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  • The Cloud Kingdom

    Add a little bit of indulgence to your exploration of Bhutan’s western valleys. Spend your days exploring the historical, cultural and scenic splendours of Paro, Thimphu and Punakha by luxury 4WD in the capable hands of our most experienced guide and driver. In the evenings you will return to your boutique accommodations with options including Taj Tashi, Amankora, Uma Paro, Uma Punakha and ZhiwaLing to experience their first class service and luxurious facilties including massage, spa, wellbeing therapies, pool and fine dining. We can organise a range of add-on experiences to really create a tour to remember such as a private dinner and culture show, a tradtional private tented lunch, and an audience with a Rinpoche (if available). All of these options can easily be tailored to suit your level of luxury.


    HIGHLIGHTS & INCLUDE

    "The Cloud Kingdom" Luxury Tour adds a little bit of indulgence to your exploration of Bhutan’s western valleys. Spend your days exploring Bhutan’s historical, cultural and scenic splendours by luxury 4WD before returning to your boutique accommodations to experience first class service and luxury facilties including massage, spa, wellbeing therapies, pool and fine dining.

    • Stay in a boutique range of luxurious resorts and lodges offering every modern comfort.
    • Discover some of the most sacred Buddhist monasteries and temples in the Himalaya.
    • Indulge in a range of holistic therapies including Ayurveda, massage and facials and meditation.
    • Visit many cultural attractions including medieval fortresses (Dzongs), markets and museums.
    • Enjoy 5 star cuisine, including an opportunity to sample some of Bhutan’s fiery Chilli dishes.
    • Hike up to the famous Taktsang Monastery, perched on a cliff 900m above the valley floor.
    • Marvel at the elaborate and ancient wall paintings and carvings in Dzongs and temples.
    • Traverse beautiful landscapes from lush valleys to dense forests.
    • Incorporate a Value-Added Option such as a cooking lesson or meditation session with a monk.

    DETAILED PROGRAM

    Day 1

    The flight to Paro is one of the most spectacular mountain flights in the world, with a constantly changing panorama of some of the highest mountains on earth. This beautiful valley is home to many of Bhutan’s oldest monasteries and temples, and the country’s only International airport. After being welcomed with “Khadar” (traditional scarf), ourrepresentative will provide you with the necessary assistance for completion of all immigration and customs formalities.

    After lunch enjoy afternoon sightseeing around Paro transported by luxury 4WD, including a visit to the Ta Dzong Museum housing many religious relics, works of art and handicrafts offering a great orientation into Bhutan’s historical, cultural, and religious past. Next, visit the Rinpung Dzong to see the painting of the great saint Milarepa, considered as the master of meditation by the Bhutanese and believed to have attained enlightenment in a lifetime. Dzong’s are large monasteries and district administrative centres, which were once strategic forts. Afterwards, drive to the capital, Thimphu (1.5 hours) following the Pachu River. On arrival check into your luxury accommodation. Before dinner there will be an orientation on Bhutanese etiquette by your guide. Overnight in Thimphu.

     Paro Ta Dzong Museum, Rinpung Dzong

    Recommended Thimphu Luxury Hotels:

    - Taj Tashi Bhutan Hotel
    - Le Meridien Thimphu


    Day 2

    Once a rustic village sitting in a broad, fertile river valley, Thimphu is today the nation’s bustling capital. Enjoy a full day of sightseeing, including a visit to the National Memorial Chorten, completed by the Royal Queen Mother as a memorial stupa for the Third King who passed away in 1972. Continue on to 12th century Changangkha Temple and the Zilukha Nunnery.Visit the School for Arts and Crafts, The National Library housing the collection of Bhutanese scriptures dating back to the 8th century, the Traditional Paper Factory and a fascinating replica of a medieval farmhouse at the Folk Heritage Museum.

