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Bhutan / Bhutan Insights

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Carrier’s top pick for quality me-time and a healthier, happier you in 2022

There are few places more spiritual than the Himalayas and few kingdoms more beguiling than the monastery-strewn mountains of Bhutan.

Scattered amongst cliffs and valleys, this journey combines exploration of a tiny country that has changed little over the centuries with the highest levels of luxury – each lodge offering unrivalled personal service, regional delicacies and world-class spas. A private driver and guide accompany your journey, first to the pine forests of Paro – here, be sure to visit the Paro Dzong, a jewel of Bhutanese architecture.

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Nights 8
Destinations 3
Flights 4

Bhutan /Itinerary

Bhutan Insights

8nights

Day /1

Fly to Bangkok

Fly to Bangkok from London Heathrow and connect to your flight to Paro enjoying incredible views of the Himalayan peaks before meeting with your local Amankora guide for your private transfer to Amankora for a two night stay. En-route, visit Simtokha Dzong, officially known as ‘Sangkak Zabdhon Phodrang’ or the Palace of the Profound Meaning of Secret Mantras. Built in 1629 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, it is often said to be the first Dzong built in Bhutan and is a gateway to Thimphu Valley.

Day /2

Thimphu

Thimphu

Explorations during your stay at Amankora include a visit to Tashichho Dzong, Bhutan's most stately and arguably most impressive building. You'll also enjoy a hike to Tango Monastery, visit Pangrizampa Astrology School and The Memorial Chorten.

Amankora Paro

Day /3

Drive to Punakha

Drive to Punakha

After breakfast, drive to Punakha via Dochu la Pass. If you have a clear sky, the view of the Himalayan Mountain ranges is spectacular and you can even see the Gasa Dzong on the horizon. Visit the beautiful 108 chortens, built on the hill by Her Majesty Ashi Dorji Wangmo, and stop to hang a prayer flag at the pass. Upon reaching Punakha, walk through Metshina Village and take a short stroll through the rice fields to the Divine Madman’s Monastery, Chimi Lhakhang, famously known for its fertility shrine, where one can receive a special fertility blessing. Later visit the Punakha Dzong before checking in to COMO Uma Punakha for your three night stay.

COMO Uma, Punakha

Day /4

Punakha

Punakha

For an exhilarating start to the day enjoy rafting on the Pho-Chu river, a calmer more relaxed experience can be enjoyed on the Mochu river as an alternative. Later hike to Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten and visit Talo village. An insight into the fine examples of Bhutanese architecture and artistic traditions can be found on this hour long hike. Through a moderately inclined trail surrounded by pine trees, this site offers a beautiful view of the Punakha Valley. The Chorten was built to remove negative forces and promote peace, stability and harmony in the changing world. Overnight at COMO Uma Punakha.

COMO Uma, Punakha

Day /5

Punakha – Giligang hike

Punakha – Giligang hike

After breakfast, you embark on your Giligang Hike. This hike falls steeply down to the Po Chhu side and then continues along the river towards the dzong. In addition to Giligang temple, you will also travel through the rural village communities. The views of the terraced rice fields, ruins and the small villages below are extremely picturesque. The path flattens out and continues across the rice fields to Nawakha village, past the grounds of the local community school and lastly through Tempakha village. If you still have the energy, the opposite trail will take you along the river’s right side through forests and along cliffs to Bhutan’s longest suspension bridge in Pho chhu Zam. Overnight at COMO Uma Punakha.

COMO Uma, Punakha

Day /6

Paro

Paro

Today you head back to Paro. Upon arrival visit Paro Dzong, National Museum of Bhutan and a local Farm House. Paro Dzong, also known as Ringpung Dzong means ‘Fortess on a heap of jewels’. It is the finest example of Bhutanese architecture and one of the most popular and well known dzongs in Bhutan. In the evening, visit Kyichu Lhakang - an important Himalayan Buddhist Temple. Built in the 7th century, this is one of the oldest religious sites in Bhutan. Offer butter lamps at the Monastery - the light from the flame symbolizes the wisdom of the awakened mind, dispels the darkness of delusion and mental obscurities. Check in to COMO Uma Paro for a 3 night stay.

COMO Uma, Paro

Day /7

Excursion to Haa Valley

Excursion to Haa Valley

Haa Valley which is often known as the ‘Hidden-Land Rice Valley’ is one of the most picturesque places in Bhutan with great views, dramatic scenery and cultural interaction. According to the legend, before the 8th century, animist tradition was very significant in the Haa valley. The tantric master Padmasambhava visited the valley in the 8th century and transformed some of the blood sacrificing animist beliefs into peaceful Buddhist traditions. Once animist forces were subdued they were made guardians of the land. Some elements of this belief system still exist in form of festivals and rituals. In the afternoon you'll visit a traditional village farmhouse for a glimpse into the farmer's lifestyle. Overnight at COMO Uma Paro.

COMO Uma, Paro

Day /8

Hike to Taktsang Monastery

Hike to Taktsang Monastery

After breakfast, hike to Taktsang Monastery - a pilgrimage site for both tourists and locals, the journey is filled with spiritual bliss. Perched on the side of a vertical cliff, the beautiful Taktsang Monastery is also known as the ‘Tiger’s Nest’, and is the most famous and an unofficial symbol of Bhutan. Legend has it that Guru Rinpoche flew to this location from Tibet on the back of a tigress and subdued a demon. He then meditated in a cave here for three months and emerged in eight incarnated forms and blessed the place. Overnight at COMO Uma Paro.

COMO Uma, Paro

Day /9

Return home

Transfer to Paro airport for your return flight to London Heathrow.

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