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Kathmandu

Kathmandu is an assault on your senses. If an assault can be a good thing, that is…

I first visited Nepal in 2001. I went to visit for 3 weeks, and ended up staying for almost a year. Such is the magnetic draw of the place! It’s safe to say I’ve been back many times, and each time there is a new smell, taste or sound I haven’t experienced before, and which I look forward to portraying in a photograph.

Each time that kaleidoscope takes hold of me, and I get lost in the best possible way.


© Samantha Reinders

© Samantha Reinders

In fact, getting lost is almost always an intention of mine when my plane soars over the teeming city, and we come in to land at the bumpy Tribhuvan airport. There are maps, of course, but the best way to explore the city during our Kathmandu Valley Photo Tour is on foot (camera in hand!), and sans any help.

Just stroll.

Stop to take a photograph. Have a cup of tea or a momo. And stroll some more.

Alleyways will take you through courtyards filled with kids playing badminton, down narrow paths with maroon-robed monks giggling in unison and past markets busy with the trade of candles or carrots or colourful sari’s. The centuries-old stones you’re stepping on were used by pilgrims over the ages… Incense wafts from homes and shops and the sweet smell of tea lingers on the steam escaping from the hidden teashops that are sometimes no bigger than your dining room table. Stop, drink tea…you won’t regret it!


© Samantha Reinders

The faint sound of chanting on repeat – “Om Mani Padme Hum” – soaks it all. We’ll photograph and explore the vast amounts of temples that we trip over– each overflowing with stories, mystery and intrigue enough for a book alone. There are the bigger temples such as Boudhanath, Swayambunath, Pashputinath – but I often marvel at the smaller ones, hidden amongst vendors at a busy intersection or in and amongst rickshaw drivers, who are napping on their kitted out bicycles in the afternoon sun. You’ll watch people walk past, simply touch the deity in question, touch their head, and move on…

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© Samantha Reinders

© Samantha Reinders

© Samantha Reinders

The Kathmandu valley is made up of 3 ancient cities; Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur. Each destination has its own distinct energy, its own beauty and its own story. Whilst on our Kathmandu Valley Photo Tour, we’ll explore and photograph all three ancient cities – visiting the artisans of Patan in their small shops, chiseling out metal Ganesh’s or chipping away at giant wooden Buddha statues. In Bhaktapur – where the pace is slower – we’ll explore the even narrower alleyways, visit potters and watch how modern life here hasn’t really changed much over the millennia.


© Samantha Reinders

If ever there was a place to explore with a camera, it is Kathmandu. The beauty of our Kathmandu photography tour is to be encouraged to get lost in the exoticness of it all – but I will always be there to find you! I will guide you through the famed Hindu temples and Buddhist stupas and show you the smaller hidden gems. We’ll drink tea with locals and discuss how to make those iconic images different and special. There’s an art to making the experience, smells, tastes and sounds tangible. That’s what we’ll learn during our Kathmandu Valley Photo Tour.


© Samantha Reinders

© Samantha Reinders

© Samantha Reinders

What about the earthquake, I hear you ask? Hasn’t much of this beauty been destroyed? Is it safe? The truth is the earthquake did do much damage to some of the buildings and temples. But restoration is in progress and we can safely still do and see just about everything. A disaster of that magnitude changes a city – for sure. But I’ve been back several times and the kaleidoscope continues unabated within that change. There is still more than you can ever dream of capturing on your camera (and no doubt, in your heart).

I look forward to taking you to experience and photograph the magnetic allure of Kathmandu!

Namaste,
Sam