Fly in: Paro Airport, Bhutan
Tour duration: 7 nights 8 days
Fly out: Paro Airport, Bhutan
The last remaining Himalayan kingdom, which has also recently become a democracy, Bhutan has much to offer its visitors, whether they are trekkers or seekers of culture and colour. With only one airport (Paro) serving the country, and a limited number of twisting mountain roads entering from India, access is restricted. It is also expensive, because of government regulations intended to reduce the number of tourists and the impact of tourism. In very recent years, Internet and television have arrived in the country and it remains to be seen how things will evolve in the future. For now it remains a colourful country of culture, where all nationals must wear their national costume, the gho for men and kira for women, and all new buildings are constructed in the same old style, with brightly painted designs on the walls and rooftops.
Departure Dates -1st November 2011
Besides we also make Tailor made itineraries for schools, clubs, families and special interest groups ;bird watching, festival tours, cultural tours and many more. .Please send us your queries regarding travel, tours, itineraries and other specified information. We would be happy to devise a program to suit your interest, your time and date.
On a clear day, the flight to Paro is one of the most spectacular of all mountain flights. You will see major Himalayan peaks such as Everest, Kanchenjunga and Makalu, and then on the final approach to Paro Bhutan’s own snowy peaks, Chomolhari and Jichu Drake will come into view. Bhutan’s first gift to you as you disembark from the aircraft will be cool, clean fresh mountain air. After clearing customs and visa control you are met by your Bhutan representative(s), (who will) and then drive you the short distance to Paro town. After lunch visit Ta Dzong, an ancient watchtower, that now, houses the National Museum. This dzong was converted into the National Museum in 1968. The museum boasts antique thangkas, textiles, weapons and armors, household objects and rich assortment of natural and historic artifacts. We also visit the Rinpung Dzong, built in 17th century to defend the valley against Tibetan invaders. The dzong is now used as an administration centre and school for monks. The evening ends with a walk through Paro’s main shopping district. Dinner and overnight stay at hotel.
After breakfast drive the winding road to the Drukgyal Dzong, the ruined fort, which was once defended this valley from Tibetan invasions. Mount Chomolhari, can be seen the on a clear day from Drukgyal village. You can visit a typical Bhutanese Farm House of a local family for a close up view of everyday Bhutanese life. We then drive to Shari to hike up (or horse ride) to the Taktsang monastery (Tiger’s nest). The horse ride up or hike to the cafeteria will take around one and half hour. At the view point enjoy the stunning view of the monastery, where Guru Padmasambhava landed on the back of a tigress8/ in the 8th century. After lunch at the café walk back to the road point. After lunch at the cafeteria walk back to the road point. On our way back to the hotel we visit Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest temples in Bhutan built in 7th century. Evening at leisure. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
Morning drive to Thimphu, the modern capital of Bhutan. The drive will take around 1½ hour. Thimphu has a population of about 98,500. The town is made up of just three lines of shops and is the only capital in the world without traffic lights. En route visit Simtokha Dzong. Check In at hotel and there you will be served lunch. After lunch visit National Memorial Chorten built in honor of our late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk and the Dupthop Lhakhang one of the few surviving nunneries in Bhutan. We then visit the National Library, stocked with ancient Buddhist manuscripts, and the Arts & Crafts School where traditional art is still kept alive through instructions in the art of painting Thangkas (sacred Buddhist religious scrolls). After lunch we drive to the Traditional Medicine Institute where medicines are prepared according to ancient practices and to Lungten Zampa to visit the Bhutanese Handmade Paper Factory. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
In the morning visit the Textile Museum, where the art of traditional weaving is still kept alive and preserved through exhibition and has a good collection of old textiles which are rich in their colors and designs; then visit the Folk Heritage Museum, which is dedicated to connecting people to the Bhutanese rural past through exhibition of items and artifacts used in rural households and then depart to Punakha, leaving Thimphu the road climbs steeply through a forest of pine and cedar, festooned with hanging lichen high up near Dochola pass (3050 m). This pass often offers panoramic views of the Himalayan mountain ranges. After stopping for tea and the view, we descend along a series of hairpin bends to the fertile valley of Punakha. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
After breakfast drive through the small town of Punakha and view the Punakha Dzong, winter seat of the Je Khenpo and ancient capital of Bhutan, remarkably located between the rivers of the Mo (Female) Chu and Pho (Male) Chu. The dzong is open to visitors only in summer when the Je Khenpo and the Monk Body are in Thimphu and then continue our drive to Gangtey, Gangtey lies towards the east of Punakha and Wangdue on the flanks of the Black Mountains. There is an old monastery of Gangtey Gompa dating back to the 17th century. A few kilometers past the Gompa on the valley floor are the fascinating valley of Phobjikha. The gentle sloping hill sides 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 of Tibetan Plateau in the north to pass winter in milder and lower climate. We continue our drive back till we reach Wangdue. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
After breakfast visit Wangdue Dzong, one of the major towns and district headquarters of Western Bhutan. We make a short stop to view the Wangdue Phodrang Dzong dramatically located on the spur of a hill at the confluence of the Tsang Chhu and Dang Chhu and then drive back to Thimphu via Dochola pass. In the evening you could take a stroll around the streets of Thimphu. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
After breakfast drive over the confluence to the forbidden valley of Haa (it was closed to tourism until 2002). It is the last valley of Bhutan bordering with autonomous Tibet. Visit the Dzong of Haa and also the temples of Haap Chhundu (guardian deity of the valley) and drive back to Paro via Chelela pass, one of the highest point (3,780m) of motorable road in Bhutan. From here you will be able to view some of the highest mountains of Bhutan from here and the scenery is magnificent. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
Early breakfasts served at your hotel and then you will be driven a short distance to the Paro airport where your Bhutanese escort(s) will bid you farewell.