Kingdom of Bhutan - Happiness and Bliss - F5 Escapes - Solo and Group Women only Travel Company India
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    Happiness and Bliss

Day 1 Arrive in Thimpu. Visit the farmer’s market
Day 2 Try archery and learn about arts & crafts of Bhutan
Day 3 Drive through Dochu La & arrive at the beautiful valley of Pobjika
Day 4 Drive through the village & visit Gangtey Goempa
Day 5 Drive to Punakha & visit the longest iron suspension bridge of Bhutan
Day 6 Go for rafting, visit Jungshi Handmade Paper factory
Day 7 Sightseeing around Paro
Day 8 Trek to Tiger’s Nest Monastery
Day 9 Return to Kolkata
TOUR OVERVIEW

Bhutan is the friendly neighbour who we don’t know much about. But from what we know, we are eager to discover more. Did you know that apart from being one of the happiest places on the earth, it is also the only country with negative carbon footprint. Bhutan has preserved its history beautifully and embraced a progressive outlook. Let’s embark on breathtaking journeys of high passes, beautiful valleys and majestic fortresses.

Try hands at archery, rafting at a beautiful river, soak into the relaxing hot stone batch and climb the monasteries precariously sitting on a cliff. Meet the locals and learn about a culture that is a little known and a little mysterious. With Bhutan’s outlook towards preserving its forests and natural reserves and limiting the tourism volume, it is truly a blessing to be able to visit this beautiful nation. Welcome to the Last Shangri La!

This trip is only for Indian Passport Holders / Indian Voter Card holder. And read on. Really, please read till the end! We want you to completely understand what you are signing up for and ask as many questions as you can.

Day 1 - 23 Feb 2019

Catch your flight from Kolkata to Paro in the morning. You can either take a late night flight from your city and wait at the Kolkata airport or arrive last evening and we can arrange for your stay, at extra cost.

Land in Bhutan and proceed to its capital, Thimpu. On the way visit the awe inspiring Buddha Dordenma. Thimpu has a thriving local culture. Walk around the clock tower square. Visit the weekend farmer’s market. Bhutan’s policy requires the farmers to seek permission to use pesticides, so the local produce are almost organic and super fresh. Visit the cafes and shop at the clock tower square. Overnight at Thimpu.

Day 2 - 24 Feb 2019

Visit Simply Bhutan – a living Museum/studio showcasing the age old culture and traditional heritage. Try your hands at archery, sip the butter tea and learn about various arts and crafts of Bhutan. Visit the Tashi Chho Dzong/ Fortress of Splendid Religion – office of the Golden Throne of the Dragon King. We will also take a peek the Changlimithang National Stadium to witness if any archery event is happening. Enjoy a cultural performance at night. Overnight at Thimpu.

Day 3 - 25 Feb 2019

After breakfast we check out and proceed to the beautiful valley of Phobjika. We will have to cross the Dochu La, at the altitude of 10, 171 ft. On a clear day, you can get a 180degree view of the beautiful snow capped Himalayan peaks. Visit the 108 chortens at the Druk Wangyal Lhakhang. Have lunch at the cafe at Dochu La. We drive through the small village of Lobesa and reach our cute little guest house in Gangtey, Phobjika valley. Visit the hand-woven-carpet shop adjacent to the guest house, owned by your hosts. Overnight at Gangtey, Phobjika.

Day 4 - 26 Feb 2019

Phobjika is called one of  the sacred valleys. It is among the most beautiful glacial valleys of Bhutan and we will be driving around the villages exploring the picture book landscapes. We will also take a leisurely nature trail with packed lunch and visit the Gangtey Goempa. Black-necked cranes visit Phobjika in winters from the Tibetan plateau and we will visit the interpretation center to understand the migration pattern.

If we are lucky, we can spot a few of the late departures. Have dinner at a traditional Bhutanese farmhouse with the local family. Overnight at Gangtey, Phobjika.

Day 5 - 27 Feb 2019

After breakfast we move to another beautiful valley of Punakha. Situated at the confluence of the Pho and Mo Chu (the male and female river), Pungthang Dewachen Phodrang (Palace of Great Happiness) or Punakha Dzong is considered to be country’s most beautiful Dzong. Around that, we will also visit the longest iron suspension bridge of Bhutan.

