Updated: Jan 7
Nepal is a country that is imperfect and beautiful at the same time. Apart from the stunning Himalayas, has nothing that the Western world would desire. But, somehow, has something that we will probably never have: contentment.
When thinking about Nepal, probably most of the people will have one thing in mind: the Himalayas. However, even if trekking in the Himalayas is on our to do list as well, Nepal has many other things to offer and one of the most important would be: learning how to be happy with what you have.
Even if it is one of the poorest countries in the world, it didn`t feel so over there.'
Usually, the countries that are poor are not safe at all and people try to steal, cheat, beg or just simply revenge on people that belong to more wealthy countries. Look at some of the countries in Africa, South America and even Bangladesh, which is just around the corner.
But Nepal is different.
In Nepal you feel sad, but safe. In Nepal you feel empathy, because people don`t ask for anything. In Nepal you feel bad about possessing something and not being happy whereas people over there don`t possess anything and yet, they are happy in their own way.
Nepal is country where we felt serenity in people`s eyes more than anywhere in the world.
As if enough wasn`t enough, the earthquake that hit in 2015 destabilized the country even further.
Sadly, now, few years after the earthquake, Nepal still failed to recover. Partisan squabbling, the absence of a local government and ineffective international aid are just a few of the causes.
However, even if it is hard from the outside to change the government of a country, we believe that simply visiting Nepal and increasing the number of tourists will, at least, help a bit the Nepalese.
Although we have both been to Nepal, we went separately, but we experienced the same feel and we went to the same places, mainly Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and the surroundings.
First of all, don`t expect any luxury, no matter where you stay. Even the "luxurious" hotels experience electricity shortfall or water shortfall regularly and if you use and Airbnb just assume that it`s going to be low standards.
However, we really recommend staying with a local or using a local guesthouse as these things really help the people over there.
Unfortunately, I stayed in Soaltee Crowne Plaza hotel because I went there several times in layovers with my airline back then, but Ion stayed with a local through Airbnb.
The name of the Nepali host is Suraj and he has Tintin`s Backpackers Room which can be found on Airbnb. Although the conditions are the ones typical in Nepal, Suraj is a very friendly and warm host and his place has a lot of good reviews.
When to go
Peak season: October - November ( clear skies and warm days )
Second peak season: March - April
Low season: June - September ( monsoon )
However, winter is not that cold and the visibility is pretty good as well, so if you don`t go trekking, December to February is also good.
What to see
We both love shooting and taking pictures, so, especially if you like street photography and portrait photography, Nepal is a heaven.
Apart from this, several places that you might like to visit in Kathmandu are: Durbar Square, Swayambhunath Temple, Pashupatinath Temple, Kasthamandap or Boudhanath Shrine. Luckily, Kathmandu is a pretty small city and most of them are within walking distance from each other.
If you would like to get outside of Kathmandu, Bhaktapur town could be a good idea or simply going to see the Kathmandu Valley from a hill in the Northern part of the city.
Another trip that I really liked in particular was going to Nagarkot village to see the Himalayas during the sunrise. I did this trip in January and the visibility was just great!
There are a lot of tourism agencies around Kathmandu and you could always just step in and ask for transportation to one of the places around the city. People are very nice and friendly and always willing to help. Apart from that, it is pretty cheap as well!
For a bit of an adventure, you could also take the local bus.
What to expect
Expect low accommodation standards, electricity or water shortfalls and on some days maybe not being able to shower at all.
Expect nice people, a lot of authenticity and amazing scenery ( The Himalayas ).
Expect low prices in everything and low standards as well. People over there are doing everything they can but sometimes they don`t meet the Western standards.
Do bring with you some USD cash but you can also find ATMs around Kathmandu.
For more inspiration, feel free to have a look at our gallery.
Gear used: Olympus OM-D M5 ( 25 mm and 75 mm ) for photography and Samsung NX-1 (16-55s mm ) for the video above.