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Bhutan West to East Adventure


14 days 13 nights

Code BCT38

Category Bhutan Classic Tours

  • Group Size 1-16 Persons
  • Difficulty Level 3
  • Rating Non-Touristic
  • Highest Altitude 12, 497 ft.
  • Trip Starts From Paro, Bhutan
  • Trip Ends At Guwahati, India
  • Accommodation Hotels and resorts
  • Type Tours
  • Destination Paro Takstang Chele La Pass Thimphu Punakha Phobjikha Jakar (Bumthang) Mongar Khoma Village Trashigang Trashiyangtse Samdrup Jongkhar Guwahati
Dates & Prices

Overview

A two weeks road adventure that commences in Paro in western Bhutan, concluding in the eastern frontier town of Samdrup Dzongkhar from where you exit to the north-east Indian city of Guwahati! 

Paro, Thimphu, and Punakha in western Bhutan, due to the proximity of the Paro International Airport, are the most visited areas in the country. While central Bhutan also receives some foreign tourists during the season, eastern Bhutan is mostly unexplored. As you cross the high passes and traverse through Trongsa and Bumthang in central Bhutan and advance to the remote eastern towns of Mongar, Tashigang, and Trashiyangtse, you will experience significant changes in the vegetation, scenery, culture, and the languages; what remains unchanged is the friendliness of the people! As you cross into the eastern side, you will feel that you are taken back in time as you witness everything here is so pure, natural and authentic. This intricate tapestry of adventures offers a rich experience of the last Himalayan kingdom.

This trip features easy activities; visiting temples and Dzong fortresses, short day hike to the ridge top monasteries and villages, attending colorful weekend markets, meeting the monks, farmers, and weavers, etc. As you advance to the east, infrastructures and facilities start becoming poorer and poorer.

From Samdrup Dzonkhar, you will exit to the Indian town of Guwahati and fly to Kolkata or Delhi or you have the option of continuing your travel to north-east India-which is mostly unexplored.

Highlights of the trip

  • Explore the historic dzongs (fortresses), Lakhangs (Temples), and Goembas (monasteries) built with rich Bhutanese architecture.
  • Hike to the ridge top monasteries, engage in a chit-chat with monks over a cup of tea, learn some Bhutanese phrases and in return teach them some English.
  • Trips are timed with the tsechu festivals of Bhutan. It is an excellent opportunity to witness the centuries-old traditions and culture.
  • Attend the local weekend markets and archery matches.
  • Experience the traditional hot stone bath and the ancient Singing Bowl Massage Therapy and meditation practice.
  • Visit the arts and craft school, traditional handmade paper factory, incense factory, etc. 
  • Hike to the remote villages where you will visit farmhouses and meet textile weavers.
  • Enjoy the spectacular views of the valleys and the snowcapped mountains from the high passes.

Is this trip for you?

The trip has some drive on narrow and winding roads. Road conditions vary; the further east we go, the poorer is the road condition. Repair and expansion works can cause travel delays. There are choices of accommodation available in western Bhutan, but as you advance to the central and eastern Bhutan, there are limited choices. Majority hotels are small and they are family-run properties. You will experience a downgrade in the facilities and service level in the eastern part of the country.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 01~Arrive in Paro, Bhutan

Paro Altitude: 2200m or 7216 ft.

Flights to Bhutan arrive from Kathmandu, Bangkok, Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Singapore and Dhaka. The most preferred route is Bangkok as there is a minimum of two flights daily from Bangkok. We pre-arrange Bhutan visa for you. Upon arrival at Paro International Airport, complete immigration and customs formalities and meet your guide and driver at the arrival gate. Following introductions, transfer to the hotel for check-in.

You will have time to settle into your room and take some rest. After lunch, your guide and driver will take you for an introductory tour of Paro. Most likely, you will begin from a small but significant Dungtsey Temple situated atop a hillock that's believed to resemble with a turtle head shaped hillock. The legend goes that the temple was built there to pin down the head of a demon!. The next stop will be at the National Museum housed at Ta Dzong. The Ta Dzong was the former watch tower for Paro Ringpung Dzong. The museum’s collection includes a range of holy scriptures, paintings, textiles, crafts, arms, utensils, stuffed animals, insects, and a gallery of philatelic (stamp) collection.

