Nepal measures about 800 kilometers (497 mi) along its Himalayan axis by 150 to 250 kilometers (93 to 155 mi) across. Nepal has an area of 147,181 square kilometers (56,827 sq mi).Nepal is landlocked by India on three sides and China's Tibet Autonomous Region to the north. West Bengal's narrow Siliguri Corridor or Chicken's Neck separate Nepal and Bangladesh. To the east are India and Bhutan. Nepal depends on India for goods transport facilities and access to the sea, even for most goods imported from China.
The history of Nepal has been influenced by its position in the Himalaya and its two neighbours, modern day India and Tibet. Due to the "arrival of disparate settler" groups from outside through the ages, it is now a multiethnic, multiracial, multicultural, multi religious, and multilingual country. Central Nepal (Currently Kathmandu Valley) was split into three kingdoms from the 15th century until the 18th century, when it was re-unified under the Shah rule. The most spoken language of Nepal is Nepali followed by other various national languages. Nepal had experienced a struggle for democracy at times in the 20th century and early 21st century. During the 1990s and until 2008, the country was in a civil strife. A peace treaty was signed in 2006 and elections were held in the same year. In a historical vote for the election of the constituent assembly, Nepalese parliament voted to oust the monarchy in June 2006. Nepal became a federal republic and was formally renamed the 'Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal' ending the 200 year old Shah dynasty.
With eight of the top ten highest summits in the world and some of the most beautiful landscapes which are only reachable on foot, trekking in Nepal is one of the unique experiences of Asia. Trekking is the most popular activity in Nepal, and travellers will be bombarded on the streets of Kathmandu and the trekking hub, Pokhara, with guides, organised tours and gear for sale or rent. The huge variety of options allows for people of many ages and capabilities to attempt a trek in the country. While you could spend a year planning an expedition to wild and lofty places that few would dare attempt, you could also arrive in Kathmandu with no plans and be on the trail in a matter of days. Despite what many may perceive, trekking in Nepal is not necessarily wandering alone through an uncharted wilderness. As they walk along the well-marked trekking paths, travellers will often discover quite the opposite; hundreds of locals passing through each day as they haul food, water and other odd necessities back to their tiny villages, along with dozens of fellow trekkers. The regularly-spaced villages and teahouses allow trekkers good opportunities to rest and recover, either for a few minutes or the night. The strong culture and unreserved friendliness of the Nepalese people can also be witnessed as one traverses the hill tracks.
Harrow, West London.