Trip overview :
Bhutan is a remote Himalayan kingdom located east of Nepal and west of Burma, between Tibet and India. On its northern border, Bhutan is flanked by some of the tallest mountains in the world.
Almost completely cut off for centuries, it has tried to let in some aspects of the outside world while fiercely guarding its ancient traditions.
The Bhutanese name for Bhutan, Druk Yul, means “Land of the Thunder Dragon” it only began to open up to outsiders in the 1970s.
Bhutan is a beautiful and peaceful country. The surrounding mountains coupled with the wide array of vegetation and wildlife is a beautiful sight that tells you just how magical it is!
Bhutan is a very unique vacation travel destination. It is not commercialized like most vacation destinations you visit. The country cherishes a “high value low volume” tourism policy for the preservation of the country’s unique heritage and culture in a fast changing world. Bhutan is famous today for the preservation of its traditional culture, its pristine environment, and its official policy of Gross National Happiness .
Day 1 Arrive Paro / Thimpu ( 65 km – 1 hour drive)
Day 2 Thimpu
Day 3 Thimpu / Tongsa (197 km, 7-8 hour drive)
Day 4 Trongsa / Bumthang (68 km, 3 hour drive)
Day 5 Bumthang
Day 6 Bumthang / Punakha (208 km, 7 – 8 hr drive)
Day 7 Punakha
Day 8 Punakha / Paro
Day 9 Paro
Day 10 Paro – Haa Valley (67 km, 3 hour drive Alt. 2,950m)
Day 11 Depart Paro
Detailed itinerary :
On arrival at Paro Airport you are met and taken by road to Thimpu, the capital. Exquisitely beautiful and brimming with traditional Bhutanese art, architecture, and culture, this tiny capital of Bhutan is nothing less than Shangri-La.
In the afternoon you visit the National Memorial Chorten with its finely executed wall paintings and delicately fashioned statues giving us a deep insight into the kingdom's Buddhist culture. On your return you drive past the Trashi Chhoe Dzong (Fortress of the Glorious Religion); a distinctively Bhutanese fortress-monastery erected in 1641. (LD)
Today's full day of sightseeing in Thimpu valley will be your first real introduction to the way of life in this peaceful part of the world.
After breakfast we drive to Dechen Phodrang Monastic School to commence a short hike to Wangdi Tse monastery. (10 minutes drive followed by 25 minutes hike uphill to Wangdi tse Monastery and from there about 30 minutes hike on the level ground to Sangaygang Hill). During the walk you see the entire Thimphu Valley. On arrival at the Sangaygang hill/BBS tower you have the opportunity to pause and reflect on the hustle-bustle of a busy city-life. On our return journey we visit the small zoo dedicated to the Takin, the national animal of Bhutan.
This afternoon we take a walk through the ‘down town’ of Thimpu. This is a wonderful opportunity to mingle with the local people, buy some souvenirs and take photos. It is a true cultural immersion - almost like stepping back in time.(BLD)
After breakfast you drive up the Dochula pass, where you stop briefly to admire the 108 chorten (spiritual stupa), mani wall (prayer slate covered stone wall), and prayer flags which decorate the highest point on the road, 3 120m alt.. If skies are clear you will be able to see many of the high peaks which surround the area including Gangkar Puensum, the highest peak in Bhutan at 7,497m.
You continue down the winding pass to the town of Wangduephodrang, where you have lunch. Following lunch you continue on to Tongsa across the Pele-la pass, the traditional boundary between east and west. The pass is marked by a large white chorten and prayer flags. There is also an abrupt change in vegetation at this point, with mountain forest being replaced by high altitude Dwarf Bamboo. On arrival in Tongsa you check into our hotel and have the remainder of the day to relax. (BLD)
This morning you undertake a short walk to the Tongsa Dzong, built by Shabdrung in 1647. Following lunch, you drive to Bumthang via the Yutong-la pass. The road winds steeply up the pass then down through coniferous forest into a wide, open cultivated valley known as the Chumey valley on the other side. (BLD)
Bumthang is the general name given to the combination of four valleys – Chumey, Choekhor, Tang and Ura whose altitude varies between 2,600m to 4,000m. It is home to many prominent Buddhist temples and monasteries.
