12-Day Ladakh Photography Workshop
Join us for a 12-day adventure in Ladakh!
A fascinating journey through a region enclosed between the Karakorum and Hmalaya mountain ranges. We will travel to discover the natural scenery and landscapes of incomparable beauty of “Little Tibet”. An itinerary de- signed to allow you to create a photographic reportage of the protagonists of Buddhist spirituality among small villages and forgotten monasteries, traditions, myths and local populations. We will also have the opportunity to photograph the memorable Himalayan landscapes and its starry skies.
This photographic journey through the clouds will conquer your soul.
Highlights of the tour
- Leh, the capital of Ladakh
- Indus Valley
- Buddhist monasteries and monks life
- Beima & Dha villages, and the Dropka tribesres
- Lamayuru monastery
- Tso Moriri & Tsokar lakes
- Local life: markets and villages
- Stok, the Royal village of Ladakh
- Heritage houses and their families
Jul 15-26, 2019 – 4 spots left!
Starting at USD $3,190 (single supplement $600).
Small group: 6-8 Participants.
We believe in quality, personalised tuition, and so our host-to-guest ratio is always 1:6 or better.
12-Day Ladakh Workshop Itinerary
Day 1: Leh, arrival
Arrival in Leh, the capital of Ladakh, located at 3505 meters above the sea level. Meeting with our local guide and hotel check in. A little time Time is available for a little relaxation and getting to get used to the altitude. Briefing for the presentation of the tour, dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 2: Indus valley tour
Departure at 6.00am, we will go up to the monastery of Leh to attend the morning Puja ceremony which lasts about an hour. Return to the hotel for breakfast and visit to the Hemis monastery: belonging to the Red Brokpa sect and built between 1602 and 1642 is one of the largest monastic complexes in Ladakh. From the outside you can see the wide straight shape of the Gompa, but what is most surprising when you arrive is the beautiful central courtyard full of particular polychrome wooden details, the beautiful prayer hall, and the imposing Padmasambhava statue of Guru Lhakhang. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 3: Leh – Skur Buchan monastery – Beima village
After breakfast, we’ll leave for the Aryan Valley (about 160 km, 4/5 hours), further west along the Leh-Kargil highway to the interior of the Sham & Drokpa regions. From the Khalatse police station we’ll leave the Kargil road and drive along the Indus river to the village of Beima, whose inhabitants are presumably one of the last descendants of the pure Aryan race. Along the way, we will visit the village of Skur Buchan and its wonderful monastery perched on a hill. Arrival We’ll arrive at the Hotel Camp in the evening, have dinner and overnight.
Day 4: Beima – Dha Village
Today, we will explore the two main Dropka villages: Beima and Dha. Drokpa people follow a mixture of animism and Buddhism and dress in colorful costumes, with headpieces decorated with flowers. We will have the opportunity to know this incredible culture on the edge of the world, and of course to take exclusive pictures in their homes. Dinner and overnight at Tented Hotel.
Day 5: Beima – Lamayuru – Alchi/ Saspol
After breakfast departure for Alchi / Saspol. On the way, we will visit the famous monastery of Lamayuru, one of the oldest monasteries of Ladakh. Built in the 10th century, it once housed over 400 monks. Today, there are only a few dozen left as many have moved to neighboring villages. The legend says that in this place there was a wonderful lake: today which is now dried up it that leftand a “lunar” landscape, dominated by the majesty of the monastic settlement is left from it. Today Currently, the monastery of Lamayuru is one of the largest and the most ancient Buddhist convents of Tibetan tradition on Indian soil.
Day 6: Alchi/Saspol – Leh
Visit to the Alchi monastery. The complex includes four separate settlements in the village of Alchi in the lower Ladakh region with monuments dated back to different periods. Of these four hamlets, the monastery of Alchi is considered the oldest and the most famous. Built in the 10th century, it is today one of the 7th main Indian monuments. The artistic and spiritual details of Buddhistm and Hindu kings of that time in Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh are reflected in the wall paintings of the monastery. These are some of the oldest surviving paintings in Ladakh. The complex also has huge Buddha statues and elaborate wood carvings and as well as works of art comparable to the Baroque style. Before returning to the hotel, we will stop to photograph the Sangam Point, where the blue waters of the Indus River merge with the muddy waters of the Zanskar River.
Day 7: Leh – Tso Moriri Lake
After breakfast, drive along the Indus River to the Rupshu Valley: a . A beautiful wilderness leads to the Tso Moriri lake (4522m s.l.m.) 220km east of Leh. On the way, there will be a visit to the Chumathang Hot springs. We’ll cross the bridge of Mahe and then we’ll drive towards the Tso Moriri lake. On the way, we could see the Himalayan marmots. Arrival at Tso Moriri Lake takes place late in the evening; after and checkthat, check-in at the tented camp near the lake or at the hotel.
Day 8: Tso Moriri – Tsokar Lake
Early morning visit to the shores of the lake, one of the sanctuaries of the wetlands of Ramsar and which is also the breeding and nesting area for hundreds of migratory birds. This salt lake that stretches for about 24 km in length, about 8 km in width and about 4 meters in depth, is the largest lake in the Rusphu valley in Ladakh and is located on the old road, now closed, which led to the border with Tibet. The beautiful shades of blue offered by this lake together with a picturesque landscape make this place an extremely photogenic place spot. Later on the road to Tsokar Lake, we will stop to photograph the thermal springs of Puga Geo-Thermal and the tented camps of the nomads that we will meet along the way. Dinner and overnight at the hotel or in the tented camp.
