» Wazari Wazir Photographer Blog, Malaysian Photographer

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  • Welcome to My Blog!

    Hi, I'm Wazari Wazir, Malaysian Photojournalist working for the Government of Malaysia. Will be sharing a wide variety of pictures here from my official assignment and personal pictures. I do conduct Photography and Photoshop Workshops if there is any invitations.

    I've Conduct a Photoshop Workshops in IIUM International Islamic University Malaysia (Gombak) and also at Universiti Kuala Lumpur Malaysian Institute of Aviation Technology (UniKL MIAT), in Selangor and other Photography Workshops all over the country including Sabah Malaysia North Borneo.

    My Blog is The Winner for Best Photography Blog 2014 during MSMW Malaysia Social Media Week Blogger Awards 2014.

    Thank you for visiting My Blog and if you have any questions, feel free to contact me through my email...

    wazariwazir@yahoo.com | Tel No : + 6012 2812753

Travel | Go Confidently In The Direction Of Your Dreams

© 2014 Wazari Wazir | Mustard Field | Pokhara | Nepal

“As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.”

- Henry David Thoreau -

Panduan Untuk Pelancong | Tips Memilih Beg Yang Sesuai

© 2012 Wazari Wazir | Backpackers at Pahar Ganj, Main Bazaar | New Delhi | India

Mengapa “Pelancong”, mengapa tidak “Pengembara”? Antara perkara yang agak sukar bagi saya sebelum menulis blog ialah memilih tajuk yang sesuai dengan intipati artikel yang akan saya tulis. Saya memilih untuk menggunakan perkataan pelancong kerana tertarik dengan tulisan Agustinus Wibowo dalam bukunya berjajuk Titik Nol, sebenarnya kita semua adalah “pelancong”, mungkin ada yang akan mempertikaikan tentang ini tetapi baca dulu apa yang nak saya kongsikan.

Memang ada benarnya apa yang Agustinus tu tulis, bagi saya dia menulis dengan nada bersahaja, mungkin sedikit sinis, sebabnya mudah, ke mana sahaja kita pergi terutamanya ke negara yang memerlukan kita memohon visa, ada ruangan di dalam borang permohonan visa yang menanyakan status kita, apakah kita ke negara tersebut sebagai “Tourist/Pelancong, tidak pula kelihatan ada pilihan untuk memilih antara “Tourist/Traveler”.

Selain daripada pilihan tersebut, dah tentu ada lagi pilihan atau tujuan lain, seperti menghadiri persidangan, mesyuarat, belajar, menziarahi saudara-mara dan lain-lain lagi cuma sepanjang pengalaman saya memang tiada ruang untuk memilih sebagai “Pengembara/Traveler”. Biasanya kalau sesiapa yang ingin ke luar negara atas tujuan makan angin, berjalan-jalan, sama ada seminggu, dua minggu, sebulan atau setahun, hanya “Tourist Visa” yang dikeluarkan dan bukannya “Traveler Visa”, tetapi sekiranya rakan-rakan ada pengalaman yang berbeza dengan saya, jangan malu jangan segan untuk kongsi dengan saya.

Ok, cukuplah tentang tu, tak perlu nak dipertikaikan tentangnya, kembali kepada tajuk asal blog ini. Untuk memilih beg yang sesuai  ketika melancong, kita kena tahu corak perjalanan kita. Saya cuma nak bahagikan kepada dua jenis beg sahaja, iaitu beg galas (backpack) seperti yang kelihatan dalam gambar atas tu dan beg beroda atau beg jenis tarik yang biasa pelancong bawak.

BACKPACK:

Tentu kita biasa dengar “Backpackers”, Backpackers adalah pelancong yang berjalan ke luar negara atau dalam negeri yang membawa backpack, atau beg galas di belakang mereka, kebiasaanya beg galas yang pelancong bawa ini lebih besar daripada sais backpack yang pelajar sekolah bawa.

Backpack ini ada banyak saiz, besar mana, tengok keperluan. Biasanya saiz backpack ini ditulis di beg dalam bentuk Liter. Ok, di sini saya ingin terangkan bila mana sesuai menggunakan backpack ini bagi tujuan melancong.

Backpack ini sesuai untuk pelancong yang tiada jadual perjalanan yang tetap, biasanya mereka tidak booking hotel awal-awal, mereka beli tiket flight dari destinasi A ke destinasi B, dan bila sampai di destinasi B, mereka ambil backpack, naik pengangkutan awam, sampai di bandar,  baru cari hotel.

