Bhutan Photography Expedition
New for 2013
Discover and photograph the Rich Culture of Bhutan: this photographic expedition is designed to provide a deeper insight into the lives of the Bhutanese people. We visit farm houses, northern nomadic tribes and participate in special Buddhist ceremonies including the colourful Bumtang Nalakhar Tsechu (festival)
- Capture images of daily life in Bhutan on treks to local villages.
- Thimpu vibrant weekend market.
- Trek and photograph to Bhutan’s spiritual heart, Taktsang Lhakhang: The Tiger’s Nest
- Photograph the exquisite carvings and sculptures of the newly renovated GangteyGompa temple.
- Bumtang Nalakhar Tsechu; two days of vibrant Bhutanese festival
- The beautiful and remote Phobjika Valley
Please not that this trip is now fully booked. If you want to be informed when the 2014 dates go online, please drop us a line or subscribe to our newsletter
Day to day brief itinerary
Day 1 Delhi
Participants arrive at meet at Delhi Hotel.
Day 2 -3 Paro
Spectacular early morning flight from Delhi to the Paro Valley (7,300 feet) in Bhutan. Transfer to our hotel and enjoy time to relax in the slightly rarified air. Our two days in Paro will allow us to soak up it’s unique cultural atmosphere. Our locations will include seventh-century Kyichu Lhakhang and the ruins of the Drukgyal Dzong (fortress), built in 1646 to commemorate the victory over the Tibetan invaders. On a clear day, enjoy a splendid view of the Bhutan’s sacred mountain, Mt Jomolhari from this spot. Archery is the national sport and we will photograph the archers practiscing their art, the local people going about their daily lives, the distinctive Bhutanese architecture and perhaps begin to understand why the way of life in Bhutan is measured by the amount of “gross national happiness” a phrase used by the king to signal his commitment to building an economy that would serve Bhutan’s unique culture based on Buddhist spiritual values.
Day 4 To Bumtang
We take an early morning flight across Bhutan to Bumthang, the cultural heartland of the Bhutanese Kingdom. Our photographic options will be diverse: expect to visit the Member Tsho (flaming lake) located along the way to Tang village, where the renowned treasure reveler, Terton Pema Lingpa, discovered treasures from the lake in the late 15th century. In the afternoon, enjoy some sightseeing and visit a temple in the Ura valley and drive back to Bumthang for an overnight stay.
Day 5-6 Bumtang Nalakhar Tsechu
We will photograph the festival on two days
A lovely early morning drive through farm road till the road end at Nalakhar and then a fifteen minutes walk will take you to the festival ground in the remote Nalakhar village. Tshechu viewers dressed in their finest traditional clothes and jewellery from all over the Nalakhar villages come to witness the tshechu, mask and historical folk dances in colourful costumes. The festival is being celebrated to bring happiness, better harvest and prosperity of the villages and country as a whole. In the evening return to Bumthang for an overnight stay.
Day 7 Phobjika
This morning we leave for the mystical valley of Phobjika. Against a backdrop of forest-clad mountains, the Gangtey Gompa temple complex rises dramatically from a cluster of hilltop cottages. One of the oldest Nyingma monasteries in Bhutan, the Gangtey Gompa has recently been renovated, allowing us to examine the fine workmanship of Bhutan’s best woodcarvers, sculptors, and painters. along the way.
Day 8 Phobjika
The Phobjika valley is often referred to as the ‘Swiss’ Bhutan as the snow capped peaks and pretty alpine environment are perhaps similar, although the way of life in Bhutan is definitely lived at a radically slower pace. Today we explore both at sunrise/sunset and in between the specialness of this high remote valley.
Day 9 Phobjika
Today we explore local villages on foot including visits with local families, taking tea in homes and meeting students at the local school. This is a fascinating day that will give us lots of insight and photographic material re the life of the rural Bhutanese people.
Day 10 Punaka
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 especially interesting photographically and the village of Chimi is a special favourite with attractive rice terraces and cultural interest.
Day 11 Thimpu
This morning we drive to the Dochula pass (3,050 m) the road climbs steeply through a forest of pine and cedar festooned with hanging lichen. At the pass there are panoramic views of the Himalayan mountain ranges. In the early afternoon we will stroll through and photograph the Thimphu weekend market which is one the largest domestic market for Bhutanese farmers. Crammed with colourful stalls on both banks of the Wang Chhu,this is where village people jostle with well-heeled Thimphu residents for the best and cheapest vegetables, foodstuffs, clothing, fabric and handicrafts.
Day 12 To Paro
This morning we drive a distance of 65-km for about one hour journey to 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. We climb on a well-maintained trail through beautiful alpine forest, trees festooned with Spanish Moss and fluttering prayer flags.
Day 13 To Delhi
We leave Bhutan for Delhi