Winter is wonderful in the Himalayas. The days are rich in sunshine and the weather is dry, both in Kathmandu Valley and in the Annapurnas. It's always a surprise to our travellers just how warm the mountains are. We're surrounded by snow-capped peaks, but in the valleys of the Kali Ghandaki we are baking in the sunshine. The nights are very cool but comfortable, especially with a good curry in our guesthouses. Have a look at what two weeks in Nepal looks like :)
Photo Essay | 76 images | Nepal | Himalayas
Tigers and Nuns
Paro is where the western world meets the Kingdom of Bhutan, and is the departure point for travellers after exploring lands to the east. One final challenge greets us however, the ascent to Tigers Nest. A remarkable temple clings to the side of a rock, ironically intended to provide solitude and isolation from the outside world. Now the entire world comes here to see it.
Photo Essay | 36 images | Himalayas | Bhutan
Tang and Nang
Dancing monks. Smiling lamas. Bhutanese farmers dressed in their finest. We were guests at a couple of festivals in Bhumthang this week. Moments like these are rare and treasured.
Photo Essay | 38 images | Bhutan | Himalayas
Momos and Monks
In the Lower Mustang on the edge of the Annapurnas is a small gompa, and home to roughly 90 novice monks. These are young boys who travel far from home to learn about Buddhism plus a broader education. Mostly they eat rice and chillies, but every so often they have a special treat of freshly steamed momos. Days like this are very good days indeed.
Overlooking the river banks of the Trishuli River in Nepal are rows of lunch stops, from Mugling to Malekhu. They appeal to truck drivers and local travellers, but rarely get a look in with us foreigners. For me they're a real treat, with freshly caught river fish on the menu and all the dishes prepared in a traditional style using a clay oven. The small fish are deep fried in batter, and the big ones are cooked in a tomato curry. Highly recommended!
Photo Essay | 22 images | Nepal | Himalayas
Kathmandu in Spring
Kathmandu Valley is a great place to be in Spring. It hasn't got too hot yet, the forest is blooming with flowers and the birdlife is amazing. This journey was a research trip for Be Your Best Tours, and the images below were captured on the new Lumix S5. Enjoy!
Photo Essay | 49 images | Nepal | Himalayas
Far from the Temples
This photo essay was taken during my 2012 photo tour, a collection of landscapes, people and details that remind me of the Druk culture. Some images are evocative of my favourite moments during that two weeks, others connect with memories across all my journeys in Bhutan. There's more to this country than just temples and monks.
Photo Essay | 32 images | Bhutan | Himalayas
This series of images was captured while travelling on a Be Your Best Tours "Slow Travel" adventure in Nepal. I love being in the Annapurnas. I love the views of snow capped peaks that greet you from every direction. I love the local dal bhat for lunch. I love the sunny skies and tree blossoms.
Bhutan is also known as "The land of the thunder dragon", which sounds like they must have terrible weather or something. Maybe if you plan to go hiking at 7,000m, that gets a little snowy. It's always a surprise for my guests when they discover how gorgeous Bhutan is in the middle of winter. It does get cold overnight but while the sun is shining in the daytime the light is magnificent and the air is full of joy. It's my favourite time of year to be in the Himalayas. These images were taken on my trusty little Lumix G9 during the 2019 photo tour, just before Christmas.
Every year I travel to Bhutan and every year it's a unique journey. This winter we made our way to the Trongsa Dzong for their annual festival. This valley is amazing and beautiful, and the dzong is one of the most majestic in all of Bhutan. Trongsa Dzong was also the first site for the unified kingdom of Bhutan. This photo essay travels from Thimphu, to Punakaha to Gangtey and on to Trongsa. Bhutan is wonderful.
Photo Essay | 69 images | Bhutan | Himalayas
Cameras and Tigers
This set of images is a little induglent, a collection of images from my most recent journey across Bhutan. It covers the early morning climb to shoot Taktsang, the snow capped peaks of Gasa and the festival in Punakha. I regard this as one of my best journeys ever, that perfect mix of experience and excitement. I only visit Bhutan once a year because I want it to remain special for me, and each year it's like rediscovering an old friend. Few people get a chance to see Bhutan in such depth ans splendour, and with the help of some fabulous people such as Rinzi and Tshering we found ourselves blessed with opportunity and inspiration. Thanks guys.
Jomsom is an outpost town with an airstrip. From sunrise to late morning the planes hop between Pokhara and Jomsom, ferrying trekkers and pilgrims on their way to points high in the mountains. At an altitude of 2800m the air is thin and the apple brandy is heavy. The Thakali caste who dominate in these parts are skilled not only at making apple brandy, but apple pancakes and all kinds of apple pies. Enjoy it while you can, as the apples don't grow 1000m higher up the hill.
This series is taken by my wife, Shellie Froidevaux. We recently ran a walking tour in Nepal, and this was our first time shooting with the LUMIX S5. We had a variety of primes lenses, plus the 20-60mm kit lens. Shellie gravitates towards the 35mm anyway, and to make life simple she spent most of the trip with the 35mm in hand. Every so often I would grab it for some video :) This series of images was heavily styled in editing, leaning into the dusty and sun-soaked vibe of Nepal.