Historic Central Bhutan Tour with Naked Dance Festival in Bumthang.
(11 DAYS/ 10 NIGHTS) TOUR PROGRAM
On of the most remotely located countries in the Himalayas, Bhutan is a paradise for Photographers, we with Photography Travel and Tours cover this country and cover the Bumthang Naked Dance festival, an amazing event to remember. We start the tour in Bangkok where we relax and enjoy a full day photoshoot. Then we proceed to visit Thimphu, Punakha and many more highlights of the country with a focus on Photo sessions on landscapes, people and historic temples and places. A tour not to miss.
Beginner, amateur, enthusiast and semi-pro photographers*
Travel by private a/c car or minibus
Moderate elevation changes and some walking
(*non-photographers also welcome)
David Van Driessche
PHOTO EXPEDITION’S 1ST DAY: 18TH NOVEMBER 16- Bangkok
Arrive in Bangkok and transfer to your hotel. Relax and enjoy the evening in Bangkok City (Night Market, Traditional Massage, etc)
PHOTO EXPEDITION’S 2nd DAY: 19TH NOVEMBER 16 – BANGKOK
Full day photoshooting in Bangkok, we shoot mainly the old city area, covering Wat Phra Keow Temple, the Wat Arun and a Chinatown Photowalk. In the evening we visit a High tower in Bangkok to make amazing Photos of the Bangkok Skyline.
PHOTO EXPEDITION’S 3rd DAY: 20th November 16-FLIGHT BANGKOK – Arrive Paro (By Druk Air flight):
Your Guide will receive you at the airport and drive you the short distance to the hotel. After Tea, drive to the ruins of the Drukgyal Dzong 16 km up the valley built in 1647 by the great Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, father and unifier of medieval Bhutan, the dzong was destroyed by accidental fire and left in ruins as an evocative reminder of the great victories it was built to commemorate. Explore the ramparts and on a clear day experience an unforgettable view of Mt. Jhomolhari (7,314 m). On the way back, visit Kichu Lhakhang, built in 659 A.D by the Tibetan king Srongsen Gampo. Dinner and over night in Hotel Zhiwaling.
PHOTO EXPEDITION’S 4th DAY: 21th Novemver 16-Paro, Excursion to Taktsang Monastery:
A very special day, with an excursion to view the spectacular Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) monastery – After breakfast a short drive takes us to Satsam Chorten, from there a 2 hour horse ride till the viewpoint point of the monastery. The trail climbs through beautiful pine forest, many of the trees festooned with Spanish moss, and an occasional grove of fluttering prayer flags. We stop for a rest and light refreshments at the Taktsang Jakhang (cafeteria) and then walk a short distance until we see, clearly and seemingly within reach, Taktsang monastery. The primary Lhakhang was built around Guru Rimpoche’s meditation cave in the 1684by the Penlop of Paro Gyaltse Tenzin Rabgay, this incredible monastery clings to the edge of a sheer rock cliff that plunges 900 meters into the valley below. Legend has it that Guru Padmasambhava, the tantric mystic who brought Buddhism to Bhutan, flew here on the back of a flying tiger, Dorji Drolo, said to be his favourite consort. After Lunch, visit Ta Dzong (built in1656 and renovated in 1968), an ancient watchtower, which now houses the National Museum. Below the museum is the Paro Rimpung Dzong (literally meaning “Heap of Jewels”, built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the centre of civil and religious authority in this valley. A short walk takes you to the base of the dzong and across a traditional cantilevered, covered bridge. Dinner and over night in Hotel Zhiwaling.
PHOTO EXPEDITION’S 5TH DAY: 22st November 16 Thimphu Sightseeing:
The day begins with a visit to the National Memorial Chorten (1974) built in honour of our late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk and the Dupthop Lhakhang one of the few surviving nunneries in Bhutan. We then visit the National Library, stocked with ancient Buddhist manuscripts, and the Painting School where traditional art is still kept alive through instructions in the art of painting Thangkas (sacred Buddhist religious scrolls). After lunch we drive to the Traditional Medicine Institute where medicines are prepared according to ancient practices and to Lungtenzampa to observe the Royal silver smiths and Bhutanese paper factory at work. Other highlights include a visit to the Tashichho Dzong, seat of the national government and the Central Monastic Body, including the summer residence of the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot of Bhutan). We drive to Largest Bhudha Temple and finally visit the Handicrafts Emporium followed by shopping for souvenirs in the shops of Thimphu. Over night in Hotel Tajo e Le Meridian.
