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Nepal is a densely-populated country in South Asia. People speak Nepali along with Maithili, Bhojpuri, Tharu, and Tamang. The terrain includes lowland plains, savannahs, forests, and mountains. Climate conditions are variable, and Nepal is in fact susceptible to negative effects of climate change. The daphne is considered the national bird, and there are also pharping catfish, Bengal tigers, and crab-eating mongoose among many other types of wildlife. Agriculture, hydropower, and tourism are all crucial to Nepal's economy. While in Nepal, some amazing Buddhist structures to see include Bodhnath Stupa or Nyatapola Temple in Bhaktapur, the tallest in the country, as well as the World Heritage Site and Monkey Temple of Swayambhunath. There are even more in Patan across Durbar Square from the Royal Palace, if you want to totally binge on Newari architecture. Rice and dumplings are common forms of starch, and ramen noodles and loaves of bread have become popular as an effect of globalization. Buckwheat, barley, and millet are popular grains that can be eaten in porridge form. Typical vegetables include green beans, cauliflower, cabbage, greens like mustard or spinach, okra, and Nepali radish. Some fruits grown in the hills are mandarin orange, kaffir lime, Asian pear, and bayberry. Buffalo, goat, chicken, and fish are frequently eaten, and fried tofu or cottage cheese can sometimes be eaten in their place. Dal bhat tarkari is essentially the Nepali national dish. It contains a lentil soup served over a grain such as rice with vegetable curry and accompanied by chutneys and/or a condiment known as achaar or pickle. There is lots of local and Indian vegetarian cuisine and even Mexican, Chinese, or Tibetan in larger cities. You can even eat organic Nepalese food or drink organic juice, or pick up natural foods provisions in Kathmandu. Try butter tea, which is made by mixing butter or ghee and salt into strong tea, and usually also mixed with tsampa flour (from toasted grain) for an on-the-go drink. For something stronger, visit the Newars in the Kathmandu Valley and try some of their tho (homemade rice beer) or aela (distilled liquor). Yee haw!