• Tajmahal

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

Visit Kyichu Lhakhang:

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)

Hike to Paro –Takstang

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.

Inclusions:

  • 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
  • Breakfast
  • Other inclusions as noted in your itinerary

Note:
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.

Exclusions:

  • 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”

 

BEFORE YOU GO
On Your Bhutan Tour
  • Passport Requirements for Bhutan Tours

    A passport that is valid for at least six months after the end of your trip is required for all U.S. citizens to enter and depart the country. Please ensure that the name on your passport matches all travel documents we have issued. If this is not the case, please contact us immediately.

    Please make a photocopy of your passport’s identification page and keep it separate from your original. It’s also a good idea to leave a digital copy with someone at home. This may speed up the replacement process should you lose your passport.

  • Visa Requirements for India Tours

    We will apply for your Bhutan visa once final tour payment is received and we will require the following: Scanned, color passport copy (both picture page and details page) sent via email. The picture must be clear. This must also be the passport you intend to travel with.

    A visa clearance document will be emailed to you roughly 2 weeks prior to your arrival date. This visa document is required for checking in at the airport, for boarding Druk Air flights, and at the immigration check point in Samdrup Jongkhar and Phuntsholing for those entering/exiting by surface. Actual visas will be stamped into your passport on arrival at the the Paro airport or at your immigration check point.

  • Insurance Recommendations for Bhutan Tours

    Cancelation and Medical Insurance is highly recommended as it can safeguard against the expenses associated with in-country medical emergencies, lost or delayed baggage and emergency cancelation or interruption of your trip. Please ensure your policy will provide you with upfront medical coverage so that you are not responsible for a hefty doctor’s bill while away. Insurance can be purchased through us.

  • Vaccination Requirements for Bhutan Tours

    No vaccinations are required to enter Bhutan. It is recommended to be up to date with your routine vaccinations.

    Other recommended (but not necessary) vaccines include:
    • Hepatitis A
    • Hepatitis B
    • Typhoid
    • Japanese Encephalitis
    • Rabies

    Some vaccines require more than one dose or a major length of time to be effective. For that reason, it is recommended to see your doctor or health provider at least 6 to 8 weeks before your trip. For all vaccinations and health requirements, you can also refer to the recommendations from:

    World Health Organization (WHO): http://www.who.int and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) http://wwwnc.cdc.gov.

  • Medication Requirements for Bhutan Tours

    If there are any medical items essential to your health, such as prescription drugs or corrective eye wear, bring duplicates and divide them between your checked bags and hand luggage. While non-prescription drugs such as aspirin are generally available, it is difficult to replace prescription items.

    Other recommended Items:
    • Sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher), after-sun lotion, lip balm, sunglasses
    • Insect repellent with a high concentration of DEET (at least 30 percent)
    • Basic medicine kit (painkillers, band-aids, antiseptic cream, etc.)
    • Digestive aids such as Imodium, Pepto-Bismol. Also, re-hydration salts and anti-diarrhea preparations.
    • Hydrocortisone tablets or cream for allergic skin reactions and bites
    • Anti-nausea tablets if you suffer from motion sickness
  • Weather, Seasons and Climate in Bhutan

    India’s climate is mainly hot most of the year with significant variations from region to region. The coolest weather lasts from around the end of November to the beginning of March, with fresh mornings and evenings, and mostly sunny days. The hot weather, when it is dry and dusty, is between March and June. Monsoon rains occur in most regions in summer anywhere between June and early October.

    For up-to-date forecasts, check www.weather.com.
  • Clothing and Essential Items for Bhutan Travel

    Comfortable clothing and sturdy, soft-soled shoes are essential for travel in Bhutan. Warm clothing is recommended; and except for summer months, down jackets and woolen sweaters are suggested. In summer, heavy cottons and lightweight woolens will be acceptable. Differences in altitude account for a wide range of temperatures from day to night the year round. It is, therefore, suggested that clothing be layered so that you can adapt to the changing conditions.

    While visiting temples and other religious institutions, dress modestly and respectfully. Slacks are more appropriate for men; and longer – length skirts are more appropriate for women. Shoulders must also be covered when inside religious buildings. Also refrain from smoking while on the premises. Please keep in mind that shoes must be removed when entering temples. It is, therefore, suggested that you carry a pair of socks to wear inside religious buildings.

    The following is fairly exhaustive list of what you should pack for the trip ; clothes as per season, sunglasses / spare glasses, pair of casual shoes, knife, hat, umbrella, camera, films and accessories, insect repellent, hand cream, small sewing kit & safety pins, torch or flash light with spare batteries, mirror, scissor, sun cream, lip salve, soluble aspirin, antiseptic cream, anti-histamine cream, anti-diarrhea pills, a preparation for the relief of sunburn and any medication you take regularly.

    FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS:
    Bhutan’s landscape, buildings and people are some of the most photogenic in the world. While photographic local people, it is always better to take permission first. Don’t take your destination as a living museum. There are certain places such as monasteries and temples, where photography is prohibited however there is no restriction on photographing Dzongs and Goembas from outside. If you are uncertain about whether or not photography is permitted, please check with your local guide. You should refrain from taking pictures of military installations.
  • Electricity, Phone and Internet in Bhutan

    Electricity: 220V is used throughout the country with either a type C or D plug socket.

    Phone: Roaming charges vary between carriers, but tend to be quite costly. Consult your phone provider prior to departure to discuss overseas rates and international package options.

    Internet: Most hotels also provide internet services. If you are out in the wilderness however, it will probably not be possible to find a connection.

  • Currency in Bhutan

    Bhutan uses both the Indian Rupee and Bhutanese Ngultrum. It is suggested to bring USD as it is widely accepted, and can be exchanged into Rupee locally. . Your bankcard may work using ATM’s in the larger cities, but will not be an option in the more rural parts of the country. Visa or MasterCard are accepted again in larger cities, but should not be relied on, as processing fees can be high. You will need a 4-digit PIN to be able to use your cards. For current exchange rates please visit www.xe.com.

  • Quick Facts for a Bhutan Tour
    Capital: Thimphu
    Language: Dzongkha
    Currency: Ngultrum (BTN)
    Religion: Vajrayana Buddhist
    Time Zone: GMT +6
    Electricity: 220 Volt, 50 Hz
    Telephone: Country code for calling is 975
    Calling North America: Dial 001 plus area code and your 7-digit number
    Emergency numbers in Bhutan: Police: 113, Fire: 110, Ambulance: 112.

Call (650) 931-4909 or Contact Us Online Today




Accreditation1
Accreditation3
Accreditation2