Example Trip Itinerary
Today, we'll visit the Rinpung Dzong fortress overlooking the beautiful Paro river. This large Buddhist monastery and fortress is regarded as one of Bhutan's most impressive and well-known dzongs - and perhaps the finest example of Bhutanese architecture. From the 17th to the late 19th century, dzongs served as defending fortresses and were built with strong walls, false doors, reservoirs for water and food and hidden armouries. Dzongs were also headquarters for the religious and the political administrations. Once you've seen inside the Rinpung Dzong, enjoy the short walk across a wooden cantilever bridge on the dzong grounds.
Next, we'll hike up to the the National Museum to discover the rich history and heritage of Bhutan. The museum houses over 3000 pieces of Bhutanese art, covering more than 1,500 years of Bhutan's cultural heritage. It has a formidable collection of antiques from Buddhist temples, and artefacts once used by both the nobility and common folk. Highlights include masks, armour, paintings, prehistoric items and natural history exhibits.
Later this afternoon, you'll be driven to Thimphu on a scenic journey lasting just over an hour. As you make your way, your driver will point out important sites to give you an orientation of the city. Once you reach Thimphu you will be transferred to your hotel.
Accommodation in Thimphu
- Sixteen suites
- Living and dining room
- Outdoor dining deck
Nestled in a pine forest in Thimphu Valley, this dzong-inspired retreat peacefully looks down to the city from the upper reaches of the Motithang area. Whitewashed stone buildings house slick suites, lounges and spa, while the Amankora service is of course exemplary, with a mood of effortless pampering prevailing throughout. Sink into your king-sized bed and look out to views of the courtyard, stream or forest from your suite’s window banquette. Then head to the outdoor dining deck for further scenic views and delicious western and Thai cuisine. Plenty of activity is also available from fishing to archery, Bhutan’s national sport, to trekking and white water rafting. Though the Amankora Thimphu enjoys a quiet location, its proximity to the city promises you are still close to the capital’s sights and shopping, with Paro airport just two hours away.
- 66 guestrooms
- Two restaurants, a bar and tea lounge
- Heated swimming pool
Blending Bhutanese Dzong architecture with the highest of modern international standards, Taj Tashi is a grand property in the heart of the Thimphu Valley. Ringed by the Himalayas, its enchanting surrounds are echoed in the hotel’s style with classical hand-drawn Buddhist murals decorating the walls, signature Asian treatments at the spa and many local, elegant touches throughout. Rooms and suites look out to breath-taking views with some boasting private sit-outs that open out to green mountains rising high above the valley. All of course enjoy the finest amenities, though opt for a suite if you fancy the further luxuries of canopy beds, pillow menus, walk-in closets and stand-alone bathtubs. The food here is also superb. Don’t miss a chance to savour the fiery flavours at Chig-ja-gye, the hotel’s Bhutanese restaurant, while three more eateries ensure those with a taste for European and Tibetan dishes are catered for too.
Spend your time in Bhutan's capital exploring the market, Taschichho Dzong and small, chock-a-block shops. A wander around this relaxed and friendly city gives a look at a more urban side of Bhutan which accompanies a wide display of traditional art, architecture and Buddhist sights steeped in ritual. A visit to the Arts and Crafts School, the Textile Museum and the Traditional Medicine Hospital are recommended. Your Travel Designer can help you to plan your stay here according to your interests.
You'll begin this full-day excursion with a sight-seeing tour of Buddha Hill. Your driver will collect you from your hotel and drive you to the Kuenselphodrang Nature Park where you'll be greeted by the massive statue of the Buddha Dordenma - one of the largest statues of Buddha in the world - sitting atop a hill overlooking the southern entrance to Thimphu Valley. Measuring 51.5 meters, the statue takes the form of Shakyamuni and is said to emanate an aura of peace and happiness to the entire world. The statue is made of bronze and is gilded in gold with 125,000 smaller Buddha statues placed inside it. The statue is a recent construction that was built to commemorate the centennial of the Bhutanese monarchy and to fulfil two Buddhist prophecies, one ancient and one modern.
