Andrew Peacock's Bhutan Photography Tour

25 October 2019

The Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan is a photographer’s dream destination. A largely Buddhist country, steeped in ancient traditions, it has managed to preserve many aspects of a way of life that has changed little in generations. From colourful traditional dress, to imposing dzongs (fortresses), religious rituals, masked dances at Buddhist festivals, dramatic scenery and rural landscapes, Bhutan offers endless photographic opportunities. No wonder it has just been ranked by Lonely Planet as their No 1 country to visit in 2020!

Earlier this year I was delighted to visit Bhutan for the first time when I led a photo tour for Australian travel company 'Bhutan and Beyond'. I'm familiar with Buddhist culture from journeys to the Nepal Himalaya and in Tibet but I soon learned that the exuberant religious festivals known as tshechu's in Bhutan are fascinating community events unique to the country. As a small and respectful photography group we were welcomed by the overwhelmingly friendly Bhutanese people who gave us wonderful access for taking photos.

Andrew Peacock's Bhutan Photography TourAndrew Peacock's Bhutan Photography Tour
Andrew Peacock's Bhutan Photography TourAndrew Peacock's Bhutan Photography Tour

The highlight of our trip was the tshechu at a beautiful monastery in the small remote district of Gasa in northwest Bhutan. We spent two days photographing there and my photographic aim was to try and communicate something of the colour and movement of the performers as they twirled and leapt around the central courtyard ´stage´ of the monastery. The resulting images were the basis for a print exhibition at the Ted's Cameras World of Imaging Gallery in Sydney last April.

I'll be leading more photo tours to Bhutan in the future, please join me on a journey from Western Bhutan to the mysterious East, little visited by tourists. Please contact the team at 'Bhutan and Beyond' if you are interested in learning more about what will be a fantastic experience in a special country.

Here are just a few images of the people, landscapes and festivals of Bhutan seen through my lenses. Enjoy!

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