Overview


You are invited to join Big Heart Adventures on a spiritual and cultural exploration of the Kingdom of Bhutan.

Shrouded in mystery in a land where time almost forgot, for a culturally and spiritually enriching journey with beautiful nature walks and lower altitude hikes to 8th century monasteries and villages offering connection and understanding of the Buddhist way of life in Bhutan.

Up to 12 female adventurers, will enjoy nature walks, historical cultural and spiritual experiences on a journey that will show you how modernisation and keeping strong cultural traditions are measured in Gross National Happiness.

USD $4,145

Secure your spot today

USD $1,000 deposit.

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Small group, cultural tour with nature immersion, short walks and day walks, staying in comfortable 3 star accommodation.



Date
Start
Finish
Country


29/11/17 – 9/12/17
Bangkok, Thailand
Bangkok, Thailand
Bhutan


Type
Physical Rating
Group Size
Investment


Wise Woman Walking

Up to 12
USD $4,145 per person
Twin Share




Date  29/11/17 – 09/12/17
Start  Bangkok, Thailand
Finish  Bangkok, Thailand
Country  Bhutan

Type  Wise Woman Walking
Physical Rating  ♦ ♦ ♦
Group Size  Up to 12
Investment  USD $4,145 per person | twin share

Giving Back


Big Heart Adventures will donate part proceeds to the Bhutan Dragons charity group through Bhutan and Beyond: www.bhutan.com.au/bhutan-dragons-charity

The Bhutan Dragons, Bhutan’s first motorcycle club, was formed on 17 October 2008 by a group of long time friends whom are all key members of Bhutanese society.

The sole purpose and charter of the Bhutan Dragons is to provide charity support to the most needy in Bhutan’s more remote rural villages. It is a 100% not for profit organisation.



Inclusions



Air Travel

Economy class return international flights between Paro & Bangkok

Meals

All meals & bottled water provided as per the itinerary in Bhutan

B x 9 | L x 9 | D x 9

Transport

Minibus ground transport and airport transfers

Private guide & driver

Accommodation

6 nights accommodation

4 nights accommodation

Activities

Local Tours
Numerous Hikes & Walks
Visit Taktsang Monastery
(Tiger’s Nest)
+ MUCH MORE
See Itinerary for all the details


Itinerary

Please note itinerary can be subject to change at anytime.

Arrive Bangkok Airport, meet at Novotel Airport Hotel at 6pm with Carolyn Priest your host and your fellow Wise Women Walkers for pre-departure briefing.

Overnight Bangkok – Hotel Novotel Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport or similar

Paro Airport to Thimphu City – 1 hr 30mins.

After clearing immigration and customs you will be greeted by your BTCL guide and driver and transferred to Bhutan’s capital Thimphu, travelling through the spectacular countryside en-route. All the houses and buildings in the Kingdom are painted and constructed in traditional Bhutanese style.

On arrival in Thimphu check into your hotel and enjoy lunch. This afternoon take an introductory tour to visit the National Memorial Stupa; the celebrated Royal Textile Academy & the Takin Preserve – home to Bhutan’s most unusual national mammal followed by return to your hotel.

Overnight Thimphu – Hotel Ariya (4*- deluxe rooms) or similar
(breakfast, lunch and dinner)

This morning, head northwards up the Thimphu valley to view the majestic Trashi Chhoe Dzong, the seat of Bhutan’s government and royal offices; visit the recently consecrated Tara Lhaden Zhingkham Lhakhang (temple) and take a scenic forest hike to Tango Goemba – home to monks studying at the Drukpa Kagyupa School of Buddhism which is the highest centre of Buddhist learning in the Kingdom.

Return to Thimphu city for lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch visit the colourful weekend markets before heading south to the stunning Golden Buddha, which offers an excellent 1 hour (3km) hiking option, with sensational views of Thimphu city and valley. For those who have an interest in quality weavings and local art check out the Gagyel Lhundrup weaving centre, where you can interact with the weavers, and the adjacent S. Bishwa art gallery.

Overnight Thimphu – Hotel Ariya (4*- deluxe rooms) or similar
(breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Thimphu to the Phobjikha Valley with en-route Lumichawa hike. (5-6 hrs drive / 2+ hours hiking)

Early this morning you will travel by a combination of driving and hiking eastwards to the Phobjikha Valley. En-route pass the Semtokha Dzong built in 1629, the oldest fortress of its kind that guarded the Thimphu valley, and which today is a monastery. Continue ascending to Dochu La (pass – 3116m) to view the 108 Stupas, commissioned by a former Queen as a memorial to those who lost their lives during the low intensity conflict in late 2002 when Bhutan evicted Indian rebels camped in the jungle on the Bhutan–Indian border. On a clear day you will witness a breathtaking view of the eastern Himalaya.

