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Bhutan The Kingdom is Calling

  • Off the beaten track
The Buddhist Kingdom of Bhutan offers unique experiences at every turn of your journey. This tailor-made tour is specifically designed for those holidaymakers looking for once in a lifetime experience of long stay holiday to Bhutan. The 2-week long journey enters from the east overland and exits by Paro International Airport covering Samdrupjongkhar, Trashigang, Trashiyangtse, Mongar, Lhuentse, Bu...

The Buddhist Kingdom of Bhutan offers unique experiences at every turn of your journey. This tailor-made tour is specifically designed for those holidaymakers looking for once in a lifetime experience of long stay holiday to Bhutan. The 2-week long journey enters from the east overland and exits by Paro International Airport covering Samdrupjongkhar, Trashigang, Trashiyangtse, Mongar, Lhuentse, Bumthang, Trongsa, Wangdue Phodrang, Punakha, Thimphu and Paro. You’ll experience everything Bhutan has to offer – the splendid and famous sights of the Buddhist Kingdom, majestic mountain views, untouched wilderness, stunning flora and fauna, interesting villages and meeting the most friendly, hospitable and welcoming Bhutanese people!

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Customizable tour itinerary

This tour idea is fully customizable

This itinerary has been crafted by our Local Agency with one idea in mind: to inspire you. Every element can be adapted to your needs and your interests, from duration to accommodation and activities.

Day 1: Arrive Paro

On arrival in Paro you will be picked up from Paro International Airport after clearing the immigration and customs formalities and transferred to your hotel in Paro for check-in. Flying into Paro is not just to connect Bhutan but also gets to enjoy the most spectacular of all mountain flights. From inside the plane the world's highest mountains, including Mt. Everest, Mt. Makalu and Mt. Kanchenjunga are visible on clear days. Afterwards, there should also be time to visit the temple of Kyichu Lhakhang. Built by the first King of Tibet Songtsen Gampo, this 7th century monastery is one of the oldest and sacred landmarks that introduced Buddhism into Bhutan, while our country was still influenced by the Bon beliefs. The rest of the evening is at leisure to relax – so why not go for a short orientation walk in the great atmospheric Paro town? The altitude of Paro valley is at 2,250m. Tonight enjoy a welcome drink and dinner with BGT. Overnight in Paro.

Visited:
Paro

Day 2: Hike To Tiger’s Nest

We begin our day with a short hike to Paro Taktshang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest), located 10 miles north of Paro town (20 minutes drive). No visit to Bhutan would be complete without a trip to Taktshang. It is stunning in its beauty and location. Legend has it that Guru Rinpoche (Padma Sambhava) flew to Paro Taktshang cliff in the form of Guru Dorji Drolo, mounted on the back of a flaming tigress from Tibet to tame five demons, who were opposing the spread of Buddhism in Bhutan in the 8th century. The monastery is perched on the edge of a steep cliff, 900m above the Paro floor valley, and it takes between 4 to 5 hours to do the round trip hike plus an hour to tour the monastery. The trail is a wide, uphill the entire way but not overly steep, on the well-maintained trail through beautiful pine forest, trees festooned with Spanish Moss and fluttering prayer flags. The hike starts at the base of the mountain by the car park. Here the locals sell souvenirs, hiking poles and also a horse/pony hiring is available from this start point.

Gentle horse/pony rides are available for transport half-way up the trail, where you will be treated to a stunning viewpoint of the monastery clinging to the cliff wall. There is a small cafeteria located along the trail and stop for a rest, drink or lunch. Then we travel to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan for an hour journey. The evening is at leisure to relax – so why not stroll in the great atmospheric Thimphu town? Overnight in Thimphu.

Visited:
Paro, Thimphu

Day 3: Thimphu

We explore the best of Thimphu city at an altitude of 2,300m (the capital of Bhutan), home to approximately 138,736 inhabitants. First stop is at the National Memorial Chorten (Stupa), built in memory of the third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk and also dedicated to the World Peace. Join the elderly Bhutanese people or likeminded devotees circumambulating the stupa. Another must see place to tick off on your list, Kuenselphodrang (the largest Buddha Dordenma statue in the world at 51.5m) on a hill offering a panoramic view of the Thimphu valley. Drive to Motithang Takin Preserve to see the national animal of Bhutan followed by followed by the Zilukha Nunnery with over 70 residential nuns, located on the slopes overlooking the Golf course.

​Continue on to the Institute of Zorig Chusum (Painting School) to discover a glimpse of novices learning the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan and the National Library, home to ancient Dzongkha and Tibetan manuscripts. Here you will get to see the world's largest book called ‘Bhutan: A Visual Odyssey Across the Last Himalayan Kingdom.’ It weighs over 60 kg, is 1.52 metres high and 2.13 metres wide and its pages are turned once per month. Later, visit the Textile Museum to learn about the Bhutanese living national art of weaving, different types of techniques and style of local dress made by women and men. Usually a small group of weavers are working inside the shop, which features a work from the renowned weaving centre of Lhuentse in Eastern Bhutan. The evening is at leisure to relax – so why not stroll in the great atmospheric Thimphu town? Overnight in Thimphu.

