Nepal is back: ancient temples, mountains — and Bengal tigers

Tourists stayed away after the earthquake two years ago, but now adventurous holidaymakers are returning to this breathtaking country

Ruby-red rhododendron trees with trunks adorned with delicate white orchids line the path to the remote village of Panchase Bhanjyang. Below, the mountainside plunges to crop terraces and clearings with water buffaloes. Smoke rises from far-off dwellings. Luminous clouds scuttle across the valley, cooling us as we pause after our five-hour hike.

We are on the edge of the Annapurna region of mountains in central Nepal. Somewhere to the north is Fishtail mountain (Nepalese name: Machapuchare, 6,993m, or 22,942ft), which resembles a half-submerged fish descended from the heavens. Somewhere to the southeast is Everest (8,848m), the granddaddy of the Himalayas. All around, snow-capped peaks lurk behind clouds.

This is a mystical, soul-lifting place.

News Source: The Times

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