THE MARCH OF EVE, DRIVE TO DISCOVER BHUTAN
In celebration of International Womans Day, The Road Less Travelled presents to you 'The March of Eve' - an all woman's drive to Bhutan
Dates 02nd to 09th March 2019
Vacation Style All Women Drive
Duration 7 Nights & 8 Days
Drive Route Phuentsholing - Paro - Trek to Tiger’s Nest - Punakha - Thimphu - Dooras - Bagdogra
‘March Of Eve’ – A unique all women drive through Bhutan over 8 days designed to celebrate the spirit feminine as we drive along oft – ignored paths, through lush verdant tea estates….turquoise green snow fed rivers….coniferous forests….charming Buddhist monasteries & imposing dzongs..
Welcome to Bhutan, the land of happiness – on a drive that will help rekindle your adventurous spirit, or maybe refresh some dormant aspirations
Bhutan has been rated #1 country in the world by the World Happiness Index.This is a nation that is at a cusp – holding on to beautiful traditions, yet embracing modernity with a smile.This self-drive journey takes one across the beautiful Himalayas in the throes of Autumn. Drive along beautiful pine crested roads as we travel along the lower reaches of the Himalayas.As the roads wind across the picturesque Himalayas, we experience a curious mix of cultures. Though a predominant Buddhist way of life, we see a healthy mix of Hindu & Buddhist cultures that is evident from the architecture, culture & of course the cuisine.
Experiencing Bhutanese way of life, through art, culture, food & interaction with the locals.
Hike to Tiger’s Nest Monastery.
White Water Rafting at Punakha.
Local Sightseeing at each location.
THE ROUTE TAKEN BY US
We begin our adventure at Bagdogra in the Himalayas. We traverse at the same height to reach Lamahatta – a small beautiful village in the Sikkim –Bengal border.
We are travelling along the tree line & the vistas along our journey is going to be that of lush greenery. We soon cross the border @ Phuentosholing into Bhutan.
The landscape into Bhutan is far more lush & green than the Indian side. We pass beautiful streams & rhododendron forests as we drive along the lake into the Paro & Thimphu valleys.
The drive to the Punakha valley is exceedingly beautiful as we cross the Dochula pass & spend a day there before we return back along the same route.
- SUV’s car – 4 guests to a vehicle (Optional Self-Drive)
- Stay on twin share basis at as per the itinerary
- All meals – breakfast, lunch, dinner – (Bagdogra to Bagdogra)
- All Experiences at each destination as specified in the itinerary
- Trekking to Tiger’s Nest
- White Water Rafting at Punakha, 15 Kms. Stretch on The Pho River
- Entry Fees, wherever applicable
- Border Clearance, Toll, Parking, etc. Fuel for the vehicle
- TRLT representative accompanying the group throughout
- Accompanying photographer along the route
- Flight ticket to Bagdogra
- Any stay, not specified in the itinerary
- Any expenses, personal in nature
- Any Alcoholic Beverages
- Any extensions in stay, self chosen or due to circumstances beyond our control.
- Tips, gratuities, if any, that you wish to reward any guide/ camp staff for services rendered
Arrive in Bagdogra. Met by our representatives.Cars kept cleaned, fueled & ready at the airport. Proceed for lunch.Lunch will be at the Bagdogra Airport Workers Cooperative restaurant. Simple & unpretentious venue that serves Bengali cuisine as well as food of the hills.A good way to begin a discovery drive by discovering local cuisinePost lunch, drive to Lamahata for our 1st night halt.The drive to Lamahata, located on the WB – Sikkim border takes around 2 hours & is a mix of flat plain roads & hill terrain.Virgin & unspoilt, Lamahatta is yet to be discovered by the average tourist.The drive to Lamahata to be without breaks, allowing us to reach Lamahata before dusk & indulge in some photo shoots enroute & upon.A visit to the Lake atop the hill near the Lamahatta village.Located on the main NH connection Bengal to Sikkim, Lamahatta residency, offers guests a glimpse into the life of the locals.Surrounded by Pine & Dhupi forests.Dinner will be a traditional hill fare of Thukpas, momos & other local cuisine.
