Talk to a Fine Travel Consultant 0800 00 3463
Fine Travel
Duration: 11 Days | Departs Wednesdays | Travel departure dates from 12 Aug 2015 to 13 Apr 2016
Location: Start Thimpu | Gangtey, Bumthang, Jakar Dzong, Ura Valley, Punakha, Paro
Price: On Request
  • Bhutan Dragon Kingdom Tour, Insight Tours, Fine Travel

    An intriguing Bhutan Tour through a mystical kingdom, where magnificent fortresses command the hilltops and prayer flags flutter in the breeze. Where everyone wears national dress, and ‘Gross National Happiness’ is government policy – you know you’re in for something special.

    Bhutan Tour Highlights:

    • Thimpu: Meet the local artists and weavers at the Royal Textile Academy.
    • Phobjikha Valley: Visit the 17th century Gangteng Monastery.
    • Bumthang: Visit the Jakar Dzong and Kurjey Lhakhang complex.
    • Bumthang: Visit the 7th century Jambey Lhakhang.
    • Bumthang: Visit a Swiss Farm, home to Bhutan’s only commercial cheese factory and where the local Red Panda beer is brewed.
    • Bumthang: Join a cooking class with local chefs to learn how to prepare local Bhutanese delicacies.
    • Ura Valley: Climb through open countryside to Ura la pass and enjoy views of Mt Gangkhar Puensum.
    • Trongsa: Be welcomed into a traditional farm house for tea or coffee with a local family.
    • Punaka: Visit the majestic Punakha Dzong.
    • Punaka: Take a short hike to the temple of the ‘Divine Madman’.
    • Paro: Visit the fascinating Rinpung Dzong.
    • Paro: Visit the famous Tiger’s Nest.
    • Paro: Visit the 7th Century Kyichu Lhakhang temple.

     

    Additional Included Bhutan Tour Highlights:

    • Thimpu: Sightseeing includes ancient Bhutanese architecture at Simply Bhutan, the Textile Museum and the National Library.
    • Para: Sightseeing includes the Ta Dzong and the Drukgyel Dzong.
    • Day 1 – Arrive Paro – Thimphu

      Welcome to Bhutan! Descend through the clouds past some of the world’s highest glacial peaks, forested hills and the silvery Paro river snaking along the valley below. After a traditional welcome, you are transferred from Paro Airport to the capital of Thimphu. Join your Tour Director to visit the Memorial Chorten, Government Handicrafts Emporium and Trashichhoe dzong, “fortress of the glorious religion”. Tonight enjoy a Welcome Reception, drinks and dinner.

      Hotel: Taj Tashi, Thimphu

      Meals: Welcome Reception / Welcome Dinner

    • Day 2 – Thimphu Sightseeing

      Thimphu is an exciting blend of tradition and modernity. Sightseeing includes ancient Bhutanese architecture at Simply Bhutan, the Textile Museum and the National Library, housing an extensive collection of priceless Buddhist manuscripts. Continue to the Institute for Zorig Chusum (commonly known as the Painting School) where students undergo a six year training course in Bhutan’s traditional arts and crafts. After lunch, meet the local artists at the Voluntary Artists Studio and observe weavers and embroiderers at work at the Royal Textile Academy. Next drive to Changangkha Lhakhang, a fortress like temple and monastic school perched on a ridge above Thimphu. Finally, come face to face with the Takin – the rare and bizarre national animal of Bhutan.

      Hotel: Taj Tashi, Thimphu

      Meals: Buffet Breakfast / Dinner

    • Day 3 – Thimphu – Gangtey

      Head east through the mountains and across the Puna Tsang Chu (Sankosh River) at Wangdue Phodrang to reach the beautiful Phobjikha Valley. Nestled in the surrounding slopes, visit the great Gangteng Monastery, established in the 17th century, where you can watch the monks study and create beautiful works of art. Admire the views before returning to the valley floor, famous for its black necked cranes, which migrate from the arid plains of Tibet each winter. Head for your hotel where you have time to relax amid the tranquil surroundings and mingle with the villagers – perhaps try your hand at traditional Bhutanese weaving.

      Hotel: Gangtey Gompa Lodge, Gangtey

      Meals: Buffet Breakfast / Dinner

    • Day 4 – Bumthang

      Today’s drive is through the very heart of Bhutan to Bumthang, the general name given to the combination of four valleys – Chumey, Choekhor, Tang and Ura. Home to many of prominent Buddhist temples and monasteries, the “beautiful field” of Bumthang is recognised as the spiritual hub of the nation, steeped in folklore and tradition. You are free to relax this evening.

      Hotel: Yu Gharling Resort/Peling, Bumthang

      Meals: Buffet Breakfast / Dinner

    • Day 5 – Bumthang Sightseeing

      Today, visit the Jakar Dzong and Kurjey Lhakhang complex, where the body imprint of Guru Rinpoche is still preserved in solid rock. Nearby, visit the 7th century Jambey Lhakhang, one of Bhutan’s earliest temples. Across the river stands Tamshing Lhakhang, built by Saint Pema Lingpa and remarkable for its original statues and frescoes. Time also to explore the village, browse in the handicraft shop or relax at a local restaurant. Now onto the Swiss Farm, home to Bhutan’s only commercial cheese factory and where the local Red Panda beer is brewed. Then put your culinary skills to the test under the expert guidance of a team of local chefs at a special Bhutanese cooking class. Learn how to prepare local Bhutanese delicacies, laden with spices and seasoned with fiery red chillies!

