DAY 01: ARRIVE PARO – THIMPHU VALLEY SIGHTSEEING
DAY 02: THIMPHU TO PHOBJIKHA VALLEY
DAY 03: PHOBJIKHA VALLEY
DAY 04: PHOBJIKHA – PUNAKHA
DAY 05: PUNAKHA – PARO
DAY 06: BUMDRA TREK
DAY 07: BUMDRA TREK
DAY 08: DEPART PARO
DAY 01: ARRIVE PARO – THIMPHU
The flight to Paro is one of the most spectacular mountain flights in the world, providing a spectacular panorama of some of the highest mountains on earth. Drive to the capital, Thimphu along the Paa chu River.
Visit Folk Heritage Museum is a great place for those who want to learn about the traditional lifestyle of the Bhutanese people. The museum houses a rich collection of equipment, tools, household objects and artefacts from rural households, all of which offer a glimpse of the traditional Bhutanese lifestyle. Apart from showcasing these objects, the museum is also involved in organizing regular demonstrations of rural traditions, skills, customs and habits of the local people. Educational programs for children are also held in the museum.
Later visit the Zorig Chusum refers to the thirteen traditional arts of Bhutan. At the National Institute for Zorig Chusum in Thimphu, students learn these arts, which include clay sculpting, traditional painting, tailoring, wood carving, gold and silver smiting, and mask carving. Some of the other arts taught here are wood turning and lacquering, embroidery, and traditional boot making. Aspiring artists attend the courses from one to four years. In the institute, one can visit the classrooms and watch students fine-tuning their crafts.
Jungshi Handmade paper factory, rough natural fibers are extracted from the bark of two species of highland shrubs and slowly transformed into beautiful translucent sheets of paper. The factory uses the bark of two tree species, the Daphne tree and Dhekap tree in the manufacture of traditional paper. Visitors can observe the entire process of producing handmade paper using ancient traditional methods that have been practiced for generations. You can even try your hand at this ancient craft and make some paper of your very own as a souvenir. Deh-sho paper was originally used by monasteries for woodblock and manuscript books and also for writing prayer books.
Weaving center Located in the south end of Thimphu, the Weaving Centre is a privately owned centre which produces traditional hand-woven textiles of the region. Apart from producing items for sale, the centre is also famous for producing ceremonial textiles for the for Bhutanese royals, including the gho and kushturara for the king and queen. The place is known for its huge collection of a wide range of clothing and readymade garments, including carves, belts, and jackets among other things. What attracts travellers to this place is the fact that one can see the weavers at work, and photographs are allowed too.
Overnight at your hotel in Thimphu.
DAY O2: THIMPHU TO PHOBJIKHA VALLEY
After breakfast drive towards Phobjikha valley considered the most beautiful valley. On the way after 30 minutes‟ drive from Thimphu will reach at highest pass between Thimphu and Punakha the place called Dochula pass (3140m). The pass is a popular location among tourists as it offers a stunning 360 degree panoramic view of the Himalayan mountain range. The view is especially scenic on clear, winter days with snowcapped mountains forming a majestic backdrop to the tranquility of the 108 chortens gracing the mountain pass.
Upon reaching Dochulaa Pass start Lungchutse hike (1 to 1.5 hour), which is one of the most rejuvenating and picturesque hike. The trail will take you through a diverse forest of hemlock, rhododendrons and junipers until you reach the temple on the ridge. On a clear weather day, tourists can enjoy a 360 degree view of the Himalayas from the ridge. Some of the notable mountains include Jumolhari (7314 m), Masang Gang in the region of Laya (7158), Zongophu Gang – a table mountain that dominates the isolated region of Lunana (7060 m) and GangkharPuensum (7520 m), the highest peak in Bhutan. You can also see GasaDzong, as a tiny white speck in a sea of green almost 50 kilometers to the north.
After hike continue your journey towards Phobjikha.
Overnight at homestay / hotel.
DAY 03: PHOBJIKHA VALLEY
After breakfast drive for an hour to the charming village called Longtey from here the 3 to 3.5 hours moderate hike back towards GangteyGompa starts. Head along a sloping, lined pathway that takes you through towering bushes of jade-hued bamboo, swaying together in a jumble of shadow and light. At the end of the bamboo enclave lies a small group of village houses, built in the distinct Bhutanese style, which features elevated platforms, intricately carved timber window panes and wood-lined, arched roofs.
During the spring months the woodlands on either side of the valley look particularly stunning, gloriously cloaked in a kaleidoscope of crimson, violet and candy floss coloured rhododendrons. In the winter months, the valley is splendidly shrouded in thick blankets of pearly white snow, on which mighty onyx and caramel-horned yaks graze. As you move upwards, you’ll pass ancient rhododendron forests and soaring trees that sigh in the wind, whispering the ancient secrets of this mystical region. Next, head down to the tranquil village of Kumbu, where you can choose to end your walk, or carry on to the deep valley floor and the Shedra, a renowned and mystical place of teaching.
After lunch visit Gangtey Goempa, the oldest Nyingmapa temple in western Bhutan. The Gangtey Monastery, generally known as Gangtey Goenpa or Gangtey Monastery, is an important monastery of Nyingmapa school of Buddhism, the main seat of the Pema Lingpa tradition. It is located in the Wangdue Phodrang District in the western part of Bhutan.
Then explore valley on foot is the best way to experience Gangtey as you will walk by small villages and picturesque scenery. Later visit, Crane Information Centre which gives all the information about birds. Overnight at home stay / hotel in Phobjikha.
