ADVENTURES IN THE DRAGON KINGDOM
12 Days/11 Nights
Join us for a Bhutanese Autumn adventure when the weather is mild and black-necked cranes migrate to central and eastern Bhutan for the winter. The skies are clear and blue, affording views of the high Himalayas from passes and various other vantage points as we travel
Paro - Thimphu - Punakha - Trongsa- Bumthang - Ura valley - Tharpaling Monastery - Bumthang - Punakha- Paro
Travel in the autumn when weather is milder and black-necked cranes migrate to central and eastern Bhutan for the winter. The skies are clear and blue, affording views of the high Himalayas from passes and various other vantage points.
This tour coincides with Jambay Lhakhang Drup Festival in Jakar, one of the highlights of the Bhutanese Festival Calendar.
We’ll visit and stay in monasteries, explore temples and natural areas as we travel with a small party of ten or less.
Our partners in Bhutan will arrange our visas and flights into Bhutan.
A deposit of USD $700 will be required plus flights into and out of Bhutan to confirm your place.
Day 1: Paro
The flight to Paro is one of the most spectacular of all the mountain flights. The first three gifts you will receive from Bhutan will be cool, clean fresh air you feel as you step out of the plane. Our local agents will great us and escort us to our hotel. After check in and lunch at the hotel you will visit the National Museum of Bhutan where you will have time to admire the museum’s collections of rare Bhutanese artifacts and art, traditional weaving and other eclectic pieces. After the museum you can visit Paro Dzong which now houses the offices of the district administration and the district monk body. Evening you will explore the Paro town. Welcome dinner and overnight at hotel. – L/D
Day 2: Paro - Thimphu
After breakfast drive to Thimphu and visit the Memorial Choeten, a stupa built in 1974 to honor the memory of the 3rd King, His Late Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck who is known in Bhutan’s history as the “Father of Modern Bhutan” since the modern developments be began during his reign. Then you will visit the Changangkha Lhakhang, which is also a focus of daily worship for many Thimphu residents. Spend the afternoon exploring historical site, temples and take in the fresh air and stunning view of Thumphu Valley from Sangaygang - the view point. It is also known as “Lover’s Point” where young couples come to enjoy the bird’s eye view of the Thimphu valley. In the evening we'll have th eopporunity to purchase Bhutanese handicrafts and souvenirs. Dinner and overnight at hotel. - B/L/D
Day 3: Thimphu
In the morning there is more chance to explore Thimphu. After lunch drive north of Thimphu to hike to Tango Monastery – a college to learn higher Buddhist philosophy. It’s a moderate hike of 45 minutes through the forest of oak and pine. There are more than 200 practicing monks. Return to Thimphu for overnight. Dinner and overnight at Hotel. – B/L/D
Day 4: Thimphu - Punakha
Drive to Punakha via the Dochula pass (3100 m). On clear weather it offers magnificent views of the Eastern Himalayas. After lunch hike to Chimi Lhakhang, a temple dedicated to Lama Drukpa Kuenlay, who is also known as “Divine Madman” in the west. It’s an easy hike through the rice paddies and the village of Yuwakha. The temple is worshipped Bhutanese women for fertility. Overnight stay at YANA farmhouse to have an insight on Bhutanese way of life and Bhutanese hospitality. Dinner and overnight at Homestay. – B/L/D
Day 5: Punakha - Trongsa
Drive to Trongsa via the beautiful Phobjikha valley. Lunch on route at Chendebji Choeten. Evening visit Trongsa Dzong and explore Trongsa township. Dinner and overnight at hotel. –B/L/D
Day 6: Trongsa - Bumthang
After breakfast drive south of Trongsa to visit Kuenga Rabten Palace. You will visit a local school where kindergarten kids will perform some songs for you. Return to Trongsa for lunch. After lunch drive to Jakar. Evening at leisure. Dinner and overnight at guest house. – B/L/D
Day 7: Bumthang
After leisurely breakfast visit Jambay Lhakhang (Built: 7th Century), one of the 108 temples built by Buddhist King Songtsen Goenpo to pin down an Ogress who was disturbing the propagation of Buddhism in the Himalayas. Next you will hike to visit Kurjey Lhakhang which has a body imprint (Kurjey) of Guru Rinpoche. The hike is easy and offers good views of the Chamkhar valley. You will then visit Jakar Dzong (Fortress of the White Bird) which now houses the office of district administration and district monk body. Dinner and overnight at Guest House. – B/L/D
* ***Jambay Lhakhan Drup Festival ***
takes place in Jakar during our stay
our tour may be modified to maximum our time at local events and celebrations
Option 1: Excursion to Ura valley
Day excursion to Ura valley. Hot lunch will be served at Ura village. After lunch visit Ura Lhakhang where you will have time to admire the wall paintings. Return to Jakar for your final night in Jakar. Dinner and overnight at Guest House. – B/L/D
Option 2: Hike to Tharpaling Monastery
After breakfast hike Tharpaling Monastery. It’s a moderate all day hike through the forest of pine, oak and juniper trees. This hike offers panoramic views of Chamkhar valley. Dinner and overnight at Guest House or similar. – B/L/D
Day 9: Bumthang - Punakha
