22. Nepal: Tourism, the silent killer

Before coming to Nepal I was curious, full of enthusiasm and energy to see the country that I’ve always dreamed of. Now, when I think about our experience I think I expected way too much. During 1,5 a month we’ve seen good and bad sides of Nepal. The most disappointing is that because of tourism, which is the main income of the country, Nepal lost its cultural purity and became very commercialised. Because of that the relationship between the locals and tourists became a business with no place for honesty and hospitality. Be prepared for being cheated or being treated like a walking wallet. I’m sure the recent earthquake and gas & petrol crisis influenced the people but something tells me that it’s not the only reason people are like that.

The other thing is the alcohol. Easy accessible is the main entertainment of Nepalese men, destroys families and creates a domestic violence. In the country with many economical problems it should be limited otherwise people will use it as an escape from problems, like now. If you marry Nepalese man don’t expect you will be the only one. Having a girlfriend on the side is very common and even if the wife knows she usually can’t do anything as divorces are very uncommon. In Nepal you can never sleep as long as you want as the people wake up with the first song of the rooster ready to storm the streets and make as much noise as possible. So ear plugs are highly recommended.

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Holy cows on every corner

Pollution in Kathmandu and Pokhara is terrible along with dust and sand filling the air. If I ever come back there I will definitely buy a mask. Nepalese food wasn’t really impressive, after few weeks of eating Dal bhat we were really fed up and dreamed of something different than rice and lentiles. As most of women are house wifes they usually take their time cooking dinner for half of the day while for us it would take one hour. So patience, lots of patience. Although Nepal supposed to be a country of backpackers we didn’t meet many real travellers which was kind of disappointing. Our trek in Himalayas was amazing but because of hordes of tourists it has lost its magical atmosphere and uniqueness.

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Kajal- black pencil make up will make eyes beautiful in the future

Right, now maybe something positive. Besides so many disadvantages the nature of Nepal makes up for all of them. The wildlife, greenery and mountains are the most beautiful part but even the farmlands and wet rice fields have incredible beauty in them as well. As the rules in the country are more relaxed it’s easier to explore the jungle and national parks by yourself without booking expensive jeep safaris. Making your own business is much easier than in Europe although the corruption can be a problem from time to time. The medieval architecture of Nepal is really impressive and makes you want to go back in time when the country was in its prime.

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Popular bamboo-clay huts on the west of Nepal

The most beautiful thing about the people is their simplicity of life. They don’t need much to be happy and they create everything they need from nature’s gifts. You can especially see it on the west where people live in bamboo huts, surrounded by animals. Their strong bond with the nature and local community is amazing. In the village everyone knows everyone so you can feel like in one big family. I really hope I will have a chance to learn more about Buddhism culture as so far our experience with Buddhists was great, their kindness and peaceful nature really has inspired us to be better human beings.

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Technology isn’t necessary. Nepalese girls cutting the grass by hands

All in all, Nepal without doubt taught us patience, strenght, understanding and humility with facing all the cultural differences. We had few tough lessons during our stay there but it only made us stronger and aware that resisting the culture is pointless. Referring to our ‘wabisabi’ philosophy only when you accept all the differences you can find the beauty in every single thing and enjoy the country itself. In the end we are leaving Nepal with sweet & sour taste in our mouth but definitely a hunger for more as during 1,5 a month we didn’t have a chance to fully explore and appreciate the country.

 

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nepal
Our route in Nepal
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