Bhutan

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APR. 15-26, 2015 $4,995
Bangkok, Thimphu, Punakha, Paro
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Overview

Bhutan

APR. 15-26, 2015
Bangkok, Thimphu, Punakha, Paro

Nestled on the southern slopes of the Himalayan Mountains, Bhutan is a friendly, peaceful nation where happiness is valued over worldly possessions and daily life is steeped in traditional Buddhist teachings. Spend seven nights in this magical land and visit the cities of Thimphu, Punakha and Paro. Immerse yourself in local culture at an art school, folk heritage museum, handmade paper factory and sacred temples and shrines. Witness a special ritual prayer chanting by Buddhist monks and enjoy an inspiring visit to the Drukgyel School for the Deaf and Mute. Attend a showcase of Bhutanese music and masked dance. Your adventure also features three nights in the vibrant city of Bangkok.

Cost: $4,995
AHI Travel
Activity Level: Active
COVID-19 Information:
  • Your exclusive Small-Group experience is limited to 24 travelers
  • Spend a week in Bhutan and discover the unique history, culture and traditions of the beautiful, friendly cities of Thimphu, Punakha and Paro
  • Visit the world-famous Tiger’s Nest jutting out over Paro Valley
  • Meet revered teacher Khenpo Tashi and Royal Council Member Dasho Sangay Wangchug during exclusive educational lectures
  • Explore the highlights of Bangkok, including the Grand Palace and the Wat Pho
  • Witness exquisite cultural performances of chant, song and dance

 

Download Reservation Form Download Brochure (5.4 MB) Request Brochure In Mail
310.206.0613 (P)
310.209.4271 (F)
travel@alumni.ucla.edu
  • UCLA provides a world-class, professional experience but with several personal touches. We have made lasting friendships with fellow travelers."
    Don Goldman ’69, J.D. ’72, Traveler
  • UCLA Alumni Travel created not only an educational trip, it also created new, close and daily friendships with enthusiastic UCLA travelers."
    Ralph Treebs ’65, Traveler

Details

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Itinerary

Day 1 | April 15. Depart for Bangkok, Thailand.

Day 2 | April 16. Bangkok, Thailand
Upon arrival, transfer to the Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok.

Day 3 | April 17. Bangkok
Excursion: Highlights of Bangkok. Cruise along Bangkok’s canals and discover the landmarks of Thailand’s vibrant capital. Stop for photos at Wat Arun, and stroll through a local market to the Grand Palace. Visit the Temple of the Emerald Buddha and the world-famous Wat Pho, home to the massive Reclining Buddha.
Local Flavor: Savor royal Thai cuisine at the renowned Blue Elephant restaurant, set in a colonial mansion.
Independent Exploration: After lunch, explore Bangkok at your leisure or relax and enjoy the amenities of your luxurious hotel. In the evening, join your fellow travelers for a welcome reception at the hotel.
(B,L)

Day 4 | April 17. Bangkok / Thimphu, Bhutan
Fly to Paro. Upon arrival, transfer to Thimphu and check in to the Hotel Druk.
Excursion: Thimphu. Discover the wonders of Bhutan’s capital, the most modern city in the country. Go inside the National Institute for Zorig Chusum, an art school where local culture intertwines with Buddhist teachings. In Motithang, meet Bhutan’s national animal, a rare creature called a takin, and listen for barking deer. As evening falls, step inside the lovely Tashichho Dzong, Bhutan’s seat of government since 1952. Surrounded by beautiful gardens, this fortified monastery presently houses the throne room and offices of the king.
(B,D)

