Bhutan: Wisdom Adventures: Exploring the Dharma 2020

Departures: Bhutan


Join us for a very special journey to Bhutan, the Kingdom of the Thunder Dragon, with renowned spiritual teachers Joel and Michelle Levey—founders of Wisdom at Work, pioneers in the contemplative sciences and mindfulness movement and long time students and practitioners in the Tibetan Buddhist traditions. We will experience Bhutan in a profoundly meaningful and ‘enlightening’ way through Buddhist practice as we meditate in gorgeous monasteries, uncover the ancient stories in sacred Buddhist paintings and explore the roots of Bhutanese Buddhism in Bumthang.


We believe that to travel responsibly, a portion of our tour cost should benefit the communities we visit. For this trip, our donation will go to a non-profit organization we support that is having a very positive impact in Bhutan: BHUTAN NUNS FOUNDATION—whose work empowers and educates Bhutanese women.


Starting at $5290*

For more information and to get started, contact us at How to Book.


October 27 – November 7, 2020

Day 1

Arrive Bangkok

Arrive Bangkok according to your flight details. After clearing customs, take the 5-minute walk to the airport hotel and check in for overnight.

Day 2


Early morning departure from Bangkok, we’ll make our way together to the airport for our flight to Paro.

Upon arrival in Paro, transfer to Thimpu, the capital city of Bhutan. We’ll check into our hotel and relax!

Day 3


Today, hike to Tango Monastery, considered a very auspicious site. Participate in a prayer ceremony with a lama from the monastery who will share his insights on Bhutanese Buddhism’s practices and philosophy.

Afternoon at leisure. Visit a local café, browse for spectacularly colorful Bhutanese postage stamps or outfit yourself as the locals do with a beautiful handwoven gho (for men) or kira (for women).

Day 4


Start the day at Buddha Point – site of one of the largest statues of the Buddha in the world – with the chance to meditate in the relative peace of the early morning. Afterwards, enjoy a visit to the National Institute for Zohrig Chusum, where students practice the thirteen Bhutanese arts.

Afternoon we’ll visit several important places illustrating Bhutanese culture and Buddhism. Taschichho Dzong, set along the Wangchhu river, is the current seat of the Bhutanese government. See the oldest cypress tree in Bhutan, beside the Pangrizampa Astrology school, where Shabdrung Rinpoche, the founder of the Bhutanese state, was called to come by a vision.

Day 5


Transfer to Paro airport where we board our flight to Bumthang. During our stay, we’ll be able to enjoy the festival activities happening at Jampay Lhakhang. Afternoon, we’ll explore Tamshing Lhakhang, a 30-minute walk from our hotel. Tamshing Lhakhang is said to have been built by and adorned with paintings made by Pema Lingpa himself.

Festival activities permiting, we will visit Jampay Lhakhang. Built in 659, has a truly ancient feel to it and it contains the oldest temple in Bhutan. Visited by Guru Rinpoche, the inner sanctum houses a statue of Jampa (Maitreya) – the Buddha of the future.

Day 6


This morning we’ll take a short walk to Tang Rimochen Lhakhang, a sacred place of worship of Guru Rinpoche. As we explore the Lhakang and surrounds, look for the rock in front of the temple that bears a body print of the Guru and two Khandroms (Dakini). The site is named after the tiger stripe markings on the cliff. Find the footprints of the Guru and his consorts Madarava and Yeshe Tshogyal below the Lhakhang.

Afternoon, we’ll explore Kurjey Lhakhang, named for the body print from Guru Rinpoche that one of the temples contains. We’ll immerse ourselves in the rich legacy of Guru Rinpoche, with time for meditation and contemplation. A five-minute walk from the temples, you’ll find the sacred spring Kurjey Drupcchu, where monks go to wash!

Day 7


Enjoy a day at leisure to explore on your own. Perhaps we can visit Jambay Lhakhang to enjoy the festival activities or maybe enjoy a walk into town to relax and soak in the atmosphere.

Optional: Hike along the Bushman’s trail, starting in the Tang Valley among the fragrant pine trees. The hike is about 3 miles and takes about 3 hours for the average walker.

Day 8

BUMTHANG—Tharpaling Monastery

Today we’ll spend time at Tharpaling Monastery, located on the hillside above Bumthang. Built by the great saint Longchenpa, whose teachings have inspired Joel and Michelle for the past 40 years.

After exploring the monastery, we’ll seek out the many sacred sites and relics to be found near the monastery.

Day 9


This morning, we’ll make our way back to Paro by air.

Upon arrival in Paro, visit Ta Dzong, the Bhutanese National Museum, which holds a fascinating collection of Bhutanse art, including bronze statuary and paintings. We will then walk down the trail to visit Rinpung Dzong, also known as “Fortress of the Heap of Jewels” noted for its stunning architecture.

Day 10

Kicchu Lhakang

This morning, we’ll visit to Kicchu Lhakang, where Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche lived. On our visit, see the famous Jowo Shakyamuni statue, complete with prostration footprints in the floorboard. Ask to see Dligo Khyentse Rinpoche’s bedroom adjoining the main shrine room and visit his former home, now a small museum.

Afternoon at leisure to explore Paro on your own. Enjoy a cup of tea or do some shopping!

Day 11

Tiger’s Nest

This morning, visit to Kicchu Lhakang, where Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche lived. On our visit, see the famous Jowo Shakyamuni statue, complete with prostration footprints in the floorboard. Ask to see Dligo Khyentse Rinpoche’s bedroom adjoining the main shrine room and visit his former home, now a small museum.

Afternoon free to walk around Paro, do some shopping or sip tea in a café!

The group will gather for dinner together one last time as we say farewell to Bhutan.

Day 12


Say goodbye to the friendly people of Bhutan. Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Optional Extension

Extend your stay and explore more of Western Bhutan with Joel and Michelle. Contact us for more details.

For pricing and hotel information, contact us at How to Book. The specifics of this itinerary are subject to change based on local conditions at the discretion of Ponte Travels.

• Rates shown are per person, double occupancy. Airfare not included.