Biasanya mereka akan mencari bajet hotel, jadi untuk dapatkan harga terbaik mereka akan bawa bersama backpack mereka dari satu hotel ke hotel yang lain dan beg jenis beroda yang ditarik tu memang tak sesuai.

Lagi satu, sekiranya kita banyak menggunakan perkhidmatan awam, baik teksi, bas, tram, keretapi, feri dan lain-lain pengangkutan awam lagi, lebih praktikal menggunakan backpack berbanding beg tarik, bayangkan kalau kita kerap turun naik bas, keretapi kalau nak bawak beg tarik tu agak menyusahkan, dan dari pengalaman saya semasa di India menaiki keretapi, banyak jambatan yang perlu kita naik untuk ke terminal keretapi yang dikehendaki dan kebanyakan stesen keretapi di India tidak ada “escalator”, jadi kurang praktikal kalau nak guna beg jenis tarik ni.

Sekiranya kita ingin trekking atau hiking, contoh trekking di Banjaran Himalaya, backpack memang satu keperluan atau mungkin boleh juga saya tulis di sini satu kemestian, sebabnya, tidak ada kenderaan yang akan membawa beg anda di atas lereng gunung sana, anda kena bawa sendiri, tetapi masih ada pilihan, kita boleh upah porter untuk membawa backpack kita atau mereka akan gunakan yak untuk membawa backpack kita.

BEG TARIK BERODA:

Bila masa pula sesuai guna beg jenis tarik ni? Kebiasaanya sekiranya kita travel atau melancong dengan agensi pelancongan, maka beg jenis ini boleh atau sesuai digunakan, sebabnya kita jarang nak heret beg itu ke sana sini. Situasinya seperti ini, sampai sahaja di lapangan kapal terbang, dah ada kenderaan yang menuggu untuk menjemput kita ke hotel penginapan. Tak perlu nak susah-susah cari hotel.

Sekiranya keesokan hari kita ke lokasi atau bandar lain, ada kenderaan yang akan membawa beg kita ke tempat tersebut, tak perlu susah-susah ke stesen keretapi atau stesen bas untuk membeli tiket dan sebagainya.

Contoh seperti trip saya ke Nepal baru-baru ini yang diuruskan oleh rakan saya Shukur Jahar. Sebaik tiba di Lapangan Terbanag Antarabangsa Tribhuvan Kathmandu, dah ada van yang menunggu kami, semua bagasi dimasukkan ke dalam van tersebut. Keesokan harinya kami ke Nagarkot dari Thamel Kathmandu, menggunakan van yang sama. Sehinggalah kami sampai ke Pokhara dan kembali semula ke Kathmandu. Semuanya telah diuruskan, peserta rombongan tak perlu nak bawa backpack yang berat ke hulu ke hilir. Cukup bawa beg kamera kecil sahaja untuk tujuan mengambil gambar.

© 2014 Wazari Wazir | Our Van In Front of Heritage Home Hotel | Thamel | Kathmandu | Nepal

Dalam gambar di atas, kelihatan bagasi kami sedang dimuatnaik ke atas bumbung van, sebelum kami berlepas ke Lapangan Terbang Antarabangsa Tribhuvan Kathmandu untuk pulang ke Kuala Lumpur. Sekiranya kita mengambil pakej dari agensi pelancongan, kebiasaanya mereka dah sediakan pengangkutan untuk pergi dri satu tempat ke satu tempat, jadi tak perlu kita bawa beg ke hulu dan ke hilir mencari teksi dan bas untuk perjalanan seterusnya, tunggu saja depan hotel, van sampai, bagasi dimuat naik dan terus bergerak ke detinasi seterusnya. Tidak perlu kita nak bawa backpack untuk trip jenis macam ni.

Sama juga dengan trip saya bersama kelarga ke Istanbul tahun lepas, saya bawa juga backpack yang bersaiz sederhana dan juga dua buah beg jenis beroda. Melancong bersama keluarga dengan dua orang anak kecil dah tentu banyak barang yang hendak di bawa, jumlah beg pun agak banyak, cuma di Istanbul kami banyak menggunakan pengangkutan awam, dari hotel untuk naik Tram tak jauh dekat sahaja, lagipun masa tu kami tinggal seminggu di Istanbul, tiada keperluan sangat nak angkat beg ke hulu dan ke hilir setiap hari.

