15 Days in Hidden Kingdom, Exploring Far East

Want to see ALL that Bhutan has to offer? DAJ Expedition's 15 Days in Hidden Kingdom, Exploring Far East Tour is made for those who want it all! From trekking the Tiger's Nest and getting into that meditative mode of local spirituality, to visiting as many cities as possible, your local DAJ guide can make it happen.

Day 1: Paro

Highlights: Arrive in Paro. Picked at airport up by company representative. Check into hotel and have lunch. Visit Ta-Dzong, the national museum, which overlooks the Paro valley. Afterwards, visit Paro Rinpung Dzong, massive fortress built in 1646, which is home to a monastic school and Utse, a beautifully designed tower of superb woodwork.

Day 2: Hike to famous Tiger‰غھs Nest

Highlights: Travel from Paro to Ramthangkha and trek to the famous and one of the most sacred pilgrimage sites in the Himalayas: Taktsang monastery. Known as "Tiger's Nest," the eighth century monastery is perched on a rocky edge, overlooking the Paro valley at nearly 4,000 feet in elevation.

Day 3: Paro & Thimphu

Highlights: From Paro drive to the ruined fortress and historic site of Drukgyel Dzong. And don't miss the magnificent views of Mount Jomolhari (7,315 meters) from this spot. Then, visit the seventh century monastery Kichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest monasteries in Bhutan and created to introduce Buddhism to the country. In the late afternoon, drive to Thimphu (7,700 feet), the only capital city in the world without traffic lights.

Day 4: Thimphu, exploring the capital city

Highlights: After breakfast, visit the National Memorial Chorten, followed by a visit to Changangkha Temple. Photograph takins at Takin National Animal sanctuary, Bhutan‰غھs national animal. Read old manuscripts at the National Library followed by a visit to the Folk Heritage Museum. Enjoy lunch in town. In the afternoon, watch young artists perfect the traditional ways of painting and statue making at the Institute of Arts & Crafts. Drive to Zilukha Nunnery, then off to a nearby location to admire a beautiful sunset and take some photos. Stop by a traditional handmade paper factory and goldsmith workshop. Visit Trashi Chhodzong, an old fortress that now serves as His Majesty the King of Bhutan‰غھs office, and houses the central monastic body and four branches of administration.

Day 5: Thimphu & Punakha

Highlights: Drive through Dochula Pass (3,150 meters) to have breakfast, and enjoy spectacular views of the eastern Himalayas mountain ranges. Drive to Punakha for lunch at hotel. After lunch, visit Bhutan's most beautiful fortress, Punakha Dzong & built in 1637 at the convergence of the Pho-chu and Mo-chu rivers. Take a short hike to Nyzergang and visit the Khamsum Yuelly Namgyal Temple. Spend night in Punakha.

Day 6: Punakha & Trongsa

Highlights: Travel to Trongsa and visit Wangduephodrang en route. Drive through Pele-la pass (3,300 meters), the main landmark that divides western and eastern Bhutan, and pass by local Himalayan villages Rukubji and Chendebji.

Day 7: Trongsa - Bumthang

Highlights: Visit the ancestral home of Bhutan‰غھs Royal Family in Trongsa, and stare in wonder at the town's ancient watchtower, Ta- Dzong. From Trongsa, drive to Bumthang, Bhutan's famous region made up of four distinct valleys: Chummey, Tang, Ura and Choskhor (Jakar). Cross Yotong-la Pass (3,400 meters) and reach Choskhor & the main development center of the province, also known as Jakar valley.

Day 8: Bumthang, explore the essence of central Bhutan

Highlights: Explore the spacious Bumthang valley (2,600-4,000 meters), a trekker's paradise; home to many beautiful and important Buddhist monasteries, pilgrimage sites and considered the cultural and historic heartland of Bhutan. Trek up to Tamshing monastery, where 200 monks reside. Visit Wangdichholing Palace, Jambay Lhakhang, and the oldest monastery in the Kingdom, Kurjey Lhakhang. Visit more temples, along with the sacred site of Mebartsho (the Burning Lake). Drive to Chamkhar and spend the night in town.

Day 9: Bumthang - Mongar

Highlights: After breakfast, cross the Tang Chu and visit Tangsebgi village. Drive past the beautiful landscape of Ura valley and through the high pass of Sheltheng-la (3,600 meters), to catch an amazingview of Gangkar Punsum (7,541 meters) the highest peak in Bhutan. Visit Thimshingla National Park and the lovely Rhododendron Flower Park (only in spring). On the way, you'll cross the highest point of roadway in Bhutan at Thimshing-La Pass (3,800 meters). Spend night in Mongar.

Day 10: Mongar & Trashing, the Eastern Bhutan

Highlights: After breakfast, drive to Trashgang and through the Kori & la pass (2,400 meters) & pass by several villages, such as Yedi, and cross the iron bridge of Chakzam. Spend night in Trashingang.

Day 11: Trashigang & Trashi Yangtse & Trashigang

Highlights: (Trashi Yangtse 53 km, 1.5 hours or Rangjung, Radi)

Your choice of one of three day trip destinations: Trashi Yangtse, Rangjung or Radi). If time permits, a visit to Khaling weaving center and school of the blind. Spend night in Mongar.

