In the very heart of the Himalaya lies a mythic place many consider the embodiment of Shangri La. A land of snow-capped peaks never climbed les the sacred spirits of the mountains be disturbed. A natural paradise of abundant wildlife such as the endangered Snow Leopard and the Golden Langur. A deeply spiritual people who rate success by an index of happiness.On this quick escape, you will find the mountainous landscape streaming with prayer flags, engage with people radiating joy and hospitality, and ascend some 2,000 feet to the thrilling “Tiger’s Nest” high atop a sheer granite perch.
Our Quick Escape series of short journeys are designed for the modern traveler who seeks to experience the majestic beauty and diverse cultures of exotic lands far far away, but has time constraints that only allow for a one-week break from the demands of the office, home, or family.
Spring & Fall, 2021
$4,945 Per Person
$580 Per Person
$1,150 Per Person
INCLUSIONS & EXCLUSIONS + span>
Inclusions & Exclusions
LAND PRICE INCLUDES:
Ground transportation in Mongolia as described in the itinerary
Transfers upon arrival and departure
All accommodations based on double or twin occupancy (hotel rooms and gers)
All meals in Mongolia including a camp cook while tenting
Bottled/filtered water throughout the trip and soft drinks at meals
All excursions, entrance fees, and visits as described in itinerary
Extensive pre-departure Travel Guide, reading list, important information about your trip, and luggage tags
Bilingual Nomadic Expeditions guide throughout your stay.
LAND PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE:
International airfare; internal airfare is quoted separately and subject to change by airlines
Passport and visa fees
Comprehensive medical and trip insurance
Excess baggage charges
Photography and video fees
Tips to guides and drivers
Food and beverages not included in the group meals
Items of personal nature, including alcoholic beverages, laundry, and telephone calls
Other items not specifically mentioned as included
"First I would like to say that we had an amazing adventure in Bhutan. The experience was once in a life time and easily met or exceeded all of our expectations. Our guides were so helpful and kind and the country was breathtaking."
"I can't speak highly enough of our ground team. I also really enjoyed the dinner with Bhutanese group in Paro, as well as the farmhouse lunch."
"The trip was extraordinary in every way, and I am grateful to everyone who contributed to making this experience happen."
The flight into Bhutan takes you close to the great Himalayas, offering dazzling scenic views of some of the world’s highest mountain peaks. As you enter the Paro Valley, you will sweep past forested hills with the silvery Pa Chu (Paro River) meandering down the valley below. Paro Dzong (fortress) and Ta Dzong (watchtower) on the hills above the town will be a fine sight. Our Bhutanese guide - who will be with us for the full trip - will meet us at Paro airport, and after completion of arrival formalities we will be transferred to Bhutan’s capital, Thimphu, an exciting blend of tradition and modernity.
After checking into our hotel in Thimphu, we visit the Trashichhodzong. This impressive fortress/monastery houses the Secretariat building, the throne room of His Majesty the King and various government offices. It is also the summer residence of the Chief Abbot and central monk body. Walking back through the bazaar, we return to our hotel.
(Zhiwaling Ascent L, D)
Day 2 - EXPLORE THIMPU
Today starts off with a visit to the Institute for Zorig Chusum (commonly known as the Painting School), where students undertake a six-year course on the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan, and later continue on to the Textile and Folk Heritage Museums. These museums, both of which opened in 2001, provide fascinating insights into Bhutanese material culture and way of life.
From there, we head to the National Memorial Chorten. The construction of this chorten was envisaged by the third king, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, as a monument to world peace and prosperity. Completed in 1974 after his untimely death, it is both a memorial to the Late King (the “Father of Modern Bhutan”) and a monument to world peace. The paintings and statues inside the monument provide a deep insight into Buddhist philosophy.
(Zhiwaling Ascent; B, L, D)
Day 3 - TO PUNAKHA
After an early breakfast, you 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 that decorate the highest point on the road (see view below).
If skies are clear, the following peaks can be seen from this pass (left to right): Masagang (7,158m), Tsendagang (6,960m), Terigang (7,060m), Jejegangphugang (7,158 m), Kangphugang (7,170 m), Zongphugang (7, 060 m), a table mountain that dominates the isolated region of Lunana, and, finally, Gangkar Puensum (7,497m), the highest peak in Bhutan.
You will arrive in Punakha in the afternoon, and will visit Punakha Dzong, a massive structure built at the junction of two rivers. Punakha was the capital of Bhutan until 1955, and still serves as the winter residence of the monk body. The first King, Ugyen Wangchuck, was crowned here in 1907. The fortress has withstood several damages from fire, earthquake and flood. The latest flood of October 1994 caused great damages to the fortress but miraculously spared the statue of Buddha Jojampa.
(Densa Resort; B, L, D)
Day 4 - PUNAKHA VALLEY
We have the day to explore the lovely Punakha Valley. After breakfast embark on a walking excursion to Chimi Lhakhang, situated on a hillock in the center of the valley. It is dedicated to Lama Drukpa Kuenley, who in the late 15th Century used humor, songs, and outrageous behavior to dramatize his teachings. Due to this, he is also known as the “Divine Madman.” This temple is also known as the temple of fertility. It is widely believed that couples who do not have children are usually blessed with a child soon after praying at the temple. It is a 30-minute walk from the road to the temple.
The trail leads across rice fields to the tiny settlement of Pana, which translates as “field.” The trail then follows a tiny stream downhill to Yoaka and across more fields before making a short climb to Chimi Lhakhang.
In the afternoon you take a beautiful hike to the regal Khamsum Yuelley Namgel Chorten, which was built to remove negative forces and promote peace, stability and harmony in the changing world. The Chorten dominates the upper Punakha Valley with commanding views across the Mo Chu and up towards the mountainous peaks of Gasa and beyond.
(Densa Resort; B, L, D)
Day 5 - TO PARO
After breakfast we return over Doucha La Pass and continue to Paro. On arrival visit Ta Dzong, originally built as a watchtower, which now houses the National Museum. The extensive collection includes antique thangka paintings, textiles, weapons and armor, household objects and a rich assortment of natural and historic artifacts. Walking down the trail, we will come to Rinpung Dzong (“Fortress of the Heap of Jewels”), which has a long and fascinating history. Along the wooden galleries lining the inner courtyard are fine wall paintings illustrating Buddhist lore such as four friends, the old man of long life, the wheel of life, scenes from the life of Milarepa, Mount Sumeru and other cosmic mandalas.
(Zhiwa Ling Heritage; B, L, D)
Day 6 - EXPLORE PARO VALLEY
This morning we take an excursion to Taktsang, the most famous of Bhutanese monasteries. It is said that Guru Rinpoche arrived here on the back of a tigress and meditated at this monastery, hence its moniker of the “Tiger’s Nest.” The hiking excursion to the monastery’s viewpoint, a 2,000-ft climb, takes about four hours roundtrip. We will have ponies to ride if you feel the hike is too strenuous.
During our exploration of this “idyll” valley, we will experience the wonders of the Drukgyel Dzong, a ruined fortress where Bhutanese warriors fought Tibetan invaders centuries ago. The snowy dome of sacred Chomolhari, the “mountain goddess,’’ can be seen in all her glory from the approach road to the Dzong. Along the way we will see the 7th-Century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples built in the Himalayas by the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo. The building of this temple marked the introduction of Buddhism to Bhutan.
(Zhiwa Ling Heritage; B, L, D)
Day 7 - DEPART BHUTAN
After an early breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for your outbound flight to Bangkok or Delhi.