Himalayan Heaven - discover the 'Wonders of Bhutan'

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Highlights

  • Find your inner zen in spectacular landscapes
  • Attend Bhutan’s colourful Literary Festival
  • Marvel at ancient monasteries & Dzongs
  • Travel amidst the happiest people on Earth
  • Play ‘dress ups’ in Paro
  • Enjoy a fully hosted journey with like-minded ladies

Key Facts

  •   Bhutan

  •   Heaven for book lovers & zen seekers

  •   10 days

  •   Escorted by Sarah Hoyland

The tiny kingdom of Bhutan remains enigmatic, unspoilt and deeply spiritual. Off limits to travellers until 1974, today the country continues to preserve its customs and age‐old traditionsand is regarded as one of the world's last ‘Shangri‐La's’.

Our journey through the Kingdom of Happiness begins in the bustling capital, Thimphu, where we will not only visit the Memorial Chorten & Pangri Zampa, we will be honoured guests at the Opening Ceremony of 'Mountain Echoes'‐ Bhutan’s annual Festival of Literature, Art & Culture.

From Thimpu we journey to Punakha over the stunning Dochu‐la Pass, through emerald valleys set against a backdrop of Himalayan peaks. Around Punakha we explore ancient spiritual, cultural & historical sites including the ‘Palace of Great Happiness’ and Khamsum Yuelley Namgel Chorte.

We will experience Bhutanese rural life, spending time with families in traditional homes in Nobgang & Taro villages, chanting with young 'mini monks' and visiting a nunnery before travelling retracing our steps through stunning valleys dotted with ancient chortens and monasteries to reach Paro. We will wander the street stores bursting with antiques and traditional Bhutanese artworks and have the opportunity to hike to 'Tiger’s Nest’ Monastery. Perched on a rocky ledge 900m above the Paro Valley floor this is a once-in-a-lifetime hike to a profoundly spiritual destination.  We celebrate our final evening in Bhutan with a Gala Dinner dressed in traditional ‘Kira’ (Bhutanese attire).

Join us on this exceptional journey to experience Bhutan ‐ where the religion is uplifting, the air is pure, the architecture inspiring, the mountains magnificent and the people are absolutely delightful!

 

Itinerary Details

Day 1 | Bangkok | 1 night

There are no connecting flights from Australia to Paro so an overnight stay en route is required. In Bangkok you will be met and transferred to an airport hotel.

Day 2 | Thimpu | 3 nights

Clear C&I with VIP assistance in Paro. En route to Thimpu view the three stupas at Chuzom & wander the Temple of Tamchong Lhakhang ‐ home to possibly the most photographed bridge in all of Bhutan.

Day 3 | Thimpu

Over the next two days attend the Mountain Echoes Literary Festival, along with touring in Thimpu which includes the Centenary Farmers' Market, the Bhutan 'Postal Museum Post Office', Drubthob Goemba (the only nunnery in Thimpu) & the Memorial Chorten ‐ the stupa built in memory of Bhutan's Third King.

Day 4 | Thimpu

Further attendance at the Literary Festival along with a visit to Pangri Zampa, the 16th century monastery located in the north of Thimpu where we will enjoy an interactive session with the monks; plus a visit to the Textile Museum, the National Library, Institute for Zorig Chusum (Arts & Crafts School) & the Trashicchoe Dzong ‐ a Buddhist Monastery and Fortress. Enjoy a Literary Festival dinner this evening.

Day 5 | Punakha | 2 nights

En route to Punakha, view the 108 chortens or stupas at Dochula Pass before checking in at Hotel Lobesa. This afternoon visit the Punakha Dzong (Palace of Great Happiness) ‐ the most famous Dzong in all of Bhutan, walk across the longest suspension bridge in the country before exploring Wangdue town. If you a fancy a 'traditional Bhutanese night out' we can attend a karaoke bar this evening!

Day 6 | Punakha

Visit Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Lhakhang Nunnery before taking a short hike to the regal Khamsum Yuelley Namgel Chorten. Enjoy lunch before experiencing Bhutanese rural life in the villages of Nobgang & Talo.

Day 7 | Paro | 3 nights

After breakfast walk across the rice paddies to visit Chimi Lakhang, the Fertility Temple ‐ and marvel at the street art in the villages the we pass. Depart for Paro across the Dochu‐La Pass also visiting Simtokha Dzong ‐ the oldest fortress in Bhutan, en route. Check in to Le Meridien before venturing to Ta Dzong and Rinpung Dzong for an afternoon of touring ‐ both unique & with fascinating history.

Day 8 | Paro

Embark on an excursion to the famous Taktshang Monastery known as 'Tiger's Nest' (this is optional as the hike is quite arduous ‐ approx round trip 5 hrs). This afternoon is at leisure to accommodate various return times to Le Meridien after the hike. Indulge in the spa or a traditional hot stone bath, wander the many stores that line the streets of Paro Town or simply relax at the hotel. We will toast the success of those who made it to Tiger's Nest over dinner this evening.

Day 9 | Paro

Enjoy a drive to Chelela Pass ‐ one of the highest motorable passes in Bhutan at an elevation of 3,988m above sea level before embarking on a walk (1hr) to Kila Gompa ‐ a nunnery that houses 7 temples & 70 nuns. After lunch drive to Drukgyel Dzong, a 17th century fortress where we will also visit an authentic Bhutanese Farmhouse. Remainder of the afternoon at leisure to shop or relax. For our final evening in Bhutan we will dress up in a 'Kira' and delight in a cultural performance followed by dinner.

Day 10 | Homeward bound

Transfer to the airport to begin your journey home or continue with your onward arrangements. You may wish to stop over in Bangkok or extend your jouney to visit Ladakh or travel further into India. Almost anything is possible so please contact us if you would like to discuss extensions and additional arrangements.


Key Facts

Escorted by founder of the Secret Women's Series, Sarah Hoyland
21st - 30th August 2020
Start: Thimpu | Finish: Thimpu
From US $4,300 per person twin share
Single supplement applies
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