23 Apr 2020 - 25 Apr 2020
Located along the eastern bank of the Hooghly River in the lower Ganges Delta, Kolkata is the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal. This 350-year-old metropolis is the heart and soul of eastern India with its crumbling colonial architecture, elegant gardens, countless temples and bustling bazaars. Celebrated as the birthplace of the early 20th-century Bengal Renaissance, Kolkata is a major centre for drama, art, film, theatre, literature, spirituality and music. Visitors can roam the streets and soak up the atmosphere of faded grandeur, or take a ride in a rickshaw to one of the many Indian restaurants serving mouth-watering Bengali cuisine. Must-see highlights include: the Victoria Memorial, with its east-meets-west architecture; the Indian Museum, with its range of rare artefacts; and the Kali Temple, an important pilgrimage centre for Hindus.
25 Apr 2020 - 27 Apr 2020
Forming Bhutan’s popular ‘Golden Triangle’ along with Jakar and Punakha, Paro, set in the magnificent valley of the same name, is a wonderful spot to enjoy some of the country’s most impressive temples and natural scenery. The valley is renowned for its splendour: thickly-forested mountains bow to gushing rivers and are dotted with traditional villages and enthralling sacred structures. The town offers the perfect base for soaking in the breathtaking and peaceful outdoors, while providing the shops, restaurants, and facilities travellers might desire for a sense of comfort. Make sure to take a stroll through the colourful main street, and visit temples such as the atmospheric Dumtse Lhakhang, decorated with jaw-dropping murals; and beautiful Zuri Dzong, a great reward set at the end of a wonderful hike from Gönsaka Lhakhang. The National Museum is unmissable to gain insight into the area.
27 Apr 2020 - 29 Apr 2020
Located in the Himalayas of Bhutan, the Punakha rests at the confluence of the Puna Tsang Chhu and Mo Chhu rivers. This ancient Bhutanese capital serves as an excellent base from which to explore the scenic temple-dotted Punakha Valley and beyond. The town’s star attraction is undoubtedly the incredibly picturesque riverside Punakha Dzong, a 17th-century fortress which plays host to the annual religious Punakha Festival featuring traditional dancing and music. Lucky birdwatchers can spot the critically endangered white-bellied herons. Visitors can enjoy epic views of the Himalayas from the renowned Dochula Pass, explore the Royal Botanical Park, and discover the picturesque mountain-top village of Talo. Other popular activities include: hiking through the valley, visiting the Chimi Lhakhang ‘fertility’ Temple, and the traditional architecture of Punakha Ritsha Village.
29 Apr 2020 - 1 May 2020
Resting in a lush green valley of hills and rice paddies, Bhutan’s capital city of Thimphu is the country’s commercial and religious hub, and is known for its interesting fusion of ancient and modern elements. Historical architecture and ancient traditional elements juxtapose with contemporary buildings and sensibilities. The imposing, stately 350-year-old Tashicho Dzong Fortress is currently used as the administrative centre of the county, and is also the king’s office. Visitors can explore the gold-spired Memorial Chorten, a revered Buddhist shrine; see the intricate frescoes and slate carvings at Simtokha Dzong; and discover the Bhutanese way of live through exhibits and folk dances at the fascinating National Folk Heritage Museum. The city bustles with cafes, clubs and restaurants, thereby offering the best of old- and new-world charms.