The Healing Waters of Bhutan
Exploring your authentic self while riding the tiger of joy in the valley of happiness.
Day 1 | Friday, October 20 | Paro to Thimphu The flights to Bhutan provide one of the best views of the Himalayas including Mount Everest (8848m), the highest peak in the World. It is a breathtaking journey, culminating in an exciting descent past forested hills and hill top villages into the kingdom of Bhutan. On arrival at Paro International Airport, gathering all the participants coming from different destinations, after comp letion of immigration and custom formalities, we will be met by our Bhutanese guide.We will then take an hour bus drive to Thimphu. After checking into our hotel, there will be time to explore some of the beautiful shops in Thimphu.Evening dinner at our hosts’ place. Thimphu Hotel Peddling
Day 2 | Saturday, October 21 | Thimphu This is a day of cultural experiences and souvenir shopping. We will visit the site of the largest Buddha statue, overlooking the Thimphu Valley. We will also visit the National Textile Museum of Her Majesty the Queen Mother Ashi Sangay Choden Wangchuck. Bhutan’s weavings and brocades are considered spiritual expressions and are admired for their diversity and sophistication. We will visit the Traditional School of Painting and the Arts to capture close-ups of students practicing the ancient arts of Bhutanese thanka painting, mask making, and wood carving. In the evening going to Kutira’s special bar. The order of this schedule will be defined at a later point. Overnight in Thimphu Hotel Peddling
Day 3 | Sunday, October 22 | Thimphu This is a day we will going with the flow, and put the program together at our leisure and interest. I can insure you this town and it’s surrounding are amazing.…Perhaps some of the previous day’s sites some of you will want to spend more time enjoying. Overnight in Thimphu Hotel Peddling
Day 4 | Monday, October 23 | Thimphu to Punkahka We will have a lunch stop at scenic Dochula pass (3150m) with a breathtaking view of Himalayas range. This place holds many favorite memories for me and I am especially excited to guide you to this place and enjoy the beautiful temple built by Her Majesty the Queen Mother Ashi Dorji Wangchuk. We will spend some time at this auspicious place. After the Dochula pass the road descends through beautiful farm villages and fields. We will have several stops to take photos. Overnight in Punakha in the beautiful Khuru Resort.
Day 5 | Tuesday, October 24 | Punkaha We will see the Punakha Dzong that was built in 1637. This dzong continues to be the winter home for the clergy, headed by the Chief Abbot, the Je Khenpo. It is a stunning example of Bhutanese architecture, sitting at the fork of two rivers, portraying the image of a medieval city from a distance. The dzong was destroyed by fire and glacial floods over the years but has been carefully restored and is, today, a fine example of Bhutanese craftsmanship. We will visit the Khamsum Yueley Namgyal Pagoda built by the third Queen Mother Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuck. This Pagoda is a splendid example of the Bhutanese architecture and art and is the only one of its kind in the world. It has been built over eight and a half years and its details have been drawn from religious scripture. After an invigorating hike to Khamsum Yuelley Namgyel Chorten, we will have a picnic at this spectacularly situated temple. You will be rewarded for your efforts with incredible views of the valley below. We will have a late picnic lunch at the Chorten.
For additional cost the courageous ones can at their own cost take a river rafting trip back to the hotel. Part of our journey will include a Hot Stone bath at the river where the divine madman Drukpa Kinley, the patron saint of Bhutan used to bath. We will then visit the nearby cave where he meditated. Overnight Punkakha at Khuru Resort.
Day 6 | Wednesday, October 25 | Gaza From Punkakha we are driving approx. 3 hours. Once we arrive we set up camp and have lunch and make ourselves familiar with the surrounding. The hot springs are situated close to the banks of the Mo Chu River. This is one of the most popular springs in the country. There are three bath houses at the Gasa Tshachu. One of the bath houses contains a large bathing pool and the remaining two each have two smaller pools. The water temperature varies in each of the pool so you can choose the one you like best. There is also an outdoor pool close to the facilities that are frequently used by both domestic and wild animals such as Takins. Overnight at Camp
Day 7 | Thursday, October 26 | Gaza We will have day hikes, sight see the Gaza Dzong. Locally known as the Tashi Thongmon Dzong, the fortress served as a defending barrack in the seventeenth century to protect against invasion from Tibet. This fortress is different from the other nineteen historical Dzong’s in Bhutan. The design here has a circular shape and three watch towers that are placed at strategic points to overlook the valley. The whole Gasa District is an environmentally protected area of Bhutan, with the Jigme Dorji National Park being the jewel if the region.mThe park holds a high variety of rare wild animals like: Snow leopard, musk deer, Himalayan black bear, red panda, sambar, barking deer, Indian leopards, and marmot. Overnight at camp.