Morning drive to Punakha. You will drive the same road. Lunch will be served on route at local restaurant in Chendebji Choeten. Dinner and overnight at hotel.– B/L/D
Day 10: Punakha - Paro
After breakfast hike to Khamsum Yuelay Namgyal. It’s a moderate hike through the rice paddies. The hike offers beautiful views of terraced rice paddies of upper Punakha valley. Next visit Punakha Dzong (Built: 1637) by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. It served as the capital of Bhutan until 1955 and it still serves as the winter residence of the central monk body. You will have time to admire the paintings of the life of Buddha and the master pieces of Bhutanese sculptures. Lunch will served at a popular local restaurant in town. After lunch resume your drive to Paro. Evening at leisure. Dinner and overnight in hotel. – B/L/D
Day 11: Paro
Day Excursion to Taktshang literally known as Tiger’s Nest. This is one of Bhutan’s most sacred places, and an important pilgrimage destination. You will walk along a trail that slowly rises above the valley to a ridge where prayer flags rustle in the wind next to a massive prayer wheel. Just beyond is the Taktshang Cafeteria at 9200 ft., where you will stop to enjoy hot drink and the striking views of the Monastery across the valley. Depending on your energy level, you may relax in the pleasant atmosphere of the cafeteria until lunch or continue on for a mile of steep climbing to another dramatic viewpoint. You return to the cafeteria for a delicious buffet of typical Bhutanese food. You may also want to try Emadatsi (A chili cheese dish), vegetables with cheese sauce and other dishes. Evening you will visit the Drukgyel Dzong which was built in 1649 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to commemorate the victory of the Bhutanese armies over the Tibetan intruders. On route you will visit the 7th century Kyichu Lhakhang. Overnight at hotel. - B/L/D
Day 12: Departure
Early morning breakfast and drive to the airport for departure. YANA representative will help with check-in formalities and bid you farewell.
TOUR PAYMENT DETAILS
Land Cost (Double Occupancy)
US$ 2870 Per Person
US$ 3170/ Per Person (Single Occupancy)
***Economy Class Drukair Airfare - Includes airport taxes
(Subject to change by the airline/Determined by Daily RoE)
Kathmandu/Paro/Kathmandu: US$ 380
Delhi/Paro/Delhi: US$ 600
Bangkok/Paro/Bangkok: US$ 645
*Note Regarding Drukair Ticket
Drukair tickets must be paid for and issued at the time of your deposit. If you cancel your trip 31 days or more prior to departure, there will be a US$ 50 per person cancellation penalty for the Drukair tickets in addition to the normal cancellation charges for land cost noted in our terms and conditions. If you cancel 10 days or less prior to departure, the Drukair ticket cost is non-refundable.
Our terms and conditions can be found here
TOUR COST INCLUDES:
Tourist standard accommodation on twin sharing basis
All meals as per itinerary (NO Drinks)
All internal transport
A licensed Bhutanese tour guide for the extent of your stay
Entrance Fees to museums, schools and Permits wherever necessary
A Sustainable Tourism Royalty (US$ 65 per night)
Tourism Development Fund (US$ 10 per visit)
Visa Fees (US$ 40 per visit)
Bottled drinking water on daily basis
TOUR COST EXCLUDES:
International Flights into and out of Bhutan
Excess baggage (Allowance: 20 Kgs Economy Class & 30 Kgs Business Class)
Personal drinks at meal times (Alcoholic and Bottled Beverages)
All Personal Expenses (Telephone, Email, Laundry etc.)
Surcharge of Luxury hotels like Amankora, Uma Paro, Zhiwa Ling Hotel & Hotel Taj
Any other special arrangements not included in the tariff
Tips & Gratuities
WHERE DOES TO SUSTAINABLE TOURISM ROYALTY GO?
Guided by Bhutan’s development philosophy of GROSS NATIONAL HAPPINESS (GNH) crafted by His Majesty the fourth King Jigme Singye Wangchuck and Bhutan’s good governance ensures proper and monitored use of the Sustainable Tourism Royalty collected from visitors to Bhutan. This royalty goes towards free education, free healthcare poverty alleviation, along with the infrastructure development. In case of emergency even foreign visitors can avail the free healthcare during your travels in Bhutan. Thus, by traveling to Bhutan you directly contribute to Bhutan’s education, healthcare and poverty alleviation.
SPONSOR A MONK PROJECT:
Part of your tour payment will sponsor monks from economically disadvantaged families awaiting formal enrolment in Monastic Schools. Under this project many monks will be enrolled and will receive proper monastic education.
This is being done in close collaboration with the Youth Development Fund founded by Her Majesty Azhi Tshering Pem Wangchuck to build funds for the youths of Bhutan. We are proud to say that our chosen Bhutanese travel partner we are the only Travel Company in Bhutan with such giving back projects. They personally believe in giving back to the community from which they received numerous supports whilst growing up & through adulthood.
BOOKS FOR BHUTAN PROJECT:
As a part of your Sustainable Responsible Travel Initiative, you can donate educational books for Bhutanese children as part of the "Books for Bhutan" project. You are encouraged to bring books and to be contributed to this project.
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