Nepal is land-locked, yet it has a port - a "dry port". This is a railway goods terminal just inside the border where sealed transit goods from third countries bound for Nepal arrive by a weekly train from Diamond Harbour outside Kolkatha. It is a huge area and spotlessly kept and safeguarded. There is no public access. We got in for sightseeing with a little bit of gentle persuation and with a guard as guide, we being very benign. If you send a packet "by land" to an overseas destination it goes through here on container.
This was the best place where I ate in Birganj. The upside is the cleanliness, good menus, good food and comfortable seating, either in an open area or small lounges.
The downside was a blearing TV, made worse by some kind of karaoke video equipment attached to it that was turned up high whenever somebody requested a special song. Very loud. Try to sit at the margins.
Favorite Dish: We had a wide selection of fairly traditional Indian and Nepalese food. Excellent, all of it. Thay claim expertise in Chinese cooking as well. I cannot tell, but if you're on the daal bhat trail, better try some thing else here for a change!
You will find a wide variety of street vendors peddling their food to travellers. By rumor - I couldn't sample enough to qualify - the Birganj food is below that of sekuwa capital nepalganj. nevertheless it was pretty good stuff and great variety. Watch for food hygiene, veggie pakrodas should certainly be ok.
There are many small ramshacle street restaurants in the outskirts of Birganj's truck and metal workshop areas near the border crossing and main truck routes. These are romantic hotels where a man/men can eat and be served by a lady who will engange in pleasant conversation and perhaps more upon request. These are a result of the strict conditions in neighbouring Hindutva-conservative Bihar. The restaurants are not necessarily brothels, but can be eating-looking-talking only. In any case you will get less than you pay for and I rather recommend a central restaurant in Birganj for your meals instead.
If you take the road east from Birganj centre and try to approximate parallel the Indian border, you end up where the recent clashes between pro-maoists and pro-lowlander (Madheshis) clashed in January. This is bara District, with the notorious district capital Kalayia. I was there a month before the clashes happened and the mood was weird; the maoists had all but fled and the pro-Madheshis had taken over the grafitti tagging where the Mao comrades had left off. The army was confined to a couple of camps, and generally the situation was tense, apprehensive.
This part of Nepal is the bread basket and fields carry three crops a year provided there is peace and irrigation and access to agricultural inputs. The Terai is beautiful, and the rural Parsa, Bara and Rautahat districts are no less beautiful that the rest. It will be a while before the tourism here takes off (if ever?). Along canals, ponds, lakes and rivers, many waterbirds are to be seen.
Even if the road conditions are terrible, it is well worth taking a breif excursion into the Terai heartland and see for yourself. Safety is so-so; there is much dacoity from the Indian side. We also crossed the border and wee-weed in India and came back. Mission accomplished!