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Amankora Journey

BELGIUM

“Tsheten took us to charming places, telling about the country and its people, and wonderfully survived our never relenting stream of questions”

USA

“Journey to Discover Bhutan, organizes specialist tours for studying Bhutan’s natural history; cultural endeavors, especially those centered on the exuberant Buddhist religious festivals”

AUSTRALIA

“Tsheten has arranged my previous three visits to Bhutan in a professional and stress free manner (and he is currently arranging my fourth). “

AUSTRALIA

“Tsheten has arranged my previous three visits to Bhutan in a professional and stress free manner (and he is currently arranging my fourth). “

“Tsheten took very good care of me and introduced me at easy pace to Bhutan culture, customs, history and people. “

    OVERVIEW

    Amankora Journey

    Embark on a transcendent odyssey through the enchanting landscapes of Bhutan, where our luxury tour unfolds as a tapestry of opulence woven into the very fabric of the Himalayan kingdom. In the embrace of mystical monasteries perched on precipitous cliffs, find resplendent tranquility. Traverse emerald valleys adorned with prayer flags that dance in harmony with the mountain breeze.

    Indulge in regal accommodations that blend seamlessly with the pristine surroundings, offering a sanctuary of serenity. From the vibrant markets of Thimphu to the sacred echoes of Punakha Dzong, our Bhutan luxury tour is an immersive symphony of culture and comfort, an exquisite sojourn where each moment is adorned with the grace of Bhutanese hospitality. Elevate your journey beyond the ordinary, where the allure of luxury converges with the spiritual mystique of the Last Shangri-La.

    08

    DAYS

    Our Short Loop Journey of 7 nights allows you to experience four valleys with 1 night at first lodge followed by two nights at each lodge. The loop starts in Thimphu, then takes you to Gangtey and from there back to Punakha and finally to Paro where you will end your journey.

    On the following pages we have compiled the most popular activities and hikes in each valley. For some of them we recommend that you pre-book them to ensure you can enjoy them on your preferred date and time.

    WHAT’S THE WEATHER LIKE?

    When to visit for Bhutan Luxury Tour

    Bhutan experiences distinct seasons, with a monsoon season bringing heavy rainfall from June to September, nourishing the lush green landscapes. Winters, from November to February, bring cooler temperatures and occasional snowfall in higher elevations. Spring and autumn, from March to May and September to November respectively, offer pleasant weather with clear skies and blooming flora.


    4-25
    °C
    20-50
    MM
    Spring
    MAR – MAY
    15-27
    °C
    90-120
    MM
    Monsoons
    JUN – AUG
    3-26
    °C
    0-70
    MM
    Autumn
    SEPT – NOV
    (-2)-17
    °C
    5-10
    MM
    Winter
    DEC – FEB

    Trip Highlights

    The Short Loop

    The name is derived from two words, “Aman” from the Sanskrit for “peace” and Kora in Dzongkha, the Bhutanese language meaning “circular pilgrimage”. Aman Kora Resorts has several lodges mainly in western part of Bhutan and one in central part, which will be operational within the end of 2007. Every lodge has its own natural settings in harmony with Bhutan’s pristine environment, culture, ambience, excellent services and best views of the mountains, monasteries and valleys.

    Thimphu

    Nestled in the heart of the Himalayas, Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan, unfolds as a captivating destination for travelers seeking a unique blend of tradition and modernity. Here, ancient dzongs stand in harmony with contemporary structures, reflecting Bhutan’s commitment to preserving its cultural heritage amidst the march of progress. The bustling streets are adorned with a colorful array of traditional Bhutanese architecture, and the vibrant markets offer a glimpse into the daily lives of the friendly locals.

    Paro

    Paro Valley, Bhutan’s picturesque town of Paro beckons travelers with its timeless charm and cultural allure. Renowned for its historical significance and breathtaking landscapes, Paro is a gateway to the kingdom’s soul. The iconic Tiger’s Nest Monastery, perched dramatically on a cliffside, is a testament to Bhutan’s spiritual legacy and offers a trek that rewards with awe-inspiring views. The Paro Dzong, a majestic fortress at the confluence of the Paro and Thimphu rivers, showcases intricate architecture and serves as a cultural anchor.

