Travel Sketch to Bhutan with Erwin and Drukasia

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Everyone can draw and it's true! Rekindle your passion for the arts in this workshop as Erwin guides you through the basics of sketching. Immerse yourself in the tranquility of Bhutan's landscape and learn about the tools, techniques and application of sketching. Structured for beginners, Erwin will unveil the secrets involved in making effective sketches on-the-go. We will also mingle with Bhutan artists and participate in portrait drawing. All essential sketching and painting materials are provided, so you won't have to worry about packing the right items.   

 

Artist Biography

Erwin is an artist and an educator living and working in Singapore. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Time-Based Media Studies from the Columbus College of Art and completed his Masters of Art in Design Development from The Ohio State University. A recipient of the Charles and Lucille King Family Foundation Scholarship, Erwin is currently an associate lecturer at Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Singapore. His works have been featured in various media outlets including Channel News Asia, Modern Met, The Straits Times and The Columbus Dispatch. 

Erwin's Bhutan sketches can be found in Drukasia's 2014 and 2015 calendars.

 

Day 1

     Arrival in Paro, Bhutan

Elevation 2,280 m     Weather in Thimphu

When you first arrive at Paro International Airport, you will be met by one of our delightful tour guides just outside the arrival hall. At 7,333 feet above sea level, the first thing you will likely notice is the effect of the high altitudes, so we will give you time to acclimatize as we take a short drive to Thimphu and check into your hotel. Thimphu is the capital of Bhutan and the perfect location to transition from your familiar lifestyle to our unique country that is like no other place on earth. Here you will begin to appreciate our local customs as you get your first glimpse of monks dressed in traditional red robes, men in striped ghos, and women in brightly colored kiras. Once you settle into your hotel, we will begin to unlock the mysteries of Bhutan by touring Thimphu’s most important sites.

 

Tachog Lhakhang [0 hrs] - In the 14th century an emanation of Guru Padmasambhava, the great Siddha Thangtong Gyalpo had been to many places and built about 50 iron bridges in the parts of this world, for the benefit of all beings. When the great Siddha was in Phagri in Tibet, the Haa Chundu and Paro Jodarkay requested him to come to Bhutan for the benefit of Buddha’s teaching and people. In Bhutan, the great Siddha had built about eight bridges and established several Lhakhangs, such as Deoeteng Lhakhang, Phurdo Geonpa, Mindral Goenpa, Bardrong Lhakhang, etc. Specially Dumtse Lhakhang at Paro Droelphug Jangsa was built for remedy of subduing Sadak and Lunyen in the country.

 

The place where Tachong Lhakhang is situated above chhuzom the great Siddha had meditated seven days, and he has the vision that the Lhakhang should be built at that place, and the name of the place is also given by Tachog Gang. Because this particular place is suitable for meditation, and to accomplish ones Buddha’s activities. The natural situation of the place is also in the triangle shape. One day he had seen a woman with the signs of Dakini, and he gave her three blessing pills.

After some time, she had a son, named Dewa Zangpo. People in the place asked here about his father. He was pointing his finger to the sky and said that his father is in the sky. A still picture of this story exists in the wall painting and Statue in the Lhakhang. During the time of Desi Tenzin Rabgay, the Lhakhang was completely rebuilt as it was seen as the protector of Paro Valley.

 

Buddha Point [1 hrs] - Located at Kuenselphodrang Nature Park, the 169 feet bronze statue of Buddha Dordenma, Vajra Throne Buddha makes it one of the largest statue of Buddha in the world. The Buddha Dordenma symbolizes indestructibility, and it is said to emanate an aura of peace and happiness to the entire world. The Buddha statue will be completed soon, currently awaiting for the completed paintings but visitors can drive up to the Buddha point and view the tallest statue of Lord Buddha. The view of Thimphu valley from the Buddha point is spectacular and beautiful,, especially at night.

 

Walk Around Thimphu Town [1 hrs] - Shop and walk around Thimphu town.

 

Hotels:

Day 2

     Thimphu Tour

Elevation 2,320 m     Weather in Thimphu

Situated at an altitude of 2400m, Thimphu is the centre of government, religion and commerce. The capital has an interesting combination of tradition and modernity, and includes some of the most advanced and remotest parts of the kingdom. It is home to the Kings and the Royal family members, civil servants, expatriates, politicians, business persons and monks. Enjoy this cultural mix based on livelihood. Of culture we will take you through temples, dzongs, chortens, museums, handicraft stores, nunneries, parks and many more. Allow yourself to meet both traditional and contemporary artist.

