Bhutan Cultural Tour for 6 Days 5 Nights
Paro Altitude: 2200m. Paro is a town and seat of Paro district in Bhutan. It is also the home to the only international airport in the country.
The flight to Paro is considered one of the most spectacular flight experiences in the world. While flying in and out of Bhutan, one can see Mt. Everest, Kanchenjunga, Makula, and other high peaks such as Jumolhari, Jichu Drakey, and Tsrim Gang. You will be received by a representative of Best Bhutan Travel and transferred to your hotel.
Day 01: Arrival: Paro - Thimphu (65kms/1.5hrs)
Paro (alt. 2200m/7218ft) – The beautiful valley of Paro encapsulates within itself a rich culture, scenic beauty and hundreds of myths and legends. It is home to many of Bhutan’s oldest temples and monasteries, National Museum and country’s only airport. Mount. Chomolhari (7,314m) reigns in white glory at the northern end of the valley and its glacial water plunge through deep gorges to form Pa Chhu (Paro River). Paro is also one of the most fertile valleys in the Kingdom producing a bulk of the locally famous red rice from its terraced fields.
The flight to Paro is considered one of the most spectacular flight experiences in the world. While flying in and out of Bhutan, one can see Mt. Everest, Kanchenjunga, Makula, and other high peaks such as Jumolhari, Jichu Drakey, and Tsrim Gang. You will be received by the representative of Triip.
After landing at Paro, drive to Thimphu and visit following places:
Thimphu is a small, charming capital city nestled in the heart of the Himalayas with a population of about 100,000 people. It is a unique city with unusual mixture of modern development alongside ancient traditions. Although not what one expects from a capital city, Thimphu is still a fitting and lively place, home to civil servants, expatriates, monk body and also centre of government, religion and commerce. Thimphu maintains a strong national character in its architectural style.
Memorial Chorten: This stupa was built in 1974 to honor the 3rd King of Bhutan, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. This religious structure is circumambulated only in a clockwise direction (reciting prayers and whirling the large red prayer wheels).
Buddha Point: Visit the world’s largest sitting Buddha, an immense statue housing a monastery and visitors center. Enjoy a stunning view of Thimphu city from this point.
Tashichho Dzong: Tashichho Dzong has been the seat of the government since 1952 and presently houses the throne room and offices of the king, the secretariat and the ministries of home affairs and finance. Other government departments are housed in buildings nearby.
Overnight in Thimphu: Namgay Heritage Hotel www.nhh.bt
Day 2: Thimphu Sightseeing
Morning: Hike to Cheri Monastery. Drive to north of Thimphu Valley (15kms) and hike to Cheri Monastery for 30 – 45mins. Cheri Monastery was established in 1620 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. The monastery is now a major teaching and retreat center of the Southern Drukpa Kagyu sect. The Monastery serves as the monastic school for study of Buddhist Philosophy, metaphysics, mathematics, poets and many other Buddhist studies. According to legend or history of Bhutan the place was first visited by Padmasambhava in the 8th century. In the 13th century it was visited by Phajo Drugom Zhigpo the Tibetan Lama who first established the Drukpa Kagyu tradition in Bhutan. Zhabdrung spent three years in strict retreat at the monastery and stayed for many years.
Picnic lunch will be arranged. Visit following places after lunch:
School of Thirteen Arts & Crafts: It is the primary center of learning for Bhutanese artists. Depending upon the student’s interest, one can specialize in any of the thirteen arts and crafts, including painting, weaving, sculptures, blacksmithing, embroidery, etc. It is the best place for visitors to learn about traditional Bhutanese arts and crafts. On a visit, one can see students learning the various skills taught at the school. Notification from Zorig Chusum
National Textile Museum: This museum is worth a visit to learn about Bhutan’s living national art of weaving. The ground floor focuses on cham costumes, while the upper floor introduces the major weaving techniques, styles of local dress and type of textiles made by women and men. There is usually a small group of weavers working their looms inside the shop, which features work from the renowned weaving centre of Lhuentse in northeastern Bhutan
National Takin Reserve: Hike or drive up the National Takin Reserve where a herd of Bhutan’s national animals reside. Legend has it that the Takin is a cross between a goat and a buffalo, but biologists agree that its nearest relative is the arctic musk ox. This bizarre beast looks as if it was assembled from parts of several animals and vaguely resembles an American bison tinged in golden fur. Male Takins have been known to hide by lying spread-eagle on the ground.
