Bhutan - The Last Himalayan Kingdom

The ultimate tour of Bhutan from Paro to Samdrup Jongkhar

15

days

Discovery

From $4,340 Land only

Book this holiday

Holiday Overview

Highlights

  • Meet the friendly Bhutanese and experience their colourful festivals
  • The Buddhist Dzongs of Takstang, Punakha, Gantay, Trongsa and Bumtang
  • Visit the world famous Tiger's Nest Monastery
  • Journey through rarely visited south-eastern Bhutan into Assam

The Kingdom of Bhutan has long inspired travellers, with its awe inspiring Himalayan scenery, snow capped mountains, extraordinary Dzongs and Monastaries. Travelling right across the country, from west to east, we'll discover parts of this magical kingdom that other tours fail to reach. After flying to Paro and visiting the incomprable 'Tigers Nest' monastery and Bhutan's capital Thimpu, we begin our ultimate tour of Bhutan with a journey across the Dolchu La to Punakha and into the quiet Phobjikha valley - home to the Black Necked Cranes. From here we head eastwards across high passes and through beautiful valleys, stopping frequently as we come to the next awe inspiring view or magnificent fortress monastery (known as dzongs). Arriving in Bumthang we spend some time exploring its picturesque valleys before turning south-east to travel through Mongar and the charming Trashigang to Samdrup Jongkhar, Bhutan's most easterly district. This unique tour ends with a border crossing into Assam and from here we fly back to Delhi. If you want to discover the real Bhutan, the Land of the Thunder Dragon, this is the holiday for you.

Bhutan Festivals.

Each departure of the Ultimate Bhutan Tour will visit one of the colourful Bhutan Tshechus (festivals) which are held annually.  The basic itinerary for all departures is the same but will vary slightly to spend an extra day in a particular festival location. Itineries specific to a particular departure can be viewed in the Maps and Itineraries section, or by downloading the date specific Trip Notes from the Dates and Price section.

Is this holiday for you?

This holiday is one of KE's 'Discovery' range. Some of the most extraordinary sights in Bhutan, such as the Tigers' Nest monastery, can only be accessed on foot and therefore you will want to be in reasonable physical shape  to get the most out of your holiday. As we will be covering as much of the country as possible in a 2-week period, there is by necessity some long spells of road travel and you should be prepared for this, though we will be stopping to stretch our legs and explore whenever possible. The holiday will be conducted at a relaxed pace to allow plenty of time to visit the key places of interest along the way, and there are many! 

Brief Itinerary

View in full
  • Meet at the group hotel Delhi. Transfers from Delhi Airport are provided.
  • Fly to Paro in the Kingdom of Bhutan.
  • A day at the Paro Festival.
  • Visit the Takstang (Tiger’s Nest) Monastery. Drive to Thimpu.
  • Cross the Dochu La (3050m) to Punakha and Wangdi.
  • Drive to the Phobjikha Valley.
  • Morning village walk. Drive to Trongsa.
  • Visit Trongsa Dzong and drive to Jakar.
  • Exploration in Bumthang.
  • Across the Thumsing La (3800m) to Mongar.
  • Drive to Trashigang.
  • A day of exploration in Trashigang.
  • Drive to the Indian border.
  • Drive to Gauhati Airport. Fly to Delhi.
  • Departure day. Transfers to Delhi Airport are provided.
2016
Sat 08 Oct - Sat 22 Oct Code UBT /02/16/
Thimpu Festival
Adult$4,340 Status Provisional dates Book now
More information
  • Bhutan - The Last Himalayan Kingdom - Thimpu Festival
  • The departure reference for this tour is UBT /02/16/
  • This tour begins on Sat 08 Oct and departs on Sat 22 Oct
  • The dates and prices for this departure are provisional. Please call our office for more information prior to confirming your booking.
  • Single Supplement $955 - Hotels in Delhi and Bhutan (single accommodation not available during festival time in festival towns).
Wed 09 Nov - Wed 23 Nov Code UBT /03/16/
Jambay Lahkgang Festival
Adult$4,340 Status Provisional dates Book now
More information
  • Bhutan - The Last Himalayan Kingdom - Jambay Lahkgang Festival
  • The departure reference for this tour is UBT /03/16/
  • This tour begins on Wed 09 Nov and departs on Wed 23 Nov
  • The dates and prices for this departure are provisional. Please call our office for more information prior to confirming your booking.
  • Single Supplement $955 - Hotels in Delhi and Bhutan (single accommodation not available during festival time in festival towns).
The LAND ONLY dates and prices are for the itinerary joining in Delhi. For clients making their own flight arrangements, Delhi airport is the most convenient for transfers to the group hotel. Please refer to the 'Joining arrangements & transfers' section in the trip dossier for further details.

