The Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan

11 Days - 10 Nights
Paro | Thimpu | Punakha | Gangtey | Bumthang | Wangdue | Punakha | Paro
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Day 01 PARO/THIMPU

Fly onboard Druk Air to Paro, Bhutan. On a clear day the panoramic views of the Himalaya are sensational, including Everest, but particularly exciting is the approach through the bhutanese foothills and the landing.

From Paro Airport, straight proceed to thimphu (1 hour 15 minutes drive), a lovely drive through spectacular mountain views and peaceful countryside. On arrival in thimphu, check into your hotel.

DAY 02 THIMPU- FULL DAY SIGHTSEEING

The capital of bhutan is situated on west bank of the river thimpu, in a wooded valley at an elevation of 2320m.

Places to visit are King's memorial chorten, Tashichho Dzong, Folk heritage museum, Mini Zoo, Semtokha Dzong & Pangri Zampa Monastery

Day 03 Thimpu/excursion to Tango Goemba, drive to Punakha

A wonderful outing and a soft trek from Thimphu is a visit to tango monastery to the north of Thimphu town.

After lunch, drive to Punakha via Dochu-la Pass (3,150m) stopping briefly here to take in the views and admire the chorten, mani wall, and prayer flags which decorate the highest point on the road.

Day 04 Punakha exploration

In the morning make a short walk to visit khamsum yuley namgyal chorten and nearby villages. A pleasant drive north following Mochu river for about an hour. Thereafter visit punakha dzong, situated at the confluence of the mo (mother) and pho (father) rivers.

later in the afternoon walk to chimi lhakhang, the temple of lama drukpa kunley, otherwise known as the divine mad monk who is one of bhutan's favourite saints.

Day 05 Punakaha/Gangtey (phobjikha), exploration

This early morning, drive for about 3 hours to Gangtey in Phobjikha valley. The road snakes up and down through paddy fields and past small settlements finally emerging into the valley of Wangdue.

Then continue on your road journey to gangtey (phobjikha). the approach to phobjikha is through a forest of oak and rhododendron. Phobjikha is one of the few glacial valleys in bhutan and chosen home of black necked cranes which migrate here from the central asiatic plateau to escape its harsh winters.

After lunch, explore phobjikha valley and also visit gangtey monastery, the most important nyingma gomba in the country.

Day 06 Gangtey/Bumthang (via trongsa)

The route today crosses the black mountains via Pele la (3240 m) before entering the broad, heavily cultivated mangde chhu valley. From pelela, the road drops through more dwarf bamboo and patches of fir trees emerging into the abundant evergreen forest of the longte valley. Stop for a picnic lunch at chendebji.

Continue drive to trongsa. trongsa means 'the new village' and the founding of trongsa first dates from the 16th century, which is indeed relatively recent for bhutan. it was the drukpa lama, ngagi wangchuk (1517-54), the great grandfather of shabdrung nawang namgyel, who founded the first temple at trongsa in 1543.

Later in the afternoon, you will drive to bumthang (68 km). the journey takes about 3 hrs and is over one of the most scenically beautiful routes in bhutan.

Day 07 Bumthang- full day exploration

The region encompasses four major valleys: choskhor, tang, ura and chhume. the dzongs and the most important temples are in the large choskhor valley, commonly referred to as bumthang valley.

Places to visit includes Jakar Dzong, Kurjey Lhakhang, Jambay Lhakhang & Tamshing Goemba

Day 08 Bumthang – Wangdue/Punakha

Leaving jakar, we return west for some 7-8 hours, stopping to visit the chendebji chorten, a large white monument said to conceal the remnants of an evil spirit vanquished here. continuing across the spectacular pele la pass we come to wangdue where we take a short break for tea and snacks. from wangdue, it’s a short drive to your hotel (approx. 20 minutes drive).

Day 09 Punakha/ drive to paro, exploration

After breakfast, drive to dochu la pass for morning views over the eastern himalayas. after lunch, visit ta dzong, which in the past served as watchtower for paro dzong (rinpung dzong) and now houses the national museum and then walk down the trail to visit paro dzong (rinpung dzong), built in 1646 by shabdrung ngawang namgyal.

Afterwards, we drive up the valley to visit drukgyel dzong, built in 1647 by the shabdrung to commemorate the bhutanese victory over the tibetans in war of 1644. en route, we also visit kyichu lhakhang, built in the 7th century by the tibetan king, songtsen gampo.

Day 10 Paro- hike to taktsang monastery

This early morning you will drive 12kms out of town towards satsam chorten to start your hike to takstang, or the tiger's nest monastery, perched high on a cliff and one of the most important places in buddhism.

after lunch, walk down to your car and drive back to paro. Evening free at leisure

Day 11 Paro/Out

you will be collected from your hotel and taken by private transfer to the airport in plenty of time for your onward flight.