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Bhutan and Nepal Photographic Workshop


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NEPAL AND BHUTAN

PHOTOGRAPHY TOUR 2019

2nd to 16th November

This trip is specially designed by
combining Nepal and Bhutan trips together.

Nepal and Bhutan is alive with mystery, color and culture.  The history is all around you.  Creating images with the locations and people will be unlike any other place.  

Bruce Byers, Professional Photographer, has worked extensively with great guides in Nepal, Gopi Chandra Bhusal and in Bhutan, Kinley TTshering to design this trip to ensure that you will be able to create once in a life time images.  

It will be the rice harvest season giving us the yellow fields at festival time. The places we will go are off the beaten path at the right time of day. The history of Nepal and Bhutan will inspire you to create. The friendly locals and rich culture will embrace you with its kindness, music and art. We’ll travel from the busy city, to a private farm, all while being transported to the stone streets of the past.  Whether you’re a seasoned photographer or just want a group of like-minded people to travel with, this trip caters to all.

Glenn Batkin, creative director and photographer will be joining us to work on the design of the photographic composition.

Traveling though Nepal and Bhutan with Camera Odysseys will be a way to bring your photography and way of seeing to the next level. There will be short workshops along the way to help you with every aspect of you photography. We will make sure to arrive at the right place at the right time. From sunset to sundown we will create and get involved in all parts of Nepal and Bhutan’s culture.

BHUTAN: This beautiful tour around Bhutan’s most scenic places takes us to the country’s finest locations with an unparalleled diversity. This is the perfect trip to experience the delight of crossing high hills as well as the wide windswept meadows filled with wildflowers, across sleepy hamlets, through fragrance filled forests, rice fields and orchards. There is no real trekking that requires outdoor camping with exhaustive long day walks; but it has moderate hikes and excursions to villages from the comforts of your Hotel. An active vacation without roughing it! The itinerary covers the regular tourists’ sites, as well as some off- the-beaten places. Walk out to visit villages, farms, and monasteries and ancient temples from the towns of Paro, Thimphu, Punakha, Wangdue Phodrang and travel as far interior to Bumthang District. Between the drives, we shall make unplanned stops at local villages. All of our small group departures are scheduled to attend the local festivals and therefore some parts of the itinerary may be revised slightly to incorporate these colorful.

NEPAL: Home to the majestic Himalayas and ancient Kingdoms, Nepal is more than just about mountains and trekking! Experience century old Hindu and Buddhist practices, colorful villages dotted with ancient architecture and temples, and luscious jungles filled with wildlife. With 131 ethnic groups, Nepal is one of the most cultural diversified countries in Asia and every corner has its own unique story to tell. Come discover this magical land of ancient traditions and several World Heritage Sites.

BUMTHANG JAKAR FESTIVAL-2019

Bumthang Jakar Tshechu Festival lasts for three days. Its official Jakar or Bumthang District’s Official Festival of the year and the Festival happens inside the gigantic Jakar Dzong. The whole district of Jakar or Bumthang remains closed for three days to witness the annual Bumthang Jakar Tshechu Festival. Tshechu are always conducted or ending on the 10th Day of a Bhutanese Calendar month as the term Tshechu means the tenth, which is widely celebrated as Birth Anniversary of Guru Rimpoche, The Second Buddha. Tshechu’s are organized in all 20 Districts of Bhutan and each district performs at different months from one another and its more like a New Year Celebrations and its both happy celebrations for the citizens as well as big day of offerings to the Guru Rimpoche and other local deities.

There will be both mask dances by the Buddhist Monks as well as songs and dance from the local villagers. It’s an annual event and during Tshechu period all Govt and Private including schools and farmers remains holiday. It is an important event as all related folks from across the country comes together and discusses the important issue and prays together for a successful year.

BUMTHANG JAKAR FESTIVAL

IS FROM 5TH NOVEMBER TO 9TH NOVEMBER, 2019.

 HIGHLIGHTS OF TRIP

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Paro International Airport, only Int’l Airport in Bhutan has a very good connection with Kathmandu International Airport with just 50 minutes flights passing by alongside of the Himalayas including Mt. Everest, Mt. Kanchenjunga in Nepal and Mt. Jhomolari and many others in Bhutan. The flight itself is a life time memory for them who are fond of mountains and natural landscape.

Price of workshop  $5495 Double occupancy

$500 plus for single occupancy

Sign-up by March 18th for $200 off trip cost.

