Page 1

INCREDIBLE INDIAN TOURS Incredible Bhutan


INCREDIBLE INDIAN TOURS Incredible Bhutan

trip-validity: 2018 - 2019 Flying to Bhutan on a totally exhilarating mountain flight across the top of the Himalayas, we take time to visit the sights of the capital Thimpu. We explore the valleys of Punakha, Phobjikha and Bumthang before returning to Paro and the spectacular Taksang Monastery. A truly special country, the Kingdom of Bhutan is a delightful nation of friendly people, magnificent scenery, stunning Buddhist culture and still very few tourists due to the limited numbers of hotels and flights available. With a democratic monarchy, and a policy of ‘Gross National Happiness’, Bhutan is a unique gem situated deep in the eastern Himalayas, bounded by India to the south and Tibet (China) in the north.

Highlights     

be amazed at your first sight of a Takin in Thimpu explore the stunning Dzong in Punakha catch sight of the Black Necked Cranes in the picturesque Phobjikha Valley experience the colours and beauty of the monasteries in Bumthang be left breathless at the sheer unlikeliness of Tigers Nest Monastery in Paro

2/13 www.incredibleindiatours.com E-mail: info@incredibleindiatours.com Ph: +91 95490 02876


INCREDIBLE INDIAN TOURS Incredible Bhutan

(8 nights/9days)

Itinerary Day 1 Thimpu You will arrive into the Bhutanese city of Paro, our entry point located in a beautiful valley, where a warm welcome awaits. Jovial faces, prayer flags and the cool, fresh air of this high Himalayan city are immediately noticeable. We make our way to the capital city of Thimpu (54kms/ 1.5hr approx). The sights along the way will certainly up your excitement about your trip that is soon to unfold. This afternoon we embark on a tour to take in the highlights of Thimpu, including the National Memorial Chorten, National Library, Institute for Zorig Chusum (Painting School), Tashichhodzong (‘Fortress of the glorious religion’ which houses some ministries, the King’s secretariat, and a central monk body).

Buddha Dordenma Statue- Thimpu

3/13 www.incredibleindiatours.com E-mail: info@incredibleindiatours.com Ph: +91 95490 02876


INCREDIBLE INDIAN TOURS Incredible Bhutan

Itinerary Day 2 Punakha Not done with the Bhutanese capital yet, we drive to a vantage point above the city towards a tiny zoo to be bemused by the sight of an animal that seems more out of the pages of a mythical story book. Takin, the national animal of the Druk Kingdom, is as strange a creature as you’ll ever see – an interesting concoction of a goat and cattle. We then head further to a nunnery, Drubthob Lhakhang. En route, you can capture a fascinating sight of the city from high above. Visit to the local vegetable market on return to the city centre. After lunch, we drive to Punakha (70 kms/ 3hrs approx) via the Do ch ul a pa ss ( 3,05 0 m). A gai n, mo unt ain v iew s are spectacular, weather permitting. Punakha was once the capital of Bhutan and is still the winter seat of the chief abbot. The valley is blessed with a temperate climate and produces an abundance of food.

Monk - Chimi Lhakhang

4/13 www.incredibleindiatours.com E-mail: info@incredibleindiatours.com Ph: +91 95490 02876


INCREDIBLE INDIAN TOURS Incredible Bhutan

Itinerary Day 3 Punakha It’s a beautiful and somewhat challenging hike up a hillside to the 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 Chhu and up towards the mountainous peaks of Gasa and beyond. We visit the Lhakhang Nunnery a permanent higher learning and meditation centre for nuns which, apart from religious trainings, provides life skill training such as tailoring, embroidery, statue making and thangka painting. We visit the fascinating Chimi Lhakhang, known as the temple of the "Divine Madman", and the temple of fertility, a charming 30 minute stroll through picturesque villages and fields. In the afternoon, we take our time to explore the stunning Punakha Dzong, arguably the most beautiful, peaceful and spectacular Dzong in all of Bhutan. Built strategically at the Monks, Punakha Dzong junction of Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu rivers in 1637 to serve as the religious and administrative centre of the region, Punakha Dzong has played an important role in Bhutan's history. Damaged by four catastrophic fires and an earthquake, the Dzong has been fully restored by the present King.

