Day 01 : ARRIVE PHUENTSHOLING
Meet & greet upon arrival at Phuntsholing (298Mts /977Fts) a small town at the Indo-Bhutan border. Our representative will process visa/ Permit and overnight halt at a hotel, Phuntsholing.
Day 02 : PHUENTSHOLING – THIMPHU
After breakfast, proceed to Thimphu, stopping enroute at Kharbandi Gompa. This beautiful monastery was built by Royal Grandmother, Ashi Phuntsho Choedon in 1967. There is a splendid view of Phuentsholing and the Indian plains from the splendid monastery gardens of tropical plants and flowers. From this point the road climbs steeply up and down mountainous ranges through light mountain jungle displaying lianas and orchids and small townships such as Chukha and Chimakothi. Lunch is served en route.
After passing through Chapcha, the road reaches its highest point of about 2,800m, then descends steeply and runs along the bank of the Wang Chu (river) to Chuzom (meaning confluence), where ir meets Paro Chu. From here it is only 2 hours’ drive up the valley to Thimphu. Shortly before reaching our destination, we will stop to visit Semtokha Dzong, the oldest fortress in the kingdom, build by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1627. On arrival in Thimphu, check into the hotel. Spend a night at the reserved hotel in Thimphu.
Day 03 : THIMPHU
Once a rustic village sitting in a broad, fertile river valley, Thimphu is today the nation’s bustling capital. Enjoy a full day of sightseeing, including a visit to the National Memorial Chorten depicting the Buddhist faith in the form of paintings and statues. This temple was first initiated by the Third King as a protection from the negative elements of modernisation, and as a monument to world peace. The Royal Queen Mother completed it as a memorial stupa for the Third King who passed away in 1972. Continue on to 12th century Changangkha Temple and Drubthob monastery housing the Zilukha Nunnery.
Other sites to visit include: the School for Arts and Crafts where students are taught the 13 types of Bhutanese art, The National Library housing the collection of Bhutanese scriptures dating back to the 8th century, the Traditional Paper Factory displaying the Bhutanese paper making process, and a fascinating replica of a medieval farmhouse at the Folk Heritage Museum. If there is time, you may visit the nursing pen for the Takin, the national animal of Bhutan, and Tashichhodzong, ‘the fortress of the glorious religion’. Initially erected in 1641 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, it was rebuilt in the 1960s during the reign of Bhutan’s third king in the traditional style, without plans or nails. Tashichhodzong houses some ministries, His Majesty’s secretariat, and the central monk body.
If your visit to Thimphu coincides with the weekend, you can walk through the Thimphu Market to see the variety of food of Bhutan, including basket upon basket of fiery chillies, fresh cheese and a variety of fresh greens. In addition, many stalls contain Bhutanese handicrafts and household items. (This market is open only from Friday until mid Sunday). Spend a night at the reserved hotel in Thimphu.
Day 04 : THIMPHU – PHOBJIKHA VALLEY
Transfer to Phobjikha Valley (5.5-6 hrs). Drive over the Dochu-La pass (3,100 meters) which on a clear day offers an incredible view of Himalayan peaks before descending into balmy Punakha valley (about 3 hrs total driving time). The drive through the countryside affords a glimpse of everyday life in this most remote of Himalayan kingdom’s. In the Dochu-La area there are vast Rhododendron forests that grow to tree size and bloom in late April/early May covering the mountains in a riot of glorious spring colour.
Continue on through the bustling market town of Wangduephodrang, driving up a winding mountain road through oak and rhododendron forests, and over a high pass down into the wide and picturesque Phobjikha Valley. Phobjikha is one of Bhutan’s few glacial valleys, and chosen winter home of black necked cranes (November – March) migrating from the Tibetan plateau. The valley is one of the most beautiful in Bhutan. Spend a night at the reserved hotel in Phobjikha.
Day 05 : PHOBJIKHA VALLEY – PUNAKHA
After breakfast drive to Punakha. On arrival, visit Punakha Dzong, the “Palace of Great Happiness” built in 1637 by the Shabdrung, the ‘Unifier of Bhutan’ as predicted by the great Guru Rimpoche (Padmasambhava). It is situated at the confluence of the Mo Chu and Pho Chu (Mother and Father Rivers) and is the winter headquarters of the Je Khenpo and hundreds of monks who move en masse from Thimphu to this warmer location. The three story main temple of the Punakha Dzong is a breathtaking example of traditional architecture with four intricately embossed entrance pillars crafted from cypress and decorated in gold and silver. It was here in 1907 that Bhutan’s first king was crowned. Spend a night at the reserved hotel in Punakha/Wangduephodrang.