      Hotel: Yu Gharling Resort/Peling, Bumthang

      Meals: Buffet Breakfast / Dinner

    • Day 6 – Ura Valley Experience

      After a restful night’s sleep, embark on an excursion to the Ura Valley. Climb up through open countryside to cross the Ura-la-pass (3,600m) with a magnificent views of Mt Gangkhar Puensum. Above Ura village is a new temple dedicated to Guru Rinpoche. Inaugurated in 1986, it contains a huge statue of the master and remarkable paintings of the cycle of his teachings.

      Hotel: Yu Gharling Resort/Peling, Bumthang

      Meals: Buffet Breakfast / Dinner

    • Day 7 – Punakha

      After breakfast, drive to Punakha. After checking into your hotel, you are invited into a traditional farm house for tea or coffee with a local family, a unique glimpse into the daily lives of the locals. The rest of the day you are free to relax or explore.

      Hotel: Kunzang Zhing Resort/Densa Resort & Spa, Punakha

      Meals: Buffet Breakfast / Dinner

    • Day 8 – Punakha Sightseeing

      Set in a lush tropical valley, Punakha was Bhutan’s capital until 1955. Visit the majestic ‘Palace of Great Happiness’ (Punakha Dzong) site of the coronation of the country’s first king and full of gold Buddhas and red-robed monks. In the afternoon, there is a short hike across fields and roads lined with prayer flags to the temple of the ‘Divine Madman’.

      Hotel: Kunzang Zhing Resort/Densa Resort and Spa, Punakha

      Meals: Buffet Breakfast / Dinner

    • Day 9 – Paro

      Visit the Wangduephodrang Dzong en route back to Paro. Also call in at Simtokha Dzong, the oldest in Bhutan, housing the Institute for Language and Culture Studies. Paro sightseeing includes the Ta Dzong, originally built as a watchtower, but now housing the National Museum. Then walk down the trail to visit Rinpung Dzong, (“fortress of the heap of jewels”), a large monastery with a long and fascinating history.

      Hotel: ITC Mughal – Zhiwa Ling, Paro

      Meals: Buffet Breakfast / Dinner

    • Day 10 – Paro Sightseeing

      This morning, visit the Tiger’s Nest, perched on the side of a cliff, 900m above the Paro valley floor. This famous tiered temple of red and gold was founded by the Guru Rinpoche who arrived on the back of his mistress, who had turned herself into a tigress. It’s now visited by all Bhutanese at least once in their lifetime. Later drive up the valley to Drukgyel Dzong – a ruined fortress. Along the way, visit the 7th Century Kyichu Lhakhang temple, one of the 108 temples built in the Himalayas by Tibetan King, Songtsen Gampo. The building of this temple marks the introduction of Buddhism in Bhutan. This evening, enjoy a Celebration Dinner of Himalayan proportions, and toast the culmination of this extraordinary journey with your new found friends.

      Hotel: ITC Mughal – Zhiwa Ling, Paro

      Meals: Buffet Breakfast / Dinner

    • Day 11 – Depart Paro

      Time to say farewell! After breakfast, transfer to Paro airport for your onward flights. Perhaps extend your stay with an Extension Trip?

      Meals: Buffet Breakfast

  • Bhutan Dragon Kingdom Travel Map, Insight Tours, Fine Travel
    • Breakfast – 10
    • Lunch – 0
    • Dinner – 9

     

    Premium Hotels and Locations:

    • Thimpu: Adorned with classical Buddhist murals and set in the heart of the Thimphu Valley, the Taj Tashi is a blend of Bhutan’s Dzong architecture and modern design.
    • Paro: Zhiwa Ling Hotel is the first and only wholly Bhutanese owned hotel to receive a 5 star rating. The traditional architecture and modern amenities makes this hotel one of the best luxury hotels in Bhutan.

     

    Included Quality Dining:

    • A Welcome Reception with drinks and Welcome Dinner (WD)
    • 10 Buffet Breakfasts (BB)
    • 8 three course dinners with choice (D)
    • 1 Celebration Dinner (CD)

     

    Included First Class Services:

    • An expert Insight Tour Director – at the pinnacles of their careers, will smooth your way throughout your journey. They are your ‘travelling concierges’, expert guides, consummate organisers and friends in a foreign land.
    • Insight motor coach – Enjoy the unique comfort of Insight’s luxury air-conditioned 40 seat coach with extended leg room and on-board restroom. It’s business class comfort.
    • Personal radio headsets – gives you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights without missing any of your local expert’s fascinating insights and commentaries.
    • Baggage handling everywhere – with seamless and prompt delivery to your door at every hotel.
    • Hotel and restaurant tips included – you’ll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. Plus we include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
    • Complimentary WiFi – the majority of Insight hotels have free WiFi access in lobby or bedroom areas. You will also find that WiFi is generally available on most touring coaches.
    • Insight Flourishes – from time to time, your Tour Director will enchant you with local tidbits, each representing authentic food or beverages unique to the destination.
    • Included airport transfers between the airport and your Insight tour hotels.
  • *TERMS & CONDITIONS

    All prices are quoted in NZD (unless otherwise stated), per person, twin share (unless otherwise stated) & are correct as at 30 January 2015. Single supplement and child costs supplied on request. Offers are subject to availability & can change without notification due to fluctuations in charges & currency. Valid for sale until sale date specified with each deal. Valid for travel in low season, unless specified. A deposit must be paid at time of booking & full payment must be received by Book by date where a date is specified. Credit Card surcharges apply. For full terms and conditions please contact Fine Travel on 0800 000 3463. Have a Fine Holiday!