Flights SHOULD NOT be booked until you have received your booking confirmation and the trip is showing 'Guaranteed to Run' or 'Limited'.


BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee

We have undertaken to guarantee that all of our Land Only prices will not change once you have booked your holiday. Unlike some of our competitors we have decided never to surcharge, whether you are booking for this year or the next.

Map & Itinerary

Current version:

The Route

  • point
  • airport
  • trip direction
  • transfer
  • internalflight

Holiday Itinerary

  • Meet at the group hotel Delhi. Transfers from Delhi Airport are provided.

    Airport transfers are provided for all clients arriving into Delhi Airport on this day. You will be met at the airport by a professional driver who take you to the group hotel which is located no more than 15 minutes away. The driver will give you a voucher for your overnight stay and your dinner at the hotel and will also inform you of the time of your return transfer to the airport for your onward flight to Paro.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals d

  • Fly to Paro in the Kingdom of Bhutan.

    After breakfast you will meet your driver at the pre-arranged time for transfer back to Delhi International Airport to check in for the Druk Air flight to Paro. This flight is one of the most spectacular of all mountain flights. From the left side of the plane, Everest, Makalu and Kangchenjunga, three of the world’s highest mountains, are clearly visible. As you descend into the Paro Valley, there are splendid views of alpine forests, small monasteries, temples and flat-roofed farmhouses. The first gifts from Bhutan will be the cool, clean fresh air as you step out of the plane, together with the warm welcome from our Bhutanese hosts. Depending on flight times, after checking in at our hotel, there may be time to make a first visit to the Festival site. Tonight our Bhutanese guide will brief us on the fortnight ahead.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • A day at the Paro Festival.

    Another day at the Paro Festival. As much a spectacle as the whirling masked dancers, are the throngs of local people who dress in their finest robes and come to the festival both for spiritual enlightenment and also to have fun socialising with friends and neighbours. We return to our hotel for a second night.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Visit the Takstang (Tiger’s Nest) Monastery. Drive to Thimpu.

    This morning after breakfast we have the option to visit the famous 'Tigers' Nest' monastery at Takstang just outside the town. The monastery occupies a unique position built on ledges of a sheer cliff overlooking the Paro River and is one of Bhutan's iconic sights. To get to the monastery itself involves a strenuous walk of around 3 hours but an easier option is to walk as far as the classic viewpoint from where you can look across the deep cleft of the gorge right across to the monastery which clings inprobably to the cliff face opposite. It takes just an hour to reach this viewpoint and there is a cafe here making it a good place to take a break while waiting for any more energetic members of the group who opt to make the tough climb up to the monastery. Afterwards we return to our tour vehicle and drive for approximately 1 hour eastwards along the Wang Chu (river) to reach Bhutan's capital of Thimpu, which is sited in a broad, green valley and surrounded by terraced rice fields. This town of less than 20,000 people is the administrative centre of Bhutan. It was established as the capital of the kingdom as recently as the early 1950’s and has been built strictly along traditionally Bhutanese lines. There is a single main street, which is lined by numerous shops, selling a great variety of goods, local and imported. Arriving in Thimpu we check into our hotel and have some free time to look around this friendliest of world capitals before dinner.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Cross the Dochu La (3050m) to Punakha and Wangdi.

