The Western and Central Bhutan ten days tour is just right to get acquainted with the western and central part of Bhutan. Visit the most famous monasteries, including the Tashichhodzong in Thimphu, to the Gangtey Monastery in Wangdue Phodrang. Catch a glimpse if lucky of the famous migrating black necked crane birds from the Tibetan plateau. Capture some of the most beautiful snowcapped peaks from the Dochula Pass, to hear some of the most enchanting stories behind monuments in Bumthang, the central heart of Bhutan. Enjoy ten days of pure wonder and beauty.
DAY 01. Paro International Airport – Thimphu (Tashichhodzong, National Library, Painting school)
Fly in through the green mountains, giving on a faboulous view of the Paro valley. Once landed, the company guide who will accompany you for the duration of your stay will greet you. Transfer directly on a one hour drive giving scenic views of the mountains and river to the capital city, Thimphu. Lunch will also be served at your hotel. In the afternoon, visit TashichhoDzong, the beautiful medieval fortress/monastery, housing most of the Government’s office and King’s Throne room. It also serves as summer residence for the Je Khenpo, the Chief Abbot. Next, visit to the National Library safeguarding a vast collection of ancient Buddhist texts and manuscripts. Then drive to the Painting School, famous for traditional “thangkha” paintings, where you may even catch a glimpse of students at work producing intricate design on cloth. If time permits, visit the Traditional Medicine Institute. It would have been quite an exploration for your first day in Thimphu. Then enjoy dinner at your hotel in Thimphu!
DAY 02. Thimphu – Punakha (via Dochula pass, Chimi Lhakhang, Punakha dzong)
Today, you will head to the ancient capital of Bhutan, Punakha. Stop at the Dochula pass, at an altitude of 3150 meters, from where you can appreciate a spectacular array of 108 chortens, built in honor of the Fourth King, Jigme Singye Wangchuk, by Her Majesty Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuk. The spot offers a 360 degree panoramic view of the Himalayan ranges. If weather permits, enjoy a view of Gasa Dzong at a distance. Then, from that point, you also have the option of taking a 3 hour trek to Lhuenchutse monastery, several hundred meters above the Dochula pass.
Lunch or afternoon tea will be served at the Dochula Resort. Then continue on to Punakha, but stop at the Chimi Lhakhang. It was built in 1499, by the cousin of Lama Drukpa Kuenley (the Divine Madman: very famous patron saint of Bhutan), in his honor for having subdued a nearby demoness with his “magic thunderbolt of wisdom”. A wooden effigy of the lama’s thunderbolt is preserved in the lhakhang. This monastery is also known as the “Temple of Fertility”, as people trying to conceive a child come there for blessings. Lunch will be served at the Chimi Lhakang cafeteria. Once in Punakha, visit the beautiful Punakha Dzong, which served as the seat of the Government until 1955. A magnificent fortress, in which, the much mediatized Royal Wedding of the Fifth King of Bhutan took place to the beautiful Queen Jetsun Pema in October 2011. The Dzong also serves as winter residence of Je-Khenpo (Chief Abbot of Bhutan) and the Central Monastic Body. Finally after a long day, dinner will be served at your hotel in Punakha.
DAY 03. Punakha (Khamsum Yuelley Namgyel chorten) - Gangtey
Take a relaxing 45 minute walk to the Khamsum Yuelley Namgyel Chorten (Stupa), after breakfast. It is perched on a strategic beautiful ridge overlooking the nearby villages under Kabisa gewog. The stupa was built under the sponsorship of Her Majesty the Queen Mother Ashi Tshering Yangden Wangchuck to remove evil forces and promote peace, stability, harmony throughout the world, and took nine years to complete. An interesting fact about this stupa is that it is the first of its kind in the world to have been constructed in consultation of holy scriptures, as visualized by Dudjom Lingpa, rather than engineering books.
Lunch will be served in Punakha. Then begin journey of approximately 3 hour’ drive to Gangtey, in the Wangdue Phodrang district. Once in Gangtey, be ready for a different experience for the night. A “farm stay”, meaning sleeping in the house of a traditional Bhutanese family, will be arranged for your overnight where you will have the opportunity to have a quick but good glimpse into the traditional lifestyle of a Bhutanese family.
