Explore the secluded kingdom of Bhutan and experience the compelling atmosphere of the kingdom’s age-old monasteries and hidden valleys. Explore Punakha with stops on the way to shoot landscape photos of the Himalayas.
Bhutan expert Sisse Brimberg has photographed more than 50 stories for National Geographic and National Geographic Traveler magazines. She has spent most of her career working in Asia, Europe, shooting stories from the Arctic and Scandinavia to Italy and France.
Sisse has been awarded prizes by Pictures of the Year International, the National Press Photographers Association, White House Press Photographers Association, and Communication.
THIMPHU (ALTITUDE 2,350 M)
From Thimphu airport where we will pick you up, we follow a scenic route to the capital Thimphu. Along the way there will be occasional stops for landscape and portrait photography. We check-in at our hotel and spend the rest of the day in Thimphu. After dinner, we spend a few hours talking about today’s photography.
In the evening there will be a joint dinner and lecture on “A life with national Geographic” by Sisse.
We will spend our day in the capital Thimphu, where tradition and modernity meet. Thimphu is a fascinating and different capital. Here you will only find low-rise buildings, little traffic and no traffic lights.
After dinner, workshop on today’s photography.
We go by 4X4 bus through the lush valley taking several photo stops along the way, so you can take shots of the 7,000 m high Himalaya Mountains. In Punakha, we visit one of the country’s most impressive monasteries, the Punakha Dzong, from the 16th century. Then we cross Bhutan’s longest suspension bridge on foot (100 m).
In the evening, we meet for Sisse’s entertaining lecture and mini-workshop on photographing for National Geographic.
Today we will explore Punakha valley and visit Punakha Dzong – a huge temple buildt in the middle of two rivers. The Punakha Dzong is one of the oldest temple in Bhutan.
During the day, there will be personal one-to-one workshops with Sisse.
We leave early heading towards Paro through out breath taking landscape with several stops along the way. In the afternoon we will visit the Dzong in Paro, that stands on the hill overlooking the valley of Paro.
Sisse will tonight have focus on your best shots so far.
We start the day early at scenary and historical ruins of the fort, Drukgyal Dzong. At the oldest temple in Bhutan known as Kyichu Lhakhang we will focus on portrait photography of the many monks.
After dinner at the hotel we will enjoy an easy evening since we will have a busy next day.
After breakfast, we drive up to Ramthangkha (10 km from Paro). From here, we (slowly) walk up the 3,100 meters to the famous monastery Tiger’s Nest. The monastery is situated on a ledge overlooking the Paro Valley.
We return to Paro in the afternoon. Farewell dinner at the hotel.
We leave Bhutan and fly home.
October 26 – November 2 – 2019
Number of guests: 8-12
Local transport: 4×4 bus
Exertion level: Moderate
Meals: All meals included
transport to/from country
Visa and taxes
Thanks for choosing Better Moments for your workshop.
€4,495 in shared double room.
€4,795 in single room.
All prices are per person.
Groups sign-up a group of 4+ participants and receive a group discount.
Better Moments is a member of the Travel Guarantee Fund, your guarantee that traveling with Better Moments is a safe experience.
Paro Airport is the only international airport in Bhutan. The airport is located 6 km from Paro in a deep valley on the bank of the river Paro Chhu at an elevation of 2,200 m. Drukair, the Royal Bhutan Airline, is the national airline of the Kingdom of Bhutan. The schedule changes by season, but normally there are three flights per week from New Delhi and a daily flight from Bangkok.
All applications for tourist visas must be initiated by a Bhutanese tour operator. After checking that the trip has been paid, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Thimphu issues an approval letter to the tour operator. The tour operator then makes a final application to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. When the visa clearance is issued a visa confirmation number is sent to the tour operator and to Druk Air. Upon arrival in Bhutan, the visa officer will produce the approval form from the file, and the visa will be issued on the spot.
The climate varies widely depending on the elevation. In the southern border areas it is tropical; at the other extreme, in the high Himalayan regions, there is perpetual snow. In Paro the temperature ranges from -5°C in January to 30°C in July, with 800mm of rain.
The ideal time for trekking and for traveling throughout the country is autumn, from late September to late November, when skies are generally clear and the high mountain peaks rise to a vivid blue sky.
Dzongkha is the official language. English has been the language of education since 1964, but there is growing emphasis on learning Dzongkha to strengthen national identity.
The Bhutanese monetary unit is the Ngultrum (BTN)
Basis of rates:
All prices are quoted in Euro (€). The prices are based on current tariffs and are subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances. While we will do everything possible to maintain the listed prices, if it is necessary to levy a surcharge, we reserve the right to do so, and notification will be given at the time of final invoicing.
A deposit of €1000 is required at the time of booking. Final payment is due no later than 150 days prior to departure. For reservations made within 150 days of the departure date, full payment is required when the reservation is accepted. In order to participate on a Better Moments workshop the participant must have made full payment prior to the start of the workshop.
The payment terms can be stricter when the workshop includes chartered ships or planes, and any variation will be communicated clearly on the invoice.