    Beyond Thimpu, the road climbs steadily through the densely wooded valley to reach the summit of the Dochu La (pass) at 3050 metres. We pass through Hongsto, a village founded in 1525 by the 14th Drukpa hierarchy of Tibet and through some magnificent temperate forest, with an abundance of rhododendron and magnolia. We may see several species of deer and monkeys. Many prayer flags and an impressive collection of large chortens mark the top of the pass. If we are lucky enough to have clear weather, a viewpoint just above the road offers one of the finest panoramas in the Eastern Himalaya, stretching out over Lunana and the peaks of - Masangang, Tsendagang, Terigang and Gangkar Puensum (7497m). Dropping down into the Punakha Valley, we turn north to reach another most impressive dzong at the junction of the Mo and Po (mother and father) rivers. This is Punakha, the traditional winter capital of Bhutan. Punakha Dzong is the winter home for over 1000 monks. Every year the Punakha festival celebrates the famous victory over the Tibetans, who were repulsed whilst trying to recapture the sacred statue of Avalokiteshvara, brought to Bhutan by Shabdrung in 1637. After the visit we rejoin the main road and continue our eastward journey to the pleasant town of Wangdi, which has another commanding dzong on a spur above the river. Sadly all the main wooden structures of this over 300 year-old dzong were destroyed by a fire in June 2012 and only the walls now remain. Fortunately most of the sacred relics of the temple were saved and the King has pledged the complete resoration of the dzong. Wangdi town has a quaint and typically Bhutanese market square, surrounded by small shops with carved wooded frontages. Arriving in Wangdi we check into our hotel.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Drive to the Phobjikha Valley.

    Setting off once more, the road then climbs towards the Pele La but shortly before this road pass we turn off the main road and travel south into the broad Phobjikha Valley. We descend into this valley, with its well-tended fields and have our first view of the pretty settlement of Gantey and its yellow-roofed monastery. This is one of a Setting off once more, the road then climbs towards handful of monasteries in Bhutan of the Nyingmapa Buddhist sect. The Phobjikha Valley is also the chosen winter home of the rare Black Neck Crane. Each year around November the birds arrive in their hundreds following an epic flight from Tibet over the Himalayas. The afternoon is free to look around the monastery and there is also the option to walk the Gantey Nature Trail, a 2.5 mile circuit of the the valley which takes around 90 minutes. We stay overnight in guesthouse accommodation.

    • Accommodation Guesthouse

    • Meals bld

  • Morning village walk. Drive to Trongsa.

    This morning there is the option to take a walk through local villages. After lunch we returning to the main highway and turn east once again, climbing up to the Pele La (3300m). This pass is traditionally known as the boundary between Western and Central Bhutan and the landscape which spreads out on the far side of the pass is different to that of the western side. After crossing a bridge at Nikkarchu, we enter Trongsa district and follow a dramatic section of the road, carved into the side of a cliff, high above the Mangde Chu. Stopping at the picturesque Chenjebi Stupas we have a magnificent view of Trongsa Dzong, the largest monastery in Bhutan with a spectacular location on a spur above the river. Trongsa literally means means 'New Village' as the town was only founded a little more than 300 years ago! - relatively recent for Bhutan.

    • Accommodation Guesthouse

    • Meals bld

  • Visit Trongsa Dzong and drive to Jakar.

    The morning is free to explore the town and to visit the fascinating Trongsa Dzong. In the afternoon we continue our eastward journey, climbing once more to cross the Yutong La (3400m). Beyond the village of Chumey, the scenery is once again totally different, as we enter the wide open Bumthang valleys. After a short climb to Kiki La, we turn a corner to begin the descent to Jakar. From some distance away, we can see Jakar Dzong, perched high above the village. We arrive in Jakar after approximately 2 hours drive and after check in to our charming lodge we have time in the late afternoon to visit the dzong and also to stroll around the town of Jakar, a sleepy outpost, with a few shops and a post office.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Meals bld

  • Exploration in Bumthang.

