Discover the Kingdom's breathtaking natural beauty and with a luxury tour while enjoying the premium services of Six Senses in Bhutan. You will gain insights into the culture, history and local lifestyle of the Kingdom. Your khamsa ‘royal stroll’ will be designed with the right balance of meaningful experiences and healthy dose of fun.
*Itinerary is only a guideline. It can be tailored to your needs and interests.
ARRIVAL IN PARO
Upon your arrival at Paro International Airport, you will see your tour guide waiting for you at the arrival hall. From Paro, you will take a one hour drive to the capital city of Bhutan, Thimphu. In Thimphu, you will check in to your luxurious five star resort, Six Senses.
Thimphu city will provide you a glimpse into the local cultures and you will quickly notice Bhutanese in their traditional costumes, Kira for the ladies and Gho for the men. You will also realise that unlike other cities in the world, you will not see any traffic light on the roads!
On the first day, your itinerary will be light to ensure that you have sufficient rest from the flight and are ready to explore Bhutan! Your first stop will be the Buddha Dordenma (also known as Buddha Point) to learn more about Buddhism in Bhutan. The scenic view from Buddha Dordenma makes great photo opportunities for travellers. It’s located near Kuenselphodrang Nature Park and the 169 feet bronze Buddha statue is considered one of the largest in the world. The night view from Buddha Dordenma is absolutely magnificent.
After that, you will visit one of the largest ancient fortresses in Bhutan known as Tashichho Dzong or Thimphu Dzong. It is the office of the King as well as other government buildings nearby. Be awed by the architectural feat of Bhutan!
Subsequently, you can take a stroll to check out the Thimphu Town and visit the Craft Gallery to learn more about the different arts and crafts available in Bhutan.
*You can opt to book for a spa in Six Senses in advance to tackle your jet lag.
SIX SENSES THIMPHU
We hope you are recharged for your exploration in the Kingdom. You may consider registering for a yoga or meditation class before you head out for sightseeing.
Thereafter, you can visit the National Folk Heritage Museum. The museum will provide you insights into traditional Bhutanese cultures and lifestyles. You will be able to see the kind of traditional houses of Bhutan and the museum will transport you back in time as you browse through the many artifacts. You can also learn more about the traditions, customs and habits of the Bhutanese cultures.
Then, you will proceed to the National Textile Museum to learn more about this ancient craft that is very prevalent in Bhutan. The traditional weaving methods are preserved by the Royal Government to ensure its posterity. At the museum, you will also be able to understand more about the different kinds of textiles used in the country to create those beautiful national costumes that you will see the locals wear on a day to day basis.
After that, you will visit the beautiful National Memorial Chorten located at the heart of the city. The chorten was built in honour of the late third King of Bhutan, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. You can see elderlies gathering, chatting and also offering prayers. Locals will be circumambulating the chorten in a clockwise direction. There are also huge gigantic prayer wheels where locals will spin in clockwise direction to accumulate merits.
At Jungshi Handmade Paper Factory, you will learn the traditional art of papermaking. The traditional Bhutanese papers (desho) were made using the bark of Daphne trees and these papers were traditionally used for sacred texts and religious scriptures using Bhutanese ink or sometimes, in gold.
After your induction about the Bhutanese cultures, you will head to Simtokha Dzong, the first ancient fortress to be built in Bhutan and the first building to incorporate both monastic and administrative centres. The central tower is three storeys high with prayer wheels surrounding the courtyard. There are also more than 300 slate carvings depicting Buddhist figures.
You will also visit one of the largest ancient fortresses in Bhutan known as Tashichho Dzong or Thimphu Dzong. Tashichho Dzong has been the seat of the government since 1952 and currently houses the throne room and offices of the king, the secretariat and the ministries of home affairs and finance. As a tourist, you will not be allowed to visit the Royal and government offices, but you can certainly visit the monastery and admire the marvellous architecture and surroundings of the dzong. One of the most prominent things you will notice upon arriving at the dzong would be the Bhutan national flag flying splendidly outside the building. If you visit Bhutan from April to July, you will see a stretch of colourful rhododendron flowers greeting you along the pathway.
*You can also opt for a 20 minutes hike up to Lunsigang for afternoon tea. You will be treated with stunning views of the valley. Do let us know in advance so that we can prepare the picnic experience for you.
SIX SENSES PUNAKHA
You will take a two and half hours drive from Thimphu to Punakha district.
On the way to Punakha, you will drop by Dochula Pass, one of the most beautiful mountain passes in Bhutan. Dochula Pass comprises 108 chorten built by Queen Mother Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck to commemorate Bhutan’s victory over the Assamese insurgents from India. If you are lucky, you can also get a clear view of the gorgeous Himalayan range from Dochula Pass!
You can visit Druk Wangyal Lhakhang located near the Dochula Pass. This beautiful temple was built in honour of the fourth King, Jigme Singye Wangchuck who led the battle against the Indian rebels. You will be able to see locals offering butter lamps at the temple.
You will explore one of the most popular temples in the Punakha District, Chime Lhakhang (also known as Temple of Fertility). You will start your journey from Sopsokha Village where you can witness traditionally built houses and shops. Do not be surprised by the amount of phalluses you will see around the village! You will get to learn more about the significance as you reach Chime Lhakhang after taking a 20 mins stroll across a serene terraced field. Travellers from all around the world visit Chime Lhakhang to receive fertility blessings.
Then you will visit the Po Chhu Suspension Bridge, the longest suspension bridge in Bhutan measuring 160 metres long. You can feel a sense of calm as you stand atop the suspension bridge admiring the picturesque lush green valleys. The bridge offers you a spectacular view of the rivers and Punakha district.
