In this tour you will discover four regions of eastern and central Bhutan – including the sacred valleys of Paro and Bumthang, the secluded and highly protected glacial valley of the Pobjika Valley and the “bustling” city of Thimphu – the seat of the worlds newest democracy in 2008. We will visit fortress-like Dzongs (temples), see traditional handicrafts being made and make visits to smaller villages on one of our famous “village strolls”. Depending on the timing of the tour we will include local religious dance festivals on the intinerary.
Day 1: Arrive by flight to Paro
The flight to Bhutan takes you over the great Himalayas, offering the most scintillating scenery of the world’s highest glacial peaks. Upon your arrival representative from Himalayan Dragon Tours & Treks will receive you and transfer to hotel through fascinating valley of Paro.
Day 2: Paro sightseeing
After breakfast, visit to Ta Dzong (national Museum). Rinpung Dzong (the fortress of the heap of Jewels built in the 17th century). After lunch visit ruined Drukgyel Dzong. Kyichu Lhakhang,built in 7th century. Evening leisure walk in Paro mini town. Overnight in hotel.
Day 3: Paro to Thimphu (56 Kms 1 hour)
Morning hike to Taktsang Monastery (the famous “Tigers Nest”), the most popular site in Bhutan. The hike to Taktsang takes about an hour uphill to the viewpoint and another hour to monastery. Guru Rinpoche meditated here in 8th century. The Desi Tenzin Rabgye extended temple in the 17th century to present structure. Lunch at Cafeteria. After lunch, stroll down to the road point and drive to Thimphu about hour and half. Thimphu is the modern capital town of Bhutan. Overnight in hotel.
Day 4: Thimphu sightseeing
Morning Thimphu sightseeing includes – visit to Folk and Heritage Museum; Late King’s Memorial Stupa; Textile museum; Takin Reserve (National animal); weaving center; and Traditional Hand made Paper Factory. Afternoon, visit Painting School, which preserves our traditional paintings, sculpturing and wood curving; National Handicraft Emporium. Evening at leisure in Thimphu City.
Day 5: Thimphu to Punakha (74 Kms – 3 hours)
Depart to Punakha across Dochula pass (3,100m). On clear day, the pass offers the most spectacular view over the greater eastern Himalayas including highest peak of Bhutan. short hike about an hour to the temple of divine madman, also well known as the temple of fertility, through villages and the rice fields. P.M visit Dzong built in 1638, Punakha was the capital city of Bhutan till 1955 and still the Je Khenpo, the Chief Abbot resides there during the winter season. Overnight in hotel.
Day 6: Punakha to Bumthang (210 Kms – 10 hours)
Drive to Trongsa about 5 to 6 hours. Short stop at Wangdi town. Continue your journey crossing Pele la Pass (3,300m), the traditional boundary between east and west. Stop for lunch at Chendebji near a large historic stupa built in the Nepalese in style. Visit Trongsa Dzong. Then visit Ta Dzong (watchtower) museum. Then continue to Bumthang about 3hrs. On the way stop at chume weaving centre. Overnight at tourist Lodge.
Day 7: Bumthang sightseeing
Morning – visit Kurjey Lhakhang, Guru Rinpoche meditated here in 8th century; Jambey Lhakhang built in 7th century by Tibetan King Songtsen Gempo. Tamshing Lhakhang, founded in 15th century by Pema Lingpa, the treasure reveler. Kencho Sum Lhakhang. Later see the Jakar Dzong, the Dzong. Evening take a stroll through Bumthang market area. Overnight in hotel.
Day 8: Bumthang to Gangtey in Phobjika Valley/Punakha
Route back to Pelela Pass (alt. 3,300 m) via Trongsa. Phobjikha is one of the few glacial valleys in Bhutan and chosen home of black necked crane, which migrate from the central Asiatic Plateau to escape its harsh winters. Explore Phobjikha and also visit to Gangtey Monastery, the only Nyingmapa Monastery in Bhutan. Late afternoon drive to Punakha for Overnight in Hotel.
Day 9: Punakha to Paro
Morning drive north of Punakha valley, hike 45minutes to Khamsum Namgyel Chorten Depart Punakha for lunch in Thimphu. If you have forgotten to buy any souvenirs for your close ones, this is the final time. Later drive back to Paro for overnight in hotel.
Day 10: Paro
After early breakfast in the hotel drive to the airport for flight to onward destination.
Bhutan Discovery Tour Details:
• March – May
• October – November
Tour length: 10 days
Activity type: Touring, easy walks
Tour price: From US$3200 (AU$3,130)
Note: All tours can be customised and integrated with trekking
• Sacred valleys of Paro and Bumthang
• Dzongs and temples
• Himalayan mountain vistas
• Remote Phobjika Valley
• Handcrafts and village experience