Our cultural tour takes a leisurely trip through the remote Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan. Since emerging from its self-imposed isolation and opening its doors in 1974, Bhutan has mesmerized its visitors. We will visit the Tiger’s Nest monastery, the bustling capital Thimphu, and small villages on our journey through this once forbidden country.
We’ll climb up to the Tigers Nest Monastery, the most iconic symbol of Bhutan, hugging the side of a mountain cliff. For the middle five days of the tour we will separate into two groups, then reunite in the capital city of Thimphu for the last couple of days to share our tales with each other.
Travelers who thrive on high-adrenaline experiences will enjoy a magnificent trek to see landscapes only accessible on foot and spend four nights at high-altitude camps. Veterans of HE Travel’s Inca Trail tour and OutQuest’s Kilimanjaro Climb will enjoy adding this trek to their personal achievements.
Those who want to indulge in the splendors of Bhutan but don’t want to work quite so hard will stay in hotels for the entire trip. There will be several hikes for our Overland Tour travelers as well, but at lower altitudes, and with overnight stays at simple but comfortable hotels in some of Bhutan’s smaller towns.
December 02 to 12 – $6398.00 USD
Duration: 11 Days
Starts In: Bangkok
Ends In: Bangkok
Deposit: $1000 USD
10 nights accommodation; Ground transportation throughout the tour; Sightseeing with local Bhutanese guide(s); Entrance fees to sites and museums; Government taxes and fees; All meals. Flight from Bangkok to Paro on Day 2 and flight from Paro to Bangkok on Day 11(HE Travel will book these flights). The internal flight on Day 4 from Paro to Bumthang. Services of a knowledgeable HE Travel tour host (with a minimum number of participants); HE Travel provides complimentary Medical & Evacuation Insurance for every US Resident on our group tours who does not have other coverage.
Airfare to and from starting and ending points-Bangkok; Personal items including: alcoholic beverages, snacks, laundry, and telephone calls; gratuities for guides and HE Travel host.
Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted by our local hosts and enjoy sightseeing in the Paro valley. We begin with Ta Dzong, a monastery/fortress that was later converted into the National Museum in 1967. A Dzong is a fortress-like structure that functions as a monastery. Inside the museum, you will find many antique paintings, carvings, statues, textiles, and jewelry. We’ll drive to the Rimpung Dzong which was built in the 17th century. This dzong is now the administrative center and school for the monks. In the afternoon, we’ll check into our charming small hotel nestled in the trees.
*Optional horses are available for payment on the spot and will go up to 1st viewpoint only(40-45 minute ride). Optional cost below. It cannot be used on the way down, only up.
*Optional Hot Stone Bath at a farmhouse or hotel. Optional cost below.
Today’s itinerary will feature a visit to Jakar Dzong, and 2 additional Buddhist temples, Kurje Lhakhang and Jambay Lhakhang. If time allows, we will do some hiking in the area and shopping in the village. We may also visit a cheese factory and a brewery. Tonight we stay in a traditional small lodge.
What if I am traveling alone?
Most of our trips draw more single travelers than couples. When couples do join us, it’s usually because they’re looking forward to interacting with a gay group; if they wanted a holiday by themselves, they wouldn’t have signed up to travel with us. Furthermore, the activities included with our trips serve as natural ice-breakers. Within a day, you’ll be traveling with friends. You don’t need to pay the single supplement if you’re traveling alone. We’ll be happy to match you with a roommate. Pay the single supplement only if you want a bedroom to yourself.
For selected trips, including cruises, we will charge half the single supplement if you request a roommate but we can’t match you with someone.
Where and when does the tour start and end?
This tour starts and ends in Bangkok. We will fly together as a group to Paro on December 3, 2020, to begin the main tour. The airport code is BKK. Please allow HE Travel to arrange your flights between Bangkok and Paro, Bhutan so that the group is on the same flight on Day 1 of the tour. On the last day of the tour, we will fly as a group to Paro in the late morning. Please plan to fly out of Bangkok after 7:00 pm local time on the last day.
Are there any special vaccinations needed?
Yes, there are vaccination requirements and many of them you may already have. We suggest that you visit the Center for Disease Control Website, cdc.gov, for the latest information on healthy travel to Bhutan.
Are Visas required?
Yes, a visa is required and HE Travel will order the visas in advance and make them available upon your arrival in Bangkok. After booking your tour, please send a copy of your passport to HE Travel. We will work with a partner tour company in Bhutan who will get your approval in advance of your arrival. The confirmation of your approved visa is distributed to HE Travel, our Bhutanese travel partner, Druk Air, and the immigration officials at the airport.
This process is much easier than it seems as HE Travel takes care of the visa arrangements.
For your short time in Thailand, For most nationalities including Americans, Australians, and most Europeans, no special visa is required for tourists staying 30 days or less.
Who are the Guides?
The tour will have a local multi-lingual Bhutanese guide. He will be experienced and licensed by the government. There may also be a HE Travel trip leader from the US to function as a host and logistics manager.
What is the Currency?
Because most all of your expenses are pre-paid and included in the package, you won’t need a lot of extra money. You may want the equivalent of US$175-$275 for items like premium drinks such as beer and soda, gifts, and gratuities. If you want to plan a bigger purchase like artwork, crafts, textiles, or rugs, you’ll want more cash while in the country. Most people will gladly accept US dollars. Banks and most hotels can exchange major world currencies (US dollars, Pound Sterling, and Euros) for the local currency, the ngultrum (NU).
What is the weather like this time of year?
December is an ideal time to visit the Himalayas. The beginning of Winter generally has extremely clear skies and cooler temperatures. In Thimphu, the daytime temperature should be in the mid 50’s and high 30’s in the evening. We will provide a packing list to prepare you for a variety of weather conditions. Snow does not typically start falling in Bhutan until the end of January and into February.
What are the accommodations like?
Most of the hotels are in the three to four-star category. The rooms have private bathrooms. Realize that this is a remote area and the hotels don’t have the amenities that you find in the West. That said, most people are pleasantly surprised by how clean, well-kept, and comfortable Bhutan’s hotels are.
What is the Activity Level of This Tour?
This trip is rated moderate. The trip will have walking through villages and monasteries as well as some Optional 3-4 hour hikes.
For answers to your additional questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 305-294-8174
47 Elizabeth Bay Road
Elizabeth Bay NSW
02 8667 3336