Photo Tour of Nepal

Kathmandu – Bhaktapur – Pokhara – Chitwan – Kathmandu
A photography workshop with Polina Fedorova focusing on street photography, and how to create photo essays that tell stories.

Polina Fedorova has worked as a photographer and photo editor for several widely distributed russian magazines(Mir, Afisha…) and for clients like ELLE, VOGUE, VANITY FAIR, … This workshop is a hands on opportunity to work in professional conditions that will add a wealth of knowledge and experience to each participant.

  • 14 days and 13 nights
  • No hiking, no trekking
  • 6 different photography sessions guided by a professional photographer
  • Cultural sightseeing of heritage and religious sites of the Kathmandu Valley
  • Learning how to create and expand your photographic vocabulary
  • Experiment with street photography, photojournalism, and wildlife photography techniques to create your own photo driven tale

This new photo tour produced by our Montreal school will balance tourism and photography, and lend itself to the full spirit of discovery. Our experience has shown us that when the proportions are right, the voyage enriches and focuses the content.
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Dates

March 4 – March 20, 2018.

Reservation and Information

Cost : $2500 CAD
Maximum number of participants: 10
Payments:
$100 CAD – not refundable payment to reserve your place.
Book now

If you have questions, contact Polina Fedorova. fedorpo@gmail.com +1(514) 660-6711

Itinerary and Highlights

Day 1. Arrival in Kathmandu. (1300 m / 4264 ft)

Transfer to the hotel. After you take some time to settle in and rest we will have our first supper and get acquainted either at the hotel or in a nearby restaurant.
Food in Nepal’s restaurants is great, fresh and inexpensive. There is a large variety to choose from: italian, greek or excellent authentic Nepalese cuisine.

We do recommend that you drink only bottled water, not order cocktails which may contain water, not order tea if you can not see that the water is boiling in the pot. Do not order ice.

Hotel – single, double or triple occupation. Hotels are secure, clean, but not 5 star. Rooms are simple and adequate (see photos). There may be power outages during the day, but at night power is always there. Hotels have their own restaurants where breakfast is served, but there are many cafes nearby.


If you want, you can get a more expensive hotel (around extra $50 USD/night). Rooms will look like this:

Overnight in Kathmandu.

Day 2. Sightseeing in Kathmandu

City tour.
Sightseeing and photo shoots in Kathmandu: Pashupatinath Temple, BoudhnathStupa.


Pashupatinath : Situated five kilometers east of Kathmandu on the bank of the sacred
Bagmati river, the famed temple of lord Shiva Pashupatinath. Its two tiered golden roof
and silver doors are an architectural marvel. It is a centre of annual pilgrimage
on the day of MahaShivratri. Entrance to the temple precinct is permitted to
Hindus only, however visitors can clearly see the temple and the activities therein from the eastern bank of the Bagmati river.

Boudhanath is among the largest stupas in South Asia, and it has become the focal point of Tibetan Buddhism in Nepal. The white mound looms thirty-six meters overhead. The stupa is located on the ancient trade route to Tibet. For centuries Tibetan merchants have rested and offered prayers here. When refugees entered Nepal from Tibet in the 1950s, many of them decided to settle around Bouddhanath. They established many gompas, and thus the “Little Tibet” of Nepal was born. This neighborhood is the best place in the Valley to observe traditional Tibetan lifestyle; Monks walking about in maroon robes and pacing Tibetans with prayer wheels in their hands. The rituals of prostration are presented to the Buddha as worshippers circumambulate the stupa on their hands and knees, bowing down to their lord. Many people believe that Bouddhanath was constructed in the fifth century, but there is no definitive proof. The stupa is said to enshrine the remains of a Kasyap sage who is venerated by both Buddhists and Hindus. One legend has it that a woman requested from a Valley king enough ground to build a stupa. She said she needed only what land could be contained within one buffalo skin. Her wish was granted by the King. She cut the buffalo skin into thin strips and circled off a fairly large clearing. The king had no choice but to give her the land. The Bouddha area is a visual feast. Colorful thangkas, Tibetan jewellery, hand-woven carpets, masks, and khukuri knives are sold in the surrounding stalls. Smaller stupas are located below. Gompa monasteries, curio shops, and restaurants surround Bouddhanath. These conveniently situated restaurants with roof-top patios provide both good food and excellent views of Bouddhanath.

