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.