Classical Myanmar (10-Days)

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Classical Myanmar (10-Days)

Tour Summary:

Classical Myanmar (10-Days)

Tour Highlights & Inclusives:

Itinerary:

Day 1: Arrive Yangon (D)
Arrive in Yangon and Transfer to hotel. Yangon, formerly known as Rangoon, is still a relatively quiet and charming city. It’s impressive colonial and spiritual heritage makes Yangon one of the most Fascinating and authentic capitals of South-East Asia. Check in hotel. After lunch, a city tour includes the National Museum, Kyaukhtatgyi Pagoda’s 70m long reclining Buddha, downtown Yangon with it’s faded colonial atmosphere, Sule Pagoda, Mahabandoola Park, India town and bustling China town. Welcome dinner at Kandawgyi Palace Hotel with cultural show. Overnight at The Strand Hotel or Pansea Hotel in Yangon.

Day 2: Yangon-Mandalay by morning flight.(B,L,D)
After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to Yangon’s Mingaladon Airport for the flight to Mandalay. On arrival, a sightseeing tour of Mandalay. Myanmar’s cultural capital, features Mahamuni Pagoda, famous for it’s venerable statue of Buddha covered with gold leaf. Mandalay has long been known as a centre of skilled craftsmanship and in former times supplied the royal courts. A tour of traditional workshops includes crafts such as woodcarving, marble masonry, Kalaga tapestry and gold-leaf making. After lunch visit to Mandalay Palace, Kuthodaw Pagoda with it’s 729 marble stone slabs of Buddhist scriptures (known as the world’s biggest book) and Shwenandaw Monastery, noted for it’s exquisite woodcarving. Enjoy the sunset from Mandalay Hill. Overnight at Hotel Red Canal or similar in Mandalay.

Day 3: Mandalay-Amarapura-Gawein Jetty by car. (B,L,D)
After breakfast at the hotel departure for a full day trip to the former capitals of Amarapura, Ava and Sagaing. The day begins with a visit to to the 18th century capital, Amarapura where the country’s largest monastery, Mahaganda Yon Monastery, is located. Continue to the 200 year old U Bein Bridge, constructed entirely from teak and a silk weaving workshop.

Day 4: Mingun-Sagaing-River Village (B,L,D)
Downstream to Sagaing-
Early in the morning cruise downstream. during the 2 hours journey the passengers can admire the natural beauty of the river and the life of it’s banks while relaxing on the sundeck or just sitting outside their own cabin. Enjoy the sunrise over the Sagaing hill.
Visit Sagaing-
After Breakfast passengers can go ashore to visit Sagaing with the assistance of our Ship Manager or their own guide.
Downstream To Bagan-
The cast off time is at 11.15 hrs. Lunch will be served at 13.00. In the late afternoon we stop at Yandabo, a village specialized in Pot-Making, where the peace treaty of the First Anglo-Burmese war was signed on Feb. 24, 1826. Cruise all day and moor over night near a river village. Moor overnight near the Village of Shwe Nann Tint.

Day 5: Arrival Bagan Jetty. (B,L,D)
Early in the morning we proceed downriver to Bagan. After breakfast (if time permits) we visit another typical river village
Check Out time-
Enjoy the sunrise near Bagan. Passengers will disembark at Aye Yar Jetty around 10.15 hrs. On the dry plain of central Myanmar by the banks of the Irrawaddy River stands Bagan, one of the most remarkable archaeological sites in Asia. The 230 years, from 11th to 13th centuries, when Bagan was the capital of Myanmar, were marked by a religious fervor and building frenzy resulting in the thousands of stupas and temples many of which are still standing today. Upon arrival at Bagan, transfer hotel for check in. Free at leisure. Enjoy lunch at hotel. Early evening visit to Shwesandaw Pagoda upper terrace to see the panoramas view of Bagan. Overnight at Thiripyitsayar Sakura (River View Suite) or Aureum Palace Resort (Lake View Villa) in Bagan.

Day 6: Baga Sightseeing. (B,L,D)
After breakfast, morning sightseeing of Bagan features the colorful Nyaung Oo Market, the Shweizigon Pagoda and it’s magnificent golden stupa, Kyansittha U Min, Wetkyi-In Gubyaukgyi, a cave temple with exquisite Jatakas murals paintings and the elegant Htilominlo Temple noted for it’s fine plaster carvings and glazed sandstone decorations. In the afternoon observe the process of traditional lacquer ware, one of Myanmar’s best-known handicrafts and a specialty of Bagan. Visit Ananda, and architectural masterpiece of the early-style temple with four impressive standing Buddha images, Ananda Okkyaung, one of the few surviving brick monasteries from the early Vagan period and Thatbyinnyu the highest temple in Bagan rising to 61m. End the day with a horse and carriage tour among the temples passing by the traditional village of Taungbi, Sulamani Temple and the massive Dhammayangyi Temple noted for it’s remarkable brickwork. Enjoy sunset over the site from the upper terrace of Tayokepyay Temple. Overnight at Thiripyitsayar Sakura (River View Suite or Aureum Palace Resort (Lake View Villa) In Bagan.

Day 7: Bagan (B,L,D)
After breakfast at the hotel, proceed to Myinkaba village and observe the process of traditional lacquer ware, one of the best-known Myanmar handicraft and a specialty of Bagan. Visit the monuments of Myinkaba village, Gubyaukkhi, an early period Pyu-style temple of Hindu influence with some of the oldest mural paintings in Bagan, Manuha and Nanpaya temples. In the afternoon, enjoy an excursion to the countryside village of some of the most interesting temples such as Payathonzu, with it’s unusual architecture and tantric Buddhism influence, Lemyethna and Nandamannya temples. Enjoy the sunset from the top of Bu Phaya. Overnight at Thiripyitsayar Sakura (River View Suite) or Aureum Palace Resort (Lake View Villa) in Bagan.

Day 8: Bagan-Heho-Inle Lake by morning flight. (B,L,D)
After Breakfast at the hotel transfer to Nyaung U Airport for the flight to Heho. From Heho, enjoy a scenic drive to Inle Lake, one of Myanmar’s best-known sights. The Intha people, a tribe of Mon descent, mostly inhabit the lakeshores and floating villages. On arrival at Nyaung Shwe village, transfer by boat to start a sightseeing tour on Inle lake including a chance to see the leg-rowing fisherman. Continue to see the floating gardens, built up from strips of water hyacinth and mud and anchored to the bottom with bamboo poles. There are also floating villages like Ywama, the lake’s downtown, where a floating market is held every five days. In the afternoon continue to Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the weaving village of Inpawkhon and the jumping cat monastery. Check into hotel in the afternoon. Overnight at Inle Princess Resort (Lake front cottage) or similar in Inle Lake.

Day 9: Inle Lake-In Dein-Heho-Yangon by afternoon flight. (B,L,D)
After breakfast, visit the Dein in the south of the lake by motor boat. From the middle of the lake, continue down a small canal leading to the village of In Dein, a recently opened area in Shan State. After a walk around the stupas are partly covered by vegetation. From here there is a magnificent view over the lake. Continue visits of the lake by boat and in the afternoon transfer to Heho Airport for the flight back to Yangon. On arrival, transfer to hotel. Farewell Dinner and overnight at The Strand Hotel or Pansea Hotel in Yangon.

Day 10: Depart Yangon (B,L)
After breakfast finish the tour with a visit to Myanmar’s holiest monument, the Shwedagon Pagoda with it’s golden stupa covered with 60 tons of pure gold leaf. In the afternoon there is free time for shopping at Bogyoke Market, formerly Scott’s Market, before transferring to Airport for onward flight.

India Signature Holiday

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India Signature Holiday

Tour Summary:

‘Signature Holiday’ is specially tailored for you to experience the Romantic Rajasthan in style with staying at the exclusive Resorts which complement your lifestyle. The journey is thoughtfully crafted by our connoisseur so your voyage through India is luxurious and memorable. The minutest aspects are sought after so you indulge in the finest collection and extra-ordinary experiences…

You have a quintessence for the finer things in life. It’s expressed in the way you travel and this passage is an intriguing combination of elegance, style, mystery, romance and sensuality.

