Epic Bhutan

Bangkok, Paro & Punakha

From £5300 per person in low season
From £6500 per person in high season

based on 9 nights inc. flights & selected experiences

Price Guide:

  1. Jan
    Mid
  2. Feb
    Mid
  3. Mar
    High
  4. Apr
    High
  5. May
    Mid-High
  6. Jun
    Low
  7. Jul
    Low
  8. Aug
    High
  9. Sep
    Mid-High
  10. Oct
    Mid-High
  11. Nov
    High
  12. Dec
    High

* Pricing is a guideline only and excludes special offers. Travel over peak periods (e.g. Christmas, New Year and other public holidays) can affect prices considerably, as can exchange rates, flight class and room type.

Price includes:

  • International economy flights and taxes from the UK

  • Internal flights

  • Accommodation

  • Private transfers

  • Selected experiences

  • Half Board Included for all stays in Bhutan

  • Daily Breakfast in Thailand

per person based on two sharing.

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At a Glance

  • Get a glimpse into this somewhat secretive yet fascinating small Himalayan kingdom, well and truly off the beaten track

  • Try to time your trip with one of Bhutan’s famously vibrant festivals, an ancient expression of their Buddhist culture, and witness spectacular masked dances and enlightenment rituals

  • Stay at seriously cool and stylish hotels…the perfect retreat after a busy day of cultural explorations

  • Challenge your taste buds with spicy and zingy flavours in Bangkok’s famously colourful markets and discover the many varieties of delicious dumplings (momos) available in Bhutan

  • Return home from this captivating trip with amazing dinner party stories, that will no doubt make you the envy of your friends…especially the one about the helicopter over the Himalayas!

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Best time to Visit

Good time to visit

Average time to visit

In the western, central and eastern Bhutan you will mostly experience cold European-like weather. Winter lasts here from November to March. The Monsoon occurs between June and August when the temperature is normally between 8° and 21°C. October and November are arguably the best months, when the monsoon has passed and the skies are clear. The spring months of March, April and May are best for the flora, but it can be stormy as the monsoon builds up for July-September.

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We design each itinerary around you, so this suggested itinerary is a starting point that we can tweak or transform into something completely bespoke to you. Call us on 020 3993 8476 to start planning your holiday.

Itinerary

This slow-paced itinerary introduces you to one of Asia’s slightly more unusual destinations…the relatively unknown Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, revered for its precariously positioned hilltop monasteries and ancient fortresses, as well as its dramatic mountain landscapes. Experience Bhutan’s natural beauty whilst staying at some of the best properties around.

  1. Fly to Bangkok

  2. Days 1-3: Bangkok

    Your adventure begins the moment you touch down in Bangkok, Thailand’s vibrant and buzzing capital, where cutting-edge gleaming skyscrapers and boutique shops contrast with golden temples, colourful floating markets and lively night bazars. Upon arrival you’ll be whisked off to your minimalist hotel, an urban escape that combines edgy modern style with typical Asian flair. Located along the lively Sathorn Road, it’s without doubt the coolest hotel in Bangkok and ideal for those who want to be amongst the action yet desire a luxurious relaxing retreat at the end of a busy day. The hotel’s infamous Met Bar is a sanctuary of elegance and fun and is one of the city’s hippest hangouts. 

    Bangkok is full to the brim of places to explore and thrilling experiences. You’ll have two days to enjoy the very best this big city has to offer. We’ve included a relaxing riverboat cruise along the Chao Phraya, the city’s aquatic artery, which will give you a fascinating view of some of the main attractions and then in the evening head up to one of the famous sky bars for sundowner cocktails and an altogether different take on the twinkling cityscape. We can also help make dinner reservations at some of the most talked about and trendy restaurants in Asia. 

    If you have time, we suggest jumping in a tuk-tuk (a great way to beat the city’s traffic) to visit the eye-catching Grand Palace with its dazzling golden temples and Wat Pho, home to the iconic 45-meter long reclining Buddha! The tangled maze of canals, known locally as klongs, are where you’ll find Bangkok’s famous floating markets, worth a visit for an insider’s look at local life and great place to pick up souvenirs.  

