Best of Bhutan - 12N/13D

Paro - Thimphu - Gangtey - Trongsa - Bumthang - Mongar - Trashigang - Samdrup Jongkhar - Guwahati

Overview

Arrival Paro International Airport, Paro
Languages English, Spanish, German, Italian, French
Highlights
  • Visit National Chorten Memorial and local market in Thimpu
  • Sightseeing of Thimpu as per the program
  • Do Chula Pass
  • Pele-la pass
  • Visit Chendbji Chorten
  • Yutong-la pass
  • Sightseeing of Punakha as per the program
  • Excursion to Chimi Lhakhang
  • Visit Ta Dzong in Paro
  • Excursion to Taktshang Monastery
  • Visit 7th-century Kyichu Lhakhan
  • Exploratory walk along the main street and market in Paro
Important Note
  • In case of waitlisted booking, we have to hold the alternate, for which we will advise the supplement OR reduction accordingly.
  • The above rates are based on presently prevailing taxes and entrances to the monuments. If there is any change, prices will also change accordingly.
  • Check-in and Check-out time is 1200 Hrs.
  • Given rates are based on the present rate of exchange and it may be changed.

Tour Map

Tour Itinerary

  • Day 01: Arrive Paro

    The flight to Paro is one of the most spectacular in the whole of the Himalayas. Flying along the Himalayan mountain range offers fascinating views and an exciting descent into the Kingdom. Bhutan's first gift upon landing from the plane will be the fresh, clean mountain air.

    After immigration formalities and baggage collection, our representative will meet you and then drive you to the city.

    Paro - Paro rises to an altitude of 2200 m / 7218 ft above sea level. The beautiful valley of Paro holds within it a rich culture, scenic beauty, and hundreds of myths and legends. It is home to many of Bhutan's oldest temples and monasteries, the National Museum, and the country's only International airport.

    Visit the Ta Dzong, originally built as a Watchtower, which now houses the National Museum. It is located on the bank of River Mangde is a Conch shaped fortress. The extensive collection includes ancient thangka paintings, textiles, weapons and armor, household objects, and a rich variety of natural and historical artifacts.

    Dinner & Overnight at the hotel.

  • Day 02: Paro

    After breakfast, enjoy an excursion to Taktshang Monastery (Tigers Nest) (5 hours walk):

    Tiger’s Nest Monastery is one of Bhutan’s most sacred religious sites. It is perched on the side of a cliff 900m above the ground in the Paro Valley and the main temple complex was built in 1692. Legend has it that Guru Rinpoche flew to this site on a tigress’ back to subdue a local demon. Thereafter, he meditated here for three months in the 08th century. Therefore, it is called "Tiger's Nest. It is an uphill trail the entire way but not overly steep, it is very much doable for most people. This exhilarating journey offers breath-taking views along the way.

    Lunch in a restaurant.

    On the way, visit 7th-century Kyichu Lhakhang is one of the ancient, quiet, and beautiful temples in Bhutan. The construction of this temple marks the introduction of Buddhism to Bhutan. The temple is popularly believed to have been built in 659 by King Songtsen of Tibet.

    In the evening, exploratory walk along the main street and market.

    Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

  • Day 03: Paro / Thimphu

    After breakfast drive to Thimphu, on the way you can make a brief stop atChuzom,which is the meeting point of the rivers Thimphu and Paro. Three different styles of stupas; Tibetan, Nepalese and Bhutanese adorn this confluence.

    Later continue drive to Thimphu – The kingdom's capital is home to approximately 100,000 inhabitants, including the royal family. Thimphu is Bhutan's most modern city with a large number of restaurants, internet cafes, discotheques, and shopping centres. Thimphu is a unique city with an unusual mix of modern development along with ancient traditions or Bhutan's contemporary lifestyle.

    Arrival in Thimphu, check-in at the hotel.

    Evening enjoy a visit to Trashichhoedzong,"the fortress of the glorious religion". This is the centre of government and religion, the site of the monarch's throne room and the seat of Je Khenpo or the main abbot. Built-in 1641 by Bhutan's political and religious unifier, Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel, was rebuilt in the 1960s in the traditional Bhutanese manner, without nails or architectural plans.

    Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

  • Day 4 : Thimpu

    This morning you will start the day by visiting the National Chorten Memorial - The National Chorten memorial was built in memory of the Third DrukGyalpo and is dedicated to World Peace. The Chorten is a large white structure crowned with a golden spire. The paintings and statues inside the monument provide a profound insight into Buddhist philosophy.

    Buddha Point (Kuensel Phodrang) Located a short drive from the city center of Thimphu, the viewpoint of the Buddha where a huge bronze statue of Buddha is located. You get a good overview of the Thimphu Valley from Buddha's Point.

    Folk Heritage Museum - It is housed in a traditional 19th-century three-story house. The museum is dedicated to connecting people with Bhutan's rich folk heritage and rural history through exhibitions, demonstrations, educational programs, and documentation of rural life in Bhutan.

    Zorig Chusum Institute - The National Institute of Zorig Chusum or as it is commonly called "the school of painting" teaches students the 13 traditional arts of Bhutan. On a visit, students can be seen learning the various skills that are taught in the school.

    National Library - The history of Bhutan is printed in archaic texts, which are kept in the National Library. The depository rooms of the archives house many important documents including old records, ancient letters, and about seven thousand important photographs. In addition to thousands of manuscripts and ancient texts, the library also has modern academic books and printing blocks for prayer flags.

    Lunch followed by some more visits including following -

    Textile Museum - Museum is worth a visit to learn about the living national art of weaving. The exhibitions present the main weaving techniques, local clothing styles, and textiles made by women and men.

    Handicrafts Shops - A wide assortment of colourful, hand-woven textiles and other craft products are available for purchase at the government-run Handicrafts Emporium and many smaller crafts shops around the town.

    Dinner & Overnight at the hotel.

  • Day 5: Thimpu / Punakha

    After breakfast at the hotel, drive to Punakha throughDo Chula Pass(3,080 m). In Bhutan, the passes are marked by a large prayer flag and Chorten of Bhutan. Do Chula Pass offers the most spectacular view of the high peaks of the eastern Himalayas on a clear day.

    Punakha
    Punakha is one of the 20 districts of Bhutan. Until 1955, Punakha was the capital of Bhutan for over 300 years before the government moved it to Thimphu in 1955. Punakha valley has a pleasant climate with warm winters and hot summers. It is located at an average elevation of 1200 m above sea level. The green valley’s behind the town forms a perfect backdrop for nature lovers. Due to the favorable climatic conditions, rice is the main crop cultivated in the region.

    On arrival in Punakha, transfer to hotel. Lunch at a restaurant/hotel in the city.

    In the afternoon visit the PunakhaDzong, which is one of the most beautiful monasteries in the country. It is built at the junction of the Phochu and Mochu rivers in 1637 by ZhabdrungNgawangNamgyel. This dzong was the second to be built in Bhutan and it served as the capital and seat of government until the mid-1950s. PunakhaDzong is 180 meters long and 72 meters wide, and the central tower is six stories high.

    Later enjoy an excursion to Chimi Lhakhang, it is about 15 minutes drive to the passable road and then the walk begins through rice fields and villages. This is a total of approximately 1 ½ hour walk, including the return trip - The Chimi Lhakhang is also known as Fertility Temple. It is referred to as a place of magic and miracles. The childless couples visit this temple for a blessing from Monk. The path leads through rice fields to the small settlement of Pana, which means "field". A walk through the village near the temple will give you a glimpse of the daily life and lifestyle of the villagers.

    Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

  • Day 6 : Punakha - Gangtey

    After breakfast drive to Gangtey, passing through dense oak and rhododendron forests on the way.

    Gangtey / Phobjikha – The Phobjikha valley is one of the most beautiful destinations in Bhutan. It is the winter home to a group of globally endangered black-necked cranes that arrive every year from the Tibetan Plateau. The valley is rich in wildlife and famed as an ideal location to spot rare Black-necked cranes, as well as numerous other species. This beautiful glacial valley lies at 2900m. After climbing up through dense forests, the wide, open expanse of dwarf bamboo can come as a surprise.

