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Bhutan Extension in 2021

  • Overview
  • Accommodation
  • Itinerary
  • Fares

A journey overview

  • Thimpu
  • Punakha
  • Paro

7 Days Explorations
  • Departing:
  • 21 Feb 2021

Nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas, we enter Bhutan, a heavenly space of monasteries, Buddhist fortresses and sublime alpine landscapes.

Bhutan Post Extension 2021 Land only map

Itinerary

We arrive into Paro and are instantly taken to Thimphu. Mountains border all sides of the city, protecting a collection of monasteries and temples located across Bhutan’s capital. We are welcomed to Bhutan with a fascinating lecture by a Buddhist speaker, who will discuss the role of Buddhism in Bhutan, and explain Bhutan’s National dress.

We begin our explorations of Bhutan’s capital at the National Library, established in 1967 to preserve ancient Tibetan and Dzongkha texts. We pay a visit to Institute for Zorig Chusum, commonly referred to as ‘the painting school’ where a large collection of students’ paintings, woodcarvings, embroidery and statue-making are on display. Our day culminates at Trashi Chho Dzong, a Buddhist monastery and fortress perched on the banks of Wangchu River.

The road to Punakha is a spectacular one. En route to Punakha, we pass Dochula Pass, where a concentration of 108 memorial stupas look out over the Himalayas. In Punakha, we visit Punakha Dzong, the second of its kind to be built in Bhutan and arguably the most beautiful in the country. Our explorations continue in Chimi Lhakhang, also known as the temple of fertility. Worshippers have come to this temple for centuries for fertility blessings.

Bhutan’s dzongs all seem to congregate in Paro, and we spend our day going between many of them, including the imposing Paro Dzong, Rinpung Dzong and Ta Dzong, which is home to the National Museum. In between our visits, we trawl through a local market, and spend the evening visiting temple Kyichu Lhakhang. Built during the 7th century, it remains one of the oldest temples in Bhutan.

We wake early for the journey to Tiger’s Nest Monastery. Those who choose to stay at ground level can glimpse the rainbow prayer flags and white buildings of the monastery. Hikers joining the challenging trek will encounter scenery which becomes all the more breathtaking – and are rewarded with the ultimate panorama at the finish line. Archery, the national sport, has played a significant role in Bhutanese culture. We sit down to watch a match.

Where traditional methods of farming have remained the same for centuries, we experience a morning in the life of a local at a traditional farmhouse visit. We also indulge in the ultimate Bhutanese pastime; a traditional hot stone bath. Surrounded by the mountains, soak in wooden tubs warmed by heated river stones. Relaxed and refreshed, join a Your World experience this evening and watch a traditional mask dance and cultural show.

Our time in the Buddhist Kingdom has come to an end. We are escorted to the airport, where we farewell the dramatic landscapes of the Himalayas.

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