Day 5 | April 18. Thimphu
Excursion: Bhutanese Cultural Sites. Begin the day beneath the golden spires of the iconic Memorial Chorten, which means “seat of faith,” where locals spin prayer wheels and conduct their daily worship. Step back a century into the Folk Heritage Museum, situated in a mud-and-timber farmhouse. See leopard-skin bags, a traditional noodle press and locals preparing age-old dishes. Visit a small handmade paper factory, then take in the panoramic views from the Dupthop Lhakhang, one of Bhutan’s last surviving nunneries.
Educational Focus: Dasho Sangay Wangchug. Gain a deeper understanding of Bhutan’s recent history and proud national identity as well as its relationships with neighboring countries during a discussion with a Royal Family Council member.
(B,L,D)

Day 6| April 19. Thimphu
Excursion: Lhakhangs and Phodrangs. Study Bhutan’s distinctive architecture and Buddhist heritage on a full-day excursion to ancient temples. Take in the views at Changangkha Lhakhang, where parents go to bless their children, and Dechenphodrang, the busy state monastic school humming with hundreds of chanting students. Admire Kuenselphodrang, home to the gigantic Buddha Dordenma. From this sacred site, get a bird’s-eye view of Thimphu and the surrounding lush mountains. This evening, join monks, nomadic farmers and Bhutanese businessmen as they stroll down High Street. Meander through colorful shops and the craft bazaar, which proudly sells only authentic Bhutanese products.
(B,L,D)

Day 7 | April 20. Thimphu / Punakha
Depart for Punakha, Bhutan’s winter capital. En route, visit Simtokha Dzong, the oldest fortress in Bhutan, built in 1629. Then see the Druk Wangyal Chortens, a unique cluster of 108 chortens set against a 360-degree panorama of the Himalayas’ snow capped peaks.
Excursion: Punakha Dzong. Upon arrival in Punakha, visit the 17th-century dzong at the confluence of the Mo and Pho rivers. Check in to the Meri Puensum Resort.
(B,L,D)

Day 8 | April 21. Punakha / Paro
Depart for the beautiful valley of Paro.
Excursion: Paro Dzong. Enjoy an up-close look at ancient weapons, textiles and other artifacts at the National Museum. Then explore the Ringpung Dzong, known as the Fortress of a Heap of Jewels, one of the finest examples of Bhutanese architecture.
Cultural Event: Monk Prayer Chant. Witness a special prayer ritual with chanting Buddhist monks in the Choedling Temple. Prayers for all sentient beings will be offered.
Independent Exploration: Upon your arrival in Paro, check in to the Tashi Namgay Resort and enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure. Rest or explore the colorfully painted wooden shops on the main street.
(B,L,D)

Day 9 | April 22. Paro
Excursion: Drugyel School and Dzong. Meet students at a school for the mute and hearing impaired. See the world-famous Taktsang Lhakhang, also known as the Tiger’s Nest, a complex of temples clinging to a sheer cliff face almost 3,000 feet above Paro Valley. Then uncover the ruins of the hilltop Drugyel Dzong, built in 1646.
Educational Focus: Khenpo Karma Tashi. Attend an exclusive, engaging lecture by celebrated teacher Khenpo Tashi, who will discuss Buddhism, happiness and more.
(B,L,D)

Day 10 | April 23. Paro
Excursion: Tiger’s Nest. Choose to embark on a challenging hike above the clouds to the dramatic, cliff-side monastery complex, one of the most venerated places of pilgrimage in the Himalayan world. Your reward? One of the “World’s Most Amazing Views,” according to Travel + Leisure magazine.
Excursion: Kyichu Lhakhang. Visit a seventh-century temple built by the founder of the Tibetan Empire.
Cultural Event: Bhutanese Music and Dance Performance. Be entertained at an elaborate, hour long music and dance show. In the evening, gather with your fellow travelers for a farewell dinner at the hotel.
(B,D)

Day 11 | April 24. Paro / Bangkok
Fly to Bangkok. Upon arrival, check in to the Novotel Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport Hotel and spend a relaxing evening at your leisure.
(B)

Day 12 | April 25.
Transfer to the airport for the return flights to your gateway city.
(B)

Accommodations

Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok
Surrounded by lush gardens in the heart of Bangkok, the Four Seasons Hotel was recently listed as one of the world’s best hotels by the readers of Travel + Leisure magazine. Unwind with a traditional Thai massage in the spa, take a dip in the pool or lounge on the sun deck surrounded by waterfalls and lotus ponds.

