Wonders of Bhutan
Our journey through the Kingdom of Happiness begins in the bustling capital, Thimphu, where we will visit the Memorial Chorten & Pangri Zampa before travelling 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 Chorten. We will experience Bhutanese rural life, spending time with families in traditional homes in Nobgang & Taro villages before travelling west through stunning valleys dotted with ancient chortens (shrines) and monasteries to reach Paro. We’ll wander street markets and immerse ourselves in local life. A hike to the awe‐inspiring ‘Tiger’s Nest’ Monastery, perched on a rocky ledge 900m above the Paro Valley floor, is optional before we celebrate our final evening in Bhutan with a Gala Dinner in traditional ‘Kira’ (Bhutanese attire).
Join us on this exquisite journey through Bhutan where the religion is uplifting, the air is pure, the architecture is inspiring, the mountains are magnificent and the people are filled with joy.
Please note : traditionally we have included Bhutan’s Literary Festival “Mountain Echoes” however with 2024 dates unknown, and no certainty that the festival will even take place, we may change this itinerary to include two nights in Gangtey (replacing the 2 nights required in Thimpu for the festival) providing us with the opportunity to explore the stunning glacial valley of Phobjikha.
You will love
- Exploring the last remaining Himalayan Kingdom
- Viewing awe-inspiring landscapes
- Meeting the happiest people on Earth
- Wandering the towns of Thimpu, Punakha & Paro
- Reaching Tiger’s Nest
- Being Immersed in the enchanting & vibrant culture
- A fully hosted journey
- Travelling with a small group of ladies
10 UNFORGETTABLE DAYS
DAY 1 | BANGKOK | 1 NIGHT | Novotel Bangkok
There are currently no connecting flights ex Australia to Paro so an overnight in Bangkok enroute to Bhutan is required. A chance to break our journey in preparation for the week ahead.
DAY 2 | THIMPU | 2 NIGHTS | Druk Hotel
The flight to Paro is one of the most spectacular in the world offering breathtaking views of the Himalayan range & foothills with an exciting descent into the Kingdom of Happiness! Driving from Paro to Thimpu we will visit Chuzom to view three different styles of stupas (shrines) ‐ Tibetan, Nepalese and Bhutanese & will see the temple of Tamchog Lhakhang ‐ home to one of the most photographed bridges in all of Bhutan! This evening we will attend the Mountain Echoes Literary Festival Welcome Dinner.
DAY 3 & 4 | THIMPU
Over the next two days we will attend the Mountain Echoes Literary Festival, interspersed with sightseeing in and around Thimphu including the thriving Centenary Farmer’s Market, the Bhutan Postal Museum, the 169ft Golden Buddha Dordenma statue, the National Memorial Chorten and Pangri Zampa – a 16th century monastery. We’ll marvel at the skill of artisans in the exquisite Textile Museum and the Institute for Zorig Chusum and tour the Trashichhoe Dzong, known as ‘Fortress of the Glorious Religion’.
** If we do not attend the Mountain Echoes Literary Festival we will still take in all the sights in Thimpu as outlined, however, we will take advantage of the opportunity to also visit picture-perfect Gangtey & the Phobjikha Valley – home to some of Bhutan’s most exotic and endangered wildlife species including the Rare Black-necked Crane.
DAY 5 | PUNAKHA | 2 NIGHTS | Densa Boutique Hotel
We depart Thimphu by road for Punakha travelling via Dochu‐la Pass (3,088m) to admire the 108 chortens and the spectacular views. In Punakha we will visit the ‘Palace of Great Happiness’ one of the most famous dzongs in all of Bhutan, we’ll take a walk across Bhutan’s longest suspension and catch a rare glimpse into the daily life & lifestyle of the local rice growing villagers.
DAY 6 | PUNAKHA
Perched on a ridge amid pine trees the Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Lhakhang Nunnery houses one of the biggest bronze statues of Chenrigzig in the country and is our first stop today. Enjoy time with the nuns & a picnic lunch before proceeding to the quaint villages of Nobgang & Talo, visiting farming families and experiencing traditional Bhutanese rural life.
DAY 7 | PARO | 3 NIGHTS | Naksel Resort
Before departing Punakha this morning we will take a scenic walk across picturesque rice paddies to visit Chimi Lakhang (the Fertility Temple) and will wander the nearby villages of Lobesa & Sopsokha where (often vivid & amusing) phallus symbols adorn the walls. Continuing to Paro we will visit Simtokha Dzong, the oldest fortress of the country & Taktshang Monastery one of Bhutan’s holiest sites before an early night in preparation for tomorrow’s climb.