Next, you'll be brought to the Textile and Folk Heritage Museum for a glimpse into traditional Bhutanese life. This restored three-storey building has been constructed using rammed-earth and timber to replicate a traditional farmhouse and inside it's furnished as it would have been 100 years ago. Both the house design and its furnishings reflect many aspects of both past and present rural Bhutanese life today. After a guided museum tour you'll stop for a refreshing lunch.
After lunch, you'll be brought on a guided hike to the Chagri Dorjeden Monastery, also known as the Cheri Temple. The temple is found at the northern end of the Thimphu Valley, roughly an hour's walk up a steep hill. This Buddhist monastery was established in 1620 A.D. by the founder of the Butanese state Ngawang Namgyal and is now a major teaching and retreat center.
Transfer to Punakha with stops at Wangdue Dzong, Chhimi Lhakhang and Punakha Dzong
Accommodation in Punakha
- Eight suites
- Dining room
- Spa with yoga and meditation room, treatment rooms and steam room
- Library and lounge
- Four hour drive from Paro airport
Wrapped in lush rice fields and fruit orchards by Mo Chhu River, with views to the seventeenth century Punakha Dzong, is a former traditional Bhutanese farmhouse: the Amankora Punakha hotel. Intimate and exclusive, this stand-out property provides just eight classically designed suites. Each boasts heaps of space and comfort, plus a traditional wood burning ‘bukhari’ stove for a peek into local life. Dining, pampering and adventure are all well catered for, from the communal dining room, tea pavilion and alfresco courtyard to the two-story spa and meditation room, to exciting white-water-rafting tours.
- Eleven suites
- Restaurant and bar
Nestled deep in the hush of Bhutan’s flourishing wilderness, this heavenly mountain retreat looks out over the rushing Mo Chu River as it winds through orchards and rice fields. Discreetly sleek with its calming, signature COMO style, Uma Punakha enjoys spectacular untouched valley and river views. Gaze at these sublime panoramas from your hillside room or villa. While some feature private terraces, all boast enormous beds, wood-burning stoves and neutral colour schemes peppered with traditional hand-painted wall designs portraying local scenes. The restaurant, Bukhari, then offers an array of delicious dishes made from fresh, local farming produce for an authentic taste of local life. Meanwhile the spa promises complete relaxation with holistic, Asian-inspired treatments, therapies and massages.
Capital of Bhutan and seat of the government until 1955, the little town of Punakha still enjoys a serene and regal ambience left over from its stately days. Found in a fertile valley at a relatively low 12,000 metres above sea level, visitors come here for warm, sultry days filled with plenty of activities such as mountain biking, trekking and river rafting. Then step into the area's history with a visit to the town's show-stopping Punakha Dzong.
Today you will enjoy a full day of sightseeing in Punakha. Your day begins with a hike up through fields along the banks of the Mo Chhu River to Khamsum Yulley temple, a stunning monument recently built by the one of the Fourth King’s Queens with spectacular views down the valley. Following the hike you will have lunch by the river.
After lunch, you'll be driven for an hour to reach the Nalanda monastery to have a chat with monks there who are eager to learn English followed by a visit to the Wolokha Nunnery.
Today, you'll embark on a full day of hiking in Punakha. You'll be collected from your hotel in the morning and driven for 20 minutes to the beginning of your hike. Starting at Phuntsopelri Palace, hike for an hour along beautiful rice fields. During the hike, we'll have an opportunity to visit the site of Do-Jagalam. This important site dates back to the 14th century, before Punakha Dzong was built. Legend has it that a great master by the name of Drubthop Nagi Rinchen was in search of his mother’s reincarnation as a frog set inside of a huge rock in the Punakha Valley. The master summoned all his supernatural powers and shattered the rock, freeing his mother's reincarnation. This rock is the main relic at Do-jagalam. After hiking for close to two kilometres, we reach Ritsa Village where we hike through the village trail, ascending gradually through rice fields and farmhouses. Once we reach the Tse-lhakhang, we'll enjoy magnificent views of the surrounding fields and the Dzong. We'll follow the ridge all the way to Temakha Village with views of Thara Village just beneath. From Temakha Village we traverse through to our lunch destination at Jawona Village.
