Adventures in Bhutan 10 days
Adventures in Bhutan 10 days
The stunning Bhutan kingdom is blessed with an amazing and unique culture, which is fringed by breathtaking, and unique mountainous landscapes. Whilst this incredible and thought provoking kingdom was inaccessible to tourists until 1974, today, it offers visitors the opportunity to embrace this stunning country, which is sandwiched between Tibet and India.
Bhutan is renowned for the genuine happiness of its people, and even measures its growth by ‘Gross national happiness’. This incredible journey will take you to the capital of Thimpu and the charming sights of Paro, before setting off into the untouched and raw countryside, which is adorned with deep valleys and ancient sights, including monasteries, which are surrounded by steep valleys, rugged mountains and rivers. The picturesque Bhutan is an inspiring place, and this once in a life time experience, will leave fond memories etched in your mind.
Day 1: Arrival at Paro (by Druk Air) – Thimphu
You will arrive into Paro on our national airline carrier, Druk Air and instantly behold the spectacular beauty of our country. In clear weather, you’ll enjoy magnificent views of the world’s highest peaks and the lush, green Paro Valley. After clearing customs and immigration, you’ll be met by our guide and taken to the capital of Bhutan, Thimphu to check into your Hotel.
After a delicious lunch, you’ll have an afternoon of sightseeing.Handmade Paper Factory – Thimphu
The Jungshi Handmade-Paper Factory is a small facility that produces paper using traditional Bhutanese methods. The paper is made from Daphne or Mulberry plant bark and on your visit you will witness the entire process from beginning to end. There is a small shop that sells a variety of the factory’s paper and stationery.National Memorial Chorten – Thimphu
The National Memorial Chorten is a monument built by Bhutan’s third king, H.M. Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, aka “the father of modern Bhutan.” He wanted to erect a monument that would carry the message of world peace and prosperity. The exquisite wall paintings and the delicately carved statues reflect deep insights into Buddhist spirituality and a rich tradition of prayer and learning. The interior of the Chorten has a large number of paintings of Tantric deities, in explicit sexual poses that sometimes can be a little disconcerting to visitors.Tashichho Dzong – Thimphu
Tashichho Dzong is a fortress that was built on the western bank of the river Wang Chu. The Tashichho Dzong is also called the “fortress of glorious religion.” It was erected in 1641 and was subsequently rebuilt in the 1960s. The Dzong has been the seat of the Royal government since 1952 and presently houses the Throne room and the King’s secretariat. The Tashichho Dzong is also home to several ministries of the Bhutanese government, and the Central Monk Body which is the apex organization of the country’s main spiritual order.
Overnight at Thimphu
Day 2:Thimphu – Valley Sightseeing
Your day starts off visiting Buddha Point at Kuenselphodrang, the 169 feet bronze statue of Buddha Dordenm. Visitors can drive up to the Buddha point and view the tallest statue of Lord Buddha. The view of Thimphu valley from the Buddha point is spectacular and beautiful, especially at night.Changangkha lhakhang
The Changangkha Lhakhang is the oldest Buddhist temple in Thimphu. It is situated on a ridge overlooking the city. There is a large statue of Chenrizig; the 11 headed, thousand-arm manifestation of Avolokiteshwara. There are also large prayer wheels and paintings in the walls of the temple. The temple offers an excellent view of the city of Thimphu from its courtyard.After the National Textile Museum, we will visit the Craft Bazaar
Zorig Chusum,also known as ‘the painting school,’ operates four to six-year courses that provide instruction in Bhutan’s 13 traditional arts. Students specialize in painting, (furniture, thangkas, painted religious pictures, usually on canvas), woodcarving, (masks, statues, bowls), embroidery, (hangings, boots, clothes), and statue-making.
Overnight in Thimphu
Day 3: Thimphu – Punakha
You’ll enjoy a beautiful drive towards Punakha via Bhutan’s best-known mountain pass, “Dochu La” where on a sunny day you can get stunning views of the Himalayan ranges. Another striking feature at the pass are the 108 Druk Wangyal Chortens that were built for the well being of all human beings on earth. These Stupas or Chortens also represent the people’s love, appreciation, and loyalty towards the country’s King.
On the way, we’ll stop at Chimi Lhakhang, which is a fertility temple dedicated to the “Divine Madman.” Guests are usually quite surprised to see that the temple houses a number of wooden phalluses that the Lama had brought with him from Tibet. Pilgrims who visit the monastery receive the blessing by being struck on the head with a ten-inch wooden phallus (erect penis). The symbol of an erect penis is said to ward off evil.After lunch, visit Punakha Dzong:
The Punakha Dzong is the second largest and the second oldest Dzong in Bhutan. The Dzong is home to some of the most sacred relics of the Drukpa Kagyu School of Buddhism; it is also home to the sacred mortal remains of Shabdrung Nagawang Namgyal and Trenton Pema Lingpa the great treasure discoverer of Bhutan. The Punakha Dzong also served as the capital building of Bhutan until 1955. The Dzong is still the winter residence of the Je Khenpo (chief abbot) and the central monastic body.
Overnight at Punakha
Day 4: Punakha/Trongsa/Bumthang
Today we get an early start for a spectacular drive up into the central valleys of Bhutan. The drive to Bumthang via Trongsa (7 hours) crosses Pele La and Yotong La. We will drive on the Central Road, the main route across the Black Mountains that was completed just 30 years ago. On the way, we pass Wangdue, a major town and the district headquarters of Western Bhutan, where we will make a short stop to view the Wangdue Phodrang Dzong, a gompa, (monastery), dramatically located on the spur of a hill at the meeting of the Tsang Chu and Dang Chu rivers.
