Travel Theme: Above Manila and Kathmandu

Every time I fly, its so tempting to take pictures out of the aircraft window, even though I know those pictures won’t be very good. I know I’m not alone as I see so many others whip out their phones and snap away through the glass. I guess we are just trying in some way to capture the extraordinary perspective that flying gives us, so my photo folders are full of not-so-great pictures of life from the air that never get used, but I can’t quite bring myself to delete them either. This challenge of “Above” inspired me to try a post on just this theme to see if, as a collection, the aircraft snaps take on a more interesting story of their own. Let’s see how it goes:

Aerial view of Manila

Manila from the sky. Its such a huge sprawling city. Because we hated to get stuck in Manila traffic, we kept driving around the city to a minimum. The aerial shots always gave me a reminder of how massive the city really was.


After flying over the sprawl of Manila for quite some time, you come Manila Bay.  It is an island after all.

Manila fish farms

Offshore are the fish farms that feed the 16 million+ of the city. They are huge and sprawling too, and quite a different reality from the romantic notion of freshly caught island fish.


Manila Bay fish farms

Hundreds and hundreds of fish farms

Aerial view of Kathmandu

Kathmandu from the air. Unlike Manila, the city is quite small. There’s very little development once you get outside the ring road. (This is changing fast though.) The city appears as a patch of red — from all the brick construction – surrounded by green and smaller cities close by. Eventually, of course, they will all merge.


Aerial view of Kathmandu

Just a short way outside of Kathmandu air space, flying over trees and hills, before we approach the mountainous areas.

View of Annapurnas

And of course, there’s the mountains. The first time I saw this kind of view my nose was pinned to the glass. After flying it 20+ times, its still magnificent, but I’m not so disappointed now if its cloudy.



Aerial view of Kathmandu valley

I like this shot because it really shows how Kathmandu is in a valley. Taken just as the plane lifted from the ground.

Aerial view of Kathmandu valley

The scattered outreaches of the Kathmandu valley. One day — not very far away — all the green rice fields will be gone, and the sprawl will be continuous, just like Manila

3 thoughts on “Travel Theme: Above Manila and Kathmandu

  1. I was fascinated by your collage of photos and commentary. I can’t get over the size of the fish farms, and wonder how water quality is maintained… that is an amazing sight! It’s one that the scope can only be appreciated from aerial shots.

    Thank you for the most interesting post-


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