Supper at Bouddhanath area.
Visit to Naranhiti museum.
Infighting among the Royal families of Nepal led to their expulsion from the palace, and its new vocation as a museum. The Narayanhiti Palace Museum long served as the primary residence of Nepal’s kings. It is located in the centre of Kathmandu the Nepalese capital. It is the palace which long served as a primary residence for the country’s monarchs. The name ‘ Narayanhiti’ is composed of two words ‘narayan’ and ‘hiti’. ‘Naryan’ is a form of the Hindu god “Lord Vishnu” (whose temple is located opposite the palace) and ‘hiti’ refers to the legendary water spout located just east of main entrance. in the precincts of the palace, and which has a legend associated with it. The entire complex is surrounded by a compound wall. There are two distinct sections; the old palace, built in 1915, and the new palace in the form of a contemporary Pagoda. built in 1970 for for the marriage of King Birenda Bir Bikram Shah, the then heir apparent to the throne The southern gate of the palace is located at the intersection of Prithvipath and Darbarmarg roads. The palace area covers (30 hectares (74 acres)) and is fully secured with gates and walls on all sides.
Taxi to the hotel.

DAY 3. Workshop Buddhist monastery

Free morning. Visit to market area. Visit to a local museum or just a walk in the neighbourhood with a local guide.
Lunch.
Meeting: photos review, workshop instructions.

Photography workshop in a buddhist monastery: A great opportunity to get away from the standard touristic attractions and witness something unique and authentic.
Young buddhist monks in class and recreation, learning and singing, praying and playing. Clothed in their customary red ‘Kāṣāya’ these monks and their students are great subjects for our work and appreciation.

NB: Should we fall on a religious holiday, we will postpone our visit to the monastery until the next day. In this case we will busy ourselves shooting the ample buddhist ceremonies on the streets. This will be even more interesting and demanding.

One should bear some small gifts for the primary school: pens, little spot lights, cheap calculators, pencil cases, etc. All this is extremely useful things for the kids there.
Supper. Short evening walk around the touristic centre of Kathmandy.

Day 4. Workshop People and crafts

Morning trip to the actual handcrafts workshops. Here we will concentrate on how to take pictures of people in a working environment. This is a privileged opportunity to see the creation of traditional carpets, woodwork, artisanal clothing and the extraction of mustard seed oil. We will visit several neighborhoods off the beaten path where these skills are concentrated.

We will have negotiated permission to shoot inside little shops and manufacturing businesses. You will be given the chance to choose a shop where you would like to shoot.
Of course it is always polite to purchase something produced in the shop as a gesture of appreciation.would be polite if you buy a small product produced in your store. Should you choose to shoot in a shop manufacturing very expensive carpets, one can simply leave a gift or a small amount of money in an envelope ($10 – $15 USD) to the owner of the shop.

In this exploration of day to day life we will look behind the veil of centuries, and be treated to the unique world of sounds, smells and colors that exist only in Nepal.
Early dinner. Transit to our Hotel in the city of Bhaktapur.
Early to bed. Our next workshop is an early one!

Day 5. Workshop Morning Prayers

Early call around 5:30AM. Quick breakfast.
Before sunrise many people with candles in hand go for their morning prayers in local temples.
We will start our shoot before dawn using long exposures with tripods.

Bhaktapur Durbar Square is a conglomeration of pagoda and shikhara-style temples grouped around a fifty-five window palace of brick and wood. The square is one of the most charming architectural showpieces of the Valley. It is a fine example of traditional Nepalese craftsmanship. The golden effigies of kings perched on the top of stone monoliths, the guardian deities looking out from their sanctuaries, the wood carving on every struts, lintel, upright, tympanum, gateway and window form a well orchestrated Visual symphony. Main points of interest in Durbar Square are: The Lion Gate, The Golden Gate, The Palace of Fifty-five Windows, The Art Gallery and The Statues Bhupatindra Malla.


Overnight at hotel.
Day 6. Review session.
Free morning in Bhaktapur. Lunch.
Review session of previous workshops.
Walk around Bhaktapur. Street photography. Visit to a pottery workshop.
Shoots at squares and little streets of Bhaktapur.
2 hour tour which includes visiting museums.
Supper. Discussion.

Day 7. Trip to Pokhara valley on a tourist bus in the morning.

210 KM west Kathmandu, the Pokhara is known as the City of Paradise. A complete experience of the full nature of the Himalayas, with waterfalls, gorges and a lake in the middle of the city.

Long drive on a beautiful road. Stop for a lunch.
Arriving to Pokhara. Supper. Night in the hotel.

If you want to do some hiking, this picturesque area offers the perfect opportunity to enhance your photographic experience. Let us know in advance and we will organize a one or two day trek, depending on your skills. The price is not included in the tour, but it will be discussed in advance.

