An essential overview of the Himalayan Buddhist Kingdom. This tour imbues you with a subtle appreciation of the Bhutanese situation and way of life. Bhutan’s character is underpinned by a culture rooted in its traditional past. Monastic-fortress centers epitomize formal authority. Small, secluded, self- sufficient communities are spread thinly over the rugged landscape. Unity is established through an enduring intensity of faith. We journey through the cultural heartland of Eastern, Western and Central Bhutan. From the un-interrupted East to modernizing center of Thimphu, through the birthplace of the Monarchy at Trongsa, to the erstwhile 17th Century capital at Punakha. From the sacred temples of Paro, into the spiritual sanctuary of Bumthang, and then on to the seat of a high reincarnate lama at Gangteng. You will experience broader social, cultural and ecological aspects of the landscape: taking invigorating hikes through distant village settlements and the rich untainted surrounding countryside; visiting some of the most venerable Bhutanese monasteries; and attending a community festival, a fascinating and unpretentious fusion of high culture and everyday community life.
Day 01: Arrival in Guahati
Arrive in Guahati and enter in Samdrup Jonkhar (East Bhutan) Clear immigrations at Guahati, meet our Yangphel Adventure Travel guide & driver outside the customs transit and drive about 3 hours to the Bhutan border. This Bhutan district has a project called the SJI-Samdrup Jonkhar Initiative that is mainly working on and giving due importance placed on strong, ongoing research & work to develop and provide a sound evidence based on local realities for all of its activities. The SJI’s work falls under four principal components: Organic Agriculture; Appropriate Technology; Zero Waste; and Youth Engagement. We will dine with the director of this initiative if he is in station and learn more about this wonderful project. Guest House
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- Passport (with at least 6 months’ validity from the date of your exit from Bhutan)
- Photocopy of picture page of passport showing number, etc. Keep this in a separate place in your baggage. If for any reason you lose your passport, this will expedite the process of applying for a new passport.
- Print out copy of the visa & International air tickets.
- Temperatures will fluctuate greatly depending on elevation and time of day. You should be prepared for a minimum temperature of 04 degrees and a maximum of 35 degrees. You have to plan for layered clothing to be prepared for such a wide-ranging temperature fluctuations.
- Drink only bottled water, sodas, beer, etc.
- Stay away from any cold salad! These are normally rinsed in tap water before or after being sliced and are a major cause of traveler’s gastro-intestinal distress.
- All tipping is optional and by no means mandatory, however if you feel that your staff and drivers have performed at a good or excellent level, it is a great way to let them know you appreciate their efforts.
A few items to keep in mind:
- Accept or offer items with the right hand or, more politely, with both hands. Using both hands to give or receive signifies that you honor the offering and the recipient or giver.
- When you visit Buddhist shrines or temples, it is appropriate and a sign of respect to walk around the building in a clockwise direction (so that the structure is to your right side). This is also true for mani walls (walls built of stone tablets with Buddhist mantras carved on them) and Chorten (small Buddhist shrines.)
- Your guide will give you additional tips along the way, when in doubt, check in with them. You will be travelling into areas that have had relatively few foreign visitors. Your positive attitude and interaction is needed and welcomed to maximize this adventure.
What should I bring with me for the trip?
- Good walking shoes
- Sunscreen (highest possible)
- Headgear for sunny days
- Bug/Insect repellent
- Cotton clothing for summer days, light woolen clothes for evenings. Heavy woolens for winter.
- Shorts for hiking and walking around town are fine. Out of respect, please don't wear shorts in public buildings or monasteries. Have a pair of long pants or longer skirt for these locations.