Kathmandu, Nepal 2012 : Sarangkot – amazing sunrise & breathtaking Annapurna mountains views!

Barely a week back from Nepal, and still dreaming of fabulous fresh yogurt, momos and masala tea, I finally had about 40% of my Nepal photographs sorted out.

rebecca saw - kathmandu nepal - air asia x masala tea

rebecca saw - kathmandu nepal - air asia x

Instead of narrating my Nepal travels day by day like Japan, my Nepal travelogue would be posted by the genre of cultural, food, nature, places and people.

Nepal is a country rich in culture and there’s no escaping from the rich, deeply rooted culture ingrained in all parts of the country; from the buildings to the food and its inhabitants’ behaviour. I was part of the media team sent there primarily for the Air Asia X CSR launch of the OCPL programme, a community outreach project in partnership with OLE Nepal, a non-profit organization dedicated to improve the quality of education in Nepal.

air asia x CSR One laptop one child program - Kathmandu Nepal-013

Besides the main event, the AAX team from Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia as well as media from the same 3 countries were given insights of this primitive yet beautiful country during our 6D5N stay. One of the highlights was a trip up the Sarangkot in Pokhara.

The media team from Malaysia!

Day 3 - Nepal with Air Asia X - Rebeccasaw-081

Pokhara is the 3rd largest city in Nepal. It is the starting point for most of the treks of the Annapurna range. You can travel to Pokhara from Nepal’s capital Kathmandu (which would most likely be your landing point in Nepal) using tourist buses that are readily bookable or the local microbuses or buses. The journey takes 8 hours and I can tell you that it’s not the most comfortable of rides. The roads/highways in Nepal are bumpy at most parts.

Day 2 - Nepal With Air Asia X - RebeccaSaw-014

Another viable option (trust me, take this option) is to fly. Flights cost roughly US$100 each way and take only 30 minutes from the capital. 100USD to save you the pain of a deary, long ride (actually there are sights along the way but I’ll take the aerial view anytime) and with the added bonus of a bird’s eye view of the countryside and of the panoramic mountains is certainly worth serious consideration.

We stayed at the Trek-O-Tel hotel in Pokhara town itself. It was a clean and comfortable hotel (a prerequisite for any traveler I’m sure!) with hot water and decent service. September – November is autumn and temperature is about 24°C in the afternoons and 14°C at night. Autumn and Spring (March – May) are the recommended seasons to visit Nepal.

Day 2 - Nepal With Air Asia X - RebeccaSaw-050

Morning call was at the ungodly hour of 4.00 and meeting point was at the lobby at 5.30am.
Without delays we hopped in our small coach bus and headed towards Sarangkot. Timing is crucial as the whole trip would be in vain if we missed the sunrise! Furthermore, it is a popular tourist activity so there are loads of people heading up as well.
As usual the roads were devoid of lights. Our only guiding light was the bus headlights and our reliable driver who knew the road by heart.


The ride is uphill, more like a trekking route which is pretty challenging and ideal for those looking for a morning workout.

Day 3 - Nepal with Air Asia X - Rebeccasaw-001

After 30 mins or so, we reached a viewing spot. Instead of perching on the side of a hill,  a spacious, comfortable platform was erected specially for this activity, complete with chairs and servings of cups of hot steaming chai tea.
But first, we got to get up there of course…….

Day 3 - Nepal with Air Asia X - Rebeccasaw-002

BELOW: Hot tea in hand when it’s 15 °C is fabulous, payable of course.

Day 3 - Nepal with Air Asia X - Rebeccasaw-014

Then the patient wait for the great ball of fire begins.
The platform is packed with people so it’s best to be early and book yourself a spot. Serious photographers were seen setting up their tripods and gears. Many were recording videos so they will stop you from walking across certain areas to avoid having you appearing in their footages.

BELOW: The platform.

Day 3 - Nepal with Air Asia X - Rebeccasaw-024

Day 3 - Nepal with Air Asia X - Rebeccasaw-055

In the first place, spots for a clear view were limited  so having further “banned areas” by the photographers/videographers were slightly annoying. Alternatively you can try to climb on a chair or use this one and only protruding cement “stool”.

Day 3 - Nepal with Air Asia X - Rebeccasaw-015

Anyhow, it’s too beautiful to get mad at anyone so just grab yourself a spot quickly and stay put. 🙂

So here’s goes, less words, more pictures.
These are the pictures I took from 5.30am onwards till about 8.00 am. On the left of the platform is the Annapurna Mountain Range and on the right was the perfect spot to catch the sun rises. The pictures below are in sequence so if you’re wondering why it is quite bright, that’s because IT IS already bright by the time the sun rises.