 

National Memorial Chorten [1 hrs] - Meet the elderly generation in circumambulation at the National Memorial Chorten.

Chorten means ‘Seat of Faith’ and Buddhists often call such monuments, the ‘Mind of Buddha’. Treat yourself with the fantastic depiction of Buddhist teachings in the form of paintings and sculptures at this temple. As the name denotes this National Memorial Chorten was consecrated on July 28, 1974, in memory of the Third King.

 

Post Office [0 hrs] - Visit the post office in Thimphu to get customized stamps or to mail cards to your friends and relatives

 

Changangkha Monastery [3 hrs] - Built in the 12th century, Changangkha Lhakhang is the oldest temple in Thimphu. It is hovering over a ridge above Thimphu, near Motithang. Lama Phajo Drukgom Zhigpo, who came to Bhutan from Ralung in Tibet, chose this site to build this Lhakhang. The Lhakhang houses Chenrizig: an 11-headed, thousand-armed manifestation of Avolokitesawara as the central statue.

 

Tashichhodzong (Thimphu Dzong) [1 hrs] - The “fortress of the glorious religion” was initially constructed in 1641 and restored by the Third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck in the 1960s. Tashichhodzong houses some ministries, His Majesty’s secretariat, and the central monk body.

 

Opening hour:

Weekday 05:00 PM - 06:00 PM

Weekend 09:00 AM - 06:00 PM

 

Hotels:

Day 3

     Thimphu To Punakha

Elevation 1,300m     Weather in Punakha

We will set off early from Thimphu after breakfast, perhaps with a visit to the weekend market first. Then proceed to Punakha, the ancient capital of Bhutan, about 2 1/2 hours drive from Thimphu across Dochu-la pass. Once you cross the pass, you wind down into a warm fertile valley and meander along a gently flowing aquamarine river that leads you to the Punakha Dzong, the second dzong to be built in Bhutan.

 

Dochula Pass [2 hrs] - At 3,050 meter, this beautiful pass located on the way to Punakha from Thimphu offers a stunning 360-degree panoramic view of Himalayas mountain range with its 108 chortens that was built by Her Majesty The Queen Mother Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck. The pass is also a popular spiritual destination for both locals and tourists.

 

Druk Wangyal Chortens [0 hrs] - The construction of 108 chortens was commissioned by Her Majesty The Queen Mother Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck to commemorate the victory over the Indian militants and to liberate the souls of the lives lost.

 

Chhimi Lhakhang [2 hrs] - The Divine Madman, Drukpa Kinley is a famous teacher with whom the phallic symbol is associated. Tales told by your guide would have excited you to visit Chhimi Lhakhang. The Divine Madman sits there though a statue this time. Do not miss the master’s deeds painted on the walls. Japanese and several American couples visited this temple and were blessed miraculously with children. Ask yourself, do I need this Fertility Tour or not?

 

Hotels:

Day 4

     Punakha Tour

Elevation 1,300m     Weather in Punakha

Punakha Dzong [2 hrs] - Placed strategically at the junction of the Pho Chu and Mo Chu rivers, the Dzong was built in 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to serve as the religious and administrative seat of the region. It was here that the dual system of government was introduced in the 17th century and in 1907, enthroned the first King Gongsar Ugyen Wangchuck.

Damaged over the centuries by four catastrophic fires and an earthquake, the Dzong has been fully restored in the recent years by the 4th King Jigme Singye Wangchuck.

At the Dzong enriches your trip with the opportunity to see the highest standards in woodwork. Do not miss the massive Kuenray, the Coronation Hall of all Bhutanese kings, the Dzongchung at the entrance to the Dzong and the cantilever bridge over the Mochu that has been recently renovated.

 

Pho Chhu Suspension Bridge [1 hrs] - The 160 metres Pho Chhu Suspension Bridge is known for the longest suspension bridge in Bhutan, which gives you spectacular views of Punakha Dzong and the Pho Chhu Valley.

 

Hotels:

Day 5

     Punakha To Paro

Elevation 2,280m     Weather in Paro

The beautiful valley of Paro is home to many of Bhutan's old monasteries and temples. The country's only Airport is in Paro.

The valley is also home to mount Chomolhari (7,300 meters) situated at the northern end of the valley whose glacier water forms the Pachu flowing through the valley.

 

Paro Town [2 hrs] - Explore the main street of Paro town and check out if there's anything you will like to pick up as a souvenir!

 

Kyichu Lhakhang [1 hrs] - Also known as Kyerchu Temple or Lho Kyerchu, is the oldest temple in Bhutan. Just like Jambhay Lhakhang in Bumthang, it is one of the 108 temples built by the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo to subdue and pin down an ogress that was obstructing the spread of Buddhism. According to legend, all 108 temples were built in a single night.

