The Land of the Thunder Dragon

The Land of the Thunder Dragon is shrouded in legend, framed by majestic mountains, steeped in tradition and spirituality – a land of monasteries, mandalas, Gross National Happiness and deep eco-consciousness – mystic Bhutan is the last Shangri-La.

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Day 1: Arrive Paro – Thimphu

Tashi Delek and welcome to the beautiful Kingdom of Bhutan. Receive VIP assistance on arrival in Paro and continue overland to Thimphu via Simtokha Dzong, an atmospheric Buddhist fort and the gateway to Thimphu Valley. Drop your bags in your luxury hotel and enjoy the beautiful sights of Bhutan’s tiny and pretty capital, the third highest in the world at a base altitude of 2248 metres. Later visit the Memorial Chorten, a large Tibetan-style Buddhist monastery designed to be the most visible religious structure in Thimphu.

Hotel: Taj Tashi, 2 nights

Day 2: Thimph

tep inside an exquisite monastery to watch monks as they chant their daily prayers. Receive blessings from a monk and experience the wonders of Bhutan’s spirituality lighting 108 butter lamps, a ceremony believed to awaken your spirit and focus your mind.

Delve into the country’s past at the National Library with its small collection of precious texts, the Folk Heritage Museum which provides a glimpse into Bhutanese lifestyle and the National Institute of Traditional Medicine showcasing traditional systems of healing. Continue to the National Textile Museums and the Handicrafts Emporium to admire the art of weaving that has been carefully preserved for centuries in Bhutan. Finally, visit the Tashichho Dzong, an impressive monastery built without a single drawing or a single nail. This evening you may choose to attend a talk by a well-respected local person about Bhutan’s History, Politics and society to get an orientation on Bhutan or take your seat for a Bhutanese dinner with traditional dancing (additional charges).

Day 3: Thimphu – Punakha

Time to bid farewell to the capital and journey east over the spectacular Dochu La Pass (3140m). Breathe in the most enchanting views of Bhutan and the Himalaya mountains before continuing into the green vales of Punakha, an ancient capital. Stretch your legs with a short hike to Chimi Lhakhang, the temple of the Divine Madman, Bhutan’s most unorthodox saint. See the stunning 17th century Punakha Dzong, also known as ‘the palace of great happiness or bliss’ and the second largest dzong in Bhutan.

Hotel: Amankora, 2 nights
Day 4: Punakha

Take a hike through pine forests to Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten, set on a beautiful ridge above the Punakha valley. This fine example of Bhutanese architecture and artistic traditions was built by the four queens of Bhutan. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure. If you’re feeling adventurous, take a rafting trip at Pho Chhu (additional charge).

Day 5: Punakha – Paro
Bid farewell to the green valley of Punakha for the overland trip to Paro. Begin with the impressive Paro Dzong, perhaps the finest in Bhutan. Cross a wooden bridge over the river and discover why it’s known as the ‘fortress on a heap of jewels’. Continue to an ancient watchtower above the Paro Dzong which now houses the National Museum. Marvel at the architecture of this unusual round building, which is in the shape of a conch shell and discover treasure filled rooms of art, bronze statues and painting from different regions of the country. Later, enjoy Bhutanese hospitality when you are welcomed into a colourful farm house. Sip tea with the locals and get a glimpse into their lives. Take part in the cherished ritual of hanging prayer flags to send Buddhist blessing through the winds at Kyichu Lhakhang. Built in the seventh century to subdue a demoness who prevented the spread of Buddhism it is one of Bhutan’s oldest religious sites.

Hotel: COMO Uma Paro, 3 nights

Day 6: Paro

Rise early for an unforgettable hike to Taktsang Monastery (The Tiger’s Nest). Clinging to sheer granite cliffs high above the valley floor, this seemingly impregnable fortress is truly magnificent. Spend the day among the monks at this sacred pilgrimage site, where the great tantric mystic Guru Rinpoche is believed to have flown on the back of the tiger to bring the teachings of the Buddhist Dharma to Bhutan. This evening, try your skills at Bhutan’s national sport on the resort’s archery field or take a traditional Bhutanese hot stone bath for the perfect end to your day’s adventures.

Day 7: Paro – Haa Valley – Paro

Head along the inspiring route to Chele La Pass (3810m) and take in spectacular views of the sacred Jhomolhari and Jitchu Drake mountains. Continue over the pass into the Haa Valley, also known as “Hidden-Land Rice Valley”. Perhaps the most picturesque area in Bhutan, this valley is home to minority villages with traditional animist beliefs. Learn to cook traditional Bhutanese food from the executive chef. Using traditional utensils like the sume, designed to churn butter, and a tshome, similar to a mortar and pestle uncover the secrets to fermented yak cheese and chili dish known as ema datshi, a yak milk yogurt called dau, Bhutanese buckwheat noodles and momo yak dumplings.

Day 8: Depart Paro

Farewell this enchanting kingdom and transfer privately to the airport for your onward journey.

2019 Dates & PricesTwin ShareSolo Traveller
Departs daily from Paro:From $10,675.00From $15,995.00

Inclusions 
Meals: 7 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 7 dinners
Transport:Airport transfers & Modern air-conditioned vehicle
Accommodation:7 nights accommodation
Guide:Local English Speaking Guide
Entrance Fees & Touring:Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary

* Tour departure dates are subject to availability at time of booking.
* Prices and itinerary are correct at time of publication and are subject to change without notice.

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