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Bhutan Amankora Luxury Tour
The tiny Buddhist Kingdom of Bhutan awaits, nestled high in the Himalayas its isolation from the world has cultivated a culture rich in traditions, religion and a benevolent monarchy. The dramatic landscapes, from snow capped peaks and deeply forested slopes to raging, boulder strewn rivers, sit largely undisturbed as the endeared environmental initiatives and religious beliefs leave the Kingdom pristine and a jewel of nature. The Amankora program takes you into this ancient Kingdom for an adventure into the hearts and lands of charming farmers, fascinating weavers, enchanting monks and charismatic leaders.
Day 1 Arrival, Transfer to Paro, o/n Paro
Day 2 Transfer to Punakha Valley, o/n Punakha
Day 3 Punakha Valley Exploration, o/n Punakha
Day 4 Start Sinchula Trek/over nights camping
Day 5 Explore Paro Valley, o/n Paro
Day 6 International Departure
Day 1 – Arrival/ Paro Valley Exploration
From the flight in, weaving through the valley, arrival in Bhutan is like no other. The transfer to the Paro valley, you will follow your way up the dramatic Wang Chu and Paro Chu river valleys, before crossing thru Paro Town towards the north end of the valley. Here, set in a pine forest, you will find the Amankora lodge and its spa. The day starts with a visit to the National Museum, housed in the Ta Dzong (watchtower). Here, an intriguing collection of artefacts provide a wonderful introduction to the rich culture and heritage of the Kingdom. Just a short walk downhill lays the dominating Paro Dzong, a fine example of Bhutanese historic architecture. From the Dzong, the tour crosses Nyamai Zampa, a traditional cantilever bridge, and guests are then driven to the town temple, built in 1525, to view ancient wall paintings. You may wish for relaxing evening with Amankora oil massage followed by the Traditional hot stone bath. (Overnight at Amankora Paro)
Day 2 – Explore Punakha Valley
We opt for an early departure for a dramatic drive over the high mountain pass of Dochu La and on to the Punakha Valley. Sights on the way include one of Bhutan’s first fortress monasteries, the 17th century Simtokha Dzong, and ancient wall paintings at the Hongtsho Goemba monastery. The journey continues over the 3,050m mountain pass where on a clear day, towering Himalayan peaks are clearly visible. The descent down thru the Punakha Valley along the Kingdom’s only east-west highway will loop you through the Valley of Wangdi where you can visit the rustic Wangdiphodrang Dzong and perhaps the local town temple next door. Time will be afforded to walk this small village and explore its row of intimate shops before heading back into Punakha Valley. This afternoon you will have a choice to visit the village of Talo, home of the Queens’ and the valley’s protective deity lhakhang. Later in the afternoon a hike to an ancient monastery on the hilltop behind the lodge can be organized or time given to enjoy the farmhouse and spa of the lodge. (Overnight at Amankora Punakha)
Day 3 – Punakha Valley Exploration
The day in Punakha Valley begins with a beautiful hike from the Punakha Lodge along the Mo Chhu thru terraces of rice, chillies and cabbage, takes to the Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten, a monument recently built by the four queens of Bhutan. Following the hike you will drive back up the valley towards Khuruthang passing Punthsho Pelri Palace and several other winter homes of the royal family before reaching the impressive Punakha Dzong. This ancient fortress is the winter residence of the monastic order’s head and still serves as the administrative headquarters for the Punakha region. A picnic lunch is served on the banks of the Punak Chu, before visiting the village of Lobesa where a short walk ends at Chimi Lhakhang, the auspicious fertility monastery built in 1499. (Overnight at Amankora Punakha)
Day 4 –
Strenuous 1st day & moderate 2nd day
This trek is from Punakha (The ancient capital of Bhutan) to Thimphu (The current capital of Bhutan). It is a two-day trek crossing the Sinchula Pass that separates the two important valleys of Western Bhutan. There is a fair amount of interaction with the villages and the people at the beginning and at the end of the trek. In the olden times, this route was used by the lords, the monk body to move back and forth from Punakha to Thimphu and by the local villagers of Kabjisa. The people of Kabjisa keep two houses, one in Thimphu for the summers and the other in Punakha for the winters. Nowadays, the villagers still use this route but also have the option of traveling with car or bus.
