Trip overview :
Bhutan is a tiny and remote kingdom nestling in the Himalayas between its powerful neighbours, India and China .The Bhutanese name for Bhutan, Druk Yul, means “Land of the Thunder Dragon” and 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 which is not commercialized like most vacation destinations you visit. The country cherishes a “high value low volume” &” High value low impact “ tourism policy for the preservation of the country’s unique heritage and culture in a fast changing world.
The tourism industry in Bhutan is founded on the principle of sustainability, meaning that tourism must be environmentally and ecologically friendly, socially and culturally acceptable and economically viable.
This program short and covers comprehensively three most importantly town in western Bhutan –Thimphu , Punakha ,and Paro. These towns contribute the major sightseeing attractions in the country. Punakha the ancient capital of Bhutan best known for its most beautiful17th centure Dzong( fortess) “Punakha Dhong . In the surrounding Punakha Valley, temples include the fertility-focused Chimi Lhakhang and the hilltop Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten, which has river and mountain views. Paro valley offers the most beautiful and landmark attractions including Taktsang Monastery .
Day 1: Arrival in Paro & Paro Thimpu drive (54 Kms / 1.5 hr)
Day 2: Thimpu–Punakha and wangdue drive (71 kms / 2.5 hrs )
Day 3: Brief hike in Punakha & Punankha – Thimpu drive
Day 4: Thimpu to Paro and Hike to Taktsang monastery (Tiger’s Nest )
Day 5: Departure !
Day 1: Arrival in Paro & Paro Thimpu drive (54 Kms / 1.5 hr)
We fly to Paro by Durk air (Royal Bhutan airlines ) in Bhutan where we are met and driven 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. Enroute we visit 14th century Tachog Lakhang located along Paro-Thimphu highway, just after Isuna village and before Chhuzom, on the base of a mountain across the Pa chu river. This temple has to be visited crossing the suspension bridge .
Later we take a walk through ‘downtown’ Thimpu – a cultural immersion and a step back in time. The places we visit are : Kunenselphordang (Buddha Point ) , Farmers market ( open thu-sun)Tashichhoe Dzong ,Handicraft Emporium (Craft bazzar )
Kunenselphordang (Buddha Point ): This is the hillock which houses the largest Buddha(169 Ft /51.5 m ) made of bronze and gilded in gold overlooking the Thimpu valley. The place offers the great view of Thimpu valley
Farmers market ( open thu-sun) : This is like an weekend market where farmers from across Bhutan sell their foodstuff and local arts to the Thimpu city dwellers . A large number of Thimpu residents , tourist flock in this market which provides great photo opportunity and also provide opportunity to interact with the local people and farmers.
Tashichhoe Dzong : Trashichhoedzong, or ‘the fortress of the glorious religion’. This is one of the most impressive buildings situated along Thimphu river built in 1641 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel who unified Bhutan and was later reconstructed in 1962 by the third King His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuk. This impressive fortress/monastery houses Secretariat building, the throne room of His Majesty, the King and various government offices.
( craft bazaar) Handicrafts Emporium : Visit and local shops for souvenirs ranging from Bhutan’s fine traditional arts, textiles, thangkha paintings, masks, ceramics, slate and woodcarvings, jewelers to other interesting items made from local materials.
After breakfast driving to Punakha via Dochula where we stop briefly to admire the 108 chorten (spiritual Stupas), mani wall (prayer slate covered stone wall), and prayer flags which decorate the highest point on the road. 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 7,497 m. We will also have lunch here at Dochula .
We then continue down the other side through the valley to Punakha the ancient capital of Bhutan until 1955. Once we reach Punakha, we visit Chimi Lhakhang (Divine Madman’s Monastery) , known as the temple of fertility. Later we visit famous Punakha Zhong which was built in 1637 at the confluence of Po Chu ( male) and Ma Chu ( female) river . The Dzong, built in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel, is the winter home of the Chief and is one of the most spectacular dzongs in Bhutan. It is a stunning example of Bhutanese architecture, sitting at the fork of two rivers, portraying the image of a medieval city from a distance. Time permitingi we explore the Punakha valley, a sub tropical area where food grains, vegetables and fruits grow in abundance .
After breakfast we will make the leisurely walk uphill to to Khamsum Yuelle Namgyal Lakhang ( temple ) for about an hour for the incredible views of the valley
we will drive back Thimpu and enroute stop at Dochula Pass for quick refreshment . Later we visit : National Textile mueseum, Postal mueseum ,Takin Reserve,,National Memorial Chorten, Handicraft Emporium (Craft bazzar ).
National Textile Mueseum : A perfect place to see the art of traditional weaving and it offer the wide range of colorful and intricately woven textiles and designs .
Postal Mueseum : A place where you can get your personalized Bhutanese Stamps . Here you can see the wide range of stamp collection and you can also get the new stamps for your postcards.
Takin Reserve: This the national animial of Bhutan and lives in the altitude of 13,125 ft and more . Its main diet is the bambo and grass With horns like a wildebeest, a nose like a moose, a tail like a bear, and a body like a bison, is the takin. This large, muscular, hoofed mammal is sometimes referred to as a goat antelope, because it has things in common with both goats and antelope. But the takin is most closely related to sheep and to the goat-like. They can weigh as much as 600 pound . Takin reserve in Thimpu is one of the most popular site of visit for tourist .
Memorial Chorten : Also known as Thimphu Chorten, this stupa is located at the heart of the Thimphu city and was built in 1974 to honour the third King of Bhutan, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuk (1928-1972) popularly known as Father of modern Bhutan.
The folk heritage mueseum: dedicated to connect people with the rich Bhutanese Folk heritage and rural history through exhibits, demonstrations, educational programs and documentation of Bhutanese rural life.
Following an early breakfast we drive to Paro (54 kms /1.5 hrs ) and we undertake a hike to the Taktsang Monastery, the most famous of Bhutan’s monasteries, which is perched on the side of a cliff 900 m 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. Lunch is enjoyed at the main viewpoint of the trek. Though the climb is steep, the journey is most worthwhile on account of the superb views.
NB: Time permiting we will alos visit Paro Rinpung Dzong, meaning (“fortress of the heap of jewels”), which has a long and fascinating history. Along the wooden galleries lining the inner courtyard are fine wall paintings illustrating Buddhist folklore. The Dzong was built in 1645 to defend Bhutan formTibetan Invaders and the builiding now serves as the administrative center and school for monks . From Dzong you will walk to Rinpung Bridge(Cantiliver bridge ) probably the oldest bridge in Bhutan.
On the way back visit Kychu Temple, one of the 108 temples built by Tibetan king Songsten Gompo to accumulate power for spreading Buddhism across the Himalays . Evenig you are free to relax at Bhutanese Hot Stone bath .
Morning after breakfast we fly back to kathmandu or onward journey .
- 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.
- Expenses arising from from flight delays, flight cancellations, bad weather , road blockade,landslides, riots,political reasons ,natural calamities, incidents beyond our control.
- Room/hotel upgrading
- Services other than specified in the inclusions.