|Trip Rating by Popularity||:||***|
|Physical Demand Rating||:||***|
|Discounts||:||Applicable on this trip|
|Group Size||:||Maximum 20, Avg 5|
|Group Leader||:||A Certified Tour Guide|
|Transport||:||Quality and appropriate transportation will be made available.|
This 13 days and 12 nights cultural tour includes visiting various Dzongkhags (districts) and some rural areas which requires hiking. In this tour you will visit number of Dzongs (fortress), which houses both; Monk Body and the District Administration (which you will only see in Bhutan), also showcasing our architecture, design, crafts and other heritage. During your hike from one village to another you will also see some of our rural life, which has not changed for ages. While hiking in between the villages, you will see traces of Guru Rinpoche who had visited Bhutan during his time and in his passing left the people of Bhutan with an indelible allegiance to him. Even today, Guru Rinpoche resides in every household and continues to be part of the Bhutanese everyday life. This holiday is to pay tribute to this great master who continues to bless many of us with his compassion and wisdom. This trip is mainly undertaken by our Asian markets-Taiwan in particular. The trip is a fine combination of a spiritual soul-searching cultural experience with a trekking activity. The Nabji-Korphu Trek is not only the path taken by Guru on his way to Bumthang during his first visit, but also the piloted community-based nature trek initiated for a rich eco-tourism experience. You will leave Bhutan with a true sense of feeling blessed
Day 1 : Arrive Paro and Drive to Thimphu, (60 km, 1 hour)
If your arrival to Bhutan is on a (bright) sunny day, it could (should) begin with the panoramic view of Mount Everest and Kanchenjunga, and our very own Jomolhari and Jichu Drakey (you may change your seat, if you are not on the right side). We have been told the actual descent of the flight to the airport (Paro) is usually manual, which itself becomes a memorable experience, topped by surrounding hills and houses (Feeling you could touch them). After necessary clearance from the airport, outside you’ll be received by our guide(s) with a traditional welcome khadar. In Paro valley you will visit; 7th century Kyichu Lhakhang temple and other sites (if time permits). After lunch in Paro, you’ll proceed towards the capital city, Thimphu.
Day 2 : Drive to Trongsa (170 km, 7 hours)
On day 2nd, we will proceed towards Trongsa, which has a historical significance, it is 170 km away from Thimphu and approximately 7 hours drive. On the way, you will go through Wangduephodrang Dzongkhag and a visit to the Dzong and see the ongoing reconstruction works. The Dzong was burnt down in 2012 and every effort is made to bring back to its old glory. The Dzongkhag is well known for Phobjikha Valley, Gangtey Goenpa and endangered Black necked crane. On the way you will also cross one of the highest passes, popularly known as Pelela pass, where you can (take a break) possibly see local yaks, up close. Explore the town in the evening and prepare for Nabji-Korphu Trek. Guru Padmasambava had taken this route to reach Bumthang during his first visit.
Day 3 : Trongsa Sightseeing
Trongsa Dzongkhag holds an important chapter in the history of the Country, as every Monarch prior ascending the Throne, holds the post of Trongsa Penlop (Governor). During your stay at Trongsa, you should visit the Tower of Trongsa, which had served as a watchtower now developed into a museum that houses some of Bhutan’s most prized possessions including the ‘Raven Crown’ used by the first two Kings. After that, don’t forget to visit, Trongsa Dzong which holds monumental political importance that was central to unification of the country under one central administration and eventually led to the introduction of Monarchy in Bhutan. With the visit of His Majesty the Druk Gyalpo, Fourth Druk Gyalpo and the Gyalsey to Trongsa during the 109th National Day celebration, the importance of Trongsa Dzongkhag has scaled further. After this, you’ll drive down to Reutala and start hiking to Nimshong. The trek starts with a steep descent of 625m to the riverbed of Mangde Chhu (river); within an hour from the river, the trail begins a steep climb for about two hours to Nimshong. Nimshong is a small village (approximately 58-household), with a population of about 465 people. The villagers will welcome you with dance and songs while cooks are preparing diner. The campsite will be in the forest near the village. Good chance of spotting one of the endemic animals of Bhutan, the Golden Langur. You’ll be camping at the community campsite.
Day 4 : Nyimshong to Nabji (total distance: about 9km; 4-5 hours)
The hike will go through a lush broad leaf forest alive with abundant bird and mammal life, and guaranteed sightings of Golden Langur and Rufous-necked Hornbill. Nabji is pretty much at the same elevation as Nimshong village; however, the trail will move up and down through a dense forest. Nabji consists of 55 households and an approximate population of 400 people. The village is situated on a foothill above terraced fields of rice. The temple of Nabji, which means ‘promise’- was built to honour the truce between two warring kings of Bumthang and Assam after Guru had mediated the dispute by making the kings seal the friendship by imprinting their fingers on a stone pillar which is in the temple. Overnight at community campsite surrounded by the rice fields of Nabji.
Day 5 : Nabji to Kudra (total distance: 12 km; about 5-7 hours hiking)
Trek on day 5 will start on a trail to Kudra village, leaving Nabji village at the holy tree. Kudra is situated at an elevation of about 1,500m, around 6 hours walking from Nabji. Along the way you’ll find traces of Guru Rinpoche. The habitat you traverse is very attractive for tigers and leopards (though it is very rare to spot them, droppings and spores can be found). Kudra has, only 3 households and the Monpa people living there are very happy to welcome you at their community campsite.
Day 6 : Kudra to Jangbi
On 6th Day, the trek will continue from Kudra to Jangbi village. Here again traces of Guru Rimpoche can be found along the way ( stone imprints of Guru’s feet, dragger and hat). Please note, you will be walking a path that offers a great view of the pristine forest along the way. The Monpa people at your campsite will be preparing a welcome tea and the campsite which is set near Jangbi village with a beautiful view over the valley and Mangde Chhu.