Day 03: Thimphu – Punakha (77kms/3hrs)
Punakha Altitude: 1300m/4265ft. Punakha served as the capital of Bhutan during the time of Zhabdrun Ngawang Namkgyal, the founder of Bhutan. Today it is the administrative and religious center of the district and the winter home of Bhutan’s Central Monk Body. It is blessed with temperate climate and owing to its natural drainage from Pho Chhu (male) and Mo Chhu (female) rivers.
Start your morning by enjoying and taking pictures of the Dochula Pass (3150m/10,000ft) with its panoramic views of the Himalayas. The pass is decorated with 108 Druk Wangyel Chorten, which were built to celebrate the stability and progress, brought to Bhutan by His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck, the Fourth King.
Proceed to Punakha and visit the following Places:
Chimmi Lhakhang: take a short hike 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.
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. It is also the winter residence for the Je Khenpo (spiritual leader) and the entire central monk body.
Punakha suspension bridge: this is an exciting bridge for photography enthusiasts.
Overnight in Punakha: Drubchhu Resort
Day 04: Punakha – Paro (137kms/4 - 5hrs)
After breakfast drive to Paro and visit following places in Paro:
National Museum: Ta- Dzong (the watchtower) was built in the 17th century to guard the Paro Rimpong dzong (fortress) below. It was said that the future first king was kept in this tower as a prisoner for a week. It was the third king who restored the Ta-dzong and converted it into the National Museum. The visit to the museum will familiarize you with the Bhutanese way of life and will also acquaint you with the natural and cultural history.
Paro Rimpong 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.
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.
Drukgyel Dzong: This Dzong, which was built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to commemorate his victory over the Tibetan invaders was destroyed by fire in 1951. On a clear day, this point offers bird’s eye view of the Mt. Chomolhari (7329m). Explore the village just below the dzong and get a feel of rural Bhutan.
Farm house: Visit a farm house to have local experience
Evening: Explore Paro town.
Overnight in Paro: Naksel Boutique Hotel and Spa www.naksel.com
Day 05: Paro - Hike to Taktshang, Tiger’s Nest (3-4hrs)
Bhutan’s most scenic icon or the most important landmark, Taktshang the Tiger’s nest clings to the side of a steep cliff 300 meters above the Paro valley. The place was first visited by Guru Rimpoche, founder of the tantric form of Buddhism in Himalayan countries, in the 8th century. It was said that he meditated there for about three months. The original temple was built in the 17th century, but tragically, it was consumed by fire in 1998. Like a phoenix, the temple was rebuilt to its fullest glory in 2003. Takshang is considered to be the 10th-holiest site in the Buddhist world. You can visit three different temples inside the main Takshang complex. Riding Ponies provided upon request.
Afternoon – relax and enjoy the Manchu spa at Naksel Resort
Overnight in Paro: Naksel Boutique Hotel and Spa www.naksel.com
Day 6: Paro – Bangkok
After breakfast, transfer to Paro airport for departure.
- Round ticket from Bangkok to Bhutan
- Airport transfers
- 4* – 5* accommodation.
- Visas for Bhutan
- Daily 3 meals (B, L, D)
- Mineral bottled water
- Private car
- Entrance tickets to all attractions
- Road permits
- Professional English-speaking guide
- Private driver
- Government fee, royalty, taxes & surcharges
- Traditional Bhutan Gho and Kira
Next departure date
During 12/2016 and 2/2017:
- Solo traveler: USD 1.840/traveler
- Group of 3: USD 1.790/traveler
- Group of 3 or more: USD 1.680/traveler
During 3/2017 and 5/2017:
- Solo traveler: USD 2.270/traveler
- Group of 3: USD 2.220/traveler
- Group of 3 or more: USD1.980/traveler
- Flight to Bangkok
- Tips for the guide (USD7/traveler/day)
- Tips for driver (USD5/traveler/day)
- Personal expenses
- Travel Insurance