Hotel Druk Thimphu
First-class amenities, traditional Bhutanese architecture and elegant décor await you at the Hotel Druk. After a full day of exploring, settle in at this newly renovated estate in the heart of Thimphu and enjoy spacious guest rooms, a spa, a fitness center and a currency exchange.

Tashi Namgay Resort Paro
This exotic resort, set on a rocky hill overlooking the Pachu River, is a quiet retreat that merges classic Bhutanese and modern architecture with environmentally conscious design. Unwind with the comforts of the spa, including a traditional hot stone bath, and cozy up to the hotel bar.

Novotel Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport Hotel
The perfect spot to rejuvenate before your return home, this spacious and airy property is located next to the Bangkok airport and features modern amenities, five restaurants and bars, a spa, a fitness center and a refreshing outdoor swimming pool.

 

Meri Puensum Resort Punakha
Be greeted with Bhutanese hospitality at this family-owned resort, located on a hilltop overlooking Punakha. Enjoy comfortable accommodations along with a garden, a bar and a restaurant that serves Indian, Chinese and Bhutanese specialties.

Pricing

Pricing: $5,445

Special Pricing Available: $5,195*

*Special Price valid if booked by 10/1/2014.
VAT is an additional $495 per person

Download Reservation Form Download Brochure (5.4 MB) Request Brochure In Mail
310.206.0613 (P)
310.209.4271 (F)
travel@alumni.ucla.edu
  • UCLA provides a world-class, professional experience but with several personal touches. We have made lasting friendships with fellow travelers."
    Don Goldman ’69, J.D. ’72, Traveler
  • UCLA Alumni Travel created not only an educational trip, it also created new, close and daily friendships with enthusiastic UCLA travelers."
    Ralph Treebs ’65, Traveler

Book this Tour

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How to Book

STEP 1
Download the tour Reservation Form here. This tour is booked quickly, so sign up early to reserve space.

STEP 2
Enclose a check or provide credit card information for $600 per person, per tour, as a deposit for the selected tour. Make check payable to AHI Travel. Deposits are provisional and fully refundable pending your acceptance of final brochure terms.

STEP 3
Mail completed reservation form and your deposit to:
UCLA Alumni Association
Attn: Alumni Travel
James West Alumni Center
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1397

A brochure will be mailed to you as soon as it is available.

Terms & Conditions

Written cancellations from time of booking up to 90 days prior to departure will be assessed a minimum administrative fee of approximately $250; within 90 days of departure, refunds vary according to the policies of each tour operator. Please download brochure for this tour here.

CST 2028271-20

Travel Insurance

We strongly recommend you purchase travel insurance to cover the possibility of trip cancellation or interruption, emergency medical evacuation, medical expenses and baggage loss incurred while traveling. All confirmed passengers will receive travel insurance information in your confirmation packet. It’s one of our many membership benefits! For information about travel insurance, visit alumni.ucla.edu/travel-insurance. Coverage for pre-existing medical conditions, terrorist incidents and travel supplier financial insolvencies will be provided if the insurance is purchased within 15 days of your trip deposit. Please read the insurance brochure carefully.

Download Reservation Form Download Brochure (5.4 MB) Request Brochure In Mail
310.206.0613 (P)
310.209.4271 (F)
travel@alumni.ucla.edu
  • UCLA provides a world-class, professional experience but with several personal touches. We have made lasting friendships with fellow travelers."
    Don Goldman ’69, J.D. ’72, Traveler
  • UCLA Alumni Travel created not only an educational trip, it also created new, close and daily friendships with enthusiastic UCLA travelers."
    Ralph Treebs ’65, Traveler