With 150'000 square kilometers and 30 million people, the area and the population of Nepal is 4 times that of Switzerland but 30 poorer than Switzerland. With a per capita gross national income per year less than 992 US $ according to the United Nations, Nepal ranges among the less developed countries.
Nepal is rich in geographical superlatives with 8 of the 10 highest mountains and stunning landscapes, extending from the tropical lowlands of the Terai on to the the hilly midland and to the high mountains of the Himalayas with Mt. Everest (8848m).
The great potential of hydropower-electricity unfortunately is largely diverted to neighboring countries, so that there usually is significant shortage of power supply on most oft he days.
Almost 80% of the 28 million Nepalese people live outside major urban areas in often hard-to-reach communities in rural or mountainous regions.
The traffic links are completely insufficient. Rail links are missing apart from a short distance at the indian border. Buses -most of them in breakneck technical condition- run only on the main roads, which also are in desolate conditions. The remaining distances must be bridged off-road with SUV's or be managed on foot.
Ethnically and culturally Nepal is a "mosaic of minorities" with a variety of different languages and dialects. Caste system and gender discrimination are widely distributed.
Religion determines the rhythm of life. 80% of the population are Hindus and there are more godess to worship than days in a year. The most important festival lasting 8-10 days ist he Dashain Festival honouring the Hindu deity of Shakati.
The education system is desolate in particular in the rural areas. Illiteracy is over 75% mostly among females. Many foreign experts voluntarily are involved as teachers in schools and in the few universities.
Health care is insufficiently developed, which is reflected in an average life expectancy of about 68 years.
What appears to the tourists as a paradise, is a country with enormous economic and political problems.
Main pillars of the economy in Nepal are small agricultures and tourism. An important economic pillar might be also the hydro power for electricity. Almost 40% of the population lives below the poverty line.
After the civil war and abolition of the monarchy in 2007, the conflicting parties in the "Parliamentary Republic" have not yet succeeded in adopting a Constitution. Confidence in policy is fading and tax evasion and corruption are part of lifestyle in this wonderful country.