Experience the tranquility and beauty of Bhutan, the tiny Himalayan kingdom where Gross National Happiness is part of the constitution!
12-Day Easy-Medium Grade Trip
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- Immerse yourself in the gentle culture of Bhutan.
- Explore ancient Buddhist temples and monasteries, including the brilliant Tiger's Nest.
- Walk in pristine forests, stunning valleys and peaceful rolling farmland.
- Stay in unique, beautiful boutique accommodation.
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The Tiger's Nest
The hike to the amazing Tiger's Nest Monastery is one of the best in the world. As you ascend through pine and rhododendron forest you glimpse the monastery high above and the Paro Valley down below. Suddenly, after a final push upwards you are faced with the most magnificent views of the Tiger's Nest clinging to the side of a cliff. It's simply breathtaking.
The Phobjikha Valley
The Phobjikha Valley is known for the black necked cranes that migrate here every winter from Tibet but it is a great year-round destination. There are some excellent walking trails, including the Gangtey Nature Trail, a short, easy-grade walk that takes us through farmland, pine forest and then along the flanks of the valley, with wonderful panoramic views.
Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten
Some of the best views in Bhutan can be seen from the rooftop of this gorgeous temple, set on a ridge high above the Punakha Valley. It was built in 2004 in honour of the current, fifth king. It's a great walk to get there, as the trail winds through the rice paddies then pine forest, with the views becoming more spectacular as you ascend. Further up the hill are the monks’ quarters and beyond that is a royal retreat.
Zuri Dzong Hike
The hike to Zuri Dzong is short, and sometimes steep, but it doesn't get much better for spectacular views over the Paro Valley. The dzong itself is much smaller, older and far humbler than the main Paro Dzong but it offers a charming, more authentic experience. You'll need to climb some steep wooden staircases to make it up to the fifth storey!
The beautiful dzong at Punakha sits at the confluence of two great rivers and is reached by a wooden cantilevered bridge. This elegant building displays the very best of Bhutanese architecture, embellished with intricately carved, painted and gilded woodwork. The dzong is the site for the coronation of Bhutan's kings and it is the winter residence of the central monk body.
Thimphu is one of the world's smallest capital cities but has seen rapid growth in the last few years. It has no traffic lights, just a white-gloved policeman to conduct traffic. Thankfully traffic jams are rare and the main centre is still small and easily negotiated. Thimphu is full of cultural attractions, such as the National Library, the Post Office, the National Memorial Chorten, the Painting School and the Tarkin Preserve, where a small herd of Bhutan’s national animal lives in a protected environment.
Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Nunnery
The high passes in Bhutan are places where we usually pause in our journey and stop to take in the magnificent views. The Dochu La not only has great views of the mountains but is an impressive sight in itself, with 108 chortens spread over a small hill at its centre.