Trans Bhutan Trail
Swap the kids’ club for an enriching adventure on the Trans Bhutan Trail
Let children walk in the footsteps of Bhutan’s ancestors on this new family adventure to the Land of the Peaceful Thunder Dragon - Departures from September 2023 and linked to UK school holidays.
Unearth the spirit of the Eastern Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan with a new family adventure of a lifetime, discovering this mysterious land of monasteries, fortresses (dzongs), dramatic landscapes and blue-pine forests, along with the spiritual beauty of the newly-restored, but ancient, Trans Bhutan Trail.
Popularly known as the Land of the Peaceful Thunder Dragon, open the next generation’s minds to a completely different culture and a treasured natural environment with this new eight-day tour, which takes families into the heart of Bhutan and along this 250-mile historical pilgrimage trail, reopening for the first time in over 60 years in late spring 2022.
Children will be immersed in local culture with every step they take on this exciting holiday. Beginning in the bustling capital, Thimphu, the beating heart of the kingdom’s culture, families will visit the Choki Traditional Art School, where they will meet young students and witness their skills in painting, carving and tapestry. Everyone can get creative with a family pottery class with Amé Zam local potters, and learning about the Bhutanese culture and way of life at the Folk Heritage Museum, housed in a 19th century traditional timber house. A visit to the Bhutan Postal Museum will allow the kids to print their own customised stamps as souvenirs, before visiting the local archery ground, where there will be the opportunity to interact with local children.
After two nights in Thimphu, head to the Dochula Pass (mountain passes are some of the most sacred places in Bhutan), where children will love joining locals in handing colourful prayer flags as a sign of respect to the Gods, before embarking on an exhilarating descent along the Trans Bhutan Trail towards the pretty town of Punakha.
This section of the trail is known as the Divine Madman Trail, and families will follow in the footsteps of the person after whom it is named, Drukpa Kuenley, who walked the path when he first came to Bhutan from Tibet in the 16th century to fulfil his destiny of suppressing evil energies.
In Punakha, enjoy lunch at a local farmhouse, where families can pick fruit and vegetables in the farm’s gardens, with the chance to take part in a cookery class with the owners.
After a stay in the scenic Phobjika Valley – a hotspot for birdwatching and wildlife – families will then return to walk a section of the Trail near Paro, where they will also visit the iconic Tiger’s Nest Monastery (Taktshang Goemba), a sacred site which clings to the cliffs and which houses an extensive network of chapels (Lhakhangs), along with murals and a holy spring.
The new Bhutan Family Adventure costs £10,440 total for a family of four, based on two adults (£3,020 pp) and two children aged 5-12 (£2,200 pp), including seven nights’ full-board accommodation, transfers, visas, excursions and activities as per itinerary, entry fees, Trans Bhutan Trail passport and a local trekking guide (who will speak English – all Bhutanese people are taught in English at school) throughout the trip. Children under 5 sharing a room pay only the visa fee ($40); children 13+ pay full adult price. Excludes international flights.
NB: The itinerary is recommended for children aged 7 or 8 upwards due to the trekking demands on little legs. All of the hikes are vehicle supported if there are any difficulties.
Additional activities are also available, including yoga, meditation, cooking demonstrations and mountain biking. All trips booked with the Trans Bhutan Trail (www.transbhutantrail.org) include a TICO financial guarantee.
For more information about the new tour, or to book, visit transbhutantrail.org.
Travellers to Bhutan from the UK can fly via Bangkok, New Delhi, Kathmandu or Singapore, with onward flights operated by two Bhutanese airlines – Druk Air and Bhutan Airlines.
Ends: 12 April 2022
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