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Like a necklace, the stunning kingdom of Nepal drapes beneath the icy peaks of the Himalaya, and south into the steamy Indian plains. The mountain kingdom is culturally rich and extraordinarily beautiful. And while many visitors to Nepal arrive in search of adventure, every person leaves enchanted by the nation's spirituality, tranquillity, breathtaking vistas, and the friendliness of its people.

The country's craggy chunk of Himalayan Mountains is undeniably the country's biggest drawcard. Nepal propositions adventurers with world class trekking terrain from the lush Annapurna range to the unforgiving Everest. Dotted with rustic mountain villages and hundreds of undulating trails that have been trodden upon for centuries, it is home to eight of the ten highest mountains in the world and is an undisputed magnet for trekkers and mountaineers the world over. If there is a hiker's paradise, then Nepal is it. Nepal's lesser known, yet equally breathtaking, wildlife diversity offers visitors to its plains and jungles a thrill of a different kind. Royal Chitwan National Park is famous for its rare and varied mammals and birdlife. Rustling with Indian rhino and the majestic Bengal tiger, elephant, sloth bear and deers, this wonderful park can be explored by 4WD vehicle, boat and elephant-back safari.

Kathmandu, Nepal's nearly 2000 year old capital, is a fascinating place. Like any major city in the Indian subcontinent, Kathmandu is also a hectic metropolis that can be both overwhelming and exhilarating. Its bazaars offer a vibrant world of traders, temples and bustling human traffic - colourful and utterly captivating. Take in the imposing architecture of the Old Royal Palace overlooking Durbar Square and the iconic colourful prayer flags adorning the mesmerising Boudhanath Stupa (a scared site for Buddhists), then pause for reflection over Kathmandu valley from the Stupa at Swayambhunath. The perfect way to slow oneself and experience the city as a local is to dine in a traditional backstreet Newari restaurant for which the city is renowned.

Nepal's 2nd largest city, Pokhara, is quite different to the capital. Nestled beside calm Lake Phewa which reflects the perfect pyramid of the looming Mount Machhapuchhar, it is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful places in the world and is gateway to the many trails that cross the popular Annapurna range. Its forests, rivers, unrivalled mountain views, eclectic cafes and bohemian atmosphere make Pokhara a popular location for day walks, boating, and relaxation. Across Kathmandu's Bagmati River lies Patan, also known as Lalitpur the city of beauty. It is a must-see destination for connoisseurs of fine arts, wood and stone carvings, metal statues and ornate architecture. Featuring dozens of Buddhist and Hindu temples, it is also home to a staggering 1200 monuments.

The ancient towns of Tansen and Bhaktapur are listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites for their rich culture, temples and wood, metal and stone artwork. Bandipur, a unique hilltop village that clings to the saddle of a mountain, was once an important stop on the India-Tibet trade route. Its extreme isolation has preserved an old-world culture, providing travellers with a rare glimpse into Nepal's past.

Nepal's dry season runs from October through to May with excellent weather, though temperatures can be quite cold at high altitudes in December and January. October is the festival season.

Click here for our suggestions on events and places to go at various times of year

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