Drive up to the Sangchen Dorji Lhendrub Choling Nunnery, situated on a hilltop and interact with the nuns. Let’s all come back wiser. Overnight at Punakha.

Day 6 - 28 Feb 2019

Go for a morning rafting session. Enjoy the thrill at the rapids. We start our journey to Thimpu and cross the Dochu La again. On the way visit the Jungshi Handmade Paper factory. Before checking in to your stay, visit the Bhutan Postal museum, for getting your personalised stamp. That’s right! Send the postcards to your loved ones from Bhutan with stamps that has your photo! Overnight at Thimpu.

Day 7 - 01 Mar 2019

After breakfast, visit the National Textile Museum at the Royal Textile Academy. One of the best museums of Bhutan, it is the place to learn about Bhutan’s living national art of thagzo (weaving). The museum shop offers some interesting books and fine textiles. Start for Paro and view the confluence of Paro and Thimpu valleys. Visit the Tachogang Lhakhang and the Souvenir House. Overnight at Paro.

Day 8 - 02 Mar 2019

We will be climbing to the most identifiable and spiritual icon of Bhutan – the Taktsang Monastery or the Tiger’s Nest Monastery. It was blessed and sanctified as one of Bhutan’s most sacred religious sites. It hangs on a cliff and stands above a beautiful forest of blue pine and rhododendrons. The trek will take up the whole day. Return to the stay and indulge in a hot stone bath if you like. For those who cannot or do not want to trek, we can arrange an alternate day expedition in the car. Overnight at Paro.

Day 9 - 03 Mar 2019

Catch the morning flight to Kolkata. Trip ends.

Inclusions

  •  Permit for Bhutan
  • Kolkata-Paro-Kolkata flight tickets
  • Accommodation for 8N on double sharing basis.
  •  All transportation in a Toyota Coaster or similar as per the itinerary
  • Entry tickets
  • Dedicated Bhutanese guide along with your F5 trip lead
  • Breakfasts from Day 2 to Day 9 at the stay
  • Dinner from Day 1 to Day 8 at the stay/farmhouse
  • Packed Lunch during the Gangtey Nature Trail
  • 1 Cultural program
  • 1 Archery session
  • Tolls and Parking

Exclusions

  • Food, snacks other than mentioned in inclusions.
  • Lunches other than the packed lunch on Gangtey Nature Trail
  • Alcohol
  • Camera charges
  • Activity charges other than mentioned
  • Rafting charges – 8000 per raft (5 pax)
  • Hot stone bath ranging from INR 1800-2000 per person. If the whole group wants it, we can get you a group price for that.
  • Tips and personal expenses
  • Medication
  • Flights/Trains/Bus from your city of residence to Kolkata and return

Terms & Conditions

REFUNDS/CANCELLATION:

If cancelled 90 days or more in advance, cancellation fee is 12% of the trip amount.

  •  25% of the trip cost if cancelled 89 – 60 days in advance.
  •  50% of the trip cost if cancelled 59 to 16 days in advance.
  • Last 15 days – no show – entire amount will be forfeited.

If you use our services to book flights, cancellation charges of the flights will apply.

Option of Deferred trip:

You have an option of parking the paid amount with us for a future trip, if you wish to cancel joining this trip 60 days or more in advance.

 Following conditions apply:

  • You need to choose the trip you would like to go with instead (the deferred trip) within 2 months of deciding to cancel.

  • The travel start date of the deferred trip should be within 6 months from the day you decide to cancel.

  • There can be only one such change and once you decide the deferred trip, the cancellation policy of that trip applies.

  • You cannot choose a short trip (less than 5 days) as a deferred trip.

Disclaimer

  • Our trips are usually non-alcoholic. However, we would want you to try the locally made rice and other wines. We trust you to use moderation so that the program next day can run smoothly. We will not be responsible for the hangovers!
  • All our trips are well-researched, including identifying access to medical facilities. In case of a medical emergency, F5 will assist the traveler in getting medical attention.
  • F5 Escapes is in no way responsible for any untoward incident happening due to the ignorance/negligence of the guests, natural/man-made calamities, accidents or any other events that are out of human control during the trip.
  • F5 reserves the right to cancel the trip under certain conditions – in such a case, the amount will be refunded in full.

Arrival & Departure details

Ex-Kolkata airport. Kolkata-Paro-Kolkata flights are included.