Day 7 : Drive to Bumthang (90 kms, 4 hours)
Day 7th will be the last day of the hike and it concludes at Tong Tongphey, where the driver with a vehicle will be waiting for you. From there we will continue our journey till Bumthang. After reaching there, we will ensure you have a good shower, treated with some local delicacies and a good bed. However, If you are in adventurous mood, your dinner will be complimented with some ara (home brewed wine) that would perfectly fit with the Bumthang culinary.
Day 8 : Bumthang Sightseeing
Many visitors has tipped, that your visit to Bhutan is not complete without a visit to Bumthang. On your approach to this Dzongkhag, you will be welcomed by a huge valley that stretches deep into the hills. Bhutan being a religious Country, locally we believe, visiting the religious sites would wash away your sins and pave your way for a better after life. The valley is dotted with some of Bhutan’s most important and sacred pilgrimage sites and you’ll be made witness to all the amazing stories that go with it. Visit Kurje lhakhang (temple) that is house to one of Bhutan’s biggest statue of Guru Rinpoche and more importantly the stone imprints of Guru’s body in a cave. Followed by Jambay Lhakhang, most probably the oldest temple that is believed to be one of the two in Bhutan, out of 108 temples that King Songtsen Gembo of Tibet built across the entire Himalayan region in the 6th century. Finally to Tamzhing monastery was built by Terton Pema Lingpa. We can also arrange a visit to the local cheese factory, the beer factory and the bee keeping farmers if any of these may interests you. Now with a local airport, travel to Bumthang has become more easier and short.
Day 9 : Drive to Punakha
On day 9th, we will proceed towards Punakha and explore the town in the evening. Here you will have an option of camping for the night, next to the river.
Day 10 : Punakha Sightseeing and Drive to Thimphu (70 km, 3 hours)
Besides visiting local tourist sites, trip to Punakha is never complete without visiting the Dzong (fortress). The historical Dzong is also known as Pungtang Dechen Phodrang Dzong (meaning very awesome dzong “the palace of great happiness or bliss”). It is listed as a tentative site in Bhutan’s Tentative List for UNESCO inclusion. Punakha Dzong served as the capital of the Country from 1637 to 1907 and the first National Assembly was held in 1953. The significance of the Dzong stepped up in 2011, when His Majesty the King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk married Gyeltseun Her Majesty Jetsun Pema on October 13th at Punakha Dzong. One of the beautiful aspect of Punakha Dzong is its location, the Dzong is located at the confluence of the Pho Chhu (father) and Mo Chhu (mother) rivers in the Punakha–Wangdue valley. After lunch, we will travel to Thimphu. Here we will visit Tashichhodzong, the Main Administrative Building of the Country in the evening (after working hours). After this visit, we will come back to the main town and enjoy a meal in one of the best restaurants with choice of Bhutanese, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Italian, Thai culinary. However, we advise you to seek some guidance from the guide.
Day 11 : Thimphu Sightseeing
In Thimphu sightseeing, you can begin your visit from any of the following tourist sites, such as; National Folk Heritage Museum, Zorig Chusum school of 13 traditional arts/crafts, Textile Museum, Memorial Chorten (stupa), Kuenselphodrang (AKA Budha Point) and the Simtokha Dzong. These visits will showcase not only our age old heritage, tradition, customs and even fabrics (which is the present identification of a Bhutanese) but our deep commitment to preserve and promote it. Your visit to Centenary Farmers market will bring across our efforts to promote self sufficiency in agriculture produce against chemically infused vegetables imported from neighbouring states. Do visit our only Takin Reserve Center and see an unique animal (mixture of a goat and wildebeest) which is also national animal of Bhutan – the Takin. Takin is chosen as the National Animal of Bhutan, because it is unique, rare and native to Bhutan. It is closely associated to religious history and mythology of the country. The animal was called ‘Dyiong-gyem tsi’ or takin.
Day 12 : Drive to Paro (55 kms, 2 hours)
Arriving at Paro, you will unwind your trip a bit to prepare for the most important temple associated with Guru Rinpoche the next day. One of our specialities on this trip is to give you an opportunity to reflect on your spiritual trip and meditate over a session with one of our local meditation experts, or alternatively we can have a presentation on Buddhism where an expert of the subject will be deliberating Guru Padmasambava’s teachings and how it makes it relevant in the Bhutanese way of life, all-inclusive in the package price. It’s a good idea to treat yourself to a spa treatment in one of our partner hotels after a relatively fast-paced trip.
DAY 13 : HIKE TO TAKTSANG MONASTERY
On day 13th at Paro, we’ll visit the world known Taktshang monastery (translated Tiger’s nest) and complete our visit to Bhutan with an unforgettable experience. It is a two hours hike that would prove its worth, just by a look of the temple hanging on a 1000 feet craggy cliff. The view of the temple as our clients have been saying is “nothing short of spectacular”. The temple was built in 1692 by Gyaltse Tenzin Rabgye and in this matter, the guide will complement the visit with its history. In the afternoon, we will visit National Museum and enrich your Bhutan experience and knowledge further by witnessing some of the most treasured collections of arts, artefacts, textiles, stamps, statues etc. In the evening, with a local theatre company, we will organize a cultural evening at the hotel which will showcase some of our traditional music and dances, mask dances and folklore at the hotel. After dinner, a dip in the traditional hot-stone bath may help you unwind and reflect about your journey before departing.
Day 14 : Farewell
Additional Activities that can be included: Specialised Language Guides, Mountain biking, Motorcycling, Attending rituals in private homes, More Meditation Sessions with reputed lamas, Yoga sessions etc.
What’s Not Included