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Worldwide Small Group and Tailor Made Adventure Travel

What’s included

  • The services of Sue Lawty as trip leader
  • Local Bhutanese English-speaking guide and driver to accompany group throughout.
  • Economy class return air fares from the UK and UK departure tax (flight inclusive only)
  • Bhutan visa
  • All internal flights and domestic transfers
  • Group airport transfer for international flights
  • Good standard accommodation in Delhi and Bhutan, with meals as indicated in itinerary, on twin share basis
  • Meals as indicated in itinerary
  • All road transport by private vehicle
  • Free Mountain Kingdoms fleece
  • Opportunity to join one of our pre-trip meets in the Cotswolds

Weavers’ Trail, Bhutan

Walking & Trekking

Bhutan | Walking & Trekking

New for 2019
Weavers’ Trail, Bhutan
Gentle

Suitable for people who enjoy easy-paced walks or exploring the countryside on foot.

Find out more...

Grade: Gentle ? Gentle
Duration:  18 days from the UK

Flight inclusive from £4,300,
Land only from £3,650

Book now or call 01453 844400

Visit the weavers of Bhutan in the company of renowned textile artist Sue Lawty on a fascinating journey across the kingdom.

Highlights

  • Experience first-hand the unique textile traditions of Bhutan in the company of Sue Lawty, one of Britain’s foremost textile artists
  • Meet local weavers and learn about the rich Bhutanese culture of spinning and weaving
  • Visit small villages and stay in homestay accommodation to experience life with a Bhutanese family
  • See Bhutan’s cultural highlights, join the revelries at a colourful local festival and enjoy walks in the beautiful Bhutanese countryside

Reviews

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At the eastern end of the mighty Himalaya lies the tiny Buddhist kingdom of Bhutan. This traditional nation, without doubt, produces the finest woven fabrics to be found in the Himalayan region.

Weaving is an ancient art in Bhutan and its textiles are an integral part of its culture and heritage and are unique for their diversity and sophistication. With skills handed down from generation to generation and from family to family, weaving in Bhutan is today an art form that is representative of the very heart of the country.

Sue Lawty led our first ‘Weavers Trail’ in 1995 crossing the country from west to east. Our new 2019 itinerary starts in the more remote east and travels west, visiting on the way, among others, the raw silk ‘bura’ weavers in the remote village of Radi, the kishuthara weavers of Lhuntse district and Khoma village and the ‘yathra ‘ weavers of Bumthang. In addition you will be introduced to other regional traditions of silk, cotton, wool, yak and nettle weaving and further crafts such as pottery and paper making, woodcarving and painting and the making of wonderful baskets.

This unique trip has been designed to combine first hand experiences of weaving, visits to weavers in their own homes and to the important textiles centres of the kingdom. You will have opportunity to see all the processes involved in producing textiles, dyeing, spinning and weaving as well as the different uses for these textiles, such as in day to day wear of Bhutanese men and women and the rich textiles used for festival attire and religious costumes. This trip weaves together a colourful tapestry of textiles,  tradition, rich cultural heritage, warm and friendly people and stunning landscapes, as you gradually travel to reach the capital Thimpu and the Paro Valley.  In addition you will visit some of the most iconic temples, monasteries and dzongs of the kingdom, such as Tashigang Dzong and Taktsang Gompa and you will have the opportunity to take some lovely walks through beautiful countryside and to more isolated villages. An additional attraction of this fabulous trip is the opportunity to stay with local families in their homes on two homestay nights where you will eat with the family and learn about day to day life in rural Bhutan.


At a glance

Grade: Gentle
Gentle

Duration:  18 days from the UK

Max. Altitude: 3,750m/12,303ft, Thrumshingla Pass, Day 10

Guaranteed to run for a minimum of 4 clients

Maximum group size: 12

Land only joining city: Delhi

Accommodation types: Hotels, Homestays

Meal arrangements: As indicated in itinerary. 16 breakfasts, 14 lunches, 14 dinners.

