This workshop offers the rare opportunity to explore and photograph the ultimate bucket list: A string of famous and exotic locations – historical, spiritual and natural – all in one trip. We begin our journey in the picturesque capital of Nepal, Kathmandu, visiting some of the seven architectural treasures designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, among them the famous 5th century Hindu Pashupatinath Temple, the Buddhist Stupa of Boudhanath and the colourful Ason Market. From there, we fly on to Tibet, entering the spiritual world of Tibetan buddhism as we explore and photograph the famous Potala Palace in Lhasa, the historical monasteries bustling with the daily rituals of monks, and ancient printing temples. As we continue our journey to Gyantse and Shegar, we shall have the opportunity to photograph stunning sceneries of heavenly lakes, soaring mountains and ancient forts. From Shegar we take the arduous drive to Mt. Everest Base Camp and the jaw-dropping view of the very top of the world. Finally, we make our way to Shigatse, the second-largest town in Tibet.
Bhutan expert Sisse Brimberg have 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.
Arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) just 6 km from Kathmandu in Nepal and transfer to hotel.
Tonight we meet for a group dinner followed by a talk about the itinerary for the following days.
Today we visit some of the architectural treasures included in the seven monument groups in UNESCO’s designation of Kathmandu Valley as a Cultural Heritage Site: The famous 5th century Pashupatinath Temple, an extensive Hindu temple complex raised over the centuries along the banks of the sacred Bagmati River. The Buddhist stupa of Boudhanath with its massive mandala, making it one of the largest spherical stupas in Nepal. And the photogenic Patan Durbar Square, a marvel of Newar architecture with an ancient royal palace and many temples and idols in the area.
In the evening there will be a joint dinner and lecture on “A life with National Geographic” by Sisse.
Today we continue to explore the treasures of the Kathmandu Valley, visiting the Bhaktapur Durbar Square 13 km east of Kathmandu and the ancient Hindu temple of Changu Narayan, located on a high hilltop next to the Manahara River. This shrine is dedicated to lord Visnuand considered to be the oldest temple in the history of Nepal.
This morning we walk through the charming and bustling Asan Bazaar that attracts shoppers from all over because of the tremendous variety of merchandise sold here, ranging from foodstuffs, spices and textiles to electronics and bullion. From there we visit the Kathmandu Durbar Square with its royal palace and the Swayambhunaths – an ancient religious architecture atop a hill in the Kathmandu Valley and one of the most sacred among Buddhist pilgrimage sites.
Morning flight to Lhasa. The rest of the day is free to rest and acclimatise. At an altitude of 3,490 metres (11,450 ft), Lhasa is one of the highest cities in the world.
In the morning, we visit the most famous landmark and political center of Tibet, the Potala Palace. The approach to the Potala requires climbing many steep steps, so we take it slowly. Once inside we explore the many rooms with their beautiful murals and sculptures.
After lunch, we take a short drive to the Sera Monastery on the outskirts of Lhasa. Here we will have a chance to mingle freely with the monks and print our own sutra texts on traditional long paper. In the debating courtyard we will witness the monks honing their debating skills in an elaborate clapping ceremony. After dinner, workshop on today’s photography.
We join the pilgrims flocking to Jokhang Monastery this morning, to visit the spiritual center of Tibet. Said to be built over the heart of an evil goddess, the Jokhang is the hub of concentric circles of monasteries emanating out of Lhasa.
After lunch, we walk over to Drepung Monastery with its enormous hall holding thousands of silk-bound scriptures, and we experience thousands of lamas chanting en masse.
In the evening, we meet for Sisse’s entertaining lecture and mini-workshop on photographing for National Geographic.
This morning we leave Lhasa to drive to Gyantse, stopping for lunch at the holy lake of Yamdrok Tso (4408 m) with its turquoise water and snowcovered peaks (over 7,000 m) in the distance. Gyantse is a laid-back, attractive town with a splendid view of the Kumbum Stupa, consisting of 8 levels and containing 75 chapels with wonderful murals revered by art scholars around the world.
The old fort, Shegar Dzong, towers above Gyantse and offers amazing views of the surrounding valley. We photograph the fortress at sunrise. Later, we will drive from Gyantse to Shegar, visiting Xialu Monastery, built in 1000 AD, on the way.
