Premium Bhutan

Trip Code: HNPB

Why we love it

See Bhutan through the eyes of a local as you travel with a leader who will bring the country’s unique history, legends and traditions to life., Get acquainted with rare and fascinating wildlife in the breathtaking Phobjika valley, including a visit to a protection and information centre for black-necked cranes, a Premium Exclusive Experience., Climb to the teetering monastery of Taktsang (the Tiger's Nest) 900 metres above Paro’s valley floor and take in once-in-a-lifetime views., Visit the important monastery of Gangte Goemba during an Exclusive Experience and speak to a senior resident monk about two subjects at heart of Bhutanese culture – Buddhism and happiness., Unwind in your Feature Stay accommodation, a traditionally beautiful and eco-conscious resort tucked away in the glorious mountains of Paro.

Is this trip right for me?

Due to the high altitude of the places we visit some people can suffer altitude sickness, regardless of age, gender or fitness. It even happened to Sir Edmund Hillary! Please see the ‘Medical and Health Information’ section of the Essential Trip Information for more details.

The hike to Tiger’s Nest can be strenuous. The trek can take up to 5 hours and reach an altitude of 3120 metres.

In Bhutan short distances can take much longer due to small, narrow roads and mountain passes. Motion sickness can be an issue on longer driving days on windy roads.

All meals are included due to the nature of travelling in Bhutan. This means there may be limited choices on some days.

Important information

1. Complimentary airport arrival and departure transfers are included. You must provide your flight details to your booking agent at least 14 days prior to travel.
2. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights of your trip and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
3. Entry to Bhutan is very strict and travellers can only enter Bhutan on a group visa as part of a tour. All travellers must arrive on Day 1 and depart on Day 9 to be eligible for a group visa. At time of booking, please provide your booking agent with a clear uncut scanned colour copy of the two pages of the personal details section of your passport.
4. Bhutan's airlines are renowned for last minute changes to flight timetables into and out of Bhutan. Please allow a minimum of 24 hours transit time before and after your flights into and out of Bhutan. Timetables are available on the Druk Airlines and Air Bhutan websites.
5. If you have booked additional accommodation and transfers in Kathmandu, please see the ‘Passports, visas and entry requirements’ section of the Essential Trip Information for details regarding visas and arrival in Nepal.
6. Travel is always an adventure and, as destinations reopen, there are a few challenges as everyone gets back up to speed and adjusts to the new normal. Our leaders are experts when it comes to dealing with anything unexpected along the journey, so pack your understanding and flexibility, sit back and relax while they take care of the rest.

What to bring/pack

What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. We recommend you pack as lightly as possible, ensuring that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage and walk with it for short distances or up or down a flight of stairs. Help will be on hand in most locations, but there may be times you need to handle your own luggage, for example in airports and train stations.

A lockable suitcase with wheels is ideal for this trip. It is recommended that you keep your main luggage weight around 15kg and certainly no more than 20kg. A small or medium-sized backpack (45-50 litres) is another good option.

You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water, camera, jacket, etc. when you’re exploring during the day.

Below is a link to our ultimate packing list, a guide to get you started:, https://www.intrepidtravel.com/packing-list

Physical rating

3

BHUTAN:
A reasonable level of fitness is required to enjoy this trip. Many monasteries in Bhutan are reached by long flights of steps. The hike to Tiger Nest Monastery is approx 5 hours return via many uneven steps. You will be at altitudes of over 2500m, which can affect even the fittest traveller, so be prepared to be a little breathless and speak to your doctor prior to travel if you have any health concerns.

Joining your group

Norkhil Boutique Hotel, Doeboom Lam, Thimphu, 11001, Thimphu, BHUTAN

Located in the center of Thimphu city, .featuring a rooftop terrace and a holistic spa, Norkhil is committed to providing each guest with comfort and peace in the busy and growing city of Thimphu.

Joining instructions

Paro International Airport is the only international airport in Bhutan. Upon arrival, after you've cleared custom and baggage claim, your tour leader and driver will pick you up at the arrival hall, holding a sign of Intrepid. Thimphu is about 50 km from this airport and it'll take about 1.5 hours to get to your hotel. If you have issue with locating your leader or driver, please contact the emergency number of our local operator +97517556636 or +975 17825675. Joining point hotel is centrally located so that customer can expolre at the town on their free time.

Finishing your trip

Tashi Namgay Resort, Opposite to Paro International Airport and on the bank of Paa Chu River http://www.tashinamgayresort.com/, Paro, BHUTAN, Phone: +975 8 272 318

Meals & dietary information

Breakfasts included: 8

Lunches included: 7

Dinners included: 8

While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. If you have dietary requirements and/or food allergies, please let your booking agent know prior to departure.

BHUTAN FOOD:
All meals are included with the cost of your trip to Bhutan. Generally, meals will be buffet style and taken in your hotel or guesthouse. Lunches and dinners will generally include a selection of western, Chinese, or Indian style dishes, with some local specialties on occasion. Don't forget to try the National dishes of emma datse (chili and cheese) and delicious red rice. Rice and vegetable dishes are always present for every meal. Vegetarians are well catered for and meat is the exception rather than the rule with most meals. Bottled and alcoholic drinks are not included with meals and are paid for separately.

Each restaurant typically will cook about three or four dishes per group to share. Choices are limited and feedback has suggested that the food isn't the main reason to visit Bhutan. Meals may become a little monotonous with similar offerings at most restaurants. 

Please don't be offended that your leader and driver do not eat with you. This is the custom in Bhutan and leaders and drivers generally eat together in another section of the restaurant.  

Climate & seasonal information

WEATHER IN BHUTAN
Bhutan can be divided into three areas. In the south, you’ll find the lowlands fronting the Indian border, which enjoy a subtropical climate. This region sees monsoonal rains from June to mid-October and mild winters through December, January and February.

Travel north and the climate becomes progressively colder as the Himalaya rise. The central belt of the country, in the lower foothills of the Himalaya, features cold, dry winters and warm summers with monsoonal rains on the southern sides, while the valleys experience less rainfall thanks to the mountains’ protection.

In the northern regions, as the Himalaya rise above 2500 metres (8202 feet), the winters are cold and while the summer can be warm, the valleys are generally protected against monsoonal rain.

In case of emergency

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.

You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still travelling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time.

For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local office on the number below.

Intrepid’s Local Operator: +977 980 112 3617

Accommodations

The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline only and may change. On some occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our preferred accommodation. In these cases, we will use a similar standard of accommodation.

Throughout the trip, we request that our properties prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However, this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination or on some trips, have use of shared day rooms until all rooms are available.

Transportation

BHUTAN:
Whilst there are approx 8000km of roads in Bhutan, the quality varies greatly depending on proximity to the major towns of Thimpu and Paro. As such, even short distances can take longer than expected. Bhutan is currently upgrading a lot of its road network and delays are common. Roads are narrow and speeds are slow. Landslides are common, particularly after rain and occasionally trips are diverted due to debris blocking roads. Thimpu is also famous as the worlds only capital city without a traffic light.


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