$2195.00

FROM: $2195 USD

UPCOMING: Oct. 20, 2015

All-Gay Bhutan Tour

Trip Style: Comfort

DESCRIPTION

Pair this extension with our Nepal Everest Region Hiking trip (to the left) and you'll experience the highlights of the nation of Gross Domestic Happiness. Within the folds of Bhutan's mountains lie sacred temples, dazzling rice fields, and villages unchanged by time. Five days exploring the heartland of this most intriguing and beautiful of Himalayan nations gets you to Thimphu, a small city with big sights set in a broad beautiful river valley, and picturesque Paro, home to magnificent dzongs and the National Museum. Nearby sits Bhutan’s icon, the Tiger’s Nest Monastery – an inspiring sight, and a fitting climax to the short trip extension.

QUICK FACTS

DEPARTURES & PRICES:

HIGHLIGHTS

Explore the picturesque Gangte region • Trek to Taktsang Monastery • Feast on red rice in charming Paro • Experience peaceful Thimphu - the world's only capital city without traffic lights • Visit Bhutan's quirky 'Temple of the Divine Madman' •

ITINERARY:

This morning we fly from Kathmandu to Paro, then drive to the capital of Thimphu where we have lunch, and a tour of the city.

We continue to explore the Thimphu region, including a visit to a nunnery, vegetable market, and a small "zoo" which houses the national animal of Bhutan, the Takin. Then, we head to Punakha, the past capital of Bhutan. Once there, we walk through farmland to the temple of the Divine Madman, Chimi Lhakhang.

Start with a drive to Yambesa for a hike through the beautiful countryside to Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten – an impressive 30m tall chorten (stupa) perched high on the hill with the bird’s eye view of the valley below. After lunch at a farmhouse, visit Punakha Dzong, built in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to serve as the regional religious and administrative centre of Bhutan. Damaged over the centuries by four catastrophic fires and an earthquake, the dzong has been fully restored in recent years by the erstwhile monarch.

This morning we have a 2 hour hike with beautiful views to the famed Taktsang Monastery (Tiger's Nest), an iconic Bhutanese landmark. Local lore claims that it is here that Guru Padmasambhava 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. This afternoon we visit a few historic, and beautiful Dzongs (Bhutanese fortresses) before returning to our hotel.

This morning we return by flight to Kathmandu where our Bhutan extension ends.