Bhutan Photography Workshop:
Festivals and Folklore

Featuring photographers Louis Au and Paul A. Teolis

Workshop Details

Few regions of the world can captivate a photographer like Bhutan. Nestled in the mountains, this Himalayan Kingdom has retained much of its charm through its preservation of culture, heritage, dress and folklore.

Religious Festivals are held throughout the year, revolving around the Tibetan Calendar. This workshop is an opportunity to witness and document two local sacred festivals, plus the National Thimpu Teschu in all its grandeur.
Colour, dance, and music will be on display.

This workshop is designed to be both active and fun. Both Louis and Paul will be alongside providing daily instructions to help hone technical precision and push one’s creative skills in an exotic environment that will offer multiple opportunities to focus on individual photographic themes. Digital post-production sessions will also be held to aid participants to take control of the digital capture workflow. This workshop is designed for photographers of all levels.

Photographers should be in good health and able to carry their own equipment as we will be visiting villages on foot and spend much of our time walking around hillside Monasteries.

Space is limited to 10 photographers who must provide a DSLR and laptop.
An equipment list will be provided to all those who joining this photography workshop.


Brief Itinerary:


22 Sep Bangkok to Paro to Thimphu
Fly from Bangkok to Paro in the morning (this flight is included in your package). Welcome to Bhutan!  Your group will be met at the airport and transferred into Paro town for lunch.  After lunch transfer to Thimphu and enjoy an evening visit to Tashi chhoedzong.  After this visit the Handicrafts Emporium before returning to your hotel for Dinner.

23 Sep Thimphu Sightseeing - Punakha
After breakfast visit the National Memorial Chorten and the weekly outdoor market.  Enjoy panoramic views while you travel from Thimphu to Punakha.  In the evening visit Punakha Dzong, the old capital of Bhutan.  Return to your hotel for the evening.

24 Sep Wangdue Festivals - Punakha
Today join in the celebration of the Wangdue Tsechu, one of the biggest events of the year. Also visit the impressive Wangdue Dzong, which houses the monastic body and the local government. Later in the afternoon drive back to Punakha for dinner and overnight.

25 Sep/Tue    Wangdue Festival – Thimphu
In the morning join in the last day of the festival and witness the mask dances and then after lunch drive back to Thimphu via Dochula pass. Dinner and overnight at hotel.

26 Sep Full day witness Thimphu Tsechu
In the morning a short drive from your hotel will take you into the ground of Tendrel Thang at Tashi Chhoedzong, and full day witness the Thimphu Tsechu which consist of mask dances and folk songs. This is also a very special day to interact with the local people who all come dressed up in their finery and jewelleries and one will be amazed how a local people were dressed up with picnic lunches. Dinner and overnight at hotel.

27 Sep Thimphu Tsechu - Wangdue
After breakfast a short drive will take you to Tendrel Thang behind Tashi Chhoedzong to witness the last day of the festival and there will be unfurling of the Thongdrel (Religious Banner) to the public. Lunch served at a restaurant in Thimphu and then depart to Wangdue over the Dochola pass. Dinner and overnight at hotel.

28 Sep Wangdue - Trongsa - Bumthang
The drive to Bumthang via Trongsa is about 7hours crossing over Pele La Pass (3300m) and Yotongla Pass (3400m). En route we cross Chendebji Chorten built many centuries ago to suppress a demon. After lunch, we go out to view the impressive Trongsa Dzong, ancestral home of the ruling dynasty. We then drive to Bumthang valley (described as “one of the most beautiful spot in the Himalayas” across the Yotongla Pass (3400m). Dinner and overnight at hotel.

29 Sep Bumthang Sightseeing - witness Thangbi Mani Festival
After breakfast walk through the suspension bridge to the valley of Thangbi Mani in order to witness the unique dance of the valley. The dance begins with a big “Fire Dance” where the people all over the country come to witness the dance in order to wash away their sins from jumping and crossing the fire. Whole day witness the mask dances and folk songs performed by the laymen and monks. Dinner and overnight at hotel.

30 Sep Bumthang - Ura - Bumthang
Following breakfast, we will take an excursion to the Ura Valley. Here we will have an opportunity to hike down through a lush forest and through the village of traditional homes to meet our bus. We visit Ura Lhakhang and then return to Bumthang. Dinner and overnight at hotel.

01 Oct Bumthang - Gangtey - Wangdue
After breakfast drive to Gangtey via Trongsa. Gangtey. There is an old monastery of Gangtey Goempo dating back to the 17th century. A few kilometers past the Goempo on the valley floor are the fascinating valley of Phobjikha. The gentle sloping hill sides of Phobjikha is described as “the most beautiful valley in the Himalayas”.  Later in the afternoon drive to Wangdue for overnight. Dinner and overnight at hotel.

02 Oct Wangdue - Thimphu - Paro
After breakfast drive to Paro via Thimphu and Dochula pass. Your lunch will be served at Dochula Cafeteria and then drive to Thimphu. In Thimphu we do the last minute shopping’s and then continue your drive to Paro via confluence. Evening ends with a walk through Paro’s main shopping district. Dinner and overnight at hotel.

03 Oct Paro sightseeing - Hike to Taktsang
In the morning drive towards the north of Paro valley to visit the ruins of the Drukgyal Dzong. Drive to Satsam Chorten to hike to Paro Taktsang, the hike up to the cafeteria will take around one and half hour.  We then walk back to the road point and then drive your way back to visit Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest temples in Bhutan. Lunch served at a restaurant in Paro. After lunch drive to visit Ta dzong, an ancient watchtower, which now houses the National Museum.  In the evening there will be a “FREE DRINKS” and 1 hour cultural program hosted by ABC.  Overnight at hotel.

04 Oct Paro - Departure
After breakfast at your hotel a short drive will take you to the airport where your guide will bid you farewell at Paro airport.  Good-bye and happy journey back home.  Fly to Bangkok (this flight is included in your package).

Itinerary Disclaimer

Please note that a minimum of 10 passengers are required to guarantee this trip

Contact Us!

Please contact us, for any questions regarding the workshop portion of this trip and equipment needs.

Contact: phototrips@f11project.com

To reserve your spot please contact:

Amylee Silva
Groups and Custom Adventures Coordinator
G Adventures
P. 416 260 0999 x 1363
P. 1 866 925 1796 • F. 416 260 1888
amylees@gadventures.com