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Land Of The Thunder Dragon – 12 day Bhutan Photo Tour

£4,999 per person (17th – 29th Feb 2020) – Paro, Thimpu, Punakha, Tiger’s Nest

From the moment your flight touches down in Paro airport you know you are somewhere special. This is a country that has kept itself isolated through the ages. As a result, ancient rituals, culture, and even the dress code have been preserved. From picture-perfect fortresses and temples to colourful masks and costumes, adventure awaits. Our 12 day Bhutan Photo Tour of The Land of the Thunder Dragon will not disappoint.

Paro festival dancers on a Bhutan photo tour

This epic 12 day tour starts in the capital city of Thimphu. We will drive over mountain passes that offer some of the most stunning views in the world. In the shadow of the imposing mountains, we tick off the ancient cities of Punakha and Trongsa. Along the way, we will photograph the beautiful Phobjikha Valley, and learn about the origins of Buddhism in Bhutan in Bumthang. By the time our journey ends you will know why The Kingdom of Bhutan is a photographer’s paradise.

Reserve Your Place Now


Why you should come on our Bhutan photo tour

Our Bhutan photo tour is designed to guide you to the most photogenic locations at the perfect time of day. We will teach you how best to utilise the light available and to aid you in visualising and preparing a scene. Bhutan is still relatively off the usual tourist trail. This makes it an ideal photography location.

On this photo tour, we will help you train yourself to see and harness your creativity. You will learn how to survey the landscape, and utilise your environment. We will teach you how to approach and photograph people. Not only will you take home an amazing set of images, but continue to put your new skills to use. Our time together will include individual and group discussions, inspiring ideas, and even a few local brews.

novice monks at prayer in Bhutan

Bhutan Photography Tour Itinerary

Day 1 – Bangkok (no meals)

After you arrive in Bangkok you will be transferred to the hotel near the airport. In the evening we will have a meet and greet where you can meet your fellow guests and your tutors.


Day 2 – Bangkok => Thimphu (B, L, D)

We have an early morning flight to Paro international airport. On a clear day you will be captivated by the amazing scenery of mighty mountains all around. We will be met at the airport by our local guide and will begin the short drive to the capital city of Thimphu. This afternoon our photo shoots get going with a visit to the local weekend market. It’s then on to the Prayer Wheel where we will capture some wonderful photos of the locals as they spin the prayer wheels that we’ll see all over Bhutan. Our day ends with a sumptuous welcome dinner.


Day 3 – Thimphu => Punakha (B, L, D)

We start our day with an early morning drive up to a lookout point that gives an amazing view of the city, and the mountains in the background. Then it’s a short drive to the Big Buddha that overlooks the city which is the biggest sitting statue of Buddha in the world. After our early morning shoot we drive to the riverside town of Punakha via Duchula Pass. We’ll stop for lunch and some photos. At over 3000 meters the view is simply breathtaking. Once we arrive in Punakha we will head to the majestic Punakha Dzong. Our shoot for the day ends with a blue hour shoot at the Dzong.


Day 4 – Punakha (B, L, D)

Today we spend the day exploring the rest of Punakha including a nunnery, the temple of the Diving Madman, and a short hike to a prayer wheel that overlooks the city.


Day 5 – Punakha => Gangtey (B, L, D)

After an optional sunrise shoot and breakfast, we’ll begin our drive to Gantey – a beautiful valley and home to the critically endangered black neck cranes birds. The drive to Gangtey is spectacular and on route we will stop at a monastery. You’ll be sure to see monks standing around and roaming in its courtyard. This afternoon we’ll head up to a viewpoint to capture stunning sunset shots of the valley.


Day 6 – Gangtey (B, L, D)

It’s an early morning start as we drive to a beautiful spot to hopefully capture the early morning mist that sometimes fills the valley. After a leisurely breakfast we will visit a local school where we will be able to photograph the local kids playing during the lunch-time break. Our late afternoon shoot involves some young local monks who will be our models. Our location offers fantastic views of the valley, not to mention prayer flags and even a simple but beautiful stupa. The combination of the landscape and the monks makes for fantastic photo opportunities.


Day 7 – Gangtey => Trongsa => Bumthang (B, L, D)

We have another opportunity to capture the mist in the valley in an early morning shoot. Then after breakfast we make the long drive to Bumthang. En route, we will stop at the awe-inspiring Trongsa Dzong – arguably the most impressive in Bhutan. After spending a couple of hours exploring the many different courtyards that are often dotted with monks and locals, we continue on to Bumthang.


Day 8 – Bumthang => Bumthang (B, L, D)

Bumthang is an important region in Bhutan. This is where Buddhism started and spread across modern-day Bhutan. Our day involves visiting no fewer than four important temples and a nunnery. Then after a couple of hours to relax in the afternoon we drive up high into the mountain to visit a local temple during evening prayer. As the lights go out and the candles light the prayer hall, we will be allowed to photograph the monks praying. This is an incredibly unique experience as photography is strictly forbidden in temples in Bhutan!


