If there are any places left in our travel-saturated world left that would qualify as one that still harbors profound secrets, the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan would be one of them. For three centuries, the Land of Thunder Dragon was an isolated and forbidden kingdom. Not until 1974 were foreigners even allowed to visit. Even today this largely Buddhist and sovereign land remains one of the least visited and explored countries, with huge swaths of its forests, mountains, valleys, and villages still untouched by outside influences. For a deep look into this sublimely peaceful and inspiring culture, join your leader, Phil Cousineau, the acclaimed author of the worldwide bestseller The Art of Pilgrimage, on this magical mystery tour into the haunting beauty of Edenic Bhutan. Together, you will explore the ancient religious and architectural masterpieces, such as the remarkable dzongs, fortified monasteries that helped ensure Bhutan’s independence,
and learn from a government official about the modern national goal based on a holistic approach to development called Gross National Happiness, with its emphasis on spiritual health joined with economic progress. Among the highlights of the pilgrimage will be visits to the colorful market in Thimphu, a hike to the beautiful Cheri Monastery, a visit to the meditation caves at Dochula Pass, and the Punakha Dzong, a traditional hot stone bath, and an encounter with the rare Black Necked Cranes in the Phobjikha Conservation Sanctuary. To celebrate the end of your journey you will take the vigorous pilgrimage to a phantasmagorically beautiful Buddhist sacred site, the Tiger’s Nest, Monastery, perched on a cliff 10,000 feet above sea level. If the adventurer in you has ever wondered what it would be like to travel somewhere that moved and challenged you mind, body, and soul, this is the journey for you.
Your Travel Companion
Best-selling author, filmmaker, & veteran travel guide
Phil Cousineau is a freelance writer, documentary filmmaker, independent scholar, worldwide lecturer, storyteller, and creativity consultant. He has published over forty books, written or cowritten over twenty-five award-winning documentary films, and has hosted "Global Spirit," on PBS and LINK TV for the last ten years, a series that Bill Moyers has described as some of the most important television on the air. Cousineau has led art, literature, and mythology tours around the world, from Ireland and Greece to England, France, Italy, and Cuba, in search of what the ancients called "The soul of the world." Currently, he lives with his family on Telegraph Hill, in San Francisco..
Rise & Shine
A space for reflection & rejuvenation
Tashi Namgay Hotel
Meri Puensum Hotel
We believe that your space for slumber should also allow room and comfort for thoughtful reflection at the end of a long day. During our journey to Bhutan, expect active days and comfortable and rejuvenating sleeping quarters for you to reflect and prepare.
We Encourage a Growth Mindset
By exposing you to a wide range of activities, people, exercises and situations, we hope to inspire you to become more curious about new cultures, thoughts and perspectives. Asking questions, listening and observing will come naturally and initiate a new way of traveling.
During your travels to Bhutan, you can expect to connect in a holistic view and understanding of the country by spending time learning and practicing with Bhutanese monks, government officials, locals and friends who will provide a well-rounded, empathetic understanding for this beautiful country in a thorough and deeper level.
This very small group journey of 12 travelers will include time (30—60 mins in the AM; 1—2 hours in the PM) for daily discussions with Program Leader Phil Cousineau to talk about their experiences that day and have an opportunity to reflect, share, and learn from one another in these meaningful exchanges.
Travel with us to Bhutan
Price per person
November 10 - 20, 2020
+1 (206) 212-0227
+ What is included in the price of the trip?
- Accompaniment by Phil Cousineau, best-selling author and documentary filmmaker
- Twice daily facilitated group discussions about the day’s activities and personal observations
- Round Trip Airfare BKK > PBH
- All accommodations as indicated
- All meals from Breakfast on day 2 to Breakfast on day 11 (B, L, D)
- All land transfers in comfortable mini bus
- 30% government welfare levy (used to sustain free education and free health care system)
- Services of an accompanying expert guide and driver
- Bhutan Visa fee
- Tips for your Guide & Driver
+ What is not included?
- Round Trip Flights to Bangkok → we can help book these!
- Travel insurance (recommended)
- Alcoholic beverages
- Personal expenses such as laundry, phone calls, spa, internet, etc.
- Optional Hot Stone Bath in Gangtey
- Single Supplement, if requested
+ Is there an additional solo supplement rate?
Explorer X does our best to pair single travelers of the same sex together in shared accommodations. If you are willing to share a room, you will not be charged a single supplement even if we can’t find you a roommate.
+ I want to see more of Bhutan and/or the region! Can you provide assistance for extensions?
Absolutely! Our team of travel designers can help! Feel free to leave a note that you're interested while applying and we'll make sure to assist.