10 DECEMBER: DAY 1: ARRIVAL
Welcome to Bhutan, “The Land of the Thunder Dragon”. Flying into the country’s only airport, in the beautiful valley, the clear mountain air, forested ridges and imposing monasteries provides a breath-taking first impression.
Upon arrival, your tour executive from Bhutan Endless Journey welcomes you at the airport and transfers you to Thimphu (1.5h drive).
Arrive in Thimphu. Check in hotel, have lunch and take a short rest. In the afternoon visit:
Memorial Thimphu Chorten: This stupa was built in 1974 to honor the 3rd King of Bhutan, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. This religious structure, circumambulate only in a clockwise direction (reciting prayers and whirling the large red prayer wheels).
Tashichho Dzong (Thimphu Dzong), This is the main Secretariat Building, where the government ministries, the office of His Majesty the King, the Throne Room, the offices and living quarters of the monk body and its Chief Abbot are housed. The massive fortress, whose name translates as the fortress of glorious religion, was initially a smaller structure but took the present form after expansion/reconstruction commissioned by Late Majesty King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck in 1965. It is also the summer residence of Chief Abbot.
11 DECEBER: DAY 2: HIKE TO WANGDITSE MONASTERY
Drive to Sangayang view point, situated at an elevation of 2685m, presenting wonderful view of Thimphu valley from the hillside. From here commences approximately two hours walk to Wangditse temple. The trail leads through ubiquitous prayer flags amidst beautiful view of Thimphu valley. Along the trail, you will find apple orchard and few farm houses. After a short hike, the trail drops down gently through oak, blue pine and rhododendron until you reach the monastery. Wangditse monastery was founded in 1750 and was rebuild in 2016. The inner chapel houses a two-storey statue of Sakyamuni Buddha. En-route, you will also be able to catch a glance of Samteling palace, home to the fourth King.
In the afternoon, visit Institute of Zorig Chusum: Commonly known as the 13 Arts & Crafts school or Painting school. The institute offers a six year course on the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan. On a visit, one can see students learning various skills and display of impressive collection of typical household objects, tools and equipment
Later explore Thimphu City, including a visit to the weekend market (only on weekends) and to witness the National game, Archery (Only if local people are playing). Overnight in Thimphu.
12 DECEMBER: DAY 3: THIMPHU – GANGTEY/PHOBJIKHA (4H)
Phobjikha Valley is famous as the seasonal home of the rare black-necked cranes, which spend the winter months here. This is a designated conservation area and has a nature center for conservation studies and the education of local farmers and students funded by the Bhutanese government with assistance from the World Wildlife Fund.
The valley is the perfect place for observing wildlife and the serene landscapes of Bhutan in addition to visiting local villages and also visit Gangtey Monastery; the only Nyingmapa monastery in western Bhutan. Overnight in Guest House.
13 DECEMBER: DAY 4: GANGTEY/PHOBJIKHA – PUNAKHA.
After breakfast, we begin our drive to Punakha. On the way, a drive takes us through the oldest village in Bhutan, Rinchegang village. Rinchengang is a small bunched village in front of the Wangdue Dzong and is famous for its proficiency in traditional means of stone stonework. It is about 20 minutes’ walk uphill with great sight of the Dzong, valley and the river.
Arrive in Punakha and then take a 40 minutes’ hike round trip through the rice field to Chimmi Lhakhang, the 15th-century monastery built by Lam Ngawang Chogyal on the spot where his cousin Lam Drukpa Kuenley (popularly known as “the Divine Madman”) subdued a powerful demon. This monastery is also referred to as the “Abode of Fertility” and believed that any couple who gets blessing from this temple is blessed with a child in the next year or so.
Visit Punakha’s Dzong – The name means Palace of Great Bliss. This dzong stands magnificently on the spit of land where two rivers, Pho chu and Mo chu meet. Punakha Dzong has special significance in Bhutanese history as the place where Bhutan’s first King Ugyen Wangchuck was crowned in 1907 and where and the Third King convened the first National Assembly. It is also the winter residence for the Je Khenpo (spiritual leader) and the entire central monk body.
View from Punakha Dzong, old capital of Bhutan.
The central monastic body continues to reside here in winter. The embalm bodies of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and Terton Pema Lingpa are housed on the top floor of the main tower.
Overnight in Punakha.
DECEMBER 14: DAY 5: PUNAKHA – PARO (DRUK WANGYEL TSHECHU)
After breakfast, start the incredible drive up to the 3,150meter high mountain pass of Dochu La with its forests of fluttering prayer flags, maze of memorial chortens and, on a clear day, sweeping views of the main Himalayan range.
The Druk Wangyel Tshechu is a unique festival performed by the Royal Bhutan Army rather than monks or lay people. It is a tribute to the wise leadership of His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck, the Fourth King of Bhutan. It also celebrates the continuous efforts of the Royal Bhutan Army in protecting the sovereignty and the stability of the country. This one of a kind tshechu is performed against the backdrop of the magnificent Jigme Singye Wangchuck mountain range.
