Bhutan Travel Itinerary (May 2020)
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For centuries, Bhutan has attracted people from all over the world for its sustainable living, authentic cuisine, unique culture, divine spirituality and most importantly - responsible tourism. The only nation with negative carbon footprint is majorly covered in diversified flora and fauna. This season, let us take you on an amazing travel trip to Bhutan. You will experience the hospitality of bhutanese people, learn of their rich historical culture, share a delicious meal and have once a lifetime opportunity to experience the rich flora of Bhutan around spring time. Get ready to be lost in the enchanting beauty of the valley and be surprised with what you experience along the way of your true escape to nature.
On your arrival at Phuentsholing, you will be greeted by our delightful tour guide. And our Staff help you obtain the necessary permits to enter the Kingdom. Documents Required for Entry Permit: 1- Valid Passport or Voters ID ( For Indian Nationals) 2- Photocopy of the above documents 3- Passport size photograph ( 2 nos) 4- necessary hotel bookings.(We will keep it ready for you) After completion of the necessary formalities, you will drive in a private vehicle to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. Check in at your hotel and spend the evening roaming around Thimphu market.
After an early breakfast, head off to a scenic drive up to Buddha Point to see the 169 foot tall bronze statue of the seated Buddha Dordenma. One of the largest sitting Buddha statues in the world, it sits atop a hill where you will get the sweeping views of the valley and the surrounding mountains. Spend the rest of the morning visiting the National Folk Heritage Museum, dedicated to preserving Bhutanese folk arts, the Jungshi Handmade Paper Factory, where you will see the ancient practice of natural papermaking, the National Textile Museum, where you will learn all about the brightly colored and beautifully designed fabrics that are worn by the Bhutanese people and The Motithang Takin Preserve, to spot Bhutan’s national animal. In the evening, visit the Tashichho Dzong, a fortress and Buddhist monastery with a distinctive Bhutanese architectural design. Sitting aside the Wang Chhu river, it is the current seat of the Druk Desi, the head of the civil government and houses the offices of the current king.
After breakfast we drive to the former capital of Bhutan until 1955, Punakha. Enroute we stop at Dochula Pass, which provides a panoramic 360 degree view of the Himalayas. After Lunch we drive to Punakha Dzong, it is undoubtedly the most beautiful and charming Dzong in Bhutan, standing tall right at the confluence of two rivers Pho Chhu (Father River) and Mo Chhu (Mother River). You will be completely mesmerized with this Dzong, especially in spring when it is enveloped by lilac coloured Jacaranda flowers spread against the white washed towering walls. The Dzong from the inside is equally beautiful with a large courtyard lined with administrative buildings on 3 sides and a huge temple at the front. Wooden carving of roof and windows against huge whitewashed walls adds to the charm of this beautiful edifice. Towards the end is the ‘hundred pillar’ assembly hall temple with massive gold statues of Lord Buddha, Guru Rinpoche and Divine Madman. You would love to sit in the temple and inhale the calmness deep within you.
Early morning explore Lobesa village and set off to an easy hike to the Chimi Lhakhang temple. Chimi Lhakhang is also known as the ‘Temple of Fertility’. The temple is dedicated to Lama Drukpa Kunley, fondly known as ‘Divine Madman’ because of his non-conventional and ‘outrageous’ style of teaching. He was a social critic and openly challenged the hypocrisy of the established orders. Thus, the use of his Phallus (Penis) as a ‘flaming thunderbolt’ weapon symbolizes the discomfort that society experiences while facing the truth. Devotees take blessings from the wooden effigy of the lama’s thunderbolt, preserved in the lhakhang. Couples also come to the temple before the birth of baby to select their names while newborns are brought by parents for blessings from Lama. To get to the temple, you need to pass through Lobesa village. Lobesa village offers a glimpse of the rural Bhutan as you come across the farms and houses with unique Bhutanese architecture (huge white walls with wood carving on doors, windows and roof). And yes, Phallus (Penis) is very comfortably painted on almost every second house as you walk along. Drive to most awaited Phobjikha valley by noon. Overnight stay at Phobjikha.