Itinerary overview
Day Activity
1-3
Fly to Delhi and Gauhati. Drive to Samdrup Jongkhar.
4
Drive to Tashigang with visit to Khaling weavers centre en route.
5
Visit Tashigang town and dzong. Walk from Tashigang to Kapti. Visit Radi village and Ranjung Gompa.
6
Drive to Mongar with visit to Damatse Gompa. Walk through Mongar market.
7
Drive to Tangmachu and visit Guru Rimpoche statue. Walk to Lhuntse Dzong with visits to weavers.
8
Walk to Khoma weaving village and the weavers of Gonpa Karpo.
9
Return drive to Mongar and walk to Pangchula Gompa.
10
Full day drive to Bumthang Valley, visiting Ura village and Burning Lake on the way.
11
Visit Tamshing Phala Chhoepa Festival and walk to temples.
12
Drive to Chumey. Visit temples and weavers of Chumey valley. Visit weaving workshop at Zugney.
13-14
Fly to Paro. Sightseeing in Paro Valley and drive to Thimphu.
15
Cultural sightseeing in Thimphu and visit textile museum and paper factory. Return to Paro.
16
Walk to Taktsang Temple.
17-18
Fly to Delhi. Fly to the UK
Leader: Sue Lawty
Sue Lawty

Sue is an accomplished mountain trekker, fell runner and fine artist; and has been a trek leader for us since 1995. She held a year long Residency at the V&A in London, and has been awarded prestigious Artist Research Fellowships at both the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Washington DC and the Faculty of the Environment, University of Leeds. The book 'Earth Materials' was recently published about her work. Trekking journeys include the Alps, Africa, Kashmir, Tasmania, Morocco and New Zealand plus Mustang & Naar-Phu in Nepal. With Mountain Kingdoms she has led numerous successful trips to Bhutan, Dolpo and Zanskar.


Weavers’ Trail, Bhutan Itinerary

  1. Day 1 - Fly London To Delhi

    Fly overnight from London to Delhi.

    Overnight iconOvernight: In flight
  2. Day 2 - Arrive Delhi. Group transfer to hotel.

    On arrival in Delhi you will be transferred to the Hotel Holiday Inn, a pleasant hotel located not far from Delhi airport. In the afternoon, if your flight schedule allows, you will have a sightseeing tour to visit Qutab Minar, a complex of Islamic buildings from the 14th century, featuring an iconic red sandstone tower and an iron pillar over seven metres high, which is considered one of the world's metallurgical curiosities.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Holiday Inn New Delhi International Airport, Delhi
  3. Day 3 - Fly to Gauhati. Drive to Samdrup Jongkhar - 110km, 3 hours.

    After breakfast at the hotel you will be transferred to the airport to catch your domestic flight to Gauhati in Assam state. You will be met on arrival and then drive to the Bhutanese border at Samdrup Jongkhar. You drive out of Gauhati city crossing the mighty Brahmaputra River and then through the tea plantations of Assam and across flat plains to reach the border. You will complete border formalities and on the Bhutanese side you will be met by your Bhutanese guide and driver who will drive you to your hotel for the night. Samdrup Jongkhar is located at the very foot of the Bhutanese foothills and is quite subtropical. It is a bustling little town with shopkeepers and hawkers coming over the border with Assam to trade and sell their wares.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Hotel Tashi Gasel or Hotel Mountain or Similar, Samdrup Jonkhar
  4. Day 4 - Drive to Tashigang - 180km, 7-8 hours. Visit to Khaling weavers’ centre en route.

    You will have breakfast at your hotel and then begin the drive north into the mountains. As you wind your way up there are wonderful views of forested hills and valleys rolling away to the south and the Indian plains of Assam State. You can often see Langur monkeys, kingfishers, eagles and other brightly coloured birds along the roadside. About five hours from Samdrup Jongkhar you reach the village of Khaling, one of the most famous weaving centres of Bhutan, with weavers from here producing cloth for the Bhutanese royal family. The National Handloom Development Project here is operated by the Women's Association of Bhutan and young women from all over eastern Bhutan come to learn how to weave. Here, Sue will introduce you to some of the age old complexities of Bhutanese weaving.

