Nepal is located in South Asia and shares territorial borders with India and China. Previously ruled as a kingdom, today it is a Federal Democratic Republic. Nepal is known for its exquisite natural beauty, with the iconic Himalayas running across the northern and western part of the country. Eight of the ten highest mountains in the world, including Mount Everest, reside within its borders. Although Nepal is a relatively small country in comparison with its neighbors, it has an astonishingly diverse landscape, from the rugged Himalayas in the north to the humid Terai plains in the south. The capital and largest city is Kathmandu. The currency of Nepal is the Nepalese Rupee(NPR).
The Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu welcomes visitors into the country and an additional 47 airports make getting around Nepal relatively easy, despite its rugged and mountainous terrain that makes some of the more remote virtually impossible to reach by road. Nepal Airlines is the official air carrier of the country, with a fleet consisting of two Boeing B-757s and seven DHC-6 Twin Otter aircraft. The railway network in Nepal is rather sparse, with the main line running between Janakpur and Jainagar, a town close to the border of India. A rail link between Nepal and Lhasa in Tibet, China is under consideration for future development.
In most cases, visiting Nepal requires a valid passport and visa with an exception for visitors from India and China- which do not need a passport or visa. British, Australian, Canadian, USA and European Union nationals may apply for a visa on arrival in Kathmandu at the Department of Immigration. However, all visitors should check with their travel agent for current visa requirements. Most visas are valid for sixty days for the first visit. Subsequent visits in the same year may be restricted to thirty days. An application for a visa extension may be made.
Tourism provides a significant source of income for Nepal and a wide variety of accommodation ensures that travelers will find what they need within their price range. Most of Nepal's world-class luxury hotels are located in Pokhara and Kathmandu, catering to the every need of the discerning traveler and business person, while providing a base from which to explore the surroundings in day trips. Health spas and yoga retreats are also popular among city-dwelling holiday-makers looking for a break from the hustle and bustle of modern living. Mid-range and budget hotels are plentiful throughout Nepal, while families in remote areas welcome visitors into their homes to live as one of the family for the duration of their stay - an option which fits in well with trekking expeditions.
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