8 Nights 9 Days in Paradise

Trip Overview

Outline Itinerary

Day 01: Paro

Fly into Paro – you will be received by our representative at the Airport.
Check into a Hotel in Paro. After your relaxed and refreshed, you will be excorted by our representative for sightseeing

  • Rinpung Dzong - which means “fortress that sits on a heap of jewels”.It was built by Guru Rimpoche in the 16th Century. This imposing dzong located above the Paro River is a fine example of Bhutanese architecture with its inward sloping walls that rise to an impressive height. A fine example of Bhutanese historic architecture.
  • Farm houses- In Paro Valley a visit to a farm house offers a good glimpse into the lifestyle of a Bhutanese family, where you can enjoy authentic Bhutanese lunch.
  • National Museum - also Known as the Ta Dzong(watch Tower). You will see an intriguing collections of artifacts, which will provide a magnificent introduction to the rich culture and heritage of the Kingdom of Bhutan.
  • Kyichu temple - one of the 108 temples built in the 7th century by the Tibetan King Songsten Gampo. The story goes that a giant demon lay across the whole area of Tibet and the Himalayas and was preventing the spread of Buddhism. To overcome her, King Songtsen Gampo decided to build 108 temples, which would be placed on all the points of her body.

In the evening stroll around Paro town and you may visit local Bhutanese handicraft stores.
Dinner & overnight at a hotel in Paro.

Day 2: Paro-Punakha/Wangdue 3 Hrs 30 Mins Drive

Distance: 125 km

Punakha has been inextricably linked to some of the most momentous events in the Bhutanese history and deserves its reputation as one of the most beautiful and significant regions at the heart of Bhutanese culture. Punakha had served as the capital of Bhutan from 1637 till 1907 and the 1st National Assembly was held there.  The dzong is historically important and stands as the symbol for a unified Bhutan. 
In this Trip we will be driving through –

  • On the way, visit Tachog Lhakhang (temple) , this 14th century temple located on the base of a mountain across the Pa chu on the Paro-Thimphu highway, is a must visit temple in the Paro valley. Built by the great master architect Thangtong Gyalpo, the temple houses some unique statues.
  • Dochula Pass, 10,130 ft above seal level, enjoy the panoramic view of the Himalayan Mountain rangeson one side and the beautiful 108 chortens built on a hillock by Her Majesty Ashi Dorji Wangmo (Queen Mother of Bhutan) for the security and well being of His Majesty, the King of Bhutan.
  • Druk Wangyal Monastery  was also built to honor His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck, the fourth king of Bhutan. The past and future appear to merge in the details of the lhakhang (temple) that tells the story of a supreme warrior figure whose vision pierces the distant future.

Light refreshment at Dochula Resort and then drive towards punakha.

  • On the way, visit the Chhimi Lhakhang also known as the Devine Madman’s Monastery - , famously known for its fertility shrine, where one can receive a special fertility blessing.

After Lunch in Punakha visit –
Punakha served as the capital of Bhutan in the Past.

  • Punakha Dzong – A fort Built on an island of the Pho Chu(Male river) and Mo Chu( Female river ) in the year 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to serve as the religious and administrative seat of the region. The entrance of the Fort  is grand, with a ethnic cantilever Bridge. Punakha Dzong has the Highest standards in woodwork. The dzong holds the Coronation hall of all the Bhutanese Kings.
  • Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Lhakhang – later in the afternoon drive through the upper valley of Punakha, and take a Hike. Here you will walk amidst the serene view of the farm houses and up to the beautiful monastery Built by the Queen Mother for the peace and stability for the world.

In the evening visit the local market and enjoy conversations with the locals.

Over night stay at a hotel in Punakha.

