October 14 - 28, 2021
NEW - Special small group size limited to 10 participants - 3 spaces left
Trip Leader - Gene Goldberg | Assistant Leader - Deirdre Butler
The small Kingdom of Bhutan sits balanced in the valleys of the Himalayas, balanced between the giants of China and India, balanced between an ancient past and a modern future, balanced between a manual, rural lifestyle and a digital urban one, balanced between Buddhist traditions and the industrial age.
Now is a good time to explore this Land of the Thunder Dragon with us, to visit its countryside, its ancient temples, its humble villages, and to see it in transition as its people engage in a conscious struggle to enter the modern world without losing their traditional values.
In my homeland I possess one hundred horses, yet if I go, I go on foot. –Bhutanese proverb
Bhutan is about the same size as Switzerland, with about 1/10 the population, 800,000, or about the same as Albuquerque, NM. It is one of the few countries in the world that has been independent throughout its history. The first paved road was built in 1964, and the first foreign tourists permitted in 1974. In 2008 the country became a constitutional monarchy with the adoption of the current constitution and the ascension of the current king, Jigme Keshar Namgyel Wangchuck.
“There is no colonial history or architecture to get in the way of what is Bhutanese.”
On our trip we will explore western and central Bhutan. We will be taking short walks to richly decorated temples, monasteries perched on cliff sides, impregnable fortresses, and traditional villages. We will visit people in their homes and important cultural sites such as the famous Tiger’s Nest Monastery (Taktsang Goempa.) We will watch the national sport of archery, partake in the daily life of the Bhutanese in their homes, and also their festive celebrations as we attend a Drubchen, a traditional festival honoring local deities.
This trip is suited for active walkers who like to hike 2-3 miles daily in hilly and sometimes steep and maybe muddy conditions. We have one hike of 4.5 miles with 2,100 feet of elevation gain on rocky trails with steep drop offs. That day it is possible to rent a horse to ride 2/3 of the way up, but not down. Our elevations vary from 7,200 feet to 10,200 feet. All hikes are optional.
All lodging in three-star hotels (twin occupancy with ensuite bath).
International return flight Bangkok-Paro-Bangkok.
Domestic flight from Bumthang to Paro.
Full time English speaking local guide.
Group airport transfers.
All on-trip land transportation in a private air-conditioned bus including luggage transfers.
Processing and purchase of Bhutanese Visitor Pass for US citizens, others please inquire.
All on-trip meals including non-alcoholic beverages.
Bottled water on the private bus and in the hotels.
All entrance fees for listed activities.
Gratuities for local service providers.
All hikes and activities as described in the itinerary.
What’s not included:
International flights to/ from your home to Bangkok.
Tips for trip leaders are at your discretion.
Our trip begins with an included return round trip flight from Bangkok. The flight will leave Bangkok on the morning of October 14 and return there from Paro on October 28.
Remember in your planning, that flights crossing the Pacific from the US cross the International Date Line, so it takes three calendar days to get to Bangkok. For example, if you leave California on the evening of October 11 on an overnight flight, you will skip the 12th instantly as you cross the date line, thus arriving in Bangkok on the evening of October 13. Then you can then make our flight to Paro on the morning of the 14th. On your return home, even though your flight is 12 hours long, because you cross the date line again you may well land earlier than your departure time! You are strongly encouraged to arrive in Bangkok a day or two early to enjoy the city and help overcome jet lag before our trip begins and especially to allow for any flight delays or lost baggage.
Trip Dates October 14 - 28, 2021 | 15 days
NEW - Special small group size limited to 10 participants
Trip Price and Deposit:
Land Cost: $6,000 per person
Air Cost: $1,200 per person
Total Cost: $7,200 per person
Deposit: $1,800 per person
Remainder to be paid by July 13th 2021
Price is based on double occupancy of rooms. Same gender roommate will be assigned to participants traveling solo. Single supplements are limited. Your non-refundable deposit will hold your reservation. Either pay on line (credit/ debit cards accepted) using our secure PayPal payment system or write a check, payable to “Big Round World”, and mail it to: PO Box 1337, Lyons, CO 80540.
How to Sign Up:
Complete the COVID-19 Vaccination Status Form
Follow the next steps.