PHOTO EXPEDITION’S 6TH DAY: 23th November 16 Thimphu – Punakha: (72 Kms, 3 hours drive).
After breakfast, Drive toPunakha via Dochula pass. If the weather is clear, we stop for a while at Dochula pass to view Higher Himalayas. On the way, visit Chime Lhakhang, which was built by Lama Drukpa Kuenley. He subdued the demons with his “ Magical Thunder bolt”. The Temple is also known as “the Temple of Fertility”. Lunch at Punakha. After lunch, visit Punakha Dzong built in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and is situated between Pho Chu (Male river) and Mo Chu (Female river). For many years until the time of the second king, it served as the seat of the Government. The construction of the Dzong was foretold by Guru Rimpoche, who predicted, “…a person named Namgyal will arrive at a hill that looks like an elephant”. There was a smaller building here called Dzong Chu (Small Dzong) that housed a statue of Buddha. It is said that Shabdrung ordered the architect, Zowe Palep, to sleep in front of the statue, while Palep was sleeping, the Shabdrung took him in his dreams to Zangtopelri and showed him the palace of Guru Rimpoche. From his vision, the architect conceived the design for the new Dzong, which in keeping with the tradition, was never committed to paper. The Dzong was named Druk Pungthang Dechen Phodrang (Palace of Great Happiness). The war materials captured during the battle with Tibetans are preserved here. Punakha is still the winter residence of Je-Khenpo and King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk convened the new national Assembly here in 1952.Overnight in Hotel Meri Puensum
PHOTO EXPEDITION’S 7TH DAY: 24rd November 16 Punakha – Gangtey:
After breakfast drive to the beautiful valley of Gangtey.Enroute sightseeing in the valley of Wangdiphodrang includes: visit to Wangdiphodrang Dzong built in 1638. Legend relates that as the people were searching for the site of the Dzong, four ravens were seen flying away in four directions. This was considered auspicious sign, representing the spread of religion to the four points of the compass. The Dzong is situated at the confluence of Mo Chu and Tang Chu rivers. Drive further to Gangtey. On arrival check in to Gangtey Gompa House. Visit Gangtey Gompa Monastery, from outside. Gyaltse Pema Thinley, the grandson and mind reincarnation of Pema Lingpa founded the Temple in 1613, and Tenzin Legpai Dhendup, the second re-incarnation, built the temple. The present Abbot, Kunzang Pema Namgyal is the ninth re-incarnation. It is a Nyingmapa monastery and is affiliated to other Nyingmapa monasteries including Tamshing in Bumthang. Explore Phobjikha valley, famous for the Black Necked Cranes during winter. Dinner and overnight at the Hotel Dewachen. Day 06.24th November 15 Gangtey – Trongsa – Bumthang: After breakfast, drive to Trongsa. Visit Trongsa Dzong, the most impressive dzong of Bhutan, built in its present form in 1644 by Chogyal Minjur Tempa, the official who was sent by Shabdrung to unify eastern Bhutan and enlarged at the end of the 17th century by Desi Tenzin Rabgay. Trongsa Dzong is the ancestral home of the present Royal Family and first two hereditary kings ruled Bhutan from this Dzong. Then Visit Ta Dzong, an ancient watch tower. The chapel inside the Ta Dzong is said to be dedicated to the Trongsa Penlop Jigme Namgyal. After Lunch, drive to Bumthang. Over night in Hotel Yugharling.
PHOTO EXPEDITION’S 8TH DAY: 25nd NOVEMBER 16 Gangtey – Trongsa – Bumthang:
After breakfast, drive to Trongsa. Visit Trongsa Dzong, the most impressive dzong of Bhutan, built in its present form in 1644 by Chogyal Minjur Tempa, the official who was sent by Shabdrung to unify eastern Bhutan and enlarged at the end of the 17th century by Desi Tenzin Rabgay. Trongsa Dzong is the ancestral home of the present Royal Family and first two hereditary kings ruled Bhutan from this Dzong. Then Visit Ta Dzong, an ancient watch tower. The chapel inside the Ta Dzong is said to be dedicated to the Trongsa Penlop Jigme Namgyal. After Lunch, drive toBumthang. Over night in Hotel Yugharling.
