5 Photography Important Tip when traveling to Nepal!
Photography has been an integral part of traveling. So much so that each and every person, no matter how young or old will want to capture their travel moments with the people they love, people with whom they have been friends with for a long time, their significant other, families, pets, and their travel experience. There are so many ways to capture these once in a life time moments, this may mean taking quick clicks from your phones, or waiting to take those golden hour photos. No matter the reason, we know that all travelers want to keep a memory of their travel experiences.
This blog is specially for travel lovers like you, who also love to capture the moments and experiences of their trip, the people you meet, and different places you visit.
Nepal can be an over whelming place, and you might want photography everything you see. Nepal is really a place of beauty for nature, religion, culture, and so much more. However there are few things you will want to consider for photography when traveling.
So what are the things that a traveler needs to consider when traveling to Nepal?
1. Can I bring two cameras into Nepal? (Link: Nepal Customs Department)
Many travelers love to travel, but some travelers travel specially to capture the Natural, Cultural, Religious… beauty of a place. Nepal being one of the best places to see a variety of culture, religion, natural beauty, traditions, and people, it is integral to come prepared. This is why most travelers want to have the best equipment when traveling, to be sure that they have all the equipment they need for every situation. For this reason, some photographers prefer to carry more than one camera, so that they will be prepared for any situation.
The Customs Department of Nepal has set some rules and regulations regarding travelers and what items they can bring in duty free. According to the regulations, a person entering the country is only allowed to bring in one electronic device with them; this means that a traveler can only bring in one laptop, one camera, one mobile phone, one tablet…. and so on. If a traveler does decide to bring in a second electrical device (two mobile phones), and if it is checked in during customs, they will be required to pay a customs Tax on one of the electronic device (one of the mobile phone).
However, a person is allowed to bring in one camera and one video camera. For this reason, it is possible that among the two cameras, one can be declared as a video-camera and the other a photo-camera, making it possible for a travelers to carry and bring in two cameras when coming into Nepal.
The image below from the Customs Department Office of Nepal lists the items a non resident of Nepal can bring in Duty free when coming into Nepal. The page was translated to English from Nepali language.
Tips and Hints : From my prior experience. Due to the lack of equipment when scanning the bags in the Security and Customs area, the method used to check the suitcases and bags are very random. Each person’s baggage tags are checked by the officials to make sure the baggages do belong to the person taking them. However the screening process for the baggages is more random. More over bags that standout more, are bright and are more noticeable are more prone to be checked as they will stand out in from of the many other baggages.
2. Where and when are you traveling? (Photography in the cold)
Nepal has a very versatile ecosystem: Himalayan in the north, Hills in the center, and the Plains in the south. All these three regions provide various excellent locations for photography. With about 125 ethnic groups in Nepal, you will also be able to see many cultures and eco-systems here. However the climate here can be challenging for your equipments.
Traveling in the Himalayan region among the mountains is a wonderful experience, capturing the beauty of Nature and your experience in the trip is something not only photographers, but all travelers want to do. However the Himalayan region’s climate can also be very harsh. Many of the famous travel destinations like Everest Base Camp, Gokyo Three Pass Trek, and the Langtang Region Trek are in the Himalayan region. The climate in these regions can get very cold in the winter. This may not be a problem for you, however your cameras and the electronic equipments will need protection from the cold
Some of the delicate camera equipment that can be effected by cold needs to be stored in a proper way, specially the batteries. Many batteries are recommended to be stored in a specific temperature range. Due to the cold climate, it is important to store the batteries in a warm location, when not in use. Batteries also tend to deplete quicker when they are being used in colder climate. This is not only for camera batteries but for mobile batteries also.
So how can you store them better?
There are some way to store your batteries in a proper way. One way to keep the batteries warm is to store hand warmers along with your batteries when not in use. This could mean placing about two to three hand warmers in your camera bag where your camera and camera equipments are.
There are also other options to store them in a proper way when not in use. Placing a hot water bag along with the batteries is also another option you could used, however this might increase the chance of water leaking from the water bag and damaging the camera and electrical equipments. For this reason it is more preferable to store hand warmers with the camera equipment.
If you are anxious about not having enough hand warmers during your travels then there is no need to worry about that. There are plenty of locations and stores where you can purchase hand warmers in Nepal. They are definitely cheaper in Kathmandu and the other main cities. However, they are also available in some villages where tourists often visit. Lukla, and Namche are two of the places where you can find many travel equipments and clothings. So when traveling to Everest Base Camp or the Renjo/Gokyo Trek, you can purchase any travel equipments and snacks here. As for traveling to Langtang, there aren’t many villages that have traveling equipments; so for this reason Kathmandu would be best location to get any travel equipments and other necessary things you want to get for your trip.
