Land Expeditions

Bhutan Photography Expedition

  • Duration 11 Days | Paro to Phobjikha
  • Group Size Max 16
  • From $10,687 AUD
Call 1800 954 479

Trip Overview

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.

Trip Highlights

  • Capture images of daily life in Bhutan on hikes to local villages and excursions to lively markets.
  • Hike to Bhutan's most famous pilgrimage site, Taktsang Lhakhang, or the Tiger's Nest Temple.
  • Photograph the exquisite carvings and sculptures of the newly renovated Gangtey Gonpa temple.
  • Mingle with community leaders and government dignitaries at a banquet dinner and gain insight into modern Bhutan.

Itinerary - 11 Days

Day 1 Bangkok, Thailand

Arrive in Bangkok this evening and check in to our hotel.
Novotel Suvarnabhumi Hotel

Day 2 Bangkok/Paro, Bhutan

From Bangkok, fly to the Paro Valley (7,300 feet) in Bhutan. Enjoy our stunning hotel—a member of the National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World collection—and capture dramatic images of the valley from Ta Dzong before walking down to Paro’s traditional centre, Paro Rinpung Dzong. After a late-afternoon photo shoot with the monks in the courtyard of the dzong, return to the hotel and gather for a welcome dinner.
Zhiwa Ling Hotel (B,L,D)

Day 3 Paro/Punakha

In the early-morning light, photograph the traditional decorative details of 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. Following a special Buddhist blessing ceremony for the safe passage of the group, journey to Punakha, Bhutan’s ancient capital. En route to Punakha, stop at the Dochu La pass (10,000 feet) and train your lens on the 200-mile panorama of Himalayan peaks (weather permitting).

RKPO Green Resort or Zhingkham Resort (B,L,D)

Day 4 Punakha

Enjoy a full day to photograph the golden Punakha Valley, beginning with the impressive Punakha Dzong. Built in 1637 to guard the northern and southern approaches to the valley, the dzong served as the national capital until 1966. Late this afternoon, hike through terraced fields to Khamsum Yuelley Namgyel Chorten, a hilltop shrine with sweeping views of the fertile valley below.

RKPO Green Resort or Zhingkham Resort (B,L,D)

Day 5 Punakha/Phobjikha

Travel to the alpine valley of Phobjikha (10,000 feet), considered one of the most beautiful valleys in Bhutan. Along the way, stop to photograph the changing landscape as it transitions from semi-tropical to pine forest, and then to an alpine environment where rhododendron, dwarf bamboo, and Grey Langur monkeys can be found.
Dewachen Lodge (B,L,D)

Day 6 Phobjikha

Against a backdrop of forest-clad mountains, the Gangtey Goemba temple complex rises dramatically from a cluster of hilltop cottages. One of the oldest Nyingma monasteries in Bhutan, Gangtey Goemba has recently been renovated, and the fine workmanship of Bhutan’s best woodcarvers, sculptors, and painters here makes for fantastic photography. Set off on a half-day hike, stopping to meet a family at a local farmhouse along the way.
Dewachen Lodge (B,L,D)

Day 7 Phobjikha/Thimphu

Travel to Thimphu (7,900 feet), the capital of Bhutan and home to the royal family. As the kingdom’s only true city, as well as the centre for government and much of the country’s commerce, Thimphu is a unique mix of Bhutanese and Western sensibilities. Time permitting, spend the afternoon photographing scenes of contemporary Bhutanese life in the capital. Tonight, get a behind-the-scenes perspective on the forces shaping the country’s future during a lively Bhutanese banquet with members of the government, local dignitaries, and respected professionals.
Taj Tashi Hotel (B,L,D)

Day 8 Thimphu/Paro

After a morning exploring the country’s more modern side in Thimphu, visit the capital's colourful outdoor produce market. Late this afternoon, return to Paro for the night.
Zhiwa Ling Hotel (B,L,D)

Day 9 Paro

Our journey in the kingdom culminates with an early-morning photo 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. As the sun sets behind the surrounding mountains, enjoy a rare opportunity to photograph some of the country's finest dancers close up at a private masked dance performance.
Zhiwa Ling Hotel (B,L,D)

Days 10 & 11 Paro/Bangkok, Thailand

Fly to Bangkok and check in to our hotel. The following morning, transfer to the airport for your return flight via Bangkok, arriving home the same day.
Novotel Suvarnabhumi Hotel (B,L; B)

Optional Extension

  • Bhutan: Angkor Wat Extension - Pre- and Post-Trip Extension, 4 Days

 

See Optional Extensions

Bhutan Photography Expedition

From AUD$10,687 Call 1800 954 479

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