5/13 www.incredibleindiatours.com E-mail: info@incredibleindiatours.com Ph: +91 95490 02876


INCREDIBLE INDIAN TOURS Incredible Bhutan

Itinerary Day 4 Phobjikha Drive towards Gangte, a.k.a. Phobjikha, (2hrs approx) with a stopover at Wangduephodrang. Broad yak pastures, rhododendron and pine forests and the winding narrow road leads to a serene bowl shaped valley made to look more remote by the nonexistence of power cables and telephone connections. Flanked by the enigmatic yet untouched Black Mountains and the winter abode (Oct-Mar) to the migratory Black Necked Cranes, the Gangte Valley has an unassuming charm about it. Reaching the valley, we head to one of the farmhouses to take our lunch and try out some local produce. Fortified, we then take a circular walk along the Nature Trail (2hrs approx) to emerge out onto the ridge –the site of the 450 year old Gangte Monastery which houses one of the largest prayer halls in Bhutan and gives shelter to about 100 resident monks.

6/13 www.incredibleindiatours.com E-mail: info@incredibleindiatours.com Ph: +91 95490 02876


INCREDIBLE INDIAN TOURS Incredible Bhutan

Itinerary Day 5 Bhumthang The Bumthang region comprises of four valleys – Chumey, Choekhor, Tang and Ura, with altitudes varying from 2,600 to 4,000m approx. After a morning drive (4hrs approx.) to Bhumthang, we visit the 17th century Jakar Dzong, the spectacular Bumthang Tshechu is held here annually. Kurje monastery is next, another 17th century marvel dedicated to Guru Padmasambava who was believed to have meditated here leaving his body imprint on the rock. Jambey Lhakhang, built in the 7th century by the Tibetan King, Songtsen Gampo (a reincarnation of Jambey or Avalokitesvara - the Bodhisattva of Compassion) is one of the 108 monasteries built to subdue the evil spirits. Tamshing Lhakhang, across the river, is also a worthwhile place to visit (which we’ll, given the availability of time) for its old and interesting religious paintings.

7/13 www.incredibleindiatours.com E-mail: info@incredibleindiatours.com Ph: +91 95490 02876


INCREDIBLE INDIAN TOURS Incredible Bhutan

Itinerary Day 6 Paro Return drive to Paro (6hrs approx.). Enroute to Paro, we again make a halt at Dochula pass to break our long drive in time for the lunch amidst the Himalayan vista. The lovely valley in which Paro is nestled encapsulates a rich culture, scenic beauty and hundreds of myths and legends. It is home to many of Bhutan’s oldest temples and monasteries and the National Museum. Mt. Chomolhari (7,314m) dominates 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

8/13 www.incredibleindiatours.com E-mail: info@incredibleindiatours.com Ph: +91 95490 02876


INCREDIBLE INDIAN TOURS Incredible Bhutan

Itinerary Day 7 Paro This morning we undertake our much-awaited morning hike up to the famed Taktsang Monastery (Tiger's Nest), an iconic Bhutanese landmark. The upward climb will take around 2-3 hours and stunning views compensate for the energy expended. Local lore claims that it is here that Guru Padmasambava landed on the back of a Tiger in the 8th century and then proceeded to meditate for three months. In 1684 a monastery was built on the site to commemorate the event. Midway on the descent, lunch is on the terrace of a cafeteria facing the Tiger’s Nest. In the afternoon we visit Drukgyel Dzong: Located 15km to the north. This dzong, with a picturesque village nestled below its ramparts, was built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to commemorate his victory over Tibetan invaders. Though largely destroyed by fire in 1951, the towering outer walls and central keep remain imposing sights. On a clear day, there is a splendid view of Mt Chomolhari from the approach road.