    If there is time, you may visit the nursing pen for the Takin, the national animal of Bhutan, and Tashichho Dzong, ‘the fortress of the glorious religion’ housing some ministries, His Majesty’s secretariat, and the central monk body. Other options for the day include a hike to Tango and Cheri Monasteries (45 mins), two of the most ancient monasteries in the Thimphu region or a hike to Phajoding Monastery providing a splendid view of the valley. Return to Thimphu for dinner and overnight.

    If your visit to Thimphu coincides with the weekend, you can walk through the Thimphu Market (Open only from Friday until mid Sunday).

     School for Arts and Crafts, The National Library, Folk Heritage Museum, Tashichho Dzong...


    Day 3

    Drive by luxury 4WD over the Dochu-La pass (3,100 meters), which on a clear day offers an incredible view of Himalayan peaks before descending into balmy Punakha valley (about 3 hrs total driving time). The drive through the countryside affords a glimpse of everyday life in this most remote of Himalayan kingdoms. In the Dochu-La area there are vast Rhododendron forests that grow to tree size and bloom in late April/early May covering the mountains in a riot of glorious spring colour.

    Punakha was the ancient capital of Bhutan. On arrival, visit Punakha Dzong, the “Palace of Great Happiness” built in 1637 by the Shabdrung, the ‘Unifier of Bhutan’ as predicted by the great Guru Rimpoche (Padmasambhava). It is the winter headquarters of the Je Khenpo and hundreds of monks who move en masse from Thimphu to this warmer location. The three story main temple of the Punakha Dzong is a breathtaking example of traditional architecture with four intricately embossed entrance pillars crafted from cypress and decorated in gold and silver. It was here in 1907 that Bhutan’s first king was crowned.

     Dochu La pass, Punakha Dzong

    Recommended Luxury Hotels in Punakha:

    - Uma Punakha Hotel
    - Amankora Punakha Resort


    Day 4

    In the morning drive or walk to Yabesa village and hike to through ricefields and up to Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten, built by her majesty the queen Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuk. Perched high on a hill on the bank of the river, the Chorten houses paintings belonging to Nyingmapa Traditions.

    Enjoy a picnic lunch on a picturesque riverside before driving to explore Wangduephodrang Dzong. Built in 1639, the strategically located Dzong is perched on a spur at the confluence of two rivers. In the 17th century Wangduephodrang played a critical role in unifying the western, central and southern regions of the country.

    Afterwards drive back into the Punkha valley for a short walk to Chimi Lhakhang, temple of the Drukpa Kuenly who is also known as the Divine Madman. He inherited the Divine Madman title since he revolted against the orthodox Buddhism in his time. He taught the people that religion is an inner feeling and it’s not necessary that one should be an ordained monk. He is also considered a symbol of fertility and most childless couples go to his temple for blessing. Overnight in Punakha.

     Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten, Wangduephodrang Dzong, Chimi Lhakhang


    Day 5

    Drive back to Thimphu by luxury 4WD where you will have an opportunity to visit handicraft and souvenir stores. Afterwards proceed to Paro, visiting Simtokha Dzong en route. The Dzong, built in 1627, is the oldest in Bhutan. It now houses the Institute for Language and Culture studies. On arrival in Paro, check into your luxury accommodation.

    Enjoy an afternoon at leisure with the option of indulging in a Spa Treatment (subject to availability. Overnight in Paro.

     Simtokha Dzong

    Recommended Luxury Hotels in Paro:

    - Uma Paro Hotel
    - Le Meridien Hotel Paro


    Day 6

    After breakfast hike to Taktsang Monastery. The trail is broad and the walk of approximately 2 hours uphill takes you almost a kilometre above the Paro valley floor (for those who cannot hike we will arrange a horse for transfer up to the viewing point). The view of Taktsang Monastery built on a sheer cliff face 900 metres above the valley floor is a spectacular sight. The Monastery is also an important pilgrim site for the Buddhists. The great Guru Rimpoche is said to have flown here on the back of a tigress when he brought the teachings of the Buddhist Dharma to Bhutan in the 8th Century. He then mediated in a cave there for three months where the monastery was later built. Refreshments and lunch will be arranged in the tent specifically pitched on the path to Taktsang Monastery.

