Bhutan: Buddhism, Tradition, and Himalayan Splendor

In late 2020, explore the secret world of tiny Bhutan, a Himalayan jewel hidden in the forests and clouds, where ancient traditions thrive, social happiness matters, and harmony with nature is a national priority.

Part of Bhutan’s mystique is its embodiment of spiritual peace and harmony with its surroundings. Discover wonderful examples throughout your journey in the land that actually measures “Gross National Happiness”! Paro, Bhutan offers two spectacular destinations on your first day beginning with the beautifully restored Drukgyel Dzong, an historic fortress once vital to preserving Bhutan’s autonomy. Next, visit the deeply sacred Kyichu Lhakhang Monastery, covered floor to ceiling with richly painted, woven, and lacquered artworks. By taking in these Bhutanese sights together, you’ll become fast friends with your AdventureWomen travel companions long before even your welcome dinner!

The next day, follow strings of prayer flags lining the arid mountain ridge to reach Chele La Pass at 13,000’ for breathtaking views of the Haa Valley’s landscapes, before heading to the often-photographed and viscerally intense Taktsang Lhakhang, aka “The Tiger’s Nest”. You’ll hike several hours up to reach this astounding monastery, perched on a cliff 3,000 feet above the valley floor!

Walk to the Jambey Lhakhang Temple, one of Bhutan’s two oldest temples, in Bumthang, then ramble through beautiful countryside and over the tumbling, jade-green Chmakhar Chu river to explore the temple at Tamshing (1501 A.D.), where many young monks are trained.

Participate in a spiritual drum ceremony at the Pema Choeling Nunnery, performed by 100+ nuns undertaking a 12-year course of study here. Get to know these amazing women as you share stories over lunch. You’ll then explore the winding stone passageways and courtyards of Bhutan’s highest fortress complex, Trongsa Dzong. The Phobjikha Valley holds a very special surprise: the rare black-necked crane, which only visits in winter. While in the Punakha Valley, absorb its peace, calm, and purity during a night of tented camping!

See Bhutan from Dochu La Pass (10,300′ elevation), then accept the blessings and peace bestowed by Thimpu’s colossal, 169′ tall seated Buddha Dordenma and the 125,000 little Buddhas hidden inside! Thimphu is the only capital in the world that still doesn’t use traffic lights so stop a moment to watch policemen direct traffic from booths using incredible hand movements.

Returning to Paro, enjoy a few more activities with your travel companions then enjoy a wonderful farewell meal reliving your experiences together, from seeing the elegant black-necked cranes to that breathless hike into The Tiger’s Nest to your walks in the wilds of Bhutan.

Don’t miss this rare journey into Bhutan in December 2020 to explore one of the world’s most colorful and best-preserved ancient cultures!

Bhutan Cultural Journey Highlights:

  • Hike to high Himalayan mountain passes for breathtaking views of verdant valleys
  • Visit Bhutan’s monasteries including Taktsang Lhakhang, aka “The Tiger’s Nest”
  • Learn about and photograph the famous black-necked cranes in the Phobjikha Valley
  • Discover the traditions of Buddhism as you join in Buddhist ceremonies and meet local Buddhist leaders

Price: $6,490

Dates:
November 8 – 17, 2020
December 6 – 15, 2020

 


Interested in this trip preview? Reserve your spot today!