From Dochu La, commence the Lumichawa hike, descending through the forest to the village of Lumichawa. Time permitting, continue hiking on down to the village of Thinleygang, on what is known as the ‘Ancient Trail’. This hike will take approx 2-3 hours and you will be met by your coach and driver at the end and be transferred to the Punakha valley for lunch at a local restaurant (option: take a picnic lunch on your hike).

Continue driving eastwards past the new town of Bajo and, when the Wangdue Phodrang Dzong (under reconstruction) comes into view, notice the large cacti that cover the hillside below. These were planted long ago to discourage invaders from climbing the steep slope to the Dzong. From the road view Rinchengang, one of Bhutan’s oldest villages, which did not have access to water, electricity or schooling until the early 1990’s. The craftsmen of Rinchengang are sought after for their skills in construction of Dzongs and Lhakhangs (temples).

Phobjikha is a glacial valley on the western slopes of the Black Mountains and is one of the most beautiful open valleys in Bhutan. It is also one of the most important wildlife preserves in the country and the winter home of the rare black-necked cranes who will be resident in the valley, and who annually fly in from Tibet. There are also muntjaks (barking deer), wild boar, sambar, Himalayan black bear, leopard and red fox.

Overnight Phobjikha Valley – Bhutanese Style 3* Hotel or similar
(breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Today visit the Black Crane nature information centre & hide before enjoying a nature hike including a picnic lunch.

Shasila Nature Hike: (6 hrs)

This beautiful hike, which offers excellent bird-watching, starts from Gangtey village and continues through Tokha village and slowly upwards through Rhododendron forest. It continues across open meadow and bush bamboo towards the Shashi La Chorten. From here, the trail continues downward through stunning old-growth Rhododendron forest all the way to Khelikha on the main Wangdue Phodrang road. Here your driver will meet you for the return drive to Phobjikha.

Overnight Phobjikha Valley – Bhutanese Style 3* Hotel or similar
(breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Phobjikha Valley to Punakha Valley with en-route Samtengang hike (4.5 hr drive / 1.5 hr hike)

Depart back westwards early this morning to the Punakha Valley which holds the title as the winter capital due its more temperate climate. Stop en-route at the village Tiki Zampa and hike westwards, through villages and farms, to Samtengang. Meet your driver and coach for the final drive into the Punakha valley, taking lunch en route.

Arriving into the valley walk across paddy fields to Chimi Lhakhang, a monastery built by Lama Drukpa Kuenley (aka as the Divine Madman or Mad Monk) who has a very colourful history. It is believed that childless women who visit the temple will conceive after receiving a “wang” (blessing) from the resident monk.

Continue on for a valley excursion to the colourful Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Lhakhang & Nunnery before check-in at your hotel overlooking the dzong.

Overnight Punakha Valley – Hotel Zhingkham (new 3*) or similar
(breakfast, lunch, dinner)

This morning, visit the dramatic Punakha Dzong, which formerly served as the seat of the government and is still the winter residence of the Dratsheng (Central Monk Body). This is Bhutan’s most spectacular dzong and an excellent example of how a medieval fortress and a centre of both monastic and administrative functions, has adapted and evolved for modern day use.

Continue with an excursion along a delightful country lane to the small and very traditional village of Talo. Here you can wander the beautiful & serene gardens of the local monastery (optional). After lunch at a local restaurant take a fascinating hike through rice paddies, tiny hamlets and fields of vegetables to the Khamsum Yulley Namgyel Chorten. This Chorten holds very special significance being consecrated in 1999 and dedicated to the protection of the former Crown Prince – today’s current King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck.

Overnight Punakha Valley – Hotel Zhingkham (new 3*) or similar
(breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Punakha to Paro Valley with en-route Longchuzey Goemba hike (4+ hrs drive & 2 hrs hike).

Depart Punakha early morning for your transfer westwards to the Paro Valley, once again traversing Dochu La.

From Dochu La take a 2-hour round trip hike to Longchuzey Goemba high up in the forest above the pass before continuing to Paro by road.

Overnight Paro Valley – Bhutanese style 4* or similar
(breakfast, lunch, dinner)

This morning hike to the Taktsang Monastery, also known as Tiger’s Nest. This is Bhutan’s most revered monastery and all Bhutanese strive to make the pilgrimage here at least once in their lives. This visit is much more than ‘just a hike’ and each step gains merit points for the next part of life’s journey.

Choose between a 2 hour round trip hike to the monastery viewpoint, or a longer 5 hour and more strenuous hike into the monastery itself. Tigers Nest clings impossibly to a cliff of rock at 800 metres above the valley floor and where Guru Rinpoche flew on the back of a tigress to subdue the local demons followed by 3 months meditation in a cave still visible in the monastery. In 1998
Taktsang was seriously damaged by fire and has since been painstakingly reconstructed to its original condition and consecrated by the 4th King in 2005.

This afternoon, after lunch at the Taktsang Viewpoint café, visit Kichyu Lhakhang on the return from the hike – a most revered temple boasting an orange tree that perpetually bears fruit. Choose to either relax at the Zhiwa Ling resort, or head to Paro town and visit the Rinpung Dzong, with its cantilever bridge, and a wander along the main street of Paro which offers excellent shopping for jewellery and handicrafts.

Overnight Paro Valley – Bhutanese style 4* or similar
(breakfast, lunch, dinner)

This morning, enjoy the drive up to Chele La (pass) on Bhutan’s highest motorable road at 4000 metres altitude. Your guide will recommend one of the ridge top hikes available to the small Kila Nunnery, Bhutan’s oldest, and where you can interact with the nuns.

Returning to Paro take lunch in a local restaurant and this afternoon choose to take a valley hike; a visit to Ta Dzong – the National Museum located in an ancient watch tower above the dzong; shopping in Paro town and/or enjoying the spa facilities at the Zhiwa Ling.

Overnight Paro Valley – Bhutanese style 4* or similar
(breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Early morning departure from your hotel to Paro Airport for your onward flight to Bangkok (breakfast)

You can choose to stopover in Bangkok or extend your holiday here, or take your onward flight home.


Important Info


  • Non refundable deposit is USD$2,000pp payable within 7 days of booking, final balance due 60 days before departure.  Payment plan available, please enquire.
  • Limited Single Rooms available on request – add supplement $555USD per person to twin share price.  If there is no-one to share a room with you, you will be required to pay a single supplement.  We will match you with a room mate at your request.
  • A minimum of 6 travellers are required for this trip to depart with a host. Itinerary and price subject to change at any time. See full terms and conditions on our booking form.  Please note we calculate any currency conversions on the day of payment.

Fitness Requirement


A good level of fitness is required to walk at altitudes (over 300m). Completed medical forms are required when booking.
In some circumstances doctor’s medical clearance may be requested.

 

Inclusions


  • 1 night stopover accommodation 4 star airport hotel in Bangkok with breakfast
  • 9 nights comfortable 4 star hotel accommodation twin share in Bhutan
  • Entrance fees for all included sightseeing
    Visa fees, Bhutan government tourism royalties and taxes
  • A charity contribution to the Bhutan Dragons charity group
  • A comprehensive pre-departure information kit
    Professionally operated by Bhutan Tourism Corporation Ltd. (BTCL)
  • Pre-trek training and preparation program
  • Wise Women Walking t-shirt
  • Big Heart Adventures Bluff
  • Journal and Pen
  • Big Heart Adventures Host

Exclusions


  • International Flights to and from Bangkok
  • Items of a personal nature such as medications, phone calls, laundry, drinks, etc
  • Tipping – a guide will be provided in our pre-departure kit
  • Comprehensive Travel Insurance which is mandatory to enter Bhutan
  • Meals and drinks not stated on itinerary
  • Optional activities offered outside of the inclusions

Meet your host



CAROLYN PRIEST

Carolyn Priest is an internationally accredited Certified Law of Attraction & Vibrational Life Coach.

She first heard about Bhutan from a documentary and discovered the King of Bhutan’s philosophy of “Gross National Happiness”. Since watching that program Bhutan has enticed her with its beauty and mystery. With a passion for anything spiritual or mystical and Bhutan’s breath taking landscapes Carolyn knew that one day she would visit.

Travel is about the beautiful people you connect with, wonderful experiences and the magical journey along the way and not just about the destination. Join Carolyn for a journey to the soul in magical Bhutan.

Questions?

Book Today!


USD $4,145

Departure November 2017
Secure your spot today with a USD $1,000 deposit.

Book Now