Northern India's kinder, gentler cousin, Nepal is a true Himalayan kingdom. Sharing Everest, the Earth's highest mountain, on its northern border, and with seven more 8,000m (26,246 ft) peaks sprinkled around the country, Nepal has the best trekking in the world. Sitting in a bowl of Himalayan mountain peaks, the capital Kathmandu is surely one of the world's most fascinating cities. For decades it has served as a hub for a multicoloured mix of travellers, trekkers, and hippies from around the world, and in its famous Durbar Square, every day a theatre of Hindu and Buddhist traditions plays out. The warm Nepali people themselves are a study in Buddhism: often very poor, yet sure to beat you to a smile.