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Unseen Bhutan

A wonderful, easy paced tour designed to get you under the surface of Bhutanese culture. Visit all the key culture sights, including the iconic Taksang Monastery called Tiger’s Nest. We meet villagers in their own homes, and travel right into the smallest and western most district of Haa. Spend time in Haa, exploring the villages and monasteries with gentle walks.

The tour is called “unseen” because other valleys like Paro are more popular, hence leading to the Haa Valley to be undiscovered. On this captivating tour, we show you a pristine valley that has retained it’s charm, it’s natural beauty, as well as the customs, of local men who still travel by horse over mountain passes to trade goods with China.

 

ESSENTIAL INFORMATION

Accommodation: Hotels and Lodges

Grade: Easy

Max trek altitude: 3,700m (driving over the Chele la)

Duration: 06 Nights / 07 Days

Trek Leader: English Speaking Guide

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Walk to the iconic Tigers Nest Monastery
  • Explore the villages and monasteries of Haa Valley
  • Get a real sense of the Bhutanese lifestyle
  • Get a view of Bhutan’s highest mountain Chomolhari and Gangkar Pusum
  • Drive over Chele La Pass and Dochu La pass
  • Enjoy Bhutans countryside
  • Go sightseeing in the Capital of Thimphu

Day 01: Fly to Paro (2280m)
Day 02: Sightseeing including Taksang Monastery
Day 03: Drive to Haa (2hrs)
Day 04: Village Walk
Day 05: Drive to Thimphu (3-4hrs)
Day 06: Thimphu Sightseeing
Day 07: Transfer to airport for Departure

Day 01: Fly to Paro (2280m)

On a clear day the panoramic views of the Himalaya are sensational, including Everest and Kangchenjunga, but particularly exciting is the approach through the Bhutanese foothills and the landing, including a few steep turns to land at the tiny airstrip of Paro. Although you are at the mercy of the airline computer, if possible try to sit on the left hand side of the plane for the most spectacular views. In Paro you will be met by your Bhutanese guide and taken to your hotel. There is usually time to wander around Paro township and visit the Dzong and museum. Overnight: The Village Lodge.

Day 02: Sightseeing including Taksang Monastery

This morning you’ll take the walk to Taksang Monastery – the Tiger’s Nest. The monastery is perched some 00m/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 through woods, of about 1½-2hrs, to reach a tea house (an ascent of 340m/1,125ft.) Apart from offering welcome refreshment this tea house is one of the principle viewpoints of the monastery, and those that prefer not to climb any further can relax here whilst others have the option to continue on. If there is a particular religious gathering or VIP visit in progress, you will not be able to enter the monastery but a further half an hour’s ascent is well worth it, as it brings you to another viewpoint directly across from the monastery. If you are able to make a visit, the final section of the walk takes you from here steeply down 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 by your outward route and continue your sightseeing to the impressive ruins of Drukgyel Dzong and visit Kyichu Lhakhang – one of the oldest and most sacred shrines in Bhutan. If you prefer not to make the walk it is also usually possible to hire a pony to ride up as far as the tea house (please speak to your leader about this the day before.) Alternatively your driver will be able to take you instead further along the valley to visit Drukgyel Dzong. Nearby there is also an excellent viewpoint for the summit of Mount Chomolhari, which at 7,313m/23,997ft, is the second highest peak in Bhutan. Overnight: Hotel The Village Lodge.

Day 03: Drive to Haa (2hrs)

Today we drive to Haa valley (75 kms) via Chele La Pass, which offers magnificent views of the Himalayan Range. Overnight will be spent at the Heritage Lodge, at 2960m. The Lodge is located nearby a local Temple, where you can relax and catch a glimpse of beautiful fields and the various typical farm Houses. Overnight: Lechuna Heritage Lodge.

Day 04: Village Walk

After breakfast, between 830 am and 9 am, begin your day by walking through the lower village of Lechuna and continue on down to the Haa Chhu River before crossing a quaint wooden bridge. From here the walk to the Jamte Gompa is a gradual ascent of not more than 1.5 hours through pristine forest, which later opens up to the village. Visit the 300 year old plus monastery, which is presently undergoing renovation work due to earthquake damage. This is followed by a visit to a local farmers house for a cup of tea and 'zau'. The views of the southern Haa valley can be enjoyed best from here. After the tea break we will take a seldom-used animal track that connects onto to the main trail after about half an hour and continue on to the Chumpa Bridge to stop for a picnic lunch beside the river. After lunch we walk slowly through the beautiful Chuma village taking time to see the villagers at work and even have some interaction. Walking along the village path we continue on to our lodge in time for high tea. For those who are interested in looking around the Lechuna village our local guide can accompany them. The option of having a hot stone bath is open and can be arranged for before or after dinner. Overnight: Lechuna Heritage Lodge.

Day 05: Drive to Thimpu

After breakfast we shall take the lower road along first the Haa Chhu and after the confluence with the Wang Chhu, along the latter towards the capital at Thimphu, 115kms to the East a drive of about 3-4 hrs. Enroute we may stop at Dogar Dobji Dzong, a 16th century structure, built by the brother of the Divine Madman, Drukpa Kinley. Legend has it that the statue of the Guru Landrachen housed here, complained when the apostate Tibetan monarch Langdharma tried to smash it with a hammer. This dzong became Bhutan’s first jail in 1976 but has since returned to its monastic origins. Overnight: Hotel Druk.

Day 06: Thimphu Sightseeing

This morning you’ll make an hour drive to the Dochu La Pass, 3,140m/10,302ft. On a clear day panoramic views can be had of the eastern Himalaya, including Bhutan's highest mountain, Gangkar Punsum, 7,550m/24,770ft. On return visit the Takin Reserve, and the late king’s Memorial Chorten, the Textile Museum, the Heritage Museum, the silversmiths’ workshops, or just the farmers market. Overnight: Hotel Druk.

Day 07: Transfer to airport for Departure

Your guide will pick you up at the hotel and take you to the airport for your homebound journey.

TARIFF

COST : Based on per person on twin sharing

02 Pax : USD 1730
03 and above: USD 1550
Single Supplement: USD 240

Flight Supplement: ( As of 2015, Subject to Change)

BKK/PBH : US$ 511 with airport tax from BKK, business class difference – US$ 80

PBH/BKK : US$ 399 with airport tax from Paro, business class difference – US$ 80

 

DEL/PBH : US$ 413 with airport tax from Delhi, business class difference – US$ 112

PBH/DEL : US$ 364 with airport tax from Paro, business class difference – US$ 65

 

CCU/PBH : US$ 237 with airport tax from CCU, business class difference – US$ 69

PBH/CCU : US$ 239 with airport tax from Paro, business class difference – US$ 40

 

KTM/PBH : US$ 229 with airport tax from KTM, business class difference – US$ 40

PBH/KTM : US$ 229 with airport tax from Paro, business class difference – US$ 40

Cost Includes:

  • 6 nights in Bhutan on Full Board
  • All Sightseeing as per itinerary with entrance fees
  • All Transfers by private vehicle
  • English Speaking Culture Guide
  • Bhutan Visa Fee
  • All logistic support

Cost does not include:

  • Airfare
  • Personal Expenses
  • Drinks and Beverages
  • Tips and Gratuities
  • Rescue and Evacuation
  • Expenses occurred as a result of delay beyond our control in case of Weather, flight cancellation or natural calamities.
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