Bhutan: The Dragon Kingdom

Resort: Bhutan: The Dragon Kingdom
Operator: Cox and Kings
Destination: Asia
Price From: £3195.00

Overview

The remote Kingdom of Bhutan, with its
fascinating cultural heritage and beautiful
mountain scenery, was off limits to tourists
until 1974. Today, the country continues to
preserve its age-old traditions, as revealed
in this tour, which travels through western
Bhutan visiting the forts, monasteries and
markets of the Dragon Kingdom.

Itinerary

Day 1: Fly to Kathmandu via Istanbul

Overnight flight from London (regional
connections available) to Kathmandu, via
Istanbul, with Turkish Airlines. (N)

Day 2: Kathmandu

Arrive in Kathmandu in the early afternoon and transfer to the Hotel Himalaya (or similar) for 2 nights. The hotel is surrounded by beautiful landscaped gardens and offers 180-degree panoramic views of the majestic Himalayan range. (N)

Day 3: Kathmandu

Take a full morning tour of Kathmandu, a characterful and historic city renowned for its master craftsmen and Newari architecture. Explore the heart of the old town, Durbar Square, a cluster of ancient temples, palaces, courtyards and streets that date back to the 12th and 18th centuries. In the afternoon, discover Kathmandu’s cultural diversity with visits to Pashupatinath Stupa, one of the holiest Hindu stupas in Nepal and Boudhnath, one of the largest Buddhist centres for Nepal’s considerable Tibetan population. (B)

Day 4: Fly to Paro Thimphu

Enjoy spectacular views of the beautiful Paro Valley as you land in Bhutan on the morning flight from Kathmandu. Drive to Thimphu, Bhutan’s enigmatic capital city, which maintains a strong medieval feel in its architectural style. This afternoon take a short orientation tour to familiarise yourself with the city. Your tour includes a visit to the imposing Tashichho Dzong. Stay 2 nights at the Hotel Kisa (or similar). (B, L, D)

Day 5: Thimphu

This morning explore Thimphu in greater depth with visits to the National Memorial Chorten, Simply Bhutan, Buddha Point and the Textile Museum. Enjoy the afternoon at your leisure before meeting a local family for an authentic Bhutanese dinner. (B, L, D)

Day 6: Punakha

Your scenic drive to Punakha today passes through mountain forests and the stunning Dochula Pass, which offers 360 degree sweeping views of the Himalayas and of the verdant valley’s below. This afternoon get a first-hand experience of typical village life in Bhutan with a visit to a traditional farmhouse. In Punakha, stay 2 nights at the Meri Puensum (or similar). (B, L, D)

Day 7: Punakha

This morning explore Punakha, a charming town set against the backdrop of snow-covered mountains and pine-clad hills. Perhaps the highlight of the tour will be a visit to
the Punakha Dzong, a 17th-century fortress and arguably the most beautiful dzong in the country. This afternoon visit the Nalanda Buddhist Institute to meet with the Buddhist monks. (B, L, D)

Day 8: Paro

Return to Paro and stay 2 nights at the Village Lodge (or similar). Afternoon visit to Ta Dzong, now the national museum, for further insight into Bhutanese culture. Later, get to grips with Bhutanese cuisine with an interactive cooking class. Bhutanese cuisine is largely inspired by Chinese, Indian and Tibetan influences and dishes are usually lavishly spiced with chillies. (B, L, D)

Day 9: Paro

Today visit one of the Himalaya’s most incredible sites, the Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest), a monastery miraculously perched on a rocky ledge. The return walk takes about 5 hours but the effort is well rewarded. This afternoon visit the Rinpung Dzong before trying your hand at Bhutan’s national sport – archery. (B, L, D)

Day 10: Fly to Kathmandu

Morning flight to Kathmandu. Stay overnight
at the Hotel Himalaya (or similar). Farewell
dinner at Brick Caf. (B, D)

Day 11: Fly to London via Istanbul

Day at lesiure with late check-out of hotel. This
evening fly from Kathmandu to London, via
Istanbul, with Turkish Airlines. (B)

Day 12: London

Early morning arrival in London. (N)

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