Destinations: Thimphu, Punakha, Paro, Wangdue Phodrang, Bumthang
Max Altitude: 4000m
Best Season: March to May and September to November
Meal: Full board (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
Accommodation: Government approved 3 stars hotels and above
Transportation: 4 wheel drive – suvs, tour vans & mini buses
The Dragon Kingdom will take you as far as Bhutan’s spiritual centre, the lovely valley of Bumthang. You will visit and experience all of the cultures that make up Bhutan on this tour, which will essentially cover every facet of Bhutanese culture.
1. While flying into or out of Paro, witness the breathtaking Himalayas from above.
2. Trips to Wangdue, Bumthang, Punakha, Thimphu, and Paro
Farmers Markets and weekend entertainment in Thimphu
3. Dochula Pass: This location provides a breathtaking 360-degree panorama of the Himalayas.
Visit Punakha Dzong, Bhutan’s most stunning stronghold. 5. Hike to Taktsang Monastery, well known as the Tiger’s Nest.
6. Bumthang’s Burning Lake and Jarkar Dzong
7. Walking excursions in Bumthang, Punakha, Paro, and Thimphu
Attend festivals if your tour coincides with one.
9. Take a culinary and cultural tour of Bhutan.
Day 1: Arrival Paro, drive to Thimphu
The Land of the Thunder Dragon, Bhutan, is a warm welcome. After landing at Paro International Airport, your guide will welcome you as you leave the arrivals area and will help you check into the accommodation. We’ll take it easy today and let you adjust to the higher altitude.
You will go sightseeing or take a short trek in Paro after catching up on some sleep or some rest in the hotel.
Overnight stay in Thimphu
Day 2: Tour of Bumthang
You will take a domestic aircraft to Bumthang after a filling breakfast in your hotel. The trip takes around 30 minutes, but it will save you a lot of time, because driving to Bumthang is fun one way, but considering the distance, driving both ways can be difficult. Your car will be waiting for you at the airport when you land in Bumthang.
The spiritual centre of Bhutanese Buddhism, Bumthang, is one of the country’s most beautiful valleys. It is a stunning valley with a great range of wildlife and plants. On the request of one of the various local monarchs, a Buddhist guru named Padmasambhava (also known as Guru Rimpoche in Bhutan) travelled from India to Bhutan in the year 747. Guru Rimpoche supposedly travelled to Tibet after defeating eight different types of demons and converted the king. After returning from Tibet, he established his headquarters in Bumthang and oversaw the development of new monasteries in the Paro Valley. National protector saint who brought the tantras, or texts outlining various ways to worship natural energy, to Bhutan. Indian influence briefly predominated after the guru’s visit before growing Tibetan migrations introduced fresh cultural and religious contributions.If time allows, we will trek to the Tamshing Goemba in the morning, which was constructed in 1501 by the Buddhist saint Pema Lingpa. We’ll also go to Kurjey Lhakhang, one of Bhutan’s holiest monasteries. It contains a rock bearing the footprint of the Guru Rinpoche, who built it in 1652. According to legend, Guru Rimpoche took the form of a Garuda to slay the demonic Shelging Karpo, who had assumed the appearance of a white lion. We’ll also go to Jambay Lhakhang, which Tibetan King Sontsen Gampo constructed in 659 to capture a demon that was impeding the spread of Buddhism. The Jambay Lhakhang Drup is one of Bhutan’s most vibrant celebrations in October. Jakar Dzong was constructed as a monastery by the great-grandfather of the Zhabdrung in 1549 and is perched on a high ground overlooking the town intersection. It presently serves as the district’s administrative hub for Bumthang. In the late afternoon, we will climb up to Thangbi Valley and cross a suspension bridge to reach the 14th-century Thangbi Lhakhang.
Overnight stay in Bumthang
Day 3: Bumthang Tour
From Jakar, Tang Valley is about a two-hour trip. On the road to Tang, we’ll stop at Me-Bar Tsho and see the Pemacholing Nunnery. Typically, we ask the nuns to perform a ritual for your health there.
One of Bhutan’s most revered locations is Me-Bar Tsho (Flaming Lake), which is regarded as one of the country’s holiest lakes. Terton Pema Lingpa, a Buddhist saint known for finding hidden riches, once dove into a lake while holding a burning butter lamp in one hand. He emerged into the lake some hours later with several artefacts in one hand and a glowing butter lamp in the other. As a result, the lake was given the name Me-Bar Tsho (Me-bar = Burning Tsho = Lake).
In the proprietor’s guesthouse, we will spend the evenings at Ugyen Choling Palace. A descendant of Buddhist Saint Dorje Lingpa, Deb Tsokey Dorji constructed Ugyen Choling Palace in the 17th century. A national asset that has been privately owned by the same family for centuries is Ugyen Choling. With less than 200 visitors per year, its secluded setting makes it one of Bhutan’s less popular historical sites. The Palace’s charming museum, which has permanent exhibitions on three floors in the main structure, and the Utse, the central tower, are its best features. Traditional living spaces are reproduced to capture the atmosphere and circumstances of the past lifestyles. The majority of the displays include of everyday kitchen and weaving instruments, combat weapons (including petrified yak dung used to manufacture gunpowder), tools, and farming equipment. The villagers will visit the Palace in the evening for an evening of cultural entertainment—mostly single women looking to meet our drivers and guides. You’re welcome to participate in the dancing and singing.
Overnight stay in Bumthang
Day 4: Trongsa Tour
After seeing the Ogyen Choling Museum in the morning, we will travel to western Bhutan, stopping in Trongsa, Phobjikha, Punakha, Thimphu, and returning to Paro.
