Travel Date: 20th-26th December 2015. A Journey of spiritual immersion in Bhutan with Dr Karma Phuntsho, author of ‘History of Bhutan’
Who is this trip for?
Bhutanese are often considered the happiest people in the world. Would you like to learn more about how they handle stress? What is the role of meditation in your daily life and how can it help you? Why do Bhutanese hang beautiful colorful prayer flags all over the country? We have the trip just for you!
Your only chance to join a tour led Dr Karma Phutso, an imminent thought leader on Bhutan and Buddhism. He led just one tour last year and will only be leading one tour this year.
A special program led by Dr Karma Phuntsho, author of ‘History of Bhutan’, who completed his Tibetan Buddhist monastic training in Bhutan and India before he joined Balliol College, Oxford, to read Sanskrit and Classical Indian Religions.
About Dr Karma Phuntsho
Dr Karma Phunto is the author of History of Bhutan, the most complete tome on the history of Bhutan. He completed his study in Oxford and is the first Bhutanese Oxbridge Fellow. His dissertation was published in a book entitled Mipham’s Dialectics and the Debates on Emptiness. His main interest is the preservation and promotion of Buddhist and Bhutanese culture. He has spent the past few years digitizing Buddhist manuscript and leading Lounden Foundation.
(Dr) Lopen Karma Phuntsho is the Director for Shejun Agency for Bhutan’s Cultural Documentation and Research. He was a Research Associate at Department of Social Anthropology and Spalding Fellow for Comparative Religions at Clare Hall, Cambridge University and a researcher at CNRS, Paris. Dr Phuntsho finished full Tibetan Buddhist monastic training in Bhutan and India before he joined Balliol College, Oxford to read Sanskrit and Classical Indian Religions. He received a D.Phil. in Oriental Studies from the University of Oxford. He was also a visiting fellow at Harvard, a lecturer at Ngayur Nyingma Institute, Mysore and acting abbot of Shugbseb Nunnery, Dharamsala before he joined Oxford.
Dr Phuntsho’s earlier works were in Buddhist philosophy, epistemology, Tibetan language and religion. His current researches focus on Bhutanese historiography, socio-cultural changes in Bhutan and intervention through education, books and manuscripts in the Buddhist Himalaya and the exploration and preservation of Bhutan’s cultural heritage. He is a leading expert on Bhutan and the author of several books and numerous articles. He founded the Loden Foundation, a charity to promote education and entrepreneurship in Bhutan.
Find out more about Dr Karma Phuntsho here.
Day 1: Welcome to Bhutan
Welcome to Bhutan, The Land of the Thunder Dragon, and the Land of Gross National Happiness.
Neykor means pilgrimage in Dzongkha – ney [གནས] refers to a place or holy place, kor [སྐོར།] means to go around. Be welcomed by Dr Karma and allow him to introduce the outline of the programme. During the trip, we will be having daily morning meditation and breathing exercise and after dinner discourses on various topics related to Buddhism.
Today, we will visit Kyichu Lhakhang followed by a meditative session on Bodhicitta and Cultivation of the Right Intention around Drukgyal Dzong.
Discourse I: Introduction to Buddhism.
Day 2: Bhutanese Monastic Arts & The Three Phases of Buddhism
Travelling to Thimphu, we will stop along the highway to visit various Dzongs where Dr Karma will detail their site history and explain Bhutanese Monastic Arts. Prayer and meditation will be conducted at Tashichodzong (Thimphu Dzong).
Discourse II: The Three Phases of Buddhism.
Day 3: Punakha & Mahayana Buddhism and Bodhicitta
Visit Punakha Dzong, the former seat of power of Bhutan and capital city. Immerse yourself in her grandeur as you sit mindfully and observe.
Discourse III: Mahayana Buddhism and Bodhicitta.
Day 4: Tantric Buddhism
As we continue our trip in the winter warmth of Punakha, also the winter palace of the Je Khenpo of Bhutan (Chief abbot), we will visit Khamsum Yule Namgyal. Afternoon meditation by the Tashithang riverside.
Discourse IV: Tantric Buddhism.
Day 5: Interdependence, Non:self and Emptiness
Visit the mystical cliffside temple of Beyul Langdrak, another majestic temple much less know to the outside world and quite truly off the beaten track. A 75 minute hike to reach the temple and we will meditate upon Guru Rinpoche in her chambers.
Discourse V: Interdependence, Non-self and Emptiness.
Day 6: Paro & Carrying on Daily Practice
As we near the end of the programme, we will drive back to Paro from Punakha tracing the route we have driven and return to the resort hotel of Nak-Sel.
Discourse VI: Carrying on Daily Practice.
Day 7: Depart Paro for Singapore
We bid a fond farewell and depart Paro for Singapore on KB500. We hope by now you would have made some new friends and also kept many photos and beautiful memories of Bhutan! And we look forward to seeing you again in this beautiful land of endless Enchantments! Tashi Delek!
Frequently Asked Questions
Do we need to have basic knowledge on meditation or Buddhism?
You don’t have to have any basic knowledge on these but you should have interest in knowing more about these two broad areas.
» Private guided tour
» Visas for Bhutan
» Return journey on Drukair (SIN/PBH/SIN)
» Airport transfers
» Daily 3 meals (B/L/D) at designated restaurants or hotels
» All Accommodation on twin sharing basis (includes 3 nights at Hotel Lobesa, 2 nights at Nak-Sel Boutique Spa and 1 night at Terma Linca Resort)
» A qualified & licensed English-speaking guide
» An experienced driver
» A tour vehicle
» Entry fees & road permits
» Government fee, royalty, taxes & surcharges
» Mineral bottled water
» Set of traditional costume (to be return at the end of your stay)
» Full service & assistance before, during and after your Bhutan trip
Travel Date: 20-26 December 2015
From USD 3,988 per person
» Flight on other airline to catch Drukair Flight
» Hotel stay outside of Bhutan
» Travel Insurance (can be arranged with us)
» Meals at 4-5 stars restaurants
» Tips for the guide and driver
» Alcoholic drink
» Expenditure of personal nature
Guaranteed Visa approval. We have yet to disappoint a single of our travellers in term of Visa issuance.
Your choice of hotels will be confirmed for your inspection before your arrival. We only book you on hotels which we love and would love again.
We will be happy to change your guide, driver or vehicle on the first two days of arrival in Thimphu if you are not satisfied with our selection. Drop us a note and our hospitality team be on the spot to assist you.
We’re here to help. Our world-class member services team is available by phone or email — there’s no automated system or call center; you’ll communicate with a real person.