Western and Central Bhutan Tour
Day 1: Arrive Paro – Thimphu
Flight to Paro offers you beautiful view of mountains and landscapes. On arrival and after visa formalities you will be received by our representative and then transfer to Thimphu, the modern capital town of Bhutan.
Then visit, The Largest and Tallest Statue of Buddha in the world, Buddha Point.
Evening, stroll around Thimphu town. Dinner and overnight stay at Thimphu Hotel.
Day 2: Thimphu
After breakfast visit Trashichhodzong, the beautiful medieval fortress/monastery which houses most of the Government’s office and King’s Throne room. Then visit National Library which holds a vast collection of ancient Buddhist texts and manuscripts. After that visit Painting School, famous for traditional thangkha paintings. Also visit to Traditional Medicine Institute is worthwhile where centuries old healing arts still practiced. Later visit, Textile and Folk Heritage Museum, a fascinating testimony of the Bhutanese material culture and living traditions.
After that, visit the Handicrafts Emporium and local shops for souvenirs ranging from Bhutan’s fine traditional arts, textiles, thangkha paintings, masks, ceramics, slate and woodcarvings, jewelers to other interesting items made from local materials. Then drive to Memorial Chorten, the stupa built in the memory of Bhutan’s Third King who is popularly regarded as Father of modern Bhutan. Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.
Day 3: Thimphu – Punakha, 90 Km, 3 Hours
After breakfast drive to Punakha with a short stop at Dochula pass (3,050m) that heralds the most enchanting views of Bhutan. Later visit to Punakha Dzong, the 17th century fortress that is the seat of the district administration and the winter residence of the monk body, followed by a stroll of the local market. Then visit, Chimi Lhakhang. Overnight at the hotel in Punakha.
Day 4: Punakha – Wangduephodrang – Gangtey, 70 km, 3 hours
After breakfast drive to Gangtey via Wangduephodrang. Visit the ruins of Wangdue Dzong (tragically destroyed by fire in June 2012) and interesting local market. Further ahead pass through dense forests and oak, rhododendron tress, reaching at Gangtey (Phobjikha).
Evening take a walk around Gangtey village and visit Gangtey Gompa, the only Nyingmapa monastery in this region. Overnight at Camp / Guest House.
Day 5: Gangtey – Trongsa, 120 km, 4.1/2 hours
In the morning explore Phobjikha valley which is famous for Black Necked Cranes. The cranes migrate here from Central Asiatic plateau to escape its harsh winters.
After lunch drive to Trongsa crossing 3,300m high Pele la pass. Stop enroute at Chendbji Chorten, which was built in 18th century by a Lama named Shida, it is Nepalese in style with eyes painted at four cardinal points. In the evening visit Trongsa market. Overnight at the lodge in Trongsa.
Day 6: Trongsa – Bumthang (68 kms, 3 hrs)
After breakfast, visit Trongsa Dzong. Built in 1648, it was the seat of power over central and eastern Bhutan. Both the first and second King ruled the country from this ancient seat. Then visit Ta Dzong (watch tower), dedicated to Buddhist epic hero, King Gesar of ling. Later drive to Bumthang, the religious heartland of the nation. Enroute observe the Yathra weaving center at Zungey. Overnight at the lodge in Bumthang.
Day 7: Bumthang
After Breakfast, visit Kurje Lhakhang where the saint Padmasambhava subdued a local demon and left his body imprint on a rock; the Jambey Lhakhang (7th century temple), Tamshing Monastery (one of the oldest monastic school), the Jakar Dzong (administrative centre of the region) and Swiss Farm House. Stroll in the village, visit the little handicrafts shop at the entrance to the town, and perhaps take refreshments at a local restaurant. Overnight at the lodge in Bumthang.
Day 8: Bumthang (Excursion to Ura valley)
Bumthang to Ura is 48 km, about one and a half hour drive. To reach here, the road climbs to amazingly open countryside, only occasionally running into forest. Large sheep pastures line the road up to 20 km behind the southern tip of the Tang valley. The route crosses Ura la pass (3,600m) with a magnificent view of Mount. Gangkhar Puensum. Villages in Ura have clustered houses, which is quite unusual in Bhutan. Above Ura village (3,100m) is a new temple dedicated to Guru Rinpoche. Inaugurated in 1986, it contains a huge statue of the master and remarkable paintings of the cycle of his teachings. Since last 25 years Ura has been transformed from a marginal community to prosperous valley.
Overnight at the lodge in Bumthang.
Day 9: Bumthang –Wangduephodrang, 205 km, 7 hours
After breakfast explore fascinating valley of Bumthang. Then proceed to Trongsa where lunch would be served in local restaurant, famous for its traditional cuisine. Evening take a stroll around Wangdue town, visiting shops, local market and mingling with people. Overnight at the hotel in Wangduephodrang.
Day 10: Wangduephodrang – Paro, 77 km, 3 hours
After breakfast, drive to Paro. In the afternoon, visit Ta Dzong, the National Museum. The museum collection includes ancient Bhutanese art and artifacts, weapons and country’s exquisite postage stamps. Then walk down the trail to visit Rinpung Dzong situated at commanding height, overlooking Paro valley. This Dzong is symbolic as the religious and secular centre of all affairs of the valley. Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
Day 11: Paro
Begin this day with a short drive to the ruined fortress of Drugyel dzong which still attracts visitors due to the strategic location of the fort. From this fort Bhutanese repelled several invasions by Tibetan armies. Nearby visit traditional Bhutanese Farm House which offers good insight into lifestyle of local people. Then take an excursion to Taktsang Monastery, the spot where Guru Rinpoche arrived on the back of a tigress and meditated. The temple is perched on a sheer rock face. The excursion to monastery’s view point takes about 5 hours for round trip. While return to Paro town visit enroute Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest and most sacred shrines of the Kingdom. Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
Day 12: Paro Depart
After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for your onward flight.
Total cost includes:
- Standard Hotel (3 star hotel) twin sharing accommodations
- Full Board – All meals at local restaurants/ standard hotels – Buffet System
- All internal Transport/ Transfers in luxury vehicle
- Airport Transfers
- Services of Licensed English Speaking Guide
- Entrances fees to museums, monuments and cultural sites
- Evening tea/ coffee with snacks
- Mineral water in car while traveling as complementary
- All internal taxes and charges
- Government royalty (US$65 per night per person)
- FIT Surcharge of US$ 40 per night per person for single person and US$ 30 per night per person for 2 pax
- Bhutan Visa fee: US$ 40 per person (one time only)
- Tourism Development Fee: US$ 10 per person (one time only)
- Bank Transfer Charge
But Total cost does not include:
- Travel Insurance
- Laundry bill, phone bill, bar bill and other bills of personal nature
- Air Fare for both Drukair/Bhutan Airline and International flight [Please note that the cost of any domestic airfare for the guide must be paid by the clients/agents]
- Single room supplement (If number of pax in odd number): For, peak season = US$ 30/ per single room per night and for, other season = US$25/ per single room per night
- Luxury star hotels and resorts available at an additional cost
- Specialized guides (Foreign Language, Photography, Bird Watching, Buddhism, Flora and Fauna) available at an additional cost
- Extra expenses due to the unavoidable circumstance beyond our control.
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