Trip Timeline

– BHUTAN 2019 –

Embrace Bhutan Cultural Tour

November 06 – 19, 2019

13 Days

Trip to Bhutan – How Did it All Come About?

It all started with our winter 2017 visit to Chiang Rai, Thailand. We were wanting to visit the area primarily to see the sunrise on Phu Chi Fa mountain (check out our post, Sunrise on Phu Chi Fa Mountain). After researching hotels and homestays, we settled on the highly rated Lanna Thai Villa, Ban Salawat (check out our post, Lanna Thai Villa).

It was here that we got to meet the wonderful husband and wife team, Steve & Sermsri Wilke (owners and operators of Lanna Thai Villa). After an incredible week of sightseeing around Chiang Rai with Steve and Sermsri providing some of the best northern Thai food, we’ve ever had, it was brought to our attention that they also provide yearly autumn tours to Bhutan! We couldn’t believe it because we had just recently talked about how we wanted to go to Bhutan. We didn’t know how or when, but it was something we hoped to do one day.

Furthermore, we told Steve we were very interested, but we probably could not do their next planned trip in autumn 2018. So we set our sights on Bhutan for autumn 2019.

Who Are the Tour Organizers?

WorldViews2000 is based out of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and run by husband and wife team Roger & Nancy Harmon. Lanna Thai Villa is based out of Chiang Rai, Thailand, and run by husband and wife team Steve & Sermsri Wilke. Embrace Bhutan Travels is based out of Thimphu, Bhutan, and run by Tashi Topden.

These three partner groups work together to plan and organize the travel arrangements for all the members touring in the group.

Roger and Steve are the main organizers and contacts for the tour group. They act as liaisons between Tashi and the members of the group. The two also work together to handle the travel logistics from the US to Bangkok, Thailand (airline tickets, hotels, travel insurance, etc.).

Tashi, in coordination with Roger and Steve, takes care of things on the Bhutan side – bookings, travel logistics, and flights to Bhutan (Druk Air). Once in Bhutan, Tashi is the main tour guide and his company Embrace Bhutan Travels (and staff) provides all tour operations and functions.

With the exception of Steve, Sermsri, and ourselves (due to living in Thailand) all the other members of the group were traveling from the United States. Everyone flew into Bangkok, Thailand, where we all gathered at Abloom Exclusive Serviced Apartments Bangkok before departing to Paro, Bhutan.

Tour Organizers/Partners

The links below are the three tour organizers/partners that were responsible for putting together our amazing trip to Bhutan.

WorldViews2000

Roger & Nancy Harmon
Awesome husband and wife team, based out of Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA

Lanna Thai Villa

Steve & Sermsri Wilke
Amazing husband and wife team based out of Ban Salawat, Chiang Rai, Thailand

Embrace Bhutan

Tashi Topden
Our exceptional tour company & guide based out of Thimphu, Bhutan

Bhutan 2019 – Timeline

– BEGIN TRIP –

06 Nov 2019

Meet & Greet Meal | Tour Group & Co-Tour Guides (Roger & Steve)

