Destinations Covered: Paro - Thimphu - Gangtey - Punakha - Paro
The Buddhist Kingdom in the Himalayas, Bhutan is a little paradise. The "Land of the Thunder Dragon" is known for its culture, amazing geography, adventures and experiences. The Bhutan Cultural Tour is an exciting itinerary of 8 Days and 7 Nights. The amazing spiritual culture, makes Bhutan uniquely blissful. The tour starts in Paro, after which you proceed to the capital city, Thimpu. Gangtey introduces you to some mystical monasteries. Punakha gives insight into the charm of rustic Bhutan. The tour offers a great chance to learn about history, culture and enjoy food, shopping, trekking and other experiences.
The Bhutan Cultural Tour begins with your arrival into Paro, the location of Bhutan's only airport. The Paro Valley offers spectacular views of the mighty Himalayas, and richly forested mountains. Upon arrival, meet the tour representative for your transfer to Thimphu.
On arrival in Thimpu, check-in at the hotel. Freshen up and leave for an afternoon of sightseeing. The tour starts with Memorial Chorten, built in 1974 in the memory of Bhutan's Late Majesty, King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk, who is also popularly regarded as Father of modern Bhutan. The next stops of the tour also includes, National Library, the National Textile Museum, and Folk Heritage Museum. In the evening, browse the markets to shop for Bhutanese handicrafts and jewellery.
Overnight stay in Thimphu.
The day is scheduled for sightseeing tour of Thimphu. The first stop on the tour is Changangkha Lhakhang, a fortress like temple and monastic school perched on a ridge above the city. Next, proceed to the BBS Tower, known for its fascinating views of Thimphu valley. Explore the Mini zoo or Takin Preserve which is home to Takin, the national animal of Bhutan that looks like a cross between a cow and a goat. Pay a visit to Anim Dratshang (nunnery) at Drubthob Goemba. Stop over at Trashichhodzong, an impressive monastery. There are numerous things to see. It houses the Secretariat building, the throne room of His Majesty, the King and various government offices. It is also the summer residence of Chief Abbot and central monk body.
After a day of amazing sights, return to your hotel for the night.
The day begins with a scenic drive over the high mountain pass of Dochu La (3,088m/ 10,130 ft) and on to the Phobjikha Valley. Pass through dense forests of oak and rhododendron to reach Gangtey.
On arrival, check in to the hotel. Rest for a while and later proceed for the local sights. After checking into your hotel in Gangtey, take a walk through the village. The Gangtey village is quite charming. Visit the Gangtey Gompa, the only Nyingmapa monastery in this region. This region is also known as the winter home of black necked cranes. These birds migrate from the arid plains of Tibet in the north, to spend the winter months in a milder climate.
Return to the hotel for overnight stay.
Today, proceed to Punakha. The road drive passes through scenic locales of Himalayan Kingdom. En-route, visit Wangduephodrang. The picturesque site is perched on an offshoot at the confluence of two rivers. The remarkable location is blessed with impressive views of the surrounding areas. Spend some time in the charming bliss.
On arrival in Punakha, check into the hotel.
Today, leave for sightseeing tour of Punakha. Start the day with a leisurely hike up through fields of chilies, cabbages and rice along the banks of the Mo Chhu to the upper end of the valley. The first stop of your tour is Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten, a stunning monument recently built by the Queens and consecrated in 1999. Next, visit the impressive Punakha Dzong. It is home to the remains of Bhutan's first ruler, Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel. The monument also serves as the winter residence of the monastic order's leader and his entourage of monks. Stop for a picnic lunch on the banks of the Punak Chhu. Enjoy a blissful meal in the stunning dzong which straddles the confluence of two rivers, which are also known as Bhutan's father and mother.
After a fulfilling day of exploration, return to the hotel for overnight stay.
The day starts with a scenic drive back to Paro. Pass through the snow covered Dochu La, the mountain pass known for 108 memorial chortens of Druk Wangyal. Enjoy the views of the picturesque Wang Chhu and Paro Chhu river valleys through the window of your car.
Upon arrival in Paro, check in at the Hotel. Freshen up for an afternoon sightseeing tour in Paro. Start the tour with a visit to Ta Dzong, inaugurated as Bhutan's National Museum in 1968. Here you can check out a fascinating collection of art, relics, religious thangkha paintings and Bhutan's exquisite postage stamps. The next stop is Rinpung Dzong, which houses the monastic body of Paro and office of the district administration. Enjoy excellent view of mountains as you are literally in their lap.
Overnight in Paro.
The day is planned with thrilling activities. Get ready for a 5-hour hike, an excursion to Taktshang Monastery. One of the most famous of Bhutan's monasteries, it is perched on the side of a cliff 900 m above the Paro valley. This monastery is also called "Tiger's Nest", since according to the legend, Guru Rinpoche arrived here on the back of a tigress. In 1998, the monastery was severely damaged by a fire, but now has been restored to its original splendour. A visit here, is said to be the highlight of a holiday in Bhutan.
For those not interested in the hike, there is also the option of a driving trip to Chela La pass. Snuggled at an altitude of 4200 m, the Chele La view point offers magnificent views Chomolhari peaks and Jichu Drakey, which is situated almost 7000 m above the sea level.
Return to the hotel for overnight stay.
The Bhutan tour ends today. Get a transfer to Paro airport in time for your flight home.