    From Khaling you climb to cross the Yongphu La Pass at 2,190m/7,185ft, and then you pass through Kanglung and the campus of the country's premier University College at Sherubtse before arriving in Tashigang, the administrative and religious centre of the eastern region of Bhutan.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Lengkhor Lodge or Hotel Druk Doethjung or Similar, Tashigang
  5. Day 5 - Visit Tashigang Dzong and town. Walk to Kapti village and visit Radi Village and Ranjung Gompa.

    Although east Bhutan was historically connected to the rest of the country by overland trade routes, these were long and difficult and the people from here often felt more closely connected with their nearer neighbours in Tibet and India and traditionally had closer trade and cultural links with them. This means that the east has a totally different feel to the central and western parts of the country with the eastern region being controlled from dramatic dzongs such as the one in Tashigang and in Mongar, Tashitangtse and Lhuntse.

    Today, you will have time in the morning to explore Tashigang town, visiting the centre of town and the impressive dzong. The Tashigang town is clustered round a small central plaza with a large prayer wheel, a bank, a few shops and bars but not much else! There is a small souvenir shop here which is not very inspiring. Below the plaza is the spectacular Tashigang Dzong, set on a ridge high above the valley. This dzong was built in the 17th century to guard against Tibetan invaders and was one of the most strategically important in the country.

    Later you will take a pleasant walk from Tashigang to the village of Khapti. First you will drive to the high court, a handsome building set a little above the town and from near here take a rocky trail which leads up above the town and then continues through lovely forest with lots of birds and wildlife and on through a couple of pretty small villages before coming out on to a new feeder road where you will meet your transport. This will be a pleasant and undemanding walk.

    You will then visit Radi Village and will also have time to visit the large Nyingmapa Gompa at Ranjung, which has a school for monks attached to it. This region and its villages are famous for their weaving and you will visit local weavers and village homes to see the raw silk textile weaving, known as 'Bura'.

    From Ranjung the road leads up the valley to Phongme, a village where a trek begins into the remote region known as Merak Sakten, an area where the Yeti (known locally as Migoi) is said to be found. Along this valley you may see the Brokpa people who come from this region - they are easily recognised by their distinctive black felt hats with octopus like tentacles which are created to help to keep the rain out of the wearer's eyes!

    Overnight iconOvernight: Lengkhor Lodge or Hotel Druk Doethjung or Similar, Tashigang
  6. Day 6 - Drive to Mongar with side trip to Dramatse Gompa - 126 km, 6 hours. Explore Mongar town.

    Today you will drive to Mongar. On the way you will take a side trip off the main road and up onto a ridge top, 1,350m/4,429ft and 18kms above the river, to visit the monastery of Dramatse. Dramatse Monastery was founded in 1511 by a granddaughter of Pema Lingpa, and is one of the largest and most important monasteries of eastern Bhutan. It is famous as being the place where the Nga Cham Drum Dance, which is featured in festivals all over the country, originates. From Dramatse you will return to the main road and continue to Mongar.

    Mongar town, like many towns in the east is situated on a hill top, unlike towns of the west which tend to be located in valleys. The dzong is relatively new and the town has busy shops and bars and a bustling fruit and vegetable market which you may explore this evening.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Hotel Wangchuk or Druk Zhongar or Druk Zom, Mongar
  7. Day 7 - Drive to Tangmachu and up to Takila to see Guru Rimpoche statue. Walk to Lhuntse. Visit Lhuntse Dzong.