06 Nov 2019 | Eve of Tour

– DAY 01 –

07 Nov 2019

Flight | Bangkok to Paro Bhutan

07 Nov 2019 | Day 01

Drive | Paro to Thimphu

07 Nov 2019 | Day 01

Norkhil Boutique Hotel and Spa

07 Nov 2019 | Day 01

– DAY 02 –

08 Nov 2019

National Memorial Chorten Thimphu

08 Nov 2019 | Day 02

Royal Textile Academy of Bhutan

08 Nov 2019 | Day 02

Lunch in Thimphu

08 Nov 2019 | Day 02

Motithang Takin Preserve Thimphu

08 Nov 2019 | Day 02

Tashichho Dzong Viewpoint Thimphu

08 Nov 2019 | Day 02

Centenary Farmers Market Thimphu

08 Nov 2019 | Day 02

Return to Norkhil Boutique Hotel and Spa

08 Nov 2019 | Day 02

Evening Lecture with Kuenzang Dechen

at Norkhil Boutique Hotel

08 Nov 2019 | Day 02

– DAY 03 –

09 Nov 2019

Drive | Thimphu to Punakha

09 Nov 2019
> Day 03 | Activity 01 <

Dochula Pass | 108 Druk Wangyal Chortens

09 Nov 2019
> Day 03 | Activity 02 <

Lunch | Divine Cafeteria Punakha

09 Nov 2019
> Day 03 | Lunch 03 <

Chimi Lhakhang

09 Nov 2019
> Day 03 | Activity 04 <

Punakha Dzong

09 Nov 2019
> Day 03 | Activity 05 <

Drubchhu Resort Punakha

09 Nov 2019
> Day 03 | Hotel/Homestay 06 <

– DAY 04 –

10 Nov 2019

Visit Local Village Temple – Dompola Lhakhang

10 Nov 2019
> Day 04 | Activity 01 <

Return to Drubchhu Resort Punakha

10 Nov 2019
> Day 04 | Hotel/Homestay 03 <

– DAY 05 –

11 Nov 2019

Drive | Punakha to Gangtey

11 Nov 2019
> Day 05 | Activity 01 <

Tea at Hotel Kuenphen Norbuding Restaurant

11 Nov 2019
> Day 05 | Activity 02 <

Lawa La Pass

11 Nov 2019
> Day 05 | Activity 03 <

Picnic Lunch Black-Necked Crane Festival Gangtey Monastery

11 Nov 2019
> Day 05 | Activity/Lunch 04 <

Gangtey Nature Trail – Black Necked Cranes

11 Nov 2019
> Day 05 | Activity 05 <

Black-Necked Crane Education Center

11 Nov 2019
> Day 05 | Activity 06 <

Wangchuk Dem Village Homestay Gangtey

11 Nov 2019
> Day 05 | Hotel/Homestay 07 <

– DAY 06 –

12 Nov 2019

Morning Walkabout | Wangchuk Dem Village Gangtey

12 Nov 2019
> Day 06 | Activity 01 <

Drive | Gangtey to Trongsa to Jakar

12 Nov 2019
> Day 06 | Activity 02 <

Passing By Chendebji Chorten

12 Nov 2019
> Day 06 | Activity 03 <

Mangdechhu Hydroelectric Dam Trongsa

12 Nov 2019
> Day 06 | Activity 04 <

Riding on the Edge of Bhutan’s Lateral Road

12 Nov 2019
> Day 06 | Activity 05 <

Trongsa Dzong

12 Nov 2019
> Day 06 | Activity 06 <

Lunch in Trongsa

12 Nov 2019
> Day 06 | Lunch 07 <

Hotel Ugyen Ling Jakar

12 Nov 2019
> Day 06 | Hotel/Homestay 08 <

– DAY 07 –

13 Nov 2019

Drive | Jakar to Tang Valley

13 Nov 2019
> Day 07 | Activity/Drive 01 <

Jambay Lhakhang

13 Nov 2019
> Day 07 | Activity 02 <

Kurjey Lhakhang

13 Nov 2019
> Day 07 | Activity 03 <

Tamshing Lhakhang

13 Nov 2019
> Day 07 | Activity 05 <

Lunch in Jarkar – Noryang Restaurant & Bar

13 Nov 2019
> Day 07 | Lunch 06 <

Mebar Tsho -The Burning Lake

13 Nov 2019
> Day 07 | Activity 07 <

Pema Choling Nunnery Tang Bumthang

13 Nov 2019
> Day 07 | Activity 08 <

Ogyen Choling Manor and Museum Bumthang

13 Nov 2019
> Day 07 | Hotel/Homestay 09 <

– DAY 08 –

14 Nov 2019

Ogyen Choling Lochoe Home Ceremony

14 Nov 2019
> Day 08 | Activity 01 <

Group Prayer Flag Ceremony at Ogyen Choling Manor

14 Nov 2019
> Day 08 | Activity 02 <

Ogyen Choling Village Countryside Walkabout

14 Nov 2019
> Day 08 | Activity 03 <

Lunch at Ogyen Choling Manor

14 Nov 2019
> Day 08 | Lunch 04 <

Bhutanese Dance Demonstration

14 Nov 2019
> Day 08 | Activity 05 <

Ogyen Choling Manor Museum

14 Nov 2019
> Day 08 | Activity 06 <

– DAY 09 –

15 Nov 2019

Ta Rimochen Lhakhang

15 Nov 2019
> Day 09 | Activity 01 <

Local Bhutanese Archery Competition

15 Nov 2019
> Day 09 | Activity 02 <

Passing Through Chamkhar Town Bumthang

15 Nov 2019
> Day 09 | Activity 03 <

Prakhar Tshechu at Prakhar Lhakhang

15 Nov 2019
> Day 09 | Activity 04 <

Local Bhutanese Store

16 Nov 2019
> Day 10 | Activity/Drive 05 <

Kiki La Pass Prayer Flags

15 Nov 2019
> Day 09 | Activity 06 <

Return to Hotel Ugyen Ling Jakar

15 Nov 2019
> Day 09 | Hotel/Homestay 07 <

– DAY 10 –

16 Nov 2019

Begin Return Drive – Bumthang to Trongsa to Punakha

16 Nov 2019
> Day 10 | Activity/Drive 01 <

Roadside Overlook | Group Photos Trongsa

16 Nov 2019
> Day 10 | Activity 02 <

Mountainside Overlook Trongsa

16 Nov 2019
> Day 10 | Activity 03 <

Roadside Gift Stand

16 Nov 2019
> Day 10 | Activity/Drive 04 <

Grey Langur Monkeys Trongsa

16 Nov 2019
> Day 10 | Activity 05 <

Four Boutique Hotel Punakha

16 Nov 2019
> Day 10 | Hotel/Homestay 06 <

– DAY 11 –

17 Nov 2019

Begin Our Return Drive – Punakha to Thimphu

17 Nov 2019
> Day 11 | Activity/Drive 01 <

Roadside Prayer Flag Overlook

17 Nov 2019
> Day 11 | Activity/Drive 02 <

Return Visit – Dochula Pass – 108 Druk Wangyal Chortens

17 Nov 2019
> Day 11 | Activity/Drive 03 <

Thimphu Craft Market

17 Nov 2019
> Day 11 | Activity 04 <

Lunch in Thimphu

17 Nov 2019
> Day 11 | Lunch 04 <

Visit Bookstore in Thimphu

17 Nov 2019
> Day 11 | Activity 07 <

Return Drive – Thimphu to Paro

17 Nov 2019
> Day 11 | Activity/Drive 08 <

Janka Resort Paro

17 Nov 2019
> Day 11 | Hotel/Homestay 09 <

– DAY 12 –

18 Nov 2019

Hike to Tiger’s Nest

18 Nov 2019
> Day 12 | Activity 01 <

Kyichu Lhakhang

18 Nov 2019
> Day 12 | Activity 02 <

– DAY 13 –

19 Nov 2019

Flight | Paro to Bangkok

19 Nov 2019
> Day 13 | Activity/Flight <

– END OF TRIP –

19 Nov 2019