Cancellations and refunds:
All cancellation notices must be received in writing and will become effective on the date, which the letter is received by Better Moments. There is no cancellation charge until 150 days before departure, however we will deduct an administration fee of €300 from the repayment of the deposit. The cancellation charge between 150 and 120 days before departure is €1000 (i.e. the deposit). Cancellation charges less than 120 days before departure are expressed as a percentage of the total price, and are as follows: 119 – 90 days before departure 25%; 89 – 60 days before departure 50%; 59 – 30 days before departure 75%; 29 days or less before departure 100%. This policy also applies to pre- and post-trip extensions. Any airline tickets issued are subject to the carrier’s refund policy. Leaving a workshop in progress, for any reason whatsoever, will not result in a refund, and no refunds will be made for any unused portions of a workshop.
We reserve the right to cancel a workshop because of inadequate enrollment that makes the trip economically infeasible to operate, or because of good-faith concerns with respect to the safety, health, or welfare of the participants. If a workshop is canceled prior to departure, you will have a choice between a full refund or a credit towards a future Better Moments workshop equivalent to amount paid. If we cancel the trip in progress, you will receive a pro-rata refund based on the number of days. We are not responsible for any refund for airline tickets, hotel accommodation etc. purchased by the participant. In the event of the specified photo expert being unable to attend due to illness or other circumstances beyond our control, a photo expert of the same standard will be provided. If this is not possible, then the workshop will be cancelled and the provisions above will come into effect.
In order to participate in a workshop you are required to have comprehensive insurance coverage for personal accident and injury, medical and repatriation costs during the workshop. In addition we strongly recommend that you arrange cancellation and travel insurance covering the loss, expenses and damages arising from, including but not limited to, the cancellation of the holiday (whether in whole or in part), loss of baggage and personal money and belongings, as well as flight cancellations and delays.
The itineraries and staff presented in this catalog are subject to modification and change by the Better Moments workshop or its designated tour operator. Every reasonable effort will be made to operate programs as planned, but alterations may still occur after final itineraries are sent.
You must be in good physical and mental health. Any physical condition or treatment requiring special attention must be reported in writing at the time of booking. By registering for a Better Moments workshop, the participant certifies that he/she does not have any mental, physical, or other condition or disability that would create a hazard for him/herself or other participants. Better Moments and its designated tour operator reserve the right in their sole discretion to accept, decline to accept, or remove any participant on a Better Moments workshop and the tour operator reserve the right, without penalty, to make changes in the published itinerary whenever, in their judgment, conditions warrant or if they deem it necessary for the comfort, convenience, or safety of participants.
If you have special requests, e.g. dietary, cabin number, bedding type, airline seat or other requests, you should inform us of these at the time of booking. We will advise the relevant supplier of your requirements, but we cannot guarantee that such requests will be met, and will have no liability to you if such requests are not met.
We reserve the right to take photographs or videos during the operation of any workshop or part thereof and to use the resulting photography, videos, or recordings for promotional or commercial use. If the participant prefers that his/her likeness not to be used, he/she must notify us in writing prior to de- parture.
Better Moments and its designated tour operator and tour administrator shall not be held liable for (a) any damage to, or loss of, property or injury to, or death of, persons occasioned directly or indirectly by an act or omission of any other provider, including but not limited to any defect in any aircraft, watercraft, or vehicle operated or provided by such other provider; and (b) any loss or damage due to delay, cancellation or disruption in any manner caused by the laws, regulations, acts or failures to act, demands, orders, or interpositions of any government or any subdivision or agent thereof, or by acts of God, strikes, fire, flood, war, rebellion, terrorism, insurrection, sickness, quarantine, epidemics, theft, or any other cause(s) beyond their control. The participant waives any claim against Better Moments and/or its designated tour operator and tour administrator for any such loss, damage, injury, or death.
Better Moments and its designated tour operator and tour administrator shall not be liable for any air carrier’s cancellation penalty incurred by the purchase of a non-refundable ticket to or from the participant’s Better Moments workshop departure city. It is the sole responsibility of the participants to organize their own transportation to and from the meeting point as described in the workshop itinerary, e.g. airport, hotel, and to ensure timely arrival. The participant should not book flights and/or hotel accommodation until Better Moments have issued final confirmation for the workshop. In the event of late arrival it is the responsibility of the participant to join the workshop, and to carry all associated expenses. Better Moments is not liable if the participant misses any portion of, or the entire workshop as a result of the delay. Baggage and personal effects are at all times the responsibility of the participant.
Other terms and conditions may apply to some workshops, and details will always be provided with pre-trip mailings. By making the deposit payment, the participant agrees to the terms and conditions and the responsibility statements herein on behalf of all the individuals included in the booking.
“It was a great experience to go on the Bhutan photo expedition with Better Moments. The entire trip was very well organized. The expert – Sisse Brimberg – were fantastic. Since it was a small group, she was able to give individual attention to all the participants.
The evening sessions conducted by Sisse were very valuable, and helped us all learn a lot about photography. Overall it was a great trip, which definitely helped me become a better photographer.”
Photo Bhutan by Jishnu Changkakoti, India