DAY 8 | PARO & TIGER'S NEST
After breakfast we head for Taktshang Monastery or Tiger’s Nest ‐ one of the most famous of Bhutan’s monasteries, perched on the side of a cliff 900m above the Paro valley floor. It is visited by all Bhutanese at least once in their lifetime. There is only one way up and one way down and it is not a race so you can set your own pace & on return to the hotel for the remainder of the afternoon is at leisure & an opportunity for a famous Bhutanese Hot Stone Bath.
DAY 9 | PARO
Travelling to Chelela Pass – one of the highest motorable passes in Bhutan at 3,988m & marked by hundreds of prayer flags fluttering in the wind we commence a short hike to Kila Gompa – a nunnery perched on a steep cliff housing 7 small temples &home to 70 nuns. From the nunnery we will drop back down into the Valley to visit Drukgyel Dzong, a 17th century fortress before having the afternoon at leisure to shop or simply relax and enjoy the hotel before a gala Farewell Dinner this evening.
DAY 10 | END OF ITINERARY
After a leisurely breakfast we bid farewell to the lush environs of Bhutan as we are driven to Paro International Airport in time to check in with VIP assistance for our outbound flight.
NEED TO KNOW
10 Nights | August 2024
From US $7,590 per person Twin Share
From US $7,590 per person Twin Share
START: Paro | Finish: Paro
*** DEPARTURE DATES TO BE CONFIRMED ***
We recommend flying with Qantas to Bangkok.
Onward flights to Paro must be booked in conjunction with your touring arrangements in Bhutan and we can assist with airfare quotes.
Please call to discuss your individual flight requirements.
Australia & New Zealand passport holders require a visa for Bhutan for a stay of up to 30 days. The cost of your visa and the application process is included in the tour price. If you do not travel on an Australian or New Zealand passport please let us know and we will advise if there are any alternate or additional requirements.
- Escorted by Sarah Hoyland, Director of The Classic Safari Company & Founder of Journeys for Women
- 9 nights in hotels as speciﬁed (or similar)
- Breakfast + lunch + dinner daily (snacks & fine dining to own account)
- Gala Farewell Dinner
- Bottled water whilst touring
- Airport arrival and departure transfers on dates specified to / from specified group flights
- Access to VIP Lounge in Paro Airport on arrival & departure
- Land transportation in air-conditioned deluxe vehicle throughout the itinerary
- All sightseeing tours hosted by English speaking guides
- All entrance fees
- Entrance to the Mountain Echoes Literary Festival including attendance at the Opening Night Dinner Ceremony OR touring in Gangtey
- Bhutan Visa, Government Royalties and Tax
- International flights
- Comprehensive Travel Insuramce & health requirements
- Accommodation in Bangkok on return (if required)
- Laundry, tips, personal purchases & items of a personal nature
- Extra activities, visas, insurance Items of a personal nature
- Airport transfers other than those specified as group transfers in Paro
Minimum – 8 travellers
Maximum – 16 (including host)
Flights & Insurance – on request
Terms and conditions apply and a completed Booking Form, along with a non-refundable deposit is required to secure your participation
This tour departs with a minimum of 8 people and a maximum of 16 people (plus host).
A single room supplement applies of US$1,990 if you wish to secure your own room. If you are ‘willing to share we will do all possible to pair you with another participant. If unsuccessful the single supplement will apply.
The price is subject to change due to currency fluctuation and unforeseen changes beyond our control.
We reserve the right, due to situations beyond our control, to substitute any hotel with another of comparable quality – this would be advised as soon as possible.
Attendance at ‘Mountain Echoes’ – Bhutan’s Literary Festival is not confirmed and may be omitted from this itinerary and substituted with a different destination in Bhutan.
Australian & New Zealand passport holders require a visa for Bhutan for a stay of up to 30 days. Visa must be obtained online prior to arrival. If you do not travel on an Australian or New Zealand passport please be sure to let us know.
All quoted airfares & taxes are subject to change at anytime prior to, or at the time of, ticketing.
By making any payment for this tour, and/or in joining this tour, you acknowledge the potential health risks & you accept full responsibility for any potential quarantine requirements.