"Even though the roads are rough, and a little hair-raising at times, the drivers are obviously well experienced professionals, safe, courteous and capable. "
—TripAdvisor Reviews of Rainbow Photo Tours
The Photographer's Tour of Bhutan was outstanding in every respect. The locations were well chosen: unique, spectacular and bustling with photo opportunities. There was a sense of intimacy in most of the locations we visited which was probably due to the low tourist traffic. The setup with the cars and the one-on-one guides and drivers was a pleasant departure from the traditional bus ride of other tours. The daily rotating of the cars with the participants helped to create an excellent group dynamic--many of us came home as friends with the hope of keeping in touch after the tour. The only problem is, how on earth can we ever go back to a traditional bus tour after this!? The guides quickly became our friends and were very eager to share the great variety of their knowledge and experience with us. I liked the food a lot, without exception! Nonetheless, knowing that food preference is very individual, I think that recommending some non-perishable food supply brought from home may be a good idea, though I never felt the need for such food supplement. The resorts and guest houses were very good-to-outstanding with a few totally unique, probably once-in-a life time accommodations such as in Ugen Choling. (I did not make it to Ura, so I don't know about the night at Shinkar). I cannot say anything to improve on the tour, I liked it that much. About the only advice I could give is for the sake of the few more "finicky" participants; perhaps the simple conditions at Ugen Choling should be better explained.
10.5mm fish eye lens
12-24, 18-70, 70-300 lenses plus a fast 50mm primary lens (f1.4)
2 batteries - 3 would have been better for the 2 days w/o electricity
CF cards: 8Gb and 4Gb as a backup
Epson P5000 that I used every night to download images from the CF cards
Tripod - I really think that for a photo tour like this, a tripod would be highly desirable. There was no day that I didn't use mine. With the guides willingness to carry gear, the extra load really should not be a concern.
Lens cleaning stuff
As an add-on option, I also had a video camera with me that saw very good use
What I wish I had with me:
A sensor cleaning brush - on digital SLR cameras you will end up changing the lenses many times a day and dust on the sensor will be unavoidable.
A good dedicated flash.
Best wishes, Laszlo