9 Things I Loved in Nepal [that aren’t Mt. Everest]

Nepal was a surprisingly amazing country. It was also probably my favorite to photograph. Everything from the scenery, to the architecture, to the people, it was absolutely beautiful. We primarily stayed in Kathmandu, and never got to see Nepal’s claim to fame, Mount Everest, but the things we saw inspired us and changed us. So here’s a few of my favorite things!

9. Karma Coffee

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I stumbled upon this coffee shop in a hidden complex between yoga studios and restaurants. It was the most chill place I’ve ever enjoyed a cup of coffee. It was simple and tasty, and my bill was whatever I wanted it to be. The regular brewed coffee was a “pay as you please” system. [My latte had a set price however.] It felt like I was part of the family when I walked in, and the Himalayan brew was wonderful.

8. Random Cows

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When visiting a Hindu nation, always be on the lookout for some random cows in random places.

7. The Graffiti

In most places I would complain about the graffiti, but in Kathmandu it just adds to the city’s character. Sometimes it’s artistic and sometimes it’s political. But it’s always colorful and impossible to ignore.

6. Momo’s

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Again, food makes an appearance on my list of favorites. Momo’s in Nepal are dumplings in most places. And SO GOOD. They are the simplest, most basic, food to try in Nepal. In fact, when I first asked my waiter at a momo was, he looked at me like I had 4 heads. I think it would be like a foreigner asking an American what chicken nuggets are. Momos can be steamed, or fried, or even half steamed & half fried, my personal favorite. They are stuffed with delicious meat or veggies. We may have eaten these every day. My world may have stopped turning though, when I discovered a Chimi-momo at The Lazy Gringo. This Arizona-style Mexican restaurant in Kathmandu [Jawalakel] is to die for. What’s a chimimomo? It’s a dumpling made with a fluffy gordita style breading, stuffed with shredded chicken, salsa, and cheese. I’d go back to Nepal just for these.

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5. Sadhu

These holy men seen around prominent Hindu temples are iconic Nepal. With their bare feet, painted faces, and forlorn expressions, the Sadhus will stop you in your tracks. These men have left all material possessions behind to live a life of holiness. I will never forget these encounters.

4. Road Trip to Tibet

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Again, this moment was covered in another blog post, but this 7 hour drive [each way] through the muddy foothills of the Himalayas was an incredible adventure. We got out of the city and into “real Nepal”. What a moment. And just look for a moment at the size of the vehicle in which we accomplished this adventure. I say it’s a miracle.

3. Durbar Square

Patan Durbar Square entrance

Patan Durbar Square entrance

This plaza was a photographer’s dream. The buildings were traditional Newari architecture and it was packed full of life. In another blog post, I recounted more the square and it’s significance to Nepal’s culture and religion. But wow, this place was amazing to see and experience.

2. Those Mountains Though

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OK, this is a post about things in Nepal that aren’t Mount Everest, but I have to talk about these mountains! I’m from Florida. I only know really flat land. As a child I vacationed in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina, and I’ve seen the Rockies in Colorado once. But these mountains though. And we were there during the  “monsoon season” which meant a lot of fog, and little visibility. So even my view of the mountains wasn’t complete. Guess I’ll just have to go back someday.

1. The Colors [of Everything]

Nepal is THE MOST colorful place I’ve ever seen, ever photographed. From the clothing, to the buildings, to the vehicles, there isn’t a dull color in sight. At first it was visually assaulting, like I didn’t know where to focus. But then I started to relish it. I started to see life move about in high contrast vivid technicolor.

So now you can probably see why I loved photographing Nepal! It’s incredible, and I hope you get it to experience too!

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