Day 12: Mongar - Bumthang

Highlights: After breakfast, drive to Bumthang. Plenty of beautiful photo-ops along the way, just let your guide know in advance.

Day 13: Bumtang-Via & Gangtey - Wangduephodrang

Highlights: Visit Gnagtey Gonpa, 16th century Nyingmapa monastery. Travel to Phojikha valley, home to a community of black-necked cranes & an endangered species.

Day 14: Wangdue & Thimphu & Paro

Highlights: Drive to Thimphu for lunch and to do some last-minute shopping. An optional drive to the magnificent Tango and Cheri monasteries. In the evening, travel to Paro.

Day 15: Departure

Highlights: Fly home.

From 1-11+ people on tour. Peak season: March - May & September -November. Low season: December - February & June - August. Price includes meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner), lodging, private guide and private transportation.

If you have any questions or would like to receive more information, please contact us at contact@jetsettimes.com.

For every tour you book, a portion of the proceeds will fund Harmony Home to help support HIV-positive children in Taiwan and China. Read more about why we love this organization on Jetset Times.

The Tourism Council of Bhutan under Royal Government of Bhutan sets and mandates the daily tariff which every tour operator must follow. The fixed minimum tariff (price) for tourists visiting in a group of three or more people are as follows.

Peak season: (March, April, May Sept. Oct. and Nov) & USD$250 per person per night
Low season: (Jan, Feb, June, July, Aug. and Dec) - USD$200 per person per night

Surcharges: Individual tourist and groups less than three persons shall be subject to surcharges, in addition to the above-stated minimum daily tariff.

Single individual: USD$40 per night
Group of 2 persons: USD$30 per person per night

In addition to the above, travelers are also required to pay the following:

Bhutan Visa fee: USD$40 per person

This pricing is inclusive of following costs for a Standard Package:

  1. Standard hotel (2-3 star hotel) twin sharing accommodation, camping on treks
  2. Three meals a day at local restaurants, standard hotels and on treks
  3. All internal transportation & transfers, excluding domestic air travel
  4. Camping equipment, ponies & guides for treks (for hiking trips)
  5. A licensed English speaking guide
  6. Entrances fees to museums, monuments and cultural sites
  7. All internal taxes and charges (including the royalty fee)

However, the above doesn't apply for the Luxury Package which is based on 4 or 5 star hotel accommodation with extra services in addition to the Govt. fixed minimum tariff of USD$200 - USD$250 daily rate. We will be more than happy to provide you with details should you be interested in luxury packages. Also, travel insurance is NOT included with the tour package. If you are interested in purchasing travel insurance, please let us know. Otherwise you are expected to purchase from your home country.

As you can see, there are no other expenses to you once you pay the daily rate except your personal spendings such as shopping.

"We booked our Bhutan trip with DAJ Expeditions. They were very helpful from the beginning, and we had the feeling they really listened to us to and made good suggestions to the Itinerary. During the trip it did not feel like we were tourists that were being shown around, but like a vacation with friends. Very well organized. Great trip. Start to finish!"

- Felix Bonn, Germany

"DAJ Expeditions will be your best partner for your trip in Bhutan! The thing I really like with them is that what they does is not about "Tours" is about Journey...I used their services for my photography work. I was looking for a special place and a custom itinerary and where others failed they managed to do it. They perfectly understood my request by providing me good advice and by being flexible in any circumstances. Besides my work, I really enjoyed my time with Sonam, my guide and Younten, the true Himalayan driver. I really appreciated the availability of Namgyel and Sonam during all my stay. They are also really passionated about their country which is probably the key of their success."

Jerome Gence, CEO of A Loving Huge Family

"Visiting Bhutan was always a lifelong dream. However because I had to choose within the hundreds of the authorised travel agencies I did not know where to start. Contacting DAJ Expeditions was a blessing.

Namgyel and Sonam were not only very responsive, they carefully prepared an itinerary completely adapted to my wishes. Until the day before my departure they kept regularly updating me with important practical information.

Once in Bhutan I was extremely well taken care of. The hotels chosen by DAJ expeditions were sensational with spacious rooms and amazing views of the surrounding landscapes. Due to the spiritual nature of my trip, I was brought to many unspoilt sacred locations and had the rare chance to receive teachings about Buddhism at the Phajoding Monastery at 3,600m altitude and about the sacred mandala drawing at the retreat center of Venerable H.E. Gyeltshen Trulku Rinpoche.

During my entire trip I was impressed by Jamtsho's not only deep knowledge of the Bhutanese culture, history and spirituality but also his ability to convey any information in a pleasant and funny way. I was also constantly touched by Sonam's dedication, care, amazing sense of organisation and willingness to fulfill my every wish.

Because I was a solo female traveler and my family was worried and because I went to some places where there was no internet connection, DAJ Expeditions sent messages to my family with picture to reassure them.

This trip was definitely a life changing experience and I will be forever grateful to DAJ Expeditions for their professionalism, kindness and care. I have left Bhutan with unforgettable memories and great friends.

No need to say that if anyone would like to visit Bhutan, this should definitely be with DAJ Expeditions."

- Kana Enomoto, London

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