PRE-TRAVEL
IncludedNot Included
Information and support  to aid in your travel preparation


Costs to obtain a passport


Exclusively developed professional program in collaboration with Journey leader

 TRAVEL
International airfare (from designated US gateway city)


Airfare for domestic flight to gateway city


All in-country transportation for the group (including airport transfers)


Accommodations in four to five star hotels


24/7 professional English speaking guide


Individual departure taxes (where applicable)


Fees for all services, most tips and taxes


Professionally led daily program – see itinerary for full details


Travel insurance


Daily breakfast and most lunches & dinner, as specified in the itinerary


 CAREER ENRICHMENT PROFESSIONAL CONTENT
10-20 Hours of professional exchanges with counterparts in host  country


Formal and informal meetings with your peers to increase your global knowledge of your profession


Unique insight and knowledge about current issues and challenges related to your profession


  SAFETY AND SUPPORT
24-hour support from US Nanda Journeys office and in-country support


Partnerships in every country to which we travel



Bhutan: Thimphu, Punakha & Paro | 11 days |September 25 - October 5, 2020 | $6,499

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On this amazing journey through exotic Bhutan, we are going to focus our cameras on one of the most off-the-beaten path countries on earth. During this photo tour we will use the necessary techniques to create cohesive professional travel stories, using images that go far beyond “I was here” photographs. The goal is to come away with a cohesive story told through a series of dramatic photographs.

Successful travel photographers must wear more hats than perhaps any other photographic genre. As you’ll see, in a single travel photo essay we are at times landscape photographers, architectural photographers, food photographers, and portrait photographers. The list goes on to encompass almost every possible type of photography.

From the dozens of workshops I’ve taught, the hundreds of photo assignments I’ve completed, and talking with many of the great globetrotting lensmen and women I’ve interviewed, I have developed a methodology that, when applied, should yield impressive and at times spectacular results.

Both photographers seeking to have their work published and those who want to document their adventures for friends, family, and themselves can use the ideas and techniques we will be discussing as we explore the wonders of Bhutan. As to why we travel, my friend and occasional collaborator Pico Iyer penned: “We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; we travel, next, to find ourselves. We travel to open our hearts and eyes and minds and learn more about the world than newspapers will accommodate.”

Shared Room
Number of payments 4
Payment Due*Amount
Upon Registration$500.00 USD
Every 8 weeks (x 3)$1,999.66 USD
Total $6,498.98 USD
Single Room
Number of payments 4
Payment Due*Amount
AUpon Registration$500.00 USD
Every 8 weeks (x 3)$2,399.33 USD
Total $7,697.99 USD
Please call 1-888-747-7501 if you wish to make individual credit card payments. Final balance MUST be paid 60 days prior to travel. Please review Booking Terms & Conditions at top of page.
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You are invited to become part of a once-in-a-lifetime experience: Journey with award-winning travel photographer Mark Edward Harris to Bhutan.  On this amazing journey through exotic Bhutan, we are going to focus our cameras on one of the most off-the-beaten path countries on earth. During this photo tour we will use the necessary techniques to create cohesive professional travel stories, using images that go far beyond “I was here” photographs. The goal is to come away with a cohesive story told through a series of dramatic photographs. Make new friends, improve your photographic skills, and support a local community project while exploring the culture of the beautiful and peaceful nation of Bhutan.  Our journey includes many opportunities to connect with local families, artisans and community members to explore their unique culture and way of life. ​ Take a challenging hike to the enchanting Drubthop Goetba Monastery {Tigers Nest} for an unbelieve viewpoint of the surrounding valley. This is an iconic location for travel photography and Mark will share his expertise as you seek to capture its drama. A Nanda Journeys delegation visiting Bhutan in 2018 was fortunate enough to chance upon a meeting with the Royal Family and the Prime Minister: we hope you'll be as lucky! 


PHOTOGRAPHERS OF ALL LEVELS WELCOME

​​​​​​​​​Meet you journey leader: 

Mark Edward Harris

Mark Edward Harris’ assignments have taken him to 98 countries on six continents. His editorial work has appeared in publications such as Vanity Fair, LIFE, The New York Times, Time Magazine, GEO, Newsweek, Conde Nast Traveler, AFAR, The London Sunday Times Travel Magazine, Wallpaper, Casa Vogue, Money Magazine, Architectural Digest, The Los Angeles Times Magazine, and The London Sunday Times Travel Magazine as well as all the major photography and in-flight magazines. He is a contributing editor to Outdoor Photographer, Digital Photo Pro and Black & White and the recipient of numerous accolades including a CLIO, ACE, Aurora Gold, and IPA awards.  His books include Faces of the Twentieth Century: Master Photographers and Their Work, The Way of the Japanese Bath, Wanderlust, North Korea, South Korea, Inside Iran and his latest The Travel Photo Essay: Describing A Journey Through Images. 

