Classic Bhutan & Assam Cruise

Bhutan | India

Culture

Experience Bhutan's rich culture, colonial Kolkata and rural life in Assam

18 days £4,895 pp This is the per person group tour price, based on 2 sharing. The price is subject to change with exchange rate and flight cost fluctuations.
Dates & Prices

Intro

Discover ancient cultures and dramatic scenery on this exhilarating tour of Bhutan and North East India. Starting in Kolkata, take an eye-opening walking tour of its colonial sights before making the short flight to Bhutan. Drive to the capital Thimphu where you will enjoy stunning views of the city from Buddha Point. Travel through the Himalayas via the Dochula Pass to Punakha. Walk through paddy fields to the intriguing 'Temple of Fertility' and wander around Punakha Dzong, the most picturesque in the whole of Bhutan. Return to Paro where you will do a morning hike up to Tiger's Nest, arguably the country's most famous monastery. Fly across the border into Assam (India) and board your luxury cruise ship. Commence your journey along India's mighty Brahmaputra river, stopping off at Majuli Island, the world's largest river island. Spot one-horned rhino and birdlife in Kaziranga National Park, explore Assam's temple ruins and learn how tea is made in a working tea plantation. Finally, visit the quaint Shiva temple and look out for rare golden langurs on Peacock Island before disembarking in Guwahati.

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Discover the rich history of Kolkata
  • Sacred sites in Paro valley
  • Learn about Bhutanese art & culture in museums of Thimpu
  • Discover rich Buddhist culture – dzongs, monasteries & welcoming monks
  • Hike up to the iconic Tiger's Nest monastery
  • Explore the Brahmaputra River on board the luxury MV Manabaahu cruise ship
  • Ruins of Ahom Dynasty in Sibsagar
  • Satras and village life on Majuli island
  • One-horned rhino & other wildlife in Kaziranga

Places Visited

Kolkata - Thimphu - Paro - Punakha - Guwahati - Jorhat - Sibsagar - Majuli - Kaziranga National Park - Bishwanath Ghat - Peacock Island

What's Included

Arrival & departure transfers
International flights between India and Bhutan
Domestic flight (Guwahati-Kolkata)
Bhutan visa
Ground transport with driver
Accommodation
Meals (full board in Bhutan and Assam)
English-speaking guides
Activities as per itinerary
Entrance fees to sites & parks
Itinerary & Map
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Day 1 : Kolkata

Arrive in Kolkata where you will be met by a Travel the Unknown representative and transferred to your hotel. The evening is free to rest or explore. Overnight in Kolkata. 

Contact us about a 3 day pre-tour extension to the Sunderbans, the largest mangroves in the world.

Meal plan: n/a

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Day 2 : Kolkata

In the morning, proceed on a heritage walking tour of Kolkata at Dalhousie Square (about 2 hours). Visit the Governor of Karnataka's resistance at Raj Bhavan, St. John's Church, High Court, the General Post Office, Town Hall, Writer's Building and other important colonial buildings. The afternoon will be spent sightseeing by car. Explore the Flower Market, Howrah Bridge and St. Paul's Cathedral Church. Visit the Indian Museum and Victoria Memorial before ending the tour at Mother Teresa's tomb in the Mother House. Overnight in Kolkata. 

Meal plan: Breakfast

Often labelled the  "Cultural City of India", Kolkata is India's second biggest city and one of its major ports, located on the east bank  of the Hooghly River. Previously named 'Calcutta', it was the former capital of the British Indian Empire until 1911 and originally designed in the style of a grand European capital. As a result, Western influences can be seen throughout the city within its colonial-era architecture: Raj Bhavan, the state governor's residence, imitates Kedleston Hall in Derbyshire, the Indian Museum is built in the Italian style, while the Victoria Memorial Hall attempts to combine classical Western and Mughal architecture. Kolkata was also the centre of the Indian independence movement, and to this day still plays an important role in contemporary state politics.

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Day 3 : Kolkata - Paro - Thimphu

In the morning, transfer to the airport to catch a flight from Kolkata to Paro. On arrival, drive to Thimphu. In the afternoon, visit the spectacular Trashichhoe Dzong. Overnight in Thimphu. 

Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Trashichhoe Dzong ('Fortress of the Glorious Religion') is the centre of government and religion, the site of the monarch’s throne room and the seat of Je Khenpo or Chief Abbot. Built in 1641 by the political and religious unifier of Bhutan, Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal was reconstructed in 1960's in a traditional Bhutanese manner, without nails or architectural plans.

