Tour Price: $4289
This remote kingdom, a 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 the environment. On this journey we are led by an experienced local guide with expertise in Vajarayana Buddhism and has close connections with the high llamas of the country.
We will visit Dzong’s (fortresses), monasteries and nunneries. We join the monks and nuns in early morning chants, visit Bhutanese festivals and hike to world famous Tiger’s nest monastery, perched high on cliff above the Paro valley. 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 the will not only change your way of seeing the world but your way of being in the world!
Day 1: Transfer – Airport to Hotel in Bangkokl. Welcome dinner together at the hotel
Day 2: 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 worlds 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 our late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck.
Day 3: Early Morning Meditation with the monks at Changangkha Lhakhang monastery, perched upon a hill overlooking the city. We will chant with the monks and visit the temple. Afterward 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 will house over one hundred thousand smaller Buddha statues, each of which, like the Buddha Dordenma itself, will be made of bronze and gilded in gold. Afternoon free for shopping in Thimphu
Day 4: Today we will start early for Punakha, the old capital of Bhutan. The journey will take about three hours. It will take you across the Dochula Pass (3050M) with a spectacular view of the eastern Himalayas. The pass is also marked by 108 stupas dedicated to world peace by Her Majesty, the Queen of Bhutan, Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck. The descent will take us through subtropical vegetation and into Punakha. Just before arriving at our hotel, we will have lunch and then walk thru the rice fields to a famous monastery dedicated to the Divine Mad Monk Lama Krukpa Kunley. We will then check into our hotel in Punakha
Day 5: We will rise early take a short drive to the Sangchen Liendrup Choling nunnery for an early morning meditation with the nuns. This is one of the most popular outings on our tour is the morning chanting at the Sangchen Liendrup Choling nunnery. This nunnery was built by the King’s maternal grandmother in 2010. Afterwards, you will have an opportunity to take a stroll back down to our hotel (walking optional). After breakfast visit The Punakha Dzong, built in 1637, it was once the old capital of Bhutan and is today the winter residence of the Central Monastic Body. Festivals in the Land of the Thunder Dragon are rich and happy expressions of Bhutan’s ancient Buddhist culture. These festivals are held in honor of Guru Rinpoche, the saint who introduced Buddhism to Bhutan in the 8th century. Tsechus are held on auspicious days and months in the Bhutanese calendar and last up to four days in which a highly stylized mask dance ritual are performed.
Day 6: Today we will drive through Thimphu, en route to Paro, and stop for shopping and lunch in Thimpu. After lunch in Thimphu we will proceed to Paro. We will visit Kichu Lhakang temple, which was built in 659 (7th century) by the Tibetan King Tshongtsen Gampo. It is believed that he built 108 temples across the Himalayas and that Kyichu happens to be one of the last remaining. The Jowo Temple of Kyichu is one of the oldest temples in Bhutan, originally built in the 7th century by the Tibetan Emperor Songsten Gampo.
Day 7 : 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.That evening we will have our farewell dinner together
Day 8: Today we will have our farewell meeting and depart for the airport to Bangkok. Transfer to our airport hotel in Bangkok
Day 9: Our final day in Asia, we will return to the airport for our flight home
Travel to Thailand, visit the temple of the Reclining Buddha, and wonder at the beauty of the Royal Palace. Join us in Bhutan and see the majesty of the Himalaya and the exotic cultural dances of Bhutan, with Bhutanese guide Tshering Jamtsho and Spirit Tours guides Jim Cramer and Tim Omi. The small Kingdom of Bhutan is located high in the majestic Himalayas and nestled between Tibet and India. Visit the Thimphu Tshecu festival and the old capitol of Bhutan, Punakha Dzong built in 1637. Hike to Taktsang (Tiger Nest) Monastery. The local inhabitants call this Druk Yul, the Land of the Peaceful Dragon
Join us for a unique tour of Bangkok, the capital of Thailand. Travel along the Buddhist Path through Bhutan led by Tshering Jamtsho. Experience the Punakha Festival and have an in-depth experience of Bhutanese Vajrayana Buddhism while chanting with monks and nuns and gaining unparalleled access to some of Bhutan’s most sacred sites. This tour is flexible and allows for off the beaten path experiences to occur. Ask about our optional 3 day tour to Koh Samui Island