The colors and deep Buddhist traditions of Bhutan have made this a destination unlike any other for photographers, but few photographers get the chance to visit. We visit a large list of religious sites, schedule our travels to co-incide with festivals and take every opportunity to get out into the clean mountain air and make the most of gentle autumn light.
Set out into the mountains of Bhutan to shoot images of exquisite temples, timeless farming villages, and the towering Himalaya. Capture scenes from a lively market or crimson-robed monks against a backdrop of whitewashed dzongs. Hike into forests where wild moss creates an otherworldly atmosphere, and photograph breathtaking panoramas of snow-clad peaks. – See more at:
Itinerary: 01( Click of Thunder Dragon)
Day 1 | Arrival Paro
Our journey into Bhutan is based through Bangkok and we meet on the evening of day 1 before flying into Paro the next day. The airfare into and out of Paro is included in the tour.
Day 2-3 | Paro- Thimphu
We have an early morning flight to Paro and then a slow drive through the countryside to get familiar with the landscapes. Normally this drive takes about 1 hour, but with a group of photographers we like to take all afternoon. We have time to acclimate to the Bhutanese culture in Thimphu and meet the locals.
Days 4-5 | Thimphu – Punakha
Punakha has one of the most beautiful Dzongs in the entire country and we’ll explore it from every angle. Several other temples in the area offer unique photographic charms too and the village of Chimi is a particular favourite for sunrise.
Day 6 | Trongsa
This drive is beautiful and dramatic with lots of scenic stops along the way. Trongsa is the highlight of the journey with my favourite Dzong of all Bhutan dominating the view. The chance to see monks engaged in their traditions is excellent, and there’s often a chance to see monkeys engaged in mischief too.
Days 7-11 | Trongsa- Bumthang
Bumthang is worth visiting regardless of festivals, but the presence of two major events on the calendar makes it even better. There are many temples around the Jakar valley and we’ll have a chance to visit some of the quiet ones. No two festivals in Bhutan are the same and each day of dance is a new experience and new opportunity. They are spectacular, and a little challenging. We’ll have time to talk about techniques plus reviews to help us advance our skills and try again the next day.
Days 12-13 | Bumthang- Phobjikha
This secluded valley gets really cold at night but we’ll be cosy in a farmhouse with log fires and hot stone baths. The valley still continues with a very basic rural style and offers us a chance to really slow down and contemplate the art of photography.
Days 14-15 | Phobjikha -Paro
We return back to Paro for a little pampering in the most scenic valley Bhutan has to offer. We’ll get up close to the scenery in a serious way by ascending the trail to the Tigers Nest. We’ll have the option of horses to make the trail more comfortable, but will need to walk back down the hill after the light has faded over the horizon. The Tigers Nest is remarkable, a fitting highlight to finish our journey.
Day 16 | Departure
We leave Paro on an early flight into Thailand, hoping to arrive in Bangkok before 8pm. Exact details of our departure flight may vary according to weather conditions and we recommend you do not book onward flight from Bangkok until late evening on day 16 or plan another night or two in the city before flying home. And why not, Bangkok is a great city!
Itinerary 02 ( Spring/ Autumn Photography Trip)
Day 1 | Arrival Paro
Fly to the Paro Valley (7,300 feet) in Bhutan. Transfer to our hotel and enjoy time to relax, or take in outstanding views of the valley from Ta Dzong before walking down to Paro’s traditional center, Paro Rinpung Dzong. Tonight, gather for a welcome dinner.
Day 2 | Paro
This morning, drive to the ruins of a fortress that once protected the Paro Valley from Tibetan invasion. Then take a riverside walk through isolated farming communities. After lunch, visit the seventh-century Kyichu Lakhang. Kyichu is one of the two oldest temples in Bhutan, and is believed to be holding the left foot of an ogress whose body is so large that it covers Bhutan and most of eastern Tibet.
Day 3 | Paro- Punakha
This morning, journey to Punakha, Bhutan’s ancient capital. Travel over the Dochu La pass (10,000 feet) and stop for tea and a view of 200 miles of Himalayan summits (weather permitting). Settle into our hotel in the golden Punakha Valley and enjoy dinner together.
Day 4 | Punakha -Phobjikha
Travel to the alpine valley of Phobjika (10,000 feet), considered one of the most beautiful valleys in Bhutan. Along the way, the environment changes from semi tropical to pine forest, and then to an alpine environment—home to several species of rhododendron, dwarf bamboo, and Grey Langur monkeys
Day 5 | Phobjika
Against a backdrop of forest-clad mountains, the Gangtey Gonpa temple complex rises dramatically from a cluster of hilltop cottages. One of the oldest Nyingma monasteries in Bhutan, the Gangtey Gonpa has recently been renovated, allowing us to examine the fine workmanship of Bhutan’s best woodcarvers, sculptors, and painters during our visit. Then set off on a half-day hike, stopping to meet a family at a local farmhouse along the way.
Day 6 | Phobjikha- Thimphu
Travel to Thimphu (7,900 feet), the capital of Bhutan and home to the royal family. Visit the National Textile Museum and browse its exhibitions. Bhutan’s weavings and brocades are considered spiritual expressions and are admired for their diversity and sophistication. Tonight, get a behind-the-scenes perspective on contemporary Bhutan during a lively Bhutanese banquet with members of the government, local dignitaries, and respected professionals.
Day 7 | Thimphu- Paro
After a morning exploring the country’s more modern side in Thimphu, visit the Traditional School of Painting and the Arts to watch students practicing the ancient arts of Bhutanese thangka painting, mask making, and wood carving. Late this afternoon, return to Paro for the night.
Day 08 | Paro
Our journey in the kingdom culminates with a hike to the most famous pilgrimage site in Bhutan: Taktsang Lhakhang, or the Tiger’s Nest Temple (9,300 feet). Visible from afar, this stunning monastery clings to a vertical granite cliff 2,000 feet above the valley floor. This evening, celebrate your Bhutanese adventure at a festive farewell dinner and enjoy a private masked dance performance by some of the country’s finest dancers.
Days 09 | Departure
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