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Day 4 : Thimphu

Spend the day sightseeing in Thimphu. In the morning, visit the National Library and the Institute of Zorig Chusum. Stop off at the Textile Museum and 'Simply Bhutan', an eye-opening living museum that showcases traditional life in Bhutan. After lunch, visit the King's Memorial Chorten, Buddha Point and the Handicrafts Emporium. End the tour with a visit to the local crafts bazaar. The rest of the evening is free to rest or explore. Overnight in Thimphu.

Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Thimphu is the capital of Bhutan and its governmental, religious and commercial centre.  It is nestled in the Wang Chuu river valley and is abundant in natural splendour, wildlife and culture.  Thimphu is a very unique city with an unusual mixture of modern developments alongside ancient traditions. With a population of about 100,000 people, it is perhaps the world’s only capital city without traffic lights. In fact, there are no traffic lights in the whole of the country. Here, policemen stand in decorated pavilions in the main intersections and direct traffic using hand gestures in a conscious effort to save their culture from modern influences. Every building is still decorated with Dzong-style features and Buddhism influences every part of daily life. There is a variety of cafes, bars, nightclubs and restaurants, and Thimphu is one of the few places in Bhutan to have ATM machines. Altitude: 2,320m.

The National Library houses the largest published book in the world. Called 'Bhutan: A Visual Odyssey Across the Last Himalayan Kingdom', it weights over 60kg and is 1.52m high and 2.13m wide. Its pages are turned only once per month. The library itself was opened in 1967 to collect and preserve ancient Dzongha and Tibetan texts. Some of the most significant document are well-labeled in English and there is even a coulourful shrine inside the building.

The Institute for Zorig Chusum, commonly known as the Painting School, offers 4- and 6- year courses where students can learn the 13 traditional Bhutanese arts and crafts. Students start with woodwork, stonework and carving, then progress onto painting, sculpting, casting, wood-turning, blacksmith-y, ornament-making, bamboo work, paper-making, tailoring and weaving. Depending on the time you visit, you may even see some of the students selling their work outside and be astounded by their skills.

The King's Memorial Chorten is commonly called the 'most visible religious landmark in Bhutan'. It is continuously circled by people in clockwise direction who murmur mantras and spin large red prayer wheels, as is custom in all Bhutanese religious structures. This landmark was constructed in honor of Bhutan's third king, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuk ('the father of modern Bhutan'). Completed in 1974 after his untimely death, the monument is dedicated to world peace and prosperity, as well as a memorial to the king. 

The Buddha Point (Kuensel Phodrang) is located on a hill in Kuenselphodrang Nature Park, overlooking the southern entrance to Thimphu Valley. Sitting atop the hill is one of the largest Buddha statues in the world, standing at a height of 51.5 metres and made of bronze, gilded in gold and studded with semi-precious stones. 100,000 smaller Buddha statues are hidden within the body, while 25,000 sit along the walls of the meditation halls inside the statue's throne. The creation of the statue symbolises the fulfillment of the Buddhist prophecy to bestow blessings and emanate universal peace and happiness to the world.  

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Day 5 : Thimphu - Punakha

Drive to Punakha via the Dochula Pass, which offers a stunning panoramic view of the Himalayan mountain range. In the afternoon, visit the beautiful Punakha Dzong. Overnight in Punakha. 

Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Dochula Pass is located on the way from Thimphu to Punakha. The pass is a popular location as it offers a stunning 360 degree panoramic view of the Himalayan mountain range. The view is especially scenic on clear, winter days, with snowcapped mountains forming a majestic backdrop to the tranquility of the 108 chortens gracing the mountain pass. Known as the Druk Wangyal Chortens - the construction of these 108 chortens was commissioned by the eldest Queen Mother, Her Majesty Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuk. The pass is also popular spiritual destination for both locals and tourists because an important temple is located at the crest of Dochula pass. 

The Punakha valley has a pleasant climate with warm winters and hot summers. Owing to the favourable climatic conditions, rice grows very well in this region and is the main cash crop cultivated here. Altitude: 1,200m.