Bhutan And Nepal Photographic Workshop Deposit
900.00
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DAY TO DAY ITINERARY

DAY 1 2ND NOVEMBER: KATHMANDU ARRIVAL

Kathmandu arrival, garland welcome, assistance and transfer to hotel. Rest for full day to overcome long flight and jet lag. Evening, enjoy Nepali dinner with cultural program followed by tour briefing.

Overnight at Hotel Manaslu in Kathmandu.                            (Meal: Welcome Dinner)

DAY 2 3RD NOVEMBER: FLY TO PARO AND SIGHTSEEING

Breakfast at hotel and timely transfer to Kathmandu International Airport to fly(50 minutes)  into Paro  which presents you with views of the awesome peaks, including Langtang Range, Mt. Everest, Mt. Kanchenjunga etc in Nepal and  the sacred Jumolhari 7314m and Jichu Drake 6794m peaks in Bhutan. On arrival our representative will greet you.

Upon arrival in Bhutan, drive to hotel. Later on, proceed for sightseeing of Paro Dzong and walk to the wooden bridge.

Overnight at hotel in Paro.                                   (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner)

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DAY 3 4TH NOVEMBER: FLY TO BUMTHANG AND SIGHTSEEING

After breakfast drive airport and fly to Bumthang for 30mins over greater Himalayan Mountains of BHUTAN. 30mins flight offers magnificent views of valleys, human settlements in different locations of the country. The high peaks standing on the boarder of Bhutan and Tibet are the only opportunity to get so close to these peaks. Upon arrival to Bhumthang check in hotel for lunch and after lunch drive to nearby valley for photography.

Overnight at hotel in Bumthang.                           (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner)

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DAY 4 5TH NOVEMBER: BUMTHANG FESTIVAL

After breakfast, drive to Jakar Dzong. The Deistric headquarter of Bumthang, which takes close to 10 minuttes. Today, you will spend entire day witnessing Jakar Tshechu. The Tshechu or Festival is truly dedicated to the Great Guru, Rimpoche. The whole district of Jakar or Bumthang remains officially closed for the entire festival season as ot’s the official District Festival. The festival mask dancers are all monks and local woment join by dancing traditional dance and singing local songs. The Jakar Tshechu Festival is an annual event where the villagers, monks, laymen, nuns and folks who are originally from the village but now reside in cities comes together for the festival and enjoy talking serious matters and family welfare and most important as being Buddhist festival they all pray for good year, good harvest and good health.

Overnight at hotel in Bumthang.                            (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner)

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DAY 5 6TH NOVEMBER: BUMTHANG SIGHTSEEING

After breakfast, drive to north of Bumthang valley where you will reach Kurey Monastery. The Monastery was built on 8th centure by Guru Rimpoche. He visited Bhutan many times but the very first time he visited Kurjey Monastery and meditated inside the rock cave and left his body print on the rock. Guru Rimpoche bought Buddhism to Bhutan and also helped spread it throughout the kingdom and besides he subdued all evils and demons those were hampering the lives of Bhutanese. Afterwards, visit the Bhutan’s oldest Monastery; Jambay Lhakang built in 7th century by Tibetan King Songtsen Gonpo in order to subdue a Orgress. He was told to buide 108 monasteries over the body of the orges of which two are in Bhutan, Jambay and Kyichu Lhakhang in Paro. Late afternoon, drive to mebar Tsho, burning lake invented by Great Treasure Discoverer Pema Lingpa and discovered some precious treasures from the lake and its one pf the holy auspicious lake. Around 5 pm in the evening, attend evening prayers of t he nuns just 2 kms drive from the lake. This is a special tour to see or experience yourself with nuns sitting together while they do their prays but one cannot takes photos by using flash lights or move freely around them while they are praying.

Overnight at hotel in Bumthang.                              (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner)

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DAY 6 7TH NOVEMBER:  DRIVE TO GANGTEY VALLEY VIA TRONGSA

(5 HOURS)

After breakfast, drive to Gangtey, enroute visit Trongsa Dzong and Chendibgi Chorter for lunch. which will be served in a local restaurant famous for its cuisine. The day is going to be full of driving but make sure to stop for photography and shorts walks to keep your legs and arms.

Overnight at hotel in Gangtey.        

(Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner)

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DAY 7 8TH NOVEMBER: SIGHTSEEING IN GANGTEY

After breakfast at the hotel, drive around 15 to 20 minutes in the villages to see and take good photos of the people, farm houses, and people working in the field harvesting their crop of the year. Sometimes we may see different activities happening like ritual ceremony or village gathering to make offerings to local bon good because it’s time of year usually happens. Drive back to hotel for lunch and after lunch visit Gangtey valley, evening your own time to explore.   