    From Mongar you descend by zigzags down into the valley and then drive north up the valley towards Lhuntse. After nearly two hours you arrive at the village of Tangmachu and at this point you turn off the main road to drive up to the top of a high ridge where local people have financed the building of a huge statue of Guru Rimpoche which keeps watch over the village and the surrounding countryside. The statue itself is very impressive and there are great all round views from the top of the ridge.

    You then descend a short way in your vehicle to the start of your walking route to Lhuntse, a relatively gentle but quite delightful walk. Leaving the village through a decorated gateway you follow a well-made, undulating trail which contours round the hillside through farmed terraces and fine forest. This trail follows a very ancient route to Lhuntse which formerly linked up with the traditional route from Bumthang to the east, over the Rodang La. It is marked with 16 white stupas and several long mani walls and water driven prayer wheels. After a few hours you emerge from forest and see Lhuntse Dzong far below you, a view of the dzong not seen by many visitors to Bhutan. You descend to visit the impressive dzong which is perched on a spur at the narrow end of the valley. It was damaged in the earthquake of 2009 but has been restored.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Royal Guest House Or The Shangri La Hotel Or The Karma Hotel, Lhuntse
  8. Day 8 - Visit Khoma weaving village.

    Today you will walk up for about an hour from Khurbazam to visit the village of Khoma. Khoma village is famous for its intricate woven cloth called kishuthara and is said to be the birthplace of Bhutan's traditional weaving culture. The weavers here produce some of Bhutan's most sought after and expensive kishuthara textiles. Women throughout the kingdom wear kishuthara on special occasions such as wedding and at festivals. You will spend time in Khoma to see the woman working at their looms and also to learn how the local people make vegetable dyes.

    Later you will walk up to Gonpa Kharpo Lakhang, located on a ridge overlooking Lhuntse and the centre of another area famous for its weaving. Today you will also see pottery being made and cloth woven from nettles.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Royal Guest House Or The Shangri La Hotel Or The Karma Hotel, Lhuntse
  9. Day 9 - Drive back to Mongar - 76km, 3 hours. Walk to Panchula Gompa - 3½-4 hours.

    After breakfast you will drive back down the valley to Mongar. You will have lunch at the hotel and in the afternoon you will have a very pleasant walk, right out of the front door of the hotel to visit a local gompa. You climb up past a few houses, with the modern dzong over to your left, and soon emerge into lovely forest and farmland. After about 2½ hours walking, alternately in forest and farmland, passing several picturesque farm houses, you arrive at the ridge top, with a final stiff climb of 15 minutes to reach Pangchula monastery. This is set right on the ridge line at 2,150m/7,054ft with tremendous all round views, including over to the west to Limithang and the Yongkhola where you will be driving tomorrow. About 20 monks live at the monastery and the lakhang is well kept with some interesting images and wall paintings. From the monastery you continue along the ridge in forest to another small temple about one hour from Pangchula before making the descent to Mongar.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Hotel Wangchuk or Druk Zhongar or Druk Zom, Mongar
  10. Day 10 - Full day drive to Bumthang over Thrumsingla Pass - 198km, 7-8 hours. Visit Ura Village and Burning Lake.

    This is a long but stunning drive of many startling contrasts, crossing one of the highest road passes in Bhutan, passing through sub-tropical forest and alpine scenery and travelling one of the most dramatic and spectacular roads in the kingdom.

    Leaving Mongar you descend through pine forests and cultivated fields to cross the Kuri Zampa bridge at 570m/19,70ft to begin the climb to Thrumshing La, 3,750m/12,303ft, an amazing ascent of 3180m/10,400ft. You drive up firstly through the lush and sub-tropical forest of the upper reaches of the Yong Khola, a wilderness region which is one of the prime birdwatching sites in Bhutan. As you climb higher the scenery becomes more alpine until you reach the Thrumshingla National Park and cross the Thrumshing La pass, one of the highest road passes in Bhutan. On a clear day you may be able to see Bhutan's highest peak, Gangkar Punsum from here.