Rajasthan is still as profound a pleasure as at anytime in the age-old glamorous history, traditional values of this awe-inspiring land. Not surprisingly, the Royalties still enjoy the elegant life style they did for centuries. The journey in the past gives you an experience into the Grandeur and opulence of this Romantic Era.

This Escapade gives you ample of opportunities to rejuvenate your senses and energize your mind to experience the pure pleasure and to indulge yourself in an array of luxurious SPA therapies. So, switch off from the stress and pressure of daily grind and allow yourself to be pampered, revitalized and recharged.

Treat yourself to this perfect vacation which comes with unrivalled fusion of warm Indian hospitality, world class service and modern luxury which will add to your book of cherished memories.

If you thought this Exquisite Holiday is something what you have been raving for then the life has never been more rewarding as there is much more in store for you.

Our promise is to leave you truly spoilt with no choice………

Tour Highlights & Inclusives:

India Signature Holiday

Itinerary:

Day 01 Arrive Delhi
Arrive: Delhi. Upon arrival, you will be met by our representative and transferred to hotel. Overnight at the hotel The Imperial.

Day 02 Delhi
Morning you will be taken to visit Old Delhi – the former centre of Moghul Power, Old Delhi offers ancient monuments, narrow streets and bustling bazaars. Drive past the Red Fort, built in 1648 and board the ‘cycle rickshaw’ for a unique experience from the Red Fort, through Chandni Chowk or Silver Street. Later visit the Jama Masjid, the greatest mosque in India and completed in 1658 by Shah Jahan.

Afternoon sightseeing tour of New Delhi – drive past the stately government buildings of the British Era designed by Lutyens, including the India Gate & the Presidential Palace. Continue onto the beautiful Humayun tomb of the Mughal era & predecessor of the world famous Taj Mahal. Overnight at the hotel The Imperial.

Day 03 Delhi – Udaipur
Morning you will be transferred to the airport for flight to Udaipur.

Depart: Delhi at: 1125 hrs by: 9W – 3317
Arrive: Udaipur at: 1305 hrs

On arrival in Udaipur, you will be met by our representative and transferred to the hotel. Thereafter, city tour of Udaipur, one of India’s most romantic cities and famed for its lovely palaces and lakes. Begin by visiting the City Palace and wandering through its beautiful rooms and apartments, then continue on to the Garden of Maidens “Sahelionki-bari”. Overnight at the hotel Oberoi Udaivilās.

Day 04 Udaipur
Morning at leisure for own activities. Late afternoon enjoy a boat cruise on the placid waters of Lake Pichola. From the lake you have a wonderful view of the City Palace stretching along the east bank, while the south bank has pleasant gardens running down to the waterside. Overnight at the hotel Oberoi Udaivilās.

Day 05 Udaipur – Jaipur
Morning you will be transferred to the airport for flight to Jaipur.

Depart: Udaipur at: 0810 hrs by 9W – 3301
Arrive: Jaipur at: 0915 hrs

On arrival in Jaipur, the guests will be met by our representative and transferred to the hotel. Afternoon city tour of Jaipur – “The Pink City” is spectacularly set within surrounding rugged hills, dotted with ancient ruined fortresses. Your tour will include the imposing City Palace, still home to the Maharaja although several of the rooms are now open to the public. Many antiques and artefacts belonging to the ruling family are housed here, including a collection of weaponry. You will also visit the Hawa Mahal “Palace of the Winds”, and the open-air Jantar Mantar Observatory to see the vast astronomical instruments. Enjoy a stroll through the colorful bazaar before returning to your hotel. Overnight at the hotel Oberoi Rajvilās.

Day 06 Jaipur
Morning tour of the impressive Amber Fort, situated on a ridge just outside Jaipur City. At the foot of the hill you will mount your caparisoned elephant for the slow but steady climb up to the main gate, making your entrance in the time honored fashion. The Fort, completed in the early 18th century, took over 100 years to build and now, although deserted, offers a fascinating insight into the lifestyle of the Moghul ruling families. Overnight at the hotel Oberoi Rajvilās.

Day 07 Jaipur – Ranthambore
Morning drive to Ranthambore (156 kms). Upon arrival in Ranthambore – check into the hotel. Ranthambore Wildlife Sanctuary – Rajasthan’s most renowned wildlife sanctuary, it is 400 sq kms of dry deciduous forest, perfect natural habitat for tigers, and is set in the Aravalli and Vindhya hills. Overnight at the hotel Oberoi Vanyavilās.

Day 08 Ranthambore
Morning and afternoon game viewing in the sanctuary by jeep. Overnight at the hotel Oberoi Vanyavilās.

Day 09 Ranthambore – Bharatpur – Agra
Morning transfer to Sawai Madhopur railway station in time to board your train to Bharatpur

Depart: Sawai Madhopur at: 0710 hrs by: Golden Temple Mail
Arrive: Bharatpur at: 0925 hrs

Upon arrival in Bharatpur, met by our representative and drive to Agra (50 kms) en route visiting Fatehpur Sikri.

Upon arrival in Agra – check into the hotel. Overnight at the hotel Oberoi Amarvilās.

Day 10 Agra – Ajabgarh (Amanbagh)
Morning visit the famous Taj Mahal -This most famous Moghul monument was constructed by Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal “the lady of the Taj”. (Taj Mahal is closed on Friday). Later drive to Ajabgarh (200 Kms). Upon arrival in Ajabgarh, check into your hotel. Overnight at the hotel Amanbagh.

Day 11 & 12 Ajabgarh (Amanbagh)
Days are at your leisure. Overnight at the hotel Amanbagh.

Day 13 Ajabgarh – Delhi
In the afternoon drive from Ajabgarh to Delhi International airport (200 Kms) to connect your flight back home.

Day 14 Delhi
Onward Destination

Colors of Karnataka

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Colors of Karnataka

Tour Summary:

Explore Karnataka, an enchanting land rich in heritage and abounding in scenic beauty that is sublime, solemn, and spellbinding; a land rich in flora and fauna. Experience nature in its true form in the vast forests of Karnataka and then delve into centuries old architectural marvels in this Cradle of Stone Architecture on board the luxury train The Golden Chariot – a fine balance between a glorious yesterday and an omnipresent tomorrow, culminating your journey relaxing on the sandy beaches of Goa.

Tour Highlights & Inclusives:

Colors of Karnataka

Itinerary:

Day 01 Arrive Bangalore
Upon arrival at Bangalore International Airport you will be met by a Luxe India representative who will assist with the transfer and check-In at the hotel. Spend one night at Taj Westend. Accommodation is in luxury room, inclusive of breakfast. Taj West End The Taj West End located over twenty acres of beautifully landscaped gardens, is an exquisite combination of modern amenities and old world charm. It is situated near the city centre and close to the business, entertainment, wonderful shopping and is also located near the race course and golf course.

Day 02 Bangalore-Coorg
After breakfast proceed for a private road to Coorg (approx. 5 hours). Upon arrival check-in at the hotel. Coorg or Kodagu as the people of this little district in Karnataka call their land, is located atop the lovely blue mountains, the Sahyadris, at an average altitude of 1400 meters. Coorg still retains its old world charm – it is in fact a cluster of hamlets and homesteads, surrounded by nature at its best – Unsullied, beautiful, green and exciting. There are dense forested valleys, gurgling mountain streams and waterfalls. Coffee plantations predominate, along with a fair amount of cardamom and pepper thrown. Evening, take a guided tour of the 300 acre working coffee and spice plantation. Learn first hand the difference between an Arabica and Robusta, discover how the Malabar blend got ‘monsooned’, and explore the spice scented pathways of Orange County to slip into the spirit of the land. Feel the aroma of fresh coffee and spices and the lush greenery around you- mingle with nature, discover the deep silence of the surroundings, hear the sounds of chirping birds, and the gurgle of the little brooks. Later, enjoy a bonfire at the resort, followed by Dinner. Spend two nights at Orange County. Accommodation is in Private Pool Villa, inclusive of all meals.
Orange County Nestled in the Western Ghats, perched at 800 meters above sea level and set amidst 300 acres of coffee and spice plantations, is the Orange County Resort. This resort is unique for its hospitality in harmony with tradition and nature. Cosseted by River Cauvery on one side and Dubare Reserve forest on the other, this resort promises seclusion, exclusivity and tranquility. Orange County has blend a lot of Kodava traditions and making a stay at Orange County is an experience to cherish for times to come. It is a perfect haven for seclusion, exclusivity and tranquility.

