BHUTAN: YOGA RETREAT WITH OMM RETREATS

August 2018

Summer in Bhutan is beautiful, lush and green, with temperatures in the 70's and low 80's during the day, and some 10 degrees cooler at night.  Yes it rains, but usually in short intense downpours, and these often at night. (Statistically Bhutan receives as much rain as New England in the summer and less than England). There are few visitors, leaving one with the feeling that you have the Kingdom to yourself. We are bringing our favorite yoga instructor with us for this trip to lead you in daily yoga practice. We visit all the most interesting sites in Bhutan, plus pay visits to monasteries where our local contacts will introduce us to their monk friends for the opportunity to meditate and socialize with these holy men. 

Buddha Point Dochula,chortens 2 monks n friend BHUTAN Nalanda, Bhutan snowy peaks, Bhutan

Day-By-Day Itinerary

Meet at Tawana Hotel in central Bangkok. Time to rest, relax, go for massage, enjoy Thai food. Overnight at Tawana Hotel.

Explore Bangkok on your own, sample the food, massage, explore nearby Lumpini Park. Get acquainted dinner with group. Overnight at Tawana Hotel.

We have 5:00 a.m. departure from Bangkok to arrive Paro 8:30 a.m. We'll be met by guide and driver and then and drive 15 minutes to hotel, the Gangtey Place Hotel. We'll get settled and then go into Paro town for lunch followed by walking tour of town. Mid to late afternoon return to hotel to relax. Welcome dinner at hotel.

Morning visit to the Paro Dzong, a 4-century old fortress/monastery now housing local government offices and monastery.  We will also visit the nearby museum, and then have lunch in Paro. Afternoon visit to Kyichu Monastery, one of Bhutan’s most holy sites. Overnight at Gangtey Palace Hotel.

Following breakfast we drive 90-minutes to Thimphu, capital of Bhutan. Check into hotel, then begin our exploration of Thimphu with its many sights. We will visit the National Memorial Chorten, papermaking factory, and tour the National Textile Museum. Late afternoon at leisure.  Friday night in Thimphu offers many possibilities for live music and dancing with our Bhutanese friends. Overnight at Druk Hotel.

Morning 90-minute hike uphill through the forest to the beautiful Cheri Monastery. Return to Thimphu for lunch and then in afternoon visit the famous weekend Farmer’s Market. Late afternoon free, Evening out with Bhutanese friends for local entertainment; music and dancing. Overnight at Druk Hotel.

Morning for further exploration of Thimphu, then afternoon departure for Punakha. The 3.5-hour drive takes us over the 10,300’ pass at Dochu-La. The pass is covered with 108 chortens, these impressive religious structures are situated here as passes are considered sacred in Bhutan. Sub-tropical Punakha’s elevation is 4,300’. Late afternoon check in to our hotel, Drubchhu Resort.

Morning visit to the 4-century old Punakha Dzong, (fortified monastery). We tour the different parts of the dzong, and then have lunch in traditional restaurant, followed by gentle walk across rice fields to the Temple of the Divine Madman, Bhutan’s most beloved saint. Late afternoon return to hotel. Cooking demonstration in hotel kitchen before dinner tonight. Overnight at Drubchhu Resort.

The river that flows by the Punakha Dzong is the best river in Bhutan for rafting, and today we raft down the river for 90-minutes, passing impressive views including the Punakha Dzong. After lunch we’ll visit the pedestrian suspension bridge that spans the river, the Bhutanese were the pioneers in building such bridges, and this one offers impressive views. Overnight at Drubchhu Resort.

Morning drive to Nalanda Monastery, meet with monks who make this their home, then gentle downhill walk to Punakha town, lunch in town and then we drive back to Thimphu. Overnight at Druk Hotel.

Full day to explore Thimphu, visit the School of the 13 Traditional Arts, Buddha Point Statue, Takin (Bhutan’s national mammal) Research Center. Overnight at Druk Hotel.

Free morning in Thimphu, followed by afternoon drive to Paro. We check into one of Bhutan’s most exquisite hotels, the Zhiwa Ling Hotel, named by the National Geographic Society as one of the world’s most unique lodges.

After breakfast we drive 20-minutes to base of mountain where Taksang Monastery is located. Also known as Tiger’s Nest Monastery, this most iconic of all buildings in Bhutan isperched on a cliff 2,700’ above the valley floor. Guru Rimpoche arrived here on the back of a flying tiger is 746, and meditated in a mountain cave for 3 months. The site has since been sacred and a monastery has been constructed to commemorate this visit. It is a pilgrimage site for all Bhutanese who gain merit by making the ascent. You too can gain merit while by making the 3-hour ascent and visiting the monastery seemingly glued to the barest concavity of the cliff face. After descending we’ll have lunch and you may opt for Bhutanese traditional hot stone bath or massage in hotel. Farewell dinner at our hotel, the Zhiwa Ling Hotel.

Breakfast at hotel, free time at hotel or visit Paro town, then transport to airport for 4:00 p.m. flight to Bangkok, arriving at 9:50 p.m.

prices & registration information

(Inclusive of round trip economy class airfare Bangkok, Thailand to Paro, Bhutan, food in Bhutan and breakfast and one dinner in Bangkok, beverages, accommodations (2 nights in Bangkok, 10 nights in Bhutan), ground transportation, entrance fees, services of licensed Bhutanese guide and driver, yoga classes and services of yoga instructor, services of USA based trip leader, Bhutanese visa and airport taxes.)


$6900. (Based on double occupancy)
$7900. (Based on single occupancy)

NOTE: International airfare, gratuities, alcoholic beverages other than local beer with meals, laundry, souvenirs, spa treatments, items of a personal nature and travel insurance are NOT included.

General Information

INTERNATIONAL AIRFARE

Bhutan is accessed most easily from Bangkok, Thailand from where there are daily flights. Flights always depart in the early morning and participants should give themselves at least 24-hour layover in Bangkok in the event flight to Bangkok is delayed. Fares are subject to change without notice.

BANGKOK-PARO, BHUTAN-BANGKOK, $750. ROUND TRIP, economy class
BANGKOK-PARO, BHUTAN-BANGKOK, $915. ROUND TRIP, business class

Flights are with DRUKAIR, ROYAL BHUTAN AIRLINES, operating Airbus 319 jets.