April 23-30, 2023
April 30-May 7, 2023
A fascinating journey that allows you to explore, discover and experience everything that makes the Land of the Thunder Dragon so unique and magical. The Druk Yul Experience is a voyage through the heart of Bhutan, the ‘Land of Happiness’. Over seven days, you’ll visit ancient forts and monasteries, stay at exotic locations, and drive through the imposing elevations of the Bhutanese Himalayas.
WHAT YOU CAN LOOK FORWARD TO
- An enchanting drive through the high mountain passes and dense sub-tropical forests of the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan
- Touring ancient forts and monasteries, visiting idyllic Buddhist temples and soaking in the country’s unique Tibetian-Buddhist heritage
- Staying at luxury hotels in exotic locations
- Negotiating challenging off-road trails with ease, behind the wheel of your Defender
- A dedicated team of instructors assisting you along your Journey
DAY-WISE ITINERARY: SILIGURI ROUND TRIP
Day 1 – Siliguri (Bagdogra)
Welcome to the ‘gateway of North-Eastern India’, Siliguri. When you arrive, you’ll be greeted at your hotel and spend the day in West Bengal’s 2nd largest city. After your day of leisure, spend the evening getting to know your fellow travellers over a pre-drive briefing.
Dinner in Siliguri
Day 2 – Siliguri to Thimphu
287 Km | 7 hrs
The day begins with a hearty breakfast. Later that morning, you’ll set off to Phuentsholing, the border town that is Bhutan’s economic and industrial capital. As you wait for your permits, you’ll enjoy your first Bhutanese meal of the Journey. Later, you’ll make your way to Thimphu and spend your evening at leisure to explore its sights and sounds. End the day by enjoying a Bhutanese cultural event and a delicious dinner.
Breakfast in Siliguri | Lunch in Phuentsholing | Dinner in Thimphu
Day 3 – Thimphu to Punakha
72 Km | 2.5 hrs
After breakfast, you’ll check out of your hotel and visit the 13th-century Buddhist Monastery and fortress – Tashichho Dzong, with whitewashed structures in stark contrast to the triple-tiered golden-roofed towers at each of its four corners. You’ll then visit the Great Buddha Dordenma, a colossal Shakyamuni Buddha statue nestled amongst the massifs surrounding Thimpu and built to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the kingdom’s fourth king. You’ll then leave Thimpu, ascend to 3,100 metres, and stop for lunch at the Dochula Pass, which is famous for its 108 stupas and features panoramas that will take your breath away. You will then visit the 14th-century Monastery Chimi Lhakhang, blessed by the “Divine Madman,” the eccentric saint Drukpa Kunley, known for inducing fertility in all those who wish for a child. Once you reach Punakha, you’ll spend your time relaxing and unwinding before dinner.
Breakfast in Thimphu | lunch en route | Dinner in Punakha
Day 4 – Punakha to Phobjika Valley
90 Km | 3 hrs
You’ll spend the early morning river rafting and return for breakfast afterwards. You’ll check out of the hotel and visit the Punakha Dzong, the second oldest and second largest ‘fortified monastery’ in Bhutan, and the seat for the Government of Bhutan until the capital relocated to Thimphu in 1955. After lunch, you hit the road again and stop at the remarkable Gangtey Monastery of the Nyingma sect in central Bhutan. You’ll arrive at the Phobjika Valley, a vast U-shaped glacial valley that is the winter home of the graceful black-necked cranes of the Tibetan Plateau. After checking in to the resort, you’ll spend your time relaxing and unwinding before dinner.
Breakfast and Lunch in Punakha | Dinner in Phobjika Valley
Day 5 – Phobjika Valley to Paro
180 km | 5 hrs
On this leg, you’ll explore ‘off the beaten path’ and negotiate unparalleled terrains and the extraordinary landscapes of Western Bhutan. On your return, you’ll be greeted with a sumptuous breakfast before beginning your next leg of the Journey. You’ll visit the Black Crane Centre, which will give you a better understanding of these near-threatened Tibetan birds and the efforts being made to preserve their numbers and habitats. After a stop for lunch, you’ll resume your drive and head to Paro, a valley town and home to Bhutan’s only international airport. A relaxed town known for its extraordinary natural beauty and graceful, traditional houses that dot the valley and surrounding hills.
End the day by enjoying the sights and sounds of the Paro, followed by a delicious dinner.
Breakfast in Phobjika Valley | Lunch en route | Dinner in Paro
DAY 6 – Paro
After breakfast, you will hike up to Bhutan’s most iconic landmark, Taktsang Monastery, the Tiger’s Nest, an awe-inspiring temple constructed upon a sheer cliff face above forests of oak and rhododendrons. Legend has it that Guru Rinpoche flew to this site on a tigress’ back to subdue a local demon. Later that evening, you’ll explore all that Paro has to offer. Paro has over 155 temples and monasteries, some dating back to the 14th century. You will visit Kyichu Lakhang, considered the spiritual heart of the Kingdom of Bhutan and its people. You will visit the National Museum and then choose from an exciting and stimulating class or Archery or a relaxing and reinvigorating hot stone bath. End the day with a delicious dinner.
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner in Paro
DAY 7 – Paro to Siliguri
296 Km | 7.5 hrs
The day begins with a hearty breakfast. Later that morning, you’ll set off to Siliguri, with lunch in the border town of Phuentsholing. Later that evening, you will reach Siliguri and spend time exploring the city or relaxing and unwinding before dinner.
Breakfast in Paro | Lunch in Phuentsholing | Dinner in Siliguri
Day 8 – Siliguri (Bagdogra)
Say goodbye over breakfast and look forward to the next Journey together before the prearranged airport transfers whisk you away to your next destination!
Breakfast in Siliguri
The Courtyard by Marriott Siliguri is a modern hotel with world-class amenities and luxuries. Located in the heart of Siliguri, this hotel is an ideal base for the Druk Yul Experience.
The Le Meridien Thimphu is a contemporary hotel in a traditional building set amid a striking Himalayan backdrop and in the city’s centre. It is within walking distance of the city’s cultural, shopping and historical hotspots.
The Dhensa Boutique Resort is nestled in the heart of the tranquil and verdant Punakha Valley. Surrounded by thick pine forests, it has spectacular views of the Punakha River and the innumerable paddy fields that stair-step down to the valley floor.
The Dewachen Hotel is a traditional hotel situated in the Phobjikha – Gangtey Gompa valley at an altitude of 2900 metres and is bounded by pine forests. This hotel radiates an inimitable charm accentuated by the alluring natural beauty of valley below and the mountains surrounding it.
The Le Meridien Paro offers panoramic views of the Eastern Himalayas and is the perfect mix of luxury and comfort. It is an ideal retreat to live and experience the area’s exotic culture and natural beauty, making it an ideal stopover.