After lunch we hike for just under an hour to the village of Jangu. The trail goes through forests of oak and other sub-tropical vegetation. From Jangu we hike for another hour to the village of Yuengu. From here, we will take another hour to reach our destination at Punakha Farm, passing through scattered farmhouses and pine and oak woods. From Gumgang, we hike downhill for 10-15 minutes to see a breathtaking view of Punakha Dzong and the valley.
Private Transfer to Paro with Lunch and Tachogang Visit
Accommodation in Paro
- 24 suites
- Spa facilities
- Includes: all meals and picnics
- House beverages with select wines and spirits
- Laundry service
- Internet access through in-house laptop
- 30 minutes from Paro International Airport
Situated in Balakha Village, the Amankora Paro contrasts rustic elements with contemporary design. Its pleasing features include natural rammed-earth walls, gently sloping roofs, wood-panelled interiors and spectacular views of blue pine forests, the 17th-century Drukyel Dzong and Mount Jhomolhari. This impressive lodge features 24 suites, each with a combined lounge and bedroom and traditional wood-burning stove. Centred by a large flagstone courtyard, a lime-washed stone pavilion houses the living and dining room facilities with floor-to-ceiling windows, a library and an outdoor terrace overlooking a small stream. A spa set on two levels features a yoga studio with glass walls and treatment rooms with outdoor baths.
- 45 guestrooms
- Two restaurants and a bar
- Tea house
Fusing Bhutanese tradition with the best of modern-day technology, Zhiwa Ling is a forward-thinking hotel faithfully rooted in the past. Guestrooms blend elaborate hand-carved wooden cornices with Swedish underfloor heating to create a comfortable tribute to Bhutan’s ornate architecture. Some feature sitting and dining rooms and all boast Paro valley views, best enjoyed from your sofa or balcony. And the amenities don’t stop there. The spa is decked out with a sauna, steam room and traditional outdoor hot stone bath, while two restaurants serve a range of regional and international dishes. The spiritually inclined are particularly well catered for and can experience an authentic Buddhist ceremony at the in-house temple, made from 450 year old timbers from the famous Gangtey Monastery, and practise yoga at the Meditation House.
The pretty valley of Paro is one of the kingdom's widest and is covered in fertile rice fields crisscrossed by a beautiful meandering river. While Bhutan is famous for its splendid monuments and monasteries, perhaps the most impressive can be found here. You'll encounter the "Tiger's Nest" Monastery, medieval style-bridges, imposing dzongs and a town filled with traditional architecture.
The main street of the town was only built in 1985 but it's lined with cheerfully painted wooden shop fronts and restaurants in a classic Bhutanese style. Facing up the mountain, you'll be awed by the 8th-century Taktsang or "Tiger's Nest" Monastery, perched high on the sheer cliff face. Just outside of the town, lie both the dominating Paro Dzong - a prime example of Bhutanese architecture, and the 7th-century Kyichu Lhakhang which was one of the first Buddhist temples built in the country.
Today, you'll be brought on a lively hike to the Upper Tsento region, lasting for approximately 2 to 3 hours before being driven back to your hotel in a private vehicle via the ruins of the Drugyal Dzong fortress and monastery.
After lunch, you'll be brought to visit the Kyichu Temples. This two-temple complex consists of the Jowo Temple and the Guru Temple. The Jowo Temple is one of the oldest temples in Bhutan, originally built in the 7th century by the Tibetan Emperor Songtsan Gampo. The Guru Temple was built in 1971 by Kesang Choden Wangchuck, the queen of Jigme Dorji Wangchuck.
After your visit to the Kyichu temples, you'll have the opportunity to meet a Bhutanese author before returning to your hotel for dinner.