Day 03 In Coorg
After breakfast proceed for a visit to Dubare Elephant Camp across the river Cauvery. Get an insight into the life of these fascinating animals by participating in activities such as bathing and feeding them, followed by an elephant ride through the forest. Also visit Bylekuppe, the second largest Tibetan settlement outside Tibet and includes a bazaar selling Tibetan handicrafts and a flea market. A beautiful Monastery with three large and imposing Golden Buddha statues and in a serene setting beckons you. The temple has 62 feet Buddha statues covered with gold plates is a wonderful sight anytime.

Day 04 Coorg-Kabini
Early morning proceed for a guided bird watching walk into Dubare Reserve Forest. Coorg is an ornithologist’s delight. And is every bit as entertaining and enlightening for the amateur birdwatcher too. Over 300 bird species are found here.
After breakfast proceed for a private road transfer to Kabini. (approx. 120Kms)
Upon arrival check-in at the hotel.

After lunch, proceed for wildlife safaris in Jeep into the Nagarhole National Park. Accompanied by a trained naturalist, the safari provides a good opportunity to observe the various herbivores & predators in their natural habitat. Some of the animals found here are the Bonnet Macaque, Gray Langur , Slender Loris , Wild dog or “Dhole”, the sloth bear, stripe- necked Mongoose, Civets, Otters, Indian Pangolin, Giant Flying Squirrel, Flying Fox, Indian Porcupine, Jackal, Black Naped Hare, barking deer, Sambhar, Four horned Antelope, Gaur, and wild boar. Evening enjoy a Kuruba tribal dance performance followed by Dinner. Spend two nights at Orange County. Accommodation is in Pool Hut, inclusive of all meals.

Day 05 In Kabini
Early morning enjoy a boat safari upstream from the resort on the Kabini River. While the animals and birds that can be sighted will be the same as during the vehicle safari, the boat safari offers an opportunity to observe the Marsh Crocodile and other water birds, rarely seen during the Vehicle safari. As the river meanders between the two parks, the visitor gets to witness the vastness of the parks. The boat safari also goes to certain areas, which are not accessible by vehicle. The backwaters of the Kabini acts as a huge water body, attracting a wide variety of water birds. As the waters recede during summer, they leave behind isolated pools of water that attract a multitude of birds as fish are often trapped in them.

After lunch, take a bicycle tour of the village of the Kuruba tribe. They are the Jenu Kurubas, the Beta Kurubas (collectively called Kadu Kuruba or simply Kuruba). These people were originally hunter gathers who switched to swidden agriculture and when that was banned to collection of minor forest produce. Experience their unique culture and lifestyle first hand while sharing a cup of coffee with them. Evening accompanied by the in-house naturalist get up close and personal with Meenakshi, their resident elephant. Learn about the magnificent animal, its natural history and its long association with man. Learn about the various methods of capturing wild elephants and their long and historical association with Kabini.

Day 06 Kabini-Mysore…Board the Golden Chariot
Morning proceed for a guided bird watching tour along the river bank, passing through the cultivated fields and scrubs growing along the village roads, to observe the water birds and waders.

After breakfast proceed for a private road transfer to Mysore (approx. 90Kms) to Board the train- The Golden Chariot.

After Lunch on board the train, proceed for a sightseeing tour of Mysore. Visit the most impressive of Mysore’s numerous monuments, though, is the Maharaja’s Palace built in 1911 at the cost of 4.2 million Indian Rupees. One of the biggest in India, it is a harmonious synthesis of the Hindu and Saracenic styles of architecture. Also visit Srirangapatna a place of great religious, cultural and historic importance. The Srirangapatnam Fort, defended by a double wall, is the center of attraction here. It was built in 1454 by Thimmanna, a local chief and later renovated by Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan.

Spend four nights on the Golden Chariot, inclusive of all meals.

Day 07 Hassan
Enjoy breakfast en route your journey to Hassan. This quiet and peaceful town is a convenient base to visit Sharavanabelagola, Belur and Halebid. Shravanabelagola, 52km from Hassan, an important Jain pilgrim centre. It is home to Asia’s largest monolithic statue Lord Gomateswara here towers 58 ft., looming atop the picturesque Vindhyagiri Hill. Every 12 years, Jain pilgrims gather here to participate in a splendid head anointing ceremony.

Belur & Halebid: A World of Worship Belur in Hassan is famous for its magnificent Hoysala Temple Complex. The Chennakesava Temple here is the major attraction, built by Hoysala Vishnuvardhana, to commemorate his victory over the Cholas. The facade of the temple is filled with intricate sculptures with no portion left blank. It is the only Hoysala Temple still in active worship. Halebid in Hassan district was the capital of the Hoysalas. It has one of the finest Hoysala temples. The Hoysaleswara Temple, perched on a star-shaped base amidst lawns, is a sculptural extravaganza. Its walls are richly carved with an endless variety of Hindu deities, sages, stylized animals, birds and friezes depicting the life of the Hoysala Kings.

Return to the train for Dinner and then relax on your journey to Hospet.

Day 08 Hospet
Arrive Hospet, a city filled with wonders and surrounded by marvels. After breakfast proceed for a visit of Hampi, a world heritage site. If dreams were made out of stone, it would be Hampi. Hampi, the seat of the famed Vijayanagara Empire was the capital of the largest empire in post-moghul India, covering several states. Although in ruins today, this capital city once boasted riches known far beyond the shores of India. The ruins of Hampi of the 14th Century lies scattered in about 26 sq. km area, amidst giant boulders and vegetation. The Pampapati Swami temple with its many tiered pyramidal tower crests above the others. The Vittala Temple has 56 pillars, each of which produces a different musical note when tapped. Protected by the tempestuous river Tungabhadra in the north and rocky granite ridges on the other three sides, the ruins silently narrate the story of grandeur splendor and fabulous wealth. A visit to Hampi is a sojourn into the past.

Return to the Golden Chariot for Dinner and relax.

Day 09 Badami
Continue your journey of this incredible land, proceeding towards Badami, a world heritage site. Badami is picturesquely situated at the mouth of a ravine between two rocky hills. The exquisite sculptures and the rust red sandstone cliffs of Badami tell many a tale of yore. The first sculptural embellishment to dazzle the eye is the 18 armed Nataraja striking 81 dance poses. Badami is famous for its rock-cut cave temples. These temples have been carved out on the red sandstone hills that surround the town. There are four cave temples at Badami. These temples date back to the 6th and 7th centuries and ornately carved with figures of Hindu deities. Also visit Pattadakal, with its beautifully chiseled temples, a World Heritage Site, located on the banks of the Malaprabha River. It bears testimony to the richness of the Chalukyan architecture. Pattadakal reached its pinnacle of glory under the Chalukyan Kings and was once used as a ceremonial center where kings were crowned.

Afternoon return to the train and continue your journey to Goa.

Day 10 Goa
Arrive Goa. After breakfast check out. You will be met by a Luxe India representative who will assist with the transfer and check-in at the hotel. Goa also known as “Pearl of the Orient” and a “Tourist Paradise”, is located on the western coast of India in the coastal belt known as Konkan. The magnificent scenic beauty and the architectural splendors of its temples, churches and old houses have made Goa a firm favorite with travelers around the world.

Rest of the day at leisure to relax and unwind. Spend three nights at Taj Exotica. Accommodation is in Garden Villa, inclusive of breakfast. Taj Exotica Located on the southwest coast of Goa, overlooking the Arabian sea, this Mediterranean-style resort is one of the best hotels in Goa and has a way of slowing down time to a tranquil tempo. Set amidst fifty-six acres of lush gardens, Taj Exotica is a showcase for relaxation with tropical inspired design touches, grand architecture, a sun-drenched atrium, wide shady corridors, and flower lined patios for a memorable stay.

