XA Travel (Singapore) Pte Ltd.

Bhutan Travel Photography Workshop

Depart: 12th Jun 2016 (Sunday) 
Return: 19th Jun 2016 (Sunday)
Price:  USD2700 (Twin) / USD3000 (Single)
Group Size : 8 (min) / 12 (max)

Hightlights:

  • Led by Michael Lee, Leica Akademie photography instructor and a qualified  Master Photographer by Master Photographer Association United Kingdom (MPAUK) 
  • Organised by XA Traval company, a licensed tour operator by Tourism Council of Bhutan with standard of  ISO9001:2008 certified by United Kingdom Accreditation Service
  • Two festivals at Bumthang - Nimalung Tshechu and Kurjey Tshechu celebrated at the Heartland of Bhutan, with masked dances in colourful and ornate costumes performed by monks or gomchens (gurus)
  • Unique itinerary and opportunity for special arrangement with private access to visit and photograph inside few monasteries and dzongs 
  • Road drive from Paro to Bumthang, the most historic and beautiful valley 
  • Direct international flight from Bangkok to Paro with Bhutan Airline

Click to browse the album and video from previous Leica Akademie photography workshop to Bhutan.

Bangkok - Paro - Thimphu (B/L/D)

Depart from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Aiport, arrive at Paro International Airport. Travel to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan with en route visit Simtokha Dzong, the oldest fortress in Bhutan. Take a lunch break and continue to explore Thimphu town, and drive up to Tashichho Dzong - the largest fortress and Buddhist monastery with a distinctive Bhutanese architectural design, and the Buddha Point. We make our last stop at National Memorial Chorten before dinner. Overnight at Thimphu. 

Punakha (B/L/D)

Depart Thimphu in the morning and drive to Dochula Pass, a 108 chortens was built by the present Queen Mother of Bhutan Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck to commemorate Bhutan’s victory over Indian militants and to liberate the souls of the soldiers lost. Arrive at the beautiful valley of Punakha by noon and we would walk into the paddy field located to near Sopsokha. Pay a visit of the village to see the life of Bhutanese. Followed by a visit to Chhimi Lhakhang temple built in 15th century and Punakha Dzong. Punakha Dzong, the most beautiful dzong in Bhutan,  is a stunning example of Bhutanese architecture, sitting at the fork of two rivers. Late afternoon, we will visit a nun monastery to understand the life of nuns practicing Buddhism. Private access to be arranged to watch and photograph the Puja ritual. Overnight at Punakha. 

 Central Bhutan (B/L/D)

After enjoying the breakfast, we would start the journey heading east to Bumthang, one of the most spectacular valleys in Bhutan and also the heartland of Buddhism in Bhutan. It is an area with a wide variety of fauna and flora. Bumthang Valley is known as the heartland of Buddhism in Bhutan. In 746 AD, it is said that Guru Rinpoche arrived here to exorcise a demon from the king and then converted the people to Buddhism, restoring peace to the region. Guru Rinpoche stayed in the valley to build more than 40 temples. Along the journey, you will stop by Taa Dzong, which is a watchtower built in 1652 at the mountain, to ward off attacks of the town below. It now serves as home to the Royal Heritage Museum, highlighting the history of the area and the Wangchuck dynasty. Featuring Buddhist art, royal memorabilia, a 500-year-old jacket of Ngagi Wangchuck, and Padma Kathang’s personal copy of the handwritten biography of Guru Rinpoche. Arrive at Bumthang by evening, check in and dinner. Overnight at Bumthang.

Festival Celebration (B/L/D)

Today the residents of Bumthang celebrate the festival of Nimalung Tshechu. The Nimalung Tshechu will culminate with a rare display of a giant silk applique thangkha (painting) depicting Guru Padmasambava or some other important Buddhist deity this morning. Followed by the celebration of Kurjey Tshechu which is an important occasion not only for the local people of Bumthang but for all Bhutanese. We could have the opportunity to witness and receive blessings by witnessing age-old mask dances , and to enjoy this unique culture whilst basking in the natural beauty of Bhutan’s spiritual heartland. Overnight at Bumthang.

 Bumthang (B/L/D)

Morning visit Lhodrak Kharchhu Monastery. Lhodrak Kharchhu Monastery, located above the main town, about 3 km from Chamkhar town. The monastey has become part of an extensive effort to preserve and revitalize Tibetan culture. The monks regular curriculum include reading, memorizing the daily prayers. Followed by a visit to the village community primary school located at the mountainous village. After lunch, we will hike up to Thangbi Valley, crossing a suspension bridge to visit the Thangbi Lhakhang built in the 14th century via an unpaved road and Jambay Lhakhang, built in 659 by Tibetan King Sontsen Gampo to pin down a demoness who was obstructing the spread of Buddhism. Overnight at Bumthang. 

 Paro  (B/L/D)

Check out early morning and heading back to Paro. The beautiful valley of Paro is home to many of Bhutan's old monasteries and temples. The country's only Airport is in Paro. The valley is also home to mount Chomolhari (7,300 meters) situated at the northern end of the valley whose glacier water forms the Pachu flowing through the valley. Check in Paro for dinner and overnight at Paroo.

Tiger's Nest Monastery (Paro Taktsang) (B/L/D)

Today is the most exciting day of the journey where you will be heading to the base camp of Takshang Monastery (Tiger Nest Monastery) for refreshment. Horse ride to be arranged to go up to the view point, and stop for lunch. Continue to hike to Takshang monastery for 1.5hour, along the journey it offers magnificinet view of Taksang, a prominent Himalayan Buddhist sacred temple complex located on the cliff side of Paro Valley. Overnight at Paro.

Paro - Bangkok (B/L)

Today we will bid fond farewell to this beautiful Himalayan country and take an early flight back to Bangkok. Arrive Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Aiport by late noon. 

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Inclusions :

  • 2 way international flights Bangkok to Paro by Bhutan Airline
  • Private tour with comfortable vehicle
  • Bhutan visa and daily government tariff 
  • All entrance fees and permit
  • All meals as per itinerary above
  • 7 nights accommodation of comfortable boutique hotel 
  • Leica Akamedie Photography Intrusctor  (x1) and local tour guide (x1)

Exclusions :

  • Additional beverages (including alcohol) not included in meals
  • Any other incidental expenses incurred by participants
  • Additional tipping for both driver and local guide per person (voluntary basis)
Remarks

Fitness :

  • Able to carry own photography equipment and personal chores
  • Guidance to reduce altitude sickness symptom (AMS) to be given during trip briefing

Air flight detail as follow :

  • Airline : Bhutan Airline
  • Depart : 12th Jun 2016 KB141 0920 1255
  • Return : 19th Jun 2016 KB120 1335 1840
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