This tour is supposed to unfold the unique beauty of Thailand and Bhutan, gleaming temples and the magnificent Grand Palace with one of our specially picked sight-seeing tours. From the city’s most splendid temples to its evocative floating markets, Bangkok overloads the senses. Streets are crowded motorized tri-shaws or local way calling tuk-tuks and the occasional elephant weaving through congested traffic. Entire families pile onto motorbikes while monks clad in bright orange robes patiently make their way through the crowds.
After the Thailand part, you embark on an flight that brings you to Paro international airport in the tiny Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan where you will feel time has moved back and find the gross happines – the land of happiness. Explore the pastoral back roads of Bhutan, a true bastion of tradition in an uncertain world, where you find an independent people who have not rejected their ancient spiritual heritage for modern ways. You’ll visit the Shangri-La setting of the Paro Valley, the central Bhutanese town of Punakha, with its huge, spectacular monastery set by the river, and the capital city of Thimphu.
Arrive in Bangkok. Bangkok has so much to offer those with time to explore, so perhaps arrive a day or so early and take a riverboat to Chinatown and explore the crowded streets, uncover the magnificent Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, pay a visit to Wat Pho (home to the country's largest reclining Buddha), wander down the tourist mecca of Khao San Road, or indulge in some Thai massage.
Indulge Bangkok’s eating experiences with lunch at a Thai restaurant, or if feeling adventurous some delicious street food. Once refueled, get refreshed with an afternoon shopping for designer labels and discount bargains in air-conditioned Shopping Malls like Siam Paragon, Central World or MBK.
At night culture vultures take in an enriching spectacle like Siam Niramit, which packs all the history and grandeur of Siam into a spectacular stage show. If these sound too civilized, go discover why ‘one night in Bangkok makes a hard man humble’: peep through the curtains of Patpong market’s go-go bars while shopping for counterfeits, meet flamboyant boy-meets-girl creations at a Ladyboy Show, or check out just how a Thai Boxing match can be!
Grand Palace, Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Wat Pho...
- Shanghai Mansion Bangkok
- Dream Bangkok
Your second day in Bangkok (or Krung Thep as local speak) is fulfilled with another bout of city sightseeing. Firstly we visit the Jim Thompson’s House, then gain insight into Thailand’s artistic and cultural heritage, one of many fascinating museums. Float on the canals route or Khlongs Tour, you will understand why Bangkok used to be known as the ‘Venice of the East’.
In the afternoon, we go for high-tea at one of the riverside’s five-star hotels, Mandarin Oriental. Radiating colonial charm, the hotel’s author lounge is the place to nibble cucumber sandwiches while admiring the Chao Phraya Rivers beautiful bustle. Maintain the river theme by ending your day with a sunset dinner cruises past Wat Arun, one of the many exquisite religious and royal sights strewn along the ‘River of Kings’.
Jim Thompson's House, Khlongs Tour, Sunset dinner cruises past Wat Arun
Dedicate your third day to more than inner city sights, to exploring Bangkok’s hidden secrets and beyond…
A day-trip to the ruins of Ayutthaya, the ancient Siamese capital destroyed by the Burmese, is highly recommended. Embark a cruise tour and enjoy the scenery as you glide back into Bangkok and the modern age. If that doesn’t appeal, try Khao Yai National Park, Kanchanaburi’s famous River Kwai, or the picturesque Floating Market. Another option is a family outing to Samphan Elephant Zoo, Safari World or the world’s biggest Crocodile Farm.
Spend the rest of the afternoon getting pummeled and preened at one of Bangkok’s heavenly city or hotel spas.
Ayutthaya ruins, Floating market, Crocodile farm
Spend the last day in Bangkok at leisure. You could consider doing some last gasp shopping at the world-famous and mammoth Chatuchak Weekend Market, home of last minute souvenirs, entire new wardrobe and endless funky knick-knacks. Kids won’t appreciate just how hot and heaving it can be, so take them to see the monkeys at Dusit Zoo or Manta-Rays in Siam Ocean World. Cinemas, bowling and karaoke are also great family options, and a given at every mall.
For a last night to remember, go party in the hip haunts of nightlife districts Silom, RCA or Sukhumvit (try Bed Supper Club for the ultimate space-age clubbing experience).
Board an very early flight to Bhutan. After immigration and custom formalities, you are met and transferred to Paro, where you can eat lunch in a local tourist restaurant. Laid back then visit the National Musuem of Paro, before driving to Thimphu, which takes about 1.5hrs. Take rest in the hotel.
Bhutan National Museum
- Kisa Thimphu Hotel
- Hotel Thimphu Towers
The sightseeing today includes a visit to National Library, the priceless collection of Buddhist manuscripts and few English version books; Folk and Heritage Museum, which displays day to day livelihood of typical Bhutanese farmers in medieval period and their accessories; Late King’s Memorial Stupa, built for the world peace and Traditional Handmade Paper Factory; Painting School, which preserves our traditional paintings, sculpturing and wood curving; Majestic Tashichho dzong, which houses office for the king and the ministers and National Handicraft Emporium, the best place to look for souvenir from Bhutan. In the evening, enjoy a free walk in Thimphu City.
National Library, Folk and Heritage Museum, Tashichho Dzong
After breakfast, we proceed to Punakha across Dochu La pass (3,100m). The pass offers the most spectacular view over the greater eastern Himalayas including highest peak of Bhutan. Enroute make short excursion about an hour to the temple of divine madman, also well known as the temple of fertility. It is fascinating to walk through villages and the rice fields.
Arrive in Punakha, the capital city of Bhutan till 1955 and still the Je Khenpo, the Chief of Abbot resides there during the winter season. After lunch visit Punakha Dzong built by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel in 1638 and situated at the junction of Pho Chu and Mo Chu Rivers. In the evening, enjoy a scenery drive back to Thimphu. Overnight in Thimphu.
Dochu La pass, Punakha Dzong
Return to Paro to begin your most highlight of the trip, a trek to Takstang (Tiger’s Nest) monastery, Bhutan’s most famous sight. A proper trekking boot or good walking shoes is necessary for this hike. Your guide can arrange pony/horse for ride uphill till the cafeteria, but one must be able to walk after that. Those who choose not to hike can stay back with the driver and tour around Paro.
Venerated and famous Taktshang or ‘Tiger’s Nest’ as it is often referred to for Taktshang Pelphung monastery, is located on the face of a 900m sheer cliff, accessible only by walk or to ride mules/pony. Taktshang was rebuilt by population of village of Tsento. Again in April of 1998, a major fire destroyed the main structure of the building and its contents (some believe it to be arson). Reconstruction began in 2000 and was completed and consecrated after extensive efforts and financial support of Governments as well as donors. Overnight in Paro.
Taktsang Monastery, Kyichu Lhakhang
- Metta Resort & Spa
- Bhutan Mandala Hotel
After breakfast drive back to Paro airport and connect your onward flight.
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