    The district of Bumthang is made up of four valleys running down from the Himalayas to the north, namely Chokhor, Tang, Chhume and Ura. Until the 1970s these valleys were only accessible on foot and the villges here are still very traditional, almost medieval in outlook. From Jakar we will drive and take a short walk to visit some of these villages. The area is well known for its brightly coloured woollen fabric, known as yethra, which makes a good souvenir of the region. After the visit we return to our lodge in Jakar for a second night.

    • Accommodation Guesthouse

    • Meals bld

  • Across the Thumsing La (3800m) to Mongar.

    Driving up to cross the Ura La, we enter the Ura Valley, which is the highest of the Bumthang Valleys. Extensive sheep pastures line the road and just before the pass there is a panorama of the mountains of Lunana to the north. We descend from the pass, then climb again more gradually through dense forest of conifer and rhododendron to the Thumsing La (3800m) which marks the boundary between central and eastern Bhutan. Now, the road descends almost endlessly, dropping 3200 metres and passing through dark conifers, then deciduous woodland, then bamboo and other exotic species as we enter a semi-tropical zone. Hewn out of the side of a cliff, and above a vertiginous drop for most of the way, the road here is particularly exciting. We hope to reach Mongar not long after mid-day and after taking lunch and checking in to our accommodation we have some time to look around the town and to visit Mongar Dzong.

    • Accommodation Guesthouse

    • Meals bld

  • Drive to Trashigang.

    After a lesurely morning, we will drive approximately 4 hours to Trashigang, crossing a couple of relatively 'minor' passes and descending through cornfields and banana groves to reach the hot tropical climes of the valley of the Gamri River. The town of Trashigang is the administrative headquarters for the district of Trashigang which is the largest district of Bhutan located close to the confluence of the Gamri Chu and Drangme Chu. Few tourists ever make it as far as Trashigang and the town has limited facilities for foreign travellers. We will stay in the 'best place in town’, which is in reality a very basic but quite comfortable lodge.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Meals bld

  • A day of exploration in Trashigang.

    This morning we will visit Tashigang dzong, one of the most picturesque of Bhutan dzongs. It has an imposing location on a spur overlooking the Dangme Chu with a sheer drop of 400 metres on its southern side and affords a commanding view of the surrounding countryside. Built in the 17th century by Bhutan's third Desi the dzong contains a number of interesting statues, carvings and paintings. After lunch we have some free time to enjoy the town. Tashigang has a very friendly and laid back ambience with a small central square surrounded by shops and cafes. This is also the main market place for the people of the outlying villages such as Merak and Sakteng who have their own unique culture and dress. The altitude at Tashigang is around 1100 metres and evenings are now quite warm in comparison to our previous days in Bhutan. We spend a second night in Tashigang.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Meals bld

  • Drive to the Indian border.

    The road now heads south for 200 kilometres (124 miles) to Samdrup Jongkhar, Bhutan's eastern road border with Assam. After around 3 hours driving we pass Wamrong Dzong where the road begins a descent through a dense tropical forest with an abundance of teak and bamboo,down towards the Indian plains. We reach the Bhutanese frontier check-post and a few miles beyond that, at the precise point where the mountains and the plains meet, is the small frontier town of Samdrup Jongkhar where we check in to our hotel. On this final night in Bhutan, we will have a small celebration on completion of a memorable journey.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Drive to Gauhati Airport. Fly to Delhi.

    This morning, we drive for 3 hours to Gauhati, the capital of Assam, where we go straight to the airport to check in for the flight to Delhi. It is quite a culture shock as we drive from Delhi airport through the traffic-laden streets of the busy city. checking into our hotel there is time for a shower and perhaps some final souvenir shopping before dinner at our hotel. Overnight in Delhi.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Departure day. Transfers to Delhi Airport are provided.

    KE group package services end after breakfast. Complimentary transfers to the airport are provided. If you wish to extend your stay and visit more of India, there are lots of extensions that can easily be added to your holiday. Why not pre-book a 1-day excursion to the fabulous Taj Mahal, or a multi-day Rajathan experience, or a beach hotel break in Goa or Kerala. Contact the KE office for details.