After an early breakfast we drive to Phobjikha valley. Gangtey or Phobjikha at an average altitude of 3,000 m is a wide and beautiful valley, designated as conservation zone within the Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park (formerly known as Black Mountains National Park). It is a natural habitat for wildlife, including nesting grounds for endangered black-necked cranes that migrate from Central Asia in the winter (late October and stay till March). Phobjikha valley is famous for the Gangtey Gompa and the spotting of the elusive black necked crane. A wide glacial valley with a central stream meandering through the open grasslands, Phobjikha is the perfect place to feel lost in the beauty of the himalayas. We spend the day exploring the beautiful valley and visiting the crane centre to know more about these magnificent birds.
After breakfast, drive to Paro. Spend the evening visiting the Paro market. Overnight halt at Paro.
On our final tour day, we take an exhilarating one-hour hike to Taktsang Monastery (or Tiger’s Nest), one of the most recognizable sites in Bhutan. Built precariously on a hillside cliff, it sits more than 10,000 feet above sea level. Accessible only by foot, we follow a trail decorated with colorful prayer flags along the way to protect travelers from evil spirits. Built over the caves that Guru Padmasambhava meditated in for three years, this eighth-century father of Bhutan Buddhism is said to have been brought there on the back of a tigress. One of the most sacred sites in Bhutan it offers breathtaking views to those energetic enough to make it to the top. Trek to Tigers Nest will be an optional activity. The evening can be spent visiting the Rinpung Dzong in Paro and the national museum of Bhutan. Our last night in Bhutan is spent in Paro.
Tiger Nest monastery
Stay Not Applicable
Yes, with a heavy heart we need to say goodbye to the “land of Happiness” today. You will be dropped at Paro airport/ Phuentsholing to take your respective transportation back to your hometown. We bid you goodbye and hope you take back some fond memories at the end of the trip.
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𝐓𝐇𝐄 𝐉𝐎𝐘 𝐎𝐅 𝐓𝐑𝐀𝐕𝐄𝐋𝐈𝐍𝐆 𝘋𝘪𝘥 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘬𝘯𝘰𝘸 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘪𝘴 𝘢 𝘷𝘪𝘭𝘭𝘢𝘨𝘦 𝘪𝘯 𝘔𝘦𝘨𝘩𝘢𝘭𝘢𝘺𝘢 𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘪𝘳 𝘪𝘯𝘩𝘢𝘣𝘪𝘵𝘢𝘯𝘵𝘴 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘤𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘥 𝘣𝘺 𝘵𝘶𝘯𝘦𝘴, 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘯𝘢𝘮𝘦𝘴? 𝘖𝘳 𝘸𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘢𝘸𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘢 𝘶𝘯𝘪𝘲𝘶𝘦 𝘢𝘳𝘵 𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘮 𝘱𝘳𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘤𝘦𝘥 𝘪𝘯 𝘒𝘶𝘵𝘤𝘩, 𝘎𝘶𝘫𝘢𝘳𝘢𝘵, 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘪𝘴𝘯’𝘵 𝘱𝘳𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘤𝘦𝘥 𝘢𝘯𝘺𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘦𝘭𝘴𝘦 𝘰𝘯 𝘌𝘢𝘳𝘵𝘩? 𝘖𝘳 𝘥𝘪𝘥 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘬𝘯𝘰𝘸 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘉𝘩𝘶𝘵𝘢𝘯’𝘴 𝘎𝘋𝘗 𝘪𝘴 𝘥𝘦𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘥 𝘣𝘺 𝘪𝘵𝘴 𝘱𝘦𝘰𝘱𝘭𝘦’𝘴 𝘏𝘢𝘱𝘱𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘴? The joy of traveling is to wholly immerse yourself into the story of the place that you travel to and we at TGE Travels bring nothing less than that on the table. Our well thought out itineraries give a deeper insight into the culture and history of a place by getting our travelers closer to the local communities, their customs, cuisines and lifestyle. And it goes without saying that we are the queens of finding offbeat locations, stays and activities which we bring out in all our itineraries. TGE stands