9 days, 8 nights
Difficulty Level: 1
Price (US$): From $2,350.00
Months Available: October through May
Scarcely an hour apart from each other via one of the most beautiful flights in the world, Nepal and Bhutan seem to share so much from above… the Himalayas, a rich culture, borders with China and India and warm, wonderful people. Travelers to these two countries delight in the stark differences and how richly they complement each other. The ancient town of Kathmandu has many UNESCO protected sights and historical offerings and has plenty to offer a short term visitor. Arriving in Bhutan, visitors find a much slower pace and peaceful environment. Gross National Happiness is practiced in this largely Buddhist country and applied to all governmental decisions. Though small and technically a part of the third world, many would argue that Bhutan is among the most progressive countries in the world. Join these two countries together in one fantastic itinerary for an unforgettable adventure!
Before proceeding further to the town of Punakha, hike about 30 minutes to the Chimi Lhakhang (temple) on a small hilltop. The temple was dedicated to the great Yogi in the 14th century, known as Drukpa Kuenley, as well as the “Divine madman.” He dramatized Buddhist teachings using songs and outrageous sexual humor. Bold phallus symbols and paintings on the houses and temples are a result of his influence. It is believed that this temple blesses women who seek fertility.
After lunch, continue to Punakha Dzong (fortress) situated between the two rivers, Pho Chu and Mochu (male and female river). The fortress is now used as the winter seat of Je Khenpo (the spiritual head of Bhutan). The Dzong served as the capital seat of the Kingdom for more than 300 years. The intricate Buddhist paintings inside the monastery are spectacular. Overnight Meri Puensum. (All meals)
Day 07 - Punakha to Paro Return drive to. Overnight local lodge. (All meals)Day 08 - Paro (Tiger's Nest hike) Begin the day with breakfast before a short drive to Taktshang Monastery. The trail to the monastery climbs through pine trees festooned with Spanish moss and occasional fluttering prayer flags. Hike at your own pace for about two to four hours.
Built in 1600s, the monastery clings to the edge of a sheer-rock cliff that plunges 2,952 feet into the valley below. It is believed that, in the 8th century, Guru Rimpoche, the tantric mystic who brought Buddhism to Bhutan, landed here on the back of a flying tigress to subdue a demon. Guru Rimpoche is believed to have meditated here for three months. Packed lunch will be served.
Drive further up the valley to Drukgyel Dzong, the fortress of the victorious Drukpas. From Drukgyel Dzong, the Tibet border is only a two-day hike away. Overnight at Hotel. (All meals)Day 09 - Departure Final departure. You can fly either to Kathmandu, Bangkok or Delhi for you flight back home. (B)
Step 2: Send Deposit and Registration Information Make a copy of the photo page of your passport. If your trip involves a trek in Nepal, email or send us a passport-sized color photo. Mail a check for $500 per person for Nepal Treks or $1,000 for other journeys (non-refundable deposit), passport copy, photo and completed reservation form.
Our mailing address is: Grand Asian Journeys PO Box 608 Indianola, WA 98342 USA
Once we receive your payment and documents we will send you additional details of your trip including travel details, VISA information, packing list, specific trip information and insurance options.
If you are traveling to Bhutan, we are required to purchase your airfare. When you are booking your trip with us we will let you know the current cost of the Druk Air flights into Bhutan from your chosen port. We will need to collect payment for those flights in addition to the trip deposit at the time of booking.
Cancelation PolicyIf you cancel:
“I wanted to go to Nepal to help rebuild, and it was a challenge for me on many levels. The incredible part is that our guide Sune, and all the porters not to mention the family were there to help us accomplish our goal of doing what we could to help them. To receive the patience, physical assistance, guidance (and the incredible food!) touched me deeply. And as it turned out we did help! A lot of rocks got moved. Wire was woven. Progress was made in deconstructing a house. Plus we had fun! I am still integrating all that I experienced. There is something very intense about being in the vicinity of the Himalayas, the stunning beauty, the vastness, the challenges that reduce the ego and enlarge the heart. I’m glad I answered the call to participate in this adventure.”