Category Archives: Kathmandu
While I was talking to her, she stopped the conversation for a while. She was enjoying the Ultra Light Flight circling the Sarangkot Hill. Even though she have seen it hundred times before this, but it never makes her bored. Getting ready to get to school, this 10 year old girl is among the kids living at Sarangkot Hill with her parents running guest house business. Meet Suraksha, speaks fluent in English, I can’t speak well in english when I was at her age. She walks about 30 minutes to reach her school, and it took about 1 hour going back to the hill.
I met these gentlemen on our road trip from Kathmandu to Pokhara. It was just near the roadside where people stop for toilet, tea or just to have some fresh air near the Trisuli River. By the time I got out from the car, I knew that I want to photograph them. But I took my time building up some confidence for both of us. He thought I was attracted with the lady who was nearby making local delicacy, the Sel Roti. Made of rice flour, deep fried to make crispy outer but puffy inside.
After spending few minutes photographing the lady and the food, I made my move to communicate with him. Mr. Dhurba, 36, is a lorry driver coming all the way from Kathmandu like us, heading further beyond Pokhara. I took a look at the lorry and quite surprise to find the interior look like you were sitting in our living room. It was well decorated. Accompanying with him is his assistance, Mr Raj, 51, who came to and join our conversation. After gained enough trust between us, I ask permission if I could take their portrait. Without hesitant they agreed to my request.
I was using Fujifilm X100S belong to a friend of mine during this trip. The classic appearance of the body makes other feel this was old camera and nothing serious about it, people feel more comfortable compared to the big black DSLR with its bulky lenses. Nowadays, people thinks that you make big money when you took photo with DSLR. I have been using Fujifim system more than 1 year and never thinking of turning back to other DSLR, this is there camera system that suits me well especially for travel.
The gondola lift transportation has always steal the eyes of its viewer who pass-by Cheres, Chitwan after about 104km journey from Kathmandu – Pokhara route. The Austria imported cable car system connecting between the Base Station (Cheres, Chitwant) to the Top Station (Manakamana, Gorkha). Here is the fees for the cable car.
At the top station, about 1302 above sea level lies the Mañanakamana Temple, a Hindu temple which pilgrimage bring goat to be sacrificed in a pavilion behind the temple. The name Manakamana originates from two words, “mana” meaning heart and “kamana” meaning wish.
As we walk around the village near the temple, we came across an elementary school slightly below the hill. There we found the Manakamana Hill Side Academy
All image are taken with Fujifilm X100S (Silver).
On our Day 2 of our trip in Nepal December 2014, after made a discussion with all members, we decided to go and find a mosque in Kathmandu. Alhamdullilah, we found 2 mosques (Nepali Masjid & Kashmiri Masjid) near Ghandahar, Kathmandu. We soon discover a boarding Islamic School in Nepali Masjid which added a bonus to this visit. Muslim in Nepal is only 4% of its total population. About 97% muslim living in Terai Region, while only 1% living in Kathmandu. According to the history, it was the Kashmiri traders who bring Islam into Kathmandu Valley in the 15th century during the regime of King Ratna Malla. Madrasa Islamiya School was established year 1996 B.S (1940 AD). Located just behind Nepali Masjid in Ghandahar, Kathmandu. The principal, Mr. Subhan Ali, 42, were very happy to bring us around the Madrasa. Unfortunately, there were no classes on Friday so we can’t experience the classrooms and the teachings.
We were introduced by a security guard to the principal of the Madrasa, Mr Subhan Ali, 42. He was very happy to bring us around the Madrasa.
As I explore the Madrasa, I found a kitchen where I met Mr Abdul Kadir preparing Dal Bhat for the student and teachers. I went inside the kitchen and spent some time to get to know them.
It was a good experience to have this opportunity to visit a Madrasa in Kathmandu and surely will make another visit if I ever step in Nepal in future.
Alhamdulillah, another trip to Nepal has been done just a month ago. Total of 6 pax including me, even though not as many as on my February trip, but there is no less the fun. This trip which I can consider too late to push in the beginning however has attracted 5 interested participant including one repeating participant from the February trip. For me, I never thought of visiting Nepal twice in a year. We spent 2 night in Bhaktapur, 2 Night Pokhara and 1 Night in Kathmandu.
The itinerary has been improved compared to February trip which we stayed 2 night in Bhaktapur instead of Kathmandu. I’m expecting more photo opportunity in Bhaktapur. Guide greeted us upon our arrival, we then to go Thamel for lunch before proceeding to Bhaktapur. It was already dark when we finally reach Bhaktapur but still we can see some people chanting outside the temple. On day 2 supposed to be our free activity the whole day at Bhaktapur, but after made a discussion with the group, we decided to go find a mosque in Kathmandu as well as the Monkey Temple. We made our way to Pokhara on Day 3 and stayed near the top of Sarangkot. On day 4 once again we ask our guide if we can find any mosque in Pokhara, boating at Phewa Lake in afternoon. Back to Kahtmandu on Day 5 where everybody exhausted of the long journey. The last day we went to Pashupatinath and did some last minute shopping before leaving to airport.
