This Tour takes you to Thimphu, Punakha, Phobjikha, and Paro to experience and explore some its diverse culture and traditions comprising with some sightseeing around the valleys, short trip to visit Dzongs and temples, art and architecture which will help you to outline and explore the ancient living culture of Bhutan, its tribes of people, ecology and religion of the country.
- Visit some sacred and religious landmarks in Bhutan
- Immersion in Culture and Pristine Natural Environment
- Explore Gangtey Nature Trail
- Visit a local Farm House
- Traditional Culinary Experience
- Experience Bhutanese National Game Archery with Dart Game
- Day Hike to Tiger’s Nest
Closing Timing of monuments in various places
School of 13 Arts & Crafts – Sunday & Government Holiday
National Textile Museum – Sunday & Government Holiday
Centenary Farmer’s Market – Monday – Wednesday
National Museum (Ta-Dzong)
Day 01: Arrival: Paro – Thimphu
Distance: 65km (1.5hrs)
Elevation: 2,250mts / 7,382ft
Paro: It is a broad and beautiful green bowl valley surrounded by jagged Himalayan Mountains and forested hillsides, crossed by beautiful rivers and dotted with medieval fortresses. It was built by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1646 AD and has been the legislative, executive, judicial and religious center for the people of Paro. Also, the nations home of National Museum and International Airport.
After landing you will be greeted by your tour guide and driver and will be chauffeured to the Capital City of Bhutan.
Thimphu (2320m above sea level): Is the capital of Bhutan with a population of about 100000 and is the nation’s largest city. It depicts the strong national character in its architectural style yet it is the legislative, executive, judicial and religious center of the government.
Check in hotel and visit the following places:
- Built-in 1974 as a monument for the 3rd king of Bhutan Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. It signifies the “Seat of Faith” otherwise “Mind of Buddha”.
- Built in 2006, world’s largest sitting Buddha housing over Hundreds of Thousands of small statues inside. It is the center of attraction to all the people radiating its splendor in all directions and harbinger of happiness and peace.
- Tashichho Dzong has been the seat of the government since 1952 and presently houses the throne room and offices of the king, the secretariat and the ministries of home affairs and finance. Other government departments are housed in buildings nearby.
Evening: Free to explore Thimphu town and Bhutanese Authentic Local Craft Bazaar
Overnight in Thimphu
Day 02: Thimphu – Sightseeing
Morning: Hike to Cheri Monastery (15km/30-45min)
- It was established in 1620 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. The monastery is now a major teaching and retreat center of the Southern Drukpa Kagyu sect. The Monastery serves as the monastic school for the study of Buddhist Philosophy, metaphysics, mathematics, poets and many other Buddhist studies. According to legend or history of Bhutan, the place was first visited by Padmasambhava in the 8th century. In the 13th century, it was visited by Phajo Drugom Zhigpo the Tibetan Lama who first established the Drukpa Kagyu tradition in Bhutan. Zhabdrung spent three years in strict retreat at the monastery and stayed for many years.
- After lunch visit the following places:
School of Thirteen Arts & Crafts
- It is the primary center of learning for Bhutanese artists. Depending upon the student’s interest, one can specialize in any of the thirteen arts and crafts, including painting, weaving, sculptures, blacksmithing, embroidery, etc. It is the best place for visitors to learn about traditional Bhutanese arts and crafts.
National Textile Museum
- This museum is worth a visit to learn about Bhutan’s living national art of weaving. The ground floor focuses on cham costumes, while the upper floor introduces the major weaving techniques, styles of local dress and type of textiles made by women and men. There is usually a small group of weavers working their looms inside the shop, which features work from the renowned weaving center of Lhuentse in northeastern Bhutan
Centenary Farmer’s Market (Open: Thursday – Sunday)
- Take a walk through this market and shop/interact with the local farmers. Thimphu’s new weekend market is by far the largest domestic market for the farmers in Bhutan. Farmers come from all over the country to sell their farm products on the market. With its wide assortment of fresh, organic produce, the Farmer’s Market has become a favorite spot for tourists and a recreational place for people from all walks of life.Overnight in Thimphu
Day 03: Thimphu – Punakha
Distance: 77km (2.5hrs)
Elevation: 1,200mts / 3,900ft
The journey to Punakha includes the 108 Druk Wangyel Chorten commonly known as Dochula standing at 3150m above the sea level. The Druk Wangyel Chorten was built to celebrate the
Stability and progress brought to Bhutan by His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck, the Fourth King of Bhutan. The pass provides a spectacular 360-degree panoramic view of Himalayan Mountain Range.
