Cultural Bhutan June 2023

Bhutan provides a stunning array of photographic opportunities- mountainous landscapes, ancient temples and monasteries, lively, colorful festivals, a timeless Buddhist culture and fascinating people.

Consistently ranked in the top ten “must see” destinations in the world, the tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan is truly unique. A cradle of Buddhism that clings to its traditional ways, the country only recently opened its doors to foreign travelers. Thoughtful policies to protect the nation against mass tourism still limit visits to a fortunate few. But this stunningly beautiful country isn’t trapped in the past. Red-robed monks check their cellphones. And the well-educated, fun-loving locals are both well-informed yet deeply protective of the pristine environment and their cultural heritage. This happy harmony of ancient and modern is what makes Bhutan such an endlessly fascinating Shangri-La.

Then there’s the sensational photography! The sublime mountain landscapes with snow-capped peaks soaring above emerald forests and chartreuse rice fields… The monasteries teeming with monks in flamboyantly crimson and yellow robes… The flutter of prayer flags and the blurring whirl of prayer wheels… And, of course,  the riotous religious festivals for which Bhutan is famous!

Led by Art Wolfe and Gavriel Jecan

Limited to 10 participants

Transportation and Accommodation

All meals, lodging, and transportation specified on the itinerary are included. You will be responsible for your flight to and from Bangkok.


Shooting schedules have the ability to be altered to effectively cater to the photographic desires of the group, as well as to adapt to changeable weather conditions. 

Day 1 Thursday June 22nd Bangkok

Arrive Bangkok International Airport. This evening there will be a welcome dinner with Art Wolfe and Gavriel Jecan. (D)

Day 2 Bangkok-Paro

In the mid morning/afternoon the group will depart for Paro.  (B, D)

Day 3 Paro-Punakha

The Punakha Dzong, also known as Pungthang Dewa chhenbi Phodrang, is the administrative centre of Punakha District in Punakha, Bhutan. Constructed by Ngawang Namgyal, 1st Zhabdrung Rinpoche, in 1637–38, it is the second oldest and second-largest dzong in Bhutan and one of its most majestic structures. (B, D)

Day 4 Punakha-Trongsa

Trongsa, previously Tongsa, is a Thromde or town, and the capital of Trongsa District in central Bhutan. The name means “new village” in Dzongkha. The first temple was built in 1543 by the Drukpa lama Ngagi Wangchuck, who was the great-grandfather of Ngawang Namgyal, Zhabdrung Rinpoche, the unifier of Bhutan. The landscapes around this location are stunning. (B, D)

Day 5 Trongsa-Bumthang

Bumthang District is one of the 20 dzongkhag comprising Bhutan. It is the most historic dzongkhag if the number of ancient temples and sacred sites is counted. Bumthang consists of the four mountain valleys of Ura, Chumey, Tang and Choekhor, although occasionally the entire district is referred to as Bumthang Valley. (B, D)

Day 6 Bumthang Festival

The festival holds a historical and significance and takes place in Bumthang. With witnessing sacred dance performances, tourists get an insight into the belief and faith of the Bhutanese people and culture. The festival creates an atmosphere of zeal and enthusiasm which is a unique experience to cherish for a lifetime. (B, D)

Day 7 Bumthang Festival

Another day of photographing the festivities of the Bumthang Festival. Art will fill the day with cultural photography and may find some individuals so he can set up a portrait session with some of the festival participants as they are dressed in their traditional clothing for the celebration. (B, D)

Day 8 Bumthang-Trongsa

Overnight stop in Trongsa, this is a mid way Bumthang and Phobjikha valley. (B, D)

Day 9 Trongsa-Phobjikha

The Phobjikha Valley spelled as Pho-sbis-kha, is a vast U-shaped valley in central Bhutan. The valley houses one of the impressive ancient Buddhist monasteries in Bhutan known as Gangteng Monastery of the Nyingma sect in central Bhutan. (B, D)

Day 10 Phobjikha

On this day the group will visit old villages, photograph rural landscapes and lifestyle. (B, D)

Day 11 Phobjikha-Paro

Paro is a historical town and seat of Paro district, in the Paro Valley of Bhutan, It is a historic town with many sacred sites and historical buildings scattered throughout the area. It is also home to Paro airport, Bhutan’s sole international airport. (B, D)

Day 12 Paro

Horse ride and short hike to the Tiger Nest Monastery Paro Taktsang, is a sacred Vajrayana Himalayan Buddhist site located in the cliffside of the upper Paro valley in Bhutan. It is one of thirteen Tiger’s Nest caves in historical Tibet in which Padmasambhava practiced and taught Vajrayana. (B, D).

Day 13 Tuesday July 4th, Paro-Bangkok

Last day in Bhutan

Participants can catch flights back home this evening.  (B)


Services Included
  • Accommodations (twin sharing basis) as indicated above in the itinerary.
  • All meals noted on the itinerary.
  • Services of Air Conditioned Van
  • Services of English speaking guide escort accompanying the trip
  • Entrance fee to visit monuments.
  • Services of local English guides during city sightseeing (as required)
  • Mineral water during all meals, transfers, drives and sightseeing (available in vehicle)
Services Not Included
  • Any international Airfare, travel insurance or medical insurance. (health insurance is mandatory and travel insurance is highly recommended)
  • Anything not mentioned in inclusion above.
  • Tipping to accompanying escort is not included in our quote.
  • Any expenditure of personal nature like alcoholic drinks, Fruit shakes, sodas, laundry, telephone calls, or internet
  • Anything ordered from room service at any hotel including mineral water (other than what being offered by the hotels on their compliment).
  • Any sudden increase in price due to steep hike in fuel cost, change in government tax policy or for any reason beyond our control like acts of god, natural calamity, law and order situation, riots etc and any forced change in itinerary for any unforeseen situation or reason beyond our control.
  • To keep our instructors and clients safe and healthy as well as streamlining the process of acquiring destination venues and accommodations, we are asking that all workshop participants be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.