Travel Package Cultural Packages Bhutan Discover – 14 Nights / 15 Days

Bhutan Discover – 14 Nights / 15 Days

Start : Paro
Finish : Paro
Trip Style : Cultural Tour
Trip Rating by Popularity : *****
Tariff / Rate :  USD $ 3,500 /- per pax
Discounts : Applicable on this trip
Group Size : Maximum 16  Pax /  Minimum 5 Pax
Group Leader : A Certified Tour Guide
Transport : Quality and appropriate transportation will be made available.

This two week cultural tour wanders through scenic landscape of various  Himalayan valleys dotted with traditionally built Fortress and monasteries. Panoramic view of snow-capped  mountain peaks are visible on crossing high Pass en route.

Day 1.
Arrival to Paro International Airport
Arrival to Paro International Airport. You will be received by your local bhutanese guide and driver with traditional khadar ( welcome scarf ).
You will be escorted to your car and driven to Thimphu, capital of Bhutan  ( 1 hr drive ).
You will be transferred to your hotel. After lunch sightseeing in Thimphu.
1. Memorial Chorten – built in memory of 3rd king of Bhutan.  Local bhutanese circumambulate this beautiful stupa every morning and evening.
2. Kuenselphodran – Gigantic, 52m,  statue of beautiful and serene Buddha on a hilltop that has become attractive for visitors for its panoramic location
3. Walk / short hike to view point around kuenselphodrang to view Thimphu valley below.
4. Evening visit to Trashichhodzong ( fortress ). Tashichhodzong houses the throne room of present king and other government offices.
Tourists are allowed to enter only in evening after office hours.
Dinner and over night at hotel.

Day 2.
Thimphu sightseeing.
After breakfast at hotel –
1. Visit Textile museum and Handicrafts emporium.
2. Visit Folk Heritage Museum – traditional bhutanese house converted into museum.
3. Visit Zorig-chusum or Painting school – Students learn the 13 traditional bhutanese arts and crafts in this school.
4. Visit National library inside traditional building.
5. Visit traditional hospital where all medicines are made from herbs and minerals found in Bhutan.
Lunch break at local restaurant.
6. Visit Changangkha Lhakhang – temple of Chenrigzig ( Buddha of compassion ). Built 800 yrs ago, local people  in Thimphu valley bring their new born child for blessings to this monastery.
7. Visit Takin preservation centre – National animal of Bhutan.
8. Visit Vegetable market where local bhutanese sell their organic products from nearby villages.
9 Visit archery ground to witness archery match – Bhutans national sport.
 Dinner and overnight at hotel.

Day 3.
Drive to Phobjikha Valley ( Gangtey )
Early morning after breakfast, drive to Dochula Pass ( 10,000 ft ).  Brief stop to witness the panoramic view of snow-capped mountains. On a clear cloudless day Mt.Gangkarphuensum ( 7,570 m ) is visible. Mt.Gangkarphuensum is the highest in Bhutan and highest unclimbed mountain in the world.  From here, drive down will take you to subtropical valley of Wangduephodrang for lunch break.
 A further drive up will take you to Phobjikha valley.
Phobjikha is Glacial valley and winter roosting place for endangered and rare black necked cranes that migrate from Tibet. The Gangtey Gomba monastery in Phobjikha valley is the only Nyimapa sect buddhist temple located in western Bhutan.
Dinner and overnight at Hotel.

Day 4.
Phobjikha Valley Sightseeing
After breakfast sightseeing in Phobjikha valley.  Visit crane observatory center for information on  birds and short hiking around the valley is recommenced.
Depending on situation, horse riding is also available / visitation to local school .

Day 5
Drive to Bumthang .
After breakfast drive across Pelela Pass (3,420m) to Chendibji Chorten  ( Nepalese style stupa ) and head towards Trongsa. Trongsa valley is the place where the first king of Bhutan ruled as governor and hence, all future kings of Bhutan must become governor of 17th century Trongsa Dzong ( fortress ) before ascending to the kingdoms throne.
We will visit this magnificent fortress and later visit the watch tower located above the fortress.  The watch tower ( Ta Dzong ) is converted into beautiful museum where you will be served your lunch after exploring it.
Cross Yotongla Pass ( 3,450 m ) to reach serene and beautiful valley of Bumthang.
Dinner and overnight at hotel.

Day 6.
Bumthang valley sightseeing.  
Bumthang valley is beautifully located at place where historical and important  monuments related to buddhism are found.
Short hike or walk today will let you see remote bhutanese village life where time stands still.
After breakfast you will be driven to Kuenchogsum Lhakhang ( 8th century monastery ) .
 A walk from here will take you to Tamshing monastery built in 1501 by Terton Pema Lingpa ( treasurer discoverer ). Inside the temple are beautiful paintings, statues and architecture made by Pema Lingpa.
Pema Lingpa is considered as ancestor to our present monarch and his birth was prophesied by Guru Rimpoche in 8th century.
Walking across the  bridge to other side of river will take you to Kurjey Lhakhang.
Kurjey Lhakhang ( body impression ) is a temple where Guru Rimpoche ( 8th century ) considered as 2nd Buddha in Bhutan, is said to have meditated and left his body impression in a cave here.
This temple is sacred pilgrimage site to all bhutanese.
Drive to Jampa Lhakhang. In 7th century, Tibetan King Tsongsen Gompo built this temple to subdue evil Orgress that was terrorizing the Himalayas.  This temple has the original statue of Future Buddha built in 7th century.
After lunch visit Bjakar Dzong ( 17th century fortress ).
Evening stroll in town and dinner at local restaurant.
Overnight at hotel.

