BHUTAN - Including the newly opened Haa Valley.
8 Days. Mid-range Hotels and Guest Houses.
Pre-tour Briefing: H.E. Office (Kathmandu Guest House) 3 pm on day prior to Day 1. Full attendance necessary for briefing with emphasis on passport, visa and flight ticket checks.
Bhutan: a landlocked kingdom situated at the eastern end of the Himalayas. The Bhutanese call their nation Druk Yul, which literally means ‘Land of the Thunder Dragon’. A self-imposed exile from the outside world saw life here virtually unchanged until the early 60s, and recent developments, from limited air access, the internet, mobile phone connections, to democratic elections in 2008, have seen Bhutan rapidly modernise.
Wedged between the mighty powers of China and India, the Bhutanese have consciously maintained a firm grasp on many of their traditions as a way of guaranteeing and preserving their sovereignty and unique culture.
A multitude of factors has influenced the social fabric of Bhutan. Religious and cultural influences form a common thread, which can be seen running through the country’s government, its art, architecture, literature and music, and indeed the entire social make-up of the kingdom.
The population consists predominantly of three ethnic groups: the Ngalops of the western and central region, the Sharchogpas of the east, and the Lhotsampas, recent immigrants of Nepalese origin who settled mainly along the southern plain.
Religion is the other major value system that holds the Bhutanese people together. Tantric Mahayana Buddhism of the Drukpa Kagyu sect has survived unblemished here for centuries and continues to be the officially adopted religion of the state. It is a religion that is more about tolerance than fanaticism - the people of Bhutan are allowed to practise any faith of their choice.
Bhutan holds the unofficial title of ‘The Happiest Country’ in Asia, according to the quaintly titled survey, the ‘World Map of Happiness’.
See Bhutan now! For this Buddhist nation is slowly-but-surely emerging to take its rightful place on a larger, modern world stage.
DAY BY DAY ITINERARY:
Center of government, religion and commerce, Thimphu is a lively place, and an interesting combination of tradition and modernity. Home to civil servants, expatriates and monks, Thimphu maintains a strong national character thanks to the adherence to traditional architectural practices.
After lunch, we embark on a tour to take in the highlights of Thimpu. The afternoon tour will include:
National Memorial Chorten:-
As well, it also includes works written in Tibetan and in Dzongkha, Bhutan’s national language.
Institute for Zorig Chusum:
- First 48 - and Beyond
- Culture & Customs (Tailor-Made Sample Itineraries)
- Rural Heritage - Pokhara, Trisuli River, Bandipur and Nuwakot
- Trekking in the Himalayas
- Whitewater Rafting
- Jungle Safari (Bardia & Chitwan)
- Also At Home Elsewhere in the Himalaya -
Tibet and Bhutan
- Joining the Volunteers
- To 'Summit Up'