One of the most remarkable aspects of Nepal is the history and culture that shaped the present-day South Asian country. History buffs will be delighted with the jewels of knowledge that lie beyond what meets the eye. From the ancient Newar kingdom to the Nepal Sambat Calendar, Nepal has a diverse background. As the birthplace of Buddhism, it’s a renowned spiritual destination. A mixture of mountains, hills, plains and marshy grasslands with intertwining rivers, the country features a diverse terrain. The mountainous region, in the north, is Nepal’s claim to fame. The Great Himalayan Range contains the highest altitudes in the world-including Mount Everest, located on the border of Tibet. For the avid trekker, Nepal is a playground. With arduous trails and high altitudes-plus white water rafting-Nepal has an adventure for everyone. And when you get off the trails, there’s a whole city to explore. Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu, promises one-of-akind sights and scenes. Live like a local and bathe in the Bagmati River or watch the monkeys do so at Swayambhunath, a religious temple complex atop a hill at the Kathmandu Valley. Here you’ll find the Monkey Temple, where holy monkeys inhabit a temple in the northwest part of the complex. A sacred site that boasts killer views of the capital city, Swayambhunath is a site not to be missed. After checking out a few local gems, shop in the small markets sprinkled across Kathmandu. Pick up treasured gifts such as exquisite jewelry, Newari woodcrafts and exotic spices and teas. After a long, exciting day of shopping, there is only one thing left to do: enjoy a nice dinner, of course. From five-star cuisine to sidewalk cafe fare, finding a scrumptious meal is never an issue. Drop into the neighborhood cafes, where tourists intermingle with locals over highly acclaimed Malaysian cuisine. Stay awhile and you will find yourself chatting with a monk or an eager-eyed world-traveler.