    From Thrumsingla Pass you descend towards Bumthang. The Bumthang region of central Bhutan encompasses four major valleys. Jakar town where you will stay for two nights is in the main valley called Chokhor. The other valleys are the Ura Valley and Tang Valley in the east and the Chumey Valley to the west. The fertile valleys of Bumthang are cultivated with fields of buckwheat, rice and potatoes, apple orchards and dairy farms. This area is often considered the spiritual centre of the kingdom, being home to some of the country's most historic temples and sacred sites as well as being important for its traditions of craftsmanship. In particular Bumthang is famous for its fine weaving. It is said that every home is equipped with a loom for weaving and that young girls are proficient in the craft before they reach the age of twenty.

    Descending from Thrumsingla pass you arrive first into the Ura Valley, the highest valley of the Bumthang region and will visit Ura village, an extremely picturesque village surrounded by forests and cultivated fields, with cobbled, medieval looking streets and a small village gompa dedicated to Guru Rimpoche. The people of this region are primarily sheep and yak herders.

    Continuing toward Jakar you will also pay a visit to Burning Lake, a spot where, according to legend, the 16th century religious leader Pema Lingpa discovered sacred treasures hidden by the saint Guru Rinpoche beneath the waters of the lake.

    Finally you descend into the Chokor Valley, the main valley of the Bumthang region to reach Jakar town where you will be staying for two nights.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Ugyenling Hotel, Jakar or Similar
  11. Day 11 - Attend Tamshing Phala Choepa festival. Visit other temples of the valley.

    Depending on the programme at the Tamshing festival you may visit there first today or you may walk there via the other temples of the valley. Your guide will discuss this with you.

    The main temples of the valley are within easy walking distance from your hotel, or you may drive to them. Nearest to the hotel is the Jambay Lakhang, one of the country's oldest temples, built in the mid-7th century. Look out for the set of three steps in the main temple. The first step, now hidden below floor level, is said to represent the time of the past or 'historical' Buddha, the second, very well worn, step represents the present Buddha, whilst the third step above, is said to represent the age of the future Buddha. The point at which the second step is worn down to ground level is held to be the time when the world as we currently know it will end. From Jambay Lakhang you may walk along a farm track for 30 minutes to reach Kurjey Lakhang, a series of three large temples. The oldest of the temples here houses a rock indented with the body shape of Guru Rinpoche, whilst the most recent dates back just 30 years and was built by the Queen Mother, Ashi Kesang Wangchuck.

    To reach Tamshing Lakhang you may either drive from your hotel or walk from Kurjey Lakhang, descending to cross a suspension bridge and walking downstream for a further 45 minutes. Tamshing Lakhang is the most important Nyingma Gompa in the kingdom and was established in 1501 by Pema Lingpa, a popular historical Bhutanese religious figure. The Tamshing Phala Choepa festival traces its roots back to the time of foundation of the temple. Here, you may mingle with local people all finely attired in their finest hand woven textiles as they celebrate their Buddhist traditions and rich cultural heritage. A visit to a Bhutanese festival is quite an experience. It is believed that such festivals bring peace and prosperity and ensure a better harvest for the entire community. Although festivals are primarily religious and participants attain merit by attending, these occasions are also an important opportunity for the people of the entire region to dress up in all their finery and get together to enjoy watching masked dances and to celebrate together.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Ugyenling Hotel, Jakar or Similar
  12. Day 12 - Drive to the Chumey Valley - 1 hour. Visit weavers and temples of the valley and the weaving workshops at Zugney. Visit Tharpaling.

    After breakfast you will drive to the Chumey Valley. This area is especially famed for its weavers and you will visit some weavers in their homes, as well as the famous weaving workshops at Zugney. You will see women working on backstrap looms, creating 'Yathra' designs, a colourful weaving technique of intricate patterns woven in the coloured wool native to the Chumey valley. You may also see other processes involved in weaving such as the dyeing of wool, using natural dyes.