    Tour Includes

    • Accommodation: Luxury Hotels

    • Meal Plan: All the meals

    • Transport: Very Comfortable Transport (SUV/Mini Bus/Coaster Bus)

    • Guide: Professional English Speaking

    • Visa / Permits: Bhutan Visa & All Permits

    • Sightseeing: Extensive Sightseeing & Touring

    • Entrance fees: All Historic Monuments

    • Tax: Government Royalties And Taxes

    Tour Excludes

    • Airfare

    • Laundry

    • Private Calls

    • Beverages or Drinks

    • Insurance for travel and other contingencies.

    • Bank Charges

    Single room supplement charges of US $ 40 per night halt per person will apply for any single room requirement.

    Itinerary

    DAY 01: Arrival at Paro

    Enjoy one of the world’s most spectacular descents as your early-morning flight arrives into Paro amid breathtaking views of the Himalayan peaks. On arrival you will be greeted by your local Amankora guide, who will remain with you throughout your journey across Bhutan. Your itinerary will be tailored to remain as flexible as possible, and you will be able to discuss it in advance. A 1.5 hour drive away, Thimphu, Bhutan’s capital,lies in a steep valley at an altitude of 2,350m (7,709ft). Upon arrival at Amankora Thimphu, you will have time to settle in before exploring the area, including the Institute of Traditional Medicines, the School of Arts and Crafts, the Folk Heritage Museum and Simply Bhutan – museums depicting Bhutan’s ancient cultural heritage. Other sights include the National Library, the Textile Museum, the Weaving Center, Buddha Point and the National Memorial Chorten.

    Alternatively, opt for a mild hike with a good view, such as the Wangditse Leisure Forest trail. End the day with an Ayurvedic hot-oil head massage, Amankora Thimphu’s signature spa treatment (chargeable activity).

    Overnight – Amankora Thimphu

    DAY 02: Thimphu

    A short morning hike will take you to Cheri Goemba monastery. On the way back, pay a visit to the 16th- century Pangri Zampa, which now houses a monastic training school for astrologers. Back in town, explore the capital’s cottage industries, from traditional paper making to hand rolled incense; browse Himalayan artefacts along the main street; and make your own stamp at the post office. The Craft Bazaar or Vegetable markets are open at weekends.

    After lunch, head to the north end of the valley to visit the Trashi Chhoe Dzong, the seat of Bhutan’s government and royal offices. As the sun sets, take a stroll past the Takin animal sanctuary for a beautiful view over the Thimphu valley. According to local legend, the takins are believed to be part cow and part goat.

    Alternatively, you can play a round of nine holes at Thimphu Golf Club, set among chortens and beautiful scenery. The course’s altitude – 2,350m (7,700ft) – causes the balls to fly further in the thin mountain air (chargeable activity).
    In the evening, enjoy a private meeting at the lodge with the Mynak Trulku, who will answer all your Buddhism questions. He is the 12th reincarnate lama of the famous Mynak Rinpoche (chargeable activity).

    Overnight – Amankora Thimphu

    DAY 03: Punakha

    An early departure is necessary for the dramatic drive over the 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, from where towering Himalayan peaks are visible on clear days.

    After a picnic lunch we continue on to Punakha, which lies at an altitude of 1,250m (4,100ft) in a warm, fertile valley at the junction of the Mo Chhu (Female River) and the Pho Chhu (Male River). The subtropical environment allows the cultivation of rice and numerous fruits.

    On entering Punakha valley, guests can visit Chimi Lhakhang, the auspicious fertility monastery built in 1499, which couples traditionally visit to pray for a pregnancy and receive a wang (blessing) from the saint with the ‘magic thunderbolt of wisdom’.

    Enjoy the evening in the courtyard of Punakha lodge or unwind with a massage or a facial, Punakha’s signature spa treatment (chargeable activity).