Day 9: Toskar Lake – Leh
Wake up early in the morning to visit the small village of Thukje with its monastery. We will continue along the Manali Highway through the Taglangla pass (5350m s.l.m., the third highest road carraule in the world) and arrive in Leh in the late afternoon. Free time avail- able, dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 10: Stok, the Royal Village of Ladakh
After breakfast, we will go to the village of Stok (17km from Leh). We will see the 71-meter-high statue of the Great Buddha on top of a small hill near the Stok monastery. Later, we will visit the Stok Royal Palace, visible in the distance, on top of a huge moraine of pebbles that descend from the mountains: the elegant Stok Palace, four stories high, rises above barley terraces and white farmhouses. Built at the beginning of the nineteenth century by the last ruler of independent Ladakh, it was the official residence of the royal family Ladakhi since they were ousted by Leh and Shey two hundred years ago.
Later, we will visit “Gyab-thago Heritage Home” in the village of Stok where we will learn about the traditional life style of a Ladaka family, in their typical kitchen where we will taste butter tea and barley drink. Not only will we visit their typical 200 year old house, but we will also have the exclusive opportunity to photograph family members in their traditional clothes.
Here we will also stop for lunch, to experience a true local curing experience.
In the afternoon, return to Leh. Visit the Leh Palace, built in the 16th century and 9 stories high.
Today, its majestic walls are mostly unadorned but it is exciting to make their way in the labyrinth of dark corridors to get to the roof from which you can admire a splendid view of the city.
We will continue with the Namgyal Tsemo Monastery, a striking building visible from every corner of the city and end the day at sunset, when the golden light envelops the city below, at the Stupa of Shanti.
Then we will explore the local markets of Nowshare, the Chandu market, the Balkang Chowk dried fruit market and the Moti market areas. These markets reflect and show the interesting business activity of Ladakh, where you can meet people from all corners of the region who sell their local products. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 11: Leh
Free day to explore and photograph the town.
Day 12: Leh departure
Breakfast and transfer to the airport for the flight that will bring you back to your location.
Inclusions and Exclusions
Accommodation (3-star Hotels and camp tend)
private transport during all the trip
Breakfast and dinners (beverage not included).
Guiding/Tuition from a Western professional photographer; second photographer guide where there are 6 participants or more.
Local tour guide English speaking
Inner line permits and all entry fees
Tso Moriri lake and k-top, wild life fee, Red Cross fee
Round-trip airport pick-up and drop-off
Airfare to and from Leh
Lunches and beverages
Entry visa in India
Extra cost for hotel and transfers incase of flight cancellation and road blocks or any factors beyondcontrol
Medical & Travel Insurance
Who Our Tours are Designed For
Our adventures are perfect for anyone who loves travel and photography, whatever your level of experience with a camera – the most important thing is enthusiasm. Our tours are specifically designed for photographers and aim to unlock opportunities that wouldn’t be open to the casual visitor, all while ensuring that we shoot in the best light, away from the crowds.
Refine your Vision
Mastering photography is a wonderful lifelong journey; the objective of our tours is to help you become a better photographer, day by day, so that you not only capture wonderful images of Cambodia, but that you take away a wealth of new skills that will serve you well for all of your photographic endeavours yet to come. With our expert guidance, you’ll quickly become more familiar with your equipment and refine your vision for incredible imagery without feeling swamped by technical details. You’ll learn how to read light, how to frame a scene, and how to inject the element of story into your captures.
The best camera is the one that’s with you! Don’t get me wrong, we like a new toy as much as the next photographer, but you really can make incredible images with any setup – an entry-level DSLR/mirrorless and mid-range zoom is really all you need to make the most of Cambodia’s best photographic opportunities. Of course you’re welcome to bring more, a wide-angle zoom and your favourite prime are always handy, but they aren’t a requirement for attendance. Compact cameras and smartphones are welcome, too. If you can, bring along your laptop so we can critique your photos and also show you a few tips for using Lightroom.
Meaningful Interactions with Local People
You’ll get to meet local people and make meaningful connections, all the while capturing a beautifully intimate portrait of their way of life. Feel free to capture the people we encounter candidly, or we can show you how to break the ice so as to make your camera an asset that creates interesting opportunities like never before.
Expect the Unexpected
Our itineraries are fun and flexible, and flow naturally – each of our photography adventures is unique as spontaneous encounters and varying light conditions will mean different opportunities at every turn. One moment you’ll be marvelling at the sun rising over the iconic towers of Angkor Wat; the next you’ll be sat appreciating the harmony of a monk praying by candle light; or perhaps find yourself in a stilted home above the Tonle Sap, or bumping down a dusty track straddled by farmers in oxcarts pulled by water buffalo.
Small Group Experience
The largest tours we run are for groups of twelve. With two experienced professional photographers as tour leaders, this ensures that each of our participants will get plenty of individual, hands-on time with the instructors. It also means that we can travel in a less conspicuous manner, blending into our environment and not overwhelming local people during spontaneous encounters.
We are committed to responsible travel in Cambodia, ensuring that all of our tours are respectful of and give back to the local community. We have taken all possible steps to make sure our tours cause as little environmental impact as possible. We use local drivers on all of our excursions, and we take care to educate our tour participants of the ethics of travel photography and Cambodian customs. We advocate for responsible volunteering and tourism. The participants that join our tours come away not only with some amazing memories and photos, but also with a better understanding of how they can travel responsibly in future, as well as make a positive impact on Cambodia.