The majestic Punakha Dzong, known as the Palace of Great Happiness, used to serve as Bhutan's religious and administrative centre until the 1950s. The inside courtyards and religious statuary hint at a deep historical and spiritual tradition. It is quite large, 
measuring over 180m long by 70m wide and has a six-story, gold-domed tower. The dzong sits at the junction of the Pho chhu and Mo chhu rivers and was built in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, a Tibetan Buddhist lama. Arguably the most beautiful dzong in Bhutan, it was the second to be ever built in the country. Bhutan's most treasured possession, the Rangjung ('Self-Created') Kharsapani image of Chenresig is kept here, but is closed to the public.  


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Day 6 : Punakha

After breakfast, be taken on an excursion to the Chimi Lhakhang temple. In the afternoon, visit the Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Lhakhang Nunnery. Overnight in Punakha.

Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

The Chimi Lhakhang temple is commonly known as the Temple of Fertility. It sits on a hillock in the centre of the valley, a site that was blessed by the 'Divine Madman'. This is the maverick saint Drukpa Kuenleyis that was famously obsessed with his 'magic thunderbolt of wisdom'. Therefore it is not unusual to see phalluses (symbol of fertility) painted on the outside of houses! It is widely believed that if couples who do not have children pray at this temple, they are blessed with a child very soon. Besides its fertility blessings, the temple also works to fulfill other religious needs. The trail to the temple leads across rice fields through the tiny settlement of Pana, which means ‘field’. A walk through this village will give you a rare glimpse into the daily life of the Bhutanese.


Perched on a ridge overlooking the Toebesa, Punakha and Wangduephodrang valleys sits the double-storied temple of Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Lhakhang. One of the biggest statues in Bhutan, a 14 ft bronze statue of the Buddhist figure Avalokiteshvara, resides within the temple. The complex also houses a 70-room nunnery, complete with a permanent higher learning and meditation centre in which nuns undertake religious and life skill training, including tailoring, embroidery and statue making. 

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Day 7 : Punakha - Paro

Drive to Paro, visiting the Simtokha Dzong en route. On arrival in Paro, visit the Rinpung Dzong and Ta Dzong. Overnight in Paro.

Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Paro is the second largest town in Bhutan although small in size and population. Its main street is lined with buildings richly decorated in traditional architecture that house a scattering of shops and restaurants. Paro is an ideal base for exploring the surrounding attractions, such as Taktsang Monastery (Tiger's Nest). After Bumthang, the valley is amongst the most beautiful in Bhutan. Altitude: 2,280m.

The Ta Dzong was originally built to be a watchtower, but it now houses the National Museum. Its extensive collection includes antique thangkha paintings, textiles, weapons, armour, household objects and a rich assortment of natural and historic artifacts.

The Rinpung Dzong, which means 'Fortress of the Heap of Jewels', has a long and fascinating history. Fine wall paintings line the wooden galleries of the inner courtyard, illustrating Buddhist traditions and knowledge.

Overlooking Thimphu Valley, the Simtokha Dzong is the oldest dzong to have survived a series of attacks as a completed structure. According to legend, the building was created to subdue a demon that was harassing travelers to the area. When the evil spirit vanished into a nearby rock, the dzong was built upon it to enclose and guard the demon. As a result, the dzong gained its name, literally translating to "atop a demon".

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Day 8 : Paro

In the morning, hike to Tiger's Nest monastery. The afternoon is free to rest or explore. Overnight in Paro.

Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Also known as the Tiger’s Nest, the Taktshang Monastery is perhaps the most famous of Bhutan’s monasteries and is perched precariously on the side of a cliff, 900m above the Paro Valley. It is said that Guru Rinpoche, the founder of Tibetan Buddhism and the Buddha of our time, came here on the back of a tigress to meditate, hence the name. This site has been recognised as a most sacred place and was even visited by the Tibetan Buddhist Lama, Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, in 1646. All Bhutanese people visit this monastery at least once in their lifetime. On 19 April 1998, a fire severely damaged the main structure of building, but it has now been restored to its original splendour. 

The hike to the monastery is a 2-2.5 hour strenuous walk uphill. This can be broken down into three stages and a donkey can be used to ride up to two-thirds of the way. The first stage is trekking to the 
rocky outcrop across a ravine from the monastery, which takes approximately 45 to 60 minutes. Lunch will be served here later today.  The second stage is walking from the cafeteria to the lookout opposite the monastery, which takes close to one hour. The third stage is climbing down 475 steps in the cliff face to the bottom of the ravine, crossing over a stream and waterfall and climbing up another 300 steps to the entrance of the monastery. You will spend up to an hour here and view the cave where Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal meditated. 