Today you’ll experience Bhutan’s most valued attractions and one of the main reasons people come to Bhutan, the famous Taktshang monastery or "Tiger’s Nest". This spectacular temple clings to a 1,000 foot high cliff and was built in 1692 by a prominent historical figure named Gyaltse Tenzin Rabgye. We hike for about three hours to reach the Tiger's Nest, climbing steeply uphill from the valley floor with a break at a tea house along the way. The Tiger’s Nest is one of the most sacred sites for the Buddhists. It's said that in the 8th century, Guru Padma meditated here for three months. Guru Padma, also known as the 2nd Buddha, first initiated Buddhism to Bhutan in the 8th century. Legend has it that Guru Rinpoche flew to this location from Tibet on the back of a tigress from Khenpajong and built this temple as a result. For Buddhists, the story of the temple is an important lesson about taming the inherent forces of Anger, Ignorance and Greed. We then hike for approximately two hours back downhill. On your return, treat your weary limbs to an indulgent soak in a hot stone bath.
Private transfer to Paro Airport
Flight from Paro to Phuket
Private transfer from Phuket airport to your hotel
Accommodation in Phuket
- 39 guestrooms
- Restaurant, grill and bar
- Swimming pool
- Tennis courts
- Fitness centre
Based on its own private bay and surrounded by soaring palm trees, Trisara is an award-winning boutique hotel where you can indulge in absolute luxury and enjoy picture-perfect ocean views. Soak up these gorgeous panoramic vistas from your spacious guestroom which is designed with elegance in mind and even comes with its own living area and private pool. Besides the countless facilities provided in your room, there is also a wide array of facilities to use throughout the property. An outdoor dining area makes for an idyllic spot to enjoy some tasty seafood, while a sumptuous spa offers massages and treatments. As well as relaxation, exciting activity is also taken care of here with wind-surfing, snorkelling, tennis, diving and swimming all available.
- Forty pavilions
- Restaurants and bar
- Swimming pool, gym and tennis courts
- Aman spa
Some say this is one of the best resorts in all of South East Asia. We tend to agree. Overlooking the heavenly Andaman Sea on the west coast of Phuket with a secluded beach, Amanpuri’s unchecked luxury, discreet service and delicate Thai style make for a divinely deluxe stay. The forty elegant pavilions and villas are designed with traditional Thai architecture in mind sit amidst an exotic coconut plantation. Each has a sun deck, dining terrace, King sized bed and an oversized bathroom. Dining here consists of Thai, Italian, French and Japanese cuisine which is served over a variety of different eateries, while the resort’s bar offers the ideal spot to enjoy some poolside drinks. Amanpuri is also home to a library, gallery, gym and six tennis courts. For those who wish to indulge in genuine relaxation, take advantage of the Aman Spa where six Thai inspired pavilions, a sauna, a steam room and a range of treatments are available.
- 67 villas
- Two restaurants and bar
- Spa Naka, steam room and sauna
- Fitness centre and pool
- 35 minute speed boat ride from Phuket
Enjoy complete luxury at Naka Island resort found on the private island of Naka Yai in the glittering Andaman Sea, just 20 minutes from Phuket. The stylish villas boast Thai-inspired interiors, absolute comfort and fantastic beach views of Phang Nga Bay and Phuket. All villas include an al fresco area, outdoor soaking tub, relaxation sala and private pools (some offering direct access to the beach). The dining is just as impressive as the accommodation with two fantastic beachside restaurants, Tonsai and My Grill, serving a range of steak, seafood, Thai and international fare. What’s more, Z Bar offers the ideal spot for cocktails and tapas at sunset. An onsite spa is also available where guests can treat themselves to indigenous botanical treatments, while a large menu of water activities offers you the option of active pursuits.
