Dragon Kingdom Explorer (13 Nights/14 Days)

 Highlights:

  • Glimpses of Bhutan’s cultural and historical heritage sites such as fortresses, monasteries and temples
  • Hike to Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) monastery – one of Bhutan’s most sacred places
  • Visit some of the important Dzongs and see the beautiful architecture of the fortresses
  • Experience the spiritual beauty of Bumthang valley and visit some ancient temples
  • See the wonders of Central and Eastern Bhutan which very few travelers to Bhutan ever experience
  • See how people live and learn about the traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan
  • Experience the local culture and taste Bhutanese cuisine
  • Visit to the Bhutanese farmhouse and enjoy a hot medicinal stone bath

 

Tour Overview:

This fourteen-day tour program offers a glimpse of Bhutan’s rich cultural and traditional heritage and spectacular mountainous landscape. You will see the beautiful valleys of Paro, Thimphu, Punakha, Trongsa, Bumthang, Mongar, Trashigang and Trashiyangtse. The tour will give an insight into Bhutan’s heritage, culture and traditions.

In the capital city of Thimphu, you will have the opportunity to see one of the largest statues of Buddha and to visit the Memorial Chorten. You will also learn more about Bhutanese life, arts and crafts from the visit to the folk museum, the institute of arts and crafts and the institute of traditional medicines. One highlight is the visit to the Trashichho Dzong, the seat of the administrative and religious power in Bhutan and which houses the throne room.

In Punakha, the old capital of Bhutan, you can see the Punakha Dzong nestled between two rivers and also make a visit to the sacred Chimi Lhakhang.

In Bumthang, you can experience the spirituality of the ancient temples and also learn about education and life in a nunnery.

You can drive through and experience the wonderous beauty of Eastern Bhutan where you will have the opportunity to see Mongar, Tashigang and Trashi-yangytse Dzongkhags. In Trashi-Yangtse, visit Gom kora and Chorten Kora.

In Paro, for a memory of a lifetime, you can visit the memorable Tiger’s Nest temple which is perched high up in the cliffs, and also visit Drugyel Dzong, a fortress of historical significance.

 

Detailed Tour Program: 

DAY 01                                     ARRIVE PARO – THIMPHU

The flight into Bhutan will give you a spectacular view of the Himalayan mountain ranges. On a clear day, you can see Mount Everest, the tallest mountain in the world.

Your tour representative will receive you upon arrival. The drive from Paro to Thimphu (capital city) will take you through beautiful rice terraced fields and alongside the gushing Pho Chu and Wang Chu rivers.

Afternoon visit Kuensel Phodrang where a biggest statue of Lord Buddha (169-ft) has been built overlooking the Thimphu valley. Evening visit the Memorial Chorten built in memory of the third King of Bhutan.

DAY 02                                     THIMPHU

Morning visit the National Library which holds a vast collection of ancient Buddhist manuscripts, Institute of Traditional Medicines & Folk Heritage Museum. Afternoon visit the National Institute of Zorig Chusum (13 traditional crafts) and Jushina Paper factory where traditional Bhutanese papers are made.

Evening visit Tashichho Dzong which houses the King’s Throne Room & Government offices. The Dzong serves as summer residence for the Je Khenpo, Chief Abbot & the Central Monk Body. Visit the Crafts Bazar in town.

 

DAY 03                                     THIMPHU – PUNAKHA

After breakfast drive to Punakha over Dochula Pass (3 hours drive). On a clear day, one can get a panoramic view of the Himalayan mountain ranges and see Gasa Dzong at a distance. One can also visit the Druk Wangyel Chortens (108 stupas) on the Pass. Along the way visit also Chimi Lhakhang, the temple of fertility.

Punakha is the old capital of Bhutan. After lunch visit Punakha Dzong, built at the junction of the two rivers Pho Chu (male river) and Mo Chu (female river). It is one of the most spectacular dzongs in the country. The Dzong serves as the winter residence for the Je Khenpo, Chief Abbot & the Central Monastic Body.

 DAY 04                   PUNAKHA – BUMTHANG

After breakfast drive to Bumthang over Pelela Pass. Enroute visit Trongsa Dzong, one of the largest Dzong (fortress) in Bhutan & Ta Dzong.

Drive over Yutola Pass to Bumthang. On the way, in Chumey you can see the local women weave the famous “Bumthang Yathra”, pure woolen cloth woven in the traditional method with beautiful colored patterns.

 

DAY 05                                     BUMTHANG

Sightseeing in Bumthang valley includes visit the Jambay Lhakhang, the oldest temple in the country built in the 7th century and Kurje Lhakhang.

 

DAY 06                                     BUMTHANG – MONGAR

After breakfast, drive to Ura village and visit Ura Lhakhang. Drive to Mongar through Thrumshingla Pass (the highest pass in Bhutan). Overnight in Mongar.

 

DAY 07                                     MONGAR – TRASHI-YANGTSE

Drive to Trashi-Yangtse. Enroute visit Gom Kora chorten.

 

DAY 08                   TRASHI-YANGTSE

A day to unwind and to enjoy the beauty of Eastern Bhutan. Visit the famous Chorten Kora, where a princess once became a human amulet and was kept inside the stupa in order to subdue the demon who ravaged the area. Afternoon, walk through Trashi-yangtse town and see the traditional paper and wooden crafts.

 

DAY 09                   TRASHI- YANGTSE – MONGAR

Drive to Mongar. Enroute visit Trashigang town.

 

DAY 10                   MONGAR – TRONGSA

Drive to Trongsa. If time permits, visit Trongsa Dzong or the Ta Dzong (watch tower)

 

DAY 11                   TRONGSA – PARO

Drive to Paro. Enroute – if time permits, visit Tamchog Lhakhang, a temple built by Thangtong Gyalpo who is known for having introduced the construction of suspension bridges into Bhutan and Tibet (many of the bridges are still in use today).

 

DAY 12                   PARO – DAY EXCURSION TO TAKTSANG MONASTERY

After breakfast drive to Ramthongkha. Hike uphill for about 3 hours to Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest). This magical monastery clings to a vertical granite cliff 3,000 ft above the valley floor. It is a very sacred Monastery for the Bhutanese people who believe that it must be visited at least once in their life time. Evening experience a unique hot stone bath which will relieve all aches & pains followed by typical Bhutanese dinner in an old traditional Bhutanese house.

 

DAY 13                    DRIVE TO CHELILA PASS

Drive to Chelila Pass where one can see beautiful mountain ranges and rhododendron flowers in bloom. On the way back walk to Chela Nunnery.

Afternoon visit the Paro Ta Dzong Museum and the wooden cantilever bridge. Evening stroll through Paro town.

DAY 14                                     PARO – DEPARTURE Early morning drive to Paro for departure. Your tour representative will see you off at the airport.