Asia Nepal Photo Essays

Scratching the Surface | Kathmandu, Nepal

December 19, 2017

By Jayson Cortez

Last March, I flew to Nepal alone and without any itinerary planned out – I just wanted to take a short break from the pressure and demand of my 9-6 job. To be honest, despite having a Nepalese former colleague in Dubai, I didn’t know much about Nepal back then – except, of course, that it was where the tallest mountain in the world could be found, and that it was a backpacker’s paradise. Other than that, I had no great knowledge of the country, its locals or culture.

My original plan was to go all-out traveler and go around the city on my own using public transport. But since my trip was only for three days, I figured it was more practical to hire a private ride which my hotel arranged for me along with an itinerary of highly recommended sites to see. Also, this was my first time travelling solo, so as you can imagine, I was a bit scared. Because of my limited time, I was only able to see parts of the city, but unsurprisingly the capital is filled with captivating sights to be behold. What also struck me was the people. As someone who likes observing strangers, I found Kathmandu extremely fascinating. I loved how simply the locals seem to live, and how tourists and travellers alike seemed to be more in touch and interacting with each other – perhaps because the internet connectivity is not strong and stable in the country, no one is glued to their phones. I love how everyone you meet has their own interesting stories to tell just by the looks of their faces.

I know that I have only just scratched the surface of Nepal, but those three days sparked a stronger interest in me with what more this country has to offer – culture, sites, and people. I made a vow to myself that I would be back to see more of it soon. On my flight back, I even made a new friend that offered to be my host whenever I come back – we’re still in touch and I am more than excited to lay eyes on this beautiful country again.

‘Till we meet again, Nepal!

Jayson Cortez is an an emerging travel photographer based in Dubai. A graphic designer by trade, Jayson has enjoyed photography as a hobby since late 2016. He tries to travel as much as he can while working full-time in Dubai. You can find more of his work on Instagram or at

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