Travel Style: Small / Big Group
Start Location: Paro
End Location: Paro
Duration: 9 nights /10 days
Accommodation: Hotels / Farm House
Period: All Round
Difficulty: Suitable for Most Travellers
Across the 3420m-high Pele La and the black mountains is the large, fertile Mangde Chhu valley and the great Trongsa Dzong. A short drive over the mountains from Trongsa leads to the four valleys of Bumthang, a magical region of saints and treasure-seekers, great demon-subduing struggles and fabulous miracles, rich with relics from the visits of Guru Rinpoche and Peme Lingpa. This forested landscape is Bhutan’s cultural heartland. For visitor it offers several of Bhutan’s best and oldest monasteries, some great day hikes and short treks and spectacular festivels, primarily at Jampa Lhakhang and nearby Ura. Bumthang is one of the real highlights of Bhutan.
-On your flight to Paro from Bangkok, on clear weather you will be able to see the massive peak of the eastern Himalayas, including Kanchenjunga (third highest mountain in the world) and Bhutan’s holy mountain, Chomolhari
-Visit to Ta Dzong (watchtower) which houses the National Museum. The museum has interesting collections of different costumes and thangkas from various parts of Bhutan. After Museum visit, we drive towards the north to see the Drukgyel Dzong, in ruins. Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel built it in 1649 to commemorate a victory over the Tibetan forces. Unfortunately, the fortress was destroyed by fire and was never rebuilt. On clear weather, we will be able to see Mt. Chomolhari from the Drukgyal Dzong and the Tiger’s Nest on our way back to Paro. En-route, visit Kichu Lhakhang, one of the two oldest monasteries built in Bhutan by the King of Tibet, Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century.
-Paro is a valley of religion and myth. The most famous landmark, the Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest), stands on a granite cliff about 800 m above the valley. Legend has it that Guru Rinpoche, a famous Buddhist saint, flew to Paro on a tigress and meditated at Taktsang. The monastery, considered a national treasure, was burnt in April 1998 and still the cause is unknown.
-The hike to Taktsang would take us around two and half hours. To reach a cafeteria, a point from where one can enjoy a great view of the monastery is more than an hour walk from the road-head uphill. Those interested can walk further 45 minutes uphill to get a closer view of the monastery and return to the cafeteria for lunch. The journey downward to the road-head would take us less than one and half hours.
-Exploring Simtokha Dzong, the oldest fortress built in 1629 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal (the man who unified Bhutan). The fortress serves as an administrative center and the center for the monk’s religious activity. The fortress now houses a language school, where scholars study both Dzongkha (the national language) and the English.
-Visit some of the handicraft shops in Thimphu where young men and women are trained to continue the handicrafts tradition. Some are busy making masks for the religious dances while others learn the ancient art of thangka (scroll) painting.
-Visit the Sunday Market(if the day coincides), where the people buy vegetables and fruits and stock to last for one week. The market starts from Friday and continue till Sunday. Here, we can witness how Bhutanese people, especially the farmers carry out commerce.
-Visit the Mini Zoo to see Takin, the national animal of Bhutan. When we return, en-route visit Changangkha Lhakhang, built in the 14th century and the Memorial Chorten, built in memory of the third king. If an archery contest is in progress, we can also have a look.
-Visit the Trongsa Dzong, the biggest fortresses in Bhutan in the morning; then drive to Bumthang located two and half hours away. On our way, we pass by a weaving center, where professional weavers weave fine fabrics out of wool & yak hair known as “yathra” in different patterns. Bumthang is known for its four spectacular valleys and is the seat of the government till the second king. The place is known for its historical sites. Next, we visit Jambay lhakhang, one of the two oldest monasteries built in Bhutan by a Tibetan king in the 7th century. Next, proceed to see Kurji Lhakhang, Tamshing Lhakhang, Kenchog-sum Lhakhang, and Swiss Farm, only farm in Bhutan which makes Bhutanese assorted wines, beer and cheese.
-An excursion to Ura village located 48km away from Bumthang towards east. Visit Ura Lhakhang and travel back to Bumthang. While coming back, en-route visit Mebartso “Burning Lake” where Terton Pemalingpa, a treasure revealer is believed to have taken out a hidden treasure from the lake. These treasures were believed to have been hidden by Guru Rinpoche in the 8th century to be revealed by special persons at a propitious time. Late afternoon, visit Jakar Dzong, the seat of the district administration.
-Drive to Punakha, the old capital of Bhutan. We begin our explorations of Punakha valley with a visit to Punakha Dzong, located between Pho(male) and Mo (female) rivers. It was the national capital until 1966. It is also the winter residence for the central monastic body in Thimphu, as the area provides with more comfortable temperatures. The Punakha Dzong contains the body remains of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and is considered one of the holiest of the dzongs in the country. Punakha valley is one of the richest agricultural regions of Bhutan. People grow rice as their staple crop.
-On the way to Thimphu, hike to Chhimi Lhakhang, the monastery
dedicated to Lama Drukpa Kunley, ‘the Divine Madman’. The Lama was known for his eccentric behavior
and the monastery for its power of fertility. Many Bhutanese and even westerners
make a pilgrimage to the monastery to get themselves blessed. Stop briefly for
tea at Dochula Cafe and continue our journey to Thimphu for our lunch. Next,
visit the handmade paper factory in Thimphu and do our last shopping, if we need
to & drive to paro.
There are a number of holiday comparison sites
available online which can help you decide which travel package you may want
to avail of when planning to a visit to the beautiful kingdom of Bhutan. Rates
and prices are usually published so you can formulate your budget and plot your
projected expenses depending on how long you plan to stay during your holidays here.
To save time and effort, you can also arrange for us to book your tours
in Bhutan with us and we will happily arrange everything for you on your trip.
This Standard Package includes:
• Standard hotels(2-3 stars)
• All meals
• Transport/transfers within Bhutan
• Entrance fees and permit
• Sightseeing and trekking as per itinerary with English speaking guide
• necessary arrangements
• 35% royalty to the government
• 24 hours service from Guide and tour operator
Not included in the cost
• Travel Insurance
• Airport taxes
• Expenses of personal nature
• Excess baggage
• Tips to guides and drivers
|Day 1: Arrival Paro
|Day 2: Paro sightseeing
|Day 3: Paro to Thimphu
|Day 4: Thimphu sightseeing
|Day 5: Thimphu to Trongsa
|Day 6: Trongsa to Bumthang
|Day 7: Ura Excursion
|Day 8: Jakar to Punakha
|Day 9: Punakha to Paro
|Day 10: Departure
(Note: These are sample itinerary planned to give you a general idea of trip to Bhutan. We can tailor, and make tour programs to meet individual needs and preferences.)