After lunch, continue the drive to Paro.
Paro Rimpung 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. A quick descent takes us to covered cantilever bridge marked with giant chortens built in 1980’s by Royal Grandmother in memory of late majesty (3rd King).
From the dzong, hike down to the bridge and then take a short drive for an opportunity to explore the town of Paro. Overnight in Paro.
DECEMBER 15: DAY 6: HIKE TO TAKTSHANG MONASTERY (Tiger’s Nest)
After breakfast, you will be driven to the starting point of a hike to view the spectacular Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest). The trail to the monastery climbs through beautiful pine forests, passing trees festooned with Spanish moss, and an occasional grove of fluttering prayer flags.
After a refreshment stop at a cafeteria on the way, you will continue for a short distance until you see, across a deep chasm but clearly and seemingly within reach, the Taktsang Monastery.
Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest in Paro, Bhutan)
Built in 1600s, this incredible monastery clings to the edge of a sheer rock cliff that plunges 900 meters into the valley below. History states that Guru Padmasambhava, the Tantric mystic who brought Buddhism to Bhutan, landed here on the back of a flying tiger.
Before returning to the hotel, visit Kyichu Lhakhang. It is one of the oldest and most sacred shrines of the Kingdom dating back to 7th century (the other is Jambey Lhakahng 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 original pattern. Overnight in Paro.
DECEMBER 16: DAY 7: DEPARTURE
After breakfast in the hotel, your tour executive will transfer you to the airport on time to catch your onward flight. Your escort from Bhutan Endless Journey bids you farewell.
End of services. Tashi Delek !!!
- Our itinerary is generally longer and has more activities listed on each day. You should discuss your itinerary with your guide and prioritize the attractions which you prefer the most. We suggest that you use your itinerary as a guide rather than a fixed schedule. Unexpected stuffs always happen in the Kingdom of Bhutan.
- Please note, roads are bumpy and we suggest you to bring your own medication if you have motion sickness.
- Monastery, temple and Dzong opening days and times can and do vary with national holidays and events such a visit by a member of the Royal Family or auspicious ceremonies.
- Tiger Nest closes at 4pm every day.
- Museums remain closed on weekends and Takin preserve center is closed on Monday.
- All the meals are served in buffet.
- We advise you to bring good walking shoes, warm jackets, hats and sun cream.
- The nearest hospital is 30-minute drive from the hotel in Paro and 20-minute drive in Punakha and Thimphu. Consultation, treatment and medicine are free to locals and tourists too.
- Visiting time of monuments, 09.00 Am – 04.00 Pm except for Thimphu Dzong. Thimphu Dzong visiting time, 04.30 Pm – 05. 30 Pm.
HOTELS IN BHUTAN
|CITIES||HOTELS||HOTEL CATEGORY||ROOM TYPE|
|PARO||KHANGKHU RESORT||3 STAR||STANDARD|
|THIMPHU||TASHI YOEDLING HOTEL||3 STAR||STANDARD|
|PUNAKHA||ZHIMKHAM RESORT||3 STAR||STANDARD|
WHAT TO BRING DURING THE TOUR IN BHUTAN
- Warm jackets
- Hiking/trekking boots
- Long and short t-shirts or cotton shirts
- Hats and sunglasses
- Personal Medicine
DRESS CODE FOR VISITING DZONG, MONASTERIES AND TEMPLES IN BHUTAN
- Shirt (either collar half shirt or full sleeve)
- Full pants/long skirts
- Any type of shoes with socks
- No Hats, No Umbrella, No Slippers, No t-shirts, No short skirt and No half-pants
- Photographs allowed in the courtyard only.
APPROXIMATE TEMPERATURE IN BHUTAN:
MAX: 18 – 30 DEGREE CELSIUS IN SUMMER
- MIN: (minus) 5 – 11 DEGREE CELSIUS IN WINTER
- More than 30 days – No Charges.
- Within 25 days – 30% of rate
- Within 15 days – 50% of rate
- Less than 10 days or without notice – 100% of rate
Please note that airlines have different cancellation policy, depending on seasons.
- 3-star Accommodation (twin sharing/triple room)
- Lunch in local restaurants and hotels.
- Experienced English Speaking Tour Guide licensed by Tourism Council of Bhutan.
- Private transport within Bhutan (Toyota Bus).
- Museum & Monuments entrance fee.
- Mineral water during the tour.
- Government Royalty
- Tourism Development Fund
- Visa Fees
- International Airfare (BKK- PARO-BKK)
SERVICE NOT INCLUDED IN THE ABOVE MENTIONED COSTS:
- Travel and Medical Insurance.
- Bar bills, Telephone bills, Personal expenses, and Laundry.
- Tips $7/per person/per day
- Single supplement
Should you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us at [email protected] or call +975 1793 4039.
Thank you for choosing Bhutan Endless Journey.
Tenzin Wangchuk (Mr.)
Founder / Managing Director