Day 8 | Friday, October 27 | Gaza / Punkakha We will drive back to at the beautiful place of Ashi Sonam and her family in Punakha. We’ll relax and enjoy the magical setting and celebrate the healing waters of Bhutan by having a hot stone bath, a dip in the river and gazing up into the night stars. Latter we’ll enjoy a camp fire with good company. Overnight at Khuru or Damche Resort right by the river
Day 9 | Saturday, October 28 | Pobjiikha After leaving Punkakha town we will visit Chimi Lakhang, a small but famous temple in the center of the golden Punakha Valley, also known as the temple of the Divine Mad Man Drukpa Kinely. This temple is famous for its fertility blessings for childless families in Bhutan. Chimi Lhakhang was founded in the 15th century by Lam Ngawang Chogyal in honour of Divine mad monk, commonly known as Lam Drukpa Kinley, after he subdued the demoness of the nearby Dochula pass with his magic thunderbolt of wisdom. A wooden effigy of Lam Drukpa Kinley’s thunderbolt is preserved in the temple, where childless women receive an empowerment from this wooden effigy to have a child. Newborn children are also brought to this temple to receive their names and to seek refuge to Lam Drukpa Kinley. Overnight Hotel in Pobjiikha
Day 10 | Sunday, October 29 | Pobjiikha to Thimphu We will have a morning hike in the valley of the black necked cranes and visit the Gangtey Monastery. Overnight in Thimphu Hotel Peddlin
Day 11 | Monday, October 30 | Paro Early morning-Transferring to Paro. On the way we will visit the Nuns Porject in Thimphu. We will also visit the century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of Bhutan’s oldest temples. We will then see a Nunery or Museum and have a possible audience with a Rinpoche. Overnight in Paro at the Metta Resort and Spa
Day 12 | Tuesday, October 31 | Paro Our journey in the kingdom culminates with a hike to the most famous pilgrimage site in Bhutan: Taktsang Lhakhang, or the Tiger’s Nest Temple (9,300 feet). Visible from afar, this stunning monastery clings to a vertical granite cliff 2,000 feet above the valley floor. I have been visiting Tigers Nest for many years and each time it is a new breathtaking experience. It will stay with you for rest of your life. For those who would like to ride up we can hire ponies, for those who walk we will get you hiking sticks. Overnight in Paro with the option to get hot stone bath to relax the body. Metta Resort and Spa
Day 13 | Wednesday, November 1 | Paro Exploring the Paro Valley and possible audience with Khenpo Tashi, a long time friends and director of the National Museum. This day we leave open to let spirit move us to explore this region. Possible farewell dinner at the culinary school. Metta Resort and Spa
Day 14 | Thursday, November 2 | Paro/Home – We will be leaving for the Paro Airport to return either to Bangkok or Kathmandu.
(Final itinerary will be sent before journey, however this is going to be as close as possible, changes may apply)
INCLUDED: In country transportation per itinerary; Bhutan visa, best available accommodations in Bhutan (double occupancy); three meals daily; English speaking local guide, all entrance fees on itinerary; Embodied Spirituality and Sustainability teaching by Kutira
NOT INCLUDED: International airfare to and from Bhutan, taxi fee from Guahati airport to the Bhutan boarder, any airport visa fees and any extra days spent outside Bhutan prior to or beyond the dates of the tour, cost of obtaining passport, excess baggage on the flights, phone calls/internet usage fees and faxes during the tour, optional gratuities to your guide and driver, monastery donations, items of a personal nature, laundry, medical and travel protection coverage. Please check with us before purchasing your airline tickets to ensure your trip is confirmed with the minimum number of participants required to operate to see if there is an additional surcharge due to a low number of participants.
TRIP DIFFICULTY: The trip consists of a mix of hiking, cultural and culinary touring. Anyone in good physical condition who is comfortable walking 2-3 hours on a hilly, rocky terrain should have no difficulty on the hikes. Some of the hikes begin at approximately 11,000 feet elevation and descend. It is important to view the trip as a group activity where the needs of the group may outweigh those of the individual. An open attitude and respect for the culture are important attributes that enhance participant’s enjoyment of the trip. Please feel free to call Kutira and discuss if this would be the perfect journey of your life. It is much easier then you think!