DAY 04. Gangtey-Phobjikha-Trongsa
Walk along a nature trail through the Phobjikha valley: a vast glacial valley at an elevation of about 3,000 meters. Phobjikha is a very well known place in Bhutan as it is home to the famous black-necked cranes, during the winter. A festival is also held in their honor, on 12th November, soon after their arrival from the Tibetan plateau. On their arrival they are said to circle the famous Gangtey monastery, the main seat of the Pema Lingpa tradition, three times upon arrival and departure respectively. After exploration of Gangtey and lunch, drive for about three and half hours to Trongsa district: the ancient seat of power of the kingdom. Travel via the Pelela pass, the traditional boundary between east and west of Bhutan. After a long day, enjoy dinner that will be served at your lodge in Trongsa.
DAY 05. Trongsa (Trongsa Dzong, Ta dzong) - Bumthang
Explore Trongsa, today, before heading out to Bumthang. Visit Trongsa Dzong, which is the largest Dzong in Bhutan, built in 1644, and the main seat of power of the Wangchuk dynasty. The first two kings of Bhutan ruled from there. Due to its strategic location, the king could control trade on the east and west of the country. Next, visit to the Ta Dzong, an old watch tower that is now converted into a national museum, giving tremendous insight into the history of the kingdom; and truly the most fascinating museum in Bhutan. Then time to be driven, after lunch, for about three and half hours to Bumthang, the central heart of Bhutan. Upon arrival, dinner will be served at your hotel.
DAY 06. Bumthang (Jambay Lhakhang, Kurje Lhakhang, Tamshina Lhakhang, Kenchosum Lhakhang, Jakar dzong, via Mebar tsho) - Ura
Gear up for visits to a number of very important monasteries in Bumthang. The monasteries are all connected to the important patron saint: Pema Lingpa. Start with a visit to Jambay Lhakhang, one of the 108 built by the Tibetan King Goenpo in 659 AD to pin down an ogress, who according to legend was obstructing the spread of Buddhism in the valley. Then proceed to Kurje Lhakhang, where Guru Rinpoche is known to have left behind his body print in a cave after meditating for three months, to subdue an evil spirit causing illness to the ruler of Bumthang then. Then see the Tamshing Lhakhang, the most important Nyinma monastery in Bhutan.
In the Kenchosum Lhakhang, you can appreictae some beautiful paintings of Pema Lingpa himself. Then, time to visit the Jakar Dzong, a large dzong with a circumference of more than 1500 meters. This marks the end of the line of monasteries visited for the day. Then time for another drive through to Ura, a traditional village in Central Bhutan, after lunch at your hotel. On the way, stop at Membar Tsho, known as the burning lake, a name given to it after the great saint Pema Lingpa was said to have gone into the lake with a burning butter lamp and come out with the flame still alight. Ocne in Ura, dinner will be served at your hotel.
DAY 07. Ura-Thimphu
Today will involve a long drive back to Thimphu, after breakfast. There will be few stops en route for shopping. Take a nap, or sit back and enjoy the beautiful and constantly changing scenery out the window, and maybe take some pictures. Once in Thimphu, enjoy leisure time to take a stroll around Thimphu. Dinner will be served at your hotel.
DAY 08. Thimphu (Memorial chorten, Kuenselphodrang, Takin zoo, Drugyel dzong, Kyichu lhakhang) - Paro
Visit some of the most famous monuemtns and places in Thimphu today. First stop will be the Memorial Chorten, a stupa dedicated to the late Third King of Bhutan, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. A place for important religious and non religious events, and graced by members of the Royal Family of Bhutan. Next, drive to Zorig Chosum to appreciate traditional art. Then drive uphill to Kuensel Phodrang to see a large statue of Buddha Shakya at 52 meters high. From this point, you will have an excellent location for pictures and be able to enjoy a bird’s eye view of Thimphu town. After lunch, visit the strange national animal of Bhutan: the takin, at the Takin zoo in Motithang, on the edge of Thimphu. Then time to bid adieu to the capital city and proceed to Paro.
Once there, stop at Drugyel Dzong, about16 km away from Paro town, built in 1644. This ruined fortress has great historical importance for the Bhutanese as it is where a Tibetan invasion was defeated centuries ago. If the weather is clear on this day, you will have a most spectacular view of the sacred Mount Jhomolhari, also known as the Goddess Mountain, one the highest in the world. Next stop will then be Kyichu Lhakhang. Indeed, one of Bhutan’s oldest and most sacred monasteries dating back to the introduction of Buddhism in the 8th century. You will notice that just like in the rest of Bhutan, many elderly pilgrims go round the monastery in order to gain good merit. In the evening, enjoy leisure time to explore the quaint and tranquil Paro town, and maybe pick up some souvenirs from the numerous handicrafts shops for your friends and family back home. Dinner will be served at your hotel in Paro.
