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Bhutan – Exploratory Photo Tour 2023

US$9,999 person sharing

Spaces Available 

 

31 March 2023 – 8 April 2023

Few countries in the world can claim to have the mystique that surrounds the tiny Himalayan nation of Bhutan. Essentially isolated from the intrusion of the modern world until the latter half of the 20th century, Bhutan offers, without doubt, one of most fascinating cultural experiences on earth. Thanks to a small population and its Buddhist traditions, Bhutan has avoided the environmental ravages that have left its neighbours’ forests sadly degraded, and much of the scenery is quite spectacular. Here, majestic mountain passes littered with prayer flags give way to pristine forests often dominated by massive dzongs (temple-fortresses), and we will have an opportunity to view up close the impressive artwork that adorns these structures and interact with the devout Bhutanese people.

 

This Bhutan photo tour’s highlights will include cultural photo sessions with the unique and distinct Layap and Brokpa people, the annual Paro festival, which is one of the best ways to experience the ancient living culture of Bhutan, as well as visits to picturesque dzongs and monasteries, including the impressive cliff hugging Tiger’s Nest.

 

We look forward to welcoming you to the most pristine landscapes in all of the mighty Himalayas to the Kingdom of Bhutan!

Why this Photo Tour is for You

Destination Allure

With panoramic views of the Himalaya mountains, colourful villages & dzongs, Bhutan offers one of most fascinating cultural experiences on earth.

Month of Travel

Our photo tour is timed to see & capture the “Tsechu” in Paro, which is one of the largest annual religious festival comprising of cultural dances, masks and attire.

Cultural Experience

Along with opportunities to photograph colourful Bhutanese architecture, this photo tour will also incorporate visits with local farmers & monks, as well pre-arranged photo shoots with the Layap & Brokpa people, who live in some of the most remote villages in the world.

Small Group Departures

Travel on this Bhutanese photo tour with like-minded individuals for a cultural experience like no other!

Guided experience

Local knowledge of the region and its inhabitants is key to crafting the ultimate photography tour experience. Combined with the photographic expertise of your ORYX Photo Tour Leader, and you are in for an adventure that will further fuel your excitement for photography and the destination.

Marius-Coetzee

ORYX LEADER
Marius Coetzee

9 Days
6 Guests + 1 ORYX Leader
Classic
Culture
  • Destination
  • Departure
    Paro
  • person sharing
    US$9,999
  • Single Supplement
    US$1,995
  • Photographic Highlights
    Tiger's Nest, Paro Tsechu, Layap & Brokpa villages, picturesque dzongs and monasteries
  • Guide
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Day 1: Arrival in Paro

This morning is the start of our Bhutan photography tour, and after arriving in Paro, you will be collected at the airport and transferred to your hotel.   The afternoon’s activities will include a welcome blessing and spiritual cleansing by the High Lama at a monastery, followed by a private sacred song and dance performance, which will be held at a heritage home, and ending off the day by visiting Rinpung Dzong.
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Day 2: Paro to Thimpu, attend Paro Tsechu

This morning after breakfast, we will drive to Thimphu, the Bhutanese capital, which is just over an hour’s drive. Here we will aim our cameras at traditional Bhutanese religious and folk dances, with performers in traditional attire and in some cases, sacred masks as well.   Paro Tsechu is one of the most popular festivals in Bhutan featuring dances performed by trained monks and laymen in amazing masks and costumes.   Along with urban street photography in Thimphu’s city centre, we will also pay a visit to the Centenary Farmers Market, and in late afternoon, we will attend a prayer ceremony with some local monks before closing out the evening with dinner.
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Day 3: Thimphu and transfer to Punakha

As the sun rises on the third day of our Bhutan photo tour, we will visit the Buddha Dordenma Statue, otherwise known as Buddha Point, which sits at a vantage point and overlooks Thimphu.   We move onto Takin Preserve, which is hidden in a fold of the forest-draped hills high above Thimphu, and home to the Bhutan Takin, and will then transfer to Punakha, which will take approximately 2 hours.   In the late afternoon, we will visit Dochula Pass, and after a full day of activities, we will retire to our hotel for the evening.
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Day 4: Punakha

Today will be a culture infused day as we head into the alpine forest and focus our lenses on the Layaps, a distinct segment of the Bhutanese society with unique culture, traditions and appearance.   We will be able to capture the lives of the Layaps, and will end our day with a cultural song and dance around the bonfire.
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Day 5: Punakha to Paro

Our photo tour continues this morning as we visit Punakha Dzong, a majestic temple fortress at the junction of the Mo and Po rivers, and the second biggest dzong in Bhutan, as well as the most idyllic.   This afternoon we will have a riverside picnic before embarking on a leisurely stroll through the paddyfields to reach Chimi Lhakhang, also known as the Fertility Temple, which is a monastery located in the Punakha district of Bhutan.   We will then transfer to Paro and rest for the remainder of the day.
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Day 6: Fly Paro to Bumthang

This morning at a time to be advised, we will fly from Paro to Bumthang, which is the  religious heartland of the nation and home to some of its oldest Buddhist temples and monasteries.   Here we will visit the Brokpas for a pre-arranged photoshoot in the scenic Tang Valley.   We will explore and photograph this beautiful area before returning to our hotel for the evening to rest after an exciting day.  
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Day 7: Fly Bumthang to Paro

This morning after breakfast, we will fly back to Paro, and on arrival, pay a visit to a local archery range where we will watch a match take place to learn more about Bhutan’s national sport. Archery is a favourite past time among adults, and we will also try our hand at a little target practice.
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Day 8: Visit Tiger’s Nest Monastery

Our last full day sees us visiting Bhutan’s most famous (and easily recognisable) landmarks, Taktsang Monastery – best known as “Tiger’s Nest.”   In the afternoon / evening, we will embark on some urban street photography in Paro city centre and enjoy one last dinner together.
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Day 9: Depart Paro

Today after breakfast we will make our way to the airport as our Bhutan photo tour comes to a close.
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