Overnight at hotel in Gangtey.                                 (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner)

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DAY 8 9TH NOVEMBER: DRIVE TO PUNAKAHA

Drive to Punakha for 2 hours, visit Punakha Dzong and lunch at Lobesa. After lunch, drive to the resort at Wangdi. Evening explore own time or hike around Eco lodge would give good time to take photos of rice terraces and local people harvesting rice.

Overnight at hotel in Punakha.         

(Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner)

 DAY 9 10TH NOVEMBER: DRIVE BACK TO THIMPHU AND TO PARO

After breakfast, drive back to Thimphu for around 5 hours. Cross Dochula- Pass with 108 chortens and gives a magnificent view of mountains and valley. After some time, drive further down to Thimphu for 1 hour.

Drive to Giant Buddha Statue, Memorial Chorten and walk around to the Thimphu city which is the capital city of Bhutan.

In the evening, drive 1 hour further to get to Paro.

Overnight at hotel in Paro.                 (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner)

DAY 10 11TH NOVEMBER: PHOTOGRAPHY TOUR AROUND PARO

Whole day is for the photography tour around Paro, local market, people houses and their living etc.

Evening, walk around to the Paro Town.

Overnight at hotel in Paro.                           (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner)

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DAY 11 12TH NOVEMBER: HIKE TO TIGERNEST (TAKTSANG MONASTERY)

After breakfast, drive for 15kms and reach the base of Famous Tiger’s Nest “TAKTSANG” Monastery and hike up which would take Two Hours up and approximately One Hour down. Stop at Taktsang Tea House “Cafeteria” for refreshment of Tea & Coffee and on your return back from monastery you will have your Lunch here.

Taktsang is at 2900mts. Hike for another half an hour and you reach the Great and Magnificent Taktsang where you will be greets by the monks who live there and Special Bhutanese Butter Tea will be served with Snacks.

Visit the most important monastery were the Guru Rimpoche was flying on a Flaming Tigress from Singye Dzong in Eastern Bhutan to here and meditated for Three Months and flourish of Buddhism in Paro started from 8th Century.

Walk down to the Tea House for Vegetarian Lunch.

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After Lunch walk down hill and drive to the Ruined Fortress the Drukgyal Dzong meaning Bhutanese Victory Fortress built in 1649 by great fortress builder and also the man who unified Bhutan in 17th Century.

On the drive back to Paro visit the Bhutan’s oldest monastery the Kyichu Lhakhang, built in 659AD by Tibetan King Songtsen Goenpo in order to subdue the Orgress in Tiber, he built 108 Stupas in Twenty Hours of time of which two are here in Bhutan, the one built on Left Knee is the Kyichu Monastery and next built on Left Toe is in Bumthang and it is called Jambay Lhakhang. The main deity inside the Monastery is the Buddha Maiteria which is commonly known as Future Buddha or referred as Jow Jamba the same in Jokhang in Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet.

Overnight at hotel in Paro.                               (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner)

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DAY 12 13TH NOVEMBER: FLY BACK TO KATHMANDU AND DRIVE TO KHOPASI, HIKE TO BALTHALI

After breakfast, drive to airport and fly back to Kathmandu.

Upon arrival in Kathmandu, we drive to Panauti (1.5 hours), a small ancient town in Kavre crossing busy city life and once we left Kathmandu, with Golden Rice fields.

At the confluence of the Roshi and Punyamati rivers, and believed to be situated on one single rock, is a historical Newar town that is one of the oldest in the Kathmandu valley. Most of the temples, monuments, and satals (community shelters) are made of terra-cotta and beautifully carved wooden columns. The temples have gilded roofs and wide courtyards, and the remnants of the ancient durbar square are still present in the town centre. Located 32 km south east of the capital, this medieval town is an important cultural site in Nepal, perhaps the most important after Kathmandu, Patan, and Bhaktapur. The town is chock-a-block with temples and other religious sites. Temples are predominant of course, with there being more than 40 temples dedicated to various deities spread around the small one-kilometer town. There are a half dozen or so stupas and three dyochhens (communal houses in which a deity idol resides in the upper room) along with one bahal (Buddhist shrine). In line with its rich cultural heritage, the small town also has plenty of patis, or public resting places, three dabalis (platform for theatrical shows), and six stone water spouts known as dhunge dharas, besides three public squares known as chowks. One of the largest temples is the three-storied temple of Indreshwar Mahadev which stands at the center of a courtyard paved with brick. Its architecture is an excellent example of Newari craftsmanship as are those of Krishna Temple, Unmata Bhairav Temple, and Ahilya Temple situated nearby in the same courtyard. Other temples of note are the 17th century temple of Brahmayani and the Krishna Narayan Temple at the Triveni Ghat.

