Into Bhutan's Sacred Heart: an in-depth journey to the kingdom's cultural center



The Entrance to Central Bhutan's Tamshing Monastery

A Comprehensive Journey into Bhutan's Spiritual Heartland

~ 17 to 19 Days

We journey past a tableau of revered peaks in the Bhutan Himalayas, from the breathtaking valleys of Paro and Thimphu to the the Castle of the White Crane in the heart of the kingdom. Stopping at annual festivals that may coincide with our travels, we glimpse the timeless soul of Bhutan. After acclimating day hikes, including one to the famed Tiger's Nest Monastery, we discover exquisite temples, quiet villages and farms where we get a true taste of Bhutanese life. If you wish to combine your journey with a trek, we recommend the 5-day Dragon's Path Trek. Or, if you have more time, the 10-day In Goddess Jomo's Lap.

ITINERARY IN BRIEF

Days 1&2: Arrival at Paro, National Museum visit. Transfer to Wangdue Valley, with a stop at Dochula Pass to view the Greater Himalayas. Days 3 & 4: Transfer to the central valleys of Trongsa & Bumthang, with a stop near the Chendebji Stupa (right). Visit the Castle of White Crane and valley floor monasteries. Days 5& 6: Hike to the "Burning Lake" and Pema Ling Nunnery. Transfer to Wangdue with a stop at Chumey handloom centre to admire the region's vibrant wool weavings. Visit Trongsa Dzong. Days 7 & 8: Visit historic Punakha Dzong, and hike to Jigme Yueley Namgyal pagoda. Transfer to the capital with time for an early evening stroll downtown. Day 9: Attend performances at the Great Culmination Festival, or Drupchhen. Day 10: Excursion to Haa Valley and the Temple of White Doves. Days 11 & 12: Farm visit with a traditional meal and tea. Paro valley floor temple tour. Day 13: Attend the grand Thimphu tshechu festival honoring Padmasambhava, patron saint of the Himalayas. Day 14: Hike to Tango Buddhist College. Day 15: Return to tshechu festivities for the important closing performances. Day 16: Visit the colorful weekend Bazaar and textile museum, the folk heritage museum. Day 17: Relaxed exploration of Thimphu valley, with time for last minute shopping. Day 18: Hike to Tger's Nest Monastery. Day 19: Return Flight to Bangkok or another gateway city.

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