Nepal is the country that covers a large length of the Tibetan south
border. Also one of the important roads through the Himalaya go to Nepal. For
Tibet Nepal is an important country. A lot of business is done with Nepal.
Nepal is also very interesting because it has a lot in common with Tibet.
Although the climate and the vegetation are totally different from Tibet for
most parts of Nepal, there are also parts of Nepal that look exactly like
Tibet. Also the habits the people have are often the same for both contries. A
lot of Tibetan people left Tibet after China had conquered Tibet. A large
quantity went to Nepal where they also continued to practice their religion. In
that way the different religions of both countries mixed. On the hill near
Kadmandu there is the Ape-temple where Tibetan Buddhism is practiced as well as
the Hindu religion. You can see all kinds of people there. A lot of tourists
visit the hill and also all kinds of pilgrims and monks come there.
In the days of the hippies a lot of young people went to Kadmandu to learn more about the Buddhist religion. Everybody knows that's not the only reason why they went there. Large number of youngsters went there to get narcotics. They were very easy to get in Nepal and the surrounding countries. Also you could buy, in the youngsters eyes, completely new products that were not known in Europe. They came with a mini bus. Volkswagen was very popular. In that way Kadmandu became very popular for the hippies.
The climate of Nepal is different from Tibet because Nepal lies on the side of the Himalayas where the clouds with rain rise to colder air. That's why there is a lot of rain in Nepal. You can see that when you look at the vegetation. Its just like a rainforest at a lot of places. Because a lot of rain has already fallen out of the clouds when they reach Tibet, it is rather dry in Tibet.
Nepal is very well known to everyone that travels to Tibet. The reason for this is that almost all the visitors to Tibet first travel to Nepal. Kadmandu is the favorite stop because it has an airport with direct flights to Lhasa. Most of them stay a couple of days in Nepal and look around and get used to the climate and height. They always visit the Ape temple and the Tibet refugee camp of the Tibetan refugees. But what is also very interesting are all the Hindu temples that Kadmandu has got. That is certainly worthwhile exploring. For the western mindset also the hotels are luxurious. The food is very good and in the good Hotels there is not much danger when you eat what's offered.
A few stories of Paul Weusten that visited Nepal for a number of times.
When you come to Kadmandu one of the things that disturbed me very much was the fact that there were very many dogs. You must know that I do not hate dogs but the dogs in Kadmandu had the habit to start hauling as soon as it got dark, and they would haul all night long.
People leave the dogs in peace because you never know if it's a reincarnation of a relative that died. When you go to Nepal you will see that a lot is already changed due to the visits of tourists that are used to having a luxurious life. When you spend only a short time in Nepal you will not see much of the authentic life there. When you join a group and travel to the north and start walking you will see much more.
The people have strange habits. Never walk around a Stupa or an other religious building at the right side. This will make you unfortunate.
They drink butter tea and the more butter you get in your tea the more they respect or like you. When you are offered a cup of this tea put in your mind that you are drinking broth instead of tea. Then you could even get used to it and think it's tasty.
Always travel in a group when you explore Nepal by foot. When you go alone you could get lost. And also all the beautiful things you have with you attract a lot of people. Some might think those things would be better of if they would change owner..
Last time I went to the Nepal Province of Mustang. That is a part of Nepal that looks a lot like Tibet. The people look the same and the buildings look the same. Even the countryside looks like Tibet. It is dry and full of erosion. In the valleys there is always a brook or a river. Every now and again you see a lake.
The people eat beans and rice but always with a lot of curry. They have these kind of spices in a number of different kinds. They cook their food on a wood stove without a chimney. There is only a hole in the roof.
The more wood you see on the roof of a building the richer the family is. Their status symbol is having a lot of wood on the roof. You can see a number of pictures of Paul Weusten in our site. You can see more in the picture galery under the suject Interactive (see the topside of the page). A part of the video work was also done by Paul. There are also a number of video's of Nepal and Tibet itself that are made by Mr. Roel Hadderingh . Both Paul and Roel live in the Netherelands and visited that part of the world as a tourist.