    Here in Chumey valley you may also visit the Nyimalung Monastery. Founded in 1938, the monastery is home to over 100 musically talented monks. From here you can walk down in 10 minutes to visit Prakhar Monastery a quaint village temple. You then drive up to the cluster of temples at Tharpaling - a sacred spot and place of meditation, founded by Geluwa Lonchen Rabchampa (1308-1363) during his self-exile from Tibet for ten years. Several picturesque monasteries dot the hillside with views over Domkhar (Chumey) and Domkhar Summer Palace. You might like to walk up from the temples to the top of the ridge above, Shutre Sae Pass at 3,700m/12,139ft, from where the views are phenomenal - looking south you can see over the Chumey Valley with the Black Mountains in the distance and the other way you get fabulous and unexpected views over Jakar town with the airport runway and the dzong clearly seen far below. Beyond and further north, you can see towards the high mountains, perhaps on a clear day even as far as Mount Gangkar Punsum.

    You will drive back to Jakar where you will spend the night with a local family in a homestay, a wonderful experience which offers an unparalleled insight into the Bhutanese way of life.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Farmhouse Homestay, Jakar
  13. Day 13 - Fly to Paro.

    After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for the flight to Paro which takes about 35 minutes. On arrival you will be met and taken to your hotel in Paro. In the afternoon you may have a walk round town to perhaps do some shopping or walk up to have a first look at Paro Dzong.

    Note: If the flight from Bumthang to Paro does not operate today you will need to drive to Thimphu over the next two days instead.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Hotel Olathang Or Similar, Paro
  14. Day 14 - Sightseeing in Paro Valley. Drive to Thimphu - 1-2 hours.

    Today you will spend sightseeing in the Paro Valley. The Paro Valley had a great strategic importance in the history of Bhutan and was in past centuries an important staging post on the trade routes with Tibet. Paro Dzong, situated on a rocky outcrop above the Paro Chu and with views down both sides of the valley was historically one of Bhutan's strongest and most strategic fortresses. Before the rebuilding of the Tashidodzong in Thimphu it was also the seat of Bhutan's National Assembly.

    Today you will visit the historic Paro Dzong, and the National Museum housed in the old watchtower above the dzong. The museum holds a fantastic collection of Bhutanese national treasures including the King's famous 'dragon hat', a wonderful collection of Bhutanese stamps, highly decorated thangkas (painted religious hangings), statues and weaponry. The museum may be housed in a nearby building while renovation is taking place after the watchtower was damaged in an earthquake several years ago. You will also visit the ancient temple of Kyichu Lhakang, one of the oldest and most beautiful temples in Bhutan. According to tradition the 7th century temple is said to have been one of 108 temples built by the famous Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo to pin down an enormous demon that was believed to be thwarting the establishment of Buddhism in the region. You will also visit Dungtse Lakhang, a small chorten-shaped temple, built in the 15th century by the great bridge-builder Thangtong Gyelpo.

    You will also drive up the valley to Drukyel Dzong. Drukgyel Dzong was built in 1649 during the time that Bhutan was resisting foreign invasion and consolidating its power, and it was an important base for defense of the region right up until 1951 when it was destroyed by fire. Some imposing stone walls and rammed earth ramparts still remain to indicate what an impressive structure it must have been. From here there are good views to the north and if the skies are clear you can see Mount Chomolhari, the second highest peak in Bhutan.

    Later in the afternoon you will drive to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. Thimphu has an attractive valley location and is relatively small and intimate for a capital city although it has grown greatly in recent years. There are many places of interest to visit there. Initially you might like to drive up to see the giant Buddha figure and enjoy the views over the town.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Phuntso Pelri Hotel or Similar, Thimphu
  15. Day 15 - Sightseeing in Thimphu and drive back to Paro.

