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Journeys Six Senses Bhutan

Four-Night Khamsa: Thimphu and Paro Valleys

Travel back in time and take a journey that few people have had the opportunity to experience. Druk Yul, Bhutan’s official name, is known as the Land of the Dragon People with a rich cultural heritage that has largely remained hidden until its recent emergence onto the world stage. Your Six Senses GEM (Guest Experience Maker) will meet you upon arrival and accompany you on your khamsa ‘royal stroll’ through the Kingdom, sharing insights to the culture, history and local life of each valley as you go.

Discover the country’s breathtaking natural beauty, meet and mingle with our Bhutanese friends as you embrace the philosophy of a nation that is guided by the principles of ‘Gross National Happiness’. Our khamsas are designed with just the right balance of meaningful encounters and experiences in mind along with a healthy dose of fun.

The following is only a guideline. Your GEM will help to tailor it to your needs and interests each day.

To book Six Senses Bhutan Four-Night Khamsa, please contact the reservations department directly at [email protected].

Bhutan Bridge_in_Thimphu_LR
Bhutan Thimphu_Dzong_from_distance

Day 1

Six Senses Thimphu “Palace in the Sky”

After arriving at Paro International Airport, your journey begins with a one-hour drive, passing rich, forested mountains dotted with monasteries and temples on route to Thimphu, the capital.

At an altitude of 7,700 feet (2,200 meters), Thimphu lies in a steep valley and is the only city in the world without a single traffic light.

Six Senses Thimphu, our “Palace in the Sky’ is situated high above the valley floor, overlooking apple orchards and young pine forests. With captivating views over the world’s tallest seated Buddha, the location provides a perfect escape from the capital and yet is close enough to explore its many attractions.

We recommend slower paced activities on your first day as you adjust to the altitude. If energy levels allow, head down the valley to the town and wander with your GEM through Thimphu’s lively streets and markets. Stop in at Zorig Chusum (The National Institute of 13 Arts and Crafts) to discover Bhutan’s numerous art forms before crossing the road to visit the Folk Heritage Museum, which offers insights into Bhutanese daily life in the past.

Don’t miss a visit to the Tashi Chho Dzong, Thimphu’s impressive Buddhist monastery and fortress, which presently houses the throne room and offices of His Majesty, the King of Bhutan, as well as the head of the country’s religious order.

Return to the lodge and ease tired muscles with a Dotsho (Bhutanese hot stone bath with herbs) in the spa followed by a jet lag massage before dinner at signature restaurant Namkha which offers views over the lodge’s reflecting ponds to the twinkling lights in the valley below. Settle into the comfort of your suite or villa for a well-deserved night’s rest.

Bhutan Six_Senses_Thimphu_from_distance

Day 2

Six Senses Thimphu “Palace in the Sky”

Rise to the Thimphu morning with a yoga or meditation class at the lodge’s Prayer Pavilion before heading out across the valley to visit the majestic Buddha Dordenma statue perched 170 feet (52 meters) high above the capital. From here an optional two-hour hike takes you to Changangkha Lhakhang, one of the oldest monasteries in Thimphu, with sweeping views across the valley. (The monastery can also be accessed by car for those who choose not to hike).

Next, see what the future holds at Pangri Zampa Lhakhang, a 16th-century monastic school of astrology where you can see what the stars have in store for you with a reading (by prior arrangement). From there it’s only a short distance to the Royal Textile Museum, which showcases the intricate art of Bhutanese weaving. Afterwards, create your own stamp at the National Post Office before returning home for a Bhutanese afternoon tea at Lunsigang, our picnic spot high above the lodge with views to the surrounding peaks.

Bhutan Mules_at_Sustainable_Village_in_Paro

Day 3

Six Senses Thimphu to Six Senses Paro “Stone Ruins”

Rise early to the Thimphu morning and enjoy breakfast before opting to take a one-hour hike up to Talakha Monastery above our lodge with its 320-degree valley views. Meet the local lama (high priest) and the monks in residence and enjoy a cup of tea and some conversation before returning to freshen up before your departure.

Stop in downtown Thimphu for an early lunch at our favorite local restaurant before retracing your path to Paro (one hour). Continue down to Chuzom Bridge at the confluence of the Wang Chhu and Pha Chhu rivers where there are shrines featuring Bhutanese, Tibetan and Nepali architecture located nearby.

Back in Paro, visit the 15th-century Rinpung Dzong or “fortress with heaps of jewels”. An impressive example of classic Bhutanese architecture, this dzong is also where the annual Paro Tshechu festival is held. From here it’s a short downhill walk to Nyamai Zampa (a traditional cantilevered bridge) built in AD 1525 to connect the dzong with Paro town. Cross the bridge trail over the Paro river and proceed to Paro National Museum, which displays a collection of ancient and modern thangkas (Tibetan Buddhist paintings on cotton) as well as a collection of fearsome festival masks.

