Truly Bhutan

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10 Days

Six Senses Bhutan

It is an extensive luxurious touring major Bhutanese cities that house wonderful heritage sites and ancient monuments as well as the diverse floral and faunal lives demonstrating the rich Bhutanese culture, tradition, and nature. The tour allows you to peep into the detailed culture and lifestyle of Bhutan, which in itself is a unique and fascinating experience for western travelers. The ride from one town to the next is itself another delightful aspect of the tour catering to the best of Bhutanese landscapes and rural culture as well. Join our trip to Bhutan and witness the whole of Six Senses in Bhutan.

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Detailed Program

The flight into Paro is a befitting introduction to the spectacular beauty of our country. In clear weather, magnificent views of the world’s highest peaks give way to the lush green Paro valley as you land. The first gift from Bhutan will be the cool, clean fresh air as you step out of the plane. After clearing customs and visa control you will be briefed by our Host and transferred to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. We then depart for Thimphu, the modern capital of Bhutan. The drive will take around 1.5hours. Thimphu has a population of about 100,000. The town is made up of just three lines of shops and is the only capital in the world without traffic lights. In the evening, we will visit the Handicrafts Emporium, where all types of Bhutanese handicrafts are made and sold, overnight at Six Senses Thimphu.

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Morning Visit the Memorial Chorten, a huge stupa built in memory of the third King who reined from 1952-1972. Visit the National Library where ancient manuscripts are preserved. Visit the Painting School where traditional art is still preserved. Artists are taught to paint Thankas here (sacred Buddhist scroll). Visit the Weekend market where vendors from throughout the region arrive on Friday afternoon and remain till Sunday. Here you will find indigenous goods, handicrafts, locally produced goods, etc.

Afternoon: Visit Simtokha Dzong. This is the oldest fortress in Bhutan, built in 1629 A.D. by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. It also houses the largest monastic schools in the country. Visit Tashichho Dzong – the main secretariat building. It is from here that the King and other prominent civil servants run the country. The Head Abbot and the central monastic body also reside here during the summer. Visit Pangri Zampa Monastery, situated just beyond Dechenchholing Palace (5 km. from Thimphu). This temple was the first residence of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal when he arrived in Bhutan in 1616 A.D. Ngawang Chogyel, the great ancestor of the Zhabdrung, built it during the first quarter of the 16th century. Overnight at Six Senses Thimphu.

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After breakfast transfer to Wangdue. En-route stops at Dochula Pass (3150 m), 30 km from Thimphu, for tea and biscuits and to enjoy a view of the Eastern Himalayan Mountains. From Dochula to Wangdue, it’s another two hours drive. Wangdue Phodrang Dzong is perched on a spur at the confluence of 02 rivers. The position of the Dzong is remarkable as it completely covers the spur and commands an impressive view over both the north-south and east-west roads. The main road climbs the length of the spur and on the left, across the river, comes the first glimpse of the picturesque village of Richengang whose inhabitants are celebrated stonemasons. After lunch in Lobesa, visit the Punakha Dzong. This is the winter residence of Bhutan’s spiritual leader, the Head Abbot, and the Central Monastic Body. The Dzong is built between two rivers known as “Phochu” (Male River) and “Mochu” (Female River). Check into Hotel. Dinner and stay overnight at Six Senses Punakha.

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Today early morning we depart for central Bhutan through the tropical vegetation to Nobding. Throughout your trip, you will come across the beautiful sceneries of rural Bhutan, with scattered settlements far from the road. We drive about an hour towards Pelela pass (11,000ft) and retrace our Steps and take a road that heads to Gangtey Gompa over Tashi La pass. Descend about an hour to Phobjikha Valley. It is a wide-open valley, where Gangtey Gompa is ideally located on a hill overlooking the valley. It is the winter habitat for the Black-necked cranes migrating from Tibet from early November to mid-March. Gangtey Gompa is an institute for monks following the Nyingmapa sect in the country. After visiting the monastery we drive back over the Pelela pass. Descend through the open meadows and valley of yak herders and several villages via Chendebji Chorten built in a form of Nepalese style in the 15th century. Picnic lunch will be served en Enroute or at the restaurant at Chendebji. We drive for another 2 hours passing through several villages like Tshangkha, and Tashi Choling. En route stop at the viewpoint of Trongsa Dzong. Continue drive to Bumthang. Dinner and stay overnight at Six Senses  Bumthang.

