I’ve been posting bits from this one on the blog over the past several months, but finally, here’s much more from my amazing trip to Nepal last fall. I spent a day in Kathmandu’s Thamel district before flying to Lukla with Bastola, my awesome guide, and making a quick trek to Namche Bazaar and the gorgeous Sagarmatha National Park, including some spectacular views of Mount Everest. From Lukla, I flew to Pokhara and spent another day exploring the lakeside town, hanging out with the adorable kids of my guide’s brother-in-law’s family, taking a boat trip out on Phewa Lake, and watching the sun rise over the Annapurna Mountain Range from Sarangkot the following morning.
After flying back to Kathmandu, I spent another day exploring the city, venturing out to historic city of Bhaktapur, climbing up to Swayambunath Temple, and spending some time at Pashupatinath Temple, where I happened to witnessed a Hindu cremation on the banks of the Bagmati river before heading back to the Airport and China.
Hope you enjoy!
The view from the guesthouse I stayed in while in Kathmandu. I loved being able to get up before dawn, sit at a table in the garden and slowly watch the town come alive.
People walking on a hazy morning in the Thamel district of Kathmandu.
Hanging out in the Kathmandu airport and waiting for my flight toLukla.
View from my seat of the town of Lukla as we were landing.
Playing Uno with some fellow travelers in Phakding Village on the way to Namche Bazaar.
Heading up towards Everest on one of many cable suspension bridges over the Dudh Kosi river.
Passing a Cow (or Yak.. or Cow-Yak hybrid) on the trail :)
Looking at the Himalayas and Everest from Namche Bazaar.
Panorama of Namche Bazaar and the Kongde Ri peak in the background.
Heading back towards Lukla. Last glimmer of the sunset on the mountains.
Had some delicious pastries from this German Bakery. Also, a Yak.
A glimpse of the Himalayas from our plane on the way back to Kathmandu.
In Pokhara, the sunset on top of the Annapurna Mountain range from Phewa Lake.
Met Ishwor, the proprietor of a T-Shirt & Embroidery place in Pokhara and chatted with him about running a business for a bit :)
The view over Lake Phewa, Pokhara and the valley from the Peace Pagoda in the pre-dawn hours. What a view.
What a sunrise :)
The long walk back down to Phewa Lake from the Peace Pagoda.
Before heading out to Sarangkot for the evening, I spent some time hanging out with Narayan (my guide’s brother-in-law) and his family in Pokhara.
Completely normal occurance, just a bull heading on some important bovine business in Pokhara.
Sunset view from Sarangkot across the lake to the other side and the Peace Pagoda.
Back in Kathmandu, I spent some time walking around the historic city of Bhaktapur. Here’s a view of the five-storied Nyatapola Temple in Durbar Square.
Bus travel on the main ring road around Kathmandu.
Heading to the Pashupatinath Temple complex through the market, I saw this group of people heading in the opposite direction, no idea that there was a young Bull behind them who decided they were going a bit too slow. Hilarity ensued.
While at Pashupatinath, I witnessed a human cremation on the Ghat of the Bagmati river that runs throughout Nepal, eventually draining into the Ganges at the city of Varanasi in India.
Last fall, I was able to spend some time in China (check out some photos from my adventures in Beijing) and Nepal. Of course, I’ve been sharing my photos in reverse order, so I’ll keep that trend going today. On my last day in Nepal, after I returned from trekking in Sagarmatha National Park, I was able to to spend a bit more time walking around Kathmandu. I somehow managed to finally walk up to see one of the holiest sites in Buddhism, the Swayambhunath Stupa, or, due to the large number of rhesus monkeys who make the temple their home, as it’s more widely know, the Monkey Temple.
It’s quite a sight to behold. A steady stream of pilgrims ascended the stairs and began to walk (or more specifically, circumambulate) around the Stupa in a clockwise direction while running their hands over the many prayer wheels built into the walls, while many others performed other Buddhist and Hindu ceremonies in many shrines surrounding the main Stupa, all as crowds of tourists from every corner of the world milled about, taking photos, praying, trying to avoid getting relieved of the contents of their pockets by the monkeys or even trying to figure out where exactly they were and how to find the right stairs to make it back to to their starting point.
Instead of capturing all of that frenzy, I thought I’d try to see if I could get a bit of the mood of the place instead.
Several months ago, I had the chance to visit Beijing for a couple of days as part of a two week trip to China and Nepal. I only had a couple of days to spend in Beijing, but was lucky enough to find a Hostel to stay at right in the Dongcheng district in downtown Beijing, so I had a bit of time to walk around and experience a little bit of the city.
My hostel was located in one of the hutongs in downtown, so once I figured out how to not get completely lost, I was able to walk around a bit and see the tiny shops and houses in and around the small alleyways cris-crossing downtown Beijing.
Taking in a view of the Forbidden City after sunset.
I love walking around with no discernible goal – of course, in this case, I was thoroughly lost once again, but I’ve found that to be the most interesting way of exploring a new city anyway :)
Simplicity among the city jumble.
I found the Dong Hua Men Food Market :) I don’t think I’ve ever seen this many varieties of things-on-a-stick. I’m pretty sure I had snake on a stick, followed by snake skin on a stick, followed by some sort of dessert..on a stick.
Temple of Heaven Park – beautiful, eerily quiet and incredibly serene. At least somewhat due to the fact that it was two hours after sunset, freezing cold and windy.
Some breakdancing practice outside the Wangfujing Cathedral.
On my last day, I was finally able to take a drive out to see a part of the Great Wall in Mutianyu.
First and most importantly, to all the awesome couples who took a chance and let me in to document their amazing stories last year, thank you!
I was fortunate to have had an incredible 2012. I photographed some amazing weddings, proposals, engagements and many other interesting events, met lots of wonderful people along the way, traveled to some of the most breathtaking parts of the world and hopefully, learned something along the way to help me make 2013 even better.
Here’s a look back at 2012.
2013, bring it on!