Best of Bhutan October 2018 Exclusive Women’s Tour

Best of Bhutan
6 nights/7 days

20/26 October 2018
Exclusive Women’s Tour

Best-of-Bhutan-with-Jasmine-Trails-November-2018-image-Taktsang-Monastery
Best of Bhutan With Jasmine Trails November 2018 Exclusive Women’s Tour

Bhutan is a Himalayan Kingdom that had been blissfully untouched for centuries. With a small population of warm and friendly people, it is one of the most peaceful and well-preserved regions of the world. Beautiful landscapes, lush forests, gushing rivers, stunning view of the mountains and unique architecture make it a great escape into an almost surreal place.


What makes this tour special?

  • All must-see places in a compact tour but at a relaxed pace 
  • Carefully selected hotels that ensure good food, service and comfort 
  • Professional and enthusiastic tour guides and drivers 
  • Emphasis on safety and hygiene 
  • Add on activities for hands-on experience and interaction

Highlights of Jasmine Trails’ Best of Bhutan

  • Hike to Tiger’s Nest
  • Rafting in the Mo Chu river
  • An exclusive picnic lunch at the lovely location
  • Cooking demonstration and dinner with a local family at their farmhouse
  • Archery competition and participation
  • Visit to the most famous Dzongs and temples
  • Opportunity to wear the local dress

Best-of-Bhutan-with-Jasmine-Trails-November-2018-image-Thimphu-Bhutan- fields


DETAILED PROGRAMME

20 October Saturday
Paro-Thimphu (Arrive in Paro and transfer by road to Thimphu 1 hr/54 kms)

On a clear day, the flight to Paro is breathtaking, with views of major Himalayan peaks such as Everest, Kanchenjunga and Makalu, and on the final approach Bhutan’s own snowy peaks, the sacred Jhomolhari, Jichu Drake and Tserimgang. On arrival at Paro airport and after completion of airport formalities, you will be met by your Guide. Drive from Paro to Thimphu, the modern capital town of Bhutan and an exciting blend of tradition and modernity.

On arrival, check-in at the hotel and afternoon free.

Later visit Tashichhodzong: The “fortress of the glorious religion” was initially erected in 1641 and rebuilt by King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck in the 1960s. Tashichhodzong houses some ministries, His Majesty’s secretariat, and the central monk body. It is open to visitors during the Thimphu Tsechu (held in autumn) and while the monk body is resident in its winter quarters at Punakha Dzong.

Hotel: Tara Phendeyling or similar
Meals: Dinner

21 October Sunday
Thimphu Valley

Thimphu, perhaps the most unusual capital city in the world, is the seat of government. This bustling town is home to Bhutan’s royal family, the civil service, and foreign missions with representation in Bhutan. It is also the headquarters for a number of internationally funded development projects.

Today’s sightseeing includes

Buddha Dordenma: statue sitting on top of a hill overlooking Thimphu. The Statue of Sakyamuni Buddha is one of the tallest in Asia (51.5 m).

National Memorial Chorten: This chorten is a memorial to Bhutan’s third king, H.M. Jigme Dorji Wangchuck and is a monument to peace. The finely executed wall paintings and delicately fashioned statues within the monument provide a deep insight into Buddhist philosophy.

Folk Heritage Museum, where you can learn about the traditional Bhutanese way of life.

Takin Zoo: A large fenced enclosure where you can see Takins, Bhutan’s national animal. This ‘goat-antelope’ is a gentle and docile creature that is under threat in many parts of the world.

Institute for Zorig Chusum: Commonly known as the Painting School, the Institute offers a six-year course on the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan. On a visit one can see students learning the various skills taught at the school.

National Library: The library was established to conserve the literary treasures which form a significant part of Bhutan’s cultural heritage. It also displays the one of the biggest books in the world – “Bhutan” (a former Guinness Book of World’s Record holder). Besides its sheer size and weight, the continuously printed images (printed on a roll of paper longer than a football field and with a gallon of ink) are spectacular.