    You will spend today sightseeing in Thimphu. First stop will be the Textile Museum, which gives a good overview of Bhutan's textiles and weaving methods, which as you will have already seen, differ quite substantially from region to region. Exhibits introduce the major weaving techniques, styles of local dress and textiles made by both women and men. Today you will also see another traditional Bhutanese craft on a visit to the handmade paper workshop to see the processes involved in making paper. The paper made here is based on materials unique to the Himalaya, the bark of the Daphne Papyri, which is found at altitudes of 3,000 feet and above, the bark of the Edgeworthia Papyri and various additional ingredients like flowers and leaves which add textures and patterns. There are some nice items made from handmade paper for sale there.

    There are many other places of interest to visit in Thimphu, including the Tashichhodzong (the main government buildings), the Heritage Museum, the late King's Memorial Chorten, the National Library, the School of Painting and silversmiths and pottery workshops. You could also visit the Government Handicrafts Emporium to look for local handicrafts on sale. You could also visit the Post Office to buy some of Bhutan's very attractive stamps - they will even print a valid stamp with your face on it while you wait! They also have good t-shirts on sale.

    As today is Saturday you might also visit Thimphu's colourful market where all manner of items from fruit and vegetable to local handicrafts are on sale. While in Thimphu you might also visit the 'zoo'. This is in fact a very large enclosure (several acres) just above the town, containing only Takin, the very rare animal found exclusively in Bhutan and parts of China and possibly one of the most quirky and strangest looking animals you will ever see.

    In the late afternoon you will drive back to the Paro Valley for your homestay with another Bhutanese family.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Farmhouse Homestay, Paro Valley
  16. Day 16 - Walk to Taktsang Temple - 4-5 hours.

    Today you will walk up to the famous Tiger's Nest, Taktsang Monastery, a fitting climax to your trip. The monastery is perched some 600m/2,000ft up on a cliff overlooking the valley and was said to be where the legendary Indian saint, Guru Padma Sambhava, flew from Tibet on the back of a tiger to defeat five demons who were opposing the spread of Buddhism in Bhutan. It's a steep uphill walk of about 1½-2hrs through woods to reach a tea house (an ascent of 340m/1,115ft). Apart from offering welcome refreshment this tea house is one of the principle viewpoints of the monastery, and those who prefer not to climb any further can relax here whilst others continue on. If there is a particular religious gathering or VIP visit in progress, you will not be able to enter the monastery but the further half an hour's ascent from the tea house is well worth it in any case, as it brings you to another viewpoint directly across from the monastery. If you are able to make the visit to the temple, the final section of the walk takes you from here steeply down approximately 100m/330ft into the gorge that separates you from the monastery and then climbs back up again to reach the monastery gate. You descend back to the valley floor the same way to where your vehicle will be waiting. The full walk to the monastery and back involves approximately 740m/2,428ft of ascent/descent.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Hotel Olathang Or Similar, Paro
  17. Day 17 - Fly Paro to Delhi.

    Today you will say a sad farewell to your local guide and driver and fly to Delhi where you will be met and taken to your hotel.
    You will be at leisure for the rest of the day to either relax at the hotel or perhaps to venture into the centre of the city - there is a metro station not far from the hotel.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Holiday Inn New Delhi International Airport, Delhi
  18. Day 18 - Group transfer to airport. Fly to London.

    After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for your flight home.

Map

Map Key

  • AirportAirport
  • General point of interestPoint of interest
  • Mountain RangeMountain Peak
  • TrekDay walk in this area
  • FlightsFlights
  • Internal TransfersInternal Transfers
  • Trek routeTrek

2019

Dates Availability Land Only Flight Inclusive from
Sat 28 Sep - Tue 15 Oct 2019 Available£3650 Book£4300 Book

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    From £475
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No surcharges will be applied to your holiday after you book. Prices on this website are updated regularly. The Flight Inclusive holiday price, or Land Only holiday price, will be confirmed to you at the time you make your booking. There will be no surcharges after your booking has been confirmed.

Flight inclusive holidays

The 'flight inclusive' holiday prices shown on this website are based upon our preferred airlines and the best priced economy class fares we are able to secure at the time of publication.

