Travel Photography Inspiration: Nepal Told Through My Lens

Nepal is one of my favorite places in the world and lends itself to some of the best travel photography inspiration. It’s the culture, the mountains, the people. It’s the deep-rooted spiritual undercurrent that’s impossible to ignore.

I’ve traveled to Nepal three times, and each time it checks a new box for me. When you first visit the Nepalese Himalaya and its people, you learn why it’s such an eternally special place for lovers of the mountains and the outdoors.

My hope is that these images will inspire and encourage you to consider your own journey to Nepal. And while you’re there, stop and look at the swirl happening all around you with a different perspective.

Nepal Travel Photography Inspiration

Our journey begins in Kathmandu, as most journeys in Nepal do.

An elderly Nepali man sitting in front of his shop with his legs crossed and prayer beads in his hand in Kathmandu, Nepal.

There is no shortage of local Nepali people to photograph in Kathmandu. But it’s incredibly important to ALWAYS ask permission by a wave of your camera or by simply asking. Most will nod and smile giving you the a-okay. But now and again you’ll have someone shake their head or say no. Honor whatever request comes your way and say thank you!

A busy street corner in Kathmandu, Nepal near Durbar Square.

Immediately, I know what I would have done differently for this photo. I would have slowed the shutter speed down to reflect some of the movement in the scene.

But I still love this image because it’s representative of so many parts of Nepali culture: the entangled mess of wires (an engineering thesis waiting to happen), the fresh fruit stand, the motorbikes, the kids in uniforms on their way home from school, the elder in his traditional cap. But the best part about this photo’s inspiration is that I now have a specific vision for the next trip to Nepal.

A man walking across a green bridge in Kathmandu, Nepal with monkeys surrounding all sides of him on the bridge.

Would you cross the monkey bridge?! There are monkeys seemingly everywhere in Kathmandu, especially on and around temple grounds. As long as you keep walking, they’ll leave you alone. But as you can see with the ice cream-loving monkey above, given the opportunity they’ll snag your snacks!

A Buddhist stupa sits right in the center of a residential square near the oldest part of Kathmandu - Durbar Square.

A Buddhist stupa sits right in the center of a residential square near the oldest part of Kathmandu – Durbar Square.

An elderly man in Nepal looks down at the camera from his 2nd floor window.

Moments like this one are what make being a travel photographer so special. As photographers, we know to not just look at what is directly in front of us or not only to look at the eye level view but also to get low or look up. When our angles change, perspective does as well.

Walking the streets from Thamel towards Durbar Square, I look up and caught this man’s eye. We shared a smile, I showed him my camera and he nodded. He just looked at me and my lens until I could snap an image I was happy with.

The thing I love most about an image like this one is that the memory and sequence of events all come rushing right back in as if I’m immediately reliving the moment.

A tourist sits on a bench in the Thamel District of Kathmandu, Nepal surrounded by Chris Dyer graffiti art.

This is my favorite corner in the Thamel District. This bench sits in front of an art gallery squeezed between two Chris Dyer graffiti pieces. Honestly, what really draws me here is its familiarity and reliability. It’s always there every time I come to Nepal.

On To the Mountains for More Travel Photography

When visiting Nepal, more times than not you’ll find yourself trekking in some capacity. There are a ton of images out there of epic Himalayan snow-covered peaks. When we think of Nepal, we think of Everest and summiting the tallest mountains in the world.

But there are so many other ways to trek this mountainous country. The below images are some that show the diversity of Nepal’s landscape and trekking experiences.

Upper Mustang Trek to Lo Manthang

A Mahindra truck drives on a dirt road with a sheer drop of in the Upper Mustang in Nepal with views of snow-capped Himalayan mountains in the background.

The jeep route into the Upper Mustang is its own adventure! On a clear day, the views are spectacular because we’re now in a Nepali desert instead of densely forested areas.

The trekking in the Upper Mustang is dry, rocky, and exposed. It’s critical to wear proper sun protection in this region to protect your skin!

A woman dances alongside a Nepali horseman while on the trail with snowcapped mountains behind them in the Upper Mustang in Nepal.

Dancing on the trail to Lo Manthang!

Packed adobe homes and stacked wood roofs are unique to the Upper Mustang region in Nepal.

The packed adobe homes and stacked wood roofs are unique to this region so worth photographing.

A toddler boy in a blue hoody holding a red and yellow ball in a dirt street in Lo Manthang, Nepal in the Upper Mustang.

