The Land of The Thunder Dragon and a Side-Dish of India
This tour takes you to one of the most beautiful and most remote kingdoms in the world – Bhutan. Limited numbers of travellers each year can enjoy this magical country and its hospitable people who live by the mantra of Gross National Happiness. Before we take you to Bhutan, we will show you one of the most historic cities in India – Kolkata and the days of ‘The Raj’, followed by a trip up to Darjeeling for tea and trains!
Day 1 Wed 04 Oct Australia-Kolkata
Depart Australia on a Singapore Airlines flight for Kolkata, via Singapore.
Day 2 Thu 05 Oct Kolkata
After an early breakfast, we walk through this vibrant and bustling city. During our city tour, we will visit the Park Street Cemetery and Victoria Memorial – two great institutions left behind by the British.
At 1pm, Mr Surojit ‘Bomti’ Iyenger, an art collector and socialite, is delighted to welcome us to his charming flat on historic Chowringhee for a home-cooked Bengali lunch. In the afternoon we board a private boat cruise up the River Hoogly and discover a hitherto unseen side of Kolkata.
Dinner and overnight at Oberoi Grand Hotel in Kolkata. (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)
Day 3 Fri 06 Oct Kolkata-Bagdogra-Darjeeling
After breakfast, we fly to Bagdogra then travel by road to Darjeeling via Kurseong, the land of the white orchid. Standing high in the Himalayas at an altitude of 2134m and surrounded by World Famous Tea Gardens and snow-capped mountains, Darjeeling is one of the most exotic destinations. Afternoon walk to Observatory Hill.
We will spend two nights at Hotel Elgin in Darjeeling. (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)
Day 4 Sat 07 Oct Darjeeling-Ghum-Darjeeling
The spectacular landscape unfolds as the 2-foot gauge Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, opened in 1881, labours at about 10 mph criss-crossing the main road. During our toy train ride, we will experience the sound, smell and romance of a bygone era.
In the afternoon we proceed for our city tour, visit the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Himalayan Zoological Park, and Tibetan Self-Help Centre or Refugee Centre.
Evening enjoy Tea Tasting at Nathmuls Tea Lounge. (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)
Day 5 Sun 08 Oct Darjeeling-Kalimpong
Drive to Kalimpong. At an altitude of 1250m, Kalimpong’s clement weather has made its orchids and gladioli well renowned.
In the afternoon we proceed for a city tour with visits to the Flower Nurseries, Zang Dog Palri Fo-Brang Monastery, the Tharpa Choling Monastery and Thongsa Gumpa Monastery.
Overnight at Hotel Silver Oaks in Kalimpong. (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)
Day 6 Mon 09 Oct Kalimpong-Siliguri
Drive to Siliguri en-route visit ISKCON and Salugara Monastery.
The Buddhist shrine Salugara Monastery is among the most frequented revered places in Siliguri. The International Society for Krishna Consciousness, more popularly known as ISKCON Temple, is the biggest Krishna centre in the whole of the Northeast India.
Overnight at Royal Orchid Hotel in Siliguri. (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)
Day 7 Tue 10 Oct Siliguri-Bagdogra-Paro-Thimphu
After breakfast, transfer to Bagdogra Airport for our flight to Paro. Upon arrival, we head to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan.
Have the late afternoon free to explore Thimphu town.
Dinner at hotel with a cultural show and complimentary drinks.
We will stay at Hotel Namgay Heritage for two nights. (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)
Day 8 Wed 11 Oct Thimphu
Enjoy a relaxed day with sightseeing in Thimphu Valley. We will visit the Buddha point, National Memorial Chorten, Paper factory, Folk Heritage Museum and Traditional Arts and Craft School. After lunch we go on to explore the arts and crafts bazaar. Later visit the Fortress Tashichodzong, also the seat of the King.
Dinner with a Bhutanese family host at their home. (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)
Day 9 Thu 12 Oct Thimphu-Punakha
Today we drive up to Dochu-la pass (3,088m) to get a view of the high Himalayan peaks. After lunch in Sopsokha village, we make our way to the Temple of the Divine Madman.
Continue on to the Punakha Valley and check into our hotel, Zhingkham Resort for overnight. (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)
Day 10 Fri 13 Oct Punakha-Phobjikha
Morning visit the Punakha Dzong, a massive structure built at the junction of two rivers. In the afternoon we head to Phobjikha where we stay for two nights.
On arrival we check into Hotel Dewachen and relax in the evening enjoying the view of the valley. (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)
Day 11 Sat 14 Oct Phobjikha
The Phobjikha Valley is one of the loveliest high altitude glacial valleys in Bhutan. This morning we explore the valley and visit Gangtey Gompa. If lucky we might sight black necked cranes. Later in the day we can hike on one of the many nature trails in the valley, visiting farms and meeting locals. (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)
Day 12 Sun 15 Oct Phobjikha-Trongsa
We start out early today for our drive to Bumthang across Pele-la pass (3,300m) to Trongsa (80km) where we see a change in vegetation, with mountain forest replaced by high altitude dwarf bamboo.
Overnight at Yangkhil Resort in Trongsa. (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)
Day 13 Mon 16 Oct Trongsa-Bumthang
Today we visit the Trongsa Fort before driving to Bumthang, a journey of about 3 hours over the Yutong-la pass (3,400m).
On arrival in Bumthang, check in at the Jakar Village Lodge where we stay for two nights. (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)
Day 14 Tue 17 Oct Bumthang
We explore the peaceful Bumthang Valley with visits to Kurje Lhakhang, Jambey Lhakhang, Tamshing Monastery and Jakar Dzong. The evening will be free to walk around the town and visit the local shops. (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)
Day 15 Wed 18 Oct Bumthang-Paro
Take a morning flight back to Paro where we will stay at Tashi Namgay Resort for two nights. We will explore Paro Valley, visit the National Museum (Ta-Dzong) and Paro Rinchen Pong Dzong (fortress) which is the Administrative seat of the Paro district and also contains a state monastic community of about 200 monks. (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)
Day 16 Thu 19 Oct Paro
Today we hike to Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest), then drive up the valley to Drukgyel Dzong. On our return we visit Kyichu Lhakhang, built in the 7th century by the Tibetan king, Songtsen Gampo and explore Paro town. (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)
Day 17 Fri 20 Oct Paro-Kolkata
After breakfast, take our flight to Kolkata. The coach will be at our disposal for shopping or sightseeing in Kolkata.
Overnight at Oberoi Grand Hotel in Kolkata. (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)
Day 18 Sat 21 Oct Kolkata-Australia
After a late check out, transfer to the International Airport to board our flight home via Singapore. (Breakfast)
Day 19 Sun 22 Oct Arrive Australia
Arrive Australia in the evening.
To enquire or book this tour, please contact
Opulent Journeys 1300 219 885