Off the Beaten Track Bhutan

Bangkok, Thimphu, Punakha, Gangtey, Bumthang, Haa & Paro

From $10300 per person in low season
From $11600 per person in high season

based on 14 nights & selected experiences

Price Guide:

  1. Jan
    Mid
  2. Feb
    Mid
  3. Mar
    High
  4. Apr
    High
  5. May
    High
  6. Jun
    Low
  7. Jul
    Low
  8. Aug
    High
  9. Sep
    High
  10. Oct
    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 vacations) can affect prices considerably, as can exchange rates, flight class and room type.

Price includes:

  • Internal flights

  • Accommodation

  • Private transfers

  • Selected experiences

  • Half Board in Bhutan

  • Daily Breakfast in Thailand

per person based on a full board basis in Bhutan, bed & breakfast in Thailand.

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At a Glance

  • 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 traveling when one is on

  • Option to fly back from Bumthang to Paro, although this flight is only reliable when the weather is clear

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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 vacation.

Itinerary

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.

  1. Days 1-2: Bangkok

    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.

    Accommodation: Peninsula Bangkok (1 night)

  2. Days 2-4: Thimphu

    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.

    Accommodation: Druk Hotel (2 nights)

  3. Days 4-6: Punakha

    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.

    Accommodation: COMO Uma Punakha (2 nights)

  4. Days 6-8: Gangtey

    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.

    Accommodation: Gangtey Lodge (2 nights)

  5. Days 8-11: Bumthang

    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.

    Accommodation: Amankora Bumthang (3 nights)

  6. Days 11-12: Haa

    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.

    Accommodation: Lechuna Heritage Lodge (1 night)

  7. Days 12-14: Paro

    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.  

    Accommodation: COMO Uma Paro (2 nights)

  8. Days 14-15: Bangkok

    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.

    Accommodation: COMO Metropolitan Bangkok (1 night)

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.

  • Day in Thimphu

    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.

  • 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.

  • Evening Prayers at a Buddhist Monastery

    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.

  • Gangtey Goenpa Monastery

    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 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.

  • Jakar Dzong (Bumthang Dzong)

    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.

  • 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.

  • Kurje Lhakhang & Bumthang Village Walk

    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.

  • 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.

  • Phobjika Nature Trail

    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 center at the end.

  • 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.

  • Tea with a local family

    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'.

  • 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 unspoiled 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 Cheese Factory

    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.

  • The Tang Valley and Burning Lake

    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.

  • Thimphu Weekend Market

    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.

  • 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.

  • Try your hand at Archery

    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.

Location

Bangkok, Thimphu, Punakha, Gangtey, Bumthang, Haa & Paro

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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 vacation.

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