Cameras are not allowed inside the monastery. 


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Day 9 : Paro - Guwahati

In the morning, transfer to the airport and board your flight to Guwahati. On arrival, be met by our representative. Spend the afternoon sightseeing and visiting the Kamakhya temple. Overnight in Guwahati. 

Meal plan: Breakfast

Guwahati is popularly known as ‘the city of eastern light’, and situated on the banks of the Brahmaputa River and the foothills of the Shillong plateau. Many Hindu temples are found in the area, including the Kamakyha Temple, where animal sacrifices are still a daily occurrence. Nearby is the quaint Umananda Temple situated on an island.

The Kamakhya Temple had been built in reverence to Goddess Sati. King Nara Narayana of Cooch Behar rebuilt the temple in 1665 after it had suffered destruction at the hands of foreign invaders and this is why images of the builder and related inscriptions can be seen there. The temple consists of seven oval spires, each topped by three golden pitchers, and the entrance spirals down to a curved path, linking the main road to the temple. Animal sacrifices are still practised daily here, so be warned!

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Day 10 : Jorhat

The morning is free to rest. In the afternoon, transfer to the airport to board your flight to Jorhat. Drive to Neamati Ghat where you will board the cruise ship (MV Mahabaahu). Check into your cabin before meeting for essential safety briefing. Proceed to the open deck to look out for the Gangetic dolphins. In the evening, listen to a talk on 'Sibsagar and the Ahom civilisation'. Overnight onboard. 

Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Jorhat is the second largest city in Assam and is situated by the Brahmaputra river. Jorhat is renowned for its tea and for being the last capital of the Ahom Kingdom, meaning it is now home to many historical monuments of Assamese culture. Tea is part of the agriculture-based industries and occupies an important place in Assam culture, especially as plants have always grown naturally in the Upper Brahmaputra valley. The entire Jorhat district is surrounded by tea plantations and has tea factories. There are about 135 tea gardens in the surrounding areas. 

The river cruise vessel, MV Mahabaahu, has been leading visitors around the beautiful scenery of the Brahmaputra River since 2011. At 55 metres long and 10 metres wide, it consists of 5 decks, with the top being an open sundeck. It offers a range of luxury facilities, from a gym and swimming pool, to a furnished library and 24 hour bar. It even has a spa and salon for extra pampering, while travellers are treated to guest lectures and local tribal dances in the evenings. With on board experts possessing a wealth of knowledge surrounding the Assam area, the MV Mahabaahu is the perfect way to discover the wonderful wildlife and ancient temples found along the Brahmaputra river. 

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Day 11 : Sibsagar

After breakfast, go on a day excursion to Sibsagar. Visit the Talatal Palace (also known as Kareng Ghar), the palace of the Ahom Kings, and the amphitheatre of Rang Ghar. Drive to a tea estate where you will enjoy a traditional Assamese lunch. Return to the cruise ship by sunset for a relaxed evening. Overnight onboard.   

Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

The former capital of the Ahom Dynasty for some 600 years, Sibsagar is now a multi-cultural city in the Assam district of India. The area boasts the spectacular ruins of the Ahom Dynasty, including the old temples of Lord Shiva and Vishnu. Also of interest is the 18th century Rang Ghar, or 'Amusement House', which once served as the royal sports pavillion. The Ahom kings and nobles would sit on the balcony and watch traditional games such as buffalo fights in what is considered the largest amphitheatre in Asia. On the roof of this two-storey building is the design of an Ahom royal long boat and two stone crocodiles. A mixture of rice and egg paste was used as the mortar in construction. The Palace of Tatal, with its winding stone passages, is another masterpiece of the Ahom dynasty.

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Day 12 : Majuli Island - Mishing Village

Start the day with either yoga or a walk along the swamps to observe the wildlife, before sailing to Majuli. After breakfast, attend a talk on Majuli and proceed to the mainland. Drive to a Satra for a cultural performance by Satriya singers and dancers. Continue to Kamlabari Satra to witness a dance and chant by the Vaishnavite priests in the temple premise. After lunch, sail to the closest Mishing village. Return to the ship and head towards Dhansiri Mukh while enjoying a talk on 'Assam, its geographical location and importance'. Spend the evening on a deserted island. Overnight onboard. 

Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

One of the world's largest river islands, Majuli Island is located in the Brahmaputra River and runs for 80km from east to west and 15km north to south and a total area of 875km2. It used to be much bigger than this but has decreased as a result of erosion from the river. The island has a population of 150,000 and there are 243 villages. With a natural and cultural heritage site with water bodies covering most of the areas, Majuli attracts a wide range of birds. Aside from the rice field landscapes, fish traps and water meadows, the local Mising people and Satras make the island a fascinating place.

The Mising tribe (also known as Mishing) is the second largest ethnic group in Assam, with an Indo-Mongoloid culture. They are a peace-loving group against any form of conflict. Originally a hill tribe in the hills of Arunachal Pradesh, they migrated to the plains of Assam, with their villages now traditionally located on riverbanks. As a result, the people of the Mising tribes are typically accomplished boatsmen and fishermen. However, as these areas are prone to flooding during the monsoon season, many Mising people have been forced to relocate, while others have adapted by building their houses upon stilts, usually with bamboo framing and flooring. The Mising women are also renowned for their exquisite handlooms and traditional weaving, which they are trained in from an early age.

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Day 13 : Kaziranga

In the morning, enjoy yoga and a walk on a deserted island. After breakfast, attend a talk on 'the River Brahmaputra and the life that exists alongside'. Proceed on a 2 hour boat safari on Kaziranga where you can see elephants, rhinos and wild buffalo. In the evening, enjoy the chef's cooking demonstration followed by a talk on 'Tea, Silk and Jute in Assam' and a bonfire on a deserted island. Overnight onboard. 

(Bonfire dependant on sandbank and weather conditions.)

Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

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Day 14 : Bishwanath Ghat - Silghat

After yoga or a walk on a deserted island, enjoy a talk on 'Kaziranga and the wildlife in India'. Proceed to Bishwanath Ghat and visit the Shiva Dol. Walk through the village, see how it thrives and observe the women with their weaves. Sail to Silghat where you will drive to the Kaliabore tea estate to watch the tribal women pick tea leaves. Proceed to the tea factory to see the process of producing Assam tea. Return to ship and visit a nearby Jute mill to see how eco-friendly gunny bags are made. Overnight onboard. 

(Please note, the tea factory is not operational from mid-December to mid-February.)

Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Located on the Brahmaputra River, the holy village of Bishwanath Ghat (also known as Gupta Kashi) is an insight into the ancient heritage of Assam. Once home to more than 100 stone temples, all that remains are ruins, with many more believed to be hidden and undiscovered under the river. Located at the confluence of the Bridhaganga and Brahmaputra rivers stands the remaining stone posts and beams of a once prestigious Shiva temple. During the monsoon season, the temple is submerged underwater, resulting in worship only being practised during the winter in a temporary shed.  

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Day 15 : Kaziranga National Park - Bagori

Drive to Kaziranga National Park and the Kohora Mihimukh range for an elephant safari. Search for the famous Greater One-Horned Indian Rhinoceros, tigers, swamp deer and hog deer. After breakfast, drive to Bagori, the western range of Kaziranga, for an open jeep safari before returning to the ship. The afternoon is free to relax. In the evening, meet for a talk on 'Kamakhya and the Occult Peacock Island'. Overnight onboard. 

(Please note that Kaziranga National Park is closed in October and May. During these month, you will do a short jeep safari and elephant safari in the outer areas of the park. There is also an additional boat safari at the confluence of Diphlu and Brahmaputra River.)

Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Kaziranga National Park is home to two-thirds of the world's population of the Indian one-horned rhinoceros at just under 2000. A few centuries ago, the Indian one-horned rhino ranged across the north Indian plains in the wetlands of the rivers Indus, Ganga, and Brahmaputra. Today it is found only in pockets of Assam and in Nepal. Kaziranga also boasts a range of other wildlife and harbours about 15 species of India's threatened mammals including the most dense population of Royal Bengal tigers, Indian elephants, sloth bears, Gangetic dolphins and an extraordinary bird population. Kaziranga National Park is located partly in Golaghat District and partly in the Nagaon District of Assam and covers an area of 430km2. It lies in the flood plains of the Brahmaputra and annual flooding and burning has maintained the grasslands predominant in the west. It became an official national park in 1974, but was established as a reserved forest in 1908, a game sanctuary in 1916, a wildlife sanctuary in 1950, and as a World Heritage site in 1985.