Day 11 In Goa
Your visit to Goa is not complete without a trip to Old Goa, which was the ancient capital of Goa, once ruled by Adil Shah and was later conquered by the Portuguese. All that now remains of Old Goa’s former glory, are its imposing churches and cathedrals which houses 14 magnificent Alter and 05 bells of which one is the famous Golden Bell said to have been heard all over Goa. The Basilica of Bom Jesus, houses the mortal and visible remain of Goa’s Patron, Saint Francis Xavier, in the silver casket. The Churches are also considered as “World Heritage Monuments.” Also visit Panjim, the Capital City of Goa, build on the banks of river Mondovi, take a walk through the small squares and back lanes of the town’s old quarters where the Portuguese influence is most evident.

Day 12 In Goa
Day at leisure to relax at the beach or enjoy the facilities at the resort.

Day 13 Goa-Mumbai….Depart
After breakfast proceed for the Goa Airport to board your flight to Mumbai. Upon arrival you will be transferred to the International airport to board your flight for onward destination.

Tranquil Kerala (India) 10-Days

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Tranquil Kerala (India) 10-Days

Tour Summary:

Cast away amidst the serene environs of a backwater islet; treat your body and soul to ‘Ayurveda’ – the sacred knowledge of life; take a cruise on a houseboat with palm fringed land on either side and experience the many faces of the backwater life of Kerala. Luxe India brings you a unique program to experience the awe-inspiring natural beauty and the cultural mosaic of God’s own country whilst enjoying a more rewarding and responsible holiday experience enabling local communities to enjoy a better quality of life and conserving the natural environment.

Tour Highlights & Inclusives:

Tranquil Kerala (India) 10-Days

Itinerary:

Day 01 Arrive COCHIN
Upon arrival at Cochin International Airport, you will be met by a Luxe India representative and be assisted for the check in at the hotel. Evening enjoy a performance of the highly ritualized “Kathakali” dance which tells stories from the ancient Hindu epics – Ramayana and Mahabharata. The dancers narrate the story through intricate facial expressions and gestures, with sudden leaps, spins and freeze balances, each wearing fantastic costumes and elaborate make up. This art form was in danger of becoming extinct, but had a revival about 40 years ago. Tourism keeps the performance alive today. Spend one night at The Malabar House. Accommodation is in deluxe room inclusive of breakfast. The Malabar House, Cochin The Malabar House is one of the finest boutique hotels in Kerala. It is part of Fort Cochin’s historical fabric. Its recorded history dates back to 1755, when Jan Herman Clausing, a Dutch, bought the property from Mathew Henrich Beyls. Subsequently owned by spice traders, tea traders and bankers, it became 1996 Fort Cochin’s first boutique heritage hotel Kerala. It is certified by Green Globe 21, the worldwide environmental certification program for sustainable travel & tourism, for its commitment to preserving nature, protecting the environment, conserving heritage and reviving art forms.

Day 02 In Cochin
After breakfast proceed for a tour of Cochin. Visit the Chinese fishing nets of Fort Kochi and witness an unusual form of fishing — shore operated lift nets; St. Francis Church- the oldest European church in India that has great historical significance as a mute witness to the European colonial struggle in the subcontinent; The Mattancherry Palace, also known as Dutch Palace; and the Jew town including the Jewish Synagogue- the oldest synagogue in the commonwealth nations. Also, explore the spice markets and shop for souvenirs from the antique bazaars of the heritage Jew town. The population of the Jews has dropped drastically in Cochin and at present there are only about 13 Jews left. An optional visit to the Kumbalangi village can be arranged. Kumbalangi is a tiny eco-friendly fishing village on the backwaters. The village has no concrete structures and plastic is banned here. A must visit is the Kalagramam-an artists village, the focal point of the village, exhibiting local art, handicraft and tools used by the villagers in earning the livelihood.

Day 03 Cochin- Thekkady
After breakfast proceed for a private road transfer to Thekkady. (approx. 190Kms) Arrive Thekkady; you will be met by a Luxe India representative who will assist with the check-in at the hotel. Thekkady’s fabulous landscape is diffused with exotic spice plantations, green carpets of endless tea gardens and lush tropical forests. Garbed in vibrant hues and bountiful gifts of nature it offers a perfect escape into the soothing laps of nature. Explore the surroundings onboard a bullock cart and enjoy the experience of real India. (The driver being an ex-sandalwood poacher re-invented as the bullock cart driver for tourists) Also visit the cardamom plantations and learn how spices are cultivated. Spend two nights in Spice Village. Accommodation is in standard villa inclusive of breakfast. Spice Village, Thekkady A timeless experience in ecological living, recreated for the modern traveler. At Spice village the conservation of nature is inspired from the lifestyle of the tribal people of the cardamom hills who over time have perfected a gentle codependence, an almost spiritual harmony with the works of nature. The Spice Village uncovers these ancient wisdoms and put them to work e.g. the self sustaining fish pond, organic gardens, natural insect repellants etc.

Day 04 IN Thekkady
Today visit the Periyar Reserve. Declared a protected area way back in 1933 by the Maharaja of Travancore, the Periyar Tiger Reserve in Thekkady flaunts to be the largest sanctuary in the state of Kerala. People oriented and park centered community based ecotourism is the hallmark of Periyar Tiger Reserve. People who once made a living by illegal operations in the forests have since become forest protectors and earn their livelihood through the programmes conducted for visitors. Hence, as a visitor, when you join them in any of these programmes, you are directly contributing towards forest conservation and community welfare. You can also opt for a visit to a tribal village, for a first-hand experience of a way of life that’s fast vanishing from the modern world. Today, these indigenous peoples still carry on their age old practices of herding and bee-keeping in perfect harmony with the environment.

Day 05 Thekkady – Kumarakom
After breakfast proceed for a private road transfer to Kumarakom. (approx.125Kms) Arrive Kumarakom; you will be met by a Luxe India representative who will assist with the check in at the hotel. Kumarakom is popularly known as the rice bowl of Kerala. A huddle of tiny islets on the Vembanad Lake, Kumarakom is a pictorial, unsoiled village, an incredibly stunning ecstasy of mangrove forests, pea green paddy meadows and coconut coppices intermingled with enthralling waterways and canals. Evening you may enjoy a traditional Ayurvedic massage at the hotel. Spend two nights at Coconut Lagoon. Accommodation is in heritage bungalow inclusive of breakfast. Coconut Lagoon, Kumarakom Coconut Lagoon is an attempt to capture the essence of the Kerala experience. It is a boutique hotel on the fertile banks of the beautiful Vembanad Lake that has been cleverly crafted from the fragments of ancient village homes and palaces. In some cases whole houses, complete with beautiful wood carvings and original brass work, have been painstakingly transplanted into the property, piece by piece. And while every modern comfort may exist here, Nature remains, the Chief Architect. Nothing has been added here that does not already belong. Coconut Lagoon is a CGH Earth Property that is strongly committed to ecologically-sensitive tourism. Ecological sensitivity and involving the local community are their core values. Through recycling, composting and organic farming, we’ve kept our impact on the environment as minimal as possible.

Day 06 Kumarakom…Backwater cruise to alleppey
Early morning proceed for a visit to the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary. The bird sanctuary here, which is spread across 14 acres, is a favorite haunt of migratory birds and an ornithologist’s paradise. Egrets, darters, herons, teal, waterfowl, cuckoo, wild duck and migratory birds like the Siberian stork live here in flocks. Return to the hotel for breakfast. At noon, board your ‘Kettuvallam’- traditional houseboat. The natural friendliness of the Kerala is best extracted through a luxurious cruise through the backwaters of Kerala villages. As you sail on the Lake Vembanad to Alleppey witness the natural beauty and tranquility of the backwaters and experience a way of life little changed through the centuries. While on board, savour traditional Kerala cuisine. Spend one night on the houseboat. Accommodation is inclusive of all meals.

Day 07 Alleppey-Kovalam
Morning arrive Alleppey; you will be met by a Luxe India representative who will assist with the transfer to Kovalam and check-in at the hotel. Azure water, pacific and shallow sea, clean sandy beaches, coconut trees- Kovalam provides perfect setting for an ideal holiday. A former fishing village and today the “Paradise of the South”, Kovalam is a sleepy town with three crescent shaped beaches. It is also the destination where the zero waste program has been launched. The Zero Waste Resource Kovalam is one of the prestigious ongoing projects of the city that embarks on the proper utilization of resources and their efficient elimination. The Zero Waste Kovalam Project aims to tackle the waste issue through the globally invigorating process of Zero Waste that is changing the way communities use materials and resources. Spend three nights at Taj Green Cove Resort. Accommodation is in superior garden view room inclusive of breakfast. Taj Green Cove Resort, Kovalam Taj Green Cove is spread across 10 acres of land, offering a breathtaking view of the backwater, lush landscapes, coconut palms, and unspoiled beaches. With its exotic tropical beauty and relaxing hospitality, this getaway is the perfect place to enjoy relaxation and rejuvenation of the mind, body, and soul.