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This is one of the most spectacular valleys in Bhutan and also the heartland of Buddhism. The Guru and his lineage of Tertons (treasure finders) have led to the sprouting of many temples in the valley. In the morning we hike to visit the Tamshing Monastery (one of the oldest monastic schools built by Terton Pema Lingpa) and Kurjey Lhakhang (where the Guru Rinpoche subdued a local demon and left his body imprint on a rock). We also visit Jambay Lhakhang (one of the oldest temples in Bhutan built in the 7th century) and Jakar Dzong (seat of the district administration). In the afternoon, hike to Thangbi valley across the suspension bridge and visit the Thangbi Lhakhang built in the 14th century, Dinner and overnight at Six Senses Bumthang.

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This morning we take a short time to stroll around the town and later start for a long drive to Punakha (210km, Approx. 7 hrs). This is a scenic drive, passing many small villages, and waterfalls with spectacular landscapes, crossing Black mountains, the ever-changing vegetation, and finally arriving in the warm valley of Punakha. As the valley is at a lower elevation of about 1250m (4100 ft.) above sea level, it enjoys a subtropical climate with warm summers and pleasant winters. Overnight at Six Senses Punakha.

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Depart Punakha early morning for your transfer westwards to the Paro Valley, once again traversing Dochu La, and arriving in Paro town in time for a late lunch. This afternoon enjoys an orientation tour of the major features in Paro town including Paro Dzong with its cantilever bridge; Kyichu Lhakhang – one of Bhutan’s oldest and most beautiful temples boasting an orange tree that perpetually bears fruit; and the old ruined fortress of the Drukgyel Dzong (14km from Paro). This is the historical site of the Fort of Drukpa Victory, from which the Bhutanese used to repel the Tibetan invaders again and again. On a clear day, views of the 7314-meter snow-domed peak of sacred Mt Jomolhari can be seen. Overnight at Six Senses Paro.

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The drive from Paro to Haa Valley across Chelela Pass is spectacularly scenic. If the weather is clear, you can see a clear view of snow-capped Mount Jomolhari (the second high wet peak in Bhutan) and Jichu Drake as well as other Bhutanese Himalayan Peaks. You can also encounter some wind animals and pheasants on the road.

Haa Valley is very unique and totally different from other places in Bhutan. Since it is located very near to the Tibetan-Chinese Border, it was opened to tourists very recently. Enjoy your sightseeing in and around Haa Valley and Return to Paro for Overnight at Six Senses Paro.

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Morning hike to Taktsang Temple, Taktsang, meaning “Tiger’s nest,” is built in the 8th century and around a cave in which Guru Rimpoche (Padmasambhava/Second Buddha) mediated, clings seemingly impossible to a cliff of rock at 3,000 feet above the valley floor. For the local people, it is a place of pilgrimage, but for a tourist, a hike up to the viewpoint opposite the monastery is exhausting, thrilling, and mystical.

The legend has it that Guru Rimpoche is said to have flown to the site of the monastery on the back of a tigress from the Eastern part of Bhutan that is Lhuentse, particularly from the Singye Dzong, and meditated in the cave for three months and subdue the evil spirits and also turn Paro valley, one of the oldest valleys to received the Buddhism in Bhutan. Overnight Six Senses Paro.

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After breakfast, Transfer to Paro Airport, complete your departure formalities and fly to your destination.

Frequently Asked Questions

Every district in Bhutan has a general hospital, however modern facilities and pharmacies may be found primarily in Thimphu. Bring any required medications, such as sleeping pills (high altitude can make sleeping difficult), anti-nausea pills, anti-diarrhea pills, water purification tablets (if walking), oral rehydration packets, eye drops, antibiotic ointment, and antihistamine ointment. Every District has hospitals that are staffed by skilled doctors and provide basic services.