You visit the Kurje Lhakhang, where saint Padmasambhava subdued a local demon and left his body imprint on a rock; the 7th Century temple Jambey Lhakhang, the Tamshing Lhakhang, which houses some of the oldest wall paintings in Bhutan and Jakar Dzong, the administrative center of the region. Later you have time for a stroll in the village to visit the handicrafts shop and to just take in the atmosphere of the region. (BLD)
Today you drive to Punakha with a number of stops along the way to stretch our legs. On arrival you check into our hotel for a two night-stay. (BLD)
Following breakfast you visit Punakha, the kingdom’s capital until 1955, and the winter home for the country's central body of monks. The local dzong has a gold-domed six-story tower where your guide will take you inside to view its courtyards and religious statuary while explaining the depth of history and spiritual tradition embodied here. You also get to visit the newly built Khamsum Yuley Namgyal Chorten.
Later in the day you are taken on an excursion to Wangdi Phodrang and Rinchengang Village Here we can visit some of the village homes and gain an insight into local Bhutanese life. You also try the local staple - butter tea (Suja). (BLD)
After breakfast you are driven to Paro. It is located in a beautiful valley which encapsulates a rich culture, scenic beauty and hundreds of myths and legends. It is home to many of Bhutan’s oldest temples and monasteries, the country’s only airport and the National Museum. Mt. Chomolhari (7,300m) reigns in white glory at the northern end of the valley, its glacial waters plunging through deep gorges to form the Pa Chu (Paro River).
In Paro you may try your hand at Bhutanese traditional archery. Later we visit Ta Dzong, originally built as a watchtower it is now the National Museum and holds a fascinating collection of art, relics, religious thangkha paintings, Bhutan’s exquisite postage stamps, coins and handicrafts, together with a small natural history collection. (BLD)
Today you undertake a walk to the Taktsang Monastery, the most famous of Bhutan’s monasteries, which is perched on the side of a cliff 900m above the Paro valley floor. It is said that Guru Rinpoche arrived here on the back of a tigress and meditated at this place, hence the monastery is also called ‘Tiger’s Nest’. This site is a place of pilgrimage which Bhutanese try to visit at least once in a lifetime. The excursion up to the viewing area located on a rocky outcrop across a ravine from the monastery, takes about five hours round trip. Though the climb is steep, the journey is most worthwhile on account of the superb views en-route. (BLD)
Today you undertake a full day excursion to Haa. You drive to Haa via the Chele-la pass with its Blue pine and Rhododendron forest. From the top of the pass you have superb views of Mt Chomolhari and Jichu Drakey if the weather is clear. The Haa Dzong is presently occupied by Indian military, but the view from the outside is stunning. After a picnic lunch you visit the famous Lhakhang Karpo Monastry (White Temple) and the Lhakhang Nagpo Monastery (Black Temple). The central shrine in Lhakhang Nagpo is said to be identical to that in Lhasa Jowo in Tibet. (BLD)
Following breakfast you are transferred to the airport where your tour comes to an end. (B)
- All the required airport transfers
- Airconditioned vehicle for transfers and sightseeing
- Service of english speaking tour guide
- Twin share accomodations
- Daily breakfast ,Lunch and Dinner in the local restaurant .
- Entrance fees at the places of visit
- Sightseeing and excursions as per the program .
- All the government taxes /Government Royalty
- FIT surcharge
- Visa Fee
Welcome and Farewell with KHADA Scarf , Welcome drink , 01 bottle of mineral water every day during sightseeing ).
Services exclude :
- Travel insurance
- Flight cost to and from Bhutan
- International flight cost
- Emergency rescue
- Expenses of personal nature like drinks/barbills , internet, laundry, telephone, postage, tipping.