for The Great Escape and a trip with us is like pressing the “Escape” key from the mundane routine to an exciting and cherishable travel experience 𝐖𝐇𝐎 𝐀𝐑𝐄 𝐖𝐄? Established in the year 2016, TGE travels was founded by Reetu Yadav and Jamila Kapasi, two expert mountaineers who had more than 6+ years of experience in mountaineering and the outdoors. TGE Travels is infact one of the rare travel and outdoor companies wholly owned by women with a vision of adding more women leaders in the unconventional outdoor leadership roles. What started as just a trekking company, TGE Travels has evolved into a more wholesome style of traveling by adding experiential traveling as one of its primary services. Our team at TGE Travels are a bunch of travel experts who want to add a meaning to your excursions. We are a strong unit of on ground team leads, backend supports and partner vendors who work cohesively to make your trip smooth and memorable. 𝐖𝐇𝐘 𝐓𝐆𝐄 𝐓𝐑𝐀𝐕𝐄𝐋𝐒? 𝑺𝒎𝒂𝒍𝒍 𝑮𝒓𝒐𝒖𝒑𝒔 Even before Corona, we have firmly believed that traveling in small groups is the best way to form connections and gain experiences. Now more than ever, we are committed to limiting the group size. Our travelers might meet as strangers but we ensure that they leave as friends. 𝑨𝒎𝒂𝒛𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝑻𝒆𝒂𝒎 𝑳𝒆𝒂𝒅𝒔 What makes TGE Travels awesome are our team leads. They are the reason why our travelers choose to travel with us again and again. Full of energy and enthusiasm, our team leads are the ones who bring the whole group together. Their energy bounces off our travelers and within no time, the entire group forgets that they were just strangers just sometime ago. But of course, our team leads are also very skilled in handling any situation and ensuring the trip goes as smoothly as possible. 𝑾𝒆𝒍𝒍 𝑻𝒉𝒐𝒖𝒈𝒉𝒕 𝑶𝒖𝒕 𝑰𝒕𝒊𝒏𝒆𝒓𝒂𝒓𝒊𝒆𝒔 We have spent endless hours brainstorming on itineraries to bring out the unique stories of the place that we travel to. Not only that, while designing any itinerary our team personally travels to the location to identify experiences and off beat locations. We try to provide the best experience within the timeframe and budget and that has made us popular as one of the more thought driven travel itinerary planners. 𝑪𝒉𝒐𝒐𝒔𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝑹𝒊𝒈𝒉𝒕 𝑺𝒕𝒂𝒚𝒔 We select our accommodation partners meaningfully. Our stays should have a story to tell. This encourages us in going beyond the standard hotels and instead delving into a wide range of accommodation options where we can choose from authentic homestays, which to us is one of the best ways to learn about the culture of a place, to beautiful resorts that are situated at the perfect picturesque locations to boutique hotels that are elegant and charming. 𝑺𝒂𝒇𝒆 𝑴𝒐𝒅𝒆 𝒐𝒇 𝑻𝒓𝒂𝒏𝒔𝒑𝒐𝒓𝒕 Just like our accommodation partners, we give a lot of importance in choosing the right transport partners. Most of our journey is on road and we ensure our travelers are comfortable in the vehicle. Our drivers become a part of the group and it's amazing to see how our travelers treat them as just one of their own. When it comes to bike trips or Scooty trips, we ensure the two wheelers are well serviced and maintained. Apart from that we always have a support vehicle with us throughout the journey 𝑫𝒆𝒍𝒊𝒄𝒊𝒐𝒖𝒔 𝑭𝒐𝒐𝒅 Food is an integral part of our itineraries. Hence all meals are planned in advance allowing our travelers to taste the unique cuisines of the regions that they travel to. We encourage our travelers in trying out local delicacies but never hesitate to deliver something comfortable immediately if the local food does not suit their palette. 𝑹𝒆𝒔𝒑𝒐𝒏𝒔𝒊𝒃𝒍𝒆 𝑻𝒓𝒂𝒗𝒆𝒍 We firmly believe in responsible tourism. Apart from the standard no littering policy, we encourage our travellers to be sensitive to the local communities.