From here, you will descend to the impressive Rinpung Dzong. Rinpung Dzong is the district headquarter and also the seat of the district monastic body. The fortress is believed to stand on the heap of jewels!

If you are interested in hiking, you can hike to Zuri Dzong that lies just above the National Museum. It's a short and pleasant hike of thirty minutes or a little more. This 14th-century fortress is the home to the valley's guardian deity. It has a beautiful collection of ancient murals and a meditation cave. The location provides a bird-eye view over the valley. You can backtrack same way down or take a longer route, one and a half-hour, that ends in Uma Paro Hotel where you meet your driver and transfer to the hotel.

In the evening you will get to take a stroll through the tranquil township of Paro.

Overnight: Khangkhu Resor or similar 3*
Meals : Lunch, Dinner
Day 02~Hike Takstang Monastery

This morning, we will hike to the legendary Taktsang Monastery also known as the Tiger's Nest. Takstang Monastery dramatically sits on the edge of a 4000 ft high cliff above the valley floor. It creates an impressive sight and is the unofficial symbol of Bhutan. A two-hour steep uphill hike brings us to a cafeteria located on a ridge across from the Monastery. It provides us the first welcome view of the Monastery and an opportunity to take a rest and purchase refreshments and snacks. You may ride a pony up to this point but, onward (forty five or an hour) the trail is narrow and also for the return trip down, we do not recommend pony ride. 

Once down, meet your driver and visit the historic Drukgyel Dzong which was built in the 16th century to mark the Bhutanese victory over the Tibetan invaders. 

Late afternoon, we will visit a farm family to learn about the local lifestyle. Bhutanese farmhouses are colorful, attractive, and built in a traditional architectural style without the use of any nail. All houses follow more or less the same architectural plan.  

Optional: Experience the traditional hot stone bath.

With advance notice, you can experience a traditional hot stone bath in the farmhouse. Hot stone bath is purely a conventional Bhutanese method of curing arthritis, skin ailments, joint pains, hypertension, stomach disorders, arthritis, and many other minor diseases. Even you don’t have any of these issues, after a strenuous hike of the day, you will feel relaxed, soaking into the hot water.  The fee is approximately US$ 25 per person.

Overnight: Khangkhu Resort or similar 3*
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 03~Chele La Pass, Kila Nunnery and Thimphu

134km or 84 miles, 4 or 5 hours

Today, we travel to Thimpu with a side trip to Chele-la pass and Kila Nunnery. Shortly before the road forks out to Chelila Pass, we stop in Bondey and visit a family-run Tshenden Incense Factory. Here you can see the boiling, dyeing, and drying processes of traditional incense making.

A little more than 20 miles drive on the highway (one hour and little more) brings you to the Chele-la pass at 3810m (12, 497 ft.). The pass offers panoramic views of the snowcapped mountains including Mount Jhomolhari and the serene Haa Valley down the hill. From the pass, we take a hike to the Kila Gompa nunnery, situated on a cliff below Chele-la pass. There are seven small temples and several retreat huts built into a dizzying sheer cliff-side. Currently, there are about 70 nuns who live in self-imposed isolation. It can take about one hour to get here and about 10-minutes down to the parking. 

Late afternoon, we arrive in Thimphu- the capital city of Bhutan. Check into your hotel and balance of the day is at leisure.

Overnight: Khang Residency or similar 3* hotel.
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 04~Explore Thimphu

Soon after breakfast, we begin exploration of Thimphu-perhaps the only capital city in the world without traffic lights! With luck, you are in Thimphu during the weekend and you will have the opportunity to visit the colorful weekend market. Farmers from the nearby villages come to sell fresh produces as well as dried fish, herbs, yak butter, fermented cheese, arts and crafts that include fabrics and wooden bowls. Usually, there will be archery matches in the nearby stadium that you don't want to miss. Archery is the national sport of Bhutan and is played by Bhutanese men with pride.

Next, we stop at the Gagyel Lhundrup Weaving Center that produces traditional hand-woven textiles on site and has a selection of cloth and ready-made garments for sale. Even though you are not keen on shopping, this is a fantastic place to see the centuries-old traditional arts and designs. On a week-day, we can visit the National Institute for Zorig Chusum that offers a six years degree course on thirteen Bhutanese arts that include painting, wood carving, embroidery, and statue making.