PHOTO EXPEDITION’S 9TH DAY: 26th November 16 Bumthang Sightseeing Jambay Lhakhang DRUP:
After breakfast, visit the festival at Jakar Dzong, which literally means “The Castle of White Bird”. The current structure was built in 1667 and then visit Lamey Goemba, a large palace and monastery built in 18th century by Dasho Phuntsho Wangdi. Visit Jambay Lhakhang, built by King Srongsen Gampo of Tibet in the year 659 on the same day as Kichu Lhakhang in Paro. The temple was visited by Guru Rimpoche during his visit to Bumthang and was renovated by Sindhu Raja after Guru Rimpoche restored his life force. Under the temple is said to be a lake in which Guru Rimpoche hid several Terma. In October one of the most spectacular festival, “Jambay Lhakhang Drup” is staged here. After lunch, Visit Chakhar (Iron Castle) Lhakhang, it is the site of the palace of the Indian King, the Sindhu Raja who invited Guru Rimpoche to Bumthang. The Original palace was made of Iron and hence the name Chakhar. The saint Dorji Lingpa built the Current building in 14th century. Its correct name is Dechen Phodrang. We then visit Kurjey Lhakhang that is named after body print of Guru Rimpoche, built in 1652 by Minjur Tempa. Visit Tamshing Lhakhang (Temple of the good message), established in 1501 by Pema Lingpa and is the most important Nyingmapa temple in the kingdom. In the evening, visit Membarstho which literally means, “The burning Lake”. Over night in Hotel Yugharling.
PHOTO EXPEDITION’S 10TH DAY: 27th November 16 Bumthang – Thimphu (212 kms):
Early breakfast, drive to Thimphu. Over night in Hotel TAJ.
PHOTO EXPEDITION’S 11TH DAY: 28th November 16 Thimphu – Paro
Flight to Bangkok and connecting flight home or extension Thailand.
2016 trip details coming soon!
– Airport transfers
– 2 nights in Bangkok Hotel
– Full day Photo Excursion in Bangkok
– Travel, landscape, architecture, people, nature and photography
– Professional photographer Guide
– Photo walks & discussions
– All Meals [Breakfast /Lunch/Dinner] in Bhutan (Bangkok is breakfast only)
– Accommodation [Twin Sharing]
– All transportation within the country including airport transfers.
– Royalty & Govt. Taxes
– Entrance fees for Museums and Monuments only
– Visa Fee.
– Airport tax
– Tourism Development fund
– Druk Air fare Bangkok -Bhutan and back
ARE EXCLUDED IN THE EXPEDITION COST:
– Insurance Premiums
– Payments for service provided on a personal basis
– Cost for any services not mentioned in the “Cost Include head”
– Cost incurred due to mishaps, strikes, political unrest etc.
– Personal expense in items such as laundry, soft drinks, Camera Charges, Bottle water, incidentals, Portage, Bellboy charges tips or any other services
Remark: You should bring –
(1) Some extra clothes,
(2) Torch light for the night,
(3) Rain jacket,
(4) Hat or cap for the sun,
(5) Sun cream and
1. BY CREDIT CARD:
Click the VISA/MASTERCARD Thai Epay option and pay the 500 USD deposit to guarantee your booking (additional 4 percent will be charged for the payment gateway/visa charges. In case you wish to pay the second part by VISA we will prepare a payment link for you or you can transfer the amount by Bank Transfer.
2. INTERNATIONAL BANK TRANSFER ; PAYABLE TO:
Asia 4 You Co Ltd, based in Onnut 53 Yeek 1-7, Ket Praweth Bangkok 10250.
Bangkok Bank: Account Number: 232-481172-4
Branch: Seacon Square
SWIFT code is BKKBTHBK
Full amount of 500 dollars needs to be paid to have a booking secured.
Full payment is due 90 days prior to departure.
Emailpayment slip to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Druk Air: Druk Air is the only airline that operates in Bhutan. It flies to Dhaka (Bangladesh) Katmandu (Nepal), Kolkotta (India), Delhi (India) and Bangkok (Thailand). Please let us know from where you would like to enter Bhutan and where you would like to fly out after your Bhutan trip so that we can send you the cost for Druk Air Tickets.
Bhutan Visa: Please be informed that no foreign embassies/ Missions/Agencies can issue Visa for Bhutan except the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Thimphu Bhutan. Once we receive the payment, we will process the Visa and the Visa approval letter/ Visa Clearance letter issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Thimphu Bhutan will be e-mailed to you. You have to carry this document when you board the Druk Air flight. The actual visa will be stamped in your passport upon arrival in Bhutan.
Passport: A valid passport is required for travel to Bhutan and the validity of the passport should be minimum 6 months.
Lat/long: 27°28’N / 89°39’E
Currency: Ngultrum (BTN)
Dial Codes: +975
The weather is ideal in spring and autumn. Book this tour well in advance; accommodation options can be limited. Himalayan views are best in October, while rhododendron blooms peak in March and April.