Day 06 : PUNAKHA – PARO
In the morning drive to Yabesa village and hike to through ricefields and up to Khamsum Yueley Namgyal Chorten, built by her majesty the queen Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuk perched on a majestic hill near the Pho Chhu River, the Chorten houses paintings of Nyingmapa Traditions. Wangduephodrang Dzong, Built in 1639 the strategically located Dzong is perched on a spur at the confluence of two rivers. Drive back to Thimphu where you will have an opportunity to visit handicraft and souvenir stores. Afterwards proceed to Paro, visiting Semtokha Dzong en route. The Dzong, built in 1627, is the oldest in Bhutan. It now houses the Institute for Language and Culture studies. On arrival in Paro, check into the hotel. Spend a night at the reserved hotel in Paro.
Day 07 : PARO
After breakfast hike to Taktsang Monastery. The trail is broad and the walk of approximately 1.5 to 2 hours uphill takes you almost a kilometre above the Paro valley floor (for those who cannot hike we will arrange a horse for transfer up to cafeteria). The view of Taktsang Monastery built on a sheer cliff face 900 metres above the valley floor is a spectacular sight. The Monastery is also an important pilgrim site for the Buddhists. The great Guru Rimpoche is said to have flown here on the back of a tigress when he brought the teachings of the Buddhist Dharma to Bhutan in the 8th Century. He then mediated in a cave there for three months where the monastery was later built. The cave is said to be the origin of Buddhism in Bhutan. Nearby there is a teahouse where you can stop for refreshments before returning to Paro for lunch.
In the afternoon drive to the ruins of the 17th Century Drukgyel Dzong, an historic monument built by the Shabdrung to commemorate his victory against invading Tibetans in 1644. In fine weather the towering peak of the sacred Mount Jomolhari (7314m) appears as a stunning backdrop. On the return drive to Paro, visit 7th Century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples constructed by the Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo. Kyichu is built in a manner similar to the Jokhang in Lhasa. Inside there is a great golden image of Buddha Shakyamuni. Spend a night at the reserved hotel in Paro.
Day 08 : PARO- Phuentsholing (160 km. 4 hrs. drive)
After early breakfast drive to Haa valley located in South West of Paro and covering an area of roughly 1706 sq. km. Haa is the smallest Dzongkhag in the country. This tiny region is one of the most beautiful and isolated areas in the kingdom, adorned with pristine alpine forests and tranquil mountain peaks.
Haa is the ancestral home of the Queen Grandmother and the illustrious Dorji family. This valley remains one of the least visited areas in the country and retains the air of an unspoiled, primeval forest. The town has been developed along the Haa Chu River and can be divided into two distinct sectors; the Northern part of town has the central bazaar, main shops and restaurants while the Southern half of town is occupied by an IMTRAT (Indian Military Training Team) camp and a Bhutanese army training camp. Rather uniquely, Wangchulo Dzong is located inside the IMTRAT compound. This is one of the newer dzongs having been constructed in 1913. Afternoon drive back to Paro Hotel check out from Hotel and drive to Phuentsholing and spend a night at the reserved hotel in Phuentsholing.
Day 09 : Phuentsholing – BAGDOGRA AIRPORT Drop.(166 Km. 4 hrs. Drive)
After Breakfast: Check-Out from Hotel & Your heart will never allow you to leave this place but your destination awaits you. Today you will depart from Paro with a cute smile on your face remembering all the sweet moments spent here and drive back to drop Bagdogra Airport for further journey.
Tour End: Go back your home town with sweet memories.
|3*||Park Hotel/similar||Hotel Amodhara/similar||Kichu Resort||Damchen Resort/similar||Dewachen Resort/similar|
Arrival and Departure Transfers
Bhutan Government Taxes & Royalty
Accommodation In Twine/Double sharing basis at Top 3 star plus Hotels /Resorts
All transfer ex. BAGDOGRA AIRPORT Transportation Following are our transportation:
2 Pax: Hyundai Santa fee/Tucson or Similar (4 + 1 Seater)
4 - 10 Pax: Luxury Toyota Hiace Bus (10 + 1 Seater).
11 & above Pax: Luxury Toyota Coaster Bus (18 + 1Seater)
All Tourist Permit: Yes
All Bhutan Taxes
All Meals (Breakfast, Dinner) with Evening Refreshments
Fluent English Speaking Bhutanese guide licensed by Royal Bhutan Govt.
Extra Services: Mineral drinking water
Both Flight / Train Fare
No Tips for the guides, driver or hotels
Travel insurance is not covered
Luxury hotels (4 Star & 5 Star)and separate vehicle will be charged extra
Personal related expenses like calls, Internet, Beverages, Alcohol, laundry, donations to Monasteries and Temples, Souvenirs, shopping etc.