Other attractions of Thimpu includes Simply Bhutan Museum, a living museum and a studio that preserves and promotes the culture with the involvement of youth of the country who are the future leaders of the country. Here, you can wear traditional Bhutanese dress for a picture. If you have an interest in traditional medicines, there is National Institute of Traditional Medicine that prepares and dispenses traditional herbal and other drugs. There are quite a few other attractions that you can visit depending on your interests and time available-Zilukha Nunnery in Drubthob Goemba, National Memorial Chorten, National Library, Textile Academy, Motithang Takin Preserve, etc. 

For hiking enthusiasts, Thimpu has many short hiking destinations. The one we recommend is Tango Goemba Monastery, which is about one hour long easy hike. The monastery functions as a college for some 280 monks and is the residence of Gyalse Rinpoche- an important reincarnated Lama. If the monks are at recess, we may have chance to join them over tea.

On the way back, we stop to visit the impressive Trasichoe Dzong. This remarkable fortress is the administrative and religious center of Bhutan. The fort houses the Royal Throne and Bhutan's National Assembly but, you will only have access to the religious section only. This Dzong is also the venue for Thimpu's Tsechu festivals that are in September or October.

Overnight: Khang Residency or similar 3* hotel.
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 05~Simtokha Dzong, Dhochula Pass and Punakha

77km or 48 miles, 3 hours

After breakfast, we leave for Punakha- the former winter capital of Bhutan. Shortly after Thimphu, near the junction of the roads to Paro and Punakha, we will stop to visit the Simtokha Dzong which is believed to be the oldest monastery in Bhutan. The monastery now serves as the Institute for Language and Culture Studies; students here are both monks and lay people.

As we leave Simtokha Dzong, the road climbs through apple orchards and blue pine forests, past a small village to the Dochula pass (Alt. 3010m/9,872 ft.). On the contour of the pass are a group of  108 small and colorful shrines. On a clear weather day (between October and February), the pass offers a beautiful panoramic view of the snow-capped mountains. We stop here briefly to enjoy the scenery and then continue on our travel to Punakha. Now, the road drops down gradually with changing vegetation from alpine to subtropical as we enter the lowland of Punakha.

Settled into your room and re-energized, proceed for the exploration of the valley. We drive through the town of Khuruthang and continue along the banks of the Mo Chu River, passing the Punthsho Pelri Palace and several other winter homes of the royal family. At the upper end of the valley, a 30-minute pleasant hike across a suspension bridge through terraces of rice, chilies, and cabbage, leads you to the Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten

On the way back, we stop to visit the Punakha Dzong which is among the most impressive fort architectures of Bhutan. All Bhutan monarchs are crowned in this Dzong first before they ascend the throne in Thimphu.

If you wish, with advance notice, you can experience a 30-minutes long rafting trip down the Mochu River. The river is grade III and offers scenic float down, with views of the Dzong and aquatic birds. ($ 150 for up to 6 people)

Time permitting, we may take another short hike to Chimi Lhakhang, also known as the fertility temple. Local childless women pay a visit to the temple for the fertility blessing.

Overnight: Drubchu Resort or Zingkham Resort
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 06~Rinchengang Village and Phobjikha Valley.

78km or 49 miles, 3 hours. Phobjikha altitude: 3000m or 9840 ft.

Shortly after Punakha, we stop to visit Rinchengang Village which is less than 20-minutes hike from the road. It's a picturesque village of about 45 compact mud-houses and is one of the oldest communities in Bhutan. Unlike other parts of the country, here, multiple families may own and share a home.