On our left:

Day 3 - Nepal with Air Asia X - Rebeccasaw-003

On our right: The changing colours of the skyline as the dawn hour progressed.

Day 3 - Nepal with Air Asia X - Rebeccasaw-004

My Sony Nex F3 was the envy of many as I took panaroma shots a couple of times that morning! 🙂

Day 3 - Nepal with Air Asia X - Rebeccasaw-005

Day 3 - Nepal with Air Asia X - Rebeccasaw-006

Day 3 - Nepal with Air Asia X - Rebeccasaw-016

Day 3 - Nepal with Air Asia X - Rebeccasaw-018

Another paranoma shot.

Day 3 - Nepal with Air Asia X - Rebeccasaw-017

Back to the Annapurna Mountains side:

Day 3 - Nepal with Air Asia X - Rebeccasaw-008

Day 3 - Nepal with Air Asia X - Rebeccasaw-013

On our right again:

Day 3 - Nepal with Air Asia X - Rebeccasaw-023

Since the sun wasn’t up yet, we focused on the mountains range.

Day 3 - Nepal with Air Asia X - Rebeccasaw-028

Day 3 - Nepal with Air Asia X - Rebeccasaw-029

Day 3 - Nepal with Air Asia X - Rebeccasaw-030

Day 3 - Nepal with Air Asia X - Rebeccasaw-032

When the caps of the mountains started to get pretty orange-hues, we were told to get ready for the sunrise!

Day 3 - Nepal with Air Asia X - Rebeccasaw-036

Day 3 - Nepal with Air Asia X - Rebeccasaw-037

Another panaroma shot.

Day 3 - Nepal with Air Asia X - Rebeccasaw-038

Day 3 - Nepal with Air Asia X - Rebeccasaw-039

Day 3 - Nepal with Air Asia X - Rebeccasaw-041

Day 3 - Nepal with Air Asia X - Rebeccasaw-044

And slowly the sun appears.

Day 3 - Nepal with Air Asia X - Rebeccasaw-048

Day 3 - Nepal with Air Asia X - Rebeccasaw-051

It was actually bright by then. See below?

Day 3 - Nepal with Air Asia X - Rebeccasaw-052

But if I focused my camera on the sun, the area around it goes pitch dark. You get what I mean right? 🙂

Sarangkot Nepal - sunrise pictures - rebeccasawblog-002

Sarangkot Nepal - sunrise pictures - rebeccasawblog-003

Sarangkot Nepal - sunrise pictures - rebeccasawblog-005

The slow and gradual rise of the great ball of fire. Everyone stood transfixed with their cameras and handphones, taking shot after shot.

Sarangkot Nepal - sunrise pictures - rebeccasawblog-006

Sarangkot Nepal - sunrise pictures - rebeccasawblog-004

Sarangkot Nepal - sunrise pictures - rebeccasawblog-007

Sarangkot Nepal - sunrise pictures - rebeccasawblog-008

Sarangkot Nepal - sunrise pictures - rebeccasawblog-009

Sarangkot Nepal - sunrise pictures - rebeccasawblog-010

Sarangkot Nepal - sunrise pictures - rebeccasawblog-012

Sarangkot Nepal - sunrise pictures - rebeccasawblog-013

Here’s another shot (when I take the focus off the sun) to show how bright it was then.

Sarangkot Nepal - sunrise pictures - rebeccasawblog-014

And now back to the sun………

Sarangkot Nepal - sunrise pictures - rebeccasawblog-015

..rising slowly but surely, marking the difference of what we know as day and night.

Sarangkot Nepal - sunrise pictures - rebeccasawblog-016

Sarangkot Nepal - sunrise pictures - rebeccasawblog-017

Same as the picture above, this was when I focused fully on the sun again. I love the photos where the outline of the sun is clearly defined. 🙂

Sarangkot Nepal - sunrise pictures - rebeccasawblog-018

Then it’s over. Everything is now bright and sunny.

