NEPAL BECKONS

Ambassador invites Filipinos to visit the ‘top of the world’

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(From left) Embassy of Nepal Second Secretary Prem Raj Gautam, ‘The Manila Times’ President and CEO Dante Ang 2nd, Consul Jose Paulo Campos, Nepal Ambassador to Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines Niranjan Man Singh Basnyat and Suhitas Pharmaceuticals president Sudarshan Khadka
PHOTOS BY ROGER RAÑADA

To go to the “top of the world” at least once in a lifetime should be in the bu­cket list of travelers, especially those who know geography and breathtaking sights.

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Known as a republic in the Himalayas where the highest peak in the world—Mount Everest—is located, Nepal was devastated by a 7.8-magnitude earthquake on April 25,2015. Another 7.3 magnitude earthquake followed just 17 days later, causing further damage and suffering for those who had survived the initial disaster especially in the capital city of Kathmandu.

But the resilience of the Nepalese people has been evident with the rebuilding of lives and their country just months after the catastrophe. In September, leaders and stakeholders of Nepal tourism held a press conference at the Bengalore Press Club announcing that “surveys conducted have shown that tourism infrastructure has suffered relatively little damage and Nepal is open and safe for travel and tourism.”

Help from international organizations poured and infrastructure has been rebuilt, even better.

“But this translates to nothing if there are few people coming,” Nepal Ambassador to Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines Niranjan Man Singh Basnyat told The Manila Times and some visitors during a cocktail tendered by Honorary Consul Jose Paulo Campos on July 13 at the Pearl Manila Hotel.

Attended by Nepalese nationals residing in the Philippines, travel agency owners and The Manila Times President and CEO Dante Ang 2nd , the ambassador asked those present to spread the word that Nepal has lined up activities worthy of a tourist’s visit and money.

Ambassador Basnyat talks about the unique Nepalese hospitality

For Filipinos, a visa can be obtained upon arrival at the Tribhuyan International Airport in Kathmandu or thru the Manila consulate office at the 8th floor of The Pearl Manila Hotel.

Basnyat particularly emphasized about Lumbini, in the southern part of the country, as a pilgrimage spot as it’s been established as the birthplace of Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism.

Another unique culture of the Nepalese which tourists or people from other cultures find amusing is the living goddess—the Kumari Devi—believed to be the incarnation of fearsome Hindu goddess Durga. The child, usually chosen at age 5 and ceases to be one at age 15 for the transfer of power – understands people’s wishes and grants them.

The ambassador and consul encourage Filipinos to visit Nepal. They assure the place is safe and people are kind and hospitable. One visitor also told The Manila Times that a budget of US $2,000 can in fact stretch up to six months if one chooses to live like the Nepalese.

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