9/13 www.incredibleindiatours.com E-mail: info@incredibleindiatours.com Ph: +91 95490 02876


INCREDIBLE INDIAN TOURS Incredible Bhutan

Itinerary Day 8 Paro Today we have a full day to explore Paro. Rinpung Dzong: The ‘fortress of the mountain of jewels’ was built in 1646 on a hill above the township. The approach to the Dzong is through a traditional covered bridge and then up a paved stone path running alongside the imposing outer walls. The Valley’s annual springtime religious festival, the Paro Tsechu, takes place in the courtyard of the dzong and on the dance ground on the hillside above. On a ridge immediately above Rinpung Dzong is Ta Dzong, built as a watchtower to protect the Dzong. Because of their function, watchtowers are always round in shape. In 1968, Paro’s Ta Dzong was inaugurated as the National Museum. It now holds a fascinating collection of art, relics, religious thangkha paintings, an exquisite range of Bhutanese postage stamps, coins and handicrafts, together with a small natural history exhibition. This afternoon take the opportunity to explore the market in Paro, meeting the locals, picking up some souvenirs, or whiling away the afternoon sipping tea in a café watching the passers by.

Day 9 Departure There are no planned activities and you will be transferred to the Paro International airport for your onward flight.

10/13 www.incredibleindiatours.com E-mail: info@incredibleindiatours.com Ph: +91 95490 02876


INCREDIBLE INDIAN TOURS Incredible Bhutan

general tour information group size Minimum 4, maximum 10 days 9 days and 8 nights starts and finishes in Paro price includes Arrival and departure transfers All accommodation as specified All transportation between overnight stops and to and from included sightseeing Entrance fees for all sites listed as part of the itinerary All meals Full time tour guide Local guides Gratuities for hotels, guides and driver price does not include Visa costs International flights Drinks and other expenditure of a personal nature Insurance accommodation Tourist class hotels (8 nights) Accommodation in Bhutan is provided in tourist class (2-3 star) hotels. All rooms are ensuite. optional single supplement If you are a single traveller and do not wish to share accommodation, but would like your own room throughout the tour, a single supplement payment of US$690 will be payable. Please note that often, you might be the only single traveler, therefore automatically getting a room to yourself.

11/13 www.incredibleindiatours.com E-mail: info@incredibleindiatours.com Ph: +91 95490 02876

transport Private vehicle - minibus activities included The following is a list of included activities on this trip. Other activities are optional and will be at your own expense. National Memorial Chorten, National Library, Institute for Zorig Chusum, Tashichhodzong, Thimpu Zoo, Drubthob Lhakhang, Local market (Thimpu) Khamsum Yuelley Namgel Chorten, Lhakhang Nunnery, Chimi Lhakang, Punakha Dzong (Punakha) Gangte Monastery (Phobjikha) Jakar Dzong, Kurje Monastery, Jambey Lhakhang, (Bumthang) Taktsang Monastery, Drukgyel Dzong, Paro Dzong, Ta Dzong (Paro) meal inclusions 8 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 8 dinners meals Our tour package in Bhutan includes all meals. These are often buffet type meals served in our hotels, however when possible we will take meals at a local cafĂŠ or restaurant in town or even with a family at their farmhouse. money exchange As at April 2018 AUD1 = 50 BTN CAD1 = 51 BTN EUR1 = 80 BTN GBP1 = 93 BTN NZD1 = 48 BTN USD1 = 65 BTN There are ATM machines (which accept Cirrus/Maestro, Visa and MasterCard credit & debit cards) in most places we visit. This is a safe and convenient way to access money, however we suggest that you bring some money as cash (major international currencies) for the times that ATMs are not available. Visa & MasterCard credit cards are also accepted in major shops and restaurants.


