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Travel back in time and be mesmerized by Bhutan’s breathtaking landscape, a journey that few people have had the opportunity to experience. Druk Yul, Bhutan’s official name, is known as the land of the Dragon People with a rich cultural heritage has largely remained hidden until its recent emergence onto the world stage. Your Six Senses GEM (Guest Experience Maker) will greet you as you exit the airport’s arrival hall and will accompany you for the rest of your fascinating five-night journey. Embrace the Kingdom’s natural beauty, mingle with the local people and understand why this country is referred to as the “Happiest Place on Earth”.
Morning arrival at Paro Airport
Drive to Thimphu
Arrival at Six Senses Thimphu
Light lunch at the lodge
Discover the capital with a drive to Zorig Chusum, shopping and visit to Thimphu Dzong
Early dinner and relaxation at the lodge
Your journey begins with a drive to Thimphu, the capital and largest city in the country. The uniqueness of Thimphu Valley comes with its urban lifestyle and virtually the only area of Bhutan where a taste of city life exists. At an altitude of 7,710 feet (2,350 meters), the capital lies in a steep valley surrounded by rich forested mountains dotted with ancient monasteries and lhakhangs (temples), and is to this day, the only capital city in the world without traffic lights.
After checking in to Six Senses Thimphu, have a light lunch as you acclimatize to the altitude change while enjoying the captivating view of Thimphu Valley and a glimpse across to the giant Buddha Dordenma standing 170 feet (52 meters) tall. After lunch, you’ll be driven to Zorig Chusum (National Institute of Arts and Crafts), where students learn sculpting, painting, embroidery, gold and silversmithing, carving and more. Continue to Thimphu Dzong (fortress), the traditional seat of the Druk Desi, the head of Bhutan’s civil government. Also known as Tashichho Dzong, it presently houses the throne room and offices of the Druk Gyalpo (the Dragon King of Bhutan). You may also enjoy the illuminated dzong from a distance during early evening before returning to the lodge for dinner. Relax and enjoy the facilities of “Palace in the Sky” as you acclimatize.
Breakfast at your leisure
Depart to Pangri Zampa Lhakhang
Lunch in town
Visit the Folk Heritage Museum, Paper Factory, and Buddha Dordenma
Return to the lodge to enjoy a seasonal refreshment at the Lobby Patio by the fire or relax beside the lodge’s reflecting ponds
Dinner of your dishes of your choice
Visit Pangri Zampa Lhakhang, a 16th century monastic school of astrology located in the north of the valley and learn basic anecdotes about Zhabdrung, the unifier of Bhutan. After honing your clairvoyance skills, it’s a short distance to the Folk Heritage Museum, where you will gain insights into Bhutanese life with recreated settings of traditional households.
During the day, your GEM can suggest several local eateries should you wish to enjoy lunch in town. You’ll explore one of the capital’s cottage industries of paper making, where the Paper Factory shows the ancient and traditional methods of producing De zo (Bhutanese handmade paper), a craft that has been passed down through generations. The same paper is used for manuscripts and prayer books. Visit the giant Buddha Dordenma before heading back to the lodge to enjoy seasonal refreshments in the Living Room or perhaps a relaxing massage and traditional Bhutanese Hot Stone Bath in the spa before dinner.
Sunrise Breakfast at the lodge’s Apple Shed
Blessing ceremony at the Prayer Pavilion before departing for Paro
Arrival at Six Senses Paro
Enjoy a light lunch
Visit Paro National Museum and Rinpung Dzong
Cross a bridge trail along Paro Chhu
Play archery along the river then visit Paro town, by bike if you wish
Return to the lodge for light refreshments in the Living Room
Enjoy a Bhutanese set menu for dinner
Have an early breakfast at the lodge’s Apple Shed and capture the enchanting sunrise in Thimphu. Before leaving for Paro, receive prayers and blessings from our Six Senses Resident Monk at the lodge’s Prayer Pavilion for protection and to ward off evil spirits. The one-hour drive back to Paro Valley allows you to appreciate the picturesque landscapes of the valleys, rivers and rice paddies. Enjoy a light lunch at the lodge before heading out to visit Paro National Museum which displays an impressive collection of ancient and modern thangkas (Tibetan Buddhist paintings on cotton), a Heritage Gallery that houses a number of strange relics, as well as a collection of fearsome tshechu (festival) masks grouped according to their corresponding dances. Continue to the 15th century Rinpung Dzong, a great example of historic Bhutanese architecture that is translated as a fortress with heaps of jewels. This is also where the annual Paro Tshechu is held.