Go back in time and history and visit the 7th century Kyichhu temple. As the name suggests, the temple is a reservoir of peace, where you will feel at peace here. Next to the temple is the house that is turned into a museum dedicated to the late Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. One can come across photographs and other artifacts belonging to Rinpoche.

 

Hotels:

Day 6

     Paro Tour

Elevation 2,280 m     Weather in Paro

Are you ready? We will be making the hike up to one of the key highlights in Bhutan today! Tiger's Nest aka Taktsang Monastery

 

Taktsang Monastery [6 hrs] - Often called the Tiger’s Nest, perched on the cliffs, has awestruck many a visitor. “Trip to Bhutan is never complete without climbing to Taktsang”, says one tourist. Indeed, it’s true as the journey there fills you with spiritual bliss. For those not choosing the spiritual side, it is the dramatic, artistically built monument that becomes a hiker’s delight. Take a trip to this dramatically set Buddhist relic hanging from a cliff. Experience the uphill climb as you ascend more than two thousand feet from the valley floor.

A prominent Himalayan Buddhist sacred site and temple complex located on the cliff side of Paro Valley. According to legends, it is believed that Guru Rinpoche flew to this location from Tibet on the back of a Tigress (his consort Yeshey Tshogyal) and meditated in one of the caves. Guru Rinpoche performed meditation and emerged in eight manifestations, and the place became holy, thus gaining the name Tiger's Nest.

 

Hot Stone Bath [0 hrs] - You can go for a locally own Hot Stone Bath, which can take four people at one time. This bath will help loosen your joints, release muscle tension and invoke a profound sense of relaxation. The cost is approximately USD 15 per person.

Hotels:

Day 7

     Depart Paro

Elevation 2,280 m     Weather in Paro

Remarks [0 hrs] - Seasonal attractions are subject to change due to weather conditions. The sequence of itinerary is subject to change without prior notice. If a place of visit is closed to visitors, it will be replaced with an alternative. During major events, accommodation may not be in the city mentioned.

What's Included

Suitable Months
  • 14 - 20 June 2018
Prices
  • SGD 4,399 per person (single room)
  • Enjoy SGD 300 discount for booking by 31st January 2018.
What's Excluded

Our Guarantee

Guaranteed Visa approval. We have yet to disappoint a single of our travellers in term of Visa issuance.

Your choice of hotels will be confirmed for your inspection before your arrival. We only book you on hotels which we love and would love again.

We will be happy to change your guide, driver or vehicle on the first two days of arrival in Thimphu if you are not satisfied with our selection. Drop us a note and our hospitality team be on the spot to assist you.

We’re here to help. Our world-class member services team is available by phone or email — there's no automated system or call center; you'll communicate with a real person.

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Thu, 15 Jun 2017 - Wed, 21 Jun 2017 Sold Out 5.0 / 5.0 (Read 3 Reviews)
Thu, 14 Jun 2018 - Wed, 20 Jun 2018 7+ 4399 Standard Single Book Now

*Enjoy SGD 300 discount for booking by 31st January 2018.



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Recent Customer Reviews 5.0 / 5.0 ( Read Reviews )


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XA
Xiaoling Akatsuki
Singapore, Jun 2017

Sketch Bhutan is the best tour ever! It was a relaxed but well organised tour, with everything done to accommodate the preferences of the entire group. There is something very special in actually stopping to take the time to observe and sketch down a scene. It allowed us to view the sights with an entirely different eye, compared to the normal snap and go tourist. Of course, without proper guidance, sketching would have been a frustrating or almost impossible endeavour, and so the artist teachers, Erwin and Rajesh were there to save the day! They were always around to help and give their tips and suggestions. Highly recommended if you are looking for a wholly new experience and would like to try your hand at sketching!

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KL
KW Leong
Singapore, Jun 2017

This is truly one of the most memorable trips I have ever taken. The scenery is as picturesque as how it looks in the photos and the Bhutanese people is charming, friendly and their hospitality is second to none. A special thanks to our guide who went out of his way to help and take extra care of some of us who had difficulty hiking up Tiger's Nest.

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AC
Anilú Cigüeñas
Spain, Jun 2017

The trip itself went flawlessly. DrukAsia's crew was really kind, supportive and knowledgeable. The hotels' selection and the food were also superb. But the most special part was how carefully Erwin organized the program and devoted to allowing us to have a wonderful time, not only with his lessons (he is really passionate about teaching and sharing his knowledge) but the several opportunities to interact with local people and artists.

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