There will be several post to come next. By then, thanks to all participant of your trust, hope to see you again on other trip in future.
Bhaktapur is one of our destination during our recent trip to Nepal with my fellow friends. In 2012, I have spent much time with wide angle lens. Since established shot was not my aim for this trip, I decided to use only 1 lens looking for any chances for portrait.
On our way from Sarangkot down to Bhaktapur, a friend of me, Leanna Chong asking me if I dare exchange our camera. So she will be using my Fujifilm X-Pro1, and I will use Fujifilm X100. I have no hesitate to take that as a challenge.
I struggled for half an hour to understand how X100 works. A lot of guessing within the menus and finally I get the some basic understanding how does it working.Basic means to know simple setting like aperture, exposure, shooting modes, shutter speeds and ISO. I believe X100 provides a lot of features, but I don’t want to spent so much time and perhaps missed any potential shots along the way.
Swayambhunath, is among the oldest religious sites in Nepal. The complex consists of a stupa, a variety of shrines and temples. Swayambhunath is also known as the Monkey Temple as there are holy monkeys living in the north-west parts of the temple. From Thamel, it cost about Rs400 one way with tiny taxi ride. When you ride this kind of taxi, please don’t expect they will use the main road. When we use the taxi back in 2012, I felt like I was playing game which we run away from getting caught and there is an urgency to use your skills to go back side of the building passing local market, shops, residence area, temple, shops, and another temple and then the driver said, “Sir, this is Swayambhunath Stupa”.
“I think we were scammed, there is no temple here”. But thats before we see a staircase leading to the temple. The entrance is Rs200 per person.
I found this quote to express the experience climbing these steps:
“We were breathless and sweating as we stumbled up the last steep steps and practically fell upon the biggest vajra (thunder-bolt scepter) that I have ever seen.” – Allione, Women Of Wisdom.
Well this is true enough, one of our member even vomiting just about 5 minutes after reaching to the top.
These set of images was taken during my first visit in 2012 and my recent 2014.
Thank you for your time viewing this post.
This post is simply about collection of doors that attracts my interest during our recent travel photography trip. They came with various characteristic. Some with stricking colors, while other with seasoned feature. It can be just a simple doors like what we can see in our hometown. Doors with padlock are common in Nepal especially when visiting Bhaktapur & Patan.
I haven’t done any research about the doors role against local community here in Nepal but I suspect it must be related to Buddhism practice. The way they paint the doors with striking colors, amazingly detailed hand carved woods tells us how important the doors are related into their life. Only the windows and doors are mainly painted or decorated while the other part of the house or building left seasoned.
From photographic viewpoint, it is very easy to photograph the doors or windows. There is no need to deal with people so you don’t think about your life and death of asking people to photograph them. You can do it even with your phone’s camera. No special technique and if you like me, no need to carry any lighting equipment to get this done. Often time when travelling, I will pack as minimal as I could so that I don’t clutter my mind of taking care of my gears in my bag while moving around. The less the better.
These are my collection : Doors of Nepal
“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”
If you happened in Kathmandu and you have nothing in your plan for that day, I will suggest a visit to Boudhanath Stupa. The largest stupa in Nepal, ranked no. 3 interesting places to visit in Kathmandu written in Lonely Planet Travel Guide Book.
Located about 7km of east of the downtown Kathmandu, if you from Thamel, Kathmandu’s tourist spot, it cost you about Rs350 (in 2012) per way with a small, cramped sized taxi. It took about 15-20 minutes to reach here. Entrance fees applied at the gate with the cost of Rs150 per person.
Boudhanath is both an eye of calm within capital’s dusty pandemonium and a sancutary of Tibetan Buddhist culture amid a nation dominated by Nepal Hindus. Throughout its narrow streets, you can see posters of smiling Dalai Lama, Tibetan folk-medicine stores, traditional artisans’ workshops, and restaurants. It has been announced as World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 1979. Buddhists walk around the sacred monuments clockwise, the same direction a prayer wheel spins. The monasteries near the stupa have become a global centre of Tibetan Buddhism.
If you planned to make a visit, I suggest to go here arround 3-5pm. If you come earlier, the you will have all the time for visit all the shops inside, of have a cup of coffee or two at one of the roof top cafe surrounding the big stupa. I’m suggesting to visit at that time so that we are can target for the sunset and the blue hour. Well I don’t really mean that sunset but to have Boudhanath with nice golden layer at the edge of the horizon. During blue hour, when they started to lid the prayer candles and put it around the stupa is something not to be missed too. I didn’t manage to wait until all prayer candles fully completed arranged around the stupa, but for now, that will be in my “must-have” list on my next visit.