• Adventures and meditation in Nepal

    Ramesh Tiwari
    September 7, 2017
    Adventures and meditation in Nepal

    By Zhang Lulu  —

    Located in South Asia, Nepal boasts most of the world’s highest mountains, a number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, rich culture and adventure activities. Whether you are looking for a feast of the eyes, an adrenaline rush, or some quiet meditation and an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, Nepal has it all.

    More than 120,000 people from China traveled to Nepal in 2014, but half that number went in the wake of a massive earthquake that jolted the landlocked country in 2015. To invite back more Chinese tourists, Nepal announced in 2016 a visa fee exemption program for China. Nepal also designated 2017 as the China-Nepal tourism year.

    The following are some of the must-sees and must-dos in Nepal.

    Fly towards the Himalayas

    Nepalese are proud to tell every visitor that the country is home to eight out of 14 of the world’s highest peaks (above 8,000 meters), including the most famous, and the world’s highest, Mount Everest.

    Nothing beats an early morning flight towards the Himalayas. Take a 30-seat turboprop plane towards Mount Everest, and you will enjoy an hour-long trip that first gives you a panoramic view of the city landscape and then come close to the world’s highest peak, Mount Everest. The moment when you find the winding peaks topping clouds in the sky, you are reminded the figure 8,848 meters, the height of the peak imprinted on you in those early school days, and now you would finally witness its awe-inspiring sight.

    Visit religious, historical sites in Kathmandu

    Nepal is home to less than 30 million people, 80 percent of whom practice Hinduism and the rest embraces Buddhism and other religions. Locals like to say that Nepal has more gods and goddesses than human beings, more temples than houses, and more festivals than calendar days.

    There are a number of religious, historical sites that have been designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. One is the Durbar Square in Kathmandu, which houses the royal palace of the former Kathmandu Kingdom. Several buildings on the square were damaged during the 2015 earthquake, leaving wood and rubbles that are still scattered on the square. A visit to the damaged architecture propped up by wooden beams gives you a uniquely strange sense of the ancient work waiting for rebirth.

    Another sight is Swayambhu, an ancient architecture complex atop a hill in Kathmandu. Besides admiring the Buddhist stupa, you can also take in a view of the Nepali capital. Just beware of the monkeys that may suddenly jump in front of you and grab your food away!

    Take in the traditions at Pashupatinath Temple

    The Pashupatinath Temple is a sacred Hindu temple in Kathmandu. The temple complex is located on the banks of the holy Bagmati River. Hindus often choose to be cremated there: After the bodies are cremated on the bank in a highly ritualized way, the ash is thrown into the river. Visitors are allowed to witness the funerals on the opposite river bank out of respect for the bereaved, and the solemn ceremonies often make the visit one of their most memorable and humbling experiences in Nepal.

    Trekking and other adventures in Pokhara

    Called the tourism capital of Nepal, Pokhara, sitting 200 kilometers northwest from Kathmandu, offers a cluster of amazing experience ranging from watching sunrise over the snowy mountains to various outdoor activities. You can marvel at the sunrise over the snow-capped Himalayas from a hotel bed, and go on boating on the tranquil Fewa Lake afterwards. Pokhara is also a heaven for outdoor enthusiasts who can choose among trekking, paragliding, canyoning, bungee jumping and many other activities.

    Meditate in Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha

    Lumbini, located about 250 kilometers west of the capital city Kathmandu, is the birthplace of Buddha. The Sacred Gardens of Lumbini, which are comprised of several spots related to the birth of the Buddha in 623 BC, is one of the world’s four Buddhist pilgrimage sites and attracts many Buddhists every year. Spending a day meditating under a sacred, prayer flag-decorated Bodhi tree in the garden can give you a respite from the steamy weather in Lumbini and the hurly-burly of city life.

    Courtesy : China.org.cn , Sept. 7 , 2017

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      2017 in review -Top stories

      January 1 : New year nightclub attack leaves 39 dead in Istanbul
      January 20 : Republican billionaire Donald Trump sworn in as 45th US president
      January 23 : Syria peace talks begin in Kazakh capital Astana
      March 29 :United Kingdom officially launches the Brexit process
      April 4 :Syria launches chemical attack killing 90 people
      April 6 : US cruise missiles destroy Syrian air base
      April 9 : Bombings at two churches in Egypt kill dozens
      April 16 : Refugee death toll passes 1,000 in Mediterranean
      April 16 :Turkey says YES to presidential system
      May 6 :Emmanuel Macron elected French president defeating Marine Le Pen
      May 19 :Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani wins re-election
      May 22 : Terrorist attack kills 22 at Manchester concert
      June 5 : Gulf nations severe ties with Qatar
      June 7 :Suicide bombers attack Iranian parliament killing 13 people
      June 14 :London fire kills 71 in the 24-storey Grenfell Tower
      July 4 :North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s missile ambitions
      July 28 : Pakistan’s top court disqualifies Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from office
      August 5 :US withdraws from Paris climate change pact
      August 17 :Storms cause record damage in Caribbean and southern United States
      August 25 :Muslim Rohingya start fleeing Rakhine state in Myanmar
      September 15 : NASA’s 13-year Saturn mission ends
      September 20 : Earthquake kills more than 200 in Mexico
      September 24 : Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel wins fourth term
      September 26 : Saudi Arabia lifts ban on women driving
      October 1 : Gunman opens fire on Las Vegas music festival killing 59 people
      October 14 : Massive bombing in Somalia’s capital Modadishu kill more than 500 people
      October 24 : China confirms the elevation of President Xi Jinping to the same status as the nation’s founder, Mao Zedong, and Deng Xiaoping, by enshrining ‘Xi Jinping thought’ in the party’s constitution at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China
      October 27 : Catalonia declares independence from Spain
      November 4 : S audi Arabia detains 11 princes, four ministers and ten former ministers in a corruption probe
      November 12 : Iran-Iraq magnitude 7.3 earthquake kills more than 500
      November 15 : Argentine navy submarine disappears with 44 crew on board
      November 21 : Robert Mugabe resigns as Zimbabwe’s president after 37 years in power. His former deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa will become president.
      November 22 : Bosnian Serb army commander Ratko Mladic convicted of genocide in Srebrenica during the 1990s Bosnian War
      November 24 : Gunmen kill hundreds at Sinai mosque in Egypt
      December 4 : Houthi militants assassinate Yemen’s former President Ali Abdullah Saleh
      December 5 : Russia banned from 2018 Winter Olympics for state-sponsored doping
      December 6 : US President Donald Trump recognises Jerusalem as the capital of Israel
      December 17 : Price of one bitcoin reaches a new high of $19,783.06 dollars
      December 21 : Yemen’s cholera outbreak
      December 22 : Syria peace talks in Astana (compiled)

      Top ten most visited cities

      Between January and August 2017, destinations worldwide welcomed 901 million international tourist arrivals (overnight visitors), 56 million more than in the same period of 2016 .The top ten most visited cities are:
      HONG KONG26.6 million
      BANGKOK 21.2 million
      LONDON19.2 million
      SINGAPORE16.6 million
      MACAU15.4 million
      DUBAI14.9 million
      PARIS14.4 million
      NEW YORK12.7 million
      SHENZHEN12.6 million
      KUALA LUMPUR12.3 million

      Source: Euromonitor International

      Wildlife in Chitawan , Nepal

      Window of Nepal Tourism