- 103 cottages and suites
- Four restaurants
- Gym and Swimming pool
- Event facilities
The Surin’s collection of contemporary cottages sitting on a coconut grove running down to the white sands of the Pansea Beach, is a wonderful and effortless resort. Assuring privacy and attentive service from its staff, your cottage or suite comes with the utmost in modern comforts with dressing areas and outdoor sun decks. Choose from snorkelling to sailing or diving, plus the obligatory spa offering authentic Thai massages, treatments, yoga and meditation. The hotel also has four places to dine which serve up a delicious choice of seafood, international and Thai cuisine.
- 56 suites in seven different buildings
- Spa and Jacuzzi
- Fitness centre
- Two restaurants and bar
Located in the Phang Nga province, an hour’s drive north from Phuket, the Sarojin is a stylish resort set with its own tropical gardens and fronting the lovely Laem Pakarang beach. The expansive suites are designed with Asian influences and modern necessities. King size beds grace the rooms and opulent bathrooms offer contemporary luxury. This multi-award winning hotel provides its guests with such exciting excursions as swimming with elephants and white water rafting, with the staff giving the best in quality personal service. A secluded spa is also available with lavish products and packages on offer. Ficus and The Edge are the two fantastic onsite restaurants where fresh, regional produce is cooked up to make delicious Mediterranean and Thai food. While the open-air bar, The Cellar, has one of the finest wine collections in the country. There are lots of activities to choose from and if you’re a keen diver then day trips by boat to the nearby Similian (ninety minutes away) and Surin Islands (two hours away) can be arranged, as can explorations of Phang Nga Bay onboard the Lady Sarojin which is located in Phuket from May to October.
- 79 villas and suites
- Restaurant and beach bar
- Spa, gym and three pools
- Free Wi-Fi
- Twenty minutes from Phuket International Airport
Experience contemporary indulgence at Sala Phuket Resort and Spa where personal and private service is of ultimate importance. The majority of the sumptuous and spacious accommodation boasts private pools and balconies, while all the villas provide outdoor bathrooms with free-standing tubs. Dine at beachfront restaurant gives you beautiful sweeping view while you feast on delicious dishes made with organic local produce to create tasty seafood, Thai and international dishes. Sala Phuket, found on the peaceful Mai Khao beach, also provides an award-winning exclusive spa. Here age-old and modern techniques are combined to make luxurious treatments for guests to enjoy.
- 135 villas
- Five dining spots
- Spa, Fitness centre & swimming pool
- Meeting and wedding facilities
Just twenty minutes from the airport, sitting on Laguna Beach is Banyan Tree. Looking out onto the Andaman Sea, this tranquil resort consists of 135 beautifully designed villas. The accommodation’s elegant and traditional Thai décor gives an authentic Asian feel while the vast amount of amenities and attentive staff ensures all modern demands are taken care of. Guests can enjoy the numerous onsite eateries which offer a tasty selection of Thai, Mediterranean and International cuisine, or opt for the romantic cruise setting of dining on a long tail boat. Banyan Tree Phuket also provides plenty of opportunities to sip on your favourite cocktails or wines with the Lobby Bar and Wine Rack offering the perfect place to enjoy drinks by sunset. The award-winning spa boasts a widespread choice of massages, treatments and remedies while there is also a large amount of exciting activities to get involved with. Besides scuba diving, golfing and windsurfing, this impressive resort also offers excursions such as canoeing and trekking
Spend time relaxing on one of the secluded beaches in northern Phuket. We can arrange privately guided itineraries as busy or as tranqil as you wish.
Spend today at your leisure relaxing and enjoying the amenities on offer at your luxurious resort. Alternatively, explore the island with our recommendations for the best things to do in Phuket.
Take a private speed boat out to visit two of Asia's most beautiful islands, Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Ley. Discover the incredibly scenic limestone karsts, long beaches and the dazzling emerald water. There is also time for snorkelling during this tour.
You'll then enjoy the sunset with a bottle of champagne before returning to your hotel.
Today is yours to spend at your leisure. Relax in the comfortable surrounds of your hotel or discover the island with our recommendations for the best things to do in Phuket.
Private transfer to Phuket airport