DAY 1 CHORTEN NYEBU, PUNAKHA to DUPSHIPANG
Altitude at Start Point : 5300 Ft / 1620 m
Altitude at Destination : 10660 Ft / 3250 m
Distance : 11 Kms
Time taken : 6-7 Hrs (Approximate)
The drive from Punakha Lodge towards the beautiful Chorten Nyebu (meaning Old Chorten) takes about 40 minutes. We will visit Kabjisa Primary School on the way. Before starting the trek, we will visit the temple, which is, as the name implies, the oldest temple in the region. It is about 350 years old. The main statue in the temple is the future Buddha which is currently under renovation. The sacredness is considered similar to that of the Jow statue (future Buddha) in the Lhasa Jokhang in Tibet. On the 10th Day of the eight month of the Bhutanese calendar, the locals and many more from the lower valleys gather here to undergo a Tsechu – prayer ceremony in the honor of the Buddha and the Guru Rimpoche.
The first day of our trek involves a slow but steady climb through worn trails that are so deep that it is almost like going through tunnels at some points. Cross a bridge over the Kabji Chhu (River) and we walk parallel through the villages of Dophukha. People in this village are wealthy and have very fertile farmlands. Their main source of income is from selling the red rice during the weekend markets in Punakha. This is a perfect day to encounter many lower altitude Rhododendrons and young oaks. One can encounter plenty of birds too. Some of the common birds seen around here are: Grey Backed Shrike, Yellow Billed Blue Magpie, Eurasian Jay, Black Drongo, Common Myna and Green backed Tit and many more. We also walk through a series of cattle grazing grounds but will encounter cattle herders only in summer when they are moving higher after the plantations.
Tonight, our camp will be in a meadow before reaching the Sinchula pass. The camp is surrounded by good pine forests with some oak vegetation. On clear day, there are good views from the camp overlooking the valleys of Mendaygang and Thinley gang.
DAY 2 DUPSHI PANG to PANGRI ZAMPA
Altitude at Destination : 7440 Ft / 2270 m
Distance : 12 Kms
Time taken : 5-6 Hrs (Approximate)
On our second day we climb up to Sinchula pass that lies at an altitude of 11200 Ft/3410 m The hike after the pass is through mixed coniferous forest vegetation. The pass is marked with a medium size Chorten (Stupa) and lot of prayer flags. In clear weather, there is a magnificent view of the lower villages of Thimphu Kabjisa, Begana & Changtagang. It is also possible to view the high snow peaks towards Lunana in the north on clear days. From here we continue to Bangla Kayba, a nice clearing meadow surrounded by Hemlock and Juniper trees, where we will have our lunch. From here, the last part of the stretch is downhill. The trails are deep and narrow with lots of switchbacks cut through the thick vegetation of mixed conifer, bamboo, rhododendron and Daphne trees. After descending through the forest, we will reach the road point at Begana and continue by foot on dirt road towards the village of Thimphu Kabjisa. Besides the locals who have lived there for ages, there are also Tibetan refugees who have settled here. We will get an opportunity to visit a Tibetan community school in this village if time permits. We will pass the Menchu Karpo (The medical soaking stream) where many locals from Thimphu undergo traditional hot stone bath next to this stream during the weekends to heal from various diseases. When reaching Pangrizampa, we will visit the Astrology School, before driving back to Thimphu. The drive from here to Thimphu valley takes approximately 30 minutes, if time permits you may wish to explore Thimphu valley a bit more or else continue From Punakha to Thimphu to Paro
In the afternoon, there is an opportunity for a quick stroll to the nearby ruins, a visit to some of the valley’s oldest and holiest religious monuments or a ramble down Paro’s main street. Evenings at Amankora may include informative lectures on the history, religion, flora and fauna of the region or an intriguing movie on the Himalayas. (Overnight at Amankora Paro)
Day 06– Departure Day
Early morning transfer to airport.
• Bhutan visa is pre-process by our company we need to have your passport copy by scan on our e-mail. we will send you electronic visa on your mail. you need to print and carry to fly to Bhutan. at immigration authorities will stamp on your passport.
• your passport must be valid more than 6 months at the time of travel in Bhutan
* Notes: There are regular flights from Kathmandu Nepal, Bangkok Thailand, Delhi India to Bhutan . for flights and package please contact us now