Tour Price: $4289
A remote kingdom, the place of ancient monasteries, fluttering prayer flags and staggering natural beauty.
For years, Bhutan deliberately isolated itself from the outside world and has only recently opened its borders to visitors. Since then, Bhutan has gained almost mystical status as a real life Shangri-la. In Bhutan, the Vajrayana Buddhist culture is integrated into every aspect of daily life, and those fortunate enough to visit describe it as a unique, mystical and deeply spiritual experience.
Because Bhutan is geographically isolated by the tallest mountains in the world, The Himalayas, the influence of western culture has been slow to effect the Kingdom of Bhutan. The government of Bhutan takes great measures to preserve the nation’s traditional culture, identity and environment. On this journey we are led by an experienced local guide with expertise in Vajarayana Buddhism who has close connections with the high llamas of the country.
We will visit Dzongs (fortresses), monasteries and nunneries. We join the monks and nuns in early morning chants, visit with Llamas and hike to world famous Tiger’s nest monastery, perched high on cliff above the Paro valley, as well as the Punakha Dzong, a majestic structure, built in 1637. We have been leading tours to Bhutan since 2009 and Spirit Tours has forever been changed because of the deep personal connections we have made with the Bhutanese people and the unparalleled spiritual growth we have experienced. Join us for a spiritual pilgrimage that will not only change your way of seeing the world but your way of being in the world!
Day 1: Fly from USA to Bangkok
Day 1: September 19th Transfer – Airport to Hotel in Bangkok. Meeting and Welcome dinner together at the hotel
Day 2: September 20th The flight from Bangkok into Bhutan will take you over the vast plains of the Indian subcontinent and then over the dense green vegetation of the Kingdom’s sub Himalayan ranges. You will get breathtaking views of the world’s highest and most majestic peaks. As the plane approaches the Dragon Kingdom’s cloud scraping airstrip at the Paro International airport, you will arrive at an altitude of 7330 ft. Our Bhutanese guide, will be at the airport to receive us after we have completed the necessary immigration and visa formalities. The first part of the journey will follow the Paro river and provide plenty of photo opportunities. After about half an hour’s drive you will reach the confluence of two rivers, one flowing from Thimphu and the other from Paro. After checking into the hotel we will visit the Thimphu Memorial Stupa, a beautiful landmark built in memory of the late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck.
Day 3: September 21st After our morning meditation and chant, we will visit the Buddha Dordenma, a bronze statue, a ‘Vajra Throne’ Buddha overlooking Thimphu city, about 100 meters (330 ft) above the Wang Chuu River. The statue houses over one hundred thousand smaller Buddha statues, each of which, like the Buddha Dordenma itself, will be made of bronze and gilded in gold. After lunch, we will visit the Motithang Takin Preserve, a wildlife reserve area in the hills above Thimphu for the Takin, the national animal of Bhutan. There will also be an opportunity here to purchase beautiful woven scarves. We also will have free time to explore Thimpu, the capital on our own.
Day 4: September 22nd Early Morning Meditation with the monks at Changangkha Lhakhang monastery, from the 12th century, perched upon a hill overlooking the city. We will chant with the monks and visit the temple. Then we will drive from Thimphu to Punakha. On the way, we will cross the Dochula Pass (3050M), where we will view the Eastern Himalayas, which is also marked by 108 Stupas, dedicated to world peace by her majesty the queen of Bhutan. Then, we will stop at Sobsokha Village and take a stroll through agricultural fields to Chimi Lhakhang monastery, built in 1499 by the 14th Drukpa hierarch. The site was blessed by the “Divine Madman” the maverick saint Drukpa Kunley. Afterwards we will check into our hotel and we will rest from the days’ travels.
Day 5: September 23rd We will rise early and take a short drive to the Sangchen Liendrup Choling nunnery for an early morning meditation and chanting with the nuns. Afterwards, you will have an opportunity to take a stroll back down to our hotel (walking optional). After breakfast we will have our morning meeting. Next we will visit The Punakha Dzong, built in Constructed by Ngawang Namgyal, 1st Zhabdrung Rinpoche, in 1637–38, it is the second oldest and second largest dzong in Bhutan and one of its most majestic structures. The Dzong is located at the confluence of the Pho Chhu (father) and Mo Chhu (mother) rivers in the Punakha–Wangdue Valley. The source of the Mo chu river is in the northern hills of Lighsi and Laya in Bhutan, and in Tibet. After we will visit the Punakha Suspension Bridge, one of the longest and oldest suspension bridges of the scenically blessed kingdom.
Day 6: September 24th After our morning meeting, meditation and breakfast, we will travel back across the Dochula Pass to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. We will have lunch in Thimphu before travelling to Paro, our next destination. Here we will visit the Jowo Temple of Kyichu. This 7th century temple is one of the oldest in Bhutan and houses many Buddhist treasures in an ancient intimate atmosphere. We will then check into our hotel
Day 7 : September 25th After breakfast, we will hike to Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) Monastery, which is the most famous monastery in Bhutan. Guru Rinpoche, an Indian saint, is said to have flown on the back of a tigress from Singye Dzong in Lhuntse to meditate in a cave where Taktsang Monastery now stands. It is perched on the edge of a steep cliff, about 900 meters above Paro Valley. The hike to reach the viewpoint of the monastery makes for a nice day excursion. For those who choose not to hike we have a great optional day tour for you. That evening we will have our farewell dinner together.
Day 8: September 26th Today we will have our farewell meeting and depart for the airport to Bangkok. Then transfer to our airport hotel in Bangkok.
Day 9: September 27th Our final day in Asia, We will offer a optional morning tour to the temple of the Golden Buddha and we will return to the hotel and then go to the airport for our flight home.
*Price includes round trip flight from Bangkok to Bhutan and all of your meals and tours in Bhutan
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