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It's always a pleasure travelling with TGE! The one thing I love most is their attention to detail, which ensures that your trip is a memorable one. Travelling with TGE is a wholesome experience, you see the larger more iconic places with no compromise on the little things. Travel with them if you want to interact with the people of the place, eat their food, in short experience their lives. These guys do a superb job of making everyone comfortable and everytime I travel with them I make beautiful bonds with all the other travellers. I would 100% recommend TGE to everyone who has the travel bug. It doesn't get better than this! ☺️❤️
I have known Reetu and Jamila for many years and have worked with them in the past. But this was the first time I decided to travel with them as a participant. When Reetu told me about exploring Spiti in winters I was completely on board. The itinerary sounded exciting and the pricing less. S my friend Manish and I immediately signed up for it. One of the best decisions I ever took. Spiti in winters in beautiful. The 7 days with the team was wonderful. We spent our days driving around the valley and our evenings dancing to pahadi songs. The planning was perfect with utmost care given in the choice of stay and comfort. Of course the highlight of the trip was spotting a snow leopard. Overall it was an amazing trip and I am looking forward to join many more with The Great Escape
Shravan Kumar Poshetty
Should I describe with “perfect planning” / “meticulous coordination”/ “cordial organiser”...might be with all of it.
Flawless execution is what makes them unique and organiser Reetu Yadav has let all of us experience it with her executional capabilities...
Clarity n flow of communication:-5/5
Comfort in Mode of Travel:-5/5
Action in Emergency:- very swift 5/5
Team has proved that its not all about the commercial trip but also the cause which is concealed in their carryings. What we pay at Flemingo Resort at Dholavira goes to educate and for taking care of more than 400 students and their boarding facilities as well.
Its not over yet, you will be pleased to meet the gifted souls from remote villages who are manifested in their respective disciplines like Rogan Art (Hon’le prime minister himself have gifted one to Barack Obama), Wood Art and Bell Art, Textile etc.
You will get to eat the delicious food made out of love from the local (A1 class food).
Off all, well planned itinerary and the execution is commendable. We RoK team who departed on 12th Dec’19 are truly happy with the onsite organiser Reetu Yadav and the offline backbone Jamila Kapasi who took good care of each of us at every stretch.
Their intact affirmative relation and proper delicacy in their execution makes then unique.
My best friend is much impressed with their proceedings and that makes me much happier than ever.
Last but not least, am fortunate to have rest 13 of the participants as part of my extended family. Again the credit goes to TGE.
Kudos to the team and i look for further association with “THE GREAT ESCAPE” ( you have already give our team a great escape from the routine.
Way to go TGE team!!!
Kumar Tarur Parameswaran
Such great detailed planning at micro level and being open and upfront about the tour details impressed me at the very start. They lived up to their promise in every which way.
TGE’s expression of their solidarity towards the cause of the villagers by getting travellers to interact with them in a lively way and help the villagers in their livelihood was one of the primary reasons I chose to travel with TGE.
TGE means immersive experiential travel and what you get in return and come away with are unforgettable lifetime memories.
Looking forward to many more tours with TGE. Reetu and Jamila pull your collars up. Way to go! You will go miles!
The great escape recently took care of my 10 days family trip to Bhutan. We were 9 of us, including 2 kids and 2 elderlies. Each detail of the trip was so beautifully planned and coordinated. Jamila was personally in touch with drivers, hotels and homestay owners to ensure we ar getting the best of experience. We never even had to look for directions, call hotel or tell driver about anything. Everything was already taken care of and we were just the guests in very true sense. Such a wonderful trip it was. Everything was so beautiful including all the places where we stayed.
Much thanks to Jamila and the great escape team to make it work like magic for us!
- Pick up and drop from Phuentsholing. - Accommodation at Thimphu and Paro on double/tripple sharing basis - Homestay at Lobesa and Phobjikha - MAP ( Breakfast and Dinner) - All local transportation - Experienced guide - First Aid
- Airfare till Kolkata/Bagdogra - All transportation till Phuentsholing - Meals not mentioned above - Entry charges -Personal expenses of any kind
HOW TO REACH
3rd May, Sunday: Reach Bagdogra Airport/Njp/Siliguri. A pick up will be arranged for the team from Bagdogra to Phuentsholing at an additional cost. ( appx Rs 500-600 per person) 11th May, Monday: You will reach Phuentsholing by 1:00 pm. A drop will be arranged for the team from Phuentsholing to Bagdogra at an additional cost. ( appx Rs 500-600 per person). You can fly out of Bagdogra airport either on 11th May post 11:00 pm or 12th May morning
Policy and Terms
20 days before the event start date: No Refund 20- 50 days before the event start date: 50% Refund Before 50 days of the event start date: 75% Refund Do go through our detailed T&C
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