Once in Lo Manthang, I took a break to rest with the locals on a dirt road right in front of our guest house. After putting my camera down, I just observed, smiled, and eventually played soccer with some of the kiddos and dads in the street. I eventually picked up my camera again once trust and camaraderie was built and really enjoyed snapping portraits of the kids that live so deep in the Himalayas.

Close to the Chinese border are villages strewn with ancient cave dwellings. Pictured above is Jhong Cave in Chhoser. It is an incredible adventure to wander through the dwellings that are open to foot traffic. Not to be missed!

Two hikers on a high desert trail with sweeping and wide landscape views of the Himalayas in the background.

Sometimes staying behind or jumping ahead on the trail lends itself to wide-angle views that encapsulate the scale of the mountains!

Traditional Bon Po wooden mask used in certain religious celebrations and ceremonies in Nepal.

Visiting the Upper Mustang provides opportunities to visit villages that are still practicing Bon Po (pre-Buddhism) as their primary religion still today. Pictured above is a traditional Bon Po wooden mask used in certain religious celebrations and ceremonies.

Nilgiri, which means Blue Mountain, towers above Jomsom at sunrise.

Travel Photography Inspiration in the Annapurna Sanctuary

A local Nepali man gives the camera a thumbs up while he and his mother tend to their garden in Ghadruk, Nepal.

Once you’ve journeyed out of the city and into the mountains, you’ll find yourself among small mountain villages that have small guest houses, referred to as Tea Houses, to host travelers. This is part of what makes the experience of trekking in Nepal so special – being hosted and served meals by the locals. Lemon Ginger Honey tea is the perfect remedy for any long day of hiking.

3 boys walking to school in Ghandruk, Nepal

Trekking out of the villages around 8 AM in the mornings means running into kiddos headed to school. Schools are only located in certain villages so can often mean trekking back and forth for school-aged children.

I used my 70-200 mm lens for this image. This is without a doubt one of my favorite photographs from our 2022 trek and is available to purchase in my print shop! I took this from the rooftop of our teahouse in Ghadruk looking out to another village (maybe Chommrong) along the Annapurna circuit with Annapurna South towering in the background.

Travel Photography in Darker Conditions

When you think of Nepal, you often think of and see images in the snow and with epic mountains in the background. The reality is you have a lot of ground to cover before getting to those epic views. And in the Annapurna region, it means trekking in dense rhododendron forests.

A wild gray and white monkey peers through the rhododendron trees in Nepal.

And if you’re lucky, you’ll spot some unique wildlife!

Teahouses in Nepal

This is a stereotypical teahouse (guest house) in Nepal. Socializing in the main dining room is a super fun way to meet folks from all over the globe and compare trekking stories!

A local Nepali woman hanging her laundry to dry outside of the New Hotel Glacier on the trail in Nepal.

Chasing Light in the Himalayas

It can go from rainy and cold to sunny and warm in an instant in the Himalayas. You’ll be trekking in the clouds and then the wind will break and lift them long enough for you to have a clear view of the peaks across the valley.

A beautiful view of Dhaulagiri in Nepal with clouds and a lush green valley in view below it.

A day’s worth of trekking always leads to some epic reward. And on this day it was to a pass overlooking an 8,167-meter peak – Dhaulagiri!

Because I’m a travel photographer, ensuring the people I’m traveling with have images they can be stoked about at the end of our trip is always a priority for me. I love providing a mix of both posed, but mostly candid photography.

A cloud covered Annapurna South in Nepal.

When trekking out, you begin to process what you’ve experienced. Intense euphoria and incredibly sore legs start to settle in.

Final Thoughts

As I reflect on the photographs I’ve taken of Nepal, I’m filled with a sense of awe and wonder at the beauty and diversity of this incredible country. Through my lens, I’ve had the privilege of photographing the rich culture, breathtaking landscapes, and vibrant people that make Nepal unique.

It’s my hope that my photographs will inspire others to travel and explore this remarkable part of the world. I believe that through the power of photography, we can transport ourselves to far-off places and connect with people and cultures in ways we never thought possible.

It’s my hope that my photography serves as a window into the beauty and wonder of Nepal. And that it encourages others to seek out their own adventures and create their own memories. Thank you for allowing me to share my vision of Nepal with you.

Now get out there and stay curious, friends!

Related: The Best Travel Packing List for Your Next Global Adventure

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The Newsletter

The Wonder



Letters about my latest adventures, obsessions, and industry news – just a little something to invite bewilderment into your daily life.