Bhutan, one of the best among the Himalayan Kingdoms lies along the soaring ridges of the eastern Himalayas, bordering the Tibetan region in the north and north-west and the Indian states of Assam in the south, Sikkim in the west and south-west, , Arunachal Pradesh in east and south-east and West Bengal in South and South-West. The country within these borders forms a giant staircase, from a narrow strip of land in the south to some of the highest unclimbed Himalayan peaks on earth. With an area of 46,500 square kilometres and a relatively small population of 700,000 people Bhutan enjoys a sustainable lifestyle which they inherited from their forefathers.
It was the mighty Himalayas which protected Bhutan from the rest of the world and left the Kingdom blissfully untouched, also the entry of the visitors was not allowed until 1974. So the traditional life style has been intact.
The tourism industry in Bhutan based on the principle of sustainability, meaning that tourism must be environment friendly, socially and culturally acceptable and economically viable. The number of tourists is restricted to conserve the traditional lifestyle and also limited tourism infrastructure. Bhutan’s consistent tourism policy of high value, low impact has helped the Kingdom ensure its rich living culture. It is a destination for those seeking a journey back into time.
Arrive in Bhutan and as land, keep your camera at the ready, as when you come out of the plane you will be totally bewildered. At immigration present, your visa Approval letter and Passport and get it stamped. You will be met by our representative at the airport and then transferred to Thimphu, which is approximately 1 ½ hours and modern Capital of Bhutan. After check-in, you can visit the weekend market, National Memorial Chorten, and perhaps time to stroll the main Street for some interesting Himalayan artifacts or souvenirs. (Overnight: Thimphu)
Today you will drive to the north end of the valley to view Trashi Chhoe Dzong, the seat of Bhutan’s government and Royal offices, and then visit Pangri Zampa, two buildings from 16th Century now house a monastic training school for astrologers. If you want to stretch your legs, can go for short hike to Cheri Gompa, the monastery where the first monastic body was established in the Kingdom. Drive back to the town and if interested can visit the capital’s cottage industries ranging from hand rolled incense to traditional paper making. (Overnight: Thimphu).
Today early in the morning set for a dramatic drive over the mountain passes of Yotongla and then to the Phobjika Valley. Himalayan peaks are clearly visible on ca clear day and the drive goes from the 11,234ft mountain pass. The scenic beauty of village of Wangdi is breathtaking. The highway follows the picturesque Dang Chhu before driving through the forests of bamboo and oak, a little before the Pele La pass, a small side road lead to the hidden Phobjika Valley. Arrive and check in at your hotel. You will have time to stroll through the beautiful Gangtey Village or visiting Gangtey Gompa. (Overnight: Gangtey)
Today you can visit Black Neck Crane Center and depend on the season, you can view the breeding cranes if that’s breeding time. You can choose to relax for the rest of the day or a mountain bike ride or a walk through this magnificent valley can be arranged. You can revisit the Gompa if you want. (Overnight: Gangtey)
Drive to Bumthang today and is a long drive but certainly a memorable one with remarkable landscapes of terraced farmland, precariously made farmhouses and profound river valleys. WE will take a brief stop at Chendebji Chorten, which as per local belief was built to coverup the remains of a demon spirit, the continue drive to what was the original home of the royal family. When you reache g Trongsa you may take time towalk in this quaint village and might be taking the time to visit the Trongsa Dzong, ancestral home to Bhutan’s monarch where you generally find novice monks singing the mantras or practicing on sacred horns, drums or flutes. The drive towards Bumthang is through the picturesque Yotong La and takes you down into the Chhume Valley, which is home of Bhutan’s famous Yatra weaving. You will have the opportunity to look at the traditional textiles and also time to see how the weavers create their intricate handiwork. (Overnight: Bumthang)
Today you will explore the Wangdichhoeling palace, which is home to the 2nd King, and the auspicious prayer wheels. Heading up valley, you will take in the grand Kurjey Lhakhang, considered one of Bhutan’s most auspicious monuments, that was once the resting place of Guru Rimpoche, and Jambay Lhakhang, home to the early winter festivals that draw thousands of Bhutanese for their annual blessings. Heading back into town and across the Bumthang Chhu, you will enjoy a visit to the sin alleviating Tamshing Monastery followed by quick visits to the valleys unique cottage industries – Red Panda Brewery, Bumthang Cheese/Dairy Facility and the Bumthang Distillery, home to numerous distinctive spirits. (Overnight: Bumthang)
Today leave early in the morning and enjoy the scenic drive over Dochu La pass and on to the Punakha Valley. Enroute you will be visiting one of Bhutan’s first fortress monasteries, the 17th century Simtokha Dzong, and Hongtsho Goemba monastery where you can see the ancient wall paintings. The journey goes on thru the 3,050mtrs mountain pass and if the day is a clear one you can see the towering Himalayan peaks. The drive down thru the Punakha Valley will take you through the Valley of Wangdi where you can see the rustic Wangdiphodrang Dzong and also the local town temple located nearby. You will have time to walk through this small village and explore its line of intimate shops before driving back into Punakha Valley. In the afternoon you can visit the village of Talo, which is home to the Queens’ and the valley’s protective deity Lhakhang. If you want to stretch legs and enjoy the Himalayan beauty a hike to an ancient monastery on the hilltop can be organized or chose to relax in the hotel/lodge. (Overnight: Punakha)
Today we will start the day with a hike through the fields of Cabbages, rice and chillies along the banks of Mo Chhu and reaching the upper end of the valley to the Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten. It is a spectacular monument recently built by the Queens and consecrated in 1999. When you descend the valley you can visit the impressive Punakha Dzong. It is home to the remains of Bhutan’s first ruler, Shabdrung Nawang Namgyal. We will be carrying a packed lunch which will be served at a nice spot looking at the Dzong and confluence of Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu. Post lunch you will be driven to to the village of Talo where you can walk the beautiful, quiet grounds of the village temple and may be visit the village of the Kingdom’s four Queens. If you want we can organise another hike or valley excursion or just enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. (Overnight: Punakha)
Todays drive will be again through the mountain pass Dochu La. After descending this pass you will come across Wang Chu and Paro valleys. Reach Paro and check in at your hotel. After noon can be spent walking down the main street or nearby ruins. Or just relax in the hotel (Overnight: Paro)
Morning you will visit the National Museum, which is housed in the Ta Dzong (watchtower). The museum has an interesting collection of artifacts, which provides an insight to the rich culture and heritage of the Kingdom of Bhutan. Later visit Paro Dzong. From the Dzong you will cross Nyamai Zampa, a traditional cantilever bridge. Then you will be driven to the town temple It has beautiful ancient wall paintings. In the afternoon you can opt to hike up to see the Taktshang Goemba, more commonly known as the “Tiger’s Nest”. The trek is about four-hours. (Overnight: Paro).
Today we will transfer you in time to airport for your flight back to home.