Follow Mark on Instagram: @MarkEdwardHarrisPhoto

What's Included

The US State Department provides a wealth of information for US travelers. You can browse visa and passport information,  Emergency information and much more. Rest assured though, Nanda Journeys will always remain abreast of all relevent traveler information for your chosen destination!

To tell focused stories through images

Refine your photo techniques under the guidance of an award-winning photographer

How to create dynamic environmental portraits

Editing and naming protocol techniques

Photographers of all levels welcome

Detailed Itinerary

​​​​​​​​Day 01-02: Depart today from Los Angeles*
Depart from Los Angeles today and make your way to Thailand. Lose a day as you cross the International Date Line. Note*Gateway city is subject to change.


Day 03: Bangkok, Thailand
Upon arrival at Suvarnabhumi Bangkok International Airport, you will be met and greeted by a local representative and transferred to a nearby airport hotel for check-in and overnight.


Depending on your arrival time, dinner will be provided at the hotel this evening.

Overnight:  Novotel Airport Hotel (or similar)
Meals: Dinner


Day 04: Welcome to Bhutan

Welcome to Bhutan!

Head back to the airport very early this morning for your flight to Paro. The Dragon Kingdom of Bhutan is the last of the Buddhist kingdoms that once occupied a vast area of the Himalayas. 

Upon arrival in Paro you will be met by your national guide/leader for the two hour drive to Thimphu, through spectacular mountain scenery and serene countryside to Bhutan’s capital. Sandwiched in the heart of the Himalayas, Thimphu is a small, charming city, with all the buildings constructed and painted in the traditional Bhutanese style.

Arrive in Thimphu this afternoon for check-in and welcome briefing & orientation. Travelers will gather this afternoon with the national guide and receive further information on the program.


This evening the group will visit a local farmer’s market or the majestic Tashichoe Dzong, office of the King and residence of the central monk lead by the Je Khenpo (chief abbot) of Bhutan.


Overnight:  Khang Residency Hotel (or similar)
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner














Day 05: Cultural Exploration - Thimpu 

This morning we will explore and photograph the Memorial Stupa, a pious landmark of Thimphu residents. You will have the opportunity to meet with local people from all walks of life. Capture images of the Giant Buddha Dordenma Statue. Inside of Thimphu’s 169-foot Buddha Dordenma statue, there are 125,000 miniature Buddhas, ranging from 8 to 12 inches tall. The statue sits atop a golden meditation hall and came with a price tag of 100 million dollars when built in 2015 to honor the 60th birthday of Jigme Singye Wangchuck, the fourth King of Bhutan.


This afternoon we will visit artisans at the Jungshi Handmade Paper factory (Jungshi meaning natural), one of the oldest in the country. Learn how authentic Bhutanese paper (De-Sho) is made from the bark of the daphne papyri bush using ancient techniques.  The Ministry of Labor & Industry established this school in 1990 to preserve and promote this age-old Bhutanese tradition.


Each evening you will have the opportunity to gather as a group to review your photography and explore with Mark how you can improve your technique. 


Dinner will be provided this evening.
Overnight: Khang Residency Hotel (or similar)
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 06: Cultural Immersion & Humanitarian Visit
This morning take part in a humanitarian visit at a local non-profit or community program, such as Draktsho Vocational Training Center. They are a non-profit organization and the only one of its kind in the country with aspirations to enhance the living standard of children and youth with disabilities through empowerment by training. 


Continue to explore to the Folk Heritage Museum, where displays feature traditional Bhutanese history and life including a typical house filled with indigenous household items. At the National Textile Museum, see a vast collection of old and rare textiles and traditional garments such as the kira worn by women, and the gho, by men. These museums, both of which opened in 2001, provide fascinating insight into Bhutanese culture.  


Lunch is on your own this afternoon.

Continue exploring during a stop at a handicrafts emporium and onward to see the Drubthob Goemba Monastery and enjoy the views of the fascinating Thimpu Valley. This is also home of the Zilukha Nunnery, where you will have a chance to talk with the nuns about their lives and Buddhism in general. Finally, stroll along Thimphu’s main street, visiting shops and markets. Before the light fades, capture images of everyday life as the local’s shop and socialize with each other.

Dinner will be provided this evening.

