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 Editor's Review
Nepal
 
The Himalaya range is not the impenetrable barrier it would seem. A major overland trade route between India and China has crossed it for centuries and the route’s vital staging post is Nepal. For tourists there are thriving wildlife reserves such as Bardia and Chitwan, home of the rare Bengal tiger, at lower levels. But it is the mountains that provide the real spectacle, with Nepal holding eight of the ten highest peaks in the world. Now accessible not merely to mountaineers and trekkers, the sight of dawn gradually breaking on to a succession of snow-capped pinnacles across the complete horizon is a heart-stopping moment. A half-day drive from Kathmandu, itself at 4,500ft, will take you to hill villages such as Dhulikel or Nagarkot where such daybreaks are a mere stroll from your comfortable hotel. Kathmandu is a feast of images, many provided by the Hindu/Buddhist religious mix. Durbar Square is a focal point with Buddhist stupa’s and Hindu temples vying with the former royal palace for visual attention. It has the colour and bustle of an eastern marketplace without the intimidating people density of say Delhi. Nearby Bhaktapur is a smaller and slightly different take on the same theme, with its own Durbar Square, temples and markets.
 

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