Day 08 & 09
In Kovalam, Days free to relax at the beach and enjoy the facilities at the resort.

Day 10 Kovalam-Trivandram-Cochin…Leave Cochin
After breakfast proceed for a private road transfer to Trivandram airport to board your flight back home.

Aman India Journey

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Aman India Journey

Tour Summary:

India is a country famed for its exotic colour and vibrant cultures. From the historical treasure trove that is Delhi, to the wilds of Rajasthan, Amanresorts has three uniquely placed resorts. We invite you to experience all of them!

About Amanresorts:

Amanresorts offers a selection of 22 resorts in 14 countries — Bhutan, Cambodia, China, France, India, Indonesia, Laos, Montenegro, Morocco, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, the Turks and Caicos Islands and the United States of America.

Tour Highlight

Aman India Journey

Your Aman Journey Includes:

  • 2-Nights accommodation at the Aman New Delhi
  • 2-Nights accommodation at the Amanbagh
  • 2-Nights accommodation at the Aman-I-Khas
  • Rates include daily breakfast for two
  • Iinter-resort transfers between Aman New Delhi, Amanbagh and Aman-i-Khás.
  • One activity per resort per stay:
  • Aman New Delhi: Rejuvenating anti jet lag massage per person or a return trip to Agra for two persons
  • Amanbagh: Camel village excursion or a day trip to Jaipur
  • Aman-i-Khás: One safari per person
  • Extension nights are available on request.
  • Tour Itinerary – Short Version

About your Resorts:

Aman New Delhi, India:
Amidst the lush order of Lutyen’s Delhi, just minutes from Rashtrapati Bhavan, the peaceful Lodhi gardens, Humayun’s Tomb and many other iconic sites, AMAN NEW DELHI provides one of the world’s most colourful and cosmopolitan capital cities with a tranquil new heart. Offering essential respite on a six acre property, this city-based retreat is an elegant haven of leisure facilities including Aman Spa, a gym, Pilates studio, tennis and squash courts and a variety of restaurants. All Aman rooms and suites feature private plunge pools. Aman New Delhi is the ideal base from which to experience the city’s wealth of historical, cultural and contemporary attractions.

Amanbagh, Ajabgarh, Rajasthan, India:
A desert oasis in the rugged state of Rajasthan, AMANBAGH lies in a verdant garden of mature palm, fruit and eucalyptus trees. Set within a walled compound that was once the staging area for the Maharajah of Alwar’s royal hunts, Amanbagh evokes the palatial grandeur of the Moghul Era, providing a tranquil refuge from which to explore the rich heritage of Rajasthan’s dramatic frontier region. Featuring a swimming pool and spa within the grounds, Amanbagh also offers excursions into the surrounding Aravalli Hills including private picnics in marble gorges, camel and horse safaris, visits to splendid forts and ruins and cultural experiences in picturesque rural villages.

Aman-I-Khas, Ranthambore, Rajasthan, India:
The tented camp of AMAN-I-KHÁS lies in the heart of Rajasthan’s starkly beautiful wilds, on the outskirts of Ranthambore National Park. Spend your early mornings and late afternoons exploring the park in open-top vehicles in search of India’s elusive tigers and other wildlife such as chital deer and marsh crocodiles. Pass the rest of your day relaxing by the traditional stepwell (pool), within the spa tent, dining tent or lounge tent, or exploring the region further afield. As dusk falls, savour a rustic Rajasthani thali featuring fresh produce from the resort’s organic gardens, then toast the stars with your nightcap around the bonfire before retiring to your own tent.

General Information about This Tour

Rates based on double occupancy for six nights. A minimum of two nights at each resort is required. Additional nights are available.

Room rates are subject to service charge at 10% and government
tax at each resort.

Rates and government tax are subject to change without notice.
US$ rates are converted to local currency at time of billing.

Shanghai and Beijing

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Shanghai and Beijing

Tour Summary:

In China, you’ll experience firsthand, the serenity of its people and the awe inspiring sites, many of which date back thousands of years. From the majestic Forbidden City in Beijing to the serpentine path of the Great Wall to the impressive terra cotta warrior statuary at Xian, you’ll thrill to the marvels of the beauty of this remarkable country.

Tour Highlights & Inclusives:

Shanghai and Beijing

Guided Package Includes:

  • Round trip international airfare departing from LAX, SFO or NYC. Other departure cities are available.
  • 7 nights accommodations with buffet breakfast at hotel: 4 nights in Beijing, 3 nights in Shanghai.
  • Sightseeing as per the itinerary with modern air-conditioned motor coach.
  • Entrance fees per itinerary.
  • 17 meals: 7 buffet breakfasts, 5 lunches, 5 dinners including: Peking Duck Dinner in Beijing.
  • One bottle of water or one soft drink per meal.
  • Two bottles of water every day in your room.
  • Entertainment: Cultural show in Beijing, Tang Dynasty Show in Xian, Acrobatic Show in Shanghai.
  • All ground transfers.
  • Professional English speaking tour guide in each city
  • Domestic airfare: Shanghai/Beijing.
  • Not Included:
  • Airport taxes, Security fee and fuel surcharges
  • China Visa application fee. Click Here for more information.
  • Tips to guides, drivers and porters.
  • Travel Insurance. We strongly recommend you purchase Travel Insurance, so that your travel investments are protected in the event of a sudden emergency and your will travel with “Peace of Mind.” Click here to get an instant quote.

* Add an extension to Hong Kong let us customize your very own dream extension.

Itinerary:

Day 1
Depart USA for Shanghai, China

Day 2 Arrive in Shanghai
Your tour of one of the most fascinating countries in the world begins in the most cosmopolitan city in China: Shanghai. An English-speaking guide will meet you at the airport and escort you to your hotel.

Day 3 Shanghai – B, L, D
Today you’ll revisit Shanghai’s past as you walk along the Bund, the city’s lively waterfront, and see the remains of the banks and other colonial institutions of the 19th century. Then you’ll visit Yuyuan Garden which is located in the center of the old part of city, and its beautiful ponds and centuries-old pavilions. Afterwards, you’ll tour the captivating Shanghai Museum to see artifacts from every period of China’s past. This evening, you will enjoy a thrilling acrobatic show.

Day 4 Zhujiajiao – B, L, D
This morning you’ll travel by road to Zhujiajao, a well-preserved, traditional river town with lovely water views, ancient arched stone bridges and elegant gardens. After lunch, you’ll return to Shanghai and visit the Oriental Pearl Tower, a renowned icon of Shanghai’s vibrant skyline, for a bird’s eye view of the city. Next, you’ll visit the Jade Buddha Temple.

Day 5 Shanghai/Beijing – B
Today you will fly to Beijing, the capital of the People’s Republic of China. An English-speaking guide will meet you at the airport, drive you to your hotel, and help you check in.

Day 6 Beijing – B, L, D
Your adventure begins in Tiananmen Square, the heart of Beijing and the largest public space on earth. Step back in time as you pass through the Gate of Heavenly Peace and enter the Forbidden City, home to the Imperial Courts of the Ming and Qing Dynasties for more than 500 years. The Forbidden City is an enormous complex of perfectly preserved palaces, temples, magnificent squares and formal gardens. You’ll stroll down cobblestone paths once known only to the Emperor’s most intimate advisors, visit the private chambers of Imperial concubines and see stunning collections of priceless art, furnishings, and jewelry. After lunch you’ll visit the Summer Palace, a fairyland of pagodas, pavilions and stone bridges on the outskirts of the city. Tonight you’ll enjoy a special cultural performance – Peking Opera.