Overnight: Khang Residency Hotel​
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner















​​
​​Day 07: Cultural Exploration - Punakha

Today we will take a close look at the Bhutanese art forms that continue to flourish in everyday life: weavings, woodcarvings and the traditional art of painting Thangkhas (sacred Buddhist religious scrolls).


As we drive to Punakha, we will traverse Dochula Pass (10,500 ft.) and see one of Bhutan’s most breathtaking views – a plethora of colorful rhododendron blossoms and soft green wild herbs and forest trees dot a canvas of alpine snow. Enjoy panoramic views of the Himalayan mountain ranges and the fertile valley of Punakha.


Late this afternoon you will arrive in Punakha, formerly established as Bhutan’s winter capital because of its more temperate valley climate. After arrival, visit the nearby stone mason village of Rinchen Gang. Believed to be one of the oldest villages in Bhutan, the short hike up to the village affords magnificent views of the Dzong valley and river below. Visit some of the village homes to see the fine stone and masonry work firsthand.


Enjoy an excursion to Chimi Lhakhang, also known as the temple of fertility, situated on a hillock in the center of the valley. It is widely believed that couples who do not have children should pray at this temple and are usually blessed with a child soon after.


Take an early evening stroll along the roadside markets at Lobesa. This will be a great opportunity to capture images for your photo essay including local produce, vendors and everyday life.


Lunch and dinner will be provided today including staples of the local diet like rice, seasonal vegetables, noodles, naan, chicken/beef and vegetarian Ema Datshi Chili Cheese along with local dessert options.

Overnight: Drubchu Hotel (or SImilar)
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Day 08: Community Immersion
This morning you will take a short drive through the valley, then a trek up to the majestic Khamsung Yuely Namgyel Temple. Enjoy the grand views of Mo Chu River Valley before a meandering walk through terraced rice fields and small villages. After the Namgyel Temple visit, you will visit Punakha Dzong which is arguably the most beautiful dzong in the country, especially in spring when the lilac-colored jacaranda trees bring a lush sensuality to the dzong's characteristically towering whitewashed walls. This dzong was the second to be built in Bhutan and it served as the capital and seat of government until the mid-1950s. All of Bhutan's kings have been crowned here. 

Lunch will be provided today. 


Depart Punakha for the scenic drive back to Paro, arriving at your hotel in the afternoon. Tashi Namgay Resort is set amidst five acres of lush foliage and green lawns. Located conveniently in the heart of Paro valley but away from the distractions of the main town, 


End your day with a visit to a local primary school in Paro. Meet with the staff and students to learn about the education system in Bhutan and opportunities for children to be educated.


Dinner is on your own this evening after you check into your local hotel.

Overnight: Tashi Namgay Resort (or similar)​
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch


Day 09: Paro - Hike to the Tigers Nest
This morning, your guide leads you on a hike to the enchanting Tigers Nest, the Taktsang Monastery viewpoint. Built around a cave where the Guru Rinpoche meditated, this monastery impossibly seems to cling to a cliff of rock 3,000 feet above the valley floor. The Taktsang Monastery is one of the most venerated pilgrim sites of the Himalayan world, containing 13 holy places.

Please note: The hike takes about 5 hours (round trip) and is challenging although unforgettably thrilling and mystical. *Transport by pony is available on the ascent if you do not wish to hike. Walking is mandatory on the descent.*

Lunch is on your own arrangement today with either free time to relax or those interested can continue your exploration with the local guide.


Later in the day, those interested can visit Rinpung Dzong, meaning “fortress of the heap of jewels”, which has a long and fascinating history. Along the wooden galleries lining the inner courtyard are fine wall paintings illustrating Buddhist lore.


A farewell dinner will be provided this evening.


Overnight: Tashi Namgay Resort (or similar)​
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner


Day 10: Say Goodbye to Bhutan

Depart for the airport late this morning to fly back to Bangkok. Check back into your airport hotel this evening and overnight.

Lunch and dinner are on your own today. Lunch service should be included on your flight to Bangkok and dinner options will be available at your hotel this evening. 


Overnight: Novotel Airport Hotel (or similar)
Meals: Breakfast


Day 11: Depart for the U.S.

Depart for the U.S. today. Arrival to Los Angeles is on the same day.


Meals: Breakfast


Please note: All itineraries are subject to change based on availability of hotels, flights and hosting organizations at the time of finalization of booking. Comparable meetings and activities will be arranged should an itinerary change be necessary. 30 days before departure, a finalized itinerary will be available and reflect final details.​​

A NOTE FROM MARK EDWARD HARRIS​​

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A Journey of Purpose and Discovery: Bhutan Photo Workshop with Mark Edward Harris

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WHAT YOU'LL LEARN