Your accommodation for the night will be at Six Senses Punakha’s cosy ‘Flying Farmhouse’, a cantilevered wooden structure that serves as a lounge set over the lodge’s heated swimming pool with views of terraced rice fields. In the afternoon, you can treat yourself to a deeply relaxing, 60-minute massage at the Lodge’s Spa Village. Try out the Marma Massage, which uses long and firm flowing movements of varying pressure to eliminate stress-related tension and to balance and realign your vital energy centers. You can also opt for a walking meditation exercise. Dinner will be served by the pool side in the evening.
SIX SENSES PUNAKHA
You’ll begin the day with a hike through terraced rice fields and climb to Chorten Ningpo, a monastery that dates back to the 17th century. The hike will take approximately 2.5 hour. You’ll also be able to visit Kabesa village on the way and indulge in the spectacular views. There is also a statue of Maitreya that can be seen in the chorten. Reward yourself with a steaming cup of chai served in an open sala. If you are there during the right timing, you may encounter a blessing ritual and experience the otherworldly sounds of monks chanting in unison accompanied by the rhythmic thumping of drums and trumpeting horns.
On the way back, drop by the lodge to visit Aum Tshewang home and sample her homemade ara (Bhutanese moonshine). Lunch will be delicious Bhutanese thali set served outdoors on the patio at the lodge.
You’ll then visit the Punakha Dzong, one of the most beautiful fortresses in Bhutan. It used to be the seat of the government until the capital shifted to Thimphu. The dzong continues to be a winter home for the clergy, headed by the Chief Abbot (Je Khenpo). The dzong is strategically located at the fork of two rivers, Mo Chhu and Po Chhu and beautiful jacarandas can be seen blooming at the courtyard during spring.
You can then opt to do cycling or white water rafting around Punakha valley. Bicycles are provided on a complimentary basis. White water rafting can be arranged with additional cost and required advanced booking.Dinner will be a delicious Indian menu at Ari, the lodge’s signature restaurant or you can also do poolside barbecue (kindly let us know in advance).
SIX SENSES PARO
You will be transported back to the Paro district from Punakha.
Upon arriving in Paro, you’ll visit Rinpung Dzong the “fortress on heaps of jewels”. This dzong is an impressive example of traditional Bhutanese architecture and is the location for the Paro Tshechu (Masked Dance Festival) held annually. Thereafter, you can take a relaxing stroll at the Paro town. Visit the many handicraft shops that sell local products.
From town, you will take a 20 minute drive up a high mountain road, past stunning valleys to Six Senses Paro. The resort is located at an elevation of 2,900 meters next to a 15th century ruined fortress. The stone ruins and breathtaking views of the valley below provide a dramatic backdrop for your stay. You’ll also be able to take a walk through beautiful pine forests and little monasteries just minutes away from your stay.
In the afternoon, you can try your hands at archery, Bhutan’s national sport. Celebrate your achievements afterwards with a cold brew or a shot of ara on the terrace of the lodge. Treat yourself to a reviving 60 minute back, neck and shoulder ‘Tension Soother Massage’ after your archery session. It’s the perfect antidote to release any travel aches and muscle tension.In the evening, treat yourself to a cocktail on the patio at sunset before dinner at Jangkho. You’ll be served with a delicious menu that incorporates ingredients from Six Senses organic farm.
SIX SENSES PARO
You will be embarking to visit one of the most popular and iconic landmarks of Bhutan - Taktsang Monastery also known as Tiger’s Nest Monastery! The monastery is located 2,600 feet above the Paro Valley. Your day will begin early in the morning. The entire hike can take approximately 3 and half to 5 hours depending on your pace. You will reach a cafeteria after one hour hike where you can enjoy the stunning view of the monastery. You will be able to see many locals of all ages, from kids to the elderlies making their way up to the monastery - sometimes in sandals. Do not be surprised!
Legend has it that Guru Padmasambhava (aka Guru Rinpoche) flew from Tibet to the monastery on the back of a tigress in the 8th century. He meditated in the cave for 3 years, 3 months, 3 weeks and 3 days before subduing a demon that was terrorising the inhabitants of the valleys. This monastery is considered one of the most sacred sites in Bhutan. A trip to Takstang is a holy pilgrimage for the locals.
*Do remember to pace well and enjoy the views along the way!
You will visit Kyichu Lhakhang - one of the oldest and most beautiful temples in Bhutan. It has a very calming ambience where you will see locals spinning prayers wheels and circumambulating the temple. Inside the temple also housed two mystical orange trees that bear fruits throughout the year!
Then you’ll return to the lodge and take a short stroll to the 15th century Samtenling Monastery next to the lodge. The one-storey temple was built in traditional Bhutanese style using stone and wood.
After all the walking, pamper yourself with optional sauna, cold plunge and deep tissue massage at the spa.For an extra special experience, you can dine under a canopy of stars next to the stone ruins of the ancient fortress on the grounds of the lodge. You can also dress in the traditional Bhutanese attire to complement the atmosphere with candles casting shadows on the stone walls. Enjoy the live music and traditional folk dances prepared for you. *Dining at the dzong ruins is optional and required advanced booking upon request.
DEPART FROM PAROThe day that you will say goodbye to this amazing Himalayan Kingdom and vow to be back again to explore more of it someday! You will be departing Bhutan from Paro International Airport. Hopefully you would have made some great memories and new friends that will last you a lifetime. We certainly hope that you will come back to discover more charm of Bhutan in some other parts of the country!