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The Himalaya BhutanTailor Made holidays to BhutanMountain Kingdoms has been organising treks and tours to Bhutan for 24 years. Indeed, we are the company that has pioneered the majority of the off-the-beaten-track routes throughout the kingdom. More than half of our staff have been to Bhutan, no other tour operator knows the country like we do - and that is no idle boast! Let us design an itinerary to suit you, your interests and your preferred dates of travel. Call us on +44 (0)1453 844 400 or 0845 330 8579Luxury resorts in Bhutan There are a small number of boutique and deluxe hotels in Bhutan. You may like to add a couple of nights onto the end of your trek or tour, or you can upgrade for one or more nights during your holiday, subject to your itinerary and hotel availability. Luxury properties include chic Uma Paro, opulent Taj Tashi in Thimphu and more traditionally styled Amankora hotels in Paro, Punakha, Gangtey, Bumthang and Thimphu. Upgrades are available from £180 per person for Uma Paro, £160 per person for Taj Tashi and £445 per person for Amankora, twin sharing, high season, all meals and taxes included. Please contact the office for further information.Festivals One of the highlights of any visit to Bhutan is the chance to visit a religious festival or Tsechu. Here the religious and secular sides of Bhutanese society come together for noisy and spectacular celebrations. Most of our 2011 treks and tours to Bhutan include a festival visit - this is highlighted in the relevant trip details. Interesting facts Bhutanese name: Druk Yul (Kingdom of the Thunder Dragon) Size: 18,147 sq miles/47,000 sq km Capital: Thimphu Government: Constitutional Monarchy Currency: Ngultrum Present (Fifth) King: Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck (pictured above) Religion: Approx 70% Tibetan Buddhist Drukpa 'Red Hat' sect, 25% Hindu, 5% other Population: No reliable figures. Approx 750,000 Highest Mountain: Gangkar Punsum, 7,550m/24,770ft. The highest unclimbed peak in the world. First and only British expedition in 1986 led by our MD, Steve Berry11telephone: 0845 330 8579 (local call rate, UK only)international telephone: +44 1453 844 400www.mountainkingdoms.com

12Download holiday itineraries fromwww.mountainkingdoms.come: info@mountainkingdoms.comT his tour visits the main valleys of western Bhutan, travelling over mountain passes that offer stupendous views. There is no trekking, but we explore the towns on foot and also enjoy some gentle village walks.We meet villagers and weavers in their own homes, and travel right into Bhutan's interior, visiting the remote and isolated Phobjika valley. The towns of Bhutan are dominated by enormous monastery-fortresses, or dzongs, that still stand after earthquake and war and are in use today.Centuries of isolation have left the Kingdom of the Thunder Dragon unique. The architecture is unlike anything else found in the Himalaya with houses more akin to Swiss chalets, but painted with magic symbols to keep out evil spirits. Bhutanese national dress has survived, as has their "Dragon" sect of Buddhism.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.T he Black-Necked Crane festival takes place every year in Phobjika, celebrating the annual arrival of these magnificent birds in the surrounding valleys and marshlands. This species of crane is endangered with only 8,000 birds estimated to be surviving in the wild but here the local community revere their feathered winter residents. Our fascinating tour provides ample opportunity to view the cranes in their protected habitat as well as attending the local Black-Necked Crane festival where you will see traditional masked dances including the 'Crane Dance'. In addition there are optional gentle walks and visits to weaving centres, villages and monasteries. A fascinating insight into many aspects of Bhutanese culture in less than two weeks London to London. Definitive Cultural Tour of Bhutan A wonderful, easy-paced tour designed to get 'under the surface' of Bhutanese culture. Black-Necked Crane Festival Tour The perfect introduction to the magical Kingdom of Bhutan. Tigers Nest, Rob & Sally Hull£1,850£2,535Land OnlyFlight IncludedSun 06 Nov - Wed 16 Nov 11Local Leader Accommodation (nts): Hotels: 7 Luxury Camping: 2Optional: Single Room £145 Single Tent £50Insurance: £77Cultural Tour | Duration: 11 DaysFestivalAppointed Leader Michael Rutland OBE?Local Leader?Accommodation (nts): Hotels: 12/13 Optional: Single Room £250Insurance: £77Cultural Tour | Duration: 14/15 DaysOther Cultural Tours - see pages 13, 20, 26, 41, 42, 43, 47, 50, 51, 53, 58Other Cultural Tours - see pages 13, 20, 26, 41, 42, 43, 47, 50, 51, 53, 58£2,620£2,165£2,495£2,165£2,265£3,295£2,850£3,125£2,795£3,145Land OnlyLand OnlyLand OnlyLand OnlyLand OnlyFlight IncludedFlight IncludedFlight IncludedFlight IncludedFlight IncludedTue 15 Mar - Tue 29 Mar 11?*Thu 22 Dec - Thu 05 Jan 12?Fri 21 Oct - Thu 03 Nov 11?Sun 02 Oct - Sat 15 Oct 11?*Fri 15 Apr - Thu 28 Apr 11?Festival15th Mar & 2nd Oct departures onlyGuaranteed to run for a minimum of 2/4* clientsFor detailed itineraries see www.mountainkingdoms.comFor detailed itineraries see www.mountainkingdoms.comBhutan The HimalayaGuaranteed to run for a minimum of 2 clients