MOUNTAINS OF SHANGRI-LA
6 days

The government of Bhutan is probably the only one in the world which measures progress not by Gross Domestic Product but by Gross National Happiness – and it has 72 indicators to measure it. A most unusual country, this tiny Buddhist kingdom, landlocked between its giant neighbours India and China, has zealously guarded its privacy and is wary of the advent of increased visitors and modernity.

Apart from sheer physical beauty, the Himalayas possess a long-standing heritage. A visit to the region is immensely rewarding because of the special culture preserved by its isolated locations, ancient customs and spectacular terrain.

Begin with the capital, Thimpu, and explore its museums and gardens, while getting the feel of local life. Punakha – the most fertile area in the country and replete with natural beauty and Buddhist culture, including the Chimi Lakhang (Temple of the Divine Madman). You visit Paro, a graceful, scenic city which is home to the magnificent Tiger’s Nest monastery, well worth the trek up to see it.

DAY 1 | ARRIVE IN PARO/ DRIVE TO THIMPHU

Arrive in Paro (alt 2,200m) today via a Druk Air flight and drive to Thimphu (54 km/1.5 hours/alt 2,400m). The first views of the formidable mountains and terraced rice fields are compelling. Rest of the day at leisure to acclimatise before beginning your explorations of this medieval kingdom.

HOTELS
CONNOISSEUR
EXPLORER
DAY 2 | THIMPHU

A full day tour of the old and new capitals of Bhutan. Standing alongside one another, the dzongs, monasteries, institutional buildings and markets are emblematic of the old and the ongoing Thimphu Structural Plan that epitomises the new, while preserving the spirit and tradition of Bhutan.

DAY 3 | THIMPHU/ PUNAKHA/ WANGDIPHODRANG/ THIMPHU

Day excursion to Punakha and Wangdiphodrang (154 km roundtrip/3.5 hours drive each way), crossing the Dochu La Pass (alt 3,088m) before descending into Punakha river valley (alt 1,300m). Visit the Punakha Dzong, the Wangdiphodrang Dzong and a rural settlement before returning to Thimphu.

DAY 4 | THIMPHU/ PARO

After breakfast, drive back to Paro. In the afternoon, visit the excellent Ta Dzong National Museum, and the 7th century Kyichu Lhakhang monastery, the oldest in Bhutan and the harbinger of Buddhism.

DAY 5 | PARO

Morning viewing of the awesome Taktsang, the Tiger’s Nest monastery, with an option to walk up to its breathtakingly precipitous location – an unforgettable accomplishment. Afternoon at leisure.

HOTELS
CONNOISSEUR
EXPLORER
DAY 6 | DEPART PARO

Depart for your onward destination aboard a Druk Air flight.

ITINERARY ON A MAP
GALLERY OF EXPERIENCES
ITINERARY INCLUSIONS

We look forward to welcoming you to slow travel in the Indian subcontinent,

imaginatively and meticulously designed just for you.

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