    • Meals b

Holiday Information

  • The services of an English-speaking local leader and a driver
  • Flights between Delhi and Paro and Gauhati and Delhi
  • All transfers and land transport involved in the itinerary
  • All accommodation as described
  • Meals as indicated in the Meal Plan
  • Travel Insurance
  • India and Bhutanese visa costs
  • Tips for porters and other trek staff
  • Miscellaneous expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc

Typically the food in Bhutan is not very spicy, though the Bhutanese do themselves eat a lot of chillies both raw and cooked. Hotels throughout Bhutan generally offer a range of dishes including those designed for the western palette. All meals are included in the trip price.

All meals are included in the holiday price from lunch on the first day to breakfast on the last day. Meals will be taken at our hotel or at a restaurant chosen by the tour leader.
All clients arriving in Delhi on day 1 will be met by a KE represenative who will arrange the transfer to the group hotel near the airport. The following morning you will be transferred back to the airport for the onward flight to Bhutan. At the end of the holiday on day 15, you will be collected from the group hotel and transferred to the airport in time for the check in of your homeward / onward flight. 'Land Only' clients must let us know their flight details and should contact the KE office if they do not intend to arrive in Delhi on day 1 or depart on day 15 of the Land Only itinerary for this holiday.
While transitting through Delhi, we stay at a comfortable airport hotel. We use a good standard of hotel accommodation during our time in Bhutan. All accommodation is allocated on a twin-sharing basis in double or twin ensuite rooms. (In South-Eastern Bhutan where the infrastructure for tourism is less well developed we may have to use some rooms with shared bathrooms). If you are travelling by yourself you will be paired up with another single client of the same sex. Depending on availability, it is possible to arrange single rooms for the hotel nights in Delhi and in Bhutan on payment of a single supplement. However, please note it will not be possible to book single rooms in festival towns during festival time and this is reflected in the single supplement price for these departures. It is also possible to book extra nights at the group hotel in Delhi or for a hotel in the city if you are planning to extend your stay. Details of hotel prices and single supplements are available on the website.

View the gallery below for images of the style of accommodation used

The group will be led by an expreienced English-speaking Bhutanese tour leader

Approximately £150 - £200 should be allowed for miscellaneous expenses including drinks and the £40 - £50 you can expect top pay in tips to local staff. There are some quite interesting souvenirs to be bought in Delhi and in Bhutan. India’s unit of currency is the Rupee and Bhutan’s is the ngultrum which is tied to the value of the Indian rupee. Indian rupees are accepted as legal tender in Bhutan, but you cannot spend ngultrums in India. It is not necessary to purchase Indian or Bhutanese currency before you travel. You will need very little, if any, Indian currency during your outward transit through Delhi. You will be able to obtain your Bhutanese currency on arrival at the airport in Paro. We recommend that you take your travel money as cash, rather than travellers’ cheques. Sterling and US dollars and are readily exchanged in Delhi and in Bhutan. Credit cards can be used to purchase many goods in Delhi and are particularly useful for expensive souvenirs. It is possible to withdraw cash (rupees only) from cash machines in certain banks in Delhi using credit and debit cards.

Tipping is an accepted and expected part of the culture in both India and Bhutan, although you should only tip for services which are well done. The total amount that you can expect to pay in tips for your local guide, trek crew and drivers is approximately £40 - £50 (in rupee or ngultrum equivalent). It is usually best to give tips as a group rather than individually and the group should decide upon a level of tipping within the aforementioned guideline amount.

You can check in a single piece of hold baggage on the flights. The maximum weight limit for this bag is normally 20 kgs. In addition you should bring a small daypack which you can take on the flights as cabin baggage. In general you will have the best travel experience when you keep your baggage to a minimum.

All KE clients will receive a FREE KE trek bag.  These have been specially made to stand up to the rigours of adventure travel.  Your KE bag will be posted to you when your trip is guaranteed to run or on receipt of your booking if the trip is already guaranteed.  If you have travelled with us before and already have a KE trek bag you can select an alternative free gift in the booking process.

