based on 14 nights inc. flights & selected experiences
* 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.
International economy flights and taxes from the UK
Half Board in Bhutan
Daily Breakfast in Thailand
per person based on a full board basis in Bhutan, bed & breakfast in Thailand.
Amazing journey into Bhutan's more remote corners
Private guide and driver throughout and all experiences are included
Options for a range of day-walks into more rural parts of Bhutan
We will incorporate a festival should you be travelling when one is on
Option to fly back from Bumthang to Paro, although this flight is only reliable when the weather is clear
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.
This comprehensive private off-the-beaten track tour of Bhutan showcases all the major highlights but also delves deeper into Bhutan's alluring interior, towards the utterly fascinating Bumthang Valley where you will see Bhutan at its most captivating. The more time you spend in Bhutan, the better the overall experience gets. With your private driver and guide you can uncover a more authentic experience getting to the heart of the country.
As there are no direct flights into Bhutan outside of Asia, you’ll start your itinerary in Bangkok where you will have one night to explore city and connect to your onward flight to Bhutan. Depending on flight times, we can of course include a whole host of interesting experiences for you here, from venturing up the Chao Phraya River to cycling through the backstreets of the city.
After your short internal flight from Bangkok to Paro, on arrival in Bhutan you will be met by your private guide and driver and set off on your adventure staring in Thimphu. Bhutan's capital and the perfect introduction to your adventure into the country's heartlands. Over your two nights here, we have included a light day-walk to explore the beautiful surrounding region and to start the acclimatisation process at Bhutan’s higher altitude alongside visits to the local markets, folk museum and main Dzong.
Next drive to Punakha, where you will have two nights exploring the more exotic and subtropical landscapes of Bhutan. At a lower altitude, the area is rich in farmland and especially known for the beautiful Dzong that dominates the town. Here we have included a short hike through the valley before a brilliant rafting trip, leading you in front of the Dzong itself.
Venturing further east, your next stop will be Gangtey which we believe is one of the best places in Bhutan for the odd hike or two, and also the chance to see Black Neck Cranes which migrate here from November to late March. With your private guide we have included two half day treks here so that you can really explore the beauty of the surrounding region. Alongside your treks we have also included a visit the Monastery for evening prayers and a unique experience to meet a Yak Herder's family for tea in the local home.
Next, drive onto Bumthang, the furthest east you will travel in Bhutan and we think an absolute highlight for those with time on their hands on a tour of Bhutan. Three days is absolutely a necessity given what there is to see and do, from the range of day walks to the various monasteries within the valley. We highly suggest taking the off-road track to the remote Tang Valley to see Bhutanese rural communities totally unchanged by time. Maybe stop at an archery match on your travels, and absolutely see the Red Panda Brewery and Cheese factory to balance the more cultural activities with an insight in the local life and customs of the Bhutanese people who live in the region.
From Bumthang you’ll then fly back to Paro giving you access to Haa Valley, one of the most untouched areas in Bhutan. With one night here, we have included a beautiful trek for you as you meander through small hamlets and villages that have remained unchanged for centuries.
Finally, end your adventure in Paro and the highlight of walking up to the Tiger's Nest Monastery. Hopefully all your walking endeavours which you would have done in the previous week would have prepared you for the steep ascent, but the reward is absolutely magical.
On finishing your journey in Bhutan you will take a direct flight back to Bangkok where you will have one night in order to connect comfortably to your international flight home.
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.
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.
You can easily fill an afternoon or day exploring Thimphu. It is worth visiting the Tashiccho Dzong, where essentially Bhutan is governed from. Also of interest is the Simtokha Dzong, Memorial Chorten, Changagkka Temple & Folk Museum.
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!
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.
Evening prayers at a Buddhist Monastery is something you should do at least once on a tour of Bhutan. You will witness monks chanting traditional prayers, helping them prepare for meditation.
The Gangtey Goenpa monastery, or Gangteng Monastery is the main seat of the Pema Linpa tradition of the Nyingmapa school of Buddhism. Dating from the 17th century, it has superb views and guests usually visit before taking the Gangtey Nature 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.
Bumthang Dzong is perched above the town is also known as the Fortress of the White Bird, or Jakar Dzong. Constructed in the 16th century, it has superb views.
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.
The Kurje Lhakhang Monastery is worth visiting as it was where Guru Rinpoche meditated before his tiger flew him to Tigers Nest Monastery. Continue through villages and then along the river back to Bumthang.
The Kyichu Lhakhang is one of the oldest temples in Bhutan, dating from the 7th century and constructed by the Tibetan Emperor Songtsan Gampo.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Take a day walk around the Phobjikha valley, an ideal hike to see the black-neck cranes from November to late March, or simply to experience the villages and farms along the way. See the Crane Information centre at the end.
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.
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.
Visiting a local home in Bhutan is an exceptionally interesting experience given the lovely hospitable nature of its people. Try traditional butter tea, or even some locally made rice wine 'Ara'.
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 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.
The Red Panda brewery and Swiss Cheese Shop was established by a Swiss immigrant, Fritz Maurer, in the 60s. It is a perfect way to end a day in Bumthang.
Explore the remote Tang Valley with a stop at the Burning Lake en route. The valley is accessed through a bumpy off road track passing remote villages. You might want to stop at the Pema Tekchock Choeling Shedra, a large nunnery.
You shouldn’t miss the weekend market in Thimphu. People from nearby valleys arrive on Thursday afternoon and stay to sell their goods – vegetables, other foodstuffs and handicrafts – until Sunday evening.
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.
Archery is the national sport of Bhutan and can be seen played throughout the Kingdom. Traditional bows are made from bamboo and witnessing an archery competition is an absolute highlight. We can easily arrange for you to have a go should you wish.
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