- Visit 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 Trashichho Dzong and Punakha Dzong and see the beautiful architecture of the fortresses
- Visit the beautiful Dochula Pass from where you can get a spectacular view of the Himalayas
- Explore the beautiful valley of Phobjikha, the winter home of the black-necked cranes
- 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
This nine-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, and Phobjikha.
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 Phobjikha, you will have the opportunity to walk through the pristine natural environment which is winter roosting ground of the endangered black-necked cranes.
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 Institute of Traditional Medicines & Folk Heritage Museum. Afternoon visit the National Institute of Zorig Chusum (13 traditional crafts) and Tashichho Dzong which houses the King’s Throne Room & Government offices. Evening stroll through Thimphu town, and visit the Crafts Bazaar.
Drive to Dodena. Hike about one hour to Tango Monastery, a Buddhist University, which was founded by Phajo Drugom Zhingpo in the 14th century, and built in its present form in the 17th century. Alternatively, you can hike to Cheri Monastery, the first Buddhist monastic school established in 1627. It is now a meditation centre for higher level Buddhist studies.
DAY 03 THIMPHU – PHOBJIKHA
Morning visit the Motithang Takin Preserve and see the Takin (Bhutan’s National Animal). Drive to Sangaygang and get a view of the Thimphu valley.
Then drive to Phobjikha 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 and the 60th Anniversary Park.
Afternoon relax and enjoy the warmth of the bhukhari (iron wood burning stove) in your hotel.
DAY 04 PHOBJIKHA – PUNAKHA
Morning explore the beautiful valley of Phobjikha. The valley is the home of the Black Necked Cranes, an endangered species. In winter they fly south from Central Asia to Bhutan & make Phobjikha their winter home. One can see their roosting place in the marshy land. From Nov to Feb one can see the Black Necked Cranes feeding and roosting in the beautiful valley.
Afternoon, drive to Punakha and relax in the warm, green and fertile valley. Evening at leisure.
DAY 05 PUNAKHA
Punakha is the old capital of Bhutan. After breakfast drive up the valley to Chazam. Walk through the beautiful rice fields & hike up the hillock to Khamsum Yulley Lhakhang. Visit the monastery & have picnic lunch.
Afternoon, return to Punakha. Visit the Punakha Dzong and also longest suspension bridge over bridge over the Phochu river, which is one of the longest suspension bridge in Bhutan. Spanning 350 metres, this bridge goes over the gushing Pho Chu river and is used by the locals as a short cut from the villages across the river to Punakha Dzong.
DAY 06 PUNAKHA – PARO
Morning after breakfast visit Chimi Lhakhang, a 15th century fertility temple which has built on hillock overlooking rice fields, villages and the Punatsangchu river.
Enroute to Paro 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 07 PARO
After a morning of rest, visit Ta Dzong, the National Museum housed in an ancient watchtower, which has a fine collection of ancient Thangka paintings, textiles, weapons and artifacts. Visit also Paro Rimpung Dzong and a traditional wooden cantilever bridge.
Sightseeing includes also visit Kichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest temples in Bhutan built in the 7th century AD and Drugyel Dzong, a ruined fortress from whose ramparts the Bhutanese once repelled Tibetan invaders. Evening stroll through Paro town.
DAY 08 PARO – DAY EXCURSION TO TAKTSANG
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 09 PARO – DEPARTURE
Early morning drive to Paro for departure. Your tour representative will see you off at the airport.