Your honeymoon starts in the dazzling city of Bangkok, where you'll stay at the So Sofitel Hotel. Here you'll kick off your celebrations with a trip to the world’s highest open-air champagne bar, Flute. On the 64th floor of the Lebua tower, with a captivating view of the starlit skyline, you'll enjoy a delicious champagne tasting. Afterward, visit Sra Bua restaurant, voted as one of Asia's Best 50 Restaurants, and tuck into traditional but creative Thai fare.
On your third day, you’ll leave for Paro in Bhutan. On a clear day, the flight offers views of some of the significant Himalayan peaks such as Everest, Kanchenjunga, and Makalu (no squabbling over who gets the window seat!). As you approach Paro, Bhutan's own beautiful mountains make themselves known too. Once you've met your guide and private driver, head to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan known for its appealing blend of tradition and modern-day.
In Thimphu, after settling into the Taj Tashi Hotel, you’ll visit the Traditional Handmade Paper Factory and see the fascinating process as the paper is created out of the bark of the black Daphne tree. Afterward, visit the Authentic Bhutanese Crafts Bazaar, a marketplace for locals to sell their indigenous crafts from bamboo huts. It’s a great place to pick up a souvenir or two.
Your last day in Thimphu starts with a Traditional Vow Renewal Ceremony at a temple. The Bhutanese believe that it blesses the couple with a long and prosperous married life and Buddhist monks will perform the ritual to bless your new union. Next, visit the Gagyel Lhundrup Weaving Centre which produces ceremonial textiles for the Bhutanese royals. From here it's on to Zorig Chusum, a painting school, where you can watch the students learning various art skills. Finish up at the Mini Zoo where you’ll be able to see Takin, the national animal of Bhutan. With the head of a goat and the body of a yak, this strange creature is found only in the Himalayan region.
Activity and Adventure
Bid farewell to Thimphu and head to Punakha, which served as the capital of Bhutan until 1955. Along the way, you'll go by Dochula pass, a mountain pass in the snow-covered Himalayas. Stop briefly to admire the 108 chortens and prayer flags and take in the view of the high Himalayan peaks if the weather is clear. When you arrive in Punakha and have checked into the Uma by COMO Hotel, you’ll hike through fields of rice along the river banks and up the valley to the Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten, a monument built by the Queens and consecrated in 1999.
The next day you’ll explore the Punakha Valley. You'll start at the charming villages of Talo or Nobgang, the ancestral home of the Queen Mothers of Bhutan. These villages are dotted along a high ridge above the valley, the altitude of some 2,800 meters offers wonderful views. From here head on to Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Nunnery, where you'll check out the 14-foot bronze statue of Avalokiteshvara. At the Nalanda Monastery, meet monks who are learning English (and will be happy to practice on you!). Finish at the beautiful Punakha Dzong, a strategically built fortress at the junction of two rivers. Despite being blighted by fires and even an earthquake, the fortress has now been restored to its original splendor.
Activity and Adventure
Next, it’s on to Paro, a valley town that’s home to many sacred sites. Break up the four-hour drive with a hike to Chimi Lhakhang. This 30-minute walk through a village and paddy fields is a great way to stretch your legs and visit the temple dedicated to Lama Drukpa Kunley, otherwise known as the Divine Madman. Check into the Uma by COMO and in the evening, visit one of the finest farmhouses in Paro for a Bhutanese cooking demonstration of butter tea, followed by a delicious and romantic candlelit dinner.
The next day, visit the 15th-century Dungtse temple followed by the Ta Dzong, once a watchtower and now the National Museum. Inside check out the excellent collection of ancient art, weapons, coins, and stamps. After a pleasant walk to a lookout, it's on to 7th-century Kyichu Lhakhang to offer butter lamps. This offering is an example of how alive Buddhist culture remains in Bhutan. The offering of light symbolizes the removal of the darkness of our ignorance, in the hope of obtaining greater mental clarity and happiness.
The next morning, you'll hike together to Taktsang Goemba, also known as Tiger’s Nest Monastery. The name comes from the fact it's believed that Guru Rinpoche, the founding father of the Bhutanese style of Mahayana Buddhism, arrived at this site on the back of a tigress and meditated at this very monastery. It’s one of the most iconic locations in Bhutan and sure to be a highlight of your honeymoon.
The day ends with a candlelit hot stone bath, to relax your muscles from a hard day’s hike. During this traditional bath, you'll be submerged in water while hot stones are added to warm the water. Relax and breathe in the scent of native aromatic herbs and let your muscles and mind unwind.
The final night of your honeymoon is spent in vibrant Kolkata with a deluxe room at The Lalit Hotel where your time is yours to spend together.