Gazing up at mystical mountains, Contemplating the meaning of it all at ancient temples and shrines, Hiking along peaceful nature trails, Experiencing the pristine and peaceful nature of the 'Dragon Kingdom'.
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Offer valid for new bookings only with international air travel originating in North America added to a land booking. Not valid with any other discount, offer or promotion. Subject to availability. Must book by May 31, 2013, for travel by February 1, 2014. Subject to airline regulations and restrictions.
For lovers of Asian culture wanting to dig deeper, this 12-day trip through Bhutan's magnificent mountain terrain promises stunning photographs and encounters with a people who care more about GNP—Gross National Happiness—than GDP. As you explore tiny towns and remarkable monasteries, you'll receive unparallelled opportunities for cultural interactions, photography, hiking and blessings from Buddhist monks. With the direction of an expert local guide, immerse yourself in a land that prides itself on its remote isolation.
Arrive at any time, arrival transfer and welcome dinner included. Later visit the Rimpung Dzong, a school for monks, and take a walk through the shopping district.
Today we drive to one of the most remote and sacred valleys in Bhutan—via the Chelela Pass. At the pass, we hike to Kila Goempa Nunnery clinging to a rocky cliff. In the valley, we visit Wangchuk Lo Dzong shrine and the Lhakhang Nagpo (Black Temple) and Lhakhang Karpo (White Temple) which were built in the 7th century.
Continue on to Punakha, crossing the Dochula Pass, which offers stunning views of the Himalayan Ranges. On Day 4, we take a short hike to Punakha Dzong, a monastery and fertility shrine. Later, visit the town of Wangdue and walk through rice terraces and forest to Khamsum Yueley Chorten, a shrine built by the Queen of Bhutan.
En route to Gangtey, visit the village of Khewa. On Day 6, walk to the monastery of Gangtey Goempa, which holds the most scared relics of Bhutan. After, visit the community school, and then walk across Phobjikha Valley and into the Khewa Valley to visit an old temple and offer a donation.
Continue over the Chendebji Chorten and Pelela Pass to Trongsa and visit the impressive Trongsa Dzong situated on a spur overlooking the Mangde Chhu and then continue your drive to Bumthang. Here we hike to the Tamshing Monastery (one of the oldest monastic schools) and Kurjey Lhakhang. We also visit Jambay Lhakhang and Jakar Dzong. The evening ends with a walk through Chamkhar bazaar and a walk across the Chamkhar Bridge.
Stunning views again as we travel over the Yotongla Pass onto Trongsa and continue via Pelela Pass to Wangdue.
Visit Thimphu for some shopping, then drive to Paro. On Day 11, visit the ruined fortress of Drukgyal Dzong, then hike up to the Taktsang monastery (Tiger’s Nest), one of the most venerated pilgrim sites of the Himalayan world. The monastic complex clings to the rock towering 900 metres above the valley. Later visit Kyichu Lhakhang Temple and the local archery grounds.
Depart at any time.
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