Nepal, officially known as the State of Nepal (previously known as Kingdom of Nepal), is a landlocked nation in South East Asia, bordering the People’s Republic of China (Tibet) to the north and India to the south, east, and west.

Nepal previously had the distinction of being the world’s only Hindu state, with over eighty percent of its people following the Hindu faith. However, on May 18th, 2006, Nepal was declared a secular state.

For a relatively small country, the Nepali landscape is highly diverse, ranging from the humid terrain of the south to the lofty Himalayas of the north. Nepal boasts eight of the world’s ten highest mountains, including Mount Everest on the border of China and Tibet. Kathmandu is the capital of Nepal and its largest city. The exact origin of the name Nepal is uncertain, but the most popular understanding is that it is derived from Ne (holy) and pal (cave).

I lived in Nepal in 1978 and up to this day I love its beautiful temples and holy places. The week spent in Nepal is filled with cultural exchanges, including the legendary hotel we are staying. Mountaineers from all over the world gather here and tell amazing stories. Also the best pizzas I have ever had were not in Italy, but here, and the best shopping of fine Kashmir is right where we are staying.

This week can be added before the Bhutan journey.