    On arrival in Gangtey, transfer to the hotel. In the afternoon, visit Gangtey Gompa: Situated atop a hill at an altitude of 2800 m, Gangtey Monastery is an important monastery of Nyingmapa school of Buddhism. From here one can have a stunning view of Phobjikha valley. The monastery is surrounded by a small village with traditional houses that adds to the beauty of this place.

    On arrival in Gangtey, transfer to hotel.

    Dinner and overnight at the hotel

  • Day 7 : Gangtey - Trongsa

    After breakfast, drive to Trongsa crossing thePele-la pass (3300m/10830 ft).It is the corridor that leads to Central Bhutan. Pele is marked by a glorious Chorten and a massive assortment of prayer flags fluttering across a hill.

    Also, stop on the way at Chendbji Chorten, which has a similar design to the Swayambhunathstupa in Kathmandu, with eyes painted on four cardinal points.

    After checking in at the hotel, proceed to Trongsa Dzong, built-in 1648, was the seat of power over central and eastern Bhutan. Both the first and second kings of Bhutan ruled the country from this ancient seat.

    Later visit Ta Dzong Ta means "to look" in Dzongkha and this dzong was built in 1652 to guard the huge TrongsaDzong. After more than 350 years, Ta Dzong has been resurrected in a classy museum that represents an elegant combination of tradition and modernity.

    Dinner and overnight at the hotel

  • Day 8 : Trongsa - Bumthang

    After breakfast, head to Bumthang, enjoy the tour of theYutong-La Pass(3,400 m / 11,155 ft). The road winds steeply to the pass and then descends through a conifer forest into a wide-open cultivated valley known as the Chumey valley.

    Make a brief stop at Chumey, a wide fertile valley where wheat, barley, potatoes, and buckwheat are grown. We will make a stop tovisit a Yathra weaving centre, Chumey is particularly known for its famous wool weaving called "BumthangYathra".

    Continue driving to Bumthang,

    Bumthang – Bumthang is the religious heartland of the nation and home to some of the oldest Buddhist temples and monasteries. Consists of four smaller valleys namely Tang, Ura, Choekhor and Chumey. This dzongkhag is one of the most richly endowed districts in terms of historical and spiritual legacy. Some of Bhutan’s oldest and most venerated temples are found in Bumthang. The fertile valleys of Bumthang are covered in fields of buckwheat, rice and potatoes. Apple orchards and dairy farms are also common sights here. This serene region is one of the most peaceful places in the kingdom.

    On arrival in Bumthang, transfer to hotel.

    Dinner & Overnight at the hotel

  • Day 9 : Bumthang

    After breakfast, visit Kurje Lhakhang, which consists of three temples. The one on the right was built in 1652 on the rock wall where Guru is said to have meditated in the 8th century. The second temple is built on the site of a cave containing a rock with the footprint of Guru's body and is therefore considered the most sacred. The third temple was built in the 1990s by AshiKesang, the Queen Mother. These three temples are surrounded by a wall of 108 chorten.

    Later visit Jambey Lhakhang- This monastery was built in the 7th century by the Tibetan king, SongtsenGampo. It is one of the 108 monasteries he built to subdue the evil spirits in the Himalayan region.

    Post-lunch visit to Jakar Dzong ("White Bird Castle"). Founded by the great-grandfather of the first Shabdrung, the Dzong was initially built as a monastery in 1549. It was improved after Shabdrung had firmly established his power in 1646.

    Next, travel to Tamshing Lhakhang, the temple founded in 1501 by Terton Pema Lingpa, the reincarnation of Guru Padmasambhava. The monastery has very old religious paintings such as 1,000 Buddhas and 21 Taras (female form of Buddhistava).

    Later in the evening, visit Lhodrak Kharchhu Monastery- Located above the main town, the monastery was founded by Namkhai Nyingpo Rinpoche in 1984, who was recognized at a very young age by H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama and H.H. the 16th Karmapa as the reincarnation of a Tibetan lama.