Day 7 Beijing – B, L, D
Leave the bustle and traffic of Beijing behind and journey through the countryside to see one of the Wonders of the World – The Great Wall. There will be plenty of time to walk along a portion of this 3700-mile long marvel or to simply sit and contemplate the wonders of China’s past. After lunch you’ll visit the massive tomb complex of the Ming Emperors where you’ll walk along the “Sacred Way” passing between pairs of huge stone sculptures. Enjoy dinner tonight at a Beijing restaurant.

Day 8 Beijing – B, L, SD
This morning you’ll visit the Temple of Heaven, one of China’s most photographed attractions. This ornate wooden structure was where the “Sons of Heaven”, as the Chinese Emperors were known, worshiped the gods and prayed for good harvests. It is the largest temple complex in China and the lovely park surrounding the ancient tower is a popular spot for morning Tai Chi. After lunch you’ll forget about the skyscrapers and construction cranes of modern Beijing as you venture into a Hutong neighborhood, where the atmosphere of Old Peking lives on. You’ll bicycle or ride rickshaws down narrow lanes and alleyways, past vegetable markets, traditional medicine shops and tiny, wooden teahouses. This evening you’ll enjoy the capital’s most famous dining experience – Peking Duck Dinner.

Day 9 Beijing/ USA B
Say “zaijian” (goodbye) to Beijing. You will be driven to the airport for your flight home.

Accommodations:

Shanghai: Galaxy Hotel
Beijing: Regal Court Hotel Beijing or Grand Chang An Hotel

 

The Palace and the Village

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 The Palace and the Village

Tour Summary:

From the imperial grandeur of the Summer Palace in Beijing to a quaint, picturesque village on the outskirts of Hangzhou – ‘The Palace and a Village’ offers two unique resorts from which to discover China’s natural beauty and historic wonders.

Tour Highlight

The Palace and the Village

Your “Palace and a Village” Experience Includes:

  • 3-Nights at Aman at Summer Palace, Beijing
  • Daily breakfast
  • A private guided tour of the Summer Palace
  • A private guided tour of the Forbidden City (half day)
  • A one-hour Chinese massage for two
  • Return airport transfers
  • 3-Nights at Amanfayun in Hangzhou
  • Daily breakfast
  • A private guided tour of the West Lake
  • A private guided tour of Lingyin and Yongfu Si temples
  • A one-hour reflexology treatment for two
  • Return airport transfers

Tour Itinerary – Short Version

The Palace – Beijing, China:

Just steps from the East Gate of the Summer Palace grounds lies Aman at Summer Palace — the ideal location from which to explore Beijing. Housed in a series of pavilions, some of which date back over a century and were originally used by guests of the Palace awaiting an audience with the Empress Dowager Cixi. The property provides easy access to such cultural landmarks as the Great Wall, The Temple of Heaven, the hutongs and the Forbidden City.

Tour Itinerary – Long Version

The Village – Hangzhou, China:

Hidden in a picturesque valley, Amanfayun enjoys a timeless setting surrounded by tea fields, natural forest, quaint villages and a pilgrimage circuit of five significant Buddhist temples. The property comprises of 47 dwellings that originally housed villagers who tended the nearby tea fields. This secluded retreat is only a 20-minute drive along bambooand tree-lined avenues from the centre of the bustling city of Hangzhou.

General Information about This Tour
Your Luxury Hotels in China Includes:

Aman at Summer Palace Beijing 5-Stars
Amanfayun Hangzhou 5-Stars

  • Rates are subject to 15% government tax and service charge.
  • Rates and government tax are subject to change without notice.
  • US$ rates are converted to local currency (RMB) at time of billing.
  • Round trip flights from Beijing to Hangzhou is s not included in the offer, but we can assist in arranging air travel for you.

11 Night Amankora Journey – Bhutan

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11 Night Amankora Journey - Bhutan

Tour Summary:

The tiny Buddhist Kingdom of Bhutan awaits, Nestled high in the Himalayas it’s isolation from the world has cultivated a culture rich in traditions, religion, and a benevolent monarchy. The dramatic landscapes, from snow capped peaks and deeply forested slopes to raging, boulder strewn ricers, sit largely undisturbed as the endeared environmental initiatives and religious beliefs leave the Kingdom pristine and a jewel of nature. The Amankora program takes you into this ancient Kingdom for an adventure into the hearts and lands of charming farmers, fascinating weavers, enchanting monks and charismatic leaders.

Tour Highlights & Inclusives:

Itinerary:

11 Night Amankora Journey - Bhutan

Day 1: Arrival
From the flight in, weaving through the valley, arrival in Bhutan is like no other. The transfer to Thimphu is approximately 1 1/2 hours and upon arrival and following lunch, you will have the choice of the National Memorial Chorten, National Textile Museum, Folk Heritage Museum, and National Library to visit, and perhaps time to stroll main street for some interesting Himalayan artefacts of textiles.(overnight: Amankora in Thimphu)

Day 2: Tour of Thimphu
This morning you will head to the north end of the valley to view Trashi Chhoe Dzong, the seat of Bhutan’s government and Royal offices, and pay a visit to pangri Zampa, two 16th century buildings that now house a monastic training school for astrologers. At the head of the valley, should you wish to stretch your legs, a short hike will take you to Cheri Goemba, the monastery where the first monastic body was established in the Kingdom. Back in town you should be able to visit a few of the capital’s cottage industries ranging from traditional paper making to hand rolled incense. (overnight: Amankora Thimphu)

Day 3: From Thimphu to Gangtey
An early departure for a dramatic drive over the high mountain pass of Fochu La and on to Phobjika Valley. Sights on the way include on of Bhutan’s first fortress monasteries, the 17th century Simtokha Dzong, and ancient wall paintings at the Hongtsho Goemba monastery. The journey continues over the 3,050m mountain pass where on a clear day, towering Himalayan peaks are clearly visible. The descent down through the Punakha Valley along the Kingdom’s only east-west highway, continues on through the scenic village of Wangdi. Carrying on the highway follows the scenic Dang Chhu before climbing through forests of bamboo and oak, and just before crossing the Pele La pass, a small side road splinters off to the hidden Phobjika valley. On arrival you will have time to visit the striking Gangtey Goemba, sitting at the head of the valley, and perhaps strolling through the quaint gangtey village. (overnight: Amankora in Gangtey)

Day 4: Exploring Phojika Valley
This morning will start with a visit to the Black Neck Crane Center and dependent on the season, time spent in the Center’s nearby hide is a must to view the breeding cranes. Various walks or a mountain bike ride through this magnificent valley can be arranged. Soaking up the beauty of the valley from the Lodge or returning to the revered Goemba for an audience with the Tulkul may be attractive, relaxing alternatives for the day. (overnight: Amankora)

Day 5: Phojika to Bumthang
Today’s journey onward to Kakar (Bumthang) is perhaps long, but certainly memorable with dramatic landscapes of terraced farmland, deep river valleys and precariously perched farmhouses viewed from the only east west highway that has been ingeniously carved out of the mountain faces. Following a brief stop at Chendebji chorten, which according to belief was built to cover the remains of a demon spirit, you will carry on to what was the original home of the royal family. Upon reaching Trongsa you may take time to stroll this quaint village and official business permitting, perhaps visit the Trongsa Dzong, ancestral home to Bhutan’s monarch where you will often Find novice monks reciting mantras or practicing on sacred horns, flutes or drums. The drive onward to Bumthang takes you over the picturesque Yotong La Yatra weaving. Here you will have a chance to browse the traditional textiles and perhaps see the weavers create their intricate handiwork. (overnight: Amankora Bumthang).

Day 6: Explore Bumthang Valley
This morning you will explore our neighboring palace, Wangdichhoeling, home to the 2nd King, and the auspicious prayer wheels next door. Heading up valley, you will take in the grand Kurjey Lhakhang, considered one of the Bhutan’s most auspicious monuments, that was once the resting place of Guru Rimpoche, and Jambay Lhakhang, home to the early winter festivals that draw thousands of Bhutanese for their annual blessings. Heading back into town and across the Bumthang Chhu, you will enjoy a visit to the sin alleviating Tamshing Monastery followed by quick visits to the valleys unique cottage industries – Red Panda Brewery, Bumthang Cheese/Dairy Facitily and the Bumthang Distillery, home to numerous distinctive spirits. (overnight: Amankora Bumthang).