Day 9 – Bumthang => Punakha (B, L, D)

We have an optional sunrise shoot planned for this morning where we drive to our lookout point to photograph the Dzong that overlooks the city. Again we will be hoping for mist in the valley which will give a wonderful serene look. After our shoot and breakfast, we make the long drive back to Punakha stopping on route for lunch and photos. After our long drive, we will enjoy a barbecue dinner around the fire.


Day 10 – Punakha => Paro (B, L, D)

It’s a relaxed start to the day as we drive to Paro. This afternoon we will have the opportunity to photograph a group of male and female masked dancers who will dance and model for us in an authentic local setting of a farmhouse. After our shoot, we will be given a demonstration of traditional Bhutanese dishes and will enjoy dinner in a local farmhouse.


Day 11 – Paro (B, L, D)

Our final day in Bhutan and it’s finally time to tick off that bucket list item. Today is all about the famous Tiger’s Nest monastery that sits high in the mountain face. We will make the tough hike up to capture those postcard shots of the monastery. We will then enjoy a delicious catered meal before starting our journey back down. For those who are not tired, there is an optional stroll around Paro town where you can indulge in some shopping. Later in the evening, we will have a blue hour shoot of Paro Dzong in the evening from the riverside. Then it is time for our farewell dinner together where no doubt we will relive the last 10 days of our journey.


Day 12 – Paro => Bangkok (B)

After breakfast, we will be transferred to the airport and will fly back to Bangkok. We will then be transferred to our hotel near the airport where we will say our goodbyes.

Tigers nest monastery in Bhutan

Monk in Punhaka Dzong

 

Novice monks

 

Monks in dzong

Monks reading

monks posing for a photo

 

What's included on our Bhutan Photo Tour

Includes

– Professional photographer and English speaking guide

– Accommodation for the duration of the tour

– Economy return flight to Paro from Bangkok

– All tour related ground transport

– Meals during the tour as indicated in the itinerary

– Bottled water daily throughout the tour

– All entrance, zone and camera fees

– Fees for local models, monastery and nunnery donations

– Bhutan Visa fees  

Excludes

– Any meals not included in the itinerary

– Alcoholic drinks

– Personal purchases such as souvenirs

– Additional activities such as hot stone bath, spas or massages

– Flight upgrades

– Personal travel or medical insurance

– Medical expenses

– Gratuities for hotel porters, local guides or driver

– Return flight to Bangkok

Bhutan Photography Tour Dates: 17th to 29th Feb 2020 – BOOK NOW

Prices Quoted

Prices quoted are for double occupancy. You will be paired with someone of the same sex if you do not have a travel partner and request a roommate – if one is not available you will be charged the single supplement.


Single Supplement

An additional £550 per person will be charged for the duration of the tour for single supplement.


Return Flight To Bhutan Included

Unlike many other tours to Bhutan, the cost of your return ticket (around $1,000) from Bangkok to Paro is included in the cost!


£800 to reserve your spot, balance due 120 days prior to the trip.


NOTE: There must be a minimum of 6 people registered for the tour. Do not book your flights until we inform you that we’ve reached the minimum number of people.

Reserve Your Place Now

 

Or if you can’t attend these dates, add your name to our waiting list for photo tours of Bhutan and we will inform you of any future dates.

Additional Information

Your tour leader on this Bhutan photo tour is Jordan Banks. Jordan is a travel, landscape and adventure photographer from London with over 20 years experience shooting assignments and hi-end content for travel, tourism, lifestyle brands and companies. Through the years his work has taken him to over 100 countries and provided him with the opportunity to shoot some of the world’s most interesting and diverse locations and festivals. His clients over the years have included; Lonely planet, British Airways, National Geographic Traveller, The Times, Vogue, Panasonic, Microsoft, Ford and many more. See more at www.jordanbanks.co.uk
The group size for this photo tour is a minimum of 6 and a maximum of 10 guests.
This photo tour is ideal for beginner, amateur, enthusiast and semi-pro photographers but even non-photographers are welcome on this tour.
Although for most locations there will be some walking involved, these will be short and easy. So if you are in good health and fitness level, you will be fine. But this tour is NOT recommended for people with mobility issues. For the hike to the Tigers Nest you will need to be of a good fitness level as it's a tough 3-hour climb up a steep track. Please contact us at info@thatwildidea.co.uk if you have any questions about the hike.
You don't need expensive or professional equipment for this photo tour. We would recommend DSLR or mirrorless cameras and a tripod for this tour. Compact or smartphone cameras will also be suitable.
This tour will consist of one return flight from Bangkok to Paro international airport. Whilst in Bhutan we will be travelling via a private air-conditioned bus.
The cost of your visa for Bhutan is included in the cost of this tour and will be handled by us. However please check if you require a visa for Thailand. Most visitors can get a visa on arrival at Bangkok international airport by completing an arrivals card. To find out about visa requirements to Thailand visit: www.markuslerner.com/travelscope/public/

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