This holiday involves going to high altitude. During the course of your trip you will reach altitudes in excess of 3500 metres. This is not something that you should worry about; the human body is quite capable of adapting to a very wide range of altitudes, but it is important that we follow some simple rules in order to acclimatise successfully. Before coming on this holiday you should read the advice on trekking at high altitude. You can also talk to one of our trekking experts if you have any concerns about altitude.

The following checklist should help you with your packing. As a general rule, you should always try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum.

The packed weight of your trek bag while trekking should be no more than 15 kgs.

You must bring the following items:

  • Comfortable walking shoes / boots or lightweight hiking boots*

  • Trainers or similar

  • A smart pair of shoes (for attending festivals)

  • Socks

  • Trousers

  • Underwear

  • Casual shirts

  • Smart clothes (for attending festival)

  • Fleece jacket or warm jumper/sweater

  • Waterproof jacket

  • Sunhat

  • Sunglasses

  • Torch

  • Sun protection (including total bloc for lips, nose etc.)

  • Water bottle

  • Washbag and toiletries

  • Antibacterial handwash

  • Small padlock (to lock trek bag)

  • Small daypack 15 - 20 litres

  • Basic First Aid Kit including; antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Imodium) painkillers, plasters and blister treatment, and re-hydration salts (Dioralite).

The following items are optional:

  • Trekking poles

  • Spare laces

  • Shorts

  • Scarf or buff

  • Swimwear

  • Travel clothes

  • Camera

  • Pen-knife (remember to pack sharp objects in hold baggage)

  • Repair kit – (eg. needle, thread, duct tape)

Notes

Although this is not a trekking trip, there is the opportunity to do a reasonable amount of walking whilst sightseeing.

*There is also the option to include 3 half-day hikes. If you intend to make the most of these opportunities, you should make sure that you take suitable footwear.

Bhutan Festivals

  • FESTIVAL DRESS CODE

If your holiday involves visiting any of the ‘tsechu’ or festivals in Bhutan, we would like to advise you that there is a dress code that you need to be aware of when attending any festival. The Bhutanese always come dressed in their finest for a festival and it is important that you to bring a smart set of clothes if you plan to attend. You will need to wear long sleeves, long trousers (no jeans) and no trainers, boots or open toed sandals. Hats should not be worn and umbrellas are not acceptable.

  • FESTIVAL ETIQUETTE

Festivals are religious events. The ground where they are held is purified and consecrated by lamas, so when you are watching a festival you are, in essence, on the perimeter of an outdoor religious ground. The conduct of the onlooker should be governed with this in mind. The dancers, whether monks or laymen, are in a state of meditation. They transform themselves into the deities which they represent on the dance ground. They generate a spiritual power, which cleanses, purifies, enlightens and blesses the spectators.

 

Any behaviour which may be deemed obtrusive, disrespectful or discourteous is out of place at such an event. The dance ground is not a place to eat, drink, smoke, talk or laugh loudly at inappropriate times. You should not use flash photography or intrude on the dance space. Common courtesy should rule one’s action when photographing dances or onlookers.

 

Festivals are not pageants or entertainment events. They are not held as tourist attractions. They are genuine manifestations of religious traditions thousands of years old which outsiders are given the privilege of witnessing. We would like to see that privilege retained. In the past, the actions of a few unthinking visitors have caused shock and dismay to the local people. Any recurrence of such unfortunate events may lead to future restrictions on attendance at festivals. We hope that KE groups will always display courtesy, sensitivity and respect to the people of Bhutan who have welcomed them to attend these beautiful and sacred events, and will visibly demonstrate their respect by dressing as well as their circumstances permit on such occasions.

 

 

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required. The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for other nationalities. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Visa requirements and charges are subject to change without notice. If you are travelling outside the EU you should have at least 2 blank pages in your passport.

Visa Bhutan

All nationalities require a visa. KE will apply for the visa for you. The visa fee is $40 and this will appear on your final invoice. We require copy of the information page of your passport. A colour scan must be emailed or posted to us at the earliest opportunity.

