unlikely to sleep well while their bodies adapt. Coming from the high plateau, the Kathmandu Valley, with its balmy temperatures, abundant oxygen, and flavorful foods, can easily be mistaken for heaven. Beyond the well-beaten tourist circuit, adventurous travelers will find a peaceful, welcoming nation whose local flavor is once again starting to thrive.