After checking into the hotel visit the following places:
Chimmi Lhakhang (45 min hike round trip)
- Situated on a hillock in the center of the valley, is dedicated to Lama Drukpa Kuenley, who in the late 15th century used humor, songs and outrageous behavior to dramatize his teachings and due to this also known as “Divine Madman”. Commonly known as fertile temple among and is frequented by childless couples and others alike for blessings.
- Visit a local farmhouse for an experience for authentic Bhutanese lifestyle and unparalleled hospitality of a Bhutanese host. Enjoy a meal with the family here (optional)
- For an experience for authentic Bhutanese lifestyle and unparalleled hospitality of a Bhutanese host. Enjoy a meal with the family here with some locally made wine called “Ara”
- Grace an opportunity for Bhutanese traditional culinary experiences
- Archer / dart game will be arranged for oyur experience
- The name means Palace of Great Bliss. This Dzong stands magnificently on the spit of land where two rivers (Phochu and Mochu) meet. Punakha Dzong has special significance in Bhutanese history as the place where Bhutan’s first King, Ugyen Wangchuck, was crowned in 1907.
- This Bridge is located near Punakha Dzong and is the longest suspension bridge in Bhutan. The bridge connecting the nearby villages and mountains adjacent gives a magnificent view.Evening: Free to explore Punakha Town.Overnight in Punakha
Day 04: Punakha – Phobjikha
Elevation: 3,000mts / 9,843ft
After breakfast drive to Phobjikha. The Phobjikha Valley is a vast U-shaped glacial valley, also known as Gangteng Valley named after the impressive Gangteng Monastery, where the graceful black-necked cranes in Bhutan from the Tibetan Plateau visit the valley during the winter season to roost. On arrival in the Phobjikha Valley in the last week of October, the black-necked cranes circle the Gangteng Monastery three times and also repeat the process while returning to Tibet.
After checking into the hotel visit the following places:
- This monastery was founded in 1613 by Je Kuenga Gyaltshen. It’s one of Bhutan’s oldest and recently renovated Monasteries situated atop a hill at an altitude of 2800m, offers a stunning view of Phobjikha valley and winter home to the rare Black Necked Cranes.
Gangtey Natural Trail (1.5hr)
The most beautiful and perpetual nature trails in Bhutan. The trail hike starts from the mani (like Chhorten) stone wall to the north of the Ganagtey Gonpa and ends in Khewa Lhakhang. The hike takes about 1hr 30minutes through the pine forest and small bamboo plants. So the pristine environment provides best hike places for the Nature lovers. During the winter months, we can see the endangered species of birds “Black Neck Cranes”.
Black Necked Crane’s information center
- Situated on the edge of the forest and wetland along the main road of Phobjikha valley, the black-necked crane Information Centre has an observation room equipped with high power telescope and spotting scopes for catching the best view of the cranes.Overnight in Phobjikha
Day 05: Phobjikha – Paro
Distance: 214kms (6.5hrs)
After breakfast drive back to Paro. After checking into the hotel visit the following places:
National Museum (Ta-Dzong)
- Was built in the 17th century to guard the Paro Rimpong dzong (fortress) below. It was said that the future first king was kept in this tower as a prisoner for a week. It was the third king who restored the Ta-dzong and converted it into the National Museum. The visit to the museum will familiarize you with the Bhutanese way of life and will also acquaint you with the natural and cultural history.
Paro Rimpong Dzong
- Regal and imposing, dzongs are arguably among the most distinctive and important structures in Bhutan. This Dzong is the headquarters of the Paro district, housing the head administrator and staff, as well as a monastic body with about 200 monks. From the dzong, hike down to the bridge and then take a short drive for an opportunity to explore the town of Paro.
- It is one of the oldest and most sacred shrines of the Kingdom dating back to 7th century (the other is Jambey Lhakhang in Bumthang). The Lhakhang complex is composed of two temples. The first temple was built by Tibetan King, Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century and in 1968, H.M. Ashi Kesang, the Queen Mother of Bhutan, built the second temple in the original
Evening: Free to explore Paro town.
Overnight in Paro
Day 06: Paro -“Hike to Tiger’s Nest” (approx. 3-5 hr)
Bhutan’s most picturesque landmark, Taktshang the Tiger’s nest clings to the side of a steep cliff 300 meters above the Paro valley. The place was first visited by Guru Rimpoche, founder of the tantric form of Buddhism in Himalayan countries, in the 8th century. It was said that he meditated there for about three months. The original temple was built in the 17th century, but tragically, it was consumed by fire in 1998. Like a phoenix, the temple was rebuilt to its fullest glory in 2003. Takshang is considered to be the 10th-holiest site in the Buddhist world. The programs afterward are optional to the guest
Evening: Relax at the hotel or free to explore further
Overnight in Paro
Day 07: Departure
After breakfast, following your flight schedule transfer to Paro International Airport for your onward journey