We hike back down and continue to Phobjikha. Now, the road winds up through oak and rhododendron forests, over the Lowa-la pass (3,360 m or 11, 020 ft.) and down into the picturesque Phobjikha Valley. We stop to visit the Gangtey Gompa monastery, which is the only Nyingmapa Monastery in this region. F

Now, while your luggage goes with the vehicle, you hike on Gangtey Nature Trail that covers the distance of 2.5 miles in 1.5 hours or little more. If you don't want to walk, you can go with the driver. It's an easy hike through the pine forests, and bamboo bushes and the trail offers views over the broad Phobjikha valley. The beautiful glacial valley bowl contains quaint villages, potato fields, and temples. Phobjikha Valley is also the winter home of black-necked-cranes that come all the way from Mongolia and Central Asia for nesting. We finish the hike in Khewa Lhakhang village where we meet our driver and transfer to our lodge. Time permitting, we stop at the Black-Necked Crane Information Center.

Overnight: Dewachen Hotel or similar 3*
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 07~Trongsa and Jakar

(188 km/118 miles, 6-7 hrs., Jakar Altitude 2,800 ft. or 9,184 ft.).

After breakfast, we bid farewell to the Phobjikha valley and retrace our drive to the main highway. We cross the Pelela pass (3,420m/11, 218 ft.) which is marked by a Chorten and an array of prayer flags. The pass divides Western Bhutan with the rest of the country. The road drops through hillsides with bamboo bushes, and then goes through rhododendrons, blue pines, spruces, oaks, and dwarf bamboos and arrives in Chendebji village. Not so far from the town, we take a brief stop at the Chendebji chorten-a large white chorten patterned after Swayambhunath Stupa of Kathmandu.

Above the Chendebji Chorten, the valley widens up, and the road enters to the broad Mangde Chhu Valley. We may stop at the Potala Lakhang in Tashiling and a viewpoint about 10 miles before Trongsa. Trongsa is a sleepy and pleasant town, lined with whitewashed shops decorated with pot plants and boasts an impressive Dzong-the ancestral home of the Royal Family of Bhutan.

The road now winds up to the Youtongla pass (3,425m/11,234 ft.) and then descends through blue pine, firs, and bamboo to Chumey valley which was the first of the four Bumthang valleys. You stop at the roadside village of Zugney to see the weaving of Yathra (deep colored wool textile, a pattern typical to these parts of the country). A few miles before Jakar town, you can go for a 10-minute hike to Prakhar Goemba, and if you want to go a further 20 minutes on a steep walk, you will reach Nimalung Goemba.

Upon arrival in Jakar town, check into the lodge and balance of the day is at leisure.

Overnight: Rinchenling Lodge or similar
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 08~Explore Bumthang Valley.

Today, we explore the cultural attractions of Bumthang- the cultural hub of Bhutan. We start from the Jambay Lhakhang-the first Buddhist temple built by the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century, even before the arrival of Guru Padmasambhava. Nearby is an interesting Chakar temple (iron castle) at the site of the palace of the Indian King Sindhu Raja who first invited Guru Rinpoche to Bumthang. A little further drive brings us to the Kurjey Lhakhang that covers a cave where Guru Rinpoche meditated and left the imprint of his body on a rock! Kurjey Lhakhang is among the holiest places in Bhutan.  

This afternoon, enjoy your lunch in a farm-house. After lunch, we take a gentle leveled walk across the suspension bridge over the Chamkhar Chu River to Tamshing Lhakhang. It is one of the essential Nyingma Goemba and is a treasure house of interesting religious Buddhist paintings. Just 400m below Tamshing is a small but rural looking temple called Kunchoksum temple that has some interesting stories. You will continue walking through the farmlands to a Swiss cheese farm area where you meet your transport and transfer to the hotel for lunch.

There are more to see: The new monastery of Namhai Nyingpo, the traditional hospital, Jakar Dzong, Lamay Gompa and other sights as per available time and your interests.

Late afternoon, take a relaxed stroll in the town. The town of Jakar is a bustling one-street town with a goldsmith, tailors, butchers, cafes, restaurants, and handicraft stores. It's worth taking a stroll around town in the evening.

Overnight: Rinchenling Lodge
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 09~Membartso Lake, Ura Village and Mongar

(6-7 hrs. drive, 193km/129miles, Altitude 1,600m/5,200 ft.)

It's going to be a long day today, and so we need an early start. Not so far from the town, we will take a short detour of Membar Tsho- the burning lake in Tang Valley where some of Guru Rimpoche’s treasures were found in the 15th century by famous Pema Lingpa. On the way, you will enjoy the scenery, the beauty of snow-capped mountains, flowers, grazing yaks, and the dense forest. Our next stop will be in Ura valley where we visit a picturesque village and its temple. Ura Village has a medieval look with houses compactly lined up alongside the cobblestone streets and is known for the women's typical sheepskin shawls.