Masa nak ke Bursa, dulu saya minta pihak hotel hubungi teksi untuk membawa kami ke terminal feri di Yenikapi dan kemudian dari terminal Feri di Bursa, kami naik teksi sekali lagi sampai ke pusat bandar. Pergerakan agak mudah dengan teksi, cuma tambangnya agak mahal kalau nak dibandingkan dengan menaiki bas ataupun tram, cuma bila melancong dengan kelarga ni, keselesaan serta keselamatan anak-anak perlulah diutamakan.

© 2014 Wazari Wazir | Deuter Creed Daypack 18 Litres  (L) and Deuter Act Trail 32 Litres

Soalan yang sering ditayakan kepada saya ialah bagaimana saya membawa peralatan kamera saya ketika melancong. Ingin saya beritahu di sini, peralatan kamera saya tidak banyak, hanya sebuah body kamera dan dua buah lensa, iaitu lensa 24 mm dan juga 50 mm. Jad dengan peralatan yang minima tersebut saya tidak perlukan bag yang besar. Kebiasaanya saya akan travel dengan membawa dua buah beg, seperti dalam gambar di atas tu. Saya jarang bawa beg kamera, maksud saya beg yang memang dibuat untuk membawa kamera.

Saya hanya bawa sebuah backpack saiz kecil seperti dalam gambar di atas dan juga backpack saiz dalam 32 Liter atau 40+10 Liter. Biasanya backpack yang besar tu saya isikan dengan pakaian sahaja dan kadang-kadang saya masukkan tripod sekali dalam tu sebagai “check in luggage”, manakala beg yang sais kecil tersebut saya isikan dengan kamera, buku nota serta charger untuk kamera, iPhone dan juga international adapter, maksudnya beg kecil tu diisi dengan barang-barang penting termasuk pasport, dan juga saya masukkan sehelai dua baju dalam beg kecil tersebut. Beg yang kecil tu saya bawak masuk naik pesawat sebagai “hand carry”.

Bila sampai di hotel, dan saya nak keluar mengambil gambar, beg yang besar tu saya tinggalkan di dalam hotel dan hanya bawa beg kecil tersebut. Kalau boleh pilihlah beg yang ada poket tepi, boleh kita isi dengan botol air mineral atau makanan ringan untuk mengalas perut kalau kita lapar dan dahaga.

Kesimpulannya pilihlah beg ikut keperluan perjalanan kita, dan yang lebih baik lagi “Travel Light”. Maksudnya jangan bawa barang banyak-banyak, bawa yang mana perlu sahaja.

Sekali lagi ingin saya beritahu, sekiranya kita travel sebagai “Independent Traveler”, tanpa menggunakan travel agency, bergerak dari satu tempat ke satu tempat menggunakan pengangkutan awam, beg yang terbaik adalah “backpack”. Kebiasaannya independent traveler ni tidur di hotel bajet, tiada layanan seperti di hotel lima bintang, kebanyakan hotel bajet yang mempunyai empat hingga enam tingkat tiada lift dan jarang ada orang yang akan tolong kita bawa naik beg ke dalam bilik hotel kita, bayangkanlah nak usung beg tarik beroda turun naik tangga.

Diharap sedikit perkongsian saya kali ini akan dapat memberi sedikit idea kepada teman-teman pembaca blog terutamanya yang baru pertama kali ingin mencuba untuk melancong ke luar negara. Kalau ada yang masih kurang jelas, boleh tanyakan diruangan komen, insyaAllah saya cuba jawab yang mana termampu.

- Adventure is Out There -

*Artikel Yang Berkaitan : Fotografi Kembara Bersama Keluarga | Tips Memilih Backpack Yang Sesuai

Travel Photography | Which Lens is Best for Travel Photography?

© 2014 Wazari Wazir | Photographer Shukur Jahar Surrounded By Curious Onlooker at Bhaktapur | Nepal

“Photographers like Cartier-Bresson would only use one or two lenses, and work mostly in available light. I think the simplicity in this approach creates a timeless quality. To focus overly on the technical approach detracts from the power of the image in its own right.”

- Steve McCurry -

First thing first, are you hoping to become the next legendary National Geographic Photographer, Steve McCurry? If you have no idea who the hell he is, and have to Google his name, I think it’s going to be hard for you. Anyway Steve McCurry is not the greatest travel photographer of all time but surely he is among the most talk about when we talk about travel photography.

The Photograph of Afghanistan girl named Sharbat Gula, which made the front page of National Geographic magazine for June  1985 issue is what made him famous. Just for your information the Afghan Girl photograph were taken in December 1984  in a refugee camp near Peshawar, PakistanHe was using a Nikon FM2 camera with a Nikkor 105mm F2.5 lens.