INCREDIBLE INDIAN TOURS Incredible Bhutan

general tour information spending money In Bhutan, all sightseeing and meals are included in the tour price. You will only require spending money for extras such as drinks and shopping. Spending money requirements will differ from one person to the next. You will need to take into consideration your spending habits when deciding how much to allow. Tipping is an integral part of life in Bhutan and is essential to a smooth trip. To make things easier we cover all tips for hotel room staff, restaurant staff, local guides and for our driver. physical rating You will find that some sights we visit require a little hiking, and certainly Tigers Nest Monastery is quite challenging for some. Ponies are available to ride to the half-way point (the steepest section) for those who do not wish to hike the entire way. culture shock rating Conditions in Bhutan are not always as comfortable as in other countries. You may need to occasionally deal with a squat toilet, cold showers or power failure. travel insurance Travel Insurance is highly recommended whilst traveling to Bhutan and is compulsory for any group tour with Incredible Indian Tours. If you are relying on travel insurance provided through your Credit Card, take note that the policies are often inferior and may not provide adequate coverage.

12/13 www.incredibleindiatours.com E-mail: info@incredibleindiatours.com Ph: +91 95490 02876

visas All foreign nationals require a visa to enter Bhutan. You will require a Visa Clearance Letter which we will organise on your behalf. health We recommend that you consult your doctor for current medical travel information about before departure. Your leader will be carrying a basic first aid kit, but we suggest you bring along your own as well as any personal medical requirements . The following websites have up-to-date information about health requirements. Australia https://www.travelvax.com.au/ New Zealand http://www.health.govt.nz/your-health/healthyliving/travelling USA https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/ UK http://www.travelhealth.co.uk/ Canada https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/health-safety/vaccines communications All of our hotels have wifi, although speeds can vary, especially outside of the major towns. You can also use your international sim card, but be aware that roaming costs can be exorbitant. Local Bhutanese sim cards are easily available and work well if you have an unlocked mobile phone. your tour manager Your tour manager is there to organise and streamline your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Whilst they are not a guide per se, they will share their local knowledge, give you suggestions for your free time and manage the day to day running of the tour. A full time local guide, as well as specialist guides will be with us throughout the tour to provide


INCREDIBLE INDIAN TOURS Incredible Bhutan

general tour information an in depth insight into the history and culture. responsible travel We believe strongly in responsible travel. This includes being respectful to the local culture (ie dressing appropriately, and learning a few basic cultural do’s and don’ts), being mindful of the environment, and leaving a positive image behind. Remember we are ambassadors for our country. Bringing a few photos of your family and home with you is a great way to interact with the locals by giving them a glimpse of your world whilst you visit theirs. what to take Bhutan is a very conservative country and we ask that you dress accordingly. As a guideline, shoulders and knees should always be covered. The wearing of shorts is looked upon by locals as akin to wearing your underwear and will limit your entry into mosques, temples and other places of worship. laundry Laundry facilities are offered by hotels where we have a 2night stop. You may wish to rinse out some clothes yourself in between. Bring washing soap and a travel clothes-line for this.

checklist Travel documents: passport, visa, travel insurance (don’t forget your emergency insurance contact details), air tickets. Photocopy of above documents Day pack Health vaccinations/medication First aid kit Money: ATM card (widely available and easy to access in the main centres); Credit cards (widely accepted in main centres); Cash (for emergencies) Money pouch Alarm clock and torch/flashlight Mosquito repellent Ear plugs can be useful if you are a light sleeper Comfortable walking/hiking shoes for the walk to Tigers Nest Monastery We recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt to store your passport, air tickets, credit cards and cash. Avoid bringing valuable jewellery with you. Some hotels we use may have safety deposit boxes.

Updated on: 15th April 2018 weather The weather during our journey should be good. Daytime temperatures will be warm, in the range 18-25 deg Celsius. Nights will be cold however as we will mainly be at altitude (2200-2800m). Pack layers and a warm jacket. Bring a rain poncho in case of an unseasonal rain shower, and also a hat and sunblock for the sunny days we expect.

13/13 www.incredibleindiatours.com E-mail: info@incredibleindiatours.com Ph: +91 95490 02876

Incredible Bhutan Dossier  

Incredible Bhutan Tour Dossier 2017-2018

Incredible Bhutan Dossier  

Incredible Bhutan Tour Dossier 2017-2018

Advertisement