Bhutan Encounters tour

Bhutan Encounters tour

Tour Experience

Cultural tour of West Bhutan, including sightseeing and gentle walks

Available

Regular departures on a Monday

Location

Bhutan, Punakha, Gangtey, Thimphu

This 8-day tour of Bhutan provides a fantastic chance to explore one of the world’s most remote and fascinating countries. The itinerary is designed to provide a balance between some historic and cultural sightseeing with some short walks through the Bhutanese countyside and some beautiful scenery. You'll also enjoy plenty of Bhutanese food and learn a lot about Bhutanese culture and Buddhist way of life.

The tour starts in Paro where we greet you at the airport, which is surely one of most attractive in the world. We visit Paro Dzong and learn about how these beautiful buildings with their joint monastic and civic function have administred life in Bhutan over the centuries. We cross over the higher Dochu La Pass, hopefully enjoying some great Himalayan mountain views, and explore the Punakha Valley with its huge riverside Dzong, and also the Phobjikha Valley which is famous for being the home to many endangered Black Necked Cranes which migrate here from Tibet. We also arrange the itineraries so that you can visit the huge weekend market in the capital Thimphu which displays produce and crafts from all over the country.

We have timed several of the departure dates to fit in with some of Bhutan's special 'tsechus', which are important religious festivals held in and around the Dzongs with maksed dances, processions and other. The itineraries on these dates may be adjusted slightly to make the most of the festivals and take account of the limited accommodation availability at the time.

Flights into Bhutan are available with the national airline, Druk Air, from Singapore, Bangkok, Delhi & Calcutta and Kathmandu. We offer a range of options to add a little time in India, Nepal, Singapore or Thailand to enable you to connect on with your main international flights.

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INCLUDED

  • All accommodation as per itinerary in 3-star level hotels
  • All meals as indicated in the itinerary
  • 24/7 airport transfer service
  • All transport in private vehicles
  • Bhutan visa fee, Tourism development fee and government royalty
  • Local tour guide/tour leader
  • All national park entry and activity fees
  • All entrance fees to sites visited

EXCLUDED

  • International flights (available on request)
  • Travel Insurance (compulsory)
  • Single room supplements (chargeable if a same-sex room share is not available)
  • Drinks, snacks and other personal expenses (e.g. Laundry)
  • Tips for tour leader and driver
  • Any other items not mentioned above

PACKAGE DETAILS

Itinerary

DAY 1 Arrive in Paro

Paro airport provides a first taste of Bhutanese architecture and is surely one of the world’s most beautiful. In the afternoon we visit Ta Dzong, originally a Watch Tower and now the National Museum. Then walk down to Paro Dzong and learn how these spectacular buildings have combined the monastic and civic administration of Bhutan for centuries.
OVERNIGHT
Paro hotel
MEALS
Dinner
EXTRAS
Single Room Supplement, Extra night – pre-tour

DAY 2 Paro to Punakha Valley

Cross the 3050m Dochu La Pass 3050m today on steep winding roads through beautiful dense forests. In the Punakha Valley, a short walk visits the Chimi Lhakhang Temple, built by Lama Drukpa Kuenley or ‘The Divine Madman’ and renowned for blessing barren women with fertility. Keen birdwatchers can drive to the Che Le La Pass at sunrise in search of Blood Grouse and the Himalayan Monal.
OVERNIGHT
Punakha hotel
MEALS
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 3 Punakha Dzong drive to Gangtey

A morning walk to Khamsum Yuelley Namgyel Chorten takes in river banks, mixed forest and terraced fields of chillies and vegetables. Next we visit the spectacular Punakha Dzong, which lies between two rivers known as Phochu and Mochu which symbolise masculine and feminine co-existence. After lunch, drive on to Gangtey.
OVERNIGHT
Gangtey hotel
MEALS
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 4 Phobjikha Valley walk, Gangtey

We enjoy a nature walk today in the beautiful Phobjikha Valley, famous for the rare black-necked cranes that make it home between October and March after an arduous migration over the Himalayan mountains from the Tibetan plateau (the annual Crane festival in November is well worth a visit). We also visit the Gangtey Monastery.
OVERNIGHT
Gangtey hotel
MEALS
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 5 Drive to Thimphu via Wangdue Phodrang

Re-cross the Dochu La Pass to the capital Thimphu. En-route visit the ancient Dzong at Wangduephodrang, which is relatively un-restored and gives a real feel for how these buildings have run life in Bhutan over the centuries.
OVERNIGHT
Thimphu hotel
MEALS
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 6 Thimphu tours

Today’s sightseeing in Thimphu includes the Memorial Chorten, Folk Heritage Museum, School of Arts & Crafts and the Takin research centre. All our tours also aim to fit in with the huge weekend food and crafts market, which is a great place to pick up a souvenir of your time in Bhutan. A stop at the national stadium to view an archery tournament is also well worthwhile.
OVERNIGHT
Thimphu hotel
MEALS
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 7 Taktshang (Tiger’s Nest) walk

Start early for a 2-3 hours steep uphill walk to the iconic Taktshang monastery, perched on a sheer 800m rock face. Taktshang is probably Bhutan’s most famous site and attracts pilgrims from all over Bhutan. In the afternoon, visit the ruined Drukgyel Dzong and the 7th century Kyichu Lhakhang temple. In the evening you could enjoy a relaxing traditional hot stone bath to ease any tired limbs.
OVERNIGHT
Paro hotel
MEALS
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 8 Paro, departure airport transfer

Your time is free until we transfer you to the airport for departure. We can book your international Druk Air flights into Bhutan and extension options in Kathmandu, Delhi and Bangkok are available to enable connections to your onward flights.
OVERNIGHT
N/A
MEALS
Breakfast
EXTRAS
Extra night – post-tour

DURATION

8 days

Price

A$2631

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