Okay, did I just answer your question? Go and get the 105 mm lens and voila! You’re next Steve McCurry, congratulations. Anyway, it is not that easy, one thing that you must be remember is that they did not become travel photographer overnight, most of travel photographer that I knew or have read about them have passion for traveling. They did not travel because they want to become travel photographer, they travel because they like to see the world.

There is no straight answer about which lens is best for travel photography, but to make it easy I just wanted to narrow it down to just two type of travel photography, the one is those who like to take a photograph of landmark, building and landscape, human interest does not interest them, the other one is those who travel like Steve McCurry or Mike Yamashita, which mainly focus on human interest, they do take a photograph of landscape, a great landmark but that is not their main subject.

Once you know what really interest you, then thing will get a little bit easier, if you wanted to focus more on landscape, landmark, building, like Taj Mahal in India or Ayasofya in Istanbul or a beautiful farm in Tuscany Italy, then you need to have a wide angle lens, something from 10 – 24 mm, you need to have UWA lens or Ultra Wide Angle Lens, “Ultra” means wider than normal wide angle lens that most people refer to which is 35 mm on full frame body.

Why you need UWA lens? Simply because in a certain places, a normal wide angle lens like 35 mm just is not enough, some beautiful place or landmark are located at cramped space, if you only have normal wide angle lens, you might not be able to photograph the landmark fully, only part of it and people who look at it, have a hard time to guess, what photograph is that, or what is that place. Having an ultra wide angle lens will widen your choice, more room for creative composition.

Next, for those of you who like photographing “Human Interest” portrait, environmental portrait and something like that. For this type of photographer, having an UWA Lens is not a must. Some people who are quite shy to approach a stranger, prefer to have 70-200 mm lens with them. They like to photograph people from afar and they tried best not to talk to stranger. 70-200 mm has its place when traveling especially in a situation when you wanted to get a close up shot of the subject or person but you can’t get close to them physically, for example in a situation where you wanted to get a close up shot of  a Bali dancers while she perform her dance, you cannot simple walk close to her and get your shot, someone might get angry for blocking their view.

But, to be really great at travel photography, you must be willing to interact with local, some of the great travel photographers that I know like Mitchell Kanashkevich. lately  have tried and use Fujifilm X100s with fixed 23 mm lens attach which is equivalent to 35 mm focal length in full frame camera and he produced great picture just like when he used his Canon 5D Mark III.

By this time, I think some of you, especially newbie, get confused, after spending few minutes reading this post, you don’t get the answer that you are hoping for. Here’s the thing, you can’t become travel photographer overnight and the only sure things to know which lens is suitable for travel photography based on your preferred genre, be it human interest or landscape is to travel often.

If you travel often, you will know or what interest you the most and you will know which lens is best for any particular place or situation, experience will teach you. For the time being, my advice is just to use whatever lens that you have and make full use of it.

Another travel photographer that I like is Oded Wagenstain,  wrote in his blog that when he start photography as a hobby, he just use old fixed 28 mm lens that his brother gave him, with that lens he taught himself to work with what he have and at the same time learned how to photograph people from a close distance and until now, the ability for him to shoot people up close become his style.

We must start somewhere with what we have, nobody buy a camera today and become the best photographers next day or week. It take years to learn photography and it take years also to master the equipment that you have.

If you have a camera and have the time and money to travel the world, you are a few of a lucky people than those who have a camera but can’t travel for whatever reason only known to them.

Back to the question above, Which Lens is Best for Travel Photography? You can only find an honest, unbiased answer yourself by traveling, I’m not talking about the optical quality of a certain lenses here, I’m talking about the best focal length, about the optical quality, that’s another story.

For me, when traveling, I only carry 24 mm and 50 mm lens with me, just two lens and tried to make the best with what I’ve. Yes, off course in certain situation I might not be able to get the photograph that I really want with the lens that I’ve but there is so much things to photograph in this world with what you already have than what you don’t have, just make full use of your equipment.

My friend, Shukur Jahar in the picture above only travel with Fujifilm X-Pro 1 during our trip to Nepal recently , and he took a great photograph with it. He has been to the summit of Mount Kinabalu in Sabah with that camera with just one single prime lens attach.