After photo tour, we drive further to Khopasi(10 minutes) and hike to Balthali Village(1 hour).

Evening, rest or go around to the village.

Dinner and Overnight at resort in Balthali(Breakfast, lunch and Dinner)

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DAY 13 14TH NOVEMBER: BALTHALI VILLAGE TOUR AND DRIVE BACK TO BHAKTAPUR

Early morning enjoy Sunrise over the Valley and Mountains.

Just beyond Panauti town and Khopasi (40 KM southeast from Kathmandu) lies one of the rich cultural and natural destination of Balthali, with an epic view of fields dotted with ochre painted houses and faint hue of Himalayan peaks in the north horizon.

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It offers a sunrise in the east, speculating Himalayan range of Manaslu, Langtang & Everest in the north, innumerable rice terraces in the west & huge bodied green forest of Mahabharata range in the South. One of the most important factors of this spot is that it is warm in the winter & cool in the summer. The area of Balthali is cover of various flora, colorful rhododendron forest, and magnolia & Sal trees.

Deciding to come to Balthali is deciding to go really off the beaten path. Till now the resort has been a closely guarded secret kept by serious mountain bikers, hikers and of course, writers. Breakfast, and walk down to the village for photo tour. After lunch in the afternoon, hike down to Khopasi and drive back to Bhaktapur. Before, we head to Bhaktapur, a quick visit of Dhulikhel Old town is worth for photography.

One the way back, we can shoot golden rice fields and some harvesting activities.

Check-in into hotel in Bhaktapur, an ancient Newari town which is also called city of living museum and city of devotees.

Evening, walk around to the Palace to capture the daily rituals of the local people and the monuments.

Overnight at hotel in Bhaktapur.                       (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner)

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DAY 14 15TH NOVEMBER: FULL DAY SIGHTSEEING

Early morning, go around to the square to capture the daily rituals of the local people of Bhaktapur. Return to hotel for breakfast. After breakfast, proceed for sightseeing of Pashupatinath Temple, a famous Hindu temple in the bank of holy Bagmati River where people also cremate dead body. Afterwards, drive to Boudhanath Stupa, one of the biggest and beautiful Stupas in the world. Swyombhunath Stupa also called Monkey Temple, a Stupa in a small hill of Kathmandu over viewing Kathmandu valley and the surrounding mountains. After sightseeing, drive back to Thamel. 

Thamel is a tourist hub and famous for multi cuisine restaurants, bars, clubs and for shopping.

Eve: Enjoy farewell dinner at one of the nice restaurant.

Overnight at hotel Manaslu in Kathmandu.               (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner)

 DAY 15 16TH NOVEMBER: DEPARTURE FROM KATHMANDU

Breakfast and timely transfer to airport for departure from Kathmandu.                           (Meal: Breakfast)

 END OF THE ARRANGMENTS !!!

ABOVE COSTS INCLUDE:

  • Garland welcome, arrival and departure transfers in Kathmandu as per the itinerary with office representative.

  • 10 Nights/11 Days Bhutan Tour in a regular 3 star hotels with breakfast, lunch and dinners and a English Speaking Tour Guide throughout the tour with all entrance fees in a Deluxe Van  as per the itinerary.

  • Bhutan Visa Fees.

  • 2 nights in Kathmandu with breakfast inclusive of taxes and service charges.

  • 1 night in Balthali Eco Hill Resort with all meals inclusive of taxes and service charges.

  • 1 night in Bhaktapur with breakfast inclusive of taxes and service charges.

  • All Meals ie Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner as indicated in the Itinerary.

  • Kathmandu sightseeing with English Speaking Tour Guide with all applicable entrance fees.

  • Kathmandu/Paro/Kathmandu Airfare

  • Paro/Bumthang Airfare

  • English Speaking Tour Escort throughout the tour in Nepal.

  • Welcome and Farewell dinners in Kathmandu.

  • Bottle Drinking water in vehicle for sightseeing drives and transfers.

  • All drives, sightseeing and transfers by Deluxe Vehicle.

  • 24/7 hours Assistance.

ABOVE COSTS EXCLUDE:

  • International Airfare to/from Kathmandu.

  • Changes in Airfare to Bhutan.

  • Nepal Visa fees on Arrival at airport (USD 40 for 30 Days).

  • Meals other than mentioned in the program.

  • Personal nature of expenses like tips, bar bills, laundry and personal expenses.

  • Cost may arise of natural calamities, flight cancellation, illness, hospitalization, tour cancellation, blockade etc.

  • Other than in our include section.

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