Private and personalized luxury introduction to Bhutan
Luxury Bhutan takes you into the heart of Bhutan’s untainted culture and pristine nature in the lap of luxury and comfort. An undiscovered and unfamiliar locale, Bhutan’s authentic experience offers its charming people, its ancient art of living, and the sacred landscapes combined with splendid Aman Kora and its superior services to those who seek both adventure and comfort.
DAY 1: ARRIVAL AND TRANSFER TO THIMPHU (2300MASL)
Arrival in Bhutan is an experience by itself as you fly past eight of the ten highest mountains in the world including Mount Everest and Bhutan’s very own Chomolhari. Samsara Asia team will clear all formalities with the airport and immigration and transfer to Thimphu.
Highlights: Visit the National Memorial Chorten, National Textile Museum, Folk Heritage Museum, National Library
Halt: Aman Kora Thimphu
DAY 2: SACRED THIMPHU VALLEY
Thimphu is the capital city of Bhutan with approximately 0.1 million people and is famed for being the only city without a single traffic light. With one foot in modernity and another griping its ancient ways of life, exploring Thimphu gives a glimpse of Bhutan at the cusp of the East and the West.
Highlights: (i) Visit the ancient Tashichhoe Dzong (monastery fortress), the secular and religious seats. (ii) A short hike up to Chari monastery via the Tango Buddhist University is both an opportunity to stretch and get a glimpse into the life of a Buddhist monk. (iii) Enroute, visit he 16th Century Pangri Zam that houses a monastic training school for astrology.
Halt: Aman Kora Thimphu
DAY 3: THIMPHU TO PUNAKHA (1,300MASL)
Punkha valley is the ancient capital of Bhutan and the seat of the first secular and religious head of Bhutan, the Zhabdrung. It now serves as the winter residence of the religious head of the state, the Je Khenpo.
Highlights: (i) A very dramatic drive over the mountain pass of Dochu La (3050 masl) with its 108 Druk Wangyal Chortens (stupa). Weather permitting, the view of the Himalayan ranges is spectacular from this point of view. (ii) Visit Chime Lhakhang, the temple in honour of the Divine Mad Man, Drukpa Kuenley and legends of the phallus that blesses. (iii) An evening stroll along the banks of the Phochu (male river) to get a glimpse of the rare White-bellied Heron, a majestic bird on the brink of extinction.
Halt: Aman Kora Punakha.
DAY 4: PUNAKHA VALLEY
Highlights: (i) Visit the village of Talo, home of the Queen Mother of Bhutan still holds Bhutan rural authenticity. (ii) Later in the afternoon a hike to an ancient monastery on the hilltop behind the lodge can be organized or time given to enjoy the farmhouse and spa of the lodge. (ii) Take a short hike through charming rice fields dotted with prayer flags to the Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal, a stunning monument overlooking the valley. (iii) The monumental Punakha Dzong is home to the remains of Bhutan’s first ruler, Shabdrung Nawang Namgyal, and the winter residence of the monastic order.
Halt: Aman Kora Punakha.
DAY 5: PUNAKHA TO PARO (2280 MASL)
Highlights: (i) Retrace the journey back to Dochu La and hike to the quaint Hongtsho Monastery. (ii) Follow the Wang Chu and Pa Chu (rivers) to Paro valley. (iii) Enroute, visit the iron bridge and Tamchoe Lhakhang before crossing through to Tshongdue (Paro Township).
Halth: Aman Kora, Paro.
DAY 6: THE SACRED PARO VALLEY
Paro is the rice bowl of Bhutan with a farming community that stretches throughout the valley. Every year, the oldest thongdrol (that which liberates on sight) is unfurled in the
Highlights: (i) Witness the unfurling of the Thongdrol at dawn at the Paro Tsechu. The day is spent in the company of locals dressed in their finest to attend the famous and sacred Tsechu. (ii) Visit the National Museum, housed in the Tadzong (a watchtower) for observe a large collection of artifacts providing an introduction to the rich culture and heritage of Bhutan. (iii) A short walk down the hill is Paro Rinpung Dzong, with its architectural splendour and Neymey Zam as we walk the ancient path toward Tshongdue. (iv) Visit the 8th Century Kyichu Lhakhag and dine in a farmhouse.
Halt: Aman Kora, Paro.
DAY 7: TAKTSANG HIKE (3120 MASL)
Overlooking the picturesque Paro valley and perched high on a cliff is Bhutan’s iconic landmark, the Taktsang or the Tiger’s Nest. First built in 1692 at the site of a meditation cave, legend has it that Guru Rinpoche (the lotus born) flew on the back of a tigress and meditated in the same cave to subdue a demon-ess.
Highlights: (i) A total of 6 hours hike to and from the Taktsang and perform an offering ceremony with the monks at the monastery. (ii) Visit the unusual Dungtse Lhakhang and stroll through Paro town browsing the many handicraft souvenir botiques. (iii) Enjoy an evening of spa with a traditional dinner that includes folk dancing.
Halt: Aman Kora Paro.
DAY 8: HOME BOUND
Transfer to the airport and depart for home.