    Overnight – Amankora Punakha

    DAY 04: Punakha

    Start the morning with a hike to Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten, a stunning monument built by the Bhutanese Queen Mother and consecrated in 1999. Following the hike you can visit the impressive Punakha Dzong, home to the remains of Bhutan’s first ruler and the winter residence of the monastic order’s leader and his entourage of monks.

    A popular option for lunch or dinner is the Private Riverside BBQ. Just below the lodge, guests sit in the shade of pine trees and enjoy the sounds of the river, views of rice fields and mountain peaks, and the aromas of food sizzling on the charcoal grill. Dinner is especially romantic, lit by candles and lanterns and warmed by a bonfire (chargeable activity – pre-booking advised).

    In the afternoon, try your hand at archery, Bhutan’s national sport, or sign up for a cooking class to learn how to make momos, traditional dumplings, and the famous ema datse (chargeable activity).

    Overnight – Amankora Punakha

    DAY 05: Paro

    The four-hour journey to Paro takes you back across the impressive Dochu La pass. For lunch you can either stop at Thimphu lodge or enjoy a picnic at any beautiful spot on the route back along the dramatic Wang Chhu and Paro Chhu valleys. Outside the town, Amankora Paro lies hidden in pine forest towards the north end of the valley.

    In the afternoon, there is time for a short stroll across open fields and past village houses. Before the sun sets, sit down by the big prayer wheel below the ruins of the Drukgyel Dzong, and relax amid the rural scenery and changing sky. Alternatively, enjoy an archery session using a set of traditional bows and arrows.

    Evenings at Amankora Paro may include informative lectures on Gross National Happiness, traditional cultural performances, prayer flag printing or an intriguing movie on the Himalayas.

    Overnight – Amankora Paro

    DAY 06: Paro

    Begin the day with a visit to the National Museum. Here, an intriguing collection of artefacts provides a wonderful introduction to the rich culture and heritage of the Kingdom. Just a short walk downhill lies the imposing Paro Dzong, a fine example of historic Bhutanese architecture. From the Dzong, the tour crosses Nyamai Zampa, a traditional cantilever bridge, from where you will be driven to the town temple, built in 1525, to view ancient wall paintings.

    Paro lunch options include picturesque picnic spots or, perhaps, a visit to a traditional farmhouse. After lunch guests can visit the uniquely shaped Dumtse Lhakhang to view the beautifully preserved wall paintings there.

    Later, stroll the main street in Paro and shop for Himalayan artefacts or textiles to take home.

    Overnight – Amankora Paro

    DAY 07: Paro

    In the morning, hike up to view one of Bhutan’s most dramatic monuments, the Taktsang Goemba, more commonly referred to as the Tiger’s Nest, built on a sheer cliff face at an altitude of 2,950m (9,678ft).

    The four-hour trek offers spectacular views of this sacred monastery perched on the rocks, 900m above the valley floor.

    After lunch in the lodge, you can drive to the outskirts of Paro town where you will find the 7th-century twin temples of Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the first Buddhist temples built in the country. Spend time lighting 108 butter lamps (chargeable activity) and learn about the ancient Buddhist traditions that are still practised today.

    On the final evening of your journey, soak in ourHot Stone Bath and enjoy a relaxing Tibetan Ku Nye massage, where warm oil is applied to specific points to release energy blockages (chargeable activity).

    Overnight – Amankora Paro

    DAY 08: Departure

    This morning you bid farewell to Bhutan. Your driver will take you to Paro International Airport, a journey of around 30 minutes from the lodge. We recommend you arrive two hours before the flight is scheduled to depart.

    We hope to welcome you back soon to the Land of the Thunder Dragon.

    “The Last Shangri-la”.

    DISCOVER BHUTAN

    If you’re unsure or still deliberating where to travel in Bhutan, we’ll put you in touch with our Travel Specialists to offer you sound advice and an honest take on any places you might be considering for your trip.

    +975 17110849

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