DAY 09. Taktsang Monastery, Paro
Put on your hiking shoes as it involves 3 hour climb to the Taktsang monastery also known as Tigers nest! A drive will take you to the trail head of the mountain from where the breathtaking and memorable uphill hike through a beautiful pine forest begins. Taktsang was built on the side of a gigantic rock face. It dominates the view of the mountain at a height of 2600 meters (those with altitude sickness are recommended to take medicine for it beforehand) and clings to the edge of a sheer rock cliff that plunges 900 m into the valley below.
Legend has it that Guru Padmasambhava, the tantric mystic who brought Buddhism to Bhutan in 747 AD, flew to this rock on which the monastery is built on the back of a flying tiger named Dorje Drolo. Climb slowly and rest and refresh yourselves with some light refreshments at the Taktsang cafeteria before continuing on. Experienced ponies will be available for those who may be interested. Upon descent from Taktsang, lunch will be served. Visit the “Ta-Dzong “, built in 1656. Initially a watchtower for the Paro Valley, it has now been converted into a National Museum. In the evening, if sore from the hike, or even if not, have the option of taking the Bhutanese hot stone bath, in the evening. Highly recommended as it is known to have excellent medicinal purposes, be ready to be calmed and soothed. Dine at your hotel in Paro.
DAY 10. Deparute from Paro International Airport to onwards destination
You will be driven to Paro International Airport where your guide will accompany you to bid you farewell, after breakfast. We already miss you and until next time! Tashi Delek!
Start planning your tailor-made Dream Holiday to Bhutan – The Land of happiness!
In order to experience the best and rewarding fulfillment clients must plan in advance the different logistics that you have in your minds before actually venturing into the world of trips. You might have wishes and hopes for which you need to plan.
The following information will help you to plan your dream trip to Bhutan.
1. When and how to visit Bhutan?
Choose your traveling date like Arrival/Departure date. You also need to choose entry/depart Bhutan via AIR or LAND.
By Air: Druk Air, the national carriers is the only service operator in the kingdom and operates several flights per week from Bangkok (Thailand), Delhi & Kolkata (India) and Kathmandu (Nepal) to Paro (Bhutan). The Paro International Airport is located about an hour and a half drive from Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan.
Paro airport is daylight restricted, and the flights are totally dependent on the weather. As a result, sometimes flights are delayed. It is therefore a good idea to keep at least 24 hours of transit time for connecting flights out of Paro. You might also want to consider traveling on a non-restricted ticket so that if you miss a connecting flight, you can be rerouted or seated on the first available carrier.
Sometimes flights into Paro are disrupted because of unfavorable weather conditions. If this occurs, the flight will stop for the night at the transit airport. To be prepared, you may want to carry your essential personal items in your carry-on luggage.
By Land: Phuentsholing, a Bhutanese town in the southwest has road access to India. It is located about 170 km from the Indian domestic airport at Bagdogra, West Bengal. Phuentsholing is about 172 km from Thimphu the capital city of Bhutan and is about 6hours drive distance. And S/
2. What are your itineraries?
All the tours can be customized and extended as per our valued client’s requirements. There are sample itineraries for your kind reference and it will give you some general idea of the likely trip scheduled.
Complete the tour request form and submit it to us. Send us correct name list. We will send you the flight reservation status via email.
After confirming your reservation, we need the scanned copy of member’s passport.
Please remit us full payments and send us the copy of remittance paper via email. Visa will not be accepted without full payment.
We will send you the flight ticket copy and Visa Clearance Copy prior to your departure to Bhutan via email. You need to print out and carry along with you.
Start packing and looking forward to have a memorable trip in the LandThunder Dragon, DrukYul.
Trip Length: 09 nights/10 days
1pax = USD 2500
2 Pax = USD 2400 per person
3 Pax & above = USD 2350 per person.
The above price is inclusive of the followings:
- Government Royalty USD 65/person/night
- All government Taxes.
- Lodging (3* hotel – Twin Sharing)
- Meals (Three Meals a day)
- Comfortable Land Transportation within Bhutan.
- Service of guides (English Speaking)
- Camping Equipment & Haulage of trekking tours.
- Visa Fee of USD 40/person
- Mineral Water
- Tea/coffee with snacks ever evening at hotel
- Trying and wearing of our Traditional Costumes and photo shoot.
The above price shall be exclusive of the following:
- Travel Insurance Coverage
- Medical Expenses
- Sleeping bags on treks.
- Tips to guide and driver, others
- Personal bills and others