Bhutan Community Service Program
Bhutan – March Break Community Service Program
Imagine a country in which a King instills democracy on his people, where residents of the capital city vote against the installation of traffic lights, where ancient monasteries stand sentinel in lush valleys and on snow-capped peaks, where the national sport is archery and the guiding principle of development is Gross National Happiness. Welcome to The Land of the Thunder Dragon. Welcome to Bhutan.
Your adventure begins with a flight over the Himalayan Mountains into Paro International Airport. From Paro, you will travel to the nearby capital city of Thimphu, where you will visit the office of the Bhutan Canada Foundation (BCF) as well as the Tashichoedzong (home of the throne room and offices of the King). Passing through the beautiful Dochula Pass, you will arrive in Punakha, where you will spend your time visiting, and volunteering in, schools supported by BCF and visit one of the country’s most beautiful buildings, Punakha Dzong. Next you will head southeast into the Phobjikha Valley, an area famous for being the wintering site of the rare black-necked crane, where you will assist on environmental initiatives in this agricultural region (be sure to sample the delicious potatoes!). Venturing further east into central Bhutan, and the beautiful city of Bumthang, you will once again visit local schools. Finally, you will return to Paro to climb to the awe-inspiring Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) Monastery.
DATES: March 8-22, 2014*
*Dates are subject to changes.
PROGRAM FEE: $5,495 + taxes & registration
All Inclusive Program! All excursions and meals included.
Paro: 1 day
Thimphu: 1 day
Punakha: 3 days
Phobjikha: 2 days
Bumthang: 3 days
Kathmandu, Nepal: 1 day
All Inclusive Program:
All meals and all excursions are included in this program, including: Tashichoedzong, Punakha and Bumthang Dzongs, Gangtey Goemba Monastery, Archery lesson, Dochula Pass, Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) guided hike, Kathmandu city tour.
What is not included in your program:
- Departure taxes and service charges
- Registration fee of $95
- Medical insurance / cancellation protection
- Travel visas where applicable
- Lunch, except where indicated
- Additional food/beverages
The Summit Residency Airport Hotel is conveniently located for easy access both to Kathmandu’s most significant landmarks and to Tribhuvan International Airport. Students will stay in double rooms with private bathrooms. The hotel’s revolving restaurant offers panoramic views across Kathmandu.
Summit Residency Airport Hotel (Kathmandu) http://airporthotelkathmandu.com/
Yeedzin Guest House is located just off the main street of central Thimphu. Students will stay in simple double rooms with private bathrooms and heaters.
Yeedzin Guest House (Thimphu)
Students will stay in double rooms at Meri Puensum Resort that provide lovely views over the Punakha Valley. Each room offers private bathrooms and television. Wifi access is available from an outdoor common area decorated with Buddhist prayer flags.
Meri Puensum Resort (Punakha) http://meripuensum.bt/punakha/
Phuntshocholing Guest House in the Phobjikha Valley was the favourite hotel of 2013’s March Break group. Phuntshocholing is a traditional farmhouse decorated in the traditional style. Students will stay in double rooms with heaters. The group will share 2-3 common bathrooms. The common room, where you will take meals, is a great spot for socialising after dinner.
Phuntshocholing Guest House (Wangdi, Phobjikha Valley)
Bumthang River Lodge is situated in the Bumthang Valley with views of Chamkhar Chu, a glacial river, and the mountains beyond. Students will stay in double rooms heated by wood stoves. Each room has a private bathroom. The hotel has internet access and a library and also offers traditional hot stone and steam baths.
Bumthang River Lodge (Bumthang) http://www.drukriverlodge.com/www/HOME.html
Gangtey Palace was built over a century ago for the uncle of the first King of Bhutan and remained in the Royal Family until the 1930s. Despite being converted into a hotel 1995, the building retains its traditional Bhutanese charm and family feel. Students will stay in double rooms with private bathrooms.
Gangtey Palace (Paro) http://www.gangteypalace.net