Afterwards you can spend time strolling through Thimphu town. Those who’d like to try on the local dress have an opportunity today (at a nominal extra cost).

Hotel: Tara Phendeyling or similar
Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

22 October Monday
Thimphu – Punkaha (Approximately 3 hours driving time/76 kms) 

After an early breakfast, drive up to Dochu-la pass (3,088m/10,130ft) stopping briefly here to take in the view and admire the chortens, Mani walls, and prayer flags which decorate the highest point on the road.  If skies are clear, the high Himalayan peaks towards the northeast will be revealed in all their glory.

On arrival, visit Chhimi Lhakhang (temple), a 30-40-minute gradual walk through a village and paddy fields. Situated on a hillock below the village of Metshina, the temple is dedicated to Lama Drukpa Kuenley (also known as the Divine Madman). The temple is popular among women who have difficulties conceiving children.

Later, visit Punakha Dzong, built in 1637 to serve as the religious and administrative center of the region. Damaged over the centuries by four catastrophic fires and an earthquake, the Dzong has been fully restored in recent years by the present monarch.

Hotel: Dhumra Farm Resort or similar
Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

23 October Tuesday
Punakha

Today we visit Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten: This three storey chorten was built by Her Majesty the Queen Ashi Tsering Yangdon for the protection of the country. It has an impressive view of Punakha dzong especially when driving back to Punakha. The chorten is a half hour walk from the main road.

Next we have an exciting rafting trip in Punakha Mo Chu (female) river. This picturesque 6 km float on the Mochhu River passes by fields and the royal palaces. Look out for Mahseer fish that frequents the Punakha river. This species is said to grow up to 3 meters in length and 55kg in weight. The other fish to look out for is the Gangetic Dolphin. There are no photo evidences of the sighting yet though many anglers tell their stories.

After this settle down to have a picnic lunch.

Hotel: Dhumra Farm Resort or similar
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

24 October Wednesday
Punakha – Paro (Approximately 4 hours drive/130 kms)

After breakfast we head to Paro once again crossing over Dochu la Pass.

This beautiful valley encapsulates a rich culture, scenic beauty and hundreds of myths and legends.  Mt. Jhomolhari (7,300m) reigns in white glory at the northern end of the valley, its glacial waters plunging through deep gorges to form the Pa Chu (Paro River). The Paro valley is one of the kingdom’s most fertile, producing the bulk of Bhutan’s famous red rice from its terraced fields.

Then proceed to visit the National Museum. The museum collection includes ancient Bhutanese art and artifacts, weapons, coins, stamps and a small natural history collection.

Today you will have the opportunity to watch and try archery, the national sport of Bhutan. Marvel at the dexterity of the archers. The traditional bows and arrows are made from bamboo. Experience a quick and shortened version of the traditional game of archery. You are welcome to join the team.

End the day with a visit to a Farmhouse to experience a cooking demonstration on Bhutanese food followed by a dinner with the host family.

Hotel:  Gangtey Palace or similar
Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

25 October Thursday
Paro

Today is a challenging and exhilarating day as you hike up to Taktsang Monastery, also called “Tiger’s Nest”. This is most famous of Bhutan’s monasteries, spectacularly located on the side of a cliff 900m above the valley floor. It is said that in the 8th century Guru Rinpoche flew on the back of a tigress from eastern Bhutan to this place and meditated in a cave here for 3 months, hence its name, “Tiger’s Nest”. Taktsang is a place of pilgrimage which Bhutanese try to visit at least once in a lifetime.

An excursion to Taktsang involves a steep climb up through pine forest and takes about five hours round trip. Though the climb up through the pine forest is steep, the journey is most worthwhile on account of the superb views.

Back on arrival visit Kichu Lhakhang to offer butter lamps at one of the oldest temples in the country.

Hotel:  Gangtey Palace or similar
M
eals: Breakfast and Dinner

26 October Friday
Paro-Delhi

Transfer to the airport for your flight back home.