We continue our climb, passing through semi-tropical vegetation to Pele La with its alpine environment of rhododendrons and dwarf bamboo. This pass is traditionally considered the boundary between West and East Bhutan. If the weather is clear, the Himalayas can be seen in the distance, particularly the peak of Jhomolhari to the west. We’ll pass the Chendebji Chorten, built many centuries ago to suppress a demon. After lunch, we go out to view the impressive Trongsa Dzong, the ancestral home of the ruling dynasty. We also visit the Ta dzong, an ancient watchtower above the main Dzong, which has an interesting display of Mongol armor. We then drive across the Yotongla pass and into the Bumthang Valley, often described as one of the most beautiful spots in the Himalayas.
Overnight in Bumthang
Day 5: Sightseeing in Bumthang
In Bumthang, we’ll tour the Gompas and Chumey Bazaar and take a hike to visit Tamshing Monastery, one of the oldest monastic schools in the country, where the Guru Rinpoche subdued a local demon and left an imprint of his body on a rock. We’ll also visit Jambay Lhakhang, one of the oldest temples in Bhutan built in the 7th century, and Jakar Dzong, the current seat of the district administration.
Overnight at Bumthang
Day 6: Sightseeing in Bumthang
Today we’ll visit “the burning lake,” Membar as well as a brewery, and cheese factory. This evening we’ll walk through Chumey Bazaar and across the Chumey Bridge to climb to Nyingkhe Ningpo Lhakhang where we’ll meet apprentice monks playing and studying in the courtyard.
Overnight at Bumthang
Day 7: Bumthang/Gangtey
We will visit the 17th-century monastery of Gangtey Goempa. A few kilometers past the Goempa, is the fascinating valley of Phobjikha. The gentle sloping hillsides of Phobjikha are described as “the most beautiful valley in the Himalayas.” This is the winter home of black-necked cranes that migrate from the arid plains in the north to pass winter in milder and lower climate. In the evening we’ll take a walk around the beautiful valley of Gangtey which lies at an altitude of 3,000 m.
Overnight at Gangtey
Day 8: Gangtey/Paro
The Jowo Temple of Kyichu is one of the oldest temples in Bhutan. The temple was built by the Tibetan King Songsten Gampo in the 7th Century AD. The Kyichu Lhakhang was one of 108 temples constructed by him to subdue a demon that was terrorizing the people of the Himalayas. The temple is believed to have been visited by the Guru Rinpoche in the 8th Century during his visit to the Paro Valley. One of the most important relics of the temple is a 7th-century statue of Jowo Sakyamuni, which is believed to have been cast at the same time as its famous counterpart in Lhasa, Tibet.The Dungtse Lhakhang
The Dungtse Lhakhang temple is located just north of the city of Paro and is very unique in its design as it’s designed like a Chorten (Stupa). The Temple was built in 1443 AD by Thantong Gyalpo, known as the iron bridge builder in Bhutanese legend. The Dungtse Lhakhang is built on three levels that represent the three spiritual realms of the earth: Hell, Earth and Heaven. The walls are decorated in beautiful hand-painted murals that depict these three realms of earth. These beautiful murals are regarded as some of the finest examples of Bhutanese art in the country.Visit Ta Dzong
After lunch, we will visit Ta Dzong, an ancient watchtower which now houses the National Museum. This dzong was converted into the National Museum in 1968. The museum boasts antique thangka, textiles, weapons and armor, household objects and a rich assortment of natural and historical artifacts. We also visit the Rinpung Dzong, built in the 17th century to defend the valley against Tibetan invaders. The Dzong is now used as an administration center and a school for monks.
Overnight at Paro
Day 9: Paro (Tiger’s Nest)
After an early morning breakfast, we will take you for a morning hike up to Taktsang Monastery, also known as “Tiger’s Nest.” Hanging precariously and magically from a steep cliff, the Taktsang monastery is a monument of great pride for the Bhutanese nation. It defies architectural principles to the core and amazes tourists from around the world. It is a sight to behold. Taktsang or the “Tiger’s Lair”, is widely regarded as one of the most important monuments of spiritual significance in Bhutan. From the road, the hike toward Taktsang follows an uphill route and takes approximately 2-3 hours at an average walking pace on a clear, sunny day.
Overnight at Paro
Day 10: Departure on Druk Air
In the morning our Bhutanese tour representative will transport you to the Paro Airport for your flight home.
- Private arrival and departure airport transfers to and from your hotel
- All planning, handling and operational charges
- Accommodation based on double occupancy
- Privately guided sightseeing in air-conditioned vehicle (exceptions may apply)
- Services of Professional English-Speaking Guide(s) and/or Tour Escort as detailed in your itinerary
- All entrance fees mentioned in itinerary
- Elephant ride in Jaipur/ Rickshaw ride in Delhi/Boat ride in Udaipur
- Other inclusions as noted in your itinerary
Upon request, your travel consultant can provide an exact price based on your specific dates of travel. Holiday Supplements may apply. Single Supplements and Solo Traveler rates are available upon request.
- International and internal region airfare, unless otherwise stated
- Meals other than those mentioned in itinerary
- The cost of personal items such as laundry, drinks with meals or otherwise, additional incidentals, etc.
- Airport Security Charges if levied by any airport to cover the cost of security arrangements and payable locally and Airport Departure Taxes (if applicable)
- Optional and additional sightseeing not included in itinerary
- Cost of obtaining passports or required visas where necessary
- Any fees associated with using air miles for your air travel
- Transport between your home and home airport/port/station
- Gratuities unless stated in “What Your Land Price Includes”
- Travel Protection Insurance
- Other inclusions if not noted under “Includes”