• Places & Attractions

    Thimphu, Trongsa, Bumthang, Gangtey, Phobjikha, Wangduephodrang, Punakha, Paro

     

    This 10-day tour takes you sightseeing in various places as you journey to central Bhutan. Visit the beautiful valleys of Gangtey and Phobjikha which is also the winter home of the blacknecked cranes. Wrap up the trip with an amazing hike to the Tigers Nest.

  • Day 1 - Arrive Paro by Druk Air

    The flight into Paro will bring you close to the great Himalayas, with scenic views of some world’s highest peaks. As you descend into Paro valley, you will sweep past forested hills with the silvery Pa Chu (Paro river) meandering in the valley below.

     

    Our representative will meet you at Paro airport and transfer you to Bhutan’s capital, Thimphu, one of the smallest and most unique capital cities in the world.

     

    Overnight at hotel in Thimphu.

    Day 2 - Thimphu

    Today’s full day of sightseeing in Thimphu valley includes:

     

    National Library, which holds a vast collection of ancient Buddhist texts and manuscripts, some dating back several hundred years, as well as modern academic books mainly on Himalayan culture and religion;

    Institute for Zorig Chusum (commonly known as Painting School) where students undertake a six-year course on the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan.

     

    Textile and Folk Heritage Museums which offer fascinating insights into Bhutanese weaving culture and way of life.

     

    The National Memorial Chorten a landmark monument to world peace and prosperity and a memorial to the Late King Completed in 1974, paintings and statues inside the monument provide an insight into Buddhist philosophy.

     

    Trashichhodzong, the 17th century fortress, which houses the throne room of His Majesty the King and various government offices. It is also the summer residence of the Chief Abbot and central monk body.

     

    The Handicrafts Emporium displays a wide range of beautifully hand-woven textiles and craft products. It also carries a small collection of books on Bhutan, Buddhism and Himalayan culture.

     

    Overnight at hotel in Thimphu.

     

    Day 3 - Thimphu - Trongsa

    (200 Km, 6 hours drive)

    After early breakfast, drive upto Dochu-la pass (3,088m) and take in the scenic views of the Himalayan range. If skies are clear, the following peaks can be seen from this pass (left to right): Masagang (7,158m), Tsendagang (6,960m), Terigang (7,060m ), Jejegangphugang (7,158 m ), Kangphugang (7,170 m ), Zongphugang (7, 060 m ), a table mountain that dominates the isolated region of Lunana – finally Gangkar puensum, the highest peak in Bhutan at 7,497m.

     

    From Dochu-la pass, it is a long, winding descent into the Wangduephodrang valley, which is about 1,700m below the pass. Lunch at Wangduephodrang town and continue to Trongsa across Pele-la pass (3,300m/10,830 ft), the traditional boundary between east and west Bhutan. The pass is marked by a large white chorten prayer flags. There is an abrupt change in vegetation at this point, with mountain forest replaced by high altitude dwarf bamboo.

     

    Stop en route at Chendbji Chorten, patterned on Kathmandu’s Swayambhunath Stupa, with eyes painted at four cardinal points. It was built in the 18th century by Lama Shida from Tibet, to cover the remains of an evil spirit that was subdued at this spot.

     

    Arrive at Trongsa late afternoon and check into lodge for the night.

    Day 4 - Trongsa/Bumthang

    ( 68 Km, 3 hours drive )

    After breakfast, visit Trongsa Dzong. Built in 1648 it was the seat of power over central and eastern Bhutan. Both the first and second Kings of Bhutan ruled the country from this ancient seat. The Dzong is a massive structure with many levels, sloping down the contours of the ridge on which it is built.

     

    Drive to Bumthang, 68 km from Trongsa, a journey of about 3 hours, over the Yutong-la pass (3,400m/ 11,155 ft). The road winds steeply up to the pass, 28 km from Trongsa, then runs down through coniferous forest into a wide, open cultivated valley known as the Chumey valley. On arrival in Bumthang, check in at your lodge.

     

    Overnight at lodge in Bumthang.

     

    Day 5 - Bumthang

    Bumthang is the spiritual heartland of Bhutan and home to many prominent Buddhist temples and monasteries.

     

    Visit Kurje Lhakhang, where the saint Padmasambhava subdued a local demon and left his body imprint on a rock; the Jambey Lhakhang (7th century temple); Tamshing Lhakhang (housing some of the oldest wall paintings in Bhutan) and Jakar Dzong (administrative center of the region).

     

    Stroll in the village, visit the little handicrafts shops at the entrance to the town, and take refreshments at a local restaurant.

     

    Overnight at lodge in Bumthang.

     

     

    Day 6 - Bumthang/Gangtey/Phobjikha

    (190 km, 7 hours drive)

    After breakfast drive to Gangtey/Phobjikha, which lies east of Wangduephodrang, on the slopes of which is situated the great monastery of Gangtey, established in the 17th century.

     

    The village of Phobjikha lies a few km, down from the monastery, on the valley floor. This quiet, remote valley is the winter roosting ground of the Black necked cranes, which migrate from the arid plains of Tibet.

     

    Explore Gangtey village and Phobjikha valley.

     

    Overnight at lodge in Gangtey / Phobjikha.

    Day 7 - Gangtey/Phobjikha/Punakha

    (70 km, 3 hours drive)

    After breakfast drive to Punakha.

     

    In the afternoon visit Punakha Dzong, a massive structure built at the junction of two rivers. Punakha was Bhutan’s capital until 1955, and Punakha Dzong still serves as the winter residence of the central monk body. Bhutan’s first King, Ugyen Wangchuck, was crowned here in 1907. The fortress has withstood several damages from fire, earthquake and flood over the centuries.

     

    Also visit Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten, the newly built stupa.

     

    Overnight at hotel in Punakha/Wangduephodrang.

    Day 8 - Punakha/Paro

    (125 km, 4.1/2 hours drive)

    After breakfast, drive to Paro and en route visit Simtokha Dzong. This dzong, built in 1627 is the oldest in Bhutan. It now houses the Institute for Language and Culture Studies.

     

    In the afternoon visit Ta Dzong, the watchtower for Paro Dzong (Rinpung Dzong) which now houses the National Museum. Walk down the trail to visit Rinpung Dzong, built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the first spiritual and temporal ruler of Bhutan. The approach to the Dzong is through a traditional bridge called Nemi Zam.

     

    A walk through the bridge offers a good view of the architectural wonder of the Dzong as well as life around it. It is also the venue of Paro Tshechu, held once a year in the sprng.

     

    Overnight at hotel in Paro.

     

    Day 9 - Paro

    After breakfast, drive to Drukgyel Dzong, built in 1647 by the Shabdrung to commemorate the Bhutanese victory over the Tibetans.

     

    Then take an excursion to Taktsang Monastery view point. Perched on the side of a cliff 900m above the Paro valley floor Taktshang is one of the holiest sites in the Himalayan region. It is said that Guru Rinpoche arrived here on the back of a tigress and meditated in its cave. That is why it is called ‘Tiger’s Nest’. All Bhutanese visit Taktshang at least once in their lifetime.

     

    On the return journey visit Kyichu Lhakhang, built in the 7th century by the Tibetan king, Songtsen Gampo.

     

    Overnight at hotel in Paro.

     

     

    Day 10 - Paro Airport

    After early breakfast, drive to airport for flight to onward destination.

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