Day 7.
Bumthang Sightseeing
Day trip to Ura valley. Breakfast and drive to Ura valley. On route visit Mebar Tso ( burning lake ).
In 15th century, Terton Pema Lingpa, discovered hidden religious treasures ( texts and statues hidden inside this Lake in 8th century by Guru Rimpoche  ).
After wards drive further to Ura valley. In this remote and stunningly beautiful Ura Valley you will visit the Village temple and explore the village house and interact with locals.
Drive back to Bumthang.
Dinner and overnight at hotel.

Day 8.
Drive to Punakha.
Breakfast and drive. Today you will cross Yotongla Pass and Pelela Pass to reach Punakha.
The sight of great Himalayas and villages along way will mesmerize you. Lunch enroute and visit Chhimi Lhakhang. Built in 1499, Chhimi Lhakhang is a temple of Drukpa Kuenley ( divine Madman ). Bhutanese couples who don’t have children visit this temple.
A short hike across paddy fields and cluster of village houses will take you to Chhimi Lhakhang and small young monks studying the scriptures.
Most of the village house here have phallus symbols painted on their walls to ward off evils and gain fertility.
Dinner and overnight at Hotel in Punakha.

Day 9.
Punakha sightseeing.
Punakha is the old capital of Bhutan and presently it is winter capital for the monk body.
The sub-tropical valley of Punakha has seen many historical incidents in the past. The body of late Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal ( 17th century )  still lies preserved inside this great fortress and first king of Bhutan was crowned here in 1907.
The fortress of Punakha was constructed in 1637 and it has fought many  battles with invaders from North like Tibetan and Mongolian soldiers. The present king and queen got married here.
After visiting the fortress you will have the option of going for river rafting.   The river rafting will be on the Mochhu ( female river ) side and not dangerous.
The rescue team and your guide will be on the boat with you all the way down. Lunch will be served at local restaurant.
After lunch visit Punakha town or rest at your hotel.
Dinner at local restaurant and overnight at hotel.

Day 10
Punakha sightseeing.
After breakfast we will take you for memorable  short hike through rice fields and village houses  to beautiful khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten.  This beautiful temple was constructed in order to bring peace and happiness for the whole world. The view from this hike is very stunning.
After lunch we will drive up to Talo Gomba.
The drive will provide you with panoramic view of valley below and you will come across traditional village life style untouched by outside world.
Dinner and overnight at hotel in Punakha.

Day 11.
Drive to Ha valley.  
Travelers to Ha valley  were allowed only recently.
It was banned for tourists because of its close proximity to Chinese border.
Ha valley lies on the north-western part of Bhutan.  Explore Ha valley by hike or visit the important monasteries like Lhakhang Karpo and Lhakhang Narpo.
Dinner and overnight at Hotel.

Day 12.
Drive to Paro after breakfast.
Today you will drive cross Chelela Pass ( 3,988m ) highest point in Bhutan.  Drive down to Paro.
In Paro visit Recently renovated National Museum where you will see old artifacts like statues and thanks paintings among many others.
Drive little further down to Rimpung Dzong ( 17th century fortress ).
The Hollywood movie ” Little Buddha ” was mostly filmed inside this giant and beautiful fortress.
Walk down from the fortress to cantilever bridge to your waiting car and drive to Kyichu Temple.
Kyichu Temple was built in 7th century by Tibetan King Tsongsen Gompo in order to subdue evil Orgress that was terrorizing the Himalayan region. He built 108 temples in one day in Tibet, China, Nepal and Bhutan for that purpose.
Drive to Drugyal Dzong  Fortress )which is being renovated. Behind Drugyal Dzong lies the passage where Invaders from Noth used to come.
The purpose of the fortress was to protect the valley from these invaders.
Dumtse Lhakhang is also worth visit for its paintings inside.
 Options to stay in Farm House  will be provided where you will live with local bhutanese people.
The farm houses are equipped to accommodate our guests/travelers in comfort.   Some  Farm House provide hot stone bath on cold winter days.
Dinner and overnight at  Fram House / hotel in Paro.

Day 13.
Hike to Paro Taktsang ( Tigers Nest )
Early morning hike to Taktsang Monastery.  Taktsang monastery  ( Tigers Nest ) is most sacred pilgrimage site to all Bhutanese people and for Buddhist in the Himalayas.
Taktsang lies 1000 meters above Paro valley and  it was built on sheer cliff in 1692.  Guru Rinpoche is said to have flown to a cave here in 8th century on the back of a Tigress and meditated.
Ponies are available till the cafeteria.
Evening cultural programme will be organized .  Local bhutanese mask dance , traditional dance and songs will be performed.
Farewell dinner will be organized for the departing travelers .
Overnight in hotel .

Day 14.
Depart Paro.
After breakfast, your guide and driver will drop you to Airport where you will board you flight and depart Bhutan.

What’s Included

  • Bhutan Royalty ($65 per person per day).
  • All necessary permit fees.
  • All transfers and sightseeing with entrance fees.
  • All meals including evening tea.
  • All accommodation in our partner hotels, which are some of the best in the country on twin sharing basis.
  • All trekking equipments and logistics including cooks, camp personnel, horsemen and ponies.
  • Transport  & English-speaking tour leader, guide and driver.
  • Cultural Performance (our value-added service).

What’s Not Included

  • Airfare for flights into and out of Bhutan.
  • All personal expenses like laundry, telephone, tips, shopping expenses.
  •  Beverages other than the ones mentioned above (see inclusions).
  • Spa Charges.
  • Travel and Medical insurance.