Visa India

All nationalities require a visa. The visa fee is $60 and you need to apply for this online prior to departure at https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html. Please download the detailed information document: Visa PDF India

You should contact your doctor or travel clinic to check whether you require any specific vaccinations or other preventive measures. You should be up to date with routine courses and boosters as recommended in the UK e.g. diphtheria-tetanus-polio and measles-mumps-rubella, along with hepatitis A and typhoid. Malarial prophylaxis is not usually required for trips in the mountains, however if you are visiting rural and remote low lying areas then they might be necessary. On holidays to more remote areas you should also have a dentist check up. A good online resource is Travel Health Pro.

The unit of currency in Bhutan is the Bhutanese Ngultrum.

The currency of India is the Indian Rupee.

We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:

http://www.worldstandards.eu/electricity/plugs-and-sockets/

This is principally a touring holiday with no sustained elements of trekking. However there are a number of optional walks on the trip and some of the key sights in Bhutan can only be reached on foot. It therefore makes sense to get in shape before coming. The fitter you are after all, the more you will enjoy the experience. We would suggest you adopt some form of exercise program and gradually increase this at a comfortable rate as you get nearer to departure. It is also a good idea to do some reading on Bhutan, its people and culture.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign & Commonwealth Offices ‘Know before you go’ campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas, and we recommend that all KE travellers take a look at the FCO Travel Advice for their chosen destination on the official FCO website: www.fco.gov.uk. North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: www.travel.state.gov for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

The best time to visit Bhutan is in the period before and after the Indian Monsoon which brings heavy rain to the foothills of Bhutan. The pre-monsoon months of March and April are the best for seeing the colourful blooms at lower altitudes, particularly the rhododendron. The post-monsoon months of October and November usually offer the clearest skies for views of the Himalaya. During both pre- and post- monsoon, the weather in Bhutan is normally bright and clear in the mornings with possible cloud building through the day. Day-time highs of around 20°C can be expected at altitudes around 2000 metres, whilst at the high points of the trip the maximum daytime temperature will be around 15°C and as we descend to the Indian plains we can expect to encounter daytime temperatures in the thirties. At night in most places before Mongar the temperature will drop to a few degrees above freezing.

  • Bhutan. (Odyssey Illustrated Guide). Pommaret.

  • Bhutan. (Lonely Planet Guide).

  • Bhutan, Land of the Thunder Dragon. Edmunds.

Bhutan Himalaya. 1:390,000. Nepa Maps (Himalayan Maphouse)

This map gives a general overview of Bhutan. Relief is indicated by shading and selected altitudes of peaks and passes. Highways, main roads , minor roads, and trekking routes are marked. Symbols denote post offices, dzongs, monuments, places of interest etc. The map is indexed for place names, dzongs, passes and peaks. Inside the map cover are printed some geographical notes on the country and driving or walking times between selected locations.

Extend Your Holiday

Extensions

When booking your holiday, you will be able to 'add an extension option'.

Once we have received your booking we will contact you to discuss additional services required for the extension and to take any additional deposit.

Delhi City Tour

Old Delhi is centred on the Red Fort and is a labyrinth of narrow, bustling streets including Chandni Chowk bazaar. Must-sees here include the majestic tower of the Qutab Minar, as well as the Red Fort, built by Emperor Shah Jahan. New Delhi was the creation of the British Raj who wanted to show their ascendency over the former Mogul rulers with many grand buildings designed by the greatest ever British architect, Sir Edwin Lutyens.

Delhi City Tour

From $105 per person

More info

Agra and the Taj Mahal 1 day tour

The Taj Mahal is the most famous man-made wonder of the world. Easily accessible from Delhi, the Taj can be visited in just one day. This one-day tour departs Delhi at 6am on the Shatabdhi Express train. On arrival in Agra you will be met by your driver and guide for your full day of sightseeing. With its laid-back lifestyle and immense wealth of architecture, handicrafts and jewellery, Agra is amongst the most remarkable cities in the world.

Read more

In the morning you will visit Agra Fort on the sands of the river Yamuna. After lunch at the Taj View Hotel you will visit the world famous Taj Mahal. There will also be time for souvenir shopping in the bazaar close to the fort. Agra is famous for its handicrafts, mostly inlaid marble-work, leather goods, jewellery and textiles. Return journey to Delhi is by private car or train - depending on whether you are departing Delhi the same night.