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Day 16 : Peacock Island

In the morning, attend a yoga session. After breakfast, visit a farming village before returning to the cruise ship for lunch. Proceed to Peacock Island to see some Golden Langurs. Sail towards Pandu Port and enjoy a farewell 'alvida bhoj' dinner. Overnight onboard. 

Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

On Peacock Island, the temple of Umananda was built in 1694 by the Bar Phukan Garhganya Handique by the order of His Majesty Swargadeo Gadadhar Singh one of the ablest and strongest rulers of the Tai Ahom dynasty. The Shiva temple is set at the top of a flight of steps. The original temple was however immensely damaged by a devastating earthquake of 1897. Later, it was reconstructed by a rich local merchant who chose to inscribe the interior part of a Siva temple with Vaisnavite slogans.

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Day 17 : Guwahati - Kolkata

Arrive in Guwahati where you will disembark from the boat. Transfer to the airport for your flight to Kolkata. The evening is free to rest. Overnight in Kolkata. 

Meal plan: Lunch

Guwahati is popularly known as ‘the city of eastern light’, and situated on the banks of the Brahmaputa River and the foothills of the Shillong plateau. Many Hindu temples are found in the area, including the Kamakyha Temple, where animal sacrifices are still a daily occurrence. Nearby is the quaint Umananda Temple situated on an island.

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Day 18 : Departure

Transfer to the airport for your international flight home. 

Meal plan: Breakfast

Accommodation

Accommodation Title

All accommodation subject to availability. Final accommodation choices will be confirmed after booking.

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The Corner Courtyard

The Corner Courtyard is a boutique hotel situated near to the centre of Kolkata, and near to the famous sights of the Victoria Memorial and Indian Museum. The hotel hosts 7 individually-themed rooms, which are traditionally Bhutanese in style and feature authentic antique furniture. The cultural heritage displayed in Corner Courtyard is combined with modern comforts, including air-conditioned rooms and access to wifi in communal areas. 

Visit hotel's site
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Hotel Thimphu Tower

Hotel Thimpu is located at the heart of Thimpu and is the perfect place from which to explore the city. The hotel is near to many of Thimpu's sights, including Memorial Chorten, Tashichho Dzong and Buddah Point. Guests can enjoy scenic views from Hotel Thimpu Tower across the city, including the iconic Clock Tower Square. The tower of the hotel is itself a landmark heritage building, yet it is also equipped with modern amenities and comforts to allow for relaxing stay.

Visit hotel's site
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Drubchhu

Drubchhu Resort is a family run eco-resort, which has been created in the ruins of a 100-year-old granary. Drubchhu, translates to mean 'holy water', after the resort's natural spring that is believed to contain healing water. The accommodation is simple yet comfortable, and provides the perfect location to enjoy activities such as hiking and rafting. Guests can relax at Drubchhu Spa after a day of exploring - before taking in the scenic views across the surrounding paddy fields.

Visit hotel's site
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Village Lodge

Village Lodge is surrounded by paddy fields and lush forests. It combines the simplicity of rural life with the modern amenities to allow for a comfortable stay. Both the architecture and decor within the lodge have been inspired by traditional Bhutanese culture. Guests can enjoy an authentic local experience, where they are welcomed into the kitchen to watch and learn the art of Bhutanese cuisine. 

Visit hotel's site
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The Pipal Tree

The Pipal Tree is conveniently located for travellers, with Kolkata airport only 2.5 miles away. It is contemporary in style, which provides guests with a warm and comfortable stay. The hotel is named after one of India's most ancient trees, under which travellers would find rest and solace. Air-conditioning and wifi can be accessed in both the communal space and bedrooms of the hotel. Visitors can choose between a variety of Indian, Chinese and continental dishes that are served in the on-site restaurants.

Visit hotel's site
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Reviews

Travel the Unknown and its in-country counterparts in both India and Bhutan were outstanding. The guides were experts on our destinations, friendly and personable, and tried their best to meet all our requests not on the itinerary. Received several calls throughout the trip asking about the tours and if we needed anything. Can't ask for more than that. All hotels and services were excellent I will definitely be traveling with Travel the Unknown again..

Richard Reilly (USA) , Classic Bhutan & Assam Cruise, India & Bhutan

I traveled solo with Travel The Unknown to Bhutan, the trip was very well planned and managed. Accommodation was top class for the region and the local guide and driver made me feel at home at all stages. I enjoyed being introduced to the local people and trying to understand their culture.

Tom Gallery , Tailormade Bhutan
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