As we leave the Ura Village behind, the road climbs to the Trumshing La pass (3,750m/12,300 ft.) that officially divides central Bhutan with the eastern part. We will see some cascading waterfalls along the way as we descend to Sengor. Once we cross the bridge over the Kurichu, the highway begins to climb again and goes through pines, maize fields, and eastern hamlets to Mongar town.

Arriving in Mongar marks the beginning of our eastern Bhutan experience. Mongar was the first town built on a mountainside instead of in a valley. Enjoy an evening by taking a stroll through quaint Mongar village.

Overnight: Wangchuk Hotel
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 10~Excursion of Lhuentse and Khoma Village

(2-3 hrs. drive, 75 km/50 miles, Altitude 1700 m/10048 ft.)

We drive on a mountainous road alongside cliffs, above the river valley to Lhuentse in the remote and ancient region of Kurtoe. We stop briefly to visit the Lhuentse Dzong, built in the 1600s and then continue further on to the Khurbazam Village from where we begin a hike to the Khoma Village. Almost all 30 houses in the village have black-strap looms for “kushutara” or brocaded dress. Motifs are created by four supplementary wefts inter-worked around the warp elements so that they appear to ride the surface of the cloth like embroidery.

The landscape of Khoma is spectacular, with stark cliffs towering above river gorges and dense coniferous forests. We also travel to Takilia to visit the 154 ft tall statue of Guru Nangsa Zelnan, situated 15 km or 9.4 miles from Tagmochhu Chazam (bridge) on a hill above Tangmachhu village. Late afternoon, we retrace our drive to Mongar.

Overnight: Wangchuk Hotel
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 11~Tashigang, Rangjung and Radi Villages

(2-3 hrs. drive, 91 km/61 miles, Altitude 1,100 m/3,250 ft.)

The road crosses the Korila pass (2,450 m/8,036 ft.) and follows a river valley and then climbs to Trashigang town. Upon arrival, check into your accommodation and soon we embark on a bumpy ride to some picturesque weaver's villages. Our first stop will be at Rangjung Village where you visit Yeozerchholing, a large Nyingma Monastery.

Continue further east on a gravel road and dirt track, absorbing the rich culture of eastern Bhutan, to Radi village, the rice basket of eastern Bhutan. It is also famous for beautiful supplementary warp patterned fabrics or aikapur (textile patterns) and raw silk bura the most popular and prestigious textiles made in eastern Bhutan. In the past, these textiles, woven of cotton, wild silk, or cultivated silk in five color combinations had such a value that the noble households retained the weavers who knew this technique. Prized for generations aikapur cloth has been saved for special occasions. You will have opportunity to experiment with vegetable dyes with the help of weavers.

Afternoon, you drive back to the hotel in Trashigang. After wash and change, you may take a stroll through the town and visit its Dzong.

Overnight: Druk Deothjung Resort
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 12~Excursion of Gomphu Kora and Trashiyangtse

(2-3 hrs. drive, 55km/37miles, Altitude 1550m/4960 ft.)

We back-track about 6 miles on Trashigang-Mongar Highway and then the road forks out to the north, leading us to Trashiyangtse. We stop on the way to visit Gomphu Kora, an extraordinarily picturesque temple, surrounded by terraced rice fields, where the Guru Rinpoche meditated and left a body impression on the rock. A few miles past Gomphu Kora is Duksum, a small weaver's town where you will find a fair amount of weavers producing some lovely work. At Trashiyangtse, you will visit the Dzong and Chorten Kora; a large white stupa patterned after Boudhanath Stupa of Kathmandu.

If you missed the National Institute for Zorig Chusum in Thimphu, you would have an opportunity to visit its branch in Trashiyangtse.

Late afternoon, retrace our drive back to our hotel in Trashigang.

Overnight: Druk Deothjung Resort
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 13~Border town of Samdrup Jongkhar via Khaling.

(6-7 hrs. drive, 180km/120miles, Altitude 450m/1440 ft.)