Day 3: Punakha/Wangdue – Trongsa – Bumthang 7 Hrs Drive

Distance: 197 km,

After breakfast, travel to Bumthang through Trongsa.The drive will take you through dense forests of oak and blue pine trees and through the subtropical vegetation. The journey will also take you through the village of Nobding and Pele la pass (3300m). Throughout your trip you will come across the beautiful sceneries of rural Bhutan, with scattered settlements far from the road, which makes for good photographing. You will also pass through open meadows, and valley of yak herders and several other villages via Chendebji Chorten ( Stupa) .
Lunch and refreshments will be served enroute.
On arrival at Trongsa, you will visit National Museum  which is housed in the Ta Dzong (watch tower).A museum in which aspects of Bhutanese culture and history are explained by beautifully objects. Documentary will be shown too which explains a great deal about Bhutanese history and history of monarchy.
After that you will continue your journey to Bumthang passing through Yotong La Pass (3400 m).
Just before reaching Bumthang you will come across “Yathra” Weaving Centre at Zugney Village  where you will see local weavers weaving Yathra. Yathra is the name for the colorful, hand-woven woolen cloth (often with geometric designs) that is produced in this region and wool used for this type of textile is sheep wool. Yathra is made into jackets or bags, etc.
Then you will be driven further to Bumthang Valley. On arrival at Bumthang, check into your hotel in Bumthang.

 Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Bumthang.

Day 4: Bumthang Sightseeing

After breakfast, visit the following:

  • Jambay Lhakhang, built in the 7th century by the King Songtsen Goempo of Tibet. In his effort to propagate Buddhism he had a plan to build a total of 108 temples in Tibet and neighboring kingdoms.
  • Kujey Lhakhang (Kujey means, "Body imprint"). The temple to the right is the oldest and was built by Minjur Tempa in 1652. It was built around the cave in which Guru Rimpoche meditated and left his body imprint.
  • Jakar Dzong, "castle of the white bird". According to legend, when the lamas assembled in about 1549 to select a site for a monastery, a big white bird rose suddenly in the air and settled on a spur of a hill. This was interpreted as an important omen, and the hill was chosen as the site for a monastery and for Jakar Dzong. The fortress is now used as an administrative center of the valley and summer residence of Trongsa monks.
  • Tamshing Lhakhang: This temple is also known as Tamshing Lhendrup Chholing (Temple of the Good Message). In the evening stroll around the beautiful landscape of the Bumthang Jakar valley

After lunch Visit

  • Maybar Tsho ( Burning lake)  and visit the lake and then drive back to your hotel and  in the evening you may wish to stroll around the beautiful landscaped gardens of Bumthang.

In the evening you may wish to stroll around the beautiful landscaped gardens of Bumthang.
Dinner & overnight at a hotel in Bumthang.

Day 5: Bumthang-Punakha/Wangdue via Phobjikha Valley

Distance: 208 km, estimated travel time: 8 hrs

After breakfast, drive to Punakha via Phobjikha valley. Driving through the dense forests of the Phobjikha Valley you arrive at Gantey village where you see the Gangtey  Monastery and visit the monastery. Phobjikha valley is part of the beautiful Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park ( formerly known as Black Mountains National Park), one of Bhutan’s most important nature sanctuaries.  Each winter it is home to a flock of 300 rare and endangered black-necked cranes.  The surrounding hills and mountains are home to nomadic shepherds and yak-herders. This is one of the most remote and untouched regions in Bhutan and is only just opening its doors to the outside world.
After lunch at Phobjikha valley  and explore the valley and also visit the Black Necked Crane Center.
Then drive onto Punakha/Wangdue.
Dinner & overnight at a hotel in Punakha/Wangdue.

Day 6:Punakha/Wangdue-Thimphu
Distance: 71 km & estimated driving time: 2 ½ hours

After breakfast you will be driven to Thimphu  and After lunch visit the following
Local Thimphu Tour-

  • Tashichhoe Dzong- a fortress of the glorious past. It houses the secretariat building, the throne room and the office of the king, and the central monk body.
  • Takin Preserve - which houses the national animal the Takin that is only found in Bhutan. 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. It can weigh as much as 550 pounds.
  • Folk Heritage Museum– A living museum of rural life  which provides visitors and tourists with fascinating insights into the Bhutanese material culture and way of life. The Folk Heritage Museum is set inside a three storied, 19th century traditional house.

Lunch

  • Kuenselphodrang Nature Park - where the largest Buddha statue in the country is perched on the hillock overlooking the Magnificent Thimphu Valley.
  • Bhutan Postal Museum-The museum tells the story of Bhutan’s progress and development through the evolution of communications and postal system in the country. Also you can get personalized Bhutanese postage stamps with your photo on them. You can bring along your own photo to make a personalised Bhutanese postage stamps and you can use these stamps on your postcard to send to your family and friends  back home in your country.
  • Craft Bazaar –A one stop place to witness Bhutanese culture and buy Bhutan made art and craft product. And visit other handicrafts stores.

