Looking for the journey of a lifetime? In partnership with the International Folk Art Market, BJ Adventures offers Passport to Folk Art trips, which provide the unique opportunity to meet master folk artists in their home countries, experience rich histories and traditions firsthand, and connect with the artists that are creating a better future for their communities through their folk art.
Maximum of 10-12 travelers on any trip!
All Passport to Folk Art trips are fully inclusive of:
Meals and beverages
Sightseeing and transfers
English-speaking guides and entrance fees
You as the traveler need only to pay for:
International airline tickets (but BJ Adventures can help you with these)
Travel insurance (required)
Personal expenses (airport taxes, visas, camera fees, specialty beverages, etc.)
$500 Donation to the International Folk Art Market
"We toured historic sites, part of the Silk Road, mosques and madrassas, forts and other museums, but the highlight was meeting with many of the fine folk artists that come to Santa Fe for the Folk Art Market in the summer. We saw their workshops, ate in their homes, met their families, saw how they are using the money they make in Santa Fe to expand their production, hire other folk artists, build schools to train artists, and build a better life for themselves and their communities. It was over the top interesting, and of course, we bought amazing works of art." --Cathy Allen, IFAA Board Member
"Traveling with BJ Adventures on a folk art trip to Colombia was one of the most memorable trips I've ever taken. I've traveled a lot, to many countries, and for varying reasons (archaeological digs, art collections, just plain tourism, etc.), but this trip was an adventure. We saw great folk art and much more. Jean adapted to varying delays and problems with incredible ease. Her choice of a Colombian tour leader was excellent and added greatly to the trip. I've asked Jean to plan another trip to Colombia for me!"--Trish Foschi
Nepal & Bhutan
Kathmandu, Janakpur, Patan, Thimi & Bhaktapur in Nepal
Bumthang, Thimphu & Paro in Bhutan
Join us on this tailored itinerary, designed with support from folk art expert & IFAM Selection Committee member, Claire Burkert from Nepal. Claire is a Handicraft Development and Marketing Specialist with over 25 years expertise. In 1990 she established the Janakpur Women’s Development Center, and NGO training women and artists and craftspeople in southern Nepal. Her work led to the creation of a new form of traditional art, know in Nepal as "Janakpur art” that provides income to hundreds of impoverished women.
Whether you decide to go to one country, or have the opportunity to fly along the Himalayas and experience both countries, this exciting journey is rich with history and beautiful folk art.
March 1-7 (Nepal)
$4,490 Per Person, Sharing; $895 Single Supplement
March 7-13 (Bhutan)
$4,290 Per Person, Sharing; $625 Single Supplement
Based on 10 people participating or a surcharge will apply
One-time $500 donation to IFAM, whether you sign up for one or both countries
Trip Highlights for Nepal
Visit the Red Sari Felt Production Center — where women create scarves and purses by felting and fusing upcycled silk saris and would fibers. Try your hand at making your own scarf!
Spend time with the women of Janakpur Women’s Development Center—the first non-governmental organization in Nepal working to empower and support the women from the Maithili culture, who traditionally painted designs on the outside walls of their homes, but now have begun painting the same and now new images on handmade paper. Take a walk around the maze of streets in this authentic Nepalese village.
Learn how over the past two decades, the Kathmandu Valley Preservation Trust has saved over 50 historic buildings including temples, steps-wells, monasteries, palaces and homes—including many destroyed by the 2015 earthquake. Stay in the charming Inn Patan, and wander around this historic city, one of the three original kingdoms of Nepal, where in the evenings, you will have the opportunity to observe a young boy, undergoing initiation to become a Buddhist, ceremoniously circumambulate the Golden Temple.
Travel to Bhaktapur to meet some of these artists, as well as a paper-making and Thimi Ceramics workshops—where twenty potters produce traditional ceramic tableware by hand on a potters wheel, made form clay, dug form the rice fields.
Trip Highlights for Bhutan
Get an introduction at the National Institute for Zhorig Chusum to the thirteen traditional visual arts and crafts that Bhutanese have practiced for generations.
Enjoy a full day with longtime IFAM participants Karma Lotey and his wife Namgey Wangmo of Bhutan Karma Collection, who work with many artists in the different mediums of Bhutan folk art
Travel to Bumthang to visit Leki Wangmo and Rinzin Wangmo of Leki Textiles & Weaving Studio. Leki learned to weave at the age of eight, and spent three years weaving for the royal family. You have the option of taking a weaving class or organize dye workshop, whether you are a master weaver or a beginner!
Stay in the Gangtey Palace Hotel, built in the 1800s, during the time when Bhutan was still growing as an independent state, fell the past come alive in the present, as history unfolds in its walls with a marriage of traditional beauty and modern luxury.
Take an excursion to the famous Taktsang Monastery, where it is said that Guru Rinpoche arrived on the back of a tigress and meditated at this monastery, hence called “Tiger’s Nest”
To sign up for any of these trips, or to request a detailed brochure, contact:
Header Photo: © Marc Romanelli; Gallery Photos: © Far Horizon, BJ Adventures, Inc., IFAM, Claire Burkert, Kaligarh, Red Sari Production Center, Judith Haden, Bob Smith, Marc Romanelli, Arnold Kanter, Ahdina Zunkel