Gentle Trekking Lodges and Hotels in Bhutan Our experience over many years has shown us that it is perfectly possible to do a series of pretty day treks based from a number of centres in Bhutan without having to spend a night under canvas! We have designed this trek to take you right into the interior to visit the holiest valley in Bhutan in the Bumthang region. We will walk out to visit villages, monasteries, and hermits’ nests from the major towns of Paro, Thimphu, Punakha, and Jakar. We have also tied the treks into attending important religious festivals. 16 Download detailed itineraries from www.himalayankingdoms.com e: firstname.lastname@example.org Above: Tiger’s Nest Monastery Below left: Mural below Cheri Gompa Photos: Ann Sainsbury The Kingdom of Bhutan £2,695 £2,170 Tue 18 Mar – Fri 04 Apr* £2,795 £2,170 Thu 03 Apr – Sun 20 Apr £2,885 £2,365 Tue 30 Sep – Sat 18 Oct Thu 02 Oct – Mon 20 Oct Tue 07 Oct – Sat 25 Oct £2,885 £2,260 Tue 04 Nov – Sat 22 Nov land only land only land only land only Grade: Gentle Day Walks: 8/9 days In-country Leader Nights’ Accommodation: Hotels: 10–12 Lodges: 4–6 Optional: Single Room £160 Insurance: £99* (Standard Policy) £149 (Insurance Plus) Days Itinerary (Spring*) Duration: 18*/19 days 1–2 Fly to Kathmandu, at leisure 3–5 Fly to Bhutan, attend Paro Festival walk to Cheri Gompa –6 Drive to Punakha, day walks 7–8 Trek to Chorten Ningpo, drive to Tongsa 9–12 Drive to Bumthang, day walks, drive to Gangtey 13–15 Local walks, drive to Thimphu and on to Paro for sightseeing 16–18 Fly to Kathmandu, at leisure, fly to London Other departures vary slightly from the above Guaranteed to run for a minimum of clients Featured on BBC Holiday programme Most departures attend a national festival The Chorten Path, Bhutan The spring departures attend the most important religious festival in the Bhutanese calendar, the Paro Tsechu. Here we see the unfurling of the three-storey high ‘thangka’ early in the morning. Direct rays of sunlight must not touch the sacred image that people from all over Bhutan travel once a year to see. The five-day trek to reach the least-visited of all the Himalayan capitals, Thimphu, follows the Chorten Path, the original mule track connecting Bhutan's main valleys. It is an exciting approach to Thimphu, giving an insight into Bhutan's remoteness prior to the building of the road in the early 1960s. En route we have views of Bhutan's second highest peak, Chomolhari, and other ice-clad giants. After a rest in the capital the second four-day trek again takes us through glorious country to the old capital of Punakha. 3 £2,495 £1,970 Thu 13 Mar – Sun 30 Mar,* Tue 18 Mar – Fri 04 Apr* £2,595 £2,060 Tue 30 Sep – Sat 18 Oct, Tue 07 Oct – Sat 25 Oct land only land only Grade: Moderate/Vigorous On Trek: 9 days In-country Leader Nights’ Accommodation: Hotels: 9/10 Camping: 7 Optional: Single Room £160 Single Tent £50 Insurance: £99 (Standard Policy) Days Itinerary (Spring*) Duration: 18*/19 days 1–3 Fly to Kathmandu, fly to Paro 4–5 Attend Paro Tsechu, visit Taksang monastery 6–10 On trek –11 Rest and sightseeing in Thimphu 12–15 On trek to Chorten Ningpo, drive to Punakha and on to Paro 16–18 Fly to Kathmandu, at leisure, fly to London The Autumn departures additionally visit Ha Valley on Day 16. Other departures vary slightly from the above Guaranteed to run for a minimum of clients The Spring departures attend the Paro Festival 3
17 tel: 0845 330 8579 (local call rate, UK only) international tel: +44 1453 844 400 www.himalayankingdoms.com Prayer flags on the Dochu La Pass Photo: Jude Limburn Turner Punakha Dzong Photo: Nicholas Thompson The Kingdom of Bhutan This tour is designed to get ‘under the surface’ of Bhutanese culture. We meet villagers and weavers in their own homes, attend genuine Tibetan Buddhist festivals in the courtyards of the country’s monasteries and travel right into Bhutan’s interior. There is no trekking, but gentle walks to villages provide some exercise and we stay in some of the best quality hotels available. Centuries of isolation have left the Kingdom of the Thunder Dragon unique. The architecture is unlike anything else found in the Himalaya – the houses are more akin to Swiss chalets, but painted with magic symbols to keep out evil spirits – their national dress has survived, as has their “Dragon” sect of Buddhism. The enormous monastery/fortresses, or Dzongs, still stand after earthquake and war and are still in use today. Archery is the national sport and the mystic rites are almost as important as hitting the target. Bhutan is also renowned for producing the highest quality fabrics of any of the Himalayan regions. Definitive Cultural Tour of Bhutan £2,695 £2,170 Dates: Sat 16 Feb – Sun 02 Mar*, Tue 18 Mar – Tue 01 Apr Tue 30 Sep – Tue 14 Oct*, Sat 04 Oct – Sat 18 Oct † land only Grade: Cultural Tour European Leader: Moira Viggers*, Michael Rutland*, Siân Pritchard-Jones† Nights’ Accommodation: Hotels: 11/12 Tourist Lodges: Optional: Single Room £145 Insurance: £69 (Standard Policy) Days Typical Itinerary Duration: 15/16* days 1–3 Fly to Kathmandu, at leisure, fly to Bhutan 4–6 Sightseeing Paro and Thimphu, attend festival, drive to Punakha 7–9 Village walks, drive to Gangtey, sightseeing Phobjikha valley 10–12 Drive to Thimphu, at leisure, drive to Paro, view Taksang temple 13–15 Fly to Kathmandu, at leisure, fly to London Guaranteed to run for a minimum of clients Adults Children under 12 £2,665 £2,045 £1,995 £1,515 Dates: Sat 05 Apr – Fri 18 Apr land only land only Grade: Gentle Day Walks: 5 days European Leader: Mike Ford Nights’ Accommodation: Hotels: 11 Lodge/Guest house: 1 Optional: Single Room £130 Insurance: £95 (Standard Policy) Days Itinerary Duration: 14 days 1–2 Fly to Kathmandu 3–4 Fly to Bhutan, day walks in Paro Valley, drive to Thimphu –5 Day walks in Thimphu valley 6–7 Drive to Punakha, day walks 8–9 Drive to Thimphu, day walks 10–11 Drive to Paro, visit Ha Valley, walk up to Taksang temple 12–14 Fly to Kathmandu, at leisure, fly to London Guaranteed to run for a minimum of4clients Other family treks – see page 28 & 34 Other cultural tours – see page 29, 38, 39, 52, 56 & 58 All departures attend a national festival 4 Family Trek in Bhutan – Easter Holidays Over Easter 2001 Steve and Seraphina Berry led our first family trek to Bhutan. The trek was an unqualified success and the 4 children and 8 adults enjoyed perfect weather and many adventures. All the party thought the itinerary was a perfect, varied combination of walking and sightseeing. We have carefully chosen a series of interesting day walks. We will visit many important temples, fortresses, villages and markets, and expect to meet many interesting and influential Bhutanese people. We stay in the best hotels in Paro and Thimphu and comfortable lodges elsewhere and enjoy a spectacular mountain flight with stunning views of the Himalaya. We shall experience the many sights and sounds that make Bhutan one of the most fascinating places on Earth. As our connection with Bhutan goes back to 1986, our clients can be assured of a real insider’s view of the kingdom.