But, just for the sake of answering the question above without making you hate me for wasting your time, let’s talk about “practicality”, from my experience, among the suitable lens for traveling is 24-70 mm, 24 -105 mm or 24 – 120 mm. Nowadays most entry level DSLR which is not a full frame camera usually comes with 18-135 mm as their kit lens, this is just good enough, it can cover from wide angle to a medium close up.

 From my traveling experience, zoom lens is practical, photographers normally called this lens as “walk around lens.” You can photograph almost anything with that zoom lens, except  the Cheetah in Tanzania, you don’t “walk around” in a Safari do you?. Anyway, hopefully you get my answer. If you just bought a new camera and think that you need to buy another lens before traveling somewhere, my advice is don’t. Instead use the extra money to buy tickets to somewhere that you’ve never been before, then only you will know which lens suit you best, based on  your preferred style or genre.

Travel Photographer for your reference :

Steve McCurry | Mitchell Kanashkevich | Oded Wagenstein | GMB Akash | David duChemin | Matt Brandon | Karl Grobl

Azim Yusoff - Aslm, taking your advise couple years ago, i’m known using fixed 24mm attached to my new basic ff nikon camera.. as a family/travel oriented type of photographer, i admit this is the best combination so far.. a part of my cheap 55-200 tele.. but yet i’m still shy to share my end result.. thx for your advise sifu..

Travel and Photography Tips | Light is Language

© 2014 Wazari Wazir | Boudhanath Stupa | Kathmandu | Nepal

© 2014 Wazari Wazir | Blue Hour | Boudhanath Stupa | Kathmandu | Nepal

“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.”

- Albert Schweitzer -

According to Oxford Dictionaries; Language means the method of human communication, either spoken or written, consisting of the use of words in a structured and conventional way, and according to WikiPedia; Language is the human capacity for acquiring and using complex systems of communication, and a language is any specific example of such a system. The scientific study of language is called linguistics.

When it comes to photography, we communicate with a photograph, photography is a form of communication but the reason I’m writing this is because I’ve watch one of video interview with Joe McNally, a well known National Geographic Photographer, who once said in the interview that, “Light is Language“. At first, I really didn’t get it, I don’t understand what he really meant, but once I watch his explanation, I began to understand.

Anyway, the lighting in our photograph can conjures up a different mood, just take a look at your favourite film, especially those who have won the best in cinematography, what did you see, what did you learn. They use lighting creatively to make their visual story engaging, sometimes without a dialogue spoken, viewers manage to grasp what they were trying to communicate.

A happy scene, normally have a different set of lighting compared to scene where someone is crying, a great lighting help communicate well, grab your attention. I don’t now whether you understand what I’m talking here, well, since this is a blog about photography and most of you here are someone who like photography, I think you can understand what I’m trying to say here.

Talking about travel photography, photographing a place at different times of the day, can also conjures up a different kind of feeling. Joe McNally once said that, if a photographer manage to portray a place in a great light, well composed image, manage to photograph the  visual experience in a great lustrous light, and making someone who saw it later on wanted to be there, then you have communicate well. You’ve use the “language” very well, or you’ve use the lighting successfully.

Sometimes we have to visit a certain place at different time of the day, because some place look better at sunset than sunrise depending on where the sun is coming from. If you take a look at the top photograph of Boudhanath Stupa there, the lighting was very flat, uninteresting, the photograph is just good for documentation, to show how the activity going on, but few minutes after the sunset, things get different, if you can see, there were two Buddhist devotees up there lighting a candles. At first I think they were going to light a candles all around it but actually, they were lighting that particular area only.

Personally I like the second picture, this place is mysterious  to me, you can barely see the Buddha Eye on the second photograph but the language that I wanted to communicate here is to show you how mysterious this place is, maybe it is not mysterious to you, but to me, it is.

Why the Boudhanath Stupa is so mysterious, maybe you wanted to read about this; There are numerous legends concerning the Stupa’s construction. One of them has it that after the death of Kassapa Buddha, a certain old woman and her four sons buried his remains in the place where the Stupa now stands. Then, they asked the king for permission to erect a temple in this place, and the king agreed.

When, after many sacrifices, the woman and her sons had completed the groundwork of the structure, all those who saw it were amazed at the big size of it, and many were eyeing what was being created with undisguised envy. They went to the king and asked him to stop the construction process on the grounds that if such a poor woman was able to build such a huge temple, then the king would have to erect a temple as great as a mountain! The king is said to have replied: “I have finished giving the order to the woman to proceed with the work. Kings must not eat their words, and I cannot undo my orders now.” In this way, the Stupa could be completed. (The Boudhanath Stupa is said to contain the relics of Kassapa Buddha himself, the predecessor of the most famous Buddha Shakyamuni),  jewellery and other things connected with the function of the stupa.

