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Nepal

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Continent:Asia National flag
National flag: Nepal
Capital city:Kathmandu
Area:147,181 km2 ( 91. )
Population:27,676,547 Person ( 39. )
People density:188 Person / km2
GDP per capita:190 $ / Person ( 178. )
GDP:5,258,543,930 $
Official language:nepálština

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More detailed information about country

Nepal forms the very watershed of Asia. Landlocked between India and Tibet, it spans terrain from subtropical jungle to the icy Himalaya, and contains or shares eight of the world’s ten highest mountains. Its cultural landscape is every bit as diverse: a dozen major ethnic groups, speaking as many as fifty languages and dialects, coexist in this narrow, jumbled buffer state, while two of the world’s great religions, Hinduism and Buddhism, overlap and mingle with older tribal practices.

Yet it’s a testimony to Nepali tolerance and good humour that there’s no tradition of ethnic or religious strife. Unlike India, Nepal was never colonized, a fact which comes through in fierce national pride and other, more idiosyncratic ways. Founded on trans-Himalayan trade, the dense, medieval cities display unique pagoda-style architecture, not to mention an astounding flair for festivals and pageantry. Above all, though, Nepal is a nation of unaffected villages and terraced countryside – more than eighty percent of the population lives off the land – and whether you’re trekking, biking or bouncing around in packed buses, sampling this simple lifestyle is perhaps the greatest pleasure of all.

But it would be misleading to portray Nepal as a fabled Shangri-la. One of the world’s poorest countries, it suffers from many of the pangs and uncertainties of the developing world; development is coming in fits and starts, and not all of it is being shared equitably. Heavily reliant on its big-brother neighbours, Nepal was, until 1990, run by one of the last remaining absolute monarchies, a regime that combined China’s repressiveness and India’s bureaucracy in equal measure. It’s now a democracy, but a very precarious one. Political freedom has done little to improve the lot of the average family, while corruption and frequent changes of government have led to widespread disillusion and spawned an intractable Maoist insurgency.

Travel within Nepal isn’t straightforward or predictable. Certain tourist areas are highly developed, even overdeveloped, but facilities elsewhere are rudimentary; getting around is time-consuming and often uncomfortable. Nepalis are well used to shrugging off such inconveniences with the all-purpose phrase, Ke garne? (What to do?). Nepal is also a more fragile country than most – culturally as well as environmentally – so it’s necessary to be especially sensitive as a traveller.

[ Buy on Amazon: The Rough Guide to Nepal ]

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Map of country Nepal

Map of country  Nepal

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