Bhutan welcomes every creative mind who loves to travel and enthusiast about filming and photography in order to create something very interesting for sharing with the rest of the world. Documentary filmmakers choose Bhutan for filming their project. The country offers a unique and incomparable culture that teaches a lot of things about life and its existence. Bhutan gives you some of the best picturesque locations along with the chance to showcase the interesting stories about people and their love for the nation. There are many off-beat places in Bhutan where you can discover something new.
The land of happy people becomes one of the popular tourist places across the globe and people enjoy their stay in Bhutan by exploring nature in a definite way. But when it comes to filming a documentary, you must cover those less touristic places which are still not so popular among outsiders. Firstly, you must get familiar with the rules and prohibitions set by the government in filming documentaries. The country is managed in a systematic way by keeping the morals and traditions in top priority. So, you can’t record the things by simply carrying a camera with you.
Filming in Bhutan or documenting a project on Bhutanese culture requires a special permit issued by media authority called BICMA. For the permit, you need to submit necessary documents and duly filled forms, with a certain security deposit which is on a refundable basis depending on your production of the film. If you are ready and interested in filming in Bhutan, contact Bhutan tourism guided by the Royal Government of Bhutan. They will organize all the necessary permits on your behalf so that you can concentrate on your film or video instead of welcoming any difficulties or restrictions.
Let’s focus on some of the off-beat places in Bhutan suitable for filming
National Handloom Development Project, Trashigang
Your film can start with the sound of weaving machines to add some traditional influences along with fine arts. National Handloom Development Project is located few kilometers from Khaling where traditional woven fabrics are made throughout the year. The country maintains the culture at the best level by wearing traditional dress during office hours.
So, this location will be a perfect place for you to start with. The National Women’s Association of Bhutan (NWAB) operate this project. It outsources weaving projects to more than 400 villagers. They sell these hand-woven fabrics with traditional patterns in the emporiums of Paro, Thimpu & Bumthang.
Philatelic Bureau, Thimpu
You might find it strange that how can be a post office treated as a suitable place for filming your video blog or documentary? But you will find the uniqueness once you entered the place. The people of Bhutan make a personalized and bespoke set of stamps here that make this place one of the offbeat destinations for filming. If you give them a good quality digital photograph then they will create a customized stamp for you which are really interesting and fun for people. You must collect a bunch of postcards for your friends and mark this place as an ideal destination for stamp collectors. That’s the specialty about Bhutan where everything seems to be unique and deserving for travelers and creative minds.
Kila Nunnery, Paro
The location of this Nunnery makes the place a must visited sire for the traveler who prefers to explore offbeat places. Kila Nunnery was established in the 9th century and considered as a secret place for meditation. It is the oldest nunnery in Bhutan with a tight location against the cliff. You can cover your shots with the amazing architecture of this Nunnery which gives shelter to more than 50 nuns for pursuing higher studies in Buddhism.
Peace and serenity of these off-beat places make you feel great. After entering this place you will realize that it is really a desirable destination for filming. You can also explore the nearby places by hiking at Chili La where you can find forest, prayer flags and chortens to add some more subjects into your film.
Haa is situated in the south-west of Paro and considered to be the smallest district in Bhutan. This usually isolated but one of the most beautiful places in the entire country. Filmmaker and photographers will love to capture the view of Haa valley by getting picturesque locations with lots of ancient temples, and rich heritage. The major economic activity of this district is rice production, yak herding, and trade with neighboring China.
You will also find Indian Army Training School in Haa, though filming is restricted there as per government norms. Every year during the month of May, the country celebrates the Haa River festival. The main intention of this festival is to monitor the river and giving protection. They celebrate the festival with music, river walk, and local cuisines.
Once home to Bhutan’s royal family this place is truly an amazing place to culture some of the breathtaking landscapes, rugged mountains, spectacular views, verdant forests, and magnificent cliffs. You will find fewer tourists in this place as the destination because it is a secret for Bhutanese culture. Filming in such location is really fun and welcome lots of opportunity to showcase the uniqueness of the Kingdom. Textile tradition and many secret sites make this place special and appealing for travelers. In addition, the best time to visit this place is between November to April.
Bhutan is suitable for filming and photographic experiences but visiting these off-beat places will give more space to discover some of the unknown facts about the country and its people. Try to spend your nights in a home-stay to explore more about the local people and their lifestyle. If possible take a drone to make your shots more perfect. The landscapes and beauty of nature can be visualized through the lenses in terms of presenting the distinctive and majestic views of the country.