Bhutan’s official currency is the Ngultrum (Nu). 1 Nu = 100 Chetrum The current exchange rate is around $1US = 80 Nu (subject to change). You can see the current exchange rates here. Indian rupees are traded at par. Most hotels, the currency exchange counter at Paro International Airport, and the Thimphu branch of the Bhutan National Bank accept US dollars as well as credit cards or cash traveler’s cheques if you plan to make a substantial purchase of things such as textiles or artwork. Because your vacation to Bhutan is completely paid for, you shouldn’t need much money other from beverages, laundry, souvenirs, and gratuities.

Bhutan’s banks accept the following currencies:

  • US dollar
  • Euro
  • British pound sterling
  • Canadian currency
  • Singaporean dollar
  • Hong Kong dollar
  • The Australian dollar
  • The Japanese yen
  • The Swiss franc
  • Norwegian Kroner
  • Danish Kroner
  • Swedish Kroner 

If you want to make a substantial purchase of textiles or artwork, most establishments that sell these products accept both US cash and credit cards (other than limited Handicraft stores and large Thimphu hotels, credit card acceptance is very limited). VISA is the most generally recognized credit card.

You may snap photographs almost anywhere, and locals love to pose for them, but it is better to seek permission beforehand. Many individuals will offer you their address after you snap a photograph so that you may send them a copy of the photo. To be safe, consult with your tour guide before snapping photographs in museums or public buildings. Some locations prohibit photography for religious and security concerns. It is suggested that you carry sufficient of film, memory cards, and batteries, as photo shops in Bhutan do not offer high-quality equipment or supplies.

When moving to higher heights, a shortage of oxygen causes acute mountain sickness. This is most common in those who have not had time to adapt to an altitude of more than 7,000 feet (2,100 m) before participating in strenuous activity. Individual tolerance varies, but symptoms normally manifest within a few hours, with individuals in low physical condition being the most vulnerable. Initial symptoms include headache, tiredness, and shortness of breath, nausea, and loss of appetite. Sleep deprivation is another common complaint. Thinking and judgment may be compromised in more severe situations. High altitude pulmonary edema, caused by fluid build-up in the lungs, is a rare but potentially lethal condition.

  • Inclusions
  • Exclusions
  • Insurance
  • Airport pick-up and drop-off by private vehicle.
  • Accommodation in Six Senses across Bhutan.
  • Bhutan visa fee – including all necessary processing.
  • Route/Trekking Permit.
  • Three meals per day during your stay in Bhutan.
  • A licensed Bhutanese tour guide/host.
  • All land transportation by private vehicle.
  • Camping equipment and haulage for trekking tours.
  • Sightseeing as per itinerary.
  • Monuments entrance fees where applicable.
  • Drinking water.
  • All internal taxes and charges.
  • A sustainable development fee of $200. (This sustainable development fee goes towards free education, free healthcare, and poverty alleviation, along with the building of infrastructure.)
  • Airfare & Travel Insurance
  • Expenses of personal nature, Tips to guides and drivers
  • Expenses occurred due to unavoidable events i.e. road wrecks, flight delays etc.

Package does not include insurance of any kinds, and that you are required to obtain separate coverage from your home country before your trip begins.

Our Host

Bhutan is one of the most unusual and beautiful countries in the world. You’ll find a land that is blessed with abundance, a deep connection to the past, and a culture that is unique. Truly Bhutan’s Host is second to none. Handpicked, highly experienced, and scrupulously trained, they bring a wealth of skill and knowledge to each trip. They are fun and friendly, whose aim is to ensure that each trip remains an unforgettable experience. Creating colorful, discovery-oriented tours in a combination of safety and comfort is the mission of our guides. All Host have earned the tour guide’s certificate from the Tourism Council of Bhutan.

Sonam Wangchuk

Sonam Wangchuk | Culture Expert

Dechen Dema

Dechen Dema | Culture & Trekking Expert

host

Pelden Dorji | Culture & Trekking Expert

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