Mountains and Monasteries of Bhutan

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Highlights

  • Spectacular landscapes
  • Gala dinners
  • Bhutan’s Literary Festival
  • Spend time with the happiest people on our planet
  • Play ‘dress ups’ in Paro
  • Fully hosted journey of likeminded women

Key Facts

  •   Bhutan

  •   Great for spiritualists and wellness gurus

  •   10 days

  •   Escorted by Sarah Hoyland & Andrea Powis

The tiny kingdom of Bhutan remains enigmatic, unspoilt and deeply spiritual. Off limits to travellers until 1974, today the country continues to preserve itscustoms and age‐old traditionsand is regarded as one of the 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 behonoured 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 ofHimalayan peaks. Around Punakha we explore ancientspiritual, cultural & historical sitesincluding the ‘Palace of Great Happiness’ and Khamsum Yuelley Namgel Chorten. We will experience Bhutanese rural life, spendingtime with families in traditional homesin Nobgang & Taro villages before travelling west through stunning valleys dotted with ancient chortens and monasteries to reach Paro. As we wander thestreet marketswe will immerse ourselves in local life including participating in a traditional Bhutanese cooking class. An optionalhike to the awe‐inspiring ‘Tiger’s Nest’ Monastery,perched on a rocky ledge 900m above the Paro Valley floor, is on offer before we celebrate our final evening in Bhutan with a Gala Dinner 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 enroute is required. In Bangkok you will be met and transferred to the Amaranth Hotel for an overnight stay

Day 2 | Thimpu | 3 nights

Welcome to Bhutan! The group will arrive in Paro today and transfer straight to Thimpu, where you will spend three nights at the Hotel Taj Tashi. where you will spend three nights. This evening attend the opening ceremony of Mountain Echoes, the Festival of Literature, Art and Culture and enjoy a welcome dinner.

Day 3 | Thimpu

This morning take a short drive to Pangri Zampa, the 16th century monastery located in the north of Thimpu, and enjoy an interactive session with the monks before discovering the highlights of Thimpu including the Textile Museum, the National Library, the Institute for Zorig Chusum (Arts & Crafts School) and the Folk Heritage Museum. After lunch attend the Mountain Echoes Festival ‐ Bhutan's annual Literary Festival ‐ before ending your day with a visit to the Trashicchoe Dzong ‐ a Buddhist monastery and fortress.

Day 4 | Thimpu

After breakfast, attend the morning sessions at Mountain Echoes before taking a drive to the Centenary Farmers' Market. Visit the Bhutan 'Postal Museum Post Office' with the curator and make your own Bhutanese stamps before proceeding to the Drubthob Goemba (the only nunnery in Thimpu) and finally the Memorial Chorten ‐ the stupa built in memory of Bhutan's Third King |This evening enjoy an interactive dinner with the delegates of Mountain Echoes.

Day 5 | Punakha | 2 nights

Enroute to Punakha, view the 108 chortens or stupas at Dochula Pass, and explore the Royal Botanical Gardens. On arrival in Punakha check in to  the Dhensa Boutique Resort. Visit the Punakha Dzong (Palace of Great Happiness), then venture out to Wangdue town and explore its local markets.

Day 6 | Punakha

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

Day 7 | Paro | 3 nights

En route to Paro, visit Simtokha Dzong ‐ the oldest fortress in Bhutan and stop at Ta Dzong and Rinpung Dzong ‐ both unique and with a fascinating history. Check in to Hotel Zhiwa Ling then stroll around Paro's market street to get a feel for the local life, before attending an exclusive cooking session focusing on traditional Bhutanese delicacies.

Day 8 | Paro

Embark on a fascinating excursion to the famous Taktshang Monastery known as 'Tiger's Nest' (this is optional as the hike is quite arduous). This afternoon drive to the base of Drukgyel Dzong, a 17th century fortress, and visit an colourful & traditionally built Bhutanese farmhouse.

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 the Neyphug Monastery ‐ home to approx. 60 orphans ‐ and play a traditional game of Khuru with them (similar to darts). For your final evening in Bhutan dress up in a 'Kira' and delight in a cultural performance followed by a gala 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 Sarah Hoyland and Andrea Powis
Start: Thimpu | Finish: Thimpu
21 - 31 August 2018
US $5,900 per person twin share
Single supplement US$ 1990

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