Contemplative Bhutan

A quite season and intimate encounters ~ 17 to 22 days
This program introduces Bhutan at a time when the Bhutanese people are done with the bustle of the year. The snowpeaks are at their dazzling best, juniper and incense offerings send wispy curls into the air, and bright sunny days compensate for the chilly mornings and evenings. Many travelers shy away from this time of year imagining Bhutan to be snowbound (it is the Himalayas , after all, right?). Few people realize Bhutan is also at the same latitude as Baja , California , which means winters are not often as severe as may be expected. Mornings and evenings can certainly dip below freezing, but nothing a good parka, a crackling fire or electric room heater-available at all the places we stay-won’t dispel. Days are pleasant, skies nearly always clear, and the rewards many for those who wish to see Bhutan and the meet Bhutanese people during a reflective, more intimate time of year. Our program includes gentle hikes with spectacular views, visit to the Pemacholing Nunnery, where its inspiring residents (above) are quietly building themselves a spectacular place to live and study, and all the usual highlights of a Bhutan trip, and a mild trek into the biodiversity rich Jigme Singye Wangchuck National park.

Day 1: Arrive in Paro, visit the National Museum.

Day 2: Traditional meal and tea service at our senior guide’s family farm.

Day 3: Excursion to the newly opened Haa Valley.

Day 4: Transfer to Wangdue valley with stop at Dochula.

Day 5: Visit the temple of the Divine Madman and the “Hall of 100 Pillars”.

Day 6: Transfer to Trongsa.

Days 7 to 13: Gentle low altitude trek (Please see Enchanted Trails: The Lost Valleys of Nabji & Korphu).

Days 14 & 15: Transfer to Bumthang valley and visit temples and monuments in Jakar.

Day 16: Transfer to Phobjikha Valley to view wintering Black Necked Cranes.

Day 17: Gangtey Monastery with Black Mountains hike.

Day 18: Transfer to Thimphu and browse the capital’s market.

Day 19: Day Hike to Tango Buddhist College.

Day 20: Visit Thimphu museums and monuments, afternoon transfer to Paro.

Day Day 21: Hike to Taktshang “Tiger’s Nest Monastery.”

Day 22: Return flight to Bangkok or another gateway city.