A Taste of Bhutan...
Land of the Thunder Dragon
* Note - an eight day extension in to Sikkim (West Bengal, India) is available for all Bhutan tours (total 20 days).
26 October – 6 November 2010 - No availability
14 March – 25 March 2011 (Bhutan)
14 March - 2 April 2011 (Bhutan and Sikkim/West Bengal)
24 Oct – 4 Nov 2011 (Bhutan)
24 Oct – 12 Nov 2011 (Bhutan and Sikkim/West Bengal)
Private tours also available.
Experience the tranquility and exquisite beauty of the remote Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan. On these amazing adventure journeys, you can either ride the entire length of Bhutan’s Highway One, from west to east, with a few detours to even more remote valleys and high passes en route, or take circuitous routes to visit isolated villages dotted throughout the country.
The steep twisting roads and high passes of the great eastern Himalaya range offer more ‘twisties’ than you thought possible (in Bhutan a staggering average of 2000 bends per day!). The tours are conducted from September to November and again in March and April to take advantage of the mild weather, clear skies (late in the year) and the fantastic autumn colours of the trees and harvests ~ or the spring sunshine, wild flowers and blossoming trees in the spring.
Bhutan is a truly magical kingdom that deserves its tag of “The Last Shangri-La”. Due to its remote location and enforced restricted-number tourism policies (visitors are required to pay in excess of US$200 per day), Bhutan is self-sufficient, relatively prosperous and mercifully non-commercial compared with many countries in Asia. In 1996 the King decreed that in line with the people’s Buddhist philosophy, Gross National Happiness would be more important than Gross National Product. “Most socio-economic indicators are an attempt at measuring means; they do not measure ends,” he said. While the king officially abdicated in 2008 to make way for a democratic parliament, it is still known as to one and all as ‘The Kingdom of Bhutan’ and the king is still revered and his ideals respected.
For centuries Bhutan was protected from outside insurgencies by the impenetrable Himalaya and this, in combination with the people’s traditional reverence for nature, has left the kingdom blissfully untouched. Because of its geography (high mountains and deep valleys), climate (tropical to sub-tropical with heavy monsoon rains) and far-sighted leaders who have taken steps to ensure the preservation of natural resources, much of the country is still densely forested with cedar, deodar, ash, oak and rhododendron trees.
To paraphrase from Lonely Planet, Bhutan is said to have one foot in the past and one in the future – the people have retained their culture and traditions, but have adapted to modern technology when the need arises. You’ll see monks in their saffron robes transcribing ancient Buddhist texts onto computers and traditionally dressed archers using the latest high-tech bows and arrows. English is widely spoken especially by the children and western-style hotels and food are available throughout the country.
Venture into the more isolated regions and you find life is less complex and daily routines still revolve around the seasonal and age-old traditions. You will become infused with the same serenity that almost permeates the very air you breathe.
The Bhutan tour is traditionally 12 days, but with extra time the tour can be extended to include time in the Indian eastern Himalaya visiting the beautiful hill stations of Darjeeling and Kalimpong and the tiny independent state of Sikkim.
Sikkim~ an erstwhile Himalayan kingdom (now a state ofIndia), is richly endowed with a prominently Buddhist culture dating back to the 7th century AD. It's unique location in the Himalayas and elevation ranging from 600 meters to over 8000 meters spread over an area of 7000 sq. km. offers diverse flora and fauna ranging from sub-tropical to the alpine. Mt Khangchendzonga (8,345 meters / 27,379 feet), the third highest mountain in the world and the guardian deity of Sikkim looms majestically throughout the trip.
For private tours please contact us.