The best time of year for photography in Nepal? – Christmas Day in Pokhara

by Dave from The Longest Way Home ~ December 25th, 2007. Updated on February 8th, 2011. Published in: Travel blog » Nepal.

Travel Journal Overview: Travel, hangovers, and Christmas. I was doing okay. Sometimes such things are what you need to give you a kick in the butt. It worked. Now I was on a mission again.

Boat on Lake Phewal Tal, Pokhara, Nepal (click to enlarge)

Hazy Fishing Boat on Lake Phewal Tal, Pokhara, Nepal (click to enlarge)

Waking up on Christmas day with a hangover is not all that uncommon. Though I will admit that either Nepal Ice Beer or the Nepalese wine really is not good the day after. The weather was outside was changing and although the clouds were not that thick, the views were hazy.

Spending Christmas alone while traveling can be a non event, or a raucous party. This was going to be the latter. Pokhara was quite. Maybe everyone had a hangover? As usual when alone at Christmas I saw mainly couples walking together with bright rosy cheeks. An odd solo did appear, before scuffling off into hiding.

I ran into Peter and we agreed to meet with the Swiss couple at a fancy restaurant later for a big western style Christmas dinner.

Nepalese Lady heading to town

Nepalese Lady heading to town

I had been holding off on visiting the world peace stupa until today. It was a backup in case of a lack of excitement. It was already the afternoon as I hired the rowing boat and rower to take me across the lake. My late lunch was meant to give me an early evening mountain view from the stupa. Instead I looked up from the lake and saw a waft of dark cloud begin to hug around the mountain range. The rower seemed intent on pointing at the stupa and telling me of the bandits there in the evening.

I looked up at the dark swirl around the main mountain peeks, then looked over at the lower hazy peaks. For over a year I had planned to be in Nepal at this time of the year. The LP, and every other source had said that this was coldest, yet clearest time of the year to see and photograph the mountains. It wasn’t this year. Was it climate change? Or bad luck?

All the locals told me was that the best time to see mountains was November. I began to think back on the short cuts I had taken just to get here on time. Olympus, North Pakistan, further into India. It was not worth dwelling on. I was about to head up to over 17,000 feet in the winter. It would be my consolation prize.

A collection of Tibetan singing bowls in Nepal

A collection of Tibetan singing bowls in Nepal

The little boat man pointed again at the stupa. Even that was dull and mist covered. As we reached the shore I told him to take me back to lakeside again. It wasn’t worth the effort.

I met Peter on the way back to the hotel. He was on his was to meet the Swiss couple at the Busy Bee. I said I would catch up with him at the restaurant at 7.30 after a shower. Unfortunately at 8pm they still weren’t at the Busy Bee. I imagined they were still drinking. The thought of a second night of Alcohol did not interest me so I went back to the hotel.

Hazy Mountains in Nepal

Hazy Mountains in Nepal

Chubby was there, so I made an excuse of not being out on Christmas night by saying I had to call people on the phone. I also agreed to take one of his guides for the 29th. I was going to be on a mountain for New Year’s and not in a town.

Subnote: for those wondering when the best time for photography in Nepal is … Well, these days with the climate the way it is, it’s hard to say for sure. However, Sept-Nov are still haze free in Nepal in general. After that the dust kicks up. In April, sometimes cloudy, sometimes crystal clear. Check out my Nepal Guide below for more information

Some related links on this website that  you might like: (including a lot more photographs from Nepal)

Stories: Talika the twelve year old miner from Nepal

Stories: NGO’s in Nepal & Developing Countries

Resources: How to Guide – Nepal to Tibet Overland

Resources: How to hire a guide in Nepal

Nepal Travel Guide

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