Deatailed Itinenary (9 Nights/10 Days)
Day 01: Arrive Paro (by Druk Air) – Thimphu.
The flight into Paro on our national carrier, Druk Air, is a befitting introduction to the spectacular beauty of our country. In the clear weather, magnificent views of the world’s highest peaks give way to the lush green of Paro valley as you land. The first gift from Bhutan is the cool, clean fresh air as we step out of the plane. After clearing customs and visa control you will be brief by our guide and transferred to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. . The drive will take around one hour. Thimphu has a population of about 100,000. The town is made up of just three lines of shops and is the only capital in the world without traffic lights. In the evening, we will visit the Handicrafts Emporium, where all types of Bhutanese handicrafts are made and sold, overnight at Hotel.
Day 02: Thimphu – Wangdue – Gangtey.
In the morning, we will visit the folk Heritage Museum, which is dedicated to connecting people to the Bhutanese rural past through exhibition of items and artifacts used in rural households, Texile Museum, where the art of tradition weaving is still kept alive and preserved though exhibition and has a good collection of old textiles which are rich in its colors and design. Also visit to Bhutanese Handmade Paper factory. After lunch, depart for Punakha, where the road climbs steeply through a forest of pine and cedar, festooned with hanging lichen high up near Dochula pass (3,050 m). This pass often offers panoramic views of the Himalayan mountain ranges. After stopping for a tea and view, we descend along a series of hairpin bends to the fertile valley of Wangdue, one of the major towns and district headquarters of Western Bhutan, where we make a short stop to view the Wangdue Phodrang Dzong dramatically located on the spur of a hill at the confluence of the Tsang Chu and Dang Chu rivers. From here a gradual climb takes you into the valley of Gangtey (Phobjikha). Gangtey lies towards the East of Punakha and Wangdue on the flanks of the Black Mountain. These is and old monastery of Gangtey Gompa dating back to the 17th century. A few kilometers past the Gompa on the valley floor are the fascinating valley of Phobjikha. The gentle sloping hillsides of Phobjikha are described as “the most beautiful valley in the Himalayas”. This is winter home of black necked cranes that migrates from arid plains in the north to pass winter in milder and lower climate, overnight at hotel.
Day 03: Gangtey – Trongsa – Bumthang.
Today we start early for the fabulous drive to the central valleys of Bhutan. The drive to Bumthang via Trongsa is about six hours crossing over Pelela Pass (3,300 m) and Yotongla Pass (3,400 m). The Central road, across the Black Mountains was completed 30 years ago, and it bough about great changes to the people in central Bhutan. We then climb steadily passing through semi-tropical vegetation and then to Pelela Pass(3,300m) with an alpine environment of rhododendrons and dwarf bamboo. This pass is traditionally considered the boundary between west and east Bhutan. If the weather is clear, the Himalayan range can be seen, particularly the peak of Jhomulhari (7314 m) to the west. En route we cross Chendebji Chorten built many centuries ago to suppress a demon. After lunch, we go out to view the impressive Trongsa Dzong, ancestral home of the ruling dynasty. In olden days the Dzong commanded the passage between east and West Bhutan. We then drive to Bumthang valley (described as “one of the most beautiful spot in the Himalayas” across the Yotongla Pass (3,400 m), overnight at hotel.
Day 04: Bumthang.
This is one of the most spectacular valleys in Bhutan and also the heartland of Buddhism. The Guru and his lineage of Tertons (treasure finders), have led to the sprouting of many temples in the valley. In the morning we visit Jambay Lhakhang (one of the oldest temple in Bhutan built in 7th century) and visit Kurjey Lhakhang (where the Guru Rinpoche subdued a local demon and left his body imprint on a rock). Hike to visit the Tamshing Monastery (one of the oldest monastic schools built by Terton Pema Lingpa), After lunch, hike to Thangbi valley across the suspensions bridge and visit the Thangbi Lhakhang built in the 14th century, on the way back visit Jakar Dzong, (seat of the district administration).Evening stroll in Chamkhar Town. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
Day 05: Bumthang – Ura – Bumthang.
After breakfast, we driv to Ura valley. At a distance of 42 kilometers from Bumthang, the road reaches the Ura Shelthangla, where there is a magnificent view in clear view of Bhutan’s highest peak, Gangkhar Puensum (7,500 m). The road then descends into Ura valley by long loops across fields and pastures. Ura’s main occupation is raising sheeps, yaks and the introduction of potato farming has brought a certain degree of prosperity of people. We visit Ura Lhakhang and picnic lunch will be served at one of many inviting spots. Later in the afternoon drive back to Bumthang. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
Day 06: Bumthang – Wangdue –Punakha.
The drive to Punakha via wangdue takes about seven hours over the Pelela Pass and Yotongla pass. Lunch served at Chendebji Chorten. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
Day 07: Wangdue – Thimphu – Paro.
After breakfast, we visit Punakha Dzong, winter seat of the Je Khenpo and ancient capital of Bhutan, remarkably located between the rivers of the Mo (Female) Chu and Pho (Male) Chu. The Dzong is open to visitors only in summer when Je Khenpo and the monk body are in Thimphu. After visiting Punakha Dzong drive to Thimphu over Dochula pass. Check in at hotel in Thimphu. After lunch visit the National Memorial Chorten, built in honor of our late third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuc; Visit the Motithang Mini Zoo where you can see national animal Takin;visit the Zilukha Nunnery; visit the National Library stocked with ancient manuscripts and collection of books and pay a visit to BBS tower to view Thimphu city. Evening drive to Paro. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
Day 08: Paro valley sightseeing.
Drive to the Drukgyal Dzong, (a ruined fortress – 16 km away from Paro town). The dzong, although in ruins, holds great historical significance. It was from this fortress that the Bhutanese repelled many Tibetan invasions. The name means the victorious Bhutanese. This spot offers a magnificent vista of Mount Chomolhari “Mountain of Goddess” (7,329 m). Visit a typical Bhutanese farmhouse on the way back. A short distance south of the road is Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest temple in Bhutan built in 7th century. This temple is said to have been built in 659 by King Songtsen Gampo of Tibet. It holds down the left foot of an ogress whose body is so large that it covers Bhutan and most of eastern Tibet. Also visit Rinpung Dzong. Built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the first temporal ruler of Bhutan, it is now houses of the Paro monastic body and the office of the Dzongda (governor) and Thrimpon (Judge) of Paro district. It is the venue of the Paro Tshechu (festival) held once every year. Then visit Ta Dzong an ancient watch tower. This Dzong was converted into the National Museum in 1968. The museum boasts antique Thangka, textiles, weapons and armour, household objects and rich assortment of natural and historic artifacts. Evening stroll through the main town of Paro. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
Day 09: Paro – Hike to Taktsang.
Morning drive till Satsam Chorten to hike up to the Taktsang monastery (Tiger’s nest). The hike up to the cafeteria will take around one and half hour. At the view point enjoy the stunning view of monastery, where Guru Padmasambhava landed on the back of a tigeress in the 8th century. After lunch at the café walk back to the road point where your car will pick you up and then drive to your hotel. Evening, do some last minute shopping. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
Day 10: Paro – Departure (by Druk Air).
In the morning ABC escort will bid you farewell at Paro airport. Good-bye and happy journey back home.
Note: This itinerary is a sample itinerary intended to give you a general idea of the likely trip schedule. We have designed this itinerary including the best cultural and natural aspects of this country. We can further customize the itinerary to suit your specific interest and needs to our valued customers.