LAMAHATA - PHUENTSHOLING - PARO
Today morning, we leave early post breakfast & begin our drive to Bhutan
The idea is to reach the border town of Jaigon before lunch, complete the border formalities & enter the Bhutanese town @ Phuentsholing.
Lunch will be @ Kizom’s Pizzeria.
The 1st cafeteria to open in Paro, Kizoms continues to wow customers with its authentic & delicious thin crust pizzas.
Not just the pizzas, patrons also swear by the excellent bakes, cakes & of course the coffee.
Post lunch we drive to the main town of Bhutan – Paro which is another 4 hours drive away.
One of the most scenic drive routes.
The drive is along the Chuka river & one gets to pass the Chuka hydel project.
The roads are well maintained 2 lane drives.
Photo shoot opportunities along the route with a number of dzongs & pagodas along the route.
Check into the Le Meridien, Paro.
TREK UPTO TIGERS NEST
One of the most famous landmarks of Paro is the Taktsang Monastery, popular as Tigers Nest.
Legend has it that Guru Rinpoche flew into Bhutan from Tibet sitting on a tiger & this is the spot he landed on.
A visit to this monastery is a must to someone visiting Paro.
Located at an hours drive away from the town.
Situated on a ledge, when one looks from below, it looks as if, the entire monastery is hanging in the thin air.
An hours trek & the monastery finally comes into view…. & its well worth it.
The last stretch across a narrow 3 ft. ledge leads us to the monastery.
Lunch will be in the monastery with the lamas
Post lunch, we drive back to Paro.
Situated on the banks of the Chuka river, Paro is an ancient town & boasts of a vast & rich heritage.
We are free to drive around the town, exploring the town & using this time for photo shoots.
We meet back in the hotel for dinner.
PARO - THIMPHU
In the morning, post breakfast, we leave for Thimphu – a short 2 hrs. drive away.
We check into the Le Meridien, Thimphu.
Post lunch, the time is free for us for a free drive around Thimphu & for photo shoots around the city.
Return to our hotel for dinner.
THIMPHU - PUNAKHA
Today is one of the most beautiful drive days that we will see, as we drive along the green range with coniferous trees.
Hence we depart after an early breakfast so that we can have multiple pit stops
Enroute we cross the beautiful Dochula pass.
We check in at the Dhensa Boutique resort & have lunch.
The most famous image of Punakha is the Punakha Dzong, also known as the Palace of Happiness – situated at the confluence of the Mo & Pho rivers.
Other places to visit include the famous suspension bridge that offers us a great photo op.
For those with the adrenalin rush, a spot of white water rafting is just what the doctor ordered.
WHITE WATER RAFTING
The Pho River , with its approx 16 km course with about 15 rapids of class 2-4 is the most popular for rafting in Bhutan.
We drift past the imposing 17th century Punakha Dzong watching the world’s rarest bird, the white belled Heron in its natural habitat and Kingfishers frolicking on riverbank - all these topped off with spectacular sight of serene lush green alpine valleys.
PUNAKHA - PHUENTSHOLING
A long day ahead, we leave after an early breakfast to Phuentsholing.
Lunch will be @ Paro at Tou Zaiga.
The restaurant offers us not just local cuisine (which we will be bored of by now), but Asian & international cuisine as well.
After lunch, we check into the Park Hotel @ Phuentsholing
PHUENTSHOLING - BAGDOGRA
Last day of our drive, we leave Phuentsholing after breakfast.
4 hours later, with a halt for tea/ coffee, we reach Bagdogra airport.
At the airport, we hands the cars over & proceed for lunch to the airport restaurant – where this wonderful journey started from.