3. Which Camera should I take to Nepal for photography?
Is you someone who has an option to choose a camera, and only wants to bring one camera when traveling to Nepal, which camera would be the best option when traveling in Nepal? I have some information that may help you decide which camera you could bring when traveling in Nepal.
There are many things a travel photographer might want to consider when traveling to a new country. Usually if you are traveling, you may plan to bring all the camera accessories that you need when traveling to a new place. However, there may be times when you would need some extra accessories, or you might want to get extra batteries that you didn’t think you would need on the trip. So making sure the place you are visiting has the necessary camera accessories and equipment is very important.
There are many stores in Kathmandu where you can get cameras and camera accessories. However, there are two of the cameras companies that are most easily available. Canon and Nikon are the two companies for which the accessories and camera equipment are easily available. So if you do plan to get any accessories here, or happen to forget any accessories, or loose them in anyway, you will be able to easily find the accessories for these two cameras easily. There are other camera company equipment that can be found here. However, Canon and Nikon are the two that are the easiest to find. To add on to the list, Sony is also making its way in to Nepal.
4. What to pack for Photography when traveling to Nepal?
I believe it is each person’s preference when it comes to packing the equipments; different lenses, extra cameras and so on. One person may have a different plan when it comes to traveling. Nepal has many great locations for landscape photography, cultural photography, religious photography, adventure photography, and so much more… For this reason, it truly does depend on what type of photography you prefer when traveling to Nepal.
However, I do want to focus on the batteries as this is something you can choose either to bring extra. Like I previously mentioned, traveling to a cold climate area effects the batteries in a negative way. If not stored properly, the capacity of the batteries decreases drastically; so it is important to store them properly, as mentioned in tip #2. But how many batteries should you carry?
For extensive photographers, who love stop and go photos when they are on a hike, it is important to remember that the cameras will drain more battery, specially in the cold climates. So for people who love those stop and go photographies, it would be ideal to bring in about four to five camera batteries. This should last for a day and a bit more. It is important to make sure you have enough power for your camera, as you might take more photos than you had anticipated. For this reason, it is important to make sure you don’t struggle with battery problems when traveling.
Moreover, if you plan to travel Nepal during the peak tourist seasons, it is important to consider where you will be traveling. In some of the rural areas, charging ports aren’t easily available. This is might specially be a problem when it some to the peak seasons, and there are many tourist traveling for the prefect climate. Due to this you might not be able to charge all your electrical devices when ever you want. This is why it would also be a good idea to bring in a portable solar charger if possible, along with a power bank. This will cause less hassle when you need to charger your devices. Also a thing to know is that in some of the rural areas, they charge a certain amount to recharge the electrical devices. Usually about Rs. 100 per device, so it would also be ideal to carry some Rs. change when you travel to an area where there are limited money exchange locations and banks.
5. More things that you need to consider when traveling to Nepal…
There are many more things you would need to consider when traveling to Nepal. I believe I speak for most travelers when I say, nothing ever goes as perfectly as planned and expected. There is just too much to consider and known when you’re traveling to a new location to plan everything perfectly.
Nepal can be an over whelming place, and you might want photography everything you see. Nepal is really a place of beauty for nature, religion, culture, and so much more. However, you also need to be courteous when taking pictures in Nepal. There are many locations where photography is strictly not allowed, and some areas where photography is allowed with a certain fee. This is specially in the case of religious areas and temples. These rules will be clearly written. However, in the case you weren’t able to see the signs, and an official comes to you regarding that, you can simply apologize and delete the picture immediately making sure the official sees it.
In some cases you might want to take a picture of the Hindu sadhus in Pashupati-nath and so on… Many of them will be happy to have their picture taken, however most may expect some money. You can also expect this in the rural areas, however this is much less seen in locations where travelers and tourists are seen often.
There is so much to consider when traveling, and we understand that traveling to make sure you capture the perfect moments take a different type of trip. For this reason we would also like you to check out our Photography theme page. You will not see any itinerary here, this is because we known everyone has their own preferences and dreams when imagining a trip. Our goal and vision is to make sure we understand your travel plans, preferences and needs; and combine them with our knowledge on you place you want to travel to make the perfect trip for you.
Our goal is to make sure you won’t have to worry about anything during your travel and just experience Nepal.