Pokhara is the gateway to many popular trekking routes, like Annapurna Base Camp, Poon Hill Trek and some other village trekking destinations. If you are in shape for a high altitude trek Kathmandu Pokhara tour is highly recommended.

Options : 1-day or 3-day trek. On of the main option is 3-day(2-night) trek to Asrillian camp, Dhampus. The price is $135 USD per person(includes meals, guide, vehicles, tims card and A cap.

If you are not interested in trekking routes, just stay with our tour program in Pokhara.

Day 8. Boat Excursion

Walking along the edge of the lake. Boat excursion to a small island with a temple. Shooting from the coast, the boat and on the island.

Lunch by the water.
Free time.

Day 9. Workshop Sunrise in the mountains

Early Departure at 4:30AM.
An all terrain vehicle will drive us up and into the mountains.
We will be taking pictures of dawn from excellent vantage points.


We will have a second breakfast in an old town nearby.
Walking down pristine streets polished by the hand of time. Time enough to visit ‘Devils Falls’ and the local museum and Temple.
Overnight at hotel.

Day 10. Photojournalism Workshop . Nepali village.

Visit to an authentic Nepal village.
Prepare to step across time into the 17th century. Few tourists ever get a real glimpse at what life has been for many centuries in a traditional Nepalese village. Once again, this is not a tourist attraction, but real people sharing the beauty and beauty and occupations of their everyday lives, the way they prepare food and milk their mules. This is the Nepal that most people miss as they speed or trek along from one tourist haunt to another.

Do not forget to bring little souvenirs and gifts for children and the elderly. After all, to them, you are just as alien as they are to you.


We take the road back down. Lunch. Free time
Review session, discussion, picture selection

Day 11-12. Transfer to Kathmandu

Evening in Kathmandu.
Souvenirs shopping.

Day 13. Transfer to airport

Flight to Delhi, Montreal.
Make sure you have enough connection time in Delhi. Flights from Kathmandu are often delayed.

What’s included:

  • Assistance to book the air tickets
  • Transfer to and from the airport
  • 15 nights’ accommodation. Double occupation. Single occupancy is possible but please, let us know in advance. We will confirm and give you the quote
  • 6 photography shooting sessions with a specific focus, photographic instruction and informal review of participants’ images; three dedicated review meetings for discussion, picture selection, and creating a photo story, and a final review
  • All surface travel in private cars.
  • Transportation and accompaniment to selected restaurants (evenings)
  • Assistance in ordering tickets, taxis, and guides for activities not included in the workshops.

Not included:

  • Airfare to Kathmandu
  • Food or meals. Personal expenses.
  • Taxis, public transportation, and activities outside of the workshop sessions.
  • Baggage, equipment, medical, travel and cancellation insurance.
  • Nepal visa service charge ($40 USD at the airport)

Practical information:

  • The tour price in CAD. All the prices mentioned are in US dollars. It’s much easier to exchange USD in Nepal. There are a lot of ATMs in the city and at the hotels.
  • Bring Camera, tripod, all your lenses (especially prime lenses), spare battery, a supply of memory cards, camera rain sleeve.
  • Power adapters (several if you need to charge more than one device at a time).
  • Laptop, with Photoshop or Lightroom installed.
  • Comfortable daypack.
  • Bring comfortable shoes, good sunscreen, mosquito repellent, a waterproof jacket with a hood (strongly recommended), any medication you may need.
  • Lunch format is usually a buffet. The food is fresh, choice of local or basic european dishes. Simple and edible. Again, drink no tap water! Sometimes you will see espresso machines – they are safe
  • Courtesy and respect is the key to any door in Nepal. Please bring a host of small gifts for children, the elderly, housewives, tradesmen, hotel workers. Anything, presented with care and respect will be warmly received. A little thing that costs nothing can mean the difference of what sort of access you will have. It is much better to give things that are useful on a farm, at school and can be used for a long time.
  • Nepal is recovering from the terrible earthquake of 2016. The economical situation is not very good. Polina traveled to Nepal last year and checked the route. She also signed an agreement with a local tourist company. But, nevertheless, there could be some unpredictable transportation delays beyond our control. We reserved two buffer days to cover any lost time we may accumulate. If everything goes well, we will use this time for shopping or sightseeing in Kathmandu.

NOTE: We reserve the right to make changes to the schedule in the event of unforeseen situations such as the weather, logistics, and so on. Also, we reserve the right to cancel the trip if there are fewer than 4 participants, in which case your reservation fee will be refunded in full.

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