|1||Paro/Thimpu||Half day sightseeing in Thimphu|
|2||Thimpu||Sightseeing in Thimpu|
|3||Thimpu/Punakha||Drive to Punakha/Wangdue. Sightseeing of Punakha & Wangdue|
|4||Gangtey||Drive to Gangtey ,Sightseeing of Gangtey|
|5||Gangtey/Trongsa||Sightseeing in Gangtey .Drive to Trongsa|
|6||Trongsa/Bumthang||Sightseeing in Trongsa and Drive to Bumthang|
|7||Bumthang||Sightseeing in Bumthang|
|8||Paro||Sightseeing tour of Paro , INCLUDING Tiger’s Nest|
|9||Paro||Sightseeing in Paro|
When To Go
Day1 ARRIVE AT PARO AIRPORT
Arrive at Paro Airport and then drive to the capital city Thimphu. Altitude: 2320m/ 7656ft above sea level. (1 hour 30 minutes drive)
The flight into the Himalayas reveals scenic and breathtaking views of the Himalayan Mountains. If weather permits you will be able to see Mt Everest (8848m, 29,198ft) and other Himalayan mountain ranges. Your representative will greet you on arrival and drive you to the capital city, Thimphu.
Tshendhen Incense Factory in Paro was established about eleven years ago. Today, it produces varieties of incense sticks. The owner, Aap Chencho, a former monk, said he wanted to open an incense factory while he was still a monk.
According to Tshering Dorji, the benefits of offering incense are manifold. The former Lam Neten said “as the dirty clothes become clean after washing, similarly, the incense stick can also clean impurities and act as an offering to Kencho Sum“
Currently, Aap Chencho‘s factory has day workers and can produce about four hundred packets of incense every day.
Mini zoo: Here you can see just one animal – Bhutan’s national animal- the Takin. This is an extremely rare member of the goat family, found in herds in the very high altitudes (13,125ft and over). They live on a diet of grass and bamboo.
Kuenselcholing View Point: A place from where you can get a good overview of the Thimphu valley is from the Buddha point (Kuensel Phodrang). It is again a short drive from the town. You can pay your obeisance and offer prayers to the Buddha, the largest statue in the country and then walk around and take a glimpse of the valley.
Tashichho Dzong: The names means – Fortress of Glorious Religion. It was built in 1641 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel. It houses the secretariat building, the throne room as well as the office of the King and the central monk body.
Later stroll around the city and have dinner at a typical Bhutanese restaurant with a cultural show.
Overnight in Thimphu
Day 2 IN THIMPHU
Morning, visit the weekend market: Held every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, people crowd the stalls every day, dressed in vibrant colors, gathered to meet and to barter, much like the street markets in London!
Later take a hike to Cheri Monastery (Includes Dodina and Jigme Dorji Wild life Sanctuary): Hike about 1hr (to and fro) to Cheri Goemba (Cheri Dorji Dhen). Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal built this monastery in 1620 and established the first monk body here. Here you have a chance to spot birds such as Mrs Gould’s Sunbird, Yellow-browed Tit, Yellow-rumped Honeyguide, Long-billed Thrush, Ultramarine Flycatcher, etc.
Paper factory: Handmade paper making in Bhutan stemmed from the age old tradition originated in the 8th century of Bhutanese history. The handmade paper is a valuable National heritage of Bhutanese cultural identity and has been preserved through the ages. Traditional paper is recognized and held in high esteem, both at home and outside.
General Post office of Bhutan: Get an insight into Bhutan through its stamps. Visit their Philatelic Bureau for their beautiful, unique and wide range of stamps and philatelic products. You can also order them from Bhutan Post and its agents around the world. All types of attractive postage stamps, picture post cards, stamp albums, envelopes, etc. are available at the philatelic counters which are best for presentation and gift purposes. The bureau also maintains prepaid customer accounts such as Ordinary Account and Standing Order Account.
Bhutan Craft bazaar: The private stalls had a variety of high-end quality products from places across the country such as wood carved national symbols, bags and western wears with a touch of traditional designs, wooden and clay utensils, Bangchung, Dhapa, key hangers, jewelry boxes, bookmarks and handmade packing papers (Deysho) in different patterns, antique items, etc. The stalls have a distinctly rich outlook with fine tones of elegance, and a warm and inviting atmosphere. The craft bazaar is also an example of how bamboo can be used to construct houses in the country.
Later, take some time for resting and prepare for the next journey.
Overnight in Thimphu.
Day 3 THIMPHU TO PUNAKHA/WANGDUE
Altitude: 1350m/4455ft above sea level.(3 hours drive).
Morning drive to Punakha/Wangdue, we come across a pass known as Dochula (3140m, 10362ft) from where a beautiful panoramic view of the Himalayan mountain range can be seen, especially in clear winter days. The beauty of this place is further enhanced by the Druk Wangyal Chortens- a 108 stupas built by the eldest Queen, Her Majesty Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck.
Later you can also visit the Botanical garden just below Dochula Pass where there are lot of collection of rhododendrons.
You can even go for hikes, cycling and go for bird watching activities whereby you will see Whiskerd Yuhina, White Nated Yuhina, Rufous Vented Yuhina, Strip Throated Yuhina, Rufous Sidia, Brown Parrot Bill, Misses Gould’s Sun Bird, Green Tailed Sungird etc….
