Mystical Bhutan

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DURATION: 13 Days

START/END: Bangkok

START DATE: 4 Nov 2024

TOUR COST (Twin Share): USD 5395

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: USD 550

TOUR FLIGHTS: USD 1245

MAX GROUP SIZE: 14

PHYSICAL LEVEL: Moderate

Kingdom of heritage, horizons and harmony

The remote Kingdom of Bhutan remains a world shrouded in mystery. Come traverse this small kingdom nestled within the Himalaya, and discover its welcoming people, witness its towering mountains and immerse yourself in celebration of its colourful cultural heritage.

Commencing in Bangkok, this perfect-time-of-year odyssey offers a truly immersive travel experience. Travelling from East to West explore dzongs, temples, and chortens, understand Buddhist values and traditions, enjoy the unique Black Necked Crane Festival and climb to the sacred Tiger’s Nest.

You’ll be in good company the entire trip. Local guides with a wealth of knowledge will deepen your adventure. Your Byroads host will support you throughout the trip. And a small bunch of fellow wanderers will create meaningful memories alongside you.

Moments you’ll love

  • Flying to Paro, gateway to Bhutan
  • Exploring Thimphu, the nation’s capital
  • Standing at the top of Docchu-La Pass
  • Marveling at the Temple of the Divine Madman
  • Witnessing the Black Necked Crane Festival
  • Ascending the Tiger’s Nest
  • Discovering the world of Buddhist Monks

Lodgings you’ll adore

  • Hotel River Valley in Punakha
  • Kyichu Resort
  • ABC Eco Lodge in Gangtey

DAY 1: BANGKOK

Arrive at Bangkok Airport and transfer to your airport hotel | Settle in and meet up with your group in the evening.

Novotel Suvarnabhumi Airport (or similar)

DAY 2: THIMPHU

Take a very early flight to Paro | Drive the mountainous road to Thimphu | Be guided around the Textile Museum and the Folk Heritage Museum | Explore the Dordenma Buddha | Check in for your two-night stay. (LD)

Kang Residency (or similar)

DAY 3: THIMPHU

Continue the tour of the city | Stop by the National Library, home to the world’s largest book | Visit the School of Arts and Crafts | Wander through the markets | Cheer the local archers as they compete in the national sport.  (BLD)

Kang Residency (or similar)

DAY 4: PUNAKHA

Drive and stop at the top of the Docchu-La Pass. Enjoy the teahouse and the view | Walk around the 108 Memorial Chortens | Arrive to the Punakha Valley and explore the Temple of the Divine Madman. (BLD)

Hotel River Valley (or similar)  –  Hotel in a stunning location by the river, with views of the Khuruthang Valley and surrounding majestic mountains. This charming hotel features a restaurant, bar, fitness, spa and massage centre.

Day 5: PUNAKHA

Be guided around the impressive Punahka Dzong, a fortress-monastery auspiciously built at the confluence of the Mo Chuu and Po Chuu rivers | Cross the suspension bridge and climb to the Khamsum Yuelly Chorten | Photograph the spectacular views of the valley. (BLD)

Hotel River Valley (or similar)

DAY 6: WANGDUE AND KYICHU

Be invited for tea at the Buddhist College for Monks at Nalanda Monastery | Wander the Sangchen Dorji Lhendrub Choling Nunnery with its Nepali-style Chorten | Investigate the expansive Wangdue Phodrang Dzong | Overnight at Kyichu Resort  (BLD)

Kyichu Resort (or similar) – Located on the banks of the Dangchu River, the resort basks amongst beautiful alpine scenery. Built in the traditional style, the hotel offers simple rooms with modern amenities, and features a restaurant known for its superb vegetarian cuisine.

DAY 7: GANGTEY


Stop at the top of 3300m Lawaala Pass and photograph the stunning scenery – and the yaks | Descend to the beautiful Phobjikha Valley | Arrive in Gangtey and take an afternoon walk to view the black-necked cranes | Visit the Crane Centre.  (BLD)

ABC Eco Lodge (or similar)  –  Traditional, well-appointed peaceful lodge in the serene valley. The rooms are traditionally decorated, and the main lodge is super cozy. The lodge prides itself on its friendly service and its great restaurant.

DAY 8: GANGTEY

Feast on the spectacle that is the Black Necked Crane Festival, held at Gangtey Goempa – one of the oldest monasteries in Bhutan. Showcasing traditional dances and stories, the festival includes folk songs, mask dances and the famous Black Necked Crane Dance.  (BLD)

ABC Eco Lodge (or similar)

DAY 9: TRONGSA AND JAKAR


Drive over Pelela Pass, considered the boundary between central and west Bhutan | Arrive to Trongsa, heart of the Kingdom | Explore the largest dzong fortress in Bhutan | Settle into Bumthang Valley for two nights  (BLD)

River Lodge – (or similar)  –  Set in an idyllic spot at the entrance of Bumthang’s Chamkhar town, River Lodge is the mythical district’s place to stay. It is a perfect blend of the traditional and the modern, with the Lodge’s stunning Bhutanese architecture moulded with the latest modern amenities. Services include restaurant, spa and sauna, Wi-Fi, laundry service and gift shop.

DAY 10: JAKAR

Visit the three temples of Tamzhing Lhakhang, Kurjey Lhakhang and Jambay Lhakahang | Travel to the revered Mebar Tsho (Burning Lake) | Discover the Red Panda brewery. (BLD)

River Lodge (or similar)

DAY 11: PARO

This morning take a flight from Bumthang to Paro and be guided through the 7th century Kyichu Lhakang | Time in the afternoon to delve into the delights of the National Museum of Bhutan.  (BLD)

Metta Resort (or similar)

DAY 12: TAKSANG (TIGER'S NEST) LHAKANG

After a hearty breakfast drive to Ramthankha, the trail start-point to the breath-taking and iconic Tiger’s Nest | Hike or take the option to ride a pony to the mid-way teahouse | After refreshment, either settle down to enjoy the view from the teahouse or take the three-hour return hike to the sacred monastery the Tiger’s Nest | Tonight – recover!  (BLD)

Meta Resort (or similar)

DAY 13: PARO AND BANGKOK

Take the morning at leisure to explore the shops of Paro | Join the afternoon flight to Bangkok, where our tour concludes. (BL)

What’s Included

GUIDES

Byroads tour host, national and local guides

TRANSPORT

Transfers in Bhutan, return international flight Bangkok to Paro, domestic flight Bumthang to Paro, private air-conditioned minibus

ACCOMMODATION

12 nights’ accommodation (3 to 4-star hotel average)

MEALS

All meals are included each day once you are in Bhutan

TICKETS

Entrance fees to indicated sites

Due to currency volatility, trip fees are calculated in US Dollars. However, you will be charged in Australian dollars. Currency conversion is based on the Westpac Bank buying rate on your balance due date.

Meet your trip host

Ready for travel without logistical nightmares? Your trip host has got you covered.

Every Byroads tour is supported by Steve or Bronny – two experienced travellers with a genuine passion for people. They take care of all the nitty-gritty details to ensure your trip runs smoothly – and you can focus on enjoying the moment.

Steve heads up Byroads and has over 35 years of experience in the travel industry. He’s designed and operated holidays to some of the world’s most fascinating destinations.

Like her brother, Bronny shares a keen curiosity about the world. Independently, she has journeyed far and wide – and has worked as a tour leader throughout Europe, Asia and Australia.

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