    Dinner and overnight at the hotel

  • Day 10 : Bumthang -Mongar

    After breakfast continues the journey eastwards, winding through more rugged terrain. The drive to Mongartakes about 7 hours with spectacular views along the way. We drive up into the hills above the valley, on the way stop and see theMembartsho ("burning lake")- This gorge is the sacred place and pilgrimage site where Guru Rinpoche is said to have hidden religious treasures, which were later discovered by Terton Pema Lingpa.

    Continue drive and stop at thevillage of Ura. Where the cobbled streets of the traditional village of Ura give a medieval feel. It is one of the highest inhabited valleys in Bhutan, located at 3100m. The people of this valley live mainly from potato cultivation, mushroom business, and milk production.

    Then continue to climb sharply to the highest point of Bhutan's passable road network, theThrumshing-la pass(4,000 m / 13,125 ft). From here, the road gradually descends to the Alpine Valley, of eastern Bhutan. The vegetation changes from alpine to subtropical with the loss of altitude, and bamboos and lush ferns hover over the road as we descend to the bottom of the valley, where we cross the Kurichu River.

    We ascend again through pine forests, cornfields, and eastern farmhouses to reach the village of Mongar, at the top of a gentle slope above the valley. Mongar, one of the fastest growing towns in eastern Bhutan, is situated on a hill overlooking the Kurichu valley and surrounding villages.

    Dinner and overnight at the hotel

  • Day 11 : Mongar -Trashigang

    After breakfast visit the Mongar Dzong, it was built in the 1930s and is one of the newest Dzongs in Bhutan, a visit to Mongar Dzong shows how traditional Bhutanese architecture has continued to flourish over the centuries.

    Later drive to Trashigang, It will be a 3-hour journey, the first part of which is through a lush fern-filled forest to theKori-la pass(2,450 m / 8,040 ft), which is marked by a beautiful Chorten and a peanut wall.

    Later we descend rapidly through cornfields and banana plantations to reach the famouszigzag roadsjust below Yadi, a fairly recent and now fast-growing settlement. After zigzagging up the hillside, the road heads east along the Gamri River.

    Later, take a left turn upwards to see theDrametse- A temple, perched on top of a steep hill above the village, was founded by ChoedenZangmo and is the most important monastery in eastern Bhutan.

    About 30km further on is Trashigang (1100m / 3610ft), which clings to a steep slope above the Gamri River. It's in the far east of Bhutan and is the country's largest district. The city was once the centre of a busy trade road with Tibet.

    This afternoon, we will visit Trashigang Dzong, which lies at the end of a rocky outcrop well above the river gorge. It was built in 1659 and called Trashigang Dzong (fortress on the auspicious hill) has also withstood several invasions by Tibetan troops.

    Dinner and overnight at the hotel

  • Day 12 : Trashigang - SamdrupJongkhar

    After breakfast drive from to Samdrup Jongkhar which takes about 6 hours. On the way, pass Sherubtse College in Kanglung, the only college in the country and it was founded in 1978.

    The road then climbs up and crosses Yonphu la (2190m) pass, further crosses the ridge into another valley slowly descends to Gumchu, and then turn from the corner to reach Khaling. In Khaling you will see theNational Institute for the Visually Impaired (NIVI).

    Also visit the Textile Weaving Centreoperated by the National Association of Women of Bhutan.

    After Khaling, the road goes through small villages, fields and crosses theKharunglapass(2350 m) and then crosses another pass at 2430 m. After Passing the narrow valleys you will reach the charming town of Wamrong (2130 m). Further on the way we will come across the town of Pemagatshel, descending through small villages on the way and to the town of Deothang which is the centre of the technical training school and the road maintenance centre for the east.

    From here, the road descends fairly quickly to the plains through dense rainforest with an abundance of teak, bamboo, and ferns to samdrupJongkhar A well, a renowned border town in the eastern side of Bhutan.

    Dinner and overnight at the hotel

  • Day 13 : Samdrup Jongkhar - Guwahati (Assam, India)

    After breakfast transfer to Bhutan border where you will be picked up by Indian airport representative and transferred to the Guwahati airport to connect flight to Kolkata or Delhi to connect the flight back home.
    Dinner and overnight at the hotel