For many adventurers, the allure of travel is in the land itself.
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Popular Cultural Holiday
This is a small group guided holiday. The group is usually between 4 and 16 in size, with an average of 12 like-minded clients booking individually, in a couple or as friends together.
Download the detailed trip notes for everything you could possibly want to know about this trip, including detailed itinerary and full kit list.
Excellent trip packing in the cultural highlights, a festival, and trekking which is kind of necessary given the daily rate charged by the Bhutanese authorities! So probably the best and most affordable! way of experiencing Bhutan
a toss up between the Paro festival and the 5 days trekking
Norbu was an excellent leader; extremely knowledgeable and helpful in explaining his countries culture and showing us the sights, including an impromptu archery lesson!
For the 5 day trek I would suggest that people prepare for lower night time temperatures, possibly down to -10 degrees C
Although we had disappointing weather - it rained mostly while trekking - this trip takes you to one of those beautiful places which the majority of people still haven't heard of. And that's the beauty of it. There are few tourists and the Bhutanese themselves are delightful and unspoilt. The Buddhist culture and local traditions are fascinating There is no hard sell and there are no hawkers. They are happy for you just to have a look at their crafts without buying when you go into the shops. This is after all The Land of Gross National Happiness.
More like highlights, of which there were many. The walk up to the Tiger's Nest Monastery. An out of programme trip organised by our leaders to visit the beautiful dzong in Punakha together with an impromptu visit to a local festival in Wangdue Phodrang. Stories of the Divine Madman and seeing phalluses painted all over the houses which are a sign of good luck here. Watching boy monks dancing in costume inside their dzong. Assisting in a ceremony inside one of the temples. Watching the festival in Thimpu and observing the locals dressed in their best ceremonial clothes, and more mundane things - but not least important! - like hot water bottles at night on trek, solar lamps, delicious pizza and cake made by the camp chef.
Norbu and Karma were excellent leaders. Both were well organised and took great care of the group. Karma took care of the monastic/temples side of the trip explaining everything about the Buddhist religion, whilst Norbu told us more about the politics, royal family and social/environmental structure of the country and how they are striving to get it all right. Both were complimentary to each other. Karma fell over backwards to try and keep us happy......during the rain! He even washed our muddy boots in the river at the end of the trek!
This is NOT a trek for BEGINNERS. The altitude is something to be taken seriously (over 4000mts asl) and also physical fitness is an absolute must. Trekking, albeit the foothills, in the Himalayas is hard on the body. However, if you are used to hill walking , you will love it.
Just that if you do go, try to go over one of the festival periods as it's well worth it. Oh, and if you think you will lose weight with all the walking......you won't! The food on trek is wonderful and loads of it!
Such an amazing country! The scenery, the people - I've never been to such a peaceful place.
The trek from Paro to Thimpu. Through forests and across mountains. The camping was great.
The group leader was very knowledgable.
Bhutan has a varied climate. Southern Bhutan has mild dry winters and hot wet summers; the monsoon starts a little earlier and continues a little longer than further west in the Himalayas. Paro, Thimpu, and the other
temperate areas of Bhutan have cold winters with sunny skies. Please note although these departures do not fall inside the normal monsoon season there is always a chance of rain in Bhutan and you should be prepared for this.
You will experience a range of temperatures during the trip depending on the altitude. During the day temperatures will be approx 10°C-20°C. At night it may reach single figures but the temperature will normally stay above 10°C.
Joanna Zubr - Bhutan Operations
Yes. There are dozens of trekking shops in the Thamel area of Kathmandu. Depending on how good your bartering skills are, you can usually pick up items for about one third of the price that you'll pay in the UK...and its more fun to bargain! However, please note we cannot guarantee the quaility of anything you may purchase so buyer beware.
David Richardson - Sales
The hotels are usually good tourist class hotels, have twin rooms with en suite facilities, reliable electricity and water supply, good service and some added amenities. Sometimes, depending on the location, the standard of hotels may be slightly lower, but we will always do our best to source the most suitable option.
Emma Garrick - Product Manager
Plums Café on the second floor of a building near the Clock Tower in downtown Thimpu offers Continental/ Chinese and Bhutanese food doing mostly buffet at lunch time. Cheese momos (dumplings) and Keewa datsi (a cheese and chilli dish) with red rice is a Bhutanese dish really worth trying. Should you fancy some pastries or muffin Swiss Bakery is the place to check out which is across the street from the restaurant!
Joanna Zubr - Bhutan Operations
You will need a visa for Bhutan, which we will organise for you. The cost is payable on entry to Bhutan and is currently US$20 in cash. You will need to send us a clear copy of your passport on booking so that we can organise the Bhutan visa. Please make sure that we have a copy no later than 4 weeks before departure. Please also take 2 passport photos with you as these will be used locally for your visa.
Joanna Zubr - Bhutan Operations
Should you be in Thimpu during the weekend, it is worth checking out the local weekend market at the end of the town (beside the National Stadium). This is where most of the town residents come to buy their week’s supply of fresh food and vegetables (everything from cheese to the chillies that the Bhutanese love!) from the farmers. This is a great place for people watching and also some souvenir shopping as there are stalls selling all kinds Bhutanese/ Tibetan products. Do try your bargaining skills as there is no fixed price of the products on sale!
Niraj Chand Shrestha - Customer Operations
Head down to the Everest Steak House in southern Thamel for a mouth watering steak and chips, well earned if you’re just back from trek. Finish it off with a cocktail in the legendary Tom & Jerry bar up the road!
You can also head to Fire and Ice Pizzeria in Thamel, a great place with casual indoor and outdoor eating which is popular amongst travellers, and locals alike. This restaurant is a great place to meet for a morning cup of Italian espresso, or a hearty meal of delicious pizzas, pastas, ice cream and even a Grappa!
Brendan Phelan - Customer Operations
Dal Bhat is the Nepali staple food. It consists of rice and lentils and a spicy vegetable or meat curry. Nepalis will eat this twice a day. A good lunchtime Dal Bhat is served at Nanglos restaurant 5 minutes walk from the Royal Singi Hotel, or try the Royal Dal Bhat at Kilroys.
This Nepalese version of dumplings/ wantons is a traditional delicacy and a must try local dish while you are in Nepal. Momo dumplings are either steamed or fried with chicken/or buff (water buffalo) as well as stuffed with vegetables for vegetarians and have become the most famous fast food amongst Nepalese and can be found on the menus of most restaurants serving locals and tourists alike.
This mixed bean soup is usually served during festivals and gatherings and now has made its way in many of restaurant menus. Goes well with Naan or roti bread.
This is a typical Newari dish smoked meat (chicken; lamb or buffalo meat) tossed with spices and mustard oil. Easily available in most Nepalese and local restaurants in Kathmandu around Hotel Royal Singi and in sightseeing spots.
Niraj Chand Shrestha - Customer Operations
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|Fri 22 Sep 17 - Tue 03 Oct 17|
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