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Bhutan Extension Itinerary

14TH APRIL 2019

Kathmandu - Paro & transfer to Thimphu

Early morning transfer from hotel to Kathmandu airport Druk Air flight KB205 (0910 /1025 hrs) to Paro.

The flight to Paro is one of the most spectacular in the world. Flying along the Himalayan range from Kathmandu, the journey offers fascinating views of Everest Kanchanjunga and an exciting descent into the Kingdom. Bhutan’s first gift to you as you disembark from the aircraft will be cool, clean fresh mountain air.

After immigration formalities and baggage collection, you will be met by our representative, and afterwards drive to Thimphu, the capital town of Bhutan with en-route stop at Chuzom, the confluence of Thimphu and Paro rivers. Three different style of stupas; Tibetan, Nepalese and Bhutanese adorn this confluence. On arrival in Thimphu, check-into the hotel.

The capital town of Bhutan and the centre of government, religion and commerce, Thimphu is a unique city with unusual mixture of modern development alongside ancient traditions. Home to civil servants, expatriates and the National Zong (monastery) as well as the country’s only set of traffic lights, Thimphu maintains a strong national character in its architectural style.

In the evening visit King's Memorial Chorten continuously circumnavigated by people, murmuring mantras and spinning their prayer wheels. Construction of this landmark was the idea of Bhutan’s third king, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuk (“the father of modern Bhutan”) who wished to erect a monument to world peace and prosperity. Completed in 1974 after his untimely death, it serves both as a memorial to the Late King and as a monument to peace.

On the way back, take an evening stroll through the Craft Bazaar recently established under patronage of the Department of Cottage & Small Industry and in collaboration with the Department of Culture, Tourism Council and the Department of Agriculture Marketing and Co-operatives, this market offers genuine Bhutanese arts & crafts thus contributing in promotion, protection and preservation of traditional arts.

Dinner and overnight at the Hotel in Thimphu (Altitude 2400m).

15TH APRIL 2019

Thimpu

This morning after breakfast take a short drive to the north of town to Buddha Point (KuenselPhodrang). Located not far from Thimphu city centre, visitors can get a good overview of the Thimphu Valley from the Buddha Point (KuenselPhodrang). You can pay your obeisance and offer prayers to the Buddha, the largest statue in the country, a gift from Singapore, and then walk around and take a glimpse of the valley. Visit Changangkha Lhakhang, a fortress like temple and monastic school perched on a ridge above Thimphu. The temple was established in 12th century on a site chosen by Lama PhajoDrugomShigpo, who came from Tibet. The central statue here is Chenrezig which is a manifestation with 11 heads. From the temple courtyard, admire the fascinating view of Thimphu Valley. We will follow this with a visit to the National Library which houses an extensive collection of Buddhist literature, with some works dating back several hundred years as well as modern academic books mainly on Himalayan culture and religion. Return to your hotel for lunch.


This afternoon there are plenty of opportunities to immerse oneself in the rich culture this kingdom has to offer. The first visit will be to the National Textile Museum. This musuem was opened in 2001 and provides a fascinating insight into Bhutanese material culture and the art of textile. A visit to Simply Bhutan - an exclusive project under the Bhutan Youth Development Fund comes next. It is a living Museum and Studio encapsulating the cultural heritage of the Bhutanese people. The infrastructure portrays ancient Bhutanese architecture which is being lost to modernization. Your final visit before returning to your hotel is a visit to Trashichhoe Dzong, an impressive fortress/monastery which houses the Secretariat building, the throne room of His Majesty the King and various government offices. It is also the summer residence of Chief Abbot and the central monk organisation.

Dinner and Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.

16TH APRIL 2019

Thimphu – Punakha

75 km, 3 hrs drive.

After breakfast, drive up to, Dochu-la pass (3,088m/ 10,130 ft) stopping briefly here to take in the view and admire the chorten, mani wall, and prayer flags which decorate the highest point on the road. If the skies are clear, you will get a speclacular view of the Bhutanese Himalayan peaks.

Continue further to Punakha, which served as the capital of Bhutan until 1955. Blessed with a temperate climate and fed by the Pho Chhu (male) and Mo Chhu (female) Rivers, Punakha is the most fertile valley in the country.

En route take a short hike to the Fertility Temple or Chimmi Lhakhang, ‘Chimmi’ literally means ‘No Dog’. The 15th century Buddhist Master Drukpa Kinley (Divine Mad man) reached the place chasing the demon from Do Chula who took the form of a dog. It is here on this spectacular hill the Divine mad man caught the demon, killed her, buried her and built a black stupa marking as the seal of evil.

The trail to ChemiLhakang takes about 30 minutes and passes through farm lands of Lobesa Village. As you walk along you will get the opportunity to see farmers at work.

After check in , later drive through Punakha town to the 17th Century fortress, Punakha Dzong. The fortress is located on the junction of the two rivers and is the 2nd oldest of Bhutan's Dzongs. For many years until the time of the 2nd King, it served as the seat of Government. During its life, it has survived six fires, two floods, two earthquakes and endless sieges from Tibetan armies. It is an incredibly beautiful and photogenic Dzong.