    On the return drive to Paro, visit 7th Century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples constructed by the Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo. Afternoon is at leisure with the option of resting in the beautiful surrounding grounds, or enjoying an optional Spa Treatment (subject to availability). Dinner in Paro.

     Taktsang Monastery (Tiger's Nest), Kyichu Lahkhang


    Day 7

    7 days tour will end today. After the breakfast, we will transfer you to the airport for your departure flight. Carry smile on your face, eyes with tears and memories unlimited. Tour staffs will bid you farewell at the airport departure gate with the quick prayer of save journey and to see you again in future.

     

     

    WHEN TO GO?

       MORE TOURS HERE


    Notes:

    • Prices are in USD, per person, based on two people traveling together and sharing a room. At Bhutan Senses Travel, we carefully select all hotels to ensure that your accommodations match our standards of trip and service excellence.
    • Prices include the following:
      . All hotel accommodation including all taxes and breakfast
      . Internal economy flights as stated with airport taxes
      . All transfers & sightseeing transportation in private vehicle
      . Private services of local guides
      . All special events & private tours, guest experts
      . All entrance fees into historical sights & museums
      . Drinking water and refreshing towels for touring
      . 24/7 support from the Bhutan Senses Travel Team

     

    Location
    Accommodation

    THIMPHU
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    Taj Tashi Bhutan Hotel

    • Five-star luxury awaits at Taj Tashi Bhutan, set in the heart of Bhutan’s Thimphu Valley. Featuring elaborate Bhutanese architecture, the hotel offers a fitness centre and luxurious spa. 4 dining options are provided in the hotel.
    • Taj Tashi Bhutan is 7 km from Buddha Point Thimphu. Paro International Airport is 60 km or an approximate 1-hour drive from the hotel.
    • Stylish rooms feature wooden décor, with select ones providing stunning views of Thimphu Valley. A flat-screen TV, minibar and tea/coffee-making facilities are provided. Suites offer walk-in closets and luxurious bathrooms with a standalone bathtub.
    • Guests can unwind in The Jiva Spa, featuring a spa menu of Indian healing therapies. A concierge desk and business centre are available to assist guests. Currency exchange and ticketing services are offered for convenience.
    • Chig-ja-gye and The Thongsel specialise in Bhutanese cuisine, while drinks are featured in Ara and Rimps. Room service is also available.

    PUNAKHA
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    Uma Punakha Hotel

    • COMO Hotels and Resorts has opened a beautiful new lodge in the magnificent Punakha Valley in western Bhutan.
    • The intimate 11-room Uma by COMO Punakha will offer a COMO Shambala Spa Retreat featuring 2 treatment rooms, one with a hot stone bath, and offering traditional Bhutanese therapies.
    • The hotel is situated on a hillside in the verdant Punakha Valley, a five-hour drive from the airport at Paro Valley, and just 3.5 hours from Thimphu, the Kingdom’s capital. Uma by COMO Punakha therefore offers an important luxury hotel option to this important cultural region.
    • Uma Punakha entraceThe lodge offers eleven rooms in total, including nine deluxe and two one-bedroom villas with interconnecting doors to one of the deluxe rooms, making them stand alone two-bedroom villas when required. Uma by COMO Punakha’s open plan restaurant and lounge bar will showcase the best local ingredients and Bhutanese delicacies alongside a varied international menu.

    PARO
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    Uma Paro Hotel

    • Located just 3 km from the Paro International Airport, Uma by COMO, Paro provides the facilities and benefits of an indoor pool, spa and fitness centre. It offers free WiFi.
    • Offering mountain view, the spacious and bright air-conditioned rooms have a flat-screen cable TV, DVD and CD player. They feature a sitting area, minibar and electric kettle. The attached bathrooms come with free toiletries, bath tub, a hairdryer and shower.
    • Uma by COMO, Paro is located just 3.7 km from the beautiful Paro Town and 14 km from the famous Taktsang Monastery.