Afterwards, take a stroll down to the river with your GEM and test your strength and skills with archery, Bhutan’s colorful national sport. Don’t forget to adopt the local custom of singing, dancing and distracting your opponent to gain the upper hand. Celebrate your victory with a cold brew at the Namgay Artisanal Brewery, where a local entrepreneur is successfully bringing micro-brewing to Bhutan. From here, it’s a 20-minute drive up a high mountain road past stunning views of the valley below to our lodge.

Six Senses Paro is situated at an elevation of 9,500 feet (2,900 meters) next to a 15th-century ruined fortress. The stone ruins and breathtaking views of the valley below provide a dramatic backdrop to your stay. There are pleasant walks through pine forests as well as small and little-known monasteries well worth a visit just a few minutes’ walk from the lodge.

Enjoy a cocktail on the patio at sunset before dinner at Jangkho, where you’ll be served a delicious menu that incorporates ingredients from our Six Senses organic farm.

Sunset

Day 4

Six Senses Paro “Stone Ruins”

Your day begins with an energy boosting breakfast before departing for Taktsang Goemba monastery, known as Tiger’s Nest. One of the most significant cultural icons of the Kingdom, this highly revered monastery was built on a sheer cliff face roughly 2,950 feet (900 meters) above Paro Valley and is visible from the valley floor.

Your GEM will hike up with you to the monastery and share stories of its history as you ascend. Enjoy the wonderful scenery through pine forests that are colorfully decorated with moss and prayer flags. During cooler weather, clouds often shroud the monastery, highlighting its sanctity and remoteness (approximately a 5 to 6-hour hike). Take a moment to reflect before tying your own prayer flag along your path and let the wind carry blessings and prayers across Bhutan.

For lunch, a picnic can be arranged at a scenic spot on route. If time permits after you descend, visit the Kyichu Lhakhang, a 7th-century sanctuary that is an absolute gem for historians and art connoisseurs. It is said to have two magical orange trees that bear fruit throughout the year.

Return to the lodge and take a short stroll over to the 15th-century Samteling Monastery situated just next to our lodge. The single-story temple was built in the traditional Bhutanese style using stone and woodwork and features statues as well as beautiful wall paintings of the Buddhist saints. Reflect on your time in the Kingdom as you light auspicious butter lamps and receive blessings from the resident monks. The light from the butter lamps represents the wisdom of the awakened mind and is said to dispel darkness. A meaningful way to bring your time in the Kingdom to a close.

Later this afternoon, prepare your body for the onward journey with a sauna, cold plunge and deep tissue massage at the spa.

This evening our chefs will prepare a special Indian menu for you or, for a truly memorable experience, you can dine under a canopy of stars next to the stone ruins of a 15th-century dzong on the grounds of the lodge (optional).

Dress in traditional Bhutanese attire (a gho for a man and a kira for a woman) to compliment the atmosphere with candles casting shadows on the stone walls. Live music, folk dances and a traditional Bhutanese menu are highlights of the evening.

Bhutan Six_Senses_Paro_main_building_detail

Day 5

Six Senses Paro “Stone Ruins” to Paro Airport

After an early breakfast, finalize your packing and say goodbye to your Bhutanese hosts before departing the lodge. From here it is a 30-minute transfer to the airport. Your GEM will accompany you and assist with your departure arrangements.

Some Thoughts ...

Consider this two-valley khamsa as a starting point to your time in the Kingdom. It offers a mix of some of Bhutan’s not-to-be missed sites as well as visits to lesser known places.

We have designed it to encourage you to participate and to interact in meaningful ways with the people you meet along the way. Every part of your journey can be customized, and we will be delighted to suggest activities and experiences to match your interests.

*Please note that some of the activities we have included in this program are optional with additional charges. This will all be clearly explained to you.

To book Six Senses Bhutan Four-Night Khamsa, please contact the reservations department directly at [email protected].

Reservation inquiry

The Four-Night Khamsa Journey includes the following:

  • Four nights’ accommodation (two nights in Thimphu and two nights in Paro or respective valley) based on double occupancy
  • Full board as described in the program for two guests (non- alcoholic beverages included)
  • Round-trip airport transfers to Paro Airport
  • Private Six Senses GEM guide throughout your journey
  • Entrance to all sites, monuments and museums as described in the itinerary

Terms & Conditions:

  • Dinner and lunch/picnic inclusions at the lodges may not be changed for meals at outside restaurants
  • All itinerary items and timings are subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances. In the case that an experience cannot be arranged as planned, it will be substituted for one of equal value and will be discussed with the guest first before changing

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