Day 7: Explore Tang Valley – Bumthang District
Today you will explore further in bumthang district with an excursion the stunningly beautiful Tang Valley. This seldom visited valley offers a treat in revealing some of the beaten track Ihakhangs and monasteries, and the amazing museum at Ugen Chhoeling Palace. A short hike takes you up to this well maintained Palace and it’s cultural treasures inside. Along the way you will stop for a traditional picnic with breathtaking views of the pristine surroundings. (overnight: Amankora Bumthang).

Day 8: Bumthang to Punakha
Today you will start with an early departure for the lengthy drive to Punakha. Upon entering the Punakha Valley you may stop to stretch your legs for a short walk through the valley floor to the Chimi Lhakhang, the auspicious fertility monastery built by the “Divine Madman” in 1499. (overnight Amankora Punakha).

Day 9: Explore Punakha Valley
Your day in Punakha Valley begins with a hike up through fields of chilies, cabbages and rice along the banks of the Mo Chhu to the upper end of the valley to the Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten, a stunning monument recently built by the queens and consecrated in 1999. Returning down through the valley you will have plenty of time to take in impressive Punakha Dzong, home to the remains of Bhutan’s first ruler, Shabdrung of the monastic order’s leader and his entourage of monks. Later a picnic lunch will be served on the banks of the Pinak Chhu at a vantage point of the stunning Dzong and confluence of the Mo Chhu and Pho Chhu. Following lunch a quick drive will take you to the village of Talo where you will stop to walk the stunning, quiet grounds of the village temple and perhaps visit the home village of the Kingdom’s four Queens. Further hikes or valley excursions can be organized. (overnight: Amankora Punakha)

Day 10: From Punakha to Paro
After Descending back down from Dochu La, you will follow your way back up the dramatic Wang chu and Paro Chu river Valleys, before crossing through Paro Town towards the north end of the valley. Here, set in a pine forest, you will find the Amankora lodge and it’s spa. In the afternoon, there is an opportunity for a quick stroll to the nearby ruins, a visit to some of the valley’s oldest and holiest religious monuments or a ramble down Paro’s main street. Evenings at Amankora may include informative lectures on the history, religion, flora and fauna of the region or a intriguing movie on the Himalayas. (overnight: Amankora Paro).

Day 11: Paro Valley Exploration
The day starts with a visit to the National Museum, housed in the Ta Dzong (watchtower). Here, an intriguing collection of artefacts provide a wonderful introduction to the rich culture and heritage of the Kingdom. Just a short walk downhill lies the dominating Paro Dzong, fine example of Bhutanese historic architecture. From the Dzong, the tour crosses Nyamai Zampa, a traditional farmhouse to lunch with the family. In the afternoon, hike up to view one of Bhutan’s most revered monuments, the Taktshang Goemba, more commonly referred to as the “Tiger’s Nest”. The four-hour trek offers spectacular views of this sacred monastery perched on a cliff face 900m above the valley floor. (overnight: Amankora Paro).

Day12: Departure Day
Early morning transfer to airport.

Amankora Journey 10 Nights – Bhutan

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amankora2

Tour Summary:

The tiny Buddhist Kingdom of Bhutan awaits, Nestled high in the Himalayas it’s isolation from the world has cultivated a culture rich in traditions, religion, and a benevolent monarchy. The dramatic landscapes, from snow capped peaks and deeply forested slopes to raging, boulder strewn ricers, sit largely undisturbed as the endeared environmental initiatives and religious beliefs leave the Kingdom pristine and a jewel of nature. The Amankora program takes you into this ancient Kingdom for an adventure into the hearts and lands of charming farmers, fascinating weavers, enchanting monks and charismatic leaders.

Tour Highlights & Inclusives:

Itinerary:

Day 1: Arrival
From the flight in, weaving through the valley, arrival in Bhutan is like no other. The transfer to Thimphu is approximately 1 1/2 hours and upon arrival and following lunch, you will have the choice of the National Memorial Chorten, National Textile Museum, Folk Heritage Museum, and National Library to visit, and perhaps time to stroll main street for some interesting Himalayan artefacts of textiles. (overnight: Amankora in Thimphu)

Day 2: From Thimphu to Gangtey
An early departure for a dramatic drive over the high mountain pass of Dochu La and on to Phobjika Valley. Sights on the way include one of Bhutan’s first fortress monasteries, the 17th century Simtokha Dzong, and ancient wall paintings at the Hongtsho Goemba monastery. The journey continues over the 3,050m mountain pass where on a clear day, towering Himalayan peaks are clearly visible. The descent down through the Punakha Valley along the Kingdom’s only east-west highway, continues on through the scenic village of Wangdi. Carrying on the highway follows the scenic Dang Chhu before climbing through the forests of bamboo and oak, and just before crossing the Pele La pass, a small side road splinters off the hidden Phobjika Valley. On arrival you will have time to visit the striking Gangtey Goemba, sitting at the head of the valley, and perhaps strolling through the quaint Gangtey village or hike amongst the blooming rhodododendrons behind the lodge. (overnight: Amankora Gangtey)

Day 3: Exploring Phojika Valley
This morning will start with a visit to the Black Neck Crane Center and dependent on the season, time spent in the Center’s nearby hide is a must to view the breeding cranes. Various walks or a mountain bike ride through this magnificent valley can be arranged. Soaking up the beauty of the valley from the Lodge or returning to the revered Goemba for an audience with the Tulkul may be attractive, relaxing alternatives for the day. (overnight: Amankora)

Day 4: Phojika to Bumthang
Today’s journey onward to Kakar (Bumthang) is perhaps long, but certainly memorable with dramatic landscapes of terraced farmland, deep river valleys and precariously perched farmhouses viewed from the only east west highway that has been ingeniously carved out of the mountain faces. Following a brief stop at Chendebji chorten, which according to belief was built to cover the remains of a demon spirit, you will carry on to what was the original home of the royal family. Upon reaching Trongsa you may take time to stroll this quaint village and official business permitting, perhaps visit the Trongsa Dzong, ancestral home to Bhutan’s monarch where you will often Find novice monks reciting mantras or practicing on sacred horns, flutes or drums. The drive onward to Bumthang takes you over the picturesque Yotong La Yatra weaving. Here you will have a chance to browse the traditional textiles and perhaps see the weavers create their intricate handiwork. (overnight: Amankora Bumthang)

Day 5: Explore Bumthang Valley
This morning you will explore our neighboring palace, Wangdichhoeling, home to the 2nd King, and the auspicious prayer wheels next door. Heading up valley, you will take in the grand Kurjey Lhakhang, considered one of the Bhutan’s most auspicious monuments, that was once the resting place of Guru Rimpoche, and Jambay Lhakhang, home to the early winter festivals that draw thousands of Bhutanese for their annual blessings. Heading back into town and across the Bumthang Chhu, you will enjoy a visit to the sin alleviating Tamshing Monastery followed by quick visits to the valleys unique cottage industries – Red Panda Brewery, Bumthang Cheese/Dairy Facitily and the Bumthang Distillery, home to numerous distinctive spirits. (overnight: Amankora Bumthang).

Day 6: Explore Tang Valley – Bumthang District
Today you will explore further in bumthang district with an excursion the stunningly beautiful Tang Valley. This seldom visited valley offers a treat in revealing some of the beaten track Ihakhangs and monasteries, and the amazing museum at Ugen Chhoeling Palace. A short hike takes you up to this well maintained Palace and it’s cultural treasures inside. Along the way you will stop for a traditional picnic with breathtaking views of the pristine surroundings. (overnight: Amankora Bumthang).

Day 7: Bumthang to Punakha
Today you will start with an early departure for the lengthy drive to Punakha. Upon entering the Punakha Valley you may stop to stretch your legs for a short walk through the valley floor to the Chimi Lhakhang, the auspicious fertility monastery built by the “Divine Madman” in 1499. (overnight Amankora Punakha).