Dinner & overnight at a hotel in Thimphu.
Day 7: Thimphu sightseeing & Short Hike to Tango Monastery
After breakfast visit the following:

  • Traditional Bhutanese paper making factory. The handmade paper making in Bhutan stemmed from the age old tradition originated in 8th century of Bhutanese history. The handmade paper constitutes as valuable National heritage of Bhutanese cultural identity and is preserved through all the ages. The Traditional paper is recognized and held high esteem both in home and outside world.
  • National Textile Museum –  Witness Art of traditional weaving, good collection of old textiles
  • National Institute of Traditional Medicine , where medicinal herbs are compounded and dispensed, and traditional medical practitioners trained.
  • School of Traditional Painting of Arts and Crafts where students undertake a six-year course on the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan.

After lunch drive for about 30 minutes to the base camp of Tango Monastery and hike up to the Monastery. The walk up to the Monastery is through the forest filled with Rhododendron flower trees which will be in full bloom during April month. Tango Monastery is the center for higher studies for monks. The view from Tango Monastery is breathtakingly beautiful. You will experience complete peace and serenity in this area. After visiting the monastery, walk back to the road and then drive back to Thimphu .

Dinner & overnight at a hotel in Thimphu.

Day 8: Thimphu – Paro 1 hr Drive

Distance : 54 Kms

After Breakfast drive to the base of the Tigers Nest in Paro.

  • Paro Taktsang Monastry hike up to Taktsang Monastery, also known as ‘Tiger’s Nest’. The climb up to the viewpoint will take around 1 ½  hours and from there you will enjoy a spectacular view of the monastery clinging to the side of the cliff. Stop for refreshment at the View Point Cafeteria. Then walk further up to the monastery which will take another 1 ½  hour. It is said that in the 8th century Guru Rinpoche flew on the back of a tigress from eastern Bhutan to this place and meditated in a cave here for 3 months. The principal Lhakhang (monastery) of the present monastic complex dates from 1692. Taktsang was damaged severely by fire in 1998 but has now been fully restored to its former glory.After visiting the monastery, walk back down to the road on the way stop for lunch at the view point cafeteria and then walk further down to the road point.
  • Drugyal Dzong- Drukgyel Dzong ( in ruins), a 17th century fortress that used to keep invading Tibetan forces, at bay.It was destroyed by fire in the year 1951.
  • As it must have already been a tiring day you may relax at the Hotel and enjoy a complimentary Hot Stone Bath or massage.

Dinner and overnight in the hotel.

Day 09: Departure from Paro Bhutan

After Breakfast our tour representative will drop and see you off at the airport.

Begore you go

Accommodations and facilities:
There are limited choices of accommodations in Bhutan. With a few exceptions of highly over priced international chain properties, hotels in Bhutan are small with 15 to 20 rooms. The hotels have been categorized by local authorities as Star 1, 2 and 3, with 3 Star being on the top level 1Star at the bottom and naturally we have pick the 3 Star category hotels and resorts which are local architecture with Bhutanese décor, well maintained and staffed with the friendly locals. There is disparity in the rooms in most of the hotels and travelers of the same group may end up in two different types of rooms although you have paid the same amount. You will have private bathroom with 24 hour running cold and hot water. They provide some fundamental toiletry supplies but hair dryers, iron and ironing board etc may not be available. Hotels in Paro and Thimphu do have internet access in office or reception areas. There are some new deluxe properties and international chain resorts which are above the traditional classification criteria and in the higher side in terms of price and can be booked with supplemental cost. Hotel listed on the itinerary are suggestions only and during peak season and tours timed with festival, we may not get the same hotels and in that case, we will book you in the similar property or upgrade you to the higher level.

Guide and Escorts:
Our Tour Guides are local individuals with college degree, government certification, experienced and with knowledge on the destination, history, culture and religion and most importantly they are easy going, detailed oriented, patient and high level of customer service skills. They will uncover the wonders of the destinations for you which you would never find on your own. They ensure that everything goes well with your tour without a hitch.

