This in-depth cultural tour offers a rare opportunity to savour the different customs and cultures of the western and central valleys of Bhutan at a leisurely pace. Highlights include Ta Dzong Museum, Rimpong Dzong and the infamous Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest) in the beautiful Paro Valley, The National Memorial Chorten, 12th century Changangkha Temple and the National Library exhibiting ancient scriptures in Bhutan’s capital Thimphu, and after crossing the 3050m Dochula Pass with spectacular Himalayan views, a journey into the sub-tropical Punakha Valley featuring the incredible the Punakha Dzong and Chimi Lhakang, temple of the ‘Divine Madman’. Continue onto the central districts of Trongsa, the birthplace of monarchy, and the Bumthang Valley, Bhutan’s spiritual heartland featuring 7th century Jambay Lhakhang and Kurje Lhakhang with its rock imprint of Guru Rimpoche. The tour then returns westward to the glacial valley of Gangtey/Phobjika, the winter home to the rare black necked cranes.
Paro, Thimphu, Punakha, Bumthang valley & Phobjika valley (10n / 11d)
Day 1 – Paro to Thimphu : Arrive in Paro and transfer to Thimphu. Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan at an altitude of 2400 meters. Settle in and later explore the main street of Thimphu for shopping and food options. Overnight at Thimphu.
Day 2 – Thimphu : Today we explore Thimphu town visiting Dubthob nunnery, School of Arts and Crafts, Folk Heritage Museum and Textile Museum, Kuensel phodrang – site of the world’s largest sitting Buddha and Thimphu Zoo ( to see the rare Takin , a goat – antilope, which is the national animal of Bhutan ) Evening we visit Thimphu Dzong ( Monastery and Administrative complex ) one of the most important Dzongs in Bhutan. Overnight at Thimpu.
Day 3 – Thimphu to Punakha : After breakfast we leave for Punakha. Just out of Thimpu, the road begins a steep, twisty climb to the Dochu La pass at 3,450 meters. We stop on top of Dochu-La pass for the breathtaking views of the eastern Himalayas, including Bhutan’s highest mountain, the majestic Gangkar Punsum. The top of the pass is visibly marked by a large Bhutanese chorten and prayer flags, an ideal place for photography. The road down from Dochu La into the Punakha Valley and on to Wangdi Phodrang goes on for some distance, descending 1,700 meters to the valley floor. In Punaka, we’ll visit the Punakha Dzong, the second oldest and second largest dzong in Bhutan located along the banks of the Po Chhu and Mo Chhu rivers and the longest suspension bridge in the country, located a few kilometers from the dzong. Overnight at Punakha valley.
Day 4 – Punakha to Bumthang : Drive from Punakha to Bumthang via Trongsa, the gateway to central Bhutan. You can stop to visit the impressive Trongsa Dzong which commands the eye from miles away. Visit the new museum in the watchtower dedicated to the Royal Wangchuk dynasty, which tells the stories of the Dzong and features personal belongings of the Kings and Queens of Bhutan. Continue your journey through some of Bhutan’s most beautiful landscapes to Bumthang. Overnight at home stay in Bumthang.
Day 5 – Bumthang Valley : A day of sightseeing in the Bumthang valleys.You will be taken on a fascinating tour of a variety of sacred sites including Jamba Lhakhang, Kurjey Lhakhang and Tamshing Lhakhang. Visit Jakar Dzong and Bumthang’s famous swiss cheese factory and wheat beer making factory. Overnight at home stay in Bumthang.
Day 6 – Bumthang Valley : Today we take an excursion to the remote Tang valley. Stop to visit Membar Tsho (the burning lake), which is one of Bhutan’s most important pilgrimage sites. Then on to Drangchel, Pema Lingpa’s birthplace. You will also see some picturesque villages and temples and can walk up to visit Ugyenchholing Palace, which is now a museum and gives an interesting insight into life in an aristocratic family in the last century. Return to Bumthang for the night.
Day 7 – Bumthang Valley to Phobjika Valley : Start your journey back west to Gangtey in the remote Phobjikha valley. Visit Gangtey Gompa (one of Bhutan’s oldest monasteries and recently extensively renovated) and explore the valley where the villagers continue to live a traditional Bhutanese rural lifestyle. This is the site where black-necked cranes visit in their hundreds in November each year after spending the summer in Tibet. Overnight in Gangtey.
Day 8 – Phobjika Valley : Today can be a day of leisure in this beautiful rural valley. If it is winter you can view the black-necked cranes. If you like hiking we can suggest you a day or half day hike in the valley. Overnight in Gangtey.
Day 9 – Phobjika Valley to Paro : Leave early morning for Paro. Arrive in Paro by late afternoon and visit the Paro Museum. Evening and experience a local home stay in Paro with home cooked meals and a friendly local atmosphere. Overnight at Paro.
Day 10 – Paro : After breakfast we drive up to the starting point and prepare for our hike to the legendary Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) – a magnificent monastery, clinging on a rock cliff 900 meters above the valley floor. The legend dating back to 747 AD has it that the Great Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhawa) flew here from northeast Bhutan on the back of a tigress to subdue the demons of Paro Valley. This is definitely the highlight of any trip to Bhutan. Overnight at Paro.
Day 11 – Departure : After breakfast transfer to airport. End of tour.
– Experience scenic Himalayan mountain drives
– Culture and Monastic excursions
– Hike up to Tiger’s nest Monastery
– Walk across the longest suspension bridge in Bhutan at Punakha
– Try Ema Datshi (national dish of Bhutan) and other Bhutanese cuisine
– Experience hospitality of a Bhutanese Home stay in Paro
COST Spoiler content INCLUSIONS & EXCLUSIONS
5 Nights stay at home stay / resort / hotel with breakfast, All transfers and excursions in private vehicle including all vehicle charges – driver cost, toll, parking etc. , service charges and taxes, Bhutan entry permits.
Other than mentioned, Entry tickets and camera charges at sightseeing places ( if applicable )
STAY & TRANSPORT
As this is a customised tour, you can choose the accommodation and transport as per your preference . Accommodation types available – Resorts, Cottages, Home stay, Hotel Transport – Private Vehicle ( SUV or Car )
COST MENTIONED IS INDICATIVE.
This is a customized trip. Cost might vary depending on your group size and type of accommodation required. Please contact us for details
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