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Friday, September 10, 2010

Bhutan: Kingdom in the Clouds (National Geographic)

12 Days
2010 (October 12-23 and November 6-17)
2011 (March 15-26, October 4-15 and November 6-17)
"Within the folds of Bhutan's mountains lie sacred temples, dazzling rice fields, and villages unchanged by time. On this magical journey, experience the wonders of the last Mahayana Buddhist kingdom of the Himalaya. Hike to ancient dzongs, meet local families, wander through serene monasteries, discover unique artistic traditions, and witness one of Bhutan's spectacular local festivals.
Day 1 and 2
U.S./Bangkok, Thailand
Depart the U.S., cross the international date line, and arrive in Bangkok the next night.
Day 3
Paro, Bhutan
From Bangkok, fly to the Paro Valley (7,300ft) in Bhutan. Transfer to our hotel and enjoy time to relax, or visit the seventh-century Kyichu Lhakhang. Tonight, gather for a welcome dinner.
Day 4
Punakha
This morning, journey to Punakha, Bhutan's ancient capitol. Travel over the Dochu La pass (10,000ft) and stop for tea and a view of 200 miles of Himalayan summits (weather permitting). Settle into out hotel in the garden Punakha Valley and enjoy dinner together.

Day 5
Punakha
After an invigorating hike to Khamsum Yuelley Namgyel Chorten, a spectacularly situated temple, be rewarded for your efforts with incredible views of the valley below. Then visit the Punakha Dzong, an impressive fortress guarding the southern and of the valley at the confluence of the Pho (male) and Mo (female) Rivers. Day 6
Punakha/Phobjika
Today is the fourth king's birthday, which is celebrated with small ceremonies throughout the country.* Also known as Children's Day, we have the opportunity to witness some of the festivals. Travel to the alpine valley of Phobjika (10,000ft), considered one of the most beautiful valleys in Bhutan. It is also the largest wintering site for the endangered black-necked crane, which arrives in November and stays through March.
Day 7
Phobjika
Against a backdrop of forest-clad mountains, the Gangtey Gonpa temple complex rises dramatically from a cluster of hilltop cottages. One of the oldest Nyingma monasteries in Bhutan, Gangtey Gonpa has recently been restored, allowing us to examine the fine workmanship of Bhutan's best woodcarvers, sculptors, and painters. Our visit coincides with the annual Crane Festival, * a charming mix of traditional masked and folk dances. Held in the courtyard of the Gonpa, this festival was created by the community to raise awareness for the rare cranes that winter in the valley. Then set off on a half-day hike, stopping to meet a family at a local farmhouse along the way.
To learn more about this exciting once in a lifetime journey call us.
619-464-6426 or 800-879-8635
Pricing in 2010 are from $5,995 per person
Pricing in 2011 are from $6,295 per person
(based on double occupancy)
All rates are subject to change

1 comment:

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