The road winds down to the Samdrup Jongkhar which is the southeastern border town of India. At Kanglung (13 miles from Trashigang, 45 minutes), you may want to stop to visit the Sherubtse College which was the only college in Bhutan in the 70s. The road then climbs through fields of corn, potatoes, it crosses Yongphula pass (2190m/7184 ft.) offering the last glimpse of the Himalayas, and then enters the broad valley of Khaling. Here you will stop to visit the National Institute for the Disabled.

Further, 2 miles down is National Hand-loom Development Project which is one of several royal government initiatives to stimulate weaving as a national art and a source of livelihood for women. Wild silk yarn imported from Assam is dyed with vegetable colors and synthetic dyes. Khaling silk is sought after by Thimphu women for their own weaving. From here, it's a further 3-4 hrs. drive and there are a few small temples and villages but not largely significant.

Upon arrival in the town, check into the hotel and take rest for the day. Samdrup Jongkhar is largely a frontier town and has very little cultural importance.

 

Overnight: Hotel Menjong
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 14~Exit Bhutan

You bid farewell to the Bhutanese driver as you do this portion of the drive by Indian taxi. Taxi fare is not included in the trip, but your guide will help you negotiate with a local provider. It will take almost two hours to get to the airport. From Guwahati, you can fly to Kolkata or New Delhi or any other major cities in India.

Meals : Breakfast

Trip Map

Trip Info

Trip Includes

  • Three-star hotel accommodation in the cities and best available guesthouses where choices are limited.
  • English speaking certified guide.
  • All transfers and sightseeing by a private vehicle.
  • Three meals a day.
  • Bhutan visa.
  • All sightseeing admission fees as per itinerary.
  • Service of airfare reservation.

Trip Does Not Include

  • All international airfares arrival and return to the gateway city.
  • Travel Insurance.
  • Drinks, tipping, telephone, internet, laundry, etc. and other personal expenses.
  • Extra expenses or loss due to nature or unforeseen events such as flight cancellation, road blockade, no show, emergency evacuation, etc.
  • Taxi from Bhutan border to Guwahati.

Trip Difficulty Level, Road, and Transport

Any travelers with an average health condition can participate in this adventure. Road conditions vary; some parts may be under paved or damaged by the monsoon rain. There may also be repair works along the way that can cause travel delays. 

You attain the highest altitude at Chelela (3810m, 12,497 ft.) but you will sleep in lower elevations, so you are less likely of getting sick. The trip features some walking and hiking day trips, but they are optional. You can opt to stay back with the driver.   

We use good conditioned Japanese or Korean SUVs, minivan, or minibusses depending on the group size.

Accommodations

The suggested hotels in the itinerary are 3-star properties (by local standard) and the best available where choices are limited. You will have an en-suite bathroom with running hot and cold water. The hotels are usually small properties, built in the local architectural style and ensure adequate amenities and facilities. As you enter eastern Bhutan, you will start seeing the accommodation standard and service level falling. There may be a disparity in rooms, and sometimes, members of the same group may be assigned different types of room. Hair dryers, iron, and ironing boards may not be available in some hotels. You will have to be prepared to adjust your normal routine and mentally be okay with things that may not work or be available when you want them to.

As there are limited hotels in Bhutan, the hotels listed in the itinerary are suggestions only. There will be massive demand for accommodations during the fall and spring and especially around the major festivals that draw a large number of tourists.  If suggested hotels are not available, we will book the best possible alternative in that price category. 

Meals

The trip features 3-meals a day, and you will eat most meals at your hotel. On a road trip, we will have meal stops on the road-side restaurants, and during the day hike, your guide will arrange a picnic lunch for you. Meals are usually served in buffet style and include rice dishes, vegetables, noodles, bread and one or two meat dishes. The hotels don't offer a la carte unless you have a particular dietary requirement. Beware: traditional Bhutanese food always features chilies, and the most popular dish is ema datshi made with large, green hot chilies in a cheese sauce.

Guides

The guides are college educated locals, proficient in English and trained and licensed by the local tourism authorities. Most importantly they are friendly and committed to delivering the best services. They are always willing to show you the wonders that you may never have been able to find on your own. Every evening, your guide will advise you of the following day's schedule. Your guide may adjust the itinerary to adapt your pace and interest.

