Little has changed over the centuries in the Kingdom of Bhutan, secluded among the pristine forests and protected by the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas. Experience a sense of timelessness on this 15-day tour, visiting mountaintop monasteries, Buddhist temples and traditional villages, in which artists and artisans ply their ancestral crafts to sell at local markets. The tour also travels to Paro and Thimphu, whose museums preserve historic collections of Bhutanese arts and crafts, and up through Himalayan passes to remote valleys, such as Phobjikha, home to the rare black-necked crane.
The unique history and culture of a kingdom that only began opening its borders to foreigners in the 1970s
An intriguing national philosophy: where Gross National Happiness is more important than Gross National Product
Iconic landscapes: snow-covered peaks and serene forests of the Himalayas
Proud ancestral customs, sustained over centuries: traditional music, dance and weaving
Remarkable religious architecture, from monasteries and temples to fortresses and temples
Rare flora and fauna, in the secluded Phobjikha Valley and its rare wildlife
Remarkable architecture and a dramatic cliffside location at Tiger’s Nest Monastery
Bronze sculpture, precious paintings, weaponry and historic textiles at the National Museum of Bhutan in Paro
Majestic mountain scenery of the eastern Himalaya
Explore Thimphu, the monastic and civil capital, and visit the Heritage and Textile museums
The remote Phobjikha Valley in central Bhutan, home of the famed black-necked cranes
Traverse the spectacular zigzag roadway over the 3000-metre-high Dochula Pass
The warmhearted people of Bhutan: archers, farmers and artists going about their daily lives
Days 1–4: Arrive in Bangkok. Travel to Paro and visit the Paro Dzong fortress-monastery and museum, Tiger’s Nest and a textile-weaving centre.
Days 5–7: In Thimphu, explore the Tashichho Dzong and Heritage and Textile Museums.
Days 8–9: Travel to Punakha over the Dochula Pass, visiting local markets and Chimi Lhakhang, a monastery with a colourful history.
Days 10–11: Continue to Gangtey via the remote Phobjikha Valley and Black Crane Information Centre.
Days 12–15: Free time in Punakha, then Paro, to appreciate local handcrafts, traditional dance or even a hot stone bath. Depart for Bangkok and onward flights.
A detailed itinerary for this tour is available. Click on the link above to view or download.
Qantas has daily flights to Bangkok. Contact us for quotes and bookings.
A detailed itinerary for this tour will be available in the coming months. Bookings are open for this tour, however if you would like to receive the detailed itinerary booklet once available, please register your interest below and we will send you a copy.
Has a degree in South Asian History. She has a lifelong passion for travel and over 30 years experience as a tour leader on the sub-continent and in Asia.
Judy Tenzing is a historian with a passion for all things South Asian – India, the Himalaya, Myanmar and Sri Lanka. Her deep knowledge and love for the history, music, textiles and literature of these regions adds a rich dimension to the tours she leads.
Judy has a degree in South Asian History as well as post graduate qualifications in secondary teaching. She has taught at the University of Sydney’s Centre for Continuing Education – offering courses in the histories of India, Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet and Myanmar, as well as courses on the religions and cultural traditions of these regions.
Judy’s main passions are India of the Raj as well as the Mughal period in India. This naturally leads to a deep interest in the histories of surrounding cultures and nations, notably Tibet, Myanmar and Bhutan – all of which are intricately entwined with that of India. In addition, Judy had taught World Religions at senior secondary level for over a decade and this enables an even deeper understanding of the great subcontinent, where faith and history are inseparable.
Judy led her first tour for Academy Travel in 2012 and has been a regular leader since then, accompanying groups to India, Myanmar, Bhutan and Sri Lanka. Judy is also a regular presenter for Academy Travel at the Nicholson Lectures at the University of Sydney.
We asked Judy, what do tour members take away from travelling with you?
“I think the one element most people enjoy about the tours I lead is my passion for the places we visit. Nothing is more infectious and my groups seem to absorb this love for the people and places we encounter. I love travelling and I love teaching – what better way to share this than guide a tour for a company like Academy.”
Hotels will be selected principally for their central location, often within walking distance to the museums, galleries and performance venues visited on tour. We generally use a range of 4-star hotels, suitable to group stays, throughout all our tours.
What is included in the tour price? Unless otherwise stated in the itinerary, our tours include the following:
Any flights mentioned in the itinerary that take place during a tour
Land travel by private air-conditioned coach. Where appropriate public transport is also used for short distance travel on some tours
All accommodation in hotels or apartments as stated in the itinerary
Breakfasts, lunches and dinners specifically stated as included in the itinerary
Drinks at welcome and farewell meals. Other meals may not have drinks included
Background talks on tour, site notes and online resources
Services of tour leader throughout tour
All entrance fees to sites mentioned in the itinerary
Local guides at some sites
Tips for drivers, local guides and restaurants for included meals
Tours begin either at the arrival airport or the first hotel, depending on the itinerary. If you have booked your international flights with Academy Travel and arrive before the tour commences, we will provide airport to hotel transfers to the closest main city on your arrival, and to the closest airport at the end of the tour. These may be either individual or group transfers.
What is not included in the tour price? Open-age tours do not include the following:
Return international/domestic air travel unless those flights take place during the tour
Special taxes and airport levies that can only be paid in cash at the destination. We will advise you of these charges (if any) before you depart
Costs involved in obtaining visas for countries visited, where required
Travel insurance. We require all participants to have comprehensive travel insurance. A typical policy for one of our tours will cost from $160 upwards, depending on your age, pre-existing medical conditions, the countries you are visiting and the overall length of your trip
Lunches and dinners not specifically mentioned as included in the itinerary
Personal expenses such as laundry and phone calls
Costs associated with any activity mentioned as “optional” in the itinerary, or any suggested free time activity
You will be asked to sign an acknowledgement of these conditions when you book a place on a tour.
A deposit of $500 per person is required to confirm your booking on a tour. Final payment of the tour fee, insurance and any additional travel will be due 60 days before departure.
If you decide to cancel your booking the following charges apply:
More than 60 days before departure: $500*
60-45 days before tour start: 25% of total amount due
44-15 days before tour start: 75% of total amount due
14 days or less before departure: 100% of total amount due
*This amount may be credited to another Academy Travel tour within 12 months of the original tour you booked.
Unused Portions of the tour
We regret that refunds will not be given for any unused portions of the tour, such as meals, entry fees, accommodation, flights or transfers.
Academy Travel requires all participants to obtain comprehensive travel insurance. We offer a comprehensive policy with a reputable insurer if required.
Passport and Visa
A valid passport is required for all international travel. If you do not hold an Australian passport you may require a re-entry permit. Some countries require a visa to be issued before you depart Australia. We will advise you of all passport and visa requirements, but it is your responsibility to ensure that you meet passport and visa requirements before you depart.
Will the tour price change?
If the number of participants in a tour is significantly less than budgeted, or if there is a significant change in exchange rates Academy Travel reserves the right to amend the advertised price. If this occurs you will be given the option of cancelling your booking and obtaining a full refund. If an Academy Travel tour is forced to cancel you will get a full refund of all monies paid.
Will the itinerary change?
Occasionally circumstances beyond the control of Academy Travel make it necessary to change airline, hotel or to make slight amendments to daily itineraries. We will inform you of any changes as soon as they occur.
Full and final payment for the tour, airfare travel, insurance and any additional travel you book is due 60 days before departure. Payment may be made by bank deposit, cheque, cash or credit card. Please note there is a surcharge for payments made by credit card.
Academy Travel reserves the right to decline the booking or terminate the holiday of any traveller.