Sarangkot Nepal - sunrise pictures - rebeccasawblog-019

Sarangkot Nepal - sunrise pictures - rebeccasawblog-011

All of the “action” was approximately 15 minutes in total but it was a fabulous morning spent; every single minute from the wake-up call at 4.00 am til 9.00 am. We had just witnessed the most breathtaking sunrise; which some have claimed to be the most beautiful on this planet. Come to think of it, I’m wondering too where else could the sunrise be even more beautiful than here in Nepal?
Sarangkot Nepal - sunrise pictures - rebeccasawblog-021

Sarangkot Nepal - sunrise pictures - rebeccasawblog-020
We made our journey back to our hotel but not before more pictures!
This is my personal favourite; with the warmth of the sun on my face and the majestic Annapurna mountains at my back. :DD

Day 3 - Nepal with Air Asia X - Rebeccasaw-083
Day 3 - Nepal with Air Asia X - Rebeccasaw-084

Heading down, we got distracted by the intricate jewels and trinkets from the lovely Tibetan women who ply the streets with their wares in backpacks or blankets and even food outlets selling food and hot coffee.

Day 3 - Nepal with Air Asia X - Rebeccasaw-086
Day 3 - Nepal with Air Asia X - Rebeccasaw-087
Day 3 - Nepal with Air Asia X - Rebeccasaw-096
Day 3 - Nepal with Air Asia X - Rebeccasaw-098

And more pictures enroute to where our bus was parked. Our guide had a tough time getting us all on the bus! 🙂

Day 3 - Nepal with Air Asia X - Rebeccasaw-091
Day 3 - Nepal with Air Asia X - Rebeccasaw-093
Day 3 - Nepal with Air Asia X - Rebeccasaw-095

Back in the hotel, our hot breakfast awaits and then it’s off to Lake Phewa where the Tal Barahi Temple sits right in the middle of the lake but more on that in another post. 🙂

Day 3 - Nepal with Air Asia X - Rebeccasaw-126

Day 3 - Nepal with Air Asia X - RebeccaSaw-008

Day 3 - Nepal with Air Asia X - RebeccaSaw-013

** This is a media trip with the Air Asia team and media from Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia. We were in Nepal for the Air Asia X CSR launch of the OCPL programme, a community outreach project in partnership with OLE Nepal.

Nepal 2012 Group Photo
*Group photo credit to Djamilah from Indonesia.

Our 6D5N tour was handled by Incentive Tours & Travels Pvt Ltd who did a fabulous job taking care of us! 🙂
For any enquiries about traveling in Nepal, do drop me a comment here!

sony nex f3

This Post Has 19 Comments

  1. Johan

    Will wait for all your updates…then plan my trip accordingly!

    1. rebeccasaw

      Can can! Email me, drop a comment, I’ll get back to you! 😀

  2. Andreas

    Cool girl! You’re looking good in the pics too 🙂

  3. George Lim

    Looks like one of the fantastic places in the world to watch the sun rise.
    By the way, you can try the HDR technique to bring out the photo details without the dreaded “dark-out” photo when shooting into the sun. Sony has DRO function too, which give similar effect. Have a try. 🙂

    1. rebeccasaw

      Wow! Thank you thank you for the tip! I’ll try it!!
      And as a pro photographer like yourself, please do visit Nepal! You wil get amazing shots really! :DD

  4. Farah

    Great pictures Becky! Nepal is on my top list. Looking forward to your travelogue.

    1. rebeccasaw

      Thk u for your kind compliment! :DD
      Stay tuned and do email me if you any inquiries yea? I can put you in touch with the tour agency too!

  5. very exotic! i’m not sure i’ll ever end up in nepal, but if i do, i hope i get to see some great views like this! 😀

    1. rebeccasaw

      Wake up very early but worth it Sean :)) I do hope you will be in this area of the world maybe next year??

  6. Choi Yen

    Magnificent view!! But Nepal never in my wishing list, I prefer shopping trip 😛

    1. rebeccasaw

      Hahahh! I totally understand! However, there’s a lot of shopping here too, pashmina, beauty good such as Himalayas/nepalese/indian beauty goods.. I didn’t manage to go to their shopping complex so I couldnt say if there was anything else 😛

  7. sycookies

    Amazing post ! I enjoy every photo. What an experience… I might not have the chance for those sight. Thank you so much for sharing.

    1. rebeccasaw

      Thanks girl for the encouraging comment! I shall post more over the next few weeks! :DD

  8. Victorias

    OMG.. amazingly breathtaking.. Lovely shot becky!

    1. rebeccasaw

      You must visit Nepal for this Vic! 🙂
      Let me know and I’ll hook you up with the Incentive Tour people!

  9. Kevin

    Magnificient pics and good writeup as usual becks!

Leave a Reply

Related Posts

How to Afford Your Next Getaway

After a sustained period of lockdown, nothing will be more exciting than planning your next vacation. With freedom returning to our streets in the coming

Vago, The Baggage Compression Device

Did you hear about the brand new travel tool, now available in Malaysia (and also sold internationally)? It’s the ultimate baggage compression device perfect for