Meals: Breakfast


Best-of-Bhutan-with-Jasmine-Trails-November-2018-image-Trashigang-Dzong

Tour Price

Per person price on twin sharing basis Single room price
15 participants Rs. 38,350 Rs. 51,300
Flights Delhi-Paro-Delhi Rs.21,300

This an estimate only. Please see the notes at the end for more on flights.

 

PLEASE NOTE: DO NOT BUY TICKETS UNTIL YOU HEAR FROM US WITH A CONFIRMATION THAT THE TOUR IS OPERATING.


Inclusions

  • All transportation as per programme including group transfers in Toyota Coaster bus
  • Accommodation in excellent 3-star hotels and meals on MAP as mentioned in programme
  • Route permit fee
  • English speaking tour guide
  • All monument/monastery and sightseeing fees mentioned in programme
  • Mineral water during sightseeings and long drives
  • Archery demonstration fees, Rafting fees, Cooking demo and dinnerat local home
  • All applicable taxes

Exclusions

  • Room service, telephone calls, laundry
  • Any airfare
  • Any cost of insurance
  • Any new taxes that government may levy
  • Any expenses that arise from illness, hospitalization, accident or any other medical emergency
  • Additional sightseeing or extra usage of vehicle, other than mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Any porterage at hotels, tips, insurance, alcohol, soft drinks, telephone charges, and all items of personal nature
  • Any changes / cancellations / expenses borne due to delay in Flights
  • Any services or meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Any cost arising due to ‘Acts of God’ including landslides, road blockage, terrorist activities, political disturbances (strikes) etc. Cost to be borne by the client – directly payable on the spot.

Cancellation Policy

Standard Cancellation fees:
30 days or less before commencement of tour: 100% of total package price
No refund for no shows or for early departures


Like what you see and want to book?

Call us at +91 9899116467 or email us at jasminetrailsindia@gmail.com.

We will send you a registration form and bank details. We will require a part deposit to confirm your seat.

 

Last date for booking and making your payment is
16th August 2018


Some notes to the trip

Group size

Unlike most tour organizers we do not believe in jamming large numbers of travelers in a group. That defeats the purpose of ‘getting away’ for an enjoyable vacation. Our group size for this tour is 10-15 passengers only. Incase too few of people sign up we will let you know if you have signed up, so you are informed of the non-operation of the trip.

Flights

Flights are not included in the cost. However, once the required number of participants confirm with a payment, we will be happy to book flights for all participants as a group. The fares fluctuate day to day, so we will inform you of the fare available and expect an immediate confirmation for a go-ahead to book the flights. All terms and conditions regarding cancellation policies and refunds will apply as per the airline rules.

You could book the flights on your own as well, however please take care to book the same flight as the group as the arrival transfer in Paro included in the tour cost is for a group and not individuals. If you prefer to arrive and leave on another flight, we can help you book separate transfers in Paro for you on extra payment. PLEASE NOTE: DO NOT BUY TICKETS UNTIL YOU HEAR FROM US WITH A CONFIRMATION THAT THE TOUR IS OPERATING.

Staying Connected

Vodafone and Airtel Indian SIM cards will work in Bhutan but mostly in the city. The cost of calls is high so if you really need to be connected then getting a local sim card is a good idea.

There is free WIFI in most hotels though you may have to pay at some. There are plenty of internet cafes in the main bazaar. Internet can be slow so be prepared for that. A local sim card’s mobile data will give better internet connectivity.

Weather

The best time to vacation in Bhutan is between March and November. Although June and July are off-season, they are also quite nice months to be in Bhutan. Daytime is usually dry but expect rain by later afternoon or evening.

In November the skies are blue and cloudless affording clear views of the mountain ranges. The weather is cool and temperate but not yet cold. Days are usually nice and sunny between 18-23 degrees C, but the nights can be quite cool.

Customized private groups

If you and your family and friends would like to travel as a separate group we can arrange a private tour for you without other travelers signing up on it. Let us know and we will be happy to customize it for you.

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