Monks, Mountains and Monasteries - The Last Shangri-La
Bhutan, known locally as Druk-Yul, is the world’s last Shangri-La. Breathtaking views, colourful dancers, rich cultural heritage, imposing fortresses and ancient monasteries perched in improbable locations are the enduring images that seemingly come to life as you travel through this wonderland.
Visit Bhutan in February, March, October or November and experience one of its fascinating festivals. Gather with the locals to watch the colourful Bhutanese folk, religious and mask dances known as ‘Chaam’, a truly unforgettable experience. For these months early booking is recommended.
An understated philosophy of quiet comfort in an inspiring, culture-rich location awaits at stylish Uma Paro. Guest rooms created by Bhutanese artisans offer a fusion of clean-lined modernism with indigenous detailing and stunning views of the Paro Valley.
Fly from London
Take the overnight flight from Heathrow to Delhi.
On arrival in Delhi in Delhi you will be met and transferred to your hotel. There is an afternoon tour of Delhi, India's capital and a major gateway to the country, contemporary Delhi is a bustling metropolis.
In Old Delhi, you may visit the Jama Masjid, the Mosque of Friday, the greatest religious construction of Islam, Raj Ghat, where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated and the Red Fort (from the outside), the palace for Shahjahan's new capital.
Fly to Paro and transfer to Thimpu
Take a morning flight over the mountains to Paro. Upon arrival you will be met and driven to Thimpu (a two hour journey), the capital town of Bhutan.
En route make a brief stop at Chuzom, the confluence of the Paro and Thimphu Rivers; and visit the 16th Century Simtokha Dzong, the oldest in Bhutan. The guided tour of the bustling town of Thimpu includes a visit to Punakha Dzong, the place were the first King, Ugyen Wangchuck was crowned in 1907. Spend the night in Thimphu.
Drive to Punakha
Make a morning excursion to visit the National library, dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the rich literary, cultural and religious heritage of Bhutan. In the afternoon, drive to Punakha, the capital of Bhutan until 1955, it still serves as the winter residence of the monk body. Spend two nights in Punakha. [B,L,D]
Take a tour of Punakha and visit Punakha Dzong, built strategically at the junction of the Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu rivers in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to serve as the religious and administrative centre of the region. Today you will visit the Chimi Lhakhang, dedicated to 15th century Lama Drukpa Kuenley, also known as ‘Divine Madman’ for his unique way of dramatising his teachings through humour, songs and outrageous behaviour. [B,L,D]
Drive to Paro
Drive to Paro (a four and a half hour journey), en route visit the Drukgyel Dzong, a ruined fortress where Bhutanese warriors fought Tibetan invaders centuries ago; and the 7th century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples built by the Tibetan King, Songtsen Gampo, marking the introduction of Buddhism in Bhutan. Stay three nights in Paro. [B,L,D]
Tigers Nest Monastery
Enjoy an excursion to the famous 8th century Tiger’s Nest (Taktsang) Monastery. [B,L,D]
Take a guided tour of Paro including Ta Dzong and the National museum. [B,L,D]
Fly to Delhi
Fly to Delhi today and spend the night. [B]
Fly home to London. [B]