A short break in Bhutan
Limited on time? Our favourite short break with just 4 days/ 3 nights in Bhutan.
In an ideal world you might like to travel on trains through India, cross the border to Bhutan on an elephant, trek the mighty Himalayas and cycle through subtropical valleys, then go in search of tigers and rhino at Kaziranga National Park before heading off to relax on the golden sands next to the Andaman Sea.
For most of us it’s not possible to spend three months or even 3 weeks away. Grab your opportunity for a short break away and don’t miss out on feeling the essence of this spiritual country in as little as four days, here is what we would recommend:
Day 1: The excitement begins before you even land in Paro with one of the most spectactular landings in the world. If you are flying from Delhi or Kathmandu, you'll also have the bonus of the view of 8 of the worlds highest peaks from the plane! We’ll show you our favourite temples in beautiful Paro Valley and spoil you rotten with delicious Bhutanese food plus time to try your hand at the country’s favourite sports, archery or darts or for a more relaxing experience, a traditional hot stone bath.
Day 2: With a fresh head, take a short drive up above Paro to the Chele Laa Pass and the impressive array of vertical prayer flags. At 13,000 feet, this pass is the highest road pass in Bhutan and is several degrees colder than Paro valley below, so remember your jumper! Admire the view, take a wander along the ridge, or a longer hike down to a remote nunnery, or experience the thrill of mountain biking all of the way back down.
If you are feeling the effects of the altitude, a less challenging, but equally as exciting option is to take a day trip to the small quirky capital Thimphu, with it's markets, monuments, museums and workshops.
The juxtaposition of old and new is one of its appealing qualities; robed monks texting on their mobile phones, college students in traditional dress with the latest trainers and hairstyles; even the beautifully hand painted petrol station! Best explored on foot, decorated shop fronts and intriguing 'grocery-cum-bar' signs reveal friendly shopkeepers and a surprising array of goods.
Day 3: Hike through lychen-draped trees on one of the most sacred pilgrimages in the Himalayas to Taktsang Lhakhang (Tigers Nest Monastery). If you can't manage the trek, there are ponies available to take you up. Either way – it’s a must see on your visit, long or short, to Bhutan.
Day 4: Get your camera ready for the amazing morning flight over the Himalayas.
Bhutan offers an incredible number of varied experiences for those who dream of this naturally happy, hospitable and hidden land. A short hop from Nepal, Thailand, India or Bangladesh, this gives you a chance to see the Kingdom of the Thunder Dragon yourselves on a longer trip to other parts of Asia.