International and Internal Airfares

Only two airlines are serving Bhutan-Druk Air and Bhutan Airlines, and they are partners to none of the major international airlines. They serve only regional cities such as Bangkok, Delhi, Kathmandu, etc. They also fly to Singapore, Mumbai, Kolkatta, and Guwahati but offer limited services.

Most flights to Bhutan go from Bangkok, Delhi, and Kathmandu. So, choose one of these cities as your gateway and plan to stay there one night or more if you wish, at both the ends of the trip. We will book the onward ticket for you or direct you to the airline website.

Passport and Visa

Your passport must be valid for at least six months at the time of travel and there should be enough blank pages for the entry and exit seals. Suggested: minimum of two blank visa pages for each country you stop during this trip.

We will apply for Bhutan visa for you and email you the clearance about three weeks before the trip date. You need to produce it when you check in flight for Bhutan and again at Paro airport immigration, upon arrival. 

Best time for this trip:

Undoubtedly, the fall season ( October and November) is the best time for this trip when you have mild weather, clear skies, and lush valleys. The spring season ( March through May) is also a good season as the weather is still pleasant and the plus point is that the rhododendron and  other wildflowers come in bloom in spring. You can also travel in winter when the weather is dry, but it will be cold at night, temperature falling below freezing point at night.  The monsoon rain starts from mid-June and can continue till mid-September that can cause mud-slides, temporarily blocking the road. So, it's not very smart to take this trip during the monsoon season.

Note on Itinerary

Although Far & High will do our very best to adhere to the itinerary schedule as listed; it is subject to change for numerous reasons beyond our control such as weather, road conditions, flight delays, etc. The sights and activities listed in the itinerary indicate the scope of activities and opportunities during the trip, rather than an inflexible schedule of events. Itinerary order might change depending on the local conditions, time availability, your pace and interests. 

Booking/Deposit.

As there are limited flights and hotel options in Bhutan, we recommend an early reservation to ensure the desired flights and hotels.  We request an initial deposit of US$ 300 along with a completed trip booking form and a passport scan.

The second payment will be for the internal airfare. Once we receive your booking, we book your in-tour flights and advise you the cost and deadline.

Balance Payment.

The balance and final payment is due ninety days prior departure. The payment schedule may vary with customized and private trips on case to case basis. Balance payment by credit card attracts an additional 3.5% fee.

Cancellation and refund

Things always don't happen as planned and sometimes, there may be a situation when you have to withdraw from the trip. Soon you know, you can not go, don't delay in sending a notice by email or fax. Far & High's cancellation policies are as following:

  • Ninety days before departure: US$ 150 (Administrative Fee).
  • 60-89 day's before departure: US$ 250 or 25% of the land cost whichever is higher.
  • Forty-five days to 59 days before departure: US$ 450 or 50% of the land cost whichever is higher.
  • Thirty days to 44 days before departure: US$ 600 or 75% of the land cost whichever is higher.
  • Less than 30 days: 100%.

Travel Protection Plan

While we plan and do our best to make your trip smooth and seamless, there may be chances of unforeseen events and conditions such as illness, accident, inclement weather, flight cancellation or missed connection, or loss of baggage etc. that may cause interruption or delay or total cancellation of your trip putting your hard earned travel investment in jeopardy. It’s also possible that you may need medical assistance, emergency evacuation or medical transportation when you get ill or involve in an accident when you are traveling in remote areas. Far & High’s tour cost does not cover any of these expenses or losses, and so we strongly recommend you that you should protect yourself and your travel investment against any unfavorable conditions.

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(Formerly Highland Asia Travel)

United States

8030 Old Cedar Ave S, Suite 123
Minneapolis, MN 55425
Tel: 1 612 605 4428
Fax: 612 807 1137

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Kapoordhara, Samakhusi, Kathmandu
Tel (977 1) 4351780, 4381823
Fax +977-1-4381369

Bhutan

KMT Building, Nordzin Lam, Thimphu
Tel (975-2) -329098 / +975-77204087
Fax (+975) 2 337004

Tibet

B5-1-2, B3 dong, Renchen garden,
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