Flight Details:

23rd February, 2019 : CCU-PBH   0815 Departure 0955 Arrival

03rd March, 2019 : PBH-CCU 1035 Departure 1115 Arrival

Weather

You can expect moderate temperatures during the day, 12-15 C, dropping to single digit at night, or a bit lower in Thimpu, Paro and Gangtey. Punakha is warmer.

*Please note that now a days, climate/ weather is dependent on many factors and unpredictable hence above information might be subject to change during your actual travel days

 

Stay

Thimpu – our stay is a renovated traditional Bhutanese house located near the city centre for easy access to the museums and cafes.

Phobjika – a cute little family run guest house with beautiful views

Punakha – A charming and luxurious farmstay atop a hill with great views of Punakha Dzong and the rivers

Paro – A conveniently located stay with comfortable rooms and magnificent views of Tiger’s Nest

Fooooood!

  • Bhutanese food at the guest houses and farmstays. We will try a lot of local delicacies.
  • Cafes in Thimpu will serve continental food as well. Indian food will be available in Thimpu and Paro, but not always.

Note > Prepare > Accept > Embrace:

  • Please read the itinerary thoroughly. Consider asking questions if needed. We do not promise what we cannot deliver and we like our guests to know what they are signing up for.
  • Indian do not require Visa for Bhutan but a permit is required, especially when venturing out of Thimpu and Paro. We will be arranging the permit for you. You need to have documents required for the issuance of route permit: Valid Passport or Indian Voter’s identity card. No other card like Aadhar, Driving License or OCI etc are valid.
  • Passport validity should be more than 6 months at the time of travel. We will need two passport size photos.
  • For  kids below 17 yrs. with no Voter cards and passports, in such case, Birth certificate and school identity card is imperative.
  • Our stay in Thimpu is a renovated Bhutanese heritage home and has two floor. First floor has 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. It will be used only by our group, including the living room. The 5th room will be on the ground floor with attached bathroom.
  • Hike to the Tiger Nest is steep in parts. This is a 6km one way hike. The last part of the trek consists of climbing at least 400 stairs. Please reconsider if you have knee issues. Although there is nothing else planned for the day and we will take it on our own pace, you will need stamina. If you do not exercise regularly, this may be a problem for you.
  • At the base of the Tiger nest trek, there are horses available for rent for a fee. You can sit somewhat comfortably on horseback to reach the cafeteria about mid-way up the trail, then continue hiking from there. To descend the mountain though, you’ll have to do it on foot – horse rides are not available.
  • In case you want to skip the trek, we will plan an alternate sightseeing expedition for you.
  • This is East, so the sun rises early and sets early. We will start our day early to finish all that we planned.
  • Bhutan is a carbon negative country and while there will be geysers in the bathroom, if there is no electricity in the remote areas, the water will be heated on wood stoves and not through diesel generators. Please be patient.
  • Bhutan is filled with gompas, lhakhangs (temples), dzongs (fortresses) and stupas(chortens). We are not trying to visit all of them in every destination we go to. We are doing different things at different places and while we cover the most famous and magnificent ones of them, we are not ticking a checklist.
  • You cannot wear shorts while visiting monasteries, temples, and Dzongs, though they’re fine for trekking.
  • As per RBI notification dated 04th Feb 2016, Indian Nationals can carry up to limit of INR 25,000/- per individual with currency notes of denomination of Rs. 100, 200 and 500 or below. Foreign national (other than Indian Passport Holders) can carry up to limit of US$10,000/- or equivalent. No person shall take or send out of India the Indian coins which are covered by the Antique and Art Treasure Act, 1972.

‘F5 Escapes’ is a Bangalore-based, experiential travel company, with a focus on redefining the way women travel in India. The premise of F5 is an ambitious dream –  to put India on the global travel map as a preferred destination for women from across the globe.

F5 Escapes offers fixed departure all-women group tours, customized itineraries for families, groups and solo travellers. We also do in-city engagements which include #JustGo travel meetups, workshops to educate women on travel safety, sustainable menstruation, motorbiking etc.

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F5 Escapes is a brand of Zingara Solutions Pvt Ltd, 1st floor, Lahe Lahe building, 80ft road, HAL 3rd stage, Kodihalli, Bangalore 560008
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