What I’m trying to say here about the photograph above is “A Sense of Mystery” and I think by photographing the Boudhanath Stupa with that lighting, just few minutes after the sun went down, making the stupa a silhouette, manage to do so. Sometimes a dull place looks great with the help of great lighting. There is a reason why most travel photographers like to go out shooting in the early morning and in the late afternoon when the lighting is great, if you wanted to communicate well with your “language” then choose it well, choose the “lighting” well.

Travel | Kathmandu | Backpackers Heaven

© 2014 Wazari Wazir | Children Looking at Kathmandu Valley From The Monkey Temple

Travellers and backpackers normally will refer Kathmandu as backpackers heaven. I don’t know what, they called it heaven, this city is not beautiful or breathtaking, in fact it quite difficult to breath here without wearing a mask. Maybe they called it heaven because there is so much things happening here, “heaven” sometimes can be very subjective matter.

Yes, if you are trekkers and backpackers this is among the best place to hang around, the accommodation is among the cheapest in Asia, if you like trekkers, this is a heaven for you, you can easily find trekking equipment at a very chela price here, why not, Nepal is blessed with eight out of ten of  highest peaks in the world, and because of that, there is hundreds or more selling trekking and backpacking equipment, each and everyone of them fighting to give you the best price.

The other thing is, in Kathmandu alone, they have seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites, not many country or city in the world can boast about that like Kathmandu. But then, for those of you who have just arrived in Katmandu for the first time, might be wondering wether you’ve had arrived at the right city or just arrived at “Dustmandu” instead of Kathmandu. Anyway due to road expansion here and there, Kathmandu become polluted, some people need to wear mask when they get out of their house, even the people of Kathmandu wearing a mask, so you can imagine.

This is my second time visiting Kathmandu since November 2012, and I really hope in some near future when the expansion of road all over Nepal is finished, we, especially the travellers can breath the fresh air, without the need to get close to the foot of the mountain, for trekkers, normally this should not be an issue because they normally will spent a day to two here and spent another weeks or month trekking the Himalaya, breathing the mountain fresh air.

“Dust and grime have slaughtered the charm of clean and fresh air in Kathmandu. I have lost my expectation again to catch the fresh breath in the Valley. Who wants their own homeland and self to be covered up with haze of dust? However, we have been left with no choice. No can rarely be an answer if anyone is asks whether this situation has affected their health. Of course, this has affected my health too.

It has affected our lungs and respiration, harmed our eyes, makes us suffocated and we are covered with dust. In the streets, I can sense dust hovering into my mouth while talking. Yes, it has become a major issue to safeguard oneself from being victimised with the adverse effects of dust while commuting. I save myself from this through mask. We also can shelter our eyes with safety glasses.”

- Srijana Joshi, New Baneshwor, Kathmandu -

“Thirty years ago people could swim in Kathmandu’s most holy river, the Bagmati. Today, it is so polluted with road dust and refuse that people do not want to go in it. Trash piles several feet high line its banks. But still, funeral services at Pashupatinaath, one of the most famous temples to Shiva in the world, still culminate with people entering the river’s waters and depositing their deceased’s crematory ashes in it. What happens when the river is so polluted that one cannot enter it without getting sick?”

- Alex O’Neill | Environmental Biology and Anthropology -

To those of you who wanted to visit Kathmandu Valley in near future, you need to be prepared, Kathmandu is not for everyone, it is heaven for some people but might be hell to others, for me, I still like the city, I like the chaotic environment, otherwise why bother visiting it again when I can choose Paris or Tokyo. About photography, Kathmandu will only attract certain type photographers, just like India, some people doesn’t bother to go there. We can’t argue about taste in term of photographic genre or interest, but sometimes it is not about taste but more about health and safety concern. Some people can tolerate bad air pollution while others can easily get sicks.

Anyway, actually you don’t have to stay in Thamel Kathmandu when visiting Nepal, once you arrived at the Tribhuvan International Airport, just take the taxi and head to Bhaktapur, it is much better compared to Thamel Kathmandu, less chaotic, better yet, just arrange with your hotel, so they can send people to pick you at the airport. If you need to buy some trekking or backpackers equipment at Thamel Kathmandu, just go day in a day trip, it take you less than an hour to get there from Bhaktapur.