When leaving the dzong, you will cross Paro Chhu (river) via Nyamai Zampa (traditional cantilever bridge) built in AD 1525 which connects to Paro town. Try archery along the river with your GEM. Suggestion: Ask for a practice session before challenging a local! Return to the lodge and enjoy light refreshments in the Living Room. Complete the evening with a Bhutanese set menu dinner.
Breakfast at your leisure
Enjoy a relaxing stroll through the apple orchards
Continue with a hike to Jele Dzong
Re-energize with a light picnic lunch
Return to the lodge for an afternoon spa treatment
Enjoy a specially-prepared Indian set menu for dinner, served at your convenience
After a good night’s sleep, start your day with a relaxing stroll around the lodge, surrounded by apple orchards and pine forests. You may continue your walk by hiking to Jele Dzong, which is perched on a mountain ridge and was built strategically to cater to travelers who journey between Paro and Thimphu dating back from the early 16th century. The route is also frequented by nomads and yak herders up to the present. Your GEM can arrange for you a light picnic lunch around the area. After returning to the lodge, enjoy an afternoon spa treatment, relax by the swimming pool or participate in an afternoon yoga session. For a culinary change, enjoy a delicious Indian set menu dinner before relaxing beneath the star-filled sky.
Early breakfast followed by a hike to Taktsang Goemba (Tiger’s Nest)
Lunch in Paro town, either with a picnic or at a local restaurant
Visit the Kyichu Lhakhang and light a butter lamp as an offering
Return to the lodge for afternoon meditation
Dinner at your convenience or destination dining by the ruins, weather permitting
Your day begins with an energy boosting breakfast before departing to see one of the most significant landmarks and cultural icons of the Kingdom, Taktsang Goemba (monastery), known as Tiger’s Nest. This highly revered monastery was built on a sheer cliff face roughly 2,950 feet (900 meters) above Paro Valley and is visible from the valley floor. Your GEM will hike up with you to the monastery and share stories of its history. Enjoy the wonderful scenery through pine forests that are colorfully decorated with moss and prayer flags. During cooler weather, clouds often shroud the monastery, highlighting its sanctity and remoteness.
For lunch, a picnic can be arranged or you may opt to dine at a local restaurant in Paro town followed by some last-minute shopping. If energy levels permit, visit the Kyichu Lhakhang, a 7th century sanctuary that is an absolute gem for historians and art connoisseurs. It is said to have two magical orange trees that bear fruit throughout the year. Return to the lodge for an afternoon meditation, relax at the swimming pool or enjoy a spa treatment after the long hike. A unique venue for your final Bhutan experience is dinner by the stone ruins of a 12th century dzong, which can be arranged at your convenience by your GEM. Dress in traditional Bhutanese attire and enjoy the enchanting atmosphere with candles casting shadows on the stone ruin walls, live musician, private folk dances and a meal fit for royalty.
Breakfast at leisure
Finalize your packing, check out and depart for airport
Although it is sad to leave the “Happiest Place on Earth”, an early departure is necessary since all flights depart in the morning. After an early breakfast, your 30-minute transfer to the airport will be arranged by your GEM to coordinate with your flight schedule.
Five-night Journey is an itinerary with some suggested activities that we cherish as our special jewels. It is important that you experience things of personal interest, so please share with us what aspects of Bhutan you’re most curious about, whether it’s the cultural, natural, or spiritual beauty and we would be delighted to suggest a tailored approach for your visit.
Some of the activities we have included in this program do have an additional charge and we will clearly explain this to you.
Aside from the experiences that we have included, there are many other hidden treasures to discover within Thimphu and Paro Valleys. We have further signature experiences to share with you depending on your interests and have prepared a directory of guest offerings for each valley, which we are happy to share.
Our objective is to nourish your soul and open the door of discovery to connect with this amazing Himalayan Kingdom we call home. We have designed your itineraries with a sense of time to encourage you to participate in the Bhutanese life, not view it from the vehicle’s window. Most importantly, one should not rush through life’s treasures, so we’d love you to return to discover more.
To book Six Senses Bhutan Five-night Journey, please contact the reservations department directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.