'Winter Horseman', The Award-Winning Photograph By Anthony Lau: Hong Kong's Very Own National Geographic Travel Photographer Of The Year (2016)
These collaborative adventures were born out of a shared enthusiasm for exploring off the beaten track in search of the extraordinary, and developed by two friends with a passion for seeking out unique opportunities to capture those often elusive images that speak to the heart of a wild place, remote culture, or rare encounter. Importantly, they are also designed to have a natural flow, and to create a relaxed space for spontaneity. And so, not so much rigid 'workshop-style' trips, but rather, fluid, exploratory adventures, that focus on delivering cooperative and experiential journeys that naturally create singular moments for keen photographers to capture.
* Full details for these proprietary trips in Mongolia, Bhutan and Kamchatka are not published online. Rather, private trip dossiers will be sent exclusively to potential guests who pre-register a firm interest in joining one of the specific trips highlighted below *
Please note that the groups for these trips will also be small and exclusive; typically limited to just 4 guests, and all personally, and jointly, 'hosted' by both Adrian and Anthony. Our emphasis is on quality over quantity, and delivering premium, private-guided adventures that cultivate real comraderie; a convivial team setting that that we hope will be akin to exploring new frontiers with new-found friends.
* These (and other) photographic adventures can also be customized, and designed specifically for pre-arranged private groups *
In the eye of today's Covid-19 uncertainty, our current focus is to look forward, and to work on fine-tuning a selection of provisional trip templates in Mongolia, Bhutan and Kamchatka; some of our favourite Asian destinations that we hope will strongly appeal once regional travel restrictions begin to lift. In each case, our uniquely-designed adventures will have flexible 10 to 12 day trip durations, and be ready to launch as soon as we emerge from the current storm. Given the fluid situation, we anticipate that some booking windows could be relatively short, and therefore, as the number of available places is limited, we are now inviting those potentially interested parties to pre-register their interest, so that they are the first to receive full trip details, as soon as the relevant travel borders re-open.
Outlined below is the current provisional trip schedule. Please note that while final pricing will be somewhat destination dependent, the cost of each trip is expected to be in the range of USD 8 to 10,000 per person, and, as with all of Whistling Arrow's other adventures at the moment, flexible booking conditions will apply. If you have any questions, please do get in touch.
We hope you can join us.
Adrian & Anthony
Far Out West: Mongolia
Sayat With The Eagle Hunters: Oct 2020
This extraordinary adventure will be designed to authentically re-create the ancient tradition of the 'Sayat', or communal eagle hunt, when cross-generational groups of Kazakh nomads would historically head into the mountains on multi-day excursions, both in pursuit of prey, and to pass down their secretive training and hunting techniques to their next of kin.
The spectacularly wild, western borderlands of Mongolia provide the epic backdrop; an untouched frontier of big blue skies, sweeping glacial valleys and snow-capped peaks that, when taken together, make up a veritable wonderland for intrepid photographers.
This is a unique photographic adventure that will embed our small team with two of the Altai's most fascinating nomadic families; respectively renowned for their time-honoured traditions of horsemanship and eagle hunting. On expedition, we will first join renowned horse breeder Auez and his family, as they embark on their annual four day migration, to journey on horseback with their livestock, across frozen rivers and snowy passes, before arriving at their spring pastures.
We will then travel across the snowy steppe to meet up with a second family, this time of eagle hunters, at their remote 'spring camp', before joining them on a late winter hunt.
Join us as we discover a hidden corner of Bhutan, one that is little known, and little explored, even within the Land of the Thunder Dragon. Designed to coincide with two authentic Tibetan Buddhist festivals, these tantric festivities, involving various esoteric cham dances, will bookend a relaxed journey on foot through a seldom-visited region of age-old local villages, ancient monasteries, dramatically located dzong, and sacred pilgrimage sites framed by spectacular vistas of the Himalayas.
In short then, a photographic treasure trove of culture, history and nature, which, fingers crossed, could also include sightings of the rare black-necked crane.
This is a rare chance to visit a remote ranger's lodge, tucked away deep in the wilds of Kamchatka. Guaranteed to be the only visitors, we will journey with expert local guides, on foot, and by boat, to explore the awe-inspiring surroundings; a vast, picturesque lake, surrounded by colourful tundra, and backed by perfectly conical volcanoes.
In August, we should also see wild reindeer, moose, foxes, Steller's eagles and bears. Talking of which, using boats, we will also travel to the coast, to specifically photograph these majestic mammals, as they hunt for salmon at the river's mouth near the ocean. And, if we're lucky, we may also encounter a pod of killer whales!