DAY O4: PHOBJIKHA – PUNAKHA (2 hour drive)
Before driving to Punakha valley do the Nature trail hike 1 hour. This is the most beautiful and shortest of the existing nature trails in Bhutan. This hike which takes you through the pine forest and small bamboo plants provides a spectacular view of the Phobjikha Valley. After the hike drive towards Punakha valley. Upon reaching enjoy your lunch and,
Visit Punakha Dzong the impressive Dzong built in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to serve as the religious and administrative center of the region. Damaged over the centuries by four catastrophic fires and an earthquake, the Dzong has been fully restored in recent years by the present monarch. Considered the most beautiful dzong in Bhutan where every Bhutanese king has been crowned and where it is still in use as the winter residence of the official monk body of the kingdom. The Dzong is placed strategically at the junction of the Pho Chu and Mo Chu rivers. This ancient fortress is the winter residence of the monastic order’s head and still serves as the administrative headquarters for the Punakha region.
After visiting the Punakha Dzong take a leisurely walk for 5 to 10 minutes to reach the longest suspension bridge of Bhutan. We have a great view of villages on the other side of the river. Overnight at hotel in Punakha.
DAY 05: PUNAKHA – PARO (3.5 hour drive)
After the breakfast drive towards Paro crossing the beautiful 108 stupas at the Dochula pass and the capital city Thimphu. Stop at Chuzom bridge, Confluence of Thimphu River (Wang Chu) & Paro river (Pa Chu) to stretch you legs from the long drive. En-route stop to visit the Tamchog, built by Thangtong Gyalpo, a pioneering engineer who introduced the construction of suspension bridges into Bhutan and Tibet. It is believed that more than 58 bridges were built across the country however only 2 have survived. One of these bridges still stands strong at the base of the Tamchog Lhakhang. Marvel at the iron bridge reconstructed using original chain links.
Upon reaching Paro lunch will be served. After lunch do the Zuri Hike 45 minutes hike. The hike provides wonderful views down over the valley and Dzong and is perfect for you to train your legs for the trek the next day. In the evening stroll around the Paro town to look for souvenir to take back home and take good rest in the hotel to prepare for the hike to the Tiger’s nest. Overnight in hotel at Paro.
DAY 06: BUMDRA TREK STARTS
After your early breakfast drive to Sang Choekor Buddhist University in the Paro valley (2,800 m) and hike to a beautiful Yak pasture where we camp below Bumdra Monastery(3,800 m)
Your short and easy adventure begins from Sang Choekor Buddhist University. The first one to two-hour ascent of a shady, forested ridge brings us to a clearing with prayer flags and stunning views down into both the Paro and Do Chhu Valleys. Above and ahead the ChhoeTseLhakhang (temple) nestles on the mountainside a further one to two hour‟s walk away. The trail undulates before the last steep section up to the pretty temple which offers commanding views south over Paro and northwards to the snowcapped Himalayas. After a final 20-minute climb through ruins and fluttering prayer flags, we plunge back into ancient forest, and, after traversing for about 40 minutes, we come out onto a high wide meadow dotted with sacred Chortens and prayer flags. Your camp for the night is tucked away just under Bumdra Monastery (Cave of a Thousand Prayers) and offers unimpeded views of the Himalayan ranges. After lunch we can visit the monastery and also climb the peak to the north (about 4000m). Overnight at your camp.
DAY 07: TREK ENDS
Hike downhill from Bumdra camp via ZangtoPelri Monastery and Taktsang Monastery. After a hearty breakfast, it is time to either head straight back into the valley or spend a little extra time enjoying the view. Eventually we have to drop back into the ancient pine and rhododendron forest on the monks‟ zigzagging trail.
After one to two hours of descent we catch glimpses of the golden roofs of temples below. The path snakes across the mountainside between these monasteries before reaching the gardens of ZangtoPelri (Heaven on Earth) from which you can, if you are brave, peer over the edge, straight down onto the ornate rooftops of Taktsang Monastery perched against the cliff-face far below.
An hour later and we are across the gorge from Taktsang Monastery. Follow a steep descent to a waterfall then go up for 10 minutes and you‟ll reach the Tiger‟s Nest. Retracing our steps we begin the final descent of about 45 minutes to Paro Valley floor to reach our vehicle from where you will be transferred by road to your overnight stay at the hotel in Paro. Later in the evening enjoy hot stone bath to relax your muscles from the trek. Overnight at your hotel in Paro.
DAY 08: DEPART PARO
Breakfast in the
hotel, then drive to the airport for flight to your onward destination.
Some of the sights/itinerary may change due to season, weather, national holidays, and special events. We maintain the rights to alter the itinerary since tours are made in advance and unforeseen circumstances that mandate change may arise. Itinerary changes are made to improve your overall travel experience in Bhutan
The driving and hiking times mentioned are approximate times and do not include breaks in the journey for sightseeing, photo/tea/meal/rest stops. There may be delays in transfer time due road conditions, road repair/widening works, inclement weather and other unforeseen circumstances. During the treks/hikes, there may be delays or diversion of hiking trails due to trail conditions, inclement weather and other unforeseen circumstances. Please note that at the moment there are numerous areas where road conditions are not very good due to road widening/repair works and you may experience rough and bumpy drives.
WHAT WE INCLUDE IN OUR TAILOR MADE BHUTAN TOURS: