Bhutan: Mystical Himalaya - A Wellness Inspired Luxury Small Group Journey (2020)

Immerse yourself in stunningly scenic Bhutan, experiencing its deeply spiritual culture alongside friendly locals for whom happiness is a national priority, as you share the excitement of a lively tshechu festival, learn about traditional medicines a

  • Bhutan
  • 10 days, from AU$16,335
  • 16 Guests

Journey Overview

Immerse yourself in stunningly scenic Bhutan, experiencing its deeply spiritual culture alongside friendly locals for whom happiness is a national priority, as you share the excitement of a lively tshechu festival, learn about traditional medicines and ascend to the soaring “Tiger’s Nest” Monastery.

Journey Highlights 

  • Enjoy seven nights in Bhutan, staying in authentically designed, boutique wellness retreats, including Six Senses Paro with its stunning valley views
  • Join locals for a tshechu, or Bhutanese religious festival, with its colourful, masked dancers and traditional storytelling, an experience exclusively for A&K guests that unfolds in the scenic forested glacial valley of Khotakha
  • Learn how traditional Tibetan medicine is employed by Bhutanese healers to restore a patient’s harmony and balance, during a visit to the Institute of Traditional Medicine in Thimphu 
  • Hike to the top of “Tiger’s Nest” Monastery and toast your success with a Champagne picnic lunch
  • Trek up a rural hillside, walking past colourful prayer flags, to Chimi Lhakhang (the Temple of the Divine Madman), a storied fertility temple and mecca for Bhutanese who wish to conceive
Itinerary

Journey Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Bangkok, Thailand

Arrive in Bangkok, where you are met and transferred to your hotel. 
Novotel Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport 

Day 2: Paro & Thimphu, Bhutan | Land of the Stupas

Fly to Paro, in Bhutan, where you are greeted with a tashi khadda (traditional welcome). Known to locals as the “Land of the Peaceful Dragon,” Bhutan is a country of sprawling forests, venerated monasteries, lush green valleys, and age-old spiritual and medicinal practices. Its people are hardworking, vividly attired and deeply religious. Continue overland to Thimphu, past forests, fields and rivers, stopping en route to visit the Simtokha Dzong, a one-time monastery-fortress built in 1629 by the founder of Bhutan. Upon arrival, check into your accommodations, a beautiful Bhutanese retreat in the heart of the city, where you savour a refreshing lunch. Enjoy your afternoon at leisure, taking in the sights and sounds of tranquil Thimphu, perusing colourful textiles in the local markets or luxuriating in the on-site spa. Afterward, gather for a welcome dinner at the hotel. 
Taj Tashi, Thimphu | Meals: BLD

Day 3: Thimphu | Insights into Tibetan Medicine

Set out today for the National Library of Bhutan to view its fascinating collection of precious texts and sacred manuscripts. Next, visit the Traditional Medicine Institute, where you enjoy a talk on Tibetan medicine, learning how the rich herbal remedies made up from the medicinal plants abundant in Bhutan are prepared and dispensed. Return to your hotel for lunch. Then, proceed to Pangri Zampa, a college for traditional astrology founded in the early 16th century, to learn how monks are trained in various areas of traditional astrology. Conclude your visit with the opportunity to practice meditation, guided by an expert, as the serene surroundings enhance this calming mindfulness technique. Later, return to your hotel, where you enjoy dinner. 
Taj Tashi, Thimphu | Meals: BLD

Day 4: Punakha | Legend of the Divine Madman

Venture to Punakha, once the capital of Bhutan. Drive over Dochula Pass at an altitude of 10,200 feet, travelling through forests of pine festooned with hanging lichen, and stopping to take in awe-inspiring vistas of the snow-capped Himalaya. Hike up to Chimi Lhakhang (Temple of the Divine Madman), built in 1499 to honour the Lama Drukpa Kunley. Adorned with fertility symbols, the monastery is a long-established pilgrimage destination, particularly for women and couples seeking a blessing for successful childbearing. Stroll through the temple grounds, free to speak with the monks who abide there. Afterward, proceed to your hotel, where you enjoy lunch followed by time at leisure. This evening, dine at your amazing resort, overlooking a verdant, terraced valley, as you sit around a warming fire. 
COMO Uma Punakha | Meals: BD

Day 5: Khotakha | Tshechu Festival

Journey overland to Khotakha Valley, a ravine of almost magical beauty that is home to several sacred monasteries and hermitages. Venture through deep pine forests and countryside dotted by drupchus (water springs considered spiritually vital) and menchus (waters believed to have healing powers). Arrive at a remote village seldom visited by tourists to experience life as the locals live it. Visit a farmhouse to observe the lifestyle of Bhutanese people, from whom you learn about the region’s ancient traditions. Enjoy a warm greeting that includes a tashi khadda ceremony and welcome tea at a monastery, which you then tour. Next, gather for a private tshechu festival, held just for you. The tshechu brings together an entire community to share ritual dances that illustrate events in the life of eighth-century Buddhist master Guru Rinpoche and is a glimpse into the true heart of this deeply spiritual people. After lunch, enjoy the opportunity to don traditional Bhutanese garments, a kira (dress) for women or a gho (robe) for men, and take part in a friendly archery match or dart game with village residents. After your full day of cultural and spiritual immersion, return to your lodge for dinner. 
COMO Uma Punakha | Meals: BLD