We will be able to advise on fares with alternative airlines, upgrades to Business Class, and the options for flights from regional UK airports, please contact us for more details.

What’s included

  • The services of Sue Lawty as trip leader
  • Local Bhutanese English-speaking guide and driver to accompany group throughout.
  • Economy class return air fares from the UK and UK departure tax (flight inclusive only)
  • Bhutan visa
  • All internal flights and domestic transfers
  • Group airport transfer for international flights
  • Good standard accommodation in Delhi and Bhutan, with meals as indicated in itinerary, on twin share basis
  • Meals as indicated in itinerary
  • All road transport by private vehicle
  • Free Mountain Kingdoms fleece
  • Opportunity to join one of our pre-trip meets in the Cotswolds

What’s not included

  • Travel insurance
  • India visa fees
  • Lunch and dinner in Delhi
  • Tips


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Extend your holiday

Ranthambore National Park extension, India

Ranthambore National Park extension, India
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  • Enjoy safari drives as you look out for wildlife amongst the picturesque grassland, hills and lakes.

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Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan is one of the finest national parks in northern India. Formerly a hunting reserve for the Maharajas of Jaipur, you can see a huge variety of fantastic wildlife and birds in Ranthambore, but the park is particularly famous for its population of tigers - although of course sightings of tiger can never be guaranteed many visitors to this park are lucky enough to get good views.  The scenery of the park is very varied with grassland, hills and lakes and there are also some very picturesque and atmospheric ruins located in the park. Even if you don’t see tigers there is abundant wildlife on view in Ranthambore with leopard and other cats such as jungle cats, caracal, hyena, jackal, wild boar, bear, several species of deer, and large populations of langur monkeys. Marsh crocodiles and other reptiles are also found in the lakes within the park. Owing to the wide range of habitats within the park there is also a large variety of fantastic and colourful birds, both resident and migrant, to be seen - in total, 272 bird species have been documented within the park.


Corbett National Park extension, India

Corbett National Park extension, India
  • Corbett National Park is home to one of the largest Royal Bengal Tiger populations in India.
  • Over 50 species of mammals, many reptiles and hundreds of bird species to look out for.
  • Ideal extension from Delhi to explore some of India's most fascinating wildlife.

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Corbett National Park is the oldest national park in India. Located between the Himalayan foothills to the north and the ancient Shivalik Hills to the south, the reserve covers a wide range of habitat with dense woodlands, open grasslands, riverine vegetation, dry riverbeds and more hilly terrain and so offers much diversity. This varied habitat hosts a spectacular diversity of mammal, bird and reptilian life, unmatched anywhere in India.

The park is home to one of the largest Royal Bengal Tiger populations in India as well as other large cats such as leopard.  There are also around 50 species of mammals including large herds of elephant and four species of deer. In the park you also find many reptiles, including the rare and highly endangered Gharial crocodile. Corbett has a spectacular bird diversity – there are several hundred resident species of bird with as many more crossing on their migratory routes with bird diversity being at its peak during the winter months.


Agra, Taj Mahal & Jaipur - extension (India)

Agra, Taj Mahal & Jaipur - extension (India)
  • 1-day and 6-day extension options available
  • Add at the beginning or end of your holiday in India
  • Sights include the Red Fort, Taj Mahal, City Palace and Amber Fort

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After your adventures in India why not add an exciting day trip to Agra to see the sights of the one time capital of the great Mughal empire? Or, if you have more time available, perhaps a longer trip visiting both Agra and another gem of the ‘Golden Triangle’, Jaipur. Whichever option you take, once in Agra you will be looked after by one of our fully trained, English-speaking guides who will show you around the Red Fort, the Taj Mahal and the ancient city and mosque of Fatehpur Sikri. For those travelling on to Jaipur, you will take guided visits to the Amber Fort, Palace of the Winds and City Palace, along with time to explore the colourful bazaars of the ‘Pink City’.


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