Day 8: Explore Punakha Valley
Your day in Punakha Valley begins with a hike up through fields of chilies, cabbages and rice along the banks of the Mo Chhu to the upper end of the valley to the Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten, a stunning monument recently built by the queens and consecrated in 1999. Returning down through the valley you will have plenty of time to take in impressive Punakha Dzong, home to the remains of Bhutan’s first ruler, Shabdrung of the monastic order’s leader and his entourage of monks. Later a picnic lunch will be served on the banks of the Pinak Chhu at a vantage point of the stunning Dzong and confluence of the Mo Chhu and Pho Chhu. Following lunch a quick drive will take you to the village of Talo where you will stop to walk the stunning, quiet grounds of the village temple and perhaps visit the home village of the Kingdom’s four Queens. Further hikes or valley excursions can be organized. (overnight: Amankora Punakha)

Day 9: From Punakha to Paro
After Descending back down from Dochu La, you will follow your way back up the dramatic Wang chu and Paro Chu river Valleys, before crossing through Paro Town towards the north end of the valley. Here, set in a pine forest, you will find the Amankora lodge and it’s spa. In the afternoon, there is an opportunity for a quick stroll to the nearby ruins, a visit to some of the valley’s oldest and holiest religious monuments or a ramble down Paro’s main street. Evenings at Amankora may include informative lectures on the history, religion, flora and fauna of the region or a intriguing movie on the Himalayas. (overnight: Amankora Paro)

Day 10: Paro Valley Exploration
The day starts with a visit to the National Museum, housed in the Ta Dzong (watchtower). Here, an intriguing collection of artefacts provide a wonderful introduction to the rich culture and heritage of the Kingdom. Just a short walk downhill lies the dominating Paro Dzong, fine example of Bhutanese historic architecture. From the Dzong, the tour crosses Nyamai Zampa, a traditional farmhouse to lunch with the family. In the afternoon, hike up to view one of Bhutan’s most revered monuments, the Taktshang Goemba, more commonly referred to as the “Tiger’s Nest”. The four-hour trek offers spectacular views of this sacred monastery perched on a cliff face 900m above the valley floor. (overnight: Amankora Paro)

Day 11: Departure Day
Early morning transfer to airport.

9 Nights Amankora Journey – Bhutan

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 8 Night Amankora Journey - Bhutan

Tour Summary:

The tiny Buddhist Kingdom of Bhutan awaits, nestled high in the Himalayas it’s isolation from the world has cultivated a culture rich in traditions, religion and a benevolent monarchy. The dramatic landscapes, from snow capped peaks and deeply forested slopes to raging, boulder strewn rivers, sit largely undisturbed as the endeared environmental initiatives and religious beliefs leave the Kingdom pristine and a jewel of nature. The program takes you into this ancient Kingdom for an adventure into the hearts and lands of charming farmers, fascinating weavers, enchanting monks and charismatic leaders.

Tour Highlights & Inclusives:

8 Night Amankora Journey - Bhutan

Itinerary:

Day 1: Arrival
From the flight in, weaving through the valley, arrival in Bhutan is like no other. The transfer to Thimphu is approximately 1 1/2 hours and upon arrival and following lunch, you will have the choice of the National Memorial Chorten, National Textile Museum, Folk Heritage Museum, and National Library to visit, and perhaps time to stroll main street for some interesting Himalayan artefacts of textiles. (overnight: Amankora in Thimphu)

Day 2: Tour of Thimphu
This morning you will head to the north end of the valley to view Trashi Chhoe Dzong, the seat of Bhutan’s government and Roya offices, and pay a visit to pangri Zampa, two 16th century buildings that now house a monastic training school for astrologers. At the head of the valley, should you wish to stretch your legs, a short hike will take you to Cheri Goemba, the monastery where the first monastic body was established in the Kingdom. Back in town you should be able to visit a few of the capital’s cottage industries ranging from traditional paper making to hand rolled incense. (overnight: Amankora Thimphu)

Day 3: From Thimphu to Gangtey
An early departure for a dramatic drive over the high mountain pass of Fochu La and on to Phobjika Valley. Sights on the way include on of Bhutan’s first fortress monasteries, the 17th century Simtokha Dzong, and ancient wall paintings at the Hongtsho Goemba monastery. The journey continues over the 3,050m mountain pass where on a clear day, towering Himalayan peaks are clearly visible. The descent down through the Punakha Valley along the Kingdom’s only east-west highway, continues on through the scenic village of Wangdi. Carrying on the highway follows the scenic Dang Chhu before climbing through forests of bamboo and oak, and just before crossing the Pele La pass, a small side road splinters off to the hidden Phobjika valley. On arrival you will have time to visit the striking Gangtey Goemba, sitting at the head of the valley, and perhaps strolling through the quaint gangtey village. (overnight: Amankora in Gangtey)

Day 4: Gangtey Valley Exploration
This morning will start with a visit to the Black Neck Crane Center and dependent on the season, time spent in the Center’s nearby hide is a must to view the breeding cranes. Various walks or a mountain bike ride through this magnificent valley can be arranged. soaking up the beauty of the valley from the lodge or returning to the revered Goemba for an audience with the Tulkul may be attractive, relaxing alternatives for the day. (overnight: Amankora in Gangtey)

Day 5: Gangtey to Punakha
Today’s journey back to Punakha will be brief and upon arrival you will have time to take lunch at the lodge. In the afternoon you will explore the hidden village of Talo, home of the Queens’ and the valley’s protective deity Ihakhang. Later in the afternoon a hike to an ancient monastery on the hilltop behind the lodge can be organized or time given to enjoy the farmhouse and spa of the lodge.(overnight: Amankora in Punakha)

Day 6: Punakha Valley Exploration
The day in Punakha Valley begins with a beautiful hike from the Punakha Lodge along the Mo Chhu through terraces of rice, chilies and cabbage, takes to the Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten, a monument recently built by the four queens of Bhutan. Following the hike you will drive back up the valley towards Khuruthang passing Punthsho Perli Palace and several other winter homes of the royal family before reaching the impressive Punakha Dzong. This ancient fortress is the winter residence of the monastic order’s head and still serves as the administrative headquarters for the Punakha region. A picnic lunch is served on the banks of the Punak Chu, before visiting the village of Lobesa where a short walk ends at Chimi Lhakhang, the auspicious fertility monastery built in 1499. (overnight: Amankora in Punakha).

Day 7: From Punakha to Paro
After descending back down from Dochu La, you will follow your way back up the dramatic Wang Chu and Paro Chu river valleys, before crossing through Paro Town towards the north end of the valley. Here, set in a pine forest, you will find the Amanjora lodge and it’s spa. In the afternoon, there is an opportunity for a quick stroll to the nearby ruins, a visit to some of the valley’s oldest and holiest religious monuments or a ramble down Paro’s main street. Evenings at Amankora may include informative lectures on the history, religion, flora and funa of the region or a intriguing movie on the Himalayas. (overnight: Amankora in Paro)

Day 8: Paro Valley Exploration
The day starts with a visit to the National Museum, housed in the Ta Dzong (watchtower). Here, an intriguing collection of artefacts provide a wonderful introduction to the rich culture and heritage of the Kingdom. Just a short walk downhill lies the dominating Paro Dzong, a fine example of Bhutanese historic architecture. From Dzong, the tour crosses Nyamai Zampa, traditional cantilever bridge, and guests are then driven to the town temple, built in 1525, to view ancient wall paintings. Paro options include picturesque picnic spots or, perhaps, a visit to a traditional farmhouse to lunch with the family. In the afternoon, hike up to view one of Bhutan’s most revered monuments, the Taktshang Goemba, more commonly referred to as the “Tiger’s Nest”. The four-hour trek offers spectacular views of this sacred monastery perched on a cliff face 900m above the valley floor. (overnight: Amankora in Paro)

Day 9: Paro Valley Exploration- Tiger’s Nest Hike
Today will be an auspicious pilgrimage up to one of Bhutan’s most revered monuments, the Taktshang Goemba, more commonly referred to as the “Tiger’s Nest”. The four to five hour trek offers spectacular Views of this sacred monastery perched on a cliff face 900m above the valley floor. Accommodating mules and donkeys will be on hand to lessen the exertion for the climb up, and along the way a rewarding picnic will be serves. The afternoon will be at leisure to enjoy the spa and ease those blessed aches from the morning’s pilgrimage. (overnight: Amankora in paro).

Day 10: Departure day
Early morning transfer to airport.