Join David Lawrence Lim, Instructor for Canon Imaging Academy Singapore, on this small intimate group photography journey to Bhutan. The Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan is an untouched paradise of thick pine-forested mountains surrounding sublime valleys against the backdrop of the majestic snow-capped Himalayas. During the tour, there will be plenty of opportunities to shoot images of exquisite temples, capture scenes from a lively market or crimson-robed monks against a backdrop of whitewashed Dzongs. David will work with all the participants to help develop his or her unique vision. In addition, participants will also be able to gain access for photography in private monastery!
SGD $3,598 /pax based on twin sharing + 2-way return flight* (SIN - PARO)
SGD $3,888 /pax opt for single room + 2-way return flight* (SIN - PARO)
Please click on the link below for registration.
*Participants are to follow the planned flight schedule (Refer to the flight schedule tab below). Any individual request to change flight are subjective to additional fees/charge
DAY 1 (23 FEB) SINGAPORE > PARO > THIMPHU [Dinner]
Singapore – Paro / 23Feb / KB541 / 1255-1655HRS
On arrival at Paro international airport you will be received by our representative. Thereafter, proceed to Thimphu for dinner and check in.
DAY 2 (24 FEB) THIMPHU [Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner]
Our first stop will be Rinpung Dzong, built in 1645 to defend the valley against Tibetan invaders. The Dzong is now used as an administration center and school for monks. We will spend a bit of time photograhing here before we proceed on to the next location - The National Museum, rated as one of the finest natural history museums in South Asia which is a repository of not only precious work of art but also costumes, armor and other hand crafted objects of daily life that provide a good snapshot of the rich cultural traditions of the country.
Following that, we will visit Kyichu temple one of the 108 temples built in the 7th century by the Tibetan King Songsten Gampo. The story goes that a giant demoness lay across the whole area of Tibet and the Himalayas and was preventing the spread of Buddhism. To overcome her, King Songtsen Gampo decided to build 108 temples, which would be placed on all the points of her body. Of these 108 temples, 12 were built in accordance with precise plans. Thus, it happened that in about the year AD 638 the temple of Jokhang in Lhasa was built over the very heart of the demoness.
In the evening, we drive to Thimphu city, the capital of Bhutan which is at an elevation of 2,350 m / 7700 ft. Urbanization began here when Thimphu was proclaimed as a national capital in 1952 and the Dechenchoeling Palace was built at this time. Even today the city retains its ethnic architectural style and is the only capital in the world with no traffic lights. Yet unlike other capital cities in the world, Thimphu remains essentially pastoral in character and changes its demeanor with the seasons.
On arrival, check into the hotel.
DAY 3 (25 FEB) THIMPHU [Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner]
After an early breakfast, we will leave the hotel for some morning light photography.
The first site we will be visiting will be Buddha Point - popularly known as Kuensel Phodrang which has a 160 feet statue of The Present Buddha- Buddha Sakya Muni (Sha cha Thupa). This is one of the biggest statues of Buddha in the World. From here on can capture a beautiful view of the Capital city, Thimphu.
Next, we will head to Memorial Chhorten where there you can do a lot of street photography. The Chhorten was built in 1974 in memory of the Third King His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck who passed away in 1972. The Memorial Chhorten is one of the most visible religious structures in Thimphu, and for many people it is the focus of their daily worship.
If time permit, we will visit Simply Bhutan. It is an interactive 'living' museum that gives a good guided introduction to various aspects of Bhutanese traditional life. Visitors get to learn how to distil ara and many more, dress up in traditional clothes, try out archery and hear songs sung by Bhutanese women as they build houses out of rammed earth. It's a good family experience.
After lunch, we will be doing photography with locals for the Archery match.
Evening visit Tashichhodzong for a photo shoot when the monks are in the courtyard of the dzong.
DAY 4 (26 FEB) THIMPHU [Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner]
After breakfast, we will take a light hike to Tango Monastery, about 7 miles from Thimphu, the Tango Monastery is a lovely place for an excursion. The drive or walk to reach it offers beautiful views of the countryside and the Thimphu valley. The monastery dates back to the 13th century and was rebuilt in the 15th century by the “Divine mad man. (Drukpa Kinley)
On the way back visit Pangri Zampa Lhakhang now used as a school for Buddhist Astrology. It was built during the first quarter of 16th century and it is the first residence of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal who unified Bhutan during 17th century.
Afternoon photo shooting. Visit Sangaygang. There’s a wonderful view of Thimphu valley from the hillside below the telecommunications tower high above the town at the end of a road that branches off from the approach to the youth centre.
DAY 5 (27 FEB) PUNAKHA [Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner]
Morning after breakfast we will drive to Punakha valley (the old capital of the country) via the Dochula Mountain pass (3,140 m). On a clear day Dochu La offers a stunning view of the snow-capped Himalayan ranges
Arrive at Druk Wangyel Chhorten, built by the Queen Mother for the peace and stability of the country. The 108 Khangzang Namgyal Chhortens are a new landmark for travellers as they cross Dochula, the first mountain pass into the interior of the country.
On the way visit Chimi Lhakhang, located on a hillock in the centre of the valley below Metshina. There is a short 20 minute walk through the village of Sopsokha en-route to the temple wherein you will cross paddy fields and where you might be able to get a good shots of rural Bhutan. The temple was built by Ngawang Chogyel in the 15th century after the 'divine Madman' Drukpa Kuenlay built a small chorten there. The temple is believed to bless couples unable to have children and many people from around the world visit this holly site to seek its blessings.
Following that, we will proceed to photograph the impressive Punakha Dzong, the second of Bhutan’s dzongs. For many years until the time of the second King, it served as the seat of the government. It is the winter residence of the monastic order’s leader and his entourage of monks, and was built in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. Inside the Dzong is the set of the 108 volumes of Kanjur – the holy book of the Drukpa Kagyu lineage, written in gold. The Dzong also safe guards Bhutan’s most treasured possession: the Rangjung Kharsapani, a self-created image of Chenrigzig which is described by Shabdrung as a treasure as vast as the sky.
DAY 6 (28 FEB) PARO [Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner]
After an early breakfast we will drive to Paro and on arrival take a short drive to road point from where the hike begins to the famous Taktsang Monastery (Tiger's Nest) which clings precariously to a cliff 800 m / 2,600 ft above the Paro valley. The climb up to the view point will take around three hours (depending on one’s fitness). In the second half of the 8th century, Guru Rimpoche, alighted here upon the back of a tigress, and upon meditating for three months in a cave, assumed the form of Dorje Droloe, the Terrifying Thunderbolt and subjugated the Eight Evil Spirits who hindered the propagation of Buddhism. Thereafter, the Buddhist Dharma was introduced to Paro valley and soon spread to the rest of Bhutan. Taktsang is one of the holiest sites in the country and one of the most venerated Buddhist monuments in the Himalayas.
Lunch will be served during the return hike back to the road point.
Evening we will drive back to Thimphu for an overnight.
DAY 7 (29 FEB) PARO > SINGAPORE [Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner]
Paro – Singapore / 29Feb / KB540 / 0805-1610HRS
We bid farewell to the magical kingdom in the sky and head back to Singapore.
Flight Arrangement is included in the participation fees. Once your participation is confirmed, everyone have to follow the flight schedule below.
Outgoing: Singapore - Paro / 23Feb / KB541 / 1255-1655HRS
Returning: Paro - Singapore / 29Feb / KB540 / 0805-1610HRS
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