This is one list where Nepal comes out on top—the undisputed Number One. China (Hong Kong) is number 10, U.S.A. is number 8, India is number 4, and Japan is number 2. No, it’s not a ranking of the world’s richest, poorest, least healthy, most polluted, truly democratic, thoroughly corrupt, and so on. It’s a list of the world’s most photogenic countries. And, yes, you heard it right; Nepal is the hands-down Numero Uno. (http://goo.gl/wLP5u6)
This list was prepared in 2014 by Rough Guides photographer Tim Draper of England, who has shot images for 24 Rough Guides throughout his career as a professional travel photographer. Rough Guides Ltd. is a travel guidebook, owned by Penguin Random House, which covers more than 200 destinations around the world.
Here’s how he describes his Nepal experience: “My top pick is Nepal, because there’s no other place like Nepal. Kathmandu has just a unique vibrancy, an amazing feel to it. Really historical, you feel like you are lost in time. Soon as you get out of Kathmandu, you are in an ancient terraced landscape. You can go and explore smaller towns. Photography is fantastic everywhere you go, fantastic portraits of people, and a real feeling of time slowed down. Fantastic photo opportunities, of course, as you get further up in the Himalayas.
“You get wilder, more amazing, natural wonders, great terrain, great terraced fields of rice, small cobbled villages, fantastic ancient architecture, a really, really, great, people, and for me, still the most amazing thing I have ever seen, the greatest natural wonder, is Everest. I go up in the evening and I wait, and slowly watch all the tourists come off the viewpoint, and I wrap myself in my sleeping back up on the viewpoint, and wait for the sun to set. Because what you see is this golden yellow light on Everest and the orange to red to purple, blue, and finally, indigo, and it is really an awesome experience. It’s a really bright thing to see.” (https://goo.gl/YRmitv)
Indeed, this is great feather in our cap, considering that there are so many beautiful destinations around this fascinating world. It’s a high honor to be so chosen, and here’s hoping our local photographers take this as a pointer towards even more adventurous shoots around the country, in the high Himalayas, the teeming Terai, and the serene hills. They say a picture is worth a thousand or more words, but it goes without saying that the picture should be from the hands of one capable of doing justice to it, and Nepal’s beauty is certainly deserving of the best. Its munificent natural bounty is something that mesmerizes even the most jaded traveler, and its people are so simple and naturally friendly, that no one who comes across them can but reciprocate in kind.
Yes, it is Nepal’s natural beauty and its friendly people that make the country a favorite of many, and a destination that they would like to visit time and again. It is no exaggeration to say that the country garners a fair amount of repeat visitors, and it is not wrong to say that they are our greatest ambassadors. As a travel agency professional says, “It is only difficult to attract a tourist the first time. But once they come here, they end up as being our avid admirers, and our most effective ambassadors.”