Dinner and overnight at the Hotel (Punakha Altitude 1300m).

17TH APRIL 2019

Punakha – Paro

125km, 4.5 hrs drive.

After breakfast, transfer to Paro.

The beautiful valley of Paro is home to many of Bhutan's oldest temples and monasteries, National Museum and country's only airport with Mount Chomolhari (7,314m) at the northern end of the valley and its glacial waters form Pa Chhu (Paro river). Paro is also one of the most fertile valley in the Kingdom producing a bulk of the locally famous red rice from its terraced fields. Stop at Dochu la Pass shortly for freshening up. On arrival check in to your hotel followed by lunch.

After lunch, your first visit from Paro will be to Ta Dzong. Once a watchtower, built to defend Rinpung Dzong during inter-valley wars of the 17th century, Ta Dzong was inaugurated as Bhutan's National Museum in 1968. Today it holds a fascinating collection of art, relics, religious Thangkha paintings and Bhutan's exquisite postage stamps. The museums circular shape enhances its varied collections displayed over several floors.

Drive to visit Rinpung Dzong, which has a long and fascinating history. Built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the first spiritual and temporal ruler of Bhutan, the Dzong houses the monastic body of Paro, the office of the Dzongda (district administrative head) and Thrimpon (judge) of Paro district. The approach to the Dzong is through a traditional covered bridge called Nemi Zam. A walk through the bridge, over a stone inlaid path, offers a good view of the architectural wonder of the Dzong.

Visit Kyichu Lakhang, one of the oldest and most sacred shrines of the Kingdom dating back to 7th century. The lhakhang complex is composed of two temples. The first temple was built by Tibetan King, SongtsenGampo in the 7th century and in 1968, H.M. AshiKesang, the Queen Mother of Bhutan, built the second temple in same original pattern.

Return to your hotel or take an evening stroll.

Dinner and overnight at the Hotel in Paro.

18TH APRIL 2019

Paro

Today you will visit the world famous Tiger’s Nest Monastry following the footsteps of Prince William and Kate.
On arrival at trail-head point, embark on a walking excursion to Taktshang Monastery: It is one of the most famous of Bhutan’s monasteries, perched on the side of a cliff 900m above the Paro valley floor. It is said that Guru Rinpoche arrived here on the back of a tigress and meditated at this monastery and hence it is called ‘Tiger’s Nest’.

Lunch will be en-route at the Taktshang Cafeteria. Afternoon at leisure for personal activities / exploring the charming traditional architecture town in Paro, along with some shopping opportunities.

Overnight at the hotel in Paro.

19TH APRIL 2019

Paro - Kathmandu

After breakfast at the hotel, drive to the airport and board your flight KB400 (0830 / 0915hrs).

This evening proceed for a visit to Bhaktapur. The city is celebrated for its glorious architecture; sky-high temples built in pagoda style -which is believed to be the stairway to heaven, fine clay pottery, and massive royal courtyards whose existence date back to the 12th century, where devotees, still, celebrate their pre-historic festivals by equal amount of gusto and passion.

Bhaktapur used to be the ruling throne of the Kathmandu Valley until the king, Yakshya Malla, in 1482, divided the kingdom between his three sons, eventually fading the strength of unity and losing the nation to the Shah dynasty from Gorkha.

Overnight at the hotel in Kathmandu.

20TH APRIL 2019

Depart Kathmandu

After a leisurely breakfast, check out from the hotel and transfer to the airport to board onward flight back home.

HOTELS

14–16 April 2019 - Thimpu Le Meridien Classic Room (2 nights)
16–17 April 2019 - Punakha Dhensa Boutique Resort (1 night)
17–19 April 2019 - Paro Hotel Zhiwaling Junior Suite (2 nights)
19– 20 April 2019- Kathmandu Hyatt Regency Hyatt Guest Room (1 night)

 

PRICE

Price based on 2 persons travelling staying in a double or twin bedded room:
£2650 per person (inc airfare for Kathmandu-Paro-Kathmandu on Druk Air)
£899 per person Single Room supplement

The price includes:

  • 6 nights accommodation on twin/sharing basis at the hotels mentioned above or
    similar
  • All meals at hotels/restaurants as per the program in Bhutan (breakfast and dinner at hotels of stay and lunches at local restaurants during sightseeing) and only breakfast while in Kathmandu
  • All transfers and sightseeing as per the itinerary All transfers, excursions and
    sightseeing tours with SUV’s (Hyundai Tuson / Santa Fe) for up to 2 guests and Toyota Hiace Bus for 3 to 5 guests and Toyota Coaster for 6 guests above
  • English speaking accompanying guide
  • Governmental royalty and taxes
  • Entrance fee at all monuments, road taxes, parking fee, fuel charges and interstate taxes
  • Bhutan visa fee

The price excludes:

  • Insurance of any kind / medical expenses
  • Beverages (alcoholic / non – alcoholic)
  • Expenses of personal nature (like tipping, laundry, Telephone/fax calls, camera/video fees etc)
  • Airfares to and From Kathmandu to Europe and Airport Taxes

 

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