Although there is only 100 km from Shegar to Mt. Everest Base Camp (5,200 m), it takes about four hours to get there, as the winding roads demand caution. But the views are stupendous on a clear day, featuring a huge sweep of the Himalaya range including peaks over 8000: Makalu, Lhotse, Everest, Gyachung and Cho Oyu. When we finally get to Base Camp, the first sight of the mighty Everest is breathtaking.
Tonight, Sisse will focus on your best shots so far.
Today, we drive to Shigatse (3900 m), the second largest town in Tibet and the traditional capital of the Tsang. On the way, we visit Sakya Monastery, built in 1037 AD as the first monastery of the Sakya Order. We then visit the Grand Hall of Tashilhumo Monastery, the seat of the Panchen Lama. The monastery houses a giant statue of the Maitreya Buddha and a tomb of the 4th Panchen Lama containing masses of jewels and gold.
This morning we photograph the Tashilhumo Monastery before driving back to Lhasa. This afternoon we spend leisurely exploring Barkhor Street.
Farewell dinner tonight.
Morning photography before we fly back to Kathmandu for your international flights back home.
We can arrange extra hotels in Kathmandu and Lhasa on request.
November 18 – 30 – 2019
Number of guests: 8-14
Local transport: private vehicle, plane
Exertion level: Easy
Transportation: Hotels Flight from Kathmandu (Nepal) to Lhasa (Tibet). Domestic flights and airport taxes + land transfers
Meals: All meals included
transport to/from country
Visa and taxes
Thanks for choosing Better Moments for your workshop.
€5,250 in shared double room.
€5,645 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.
Better Moments can make your bookings for flights to and from Nepal as well as additional overnight stays.
All visitors are required to have a passport valid for at least six months beyond the intended stay. It is the responsibility of each traveller to obtain all valid travel documents and visas before arrival at this destination. On our first day in Kathmandu, Nepal, our local guide will apply for visas to enter Tibet on behalf of the whole group.
Pack for all seasons. Layers are a good idea. Kathmandu Valley is in the warm temperate zone where the climate is fairly temperate with cooler nights. In Tibet, the weather is highly unpredictable, and three to four seasons could appear within a span of 24 hours. Hail and snow over the high mountain passes is not uncommon and it will be cold at Mount Everest North Base Camp in Tibet at 5,150 metres.
Religion is extremely important to the majority of Nepalese and Tibetans, and travellers should endeavour to respect their customs and beliefs. Always walk around Tibetan Buddhist religious sites or monasteries in a clockwise direction, and when in a monastery do not wear a hat, smoke or touch frescoes. In addition, refrain from climbing onto statues, mani stones or other sacred objects.
In Kathmandu the major languages are Nepali and Nepal Bhasa, while English is understood by many. In Tibet, the main language spoken is the Tibetan language. Other languages like Mandarin and English are also used in the tourism industry.
Check with your doctor which vaccinations or medications are recommended for this destination. Remember to plan well ahead with vaccinations. Allow up to six weeks to receive the full course, as some vaccinations require more than one dose, and some should not be given together. Because of the elevation, the sun is going to be very strong. Bring and use sunscreen. Also bring warm close for bad weather.
Nepalese rupee (Nepal) and Chinese Yuan (Tibet)
The capital city of Nepal, Kathmandu, lies in the Kathmandu Valley at an elevation of approximately 1,400 metres (4,600 feet) above sea level. It is the largest metropolis in Nepal, with a population of 1.5 million. It has a multiethnic population within a Hindu and Buddhist majority.
The Tibet Autonomous Region, called Tibet for short, is an autonomous region of the People’s Republic of China, formally established in 1965 and located on the Tibetan Plateau. The area is the traditional homeland of the Tibetan people as well as some other ethnic groups such as Monpa, Qiang, and Lhoba peoples and is now also inhabited by considerable numbers of Han Chinese and Hui people.
Tibet is the highest region on Earth, with an average elevation of 4,900 metres. The highest elevation in Tibet is Mount Everest, on the border with Nepal, rising 8,848 m above sea level. The Mt. Everest North Base Camp in Tibet lies at an elevation of 5,150 metres.
Working together with Better Moments For the past 15 years Sisse Brimberg has spent part of the year travelling to remote and exotic locations shooting for National Geographic Traveler and teaching photography. She has also worked closely with Better Moments on our exclusive photo workshop program to Bhutan, Tibet and Nepal, one of the most desirable regions to visit today for photographers and film makers. The culture is rich, colourful and deeply spiritual. The landscapes are unique and beautiful, and the people are open and genuinely welcome you with a smile.
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.