Agra and the Taj Mahal 1 day tour

From $270 per person

More info

Agra, the Taj Mahal and Jaipur 3 day tour

The Taj Mahal in Agra is the most famous man-made wonder of the world and easily accessible from Delhi. Our 3 day tour visits Agra, Fatehpur Sikri, Jaipur and the Amber Fort. You will depart Delhi on the early morning express train to Agra where a full day's guided sightseeing includes the Agra Red Fort and the Taj Mahal and stay overnight in a hotel. In the morning you depart Agra by private car to Jaipur, stopping en route at the 'ghost' city of Fatehpur Sikri. On arrival in Jaipur you check-in to your hotel and have time to explore the famous 'Pink City'.

Read more

The following morning you visit the Jaipur City Palace and Palace of the Winds. After lunch you leave Jaipur for the impressive Amber Fort, a superb example of Rajput architecture, stunningly situated on a hillside overlooking a lake, reflecting its terraces and ramparts. In the late afternoon, you will make the 4-hour drive back to Delhi.

Agra, the Taj Mahal and Jaipur 3 day tour

From $570 per person

More info

Agra and the Taj Mahal 2 day tour

The Taj Mahal is the most famous man-made wonder of the world. Easily accessible from Delhi, this 2-day tour departs Delhi at 6am on the Shatabdhi Express train. You will have 2 days to explore the fascinating city of Agra. You will stay overnight at a (minimum) 3 star hotel on B&B basis. On day 1 you will visit Sikandra, Agra Fort and have a tour of the city. There will also be time for souvenir shopping in the bazaar close to the fort.

Read more

Agra is famous for its handicrafts, mostly inlaid marble-work, leather goods, jewellery and textiles. On day 2 you will visit the world famous Taj Mahal and the ‘ghost city’ of Fatehpur Sikri, a superbly well-preserved, four hundred year old, temple and palace complex built by the third Mughal Emperor – Akbar. Return to Delhi by private car.

Agra and the Taj Mahal 2 day tour

From $355 per person

More info

Ashok

From $116 per room per night

Florence Inn

From $97 per room per night Combining comfort and elegance with economy, the Florence Inn is our preferred group hotel in Delhi. Well appointed throughout and with a smart lobby, it is immaculately clean. The staff are very friendly and helpful. The Florence Inn is just 5 minutes walk from Karol Bargh market and the metro station making it an ideal location for exploring the city.

Maidens Hotel

From $133 per room per night Operated by the Oberoi group and set in 8 acres of garden with shady trees, Maidens is one of Delhi's oldest hotels. Built in the early 1900s, it has retained its colonial charm and offers spacious well appointed rooms with high ceilings. The hotel has a restaurant serving international and Indian cuisine, a garden terrace extending to an open courtyard, and a small intimate bar. There is no pool. Located in Old Delhi, it gives easy access to Mughal monuments and the colourful Chandni Chowk bazaars.

Manor Hotel

From $144 per room per night This 2-storey, 15-room boutique hotel in a pleasant garden setting is very distinctive. With clean modern lines and contemporary furnishings the Manor Hotel has an understated elegance and comfort which is very appealing. Its public areas contrast cool Italian mosaic flooring with warm rich wood panelling, and you can enjoy a high level of service which is friendly and efficient. The hotel has an award winning restaurant and a bar. There is no pool but the hotel has a Wellness centre with yoga and massage. The Manor is located in a quiet residential area close to the Lodhi Gardens.

Ambassador Hotel

From $133 per room per night Situated in Lutyens’ Delhi next to Khan Market, this art deco style hotel designed by British architect Walter George in 1945, is a listed heritage building. Its location makes it convenient for both the airport (22km) and the city centre (10 minutes by dive). The Vivanta-by-Taj Ambassador is operated by the Taj group of hotels, so you can expect the best of hospitality and service.

Recent Reviews & Blog Posts

Good or bad we publish ALL reviews so you can make an inspired and informed choice.