Later hike to Chimi Lhakhang(Temple of fertility): This Temple was built by lam Drukpa Kuenley (The Divine Madman) in 1499. It is about thirty minutes hike across fields from the road –Wooden phalluses are often found hanging in the four corners of the houses and also phalluses are painted on the walls of houses. It is the common belief that this helps in driving away evil spirits. (30 minutes hike to and fro, gentle steep, good footh path across the valleys and villages)
Overnight in Punakha/Wangdue.
Day 4 PUNAKHA/WANGDUE TO GANGTEY VALLEY/PHOBJIKHA
Altitude: 2800m/ 9240ft above sea level (5 hours drive)
Morning visit, Punakha Dzong (Fortress): Built in 1637 by Zhabdrung, it is remarkably located between the rivers of Mo (Female) Chu (river) and Pho (Male) Chu. Until the time of the second king, it served as a seat of the king.
Later visit Rinchengang Village which is one of the oldest villages in Wangdue. It’s more than 1 century old.
Later drive to Gangtey.
Overnight in Gangtey.
Day 5 GANGTEY VALLEY/PHOBJIKHA TO TRONGSA
Altitude: 2600m/ 8580ft above sea level. (5 hours drive)
Morning you will hike across Gangtey Nature Trail: (Duration: Half day: two hours at a quicker pace): This is one of the most beautiful and shortest of the existing nature trail. In this trail you have the opportunity to visit the magnificent Goemba (Monastery), it also leads to a sloping area of green grass, flanked by pine trees on either side. You will even come across some villages, rivers, and crane roosting ground.
Later visit the Black Necked Crane Observation center and then drive to Trongsa.
On the way you can visit Chendibji Village.
Later drive to Trongsa.
Overnight in Trongsa
Day 6 TRONGSA TO BUMTHANG
Altitude: 2600m/ 8580ft above sea level.(3 hours drive)
Morning visit, Trongsa Dzong: It was built by Chhogyel Mingyur Tempa (sent by Zhabdrung to unify Eastern Bhutan to bring under the rule of the Desi) in the year 1644. The Dzong dominates the horizon, dwarfing the surrounding buildings. Both the First and the Second King ruled the country from this Dzong.
Trongsa Museum: Situated strategically above the Trongsa Dzong, the Ta Dzong served as a watch tower for centuries. It was built by Choeje Minjur Tempa in 1652. The museum is equipped with state of the art technology and includes a media room where visitors can watch a documentary on the history of the monarchy. The Ta Dzong was renovated and converted as a museum at a cost of Nu.97 millions, with funds from the Austrian government. The museum is dedicated to coronation and centenary celebrations.
Later drive to Bumthang valley.
On the way visit Handloom shops, villages and take pictures along the way.
Overnight in Bumthang.
Day 7 IN BUMTHANG
Morning day excursion visit to Ogyen Choling Palace: It is a village in the Tang valley of Bumthang district. It is located on a commanding spur at an elevation of 3000m, on the east side of the Tang Chu. Visitors have to cross the Tangchu suspension bridge near Kizom and climb up to the village on foot. The trek takes about 45 minutes. Kizom is approximately 33 km from Jakar. The palace has been converted to a museum these days. (Gentle steep hike).
Visit, Mebar Tsho (Lake of Burning Fire): This is a sacred lake for the Bhutanese who believe that Pema Lingpa discovered religious treasures from this lake in the 12th century.
Later visit the farm house in BUmthang.
Overnight in Bumthang.
Day 8 BUMTHANG TO PARO
Altitude: 2280m/7524ft above sea level.
Morning fly from Bumthang to Paro (35 minutes flight)
Once we land in the airport, we shall drive to the Chelila pass, which is the highest road in Bhutan at about 14000 feet. We shall stop at the pass and hike along the ridge through prayer flags and alpine vegetation of dwarf rhododendrons, juniper, and gentians edelweiss. If the weather is clear, we should get a fantastic view of the sacred mountain, Mt, Jhomolhari. We shall picnic at the pass and also look for high altitude birds, such as rose finches, grosbeaks, blood pheasants and Himalayan griffons. The view from the pass will also orient us on the places that we will be visiting in the next two weeks. On the way back we shall visit an ancient monastery, Dzongdradkha, built on a cliff face.
Overnight in Paro.
Day 9 IN PARO
Morning hike to Taktshang Monastery (Tiger’s nest): This is Bhutan’s most recognizable cultural icon, perched 800m/2640ft up a seemingly sheer cliff. Although it was tragically and mysteriously consumed by fire in April 1998, it has now been restored to its former glory. It is believed that in the 8th century, the great tantric master Guru Rimopche/ Padmasambhava (2nd Buddha) flew on the back of a tigress to the site where the monastery now stands. (Five hours hike to and fro, some gentle and some steep hike, some stony footpaths and some good ones) If you ride a horse upward it will cost an extra US$25 per person.
Visit Farmhouse: Eating, taking bath and staying for a night at a local farmhouse gives a variation, and a chance to see the inside of such a home, rather than just the brightly decorated exteriors.
Later stroll around the town and see how the locals live. (If you take hot stone bath in the farm house it will cost an extra US$25 per person.)
Later stroll around the town and see how locals live.
Overnight in Paro
Day 10 DEPART FROM PARO
Early breakfast at the hotel and then drive to the airport. Your escort will assist you with exit formalities and bid you farewell.