Vehicle:
We use good condition Toyota SUV and Toyota Coaches for all transfers and tours. Driver and guide is not the same person. Driver may speak little or no English but they know the road and are skillful to fix the problem in case of mechanical breakdowns. Depending on group size, we will use Japanese made Sedan cars, SUVs or minivan for entire transfers and tours.

International and Internal Flights:
All internal flights are part of travel plan and are locally booked by us. You will be emailed e-ticket receipts once the reservation is booked and tickets issued. But you have liberty to book your international airfare on your own. We can certainly help you book international flight if that originates from the city that you live in. Once you receive itinerary, it's your responsibility to verify the itinerary and reconfirm the schedules.

Visa and Permits:
Passport should be valid for 6 months or more at the time of travel. We will take care of Bhutan Visa and permits. Bhutan Visa Fees of USD 20 which will be collected with the Tour Payment in advance. You will need to provide a copy of your passport which should be sent to us by email for Bhutan Visa Processing. Bhutan visa is preprocessed by us and we will provide you a copy the Visa Approval Letter before your trip which you will need to present at Druk Air counter at the time you check in for flight to Bhutan. You will get actual visa seal on your passport upon arrival at Paro airport.

Trip Activity Level:
This trip is basically motor vehicle based sightseeing with some short hikes and village visits and suitable for all travelers with regular health conditions. When we are driving from one city to another, we will be driving from 3-6 hours with occasional stops for photography and for refreshments. Roads are narrow and some portions may be rough and damaged. The itinerary allows enough acclimatization for you and it's advisable that you should keep physically fit and start mild exercises like jogging, swimming, cycling or practice some aerobics about 2-3 months ahead of the trip. It's your responsibility to determine that you are fit for this trip and if you have any health conditions, please consult with your physician before you sign up for this trip.

Note on Itinerary:
We do our best to adhere to the itinerary but it should be taken as a generic guideline in terms of what you expect to do or see during the tour and may differ in the practical ground from exact sequence or order of the sights to the overnight places depending on the local conditions.

Booking:
When you are sure you are traveling, please don't delay in booking so that we can confirm you in preferred hotels and flights. A 100% of both the Tour and Airfare is requested along with a completed trip application form plus copy of the photo page of your passport.

Cancellation:
100% Refund if tour canceled within 60 Days from the start of the tour.
50% Refund if tour canceled within 45 Days from the start of the tour.
25% Refund if tour canceled within 30 Days from the start of the tour.
No Refund if tour canceled less than 30 Days from the start of the tour.

Final Trip Dossier:
A final trip dossier with local contacts, hotel lists, check lists, travel notes and relevant information will be sent about a month ahead of the trip.

Tour Cost

The Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB), Tourism Business regulating agency of the Royal Government of Bhutan, fixes the Tourist Tariff rate. This rate is valid for all the inclusive tour packages. The tariffs for tourists visiting in a group of 3 persons or more are as follows:

Peak Season Rate: (March, April, May, September, October and November) Cultural Tour /Trekking – US$ 250/per person per night halt.

Low Season Rate:(January, February, June, July, August and December) Cultural Tour /Trekking- US$ 200/per person per night halt.

What's Included
  • Bhutan Royalty ($65 per person per day).
  • Visa Fees ($40 per person).
  • 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.
  • English-speaking tour leader, guide and driver.
  • Trekking Insurance (Our value-added service).
  • 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.
  • Meals and Beverages other than the ones mentioned above (see inclusions).
  • Spa Charges.
  • Travel and Medical insurance.

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Trip Facts

Length : 9 Days
Start : Paro
Finish : Paro
Trip Style : Cultural Tour
Discounts : Applicable on this trip
Group Size : Maximum 12, Avg 5
Group Leader : Certified Tour Leader from The DQA
Transport : New Model Toyota Hiace /Coaster bus/Land Cruiser not more than 3 years old
Trip Rating by Popularity
:
Physical Demand Rating
:
Can it be Customized?
: Yes

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Cruising to Paradise
Kunzang Lam, Building # 29, Motithang
Thimphu, Kingdom of Bhutan
Tel: +975 1741 6570
Email: bhutanctp@gmail.com
info@bhutanctp.com