We will stop frequently for pictures, food, tea, and fresh air during the approximately four and a half-hour drive from Ogyen Choling to Trongsa. To be in Trongsa before the Trongsa Dzong is closed to guests is our objective for today.
With a precipitous slope to the south that frequently just disappears into cloud and mist, Trongsa Dzong is possibly the most magnificently situated dzong in Bhutan. The dzong is a sprawling collection of structures that descends the ridge and is connected by a series of alley-like passageways, broad stone stairs, and lovely tiled courtyards. The earliest hermitage, constructed in 1543, is located in the dzong’s southernmost section, Chorten Lhakhang.
Overnight stay in Trongsa
Day 5: Trongsa – Phobjikha
We will stop for lunch after around three hours of driving, get out of the car, and climb to the breathtaking Phobjikha valley, where the endangered Black Necked Cranes roost in the winter, before reaching Pele La pass (3,390 metres (11,122 ft).
The Black Necked Cranes (Grus Nigricollis), who winter in the Valley of Phobjikha, are well-known for living there. Around 600 black-necked cranes live in Bhutan, with Phobjikha being one of their favourite wintering grounds after leaving the Tibetan plateau. From early November through the end of March, one can witness the graceful and reserved birds. Gangtey Gompa monastery is another noteworthy Phobjikha feature. This historic monastery was founded in the seventeenth century.
Overnight stay in Phobjikha
Day 6: Phobjikha – Punakha
We’ll take a quick 30- to 45-minute climb from Phobjikha Valley to Gangtey Monastery this morning. After the walk, we’ll drive to Punakha, stopping on route to the hotel to see the Chhimi Lhakhang.
In Bhutan’s Punakha District, close to the village of Sopsokha, is the Buddhist monastery known as the Chhimi Lhakhang. To reach the monastery, pilgrims and visitors must make a 20-minute stroll through rice and mustard fields. The monastery, which Westerners refer to as The Fertility Temple, is idyllically perched on a round hill and is surrounded by beautiful scenery. It is one of the oldest monasteries in Bhutan, having been constructed more than 500 years ago. The genuine wooden Phallus symbol that Drukpa Kunley brought from Tibet is kept in Chimi Lhakhang. The large phallus, which represents an erect penis, is used to bless visitors to the monastery, particularly infertile ladies. The phallus is a widely used symbol in the nation. All of the homes in the village of Sopsokha, which is close to the monastery, have phalluses painted on their outside walls. The silver-handled, 25cm (10-inch) wooden phallus is claimed to ward off the evil eye and malicious rumors.
Overnight stay in Punakha
Day 7: Punakha Tour
Punakha Dzong was constructed in 1637 and is still used as the winter residence for the clergy, which is led by the Chief Abbott, the Je Khenpo. Sitting at the confluence of two rivers, it is a magnificent example of Bhutanese architecture that, from a distance, gives the impression of a mediaeval metropolis. The dzong was repeatedly damaged by fire and glacial floods, but it has since undergone painstaking restoration to stand as a superb example of Bhutanese craftsmanship. Khangyal Khamsum Yulley Chorten This Chorten, the only one of its kind in the world, was constructed by the third Queen Mother Ashi Tshering Yangdon wangchuck and is a beautiful example of Bhutanese architecture and art.
Overnight stay in Punakha
Day 8: Punakha – Thimphu
Two hours are needed to go from Punakha to Thimphu. We’ll make a pit stop at Dochula Pass to take in the stunning panorama of Bhutan’s snow-capped Himalayan Mountain ranges. We will continue our sightseeing after we get at Thimphu. If you’re game, we’ll show you around the nightlife in Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan, later that evening after supper.
The Takin inclosure, which some claim resembles a beestung moose, is the home of Bhutan’s national animal and is located on the route to the Thimphu viewpoint. We’ll stop at Buddha Dordenma in Kuensel Phodrang next. The 169-foot-tall bronze statue of Buddha Dordenma, the indestructible Vajra Throne Buddha, will shortly be finished. Visitors can drive up to the Buddha point and see the highest statue of Lord Buddha even though the Buddha statue itself is finished and just waiting for paintwork. The Buddha Point offers a breathtaking and lovely perspective of the Thimphu Valley, particularly at night. The mission of the Heritage Museum is to introduce visitors to rural Bhutan’s past through displays of artefacts from rural families. Observes the craft of traditional weaving at the Textile Museum. The late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk is commemorated by the National Memorial Chorten. Papermaking Factory – Views the process of making paper. Simtokha Dzong is the oldest fortification in the Kingdom and is located on a mountainous ridge five kilometres from Thimphu.
Overnight stay in Thimphu
Day 9: Thimphu – Paro
The Buddha Dordenma to Changangkha Monastery is the starting point of the easy two-hour climb known as the Thimphu Nature climb. Despite being a pleasant climb, you won’t encounter many other hikers here. After lunch, we’ll carry on with some sightseeing excursions at the Farmers Market, Cordyceps Tasting House, Crafts Market, etc., as well as some shopping before continuing on to Paro later that evening. One hour is about how long it takes to get to Paro.
Overnight stay in Paro
Day 10: Paro
It’s time now. We’ll hike to Bhutan’s most well-known tourist destination, the Tiger’s Nest. We’ll take a traditional hot stone bath in one of the farm houses in Paro Valley after the climb.
Overnight stay in Paro
Day 11: Depart
You will say a sad farewell to this lovely Himalayan nation today and board an aircraft to your future location. We hope that at this point you have made some friends and have many wonderful images and memories of Bhutan. And we hope to see you again in this lovely country of limitless enchantments! Delek Tashi!
Package costs will be in addition to the SDF of USD 200 per person per night to include hotel accommodations, meals, admission fees, a guide, and a private tour vehicle. Email us a booking enquiry, and we’ll create a package just for you based on your preferences and price range.