Day 6: Punakha | Design Your Day

This morning, visit the majestic Punakha Dzong, also known as “the palace of great happiness.” Constructed in 1673, it is the second oldest and second largest dzong in Bhutan. Return to your hotel for lunch. In the afternoon, enjoy one of these Design Your Day activities:

  • Hike or Drive to Chorten Nyingpo Lhakhang, passing through local villages and terraced rice paddies en route.
  • Visit Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Lhakhang Nunnery, a temple complex for higher learning and meditation centre. 
  • Trek to a Chorten (stupa) noted for its architecture, to enjoy breathtaking views of the Punakha Valley.

This evening return to your resort for dinner. 
COMO Uma Punakha | Meals: BD

Day 7: Paro | Inspiring River Valleys

Today, experience the unique serenity of Bhutan’s rugged landscapes on a scenic drive to Paro, descending from Dochula Pass and stopping en route for lunch in Thimphu. Continue to Paro Valley, where glacial waters flow through alpine meadows, and check into your resort, a serene haven set above the Paro valley and ancient dzong ruins. Relax at leisure this afternoon, taking advantage of your hotel’s integrated wellness offerings, such as a consultation with a doctor trained in traditional Bhutanese medicine, a massage, a hot-stone bath, a private yoga or meditation class, or other rejuvenating treatments. 
Six Senses Paro | Meals: BLD

Day 8: Paro | Ascent to the “Tiger’s Nest”

Embark on a challenging hike to one of Bhutan’s most revered icons, Taktsang Monastery (“Tiger’s Nest”), which clings to a cliff 3,000 feet above the valley floor. Ascend to over 10,000 feet above sea level on a climb that Buddhists often make as a pilgrimage. Upon arrival, take in the views at this sacred site, where the great tantric mystic Guru Rinpoche (also known as Padmasambhava) is believed to have flown on the back of the tiger to bring the teachings of the Buddhist Dharma to Bhutan. Afterward, descend back down the mountain to enjoy a tented picnic lunch that includes Champagne, relaxing to the sounds of local musicians. Afterward, drive back to your hotel for an afternoon at leisure, resting from your climb or experiencing the many wellness-related amenities offered on site, which include massage and hot-oil compression. You may also consult with one of the hotel’s on-site Bhutanese traditional specialists about a about a well-being program that includes personalized nutritional, traditional therapeutic, and functional fitness recommendations. Or, elect to unwind by the pool. This evening, gather for a final dinner at your hotel. 
Six Senses Paro | Meals: BLD

Days 9–10: Depart Bangkok

On Day 9, either fly to Kathmandu to begin your post-tour extension or fly to Bangkok to enjoy the use of an executive room, available through Day 10, when you depart. 
Novotel Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport | Meals: B

Show Full Itinerary
Accommodation/Partners

Accommodation/Partners

Taj Tashi, Thimphu

Bhutan: Mystical Himalaya - A Wellness Inspired Luxury Small Group Journey (2020)

Set in the heart of the Thimphu Valley, the Taj Tashi, is a gateway to a land steeped in mythology and magic. The mountain kingdom of Bhu ... Read more

Uma by COMO Punakha

Bhutan: Mystical Himalaya - A Wellness Inspired Luxury Small Group Journey (2020)

COMO Uma Punakha is a wonderful creation of contemporary design that has been sculpted into the landscape. The Punakha Valley is breath-t ... Read more

Dates & Prices

Journey Dates & Prices

Prices are per person, based on double occupancy

Apr 22, 2020 - May 1, 2020
Price AU$16,335pp Single Supplement AU$6,660 Internal Air (From) Included Availability Available Enquire
Sep 30, 2020 - Oct 9, 2020
Price AU$16,335pp Single Supplement AU$6,660 Internal Air (From) Included Availability Available Enquire
Oct 8, 2020 - Oct 17, 2020
Price AU$16,335pp Single Supplement AU$6,660 Internal Air (From) Included Availability Available Enquire
Nov 2, 2020 - Nov 11, 2020
Price AU$16,335pp Single Supplement AU$6,660 Internal Air (From) Included Availability Available Enquire
Notes:

Availability shown here is updated weekly and indicative only. Availability on any product or journey shown here is not specific to a category of travel and may not denote availability at the cheapest ‘From’ price. For real time availability, talk to your travel agent or call Abercrombie & Kent on 1300 851 800.

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