    Accommodation: COMO Metropolitan Bangkok (2 nights)

  3. Days 3-6: Punakha

    Today is when the real fun starts! From Bangkok you will take a short flight to Paro (Bhutan’s only international airport), where you will be met on arrival by your enthusiastic private guide, who will be chomping at the bit to show you around this fascinating region. It is worth noting that traveling around Bhutan can only be done with a registered guide, but this shouldn’t phase you! In such a remote location, having someone with a wealth of local knowledge to feed you stories and help you connect with the place is essential to helping you understand this alluring and magical destination.

    Your home for the first three nights in Bhutan is the COMO Uma Punakha, an intimate luxury property perched on a river bend, amongst lush-green paddy fields with some of the best views of the gorgeous valley. Punakha used to be the capital of Bhutan and more recently it has emerged as a hot cultural destination within the country. The hotel is perfectly located to appreciate the valley’s spectacular scenery (make sure you grab a seat on the outdoor terrace to enjoy the sunset), whilst also offering easy access to its many nearby attractions. Punakha’s main Dzong (the local term for the ornate monasteries and fortresses found throughout the country) is only a 20-minute drive from the hotel, and is arguably the country's most impressive, therefore a must see!

    Other activities on offer in the area include a variety of hikes through the rolling countryside, adrenaline inducing river-rafting excursions and visits to local communities and markets. We recommend capping off your stay with a deeply relaxing traditional hot-stone bath at the hotel’s spa, where you can also enjoy a signature massage or holistic therapy. 

    Accommodation: COMO Uma Punakha (3 nights)

  4. Days 6-10: Paro

    From Punkaha it’s an overland journey back to Paro where you will spend the remainder of your time in Bhutan at the fabulous COMO Uma Paro. Situated in the remarkably beautiful Paro Valley and perched on a 38-acre hilltop, this is the perfect place to end your holiday in style. The funky fusion of modern minimalist design and local Bhutanese style gives COMO Uma Paro a truly unique feel. The views overlooking the vast valley below are rather special too! At the restaurant you can enjoy sumptuous signature Bhutanese dishes and imaginative interpretations of neighbouring Indian cuisine from the charcoal tandoor oven. And, as with all COMO properties, the incredible offerings at the Shambala spa are not to be missed, the ideal way to prepare for your return home. 

    At the hotel you’ll find an enticing menu of excursions, but we’ve included a few things to really make the most of Bhutan’s dramatic scenery and to ensure you have fond stories to recall years later! The hike to the Tiger's Nest Monastery is an absolute highlight, a marvel of architecture, it’s perched on a sheer rock face some 3,000 metres above the valley floor. It's a challenging trek, but what you encounter along the way (we won’t spoil the surprise) and the sense of achievement at the end make it utterly worthwhile. A freewheeling, downhill biking trip is an exciting way to see the remote Haa Valley, where you will really feel that you have left the tourist trail behind. Largely untouched, this is a brilliant place to experience rural and traditional Bhutanese life.  

    You’ll finish this unbelievable trip on an absolute and quite literal high! Take to the skies in a helicopter to marvel at the area’s magnificent mountain scenery, picturesque valley and meandering rivers. Whizz past vast rice paddies, rural hill-top settlements and some of Bhutan’s most famous and iconic sites. There’ll be a chance to stop on the cliff face of a mountain straddling between Tibet and Bhutan for sensational photo opportunities and an unforgettable picnic before returning to terra firma to toast the last night of your epic holiday. 

    Accommodation: COMO Uma Paro (4 nights)

  5. Fly home from Paro via Bangkok

Experiences

  • A visit to Chimmi Lhakhang

    The Chimmi Lhakhang Temple is a temple of fertility dedicated to the Buddhist saint known as the Divine Madman. A short walk through paddy fields takes you to the temple and is popular with Bhutanese families wanting to start a family.

