I love Nepal, I want to spend another year there starting in September. That said… Kathmandu specifically is full of rubbish on the streets. The power is only functional half the day at best and it’s nearly impossible to get a good cup of coffee when it is off. There are wild dogs and monkeys all over the place. the WIFI availability is spotty at best. All forms of transportation around the country are basically Russian roulette.
Many people will find Nepal to be a chaotic nightmare, my best advice is to travel light and do not expect anything to be on time. If something happens on the right day that is considered ‘ON TIME’ in Nepal.
Nepal has, in my opinion, the worlds weirdest flag.
Nepal is home to the ten tallest mountains in the world, including Sagarmatha (Everest)
Despite Buddha being born here about 80% of Nepali people identify as Hindus. It seems weird but the Hindu prophet Ne also lived in the area, in fact Ne-Pal is named after him.
Nearly half the population is under 18 years old, due to all sorts of factors including a bunch of civil wars.
To paraphrase Machiavelli “From chaos comes opportunity” in this was, Nepal is truly the land of opportunity.
Important to note for travelers
About 1/3 of Nepali homes (mostly in rural areas) do not have toilets, even in the city most toilets do not have toilet paper. You will get used to the ‘bum gun‘ eventually
Like India, Nepali roadways are full of cows and in many ways lack laws, the only real rule being ‘don’t hit anything’
At night the streets can be fairly intimidating, there is often no light and while the people are mostly harmless the wild dogs are somewhat less so
The Nepali Currency is basically 100 to 1 USD so conversion is actually quite simple
Things that should not be missed
Temples: Monkey Temple, Shiva Temple, Boudhanath… one could spend months just visiting the holy sites
Thamel: It is a tourist mecca and quite irritating after living there a while, but it must be experienced at least once
Malls: Kathmandu has a number of malls that appear to be post apocalyptic at best, they are worth seeing primarily to hammer home the difference between Nepal and North America.
I spent three months living in Nepal and hanging out with some local hooligans that are among the nicest guys I have ever met. We hit all the standard tourist spots early, to get them out of the way, and then started seeing the more rural and weird areas around Kathmandu. Unfortunately three months is nowhere near long enough to explore the country, so I am heading back for a year. I will update this with more absurd observations as time goes on.