What makes you feel familiar while traveling in a foreign country? Imagine a place where you can use CNY and communicate in Chinese, and more importantly, you can be greeted by the local people with smiles, with price-marked goods in stores that give Chinese tourists 50% off. It is Nepal, a hot place for Chinese tourists.
You don’t need to worry about the communication barrier in Nepal because Chinese is quite prevalent there. Liu, one member of our tour group, didn’t get a visa at home and she had to apply for an arrival visa. After Liu arrived at the Katmandu International Airport, she immediately looked for a visa window, but nobody was there when she finally found one. Then Liu asked a nearby staff for help. She explained what happened to her in poor English, but surprisingly, the staff told her in standard Chinese that the visa officer was off duty, and suggested Liu to get her visa at another window. After everything was done, Liu chuckled to herself at the presence of Chinese language in Nepal.
Chinese language is also quite prevalent in Nepal. Not only the workers at the airport, tour guides and hotel owners but the kids in the urban villages are able to greet Chinese tourists by saying “你好!” or “谢谢!”. The peddlers in Nepal are the ones that speak the most fluent Chinese. They will welcome Chinese tourists by saying “进来看看，不买没关系，看看不要钱。”(Come in and take a look. Looking costs nothing.) or “这里都是批发价，老板也很帅。(Goods are cheap and the boss is handsome.)” That makes you feel like shopping back home,.
CNY is well-accepted in Nepal. The hotel we stayed in was in an alley of Katmandu, with a lively morning market in front. A young man was selling fresh and cheap fruits from his bicycle. I picked up some apples but then I realized that I didn’t have the local money. Noticing my awkwardness, the young man took out one dollar and one CNY, reminding me that both kind of money were accepted. A single peddler can accepting CNY indicates the great popularity of CNY in Nepal.
Nepal, a great agricultural country, is less developed in commerce without duty-free shops at all. All the shopping is done among the stalls in streets and lanes or the always mobile vendors. But the stalls or vendors are always marked with Chinese characters that read “便宜，收人民币。(Cheap. CNY accepted)”
Behind this common presenceof Chinese culture is the long-standing friendship between China and Nepal. Fa Hian, eminent monk of the Jin Dynasty and Xuanzang of the Tang Dynasty both arrived at Lumbini, the birth place of Buddha Sakyamuni; The Nepal princess got married with Srongtsen Gampo from Tibet; What’s more, Anika, Nepal’s famous craftsman came to China to supervise the building of the Beijing Baita Temple. All of these artists and craftsmen have witnessed the friendship between China and Nepal.