  • Cycling up the Pho Chhu River

    Take a morning cycling up the beautiful Pho Chhu River, famous for the White-Bellied Heron and dramatic scenery. Take a walk into the local village for a spot of tea before having a lovely picnic lunch overlooking the river before returning to Punakha.

  • Dressing up in traditional Bhutanese dress

    Anyone who works in Bhutan must wear traditional national dress, and you can have the chance to dress up for a few hours to see how it feels. The Bhutanese absolute love visitors doing it!

  • Drukgyel Dzong

    The Drukgyal Dzong is located further up the Paro Valley from the Tiger's Nest Monastery and was built in 1649 by Tenzin Drukdra to celebrate victory over an invading army from Tibet.

  • Giligang Trail

    Giligang has a 300-year old temple and a wonderful way to escape other tourists and see an authentic side to Bhutan, and can be added on to a visit to the Khansum Yulley Namgyal Chorten and Butterfly Trail.

  • Khansum Yulley & the Butterfly Trail

    Take the short hike up to the Khansam Yulley Temple where you can sit back in awe at the wonderful views down the Mo Chhu Valley before heading off on the one-hour Butterfly Trail, stopping off for tea in the local home.

  • Kyichu Lhakhang

    The Kyichu Lhakhang is one of the oldest temples in Bhutan, dating from the 7th century and constructed by the Tibetan Emperor Songtsan Gampo.

  • Meet a Monk Your Own Age

    Your children can have the opportunity to meet a monk their own age. 10% of Bhutan's population are monks and they can hear stories of getting up each day before first-light for prayers and their daily routines.

  • Nalanda Buddhist College and Nobgang Walk

    This fantastic experience combines the Sangchen Nunnery, the Nalanda Buddhist College and the Nobgang Village walk which takes you from the high hills above Punakha and winds gently down to the Punakha Dzong - you approach it almost vertically!

  • Paro Dzong & National Museum

    The Paro Dzong, or Rinpung Dzong as it is otherwise called, looms above the town of Paro. On the hill above the Dzong in the former watchtower you can visit the National Museum.

  • Paro Sunday Market

    If you are in Paro on a Sunday then absolutely visit the local market. See a variety of vegetables on offer from 0630 until about 1000, and you can then see the archery ground following your visit.

  • Punakha Dzong

    Punakha Dzong, otherwise known as the Pungtang Dechen Photrang literally means the palace of great happiness or bliss, and is the finest of its kind in Bhutan, dating from the 17th century and located on the confluence of the Mo Chhu and Po Chhu Rivers.

  • Punakha Weekend Markets

    Khuruthang Saturday Vegetable Market is located in the small town next to the Punakha Dzong. On Sundays, you can visit the Wangdue Market, about a 30-minute drive away. Wander around the stalls, selling local fruit and vegetables.

  • The Butterfly Trail & Rafting in Punakha

    Take the Butterfly Trail which is a one hour trek through local villages and paddy fields, stopping for tea in a local home before hiking to the Khamsum Yulley Chorten and then rafting back to the main Dzong of Punakha.

  • The Haa Valley

    The unspoilt Haa Valley is located close to Paro and offers a fantastic day out. Drive over the Chele Pass, Bhutan's highest road, and choose to free-wheel on bikes into the Haa Valley. Explore the local monastery, have a picnic and return to Paro.

  • Tiger's Nest Monastery

    The Tiger's Nest Monastery is spectacular; legend has it that this cliffside was where Guru Rinpoche landed on the back of a flying tigress, bringing Buddhism to Bhutan. Set off for the 2-hour walk to the viewpoint before continuing onto the Monastery.

Location

Bangkok, Paro & Punakha

Speak to our specialists 020 3993 8860

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We design each itinerary around you, so this suggested itinerary is a starting point that we can tweak or transform into something completely bespoke to you. Call us on 020 3993 8476 to start planning your holiday.

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