Visited:
Thimphu

Day 4: Moving to Punakha

After breakfast, travel to Punakha for the distance of 77-km for about 3 hours journey. Punakha, at an altitude of 1,300m, was once the old capital of Bhutan and the seat of government until 1955. En route we will drive up to Tashigang Gonpa in Hongtsho, just outside of Thimphu. From here enjoy one of the most picturesque hikes to the temple Lungchutse Gonpa, where one can enjoy 360° view of the breathtaking Himalayan mountain ranges from the top of Lungchutse including Jomolhari (7314m), Kang Bum (6494m), Gangchhenta (6784m), Masang Gang (7194m), Tsenda Kang (6,994m), Teri Kang (7304m), Jejekangphu Gang (7190m), Kangphu Gang (7212m), Zongpgu Gang (7,094m) and Gangkar Puensum (7,564m). Behind these major mountains lie the Tibetan plateaus. The trial will take you through a forest of moss-covered rhododendrons, gigantic hemlocks, junipers, and bamboo undergrowth. As you climb up the last 50 meters past a row of fluttering prayer flags, you reach the Lungchutse temple on heavily logged slopes greeted by friendly monks. Then we follow the trail downhill leading to the Druk Wangyal Chortens (108 stupas), constructed on the crest of Dochula Pass at 3,100m.

After lunch, continue your journey into the sub-tropical valleys of Punakha and Wangdue Phodrang. Later, discover the Chimi Lhakhang  (temple) built by the legendary Lama Drukpa Kinley (known as the Divine Madman). The temple is known to the English-speaking world as ‘The Fertility Temple’, in the Punakha district of Bhutan, idyllically located on a round hill. Hike to the temple for about one hour (round trip), which is also revered as a sanctum of fertility. Legend has it that the childless couples wishing to have a baby from across Bhutan and occasionally from overseas are blessed with a child after visiting the temple – several Japanese and American couples visited this temple were believed to have blessed miraculously with children. Overnight in Punakha.

Visited:
ThimphuPunakha

Day 5: Punakha – Gangtey

This morning we have included visit to the Punakha Dzong, (also known as the Pungthang Dechen Phodrang Dzong), which is strategically located at the confluence of the Phochhu (male) and Mochhu (female) Rivers. Now the dzong serves as the administrative centre of Punakha district and the central monastic body. Next, set off for a scenic drive to Gangtey (78-km) for about 3 hours via Wangdue Phodrang, the last town before entering into the isolated areas of central Bhutan. En route you will see Wangdue Phodrang Dzong. The fortress-like building was gutted by fire in 2012, which is under reconstruction. Visit the picturesque monastery of Gangtey Gonpa, which is located on a hillock overlooking a beautiful view of the Phobjikha valley. The monastery is an important Nyingmapa School of Buddhism and the main seat of the Pema Lingpa (Pedling) tradition.

The rest of the day is to explore this remote and beautiful valley encircled by pine forests; meet the local people and visit the Black-necked Crane Information Centre, which has lots of information on the valley and its famous migrating birds. Bhutan is an important winter roosting place for the rare Black-necked Cranes, which breed in Tibet and then migrate over the Himalayas of Bhutan to spend their winter during the months of September and October and fly back to Tibet between February and March. They can be spotted in Phobjikha in Western Bhutan, Bumthang in Central Bhutan and Bomdeling in Eastern Bhutan. Overnight in Phobjikha.

Visited:
PunakhaGangtey, Phobjikha

Day 6: Gangtey – Bumthang

After an early breakfast, our journey takes us to Trongsa (120-km) for about 4-5 hours via Pelela Pass at an altitude of 3,300m. The pass marks the physical boundary between western and central Bhutan and takes you over the Black Mountains (now Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park). It is not uncommon to encounter grazing yaks by the roadside along the highway. En route stop off at the Chendebji Chorten located below the road. Built in 18th century by lama Zhida, the temple resembles Kathmandu’s Boudhanath stupa in Nepal, with eyes painted at the four cardinal points. Lunchtime is at Trongsa, the ancestral home of the present Royal Family of Bhutan (where the Institutional Monarchy of Bhutan was born). 

​You’ll be awestruck by the majestic architectural masterpiece of Trongsa Dzong with a distinctive yellow roof. We visit the dzong and then continue towards Bumthang (68-km) via Yotongla Pass at 3,400m. You have an option to stop for a quick visit to the Yathra Weaving Centre at Chumey village, where they use yak and sheep wools for yathra products with patterns unique to Bumthang. Enjoy a tranquil evening strolling the streets of a small Bumthang town. Overnight in Bumthang.

Visited:
Gangtey, Bhumtang

Day 7: Bumthang

Today enjoy a sightseeing tour in one of the most beautiful and rich spiritual valleys of Bhutan. Bumthang valley is wide, filled with green countryside, fast flowing mountain streams and snow-capped mountains. Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava), who introduced Buddhism to Bhutan in the late 8th century, is believed to have meditated in many local caves in the Bumthang valley. You will begin the day starting at the Jakar Dzong (administrative seat of Bumthang). We continue with Jambay Lhakhang, one of the oldest temples in Bhutan, built in the 7th century by King Songtsen Gampo of Tibet (so full of history and mystery) and Kurjey Lhakhang with three temples (the important seat of religious activities in Bumthang), built in 1652 and named after the body imprint of Guru Rinpoche who subdued a local demon.

Next, cross a bridge over the rushing Chamkhar Chu river and walk through paddy fields around 20-minutes to Tamshing Lhakhang, the most important Nyingma temple in Bhutan, built in 1501  (16th century) by Terton Pema Lingpa (the founder of religious treasures).

​End your day with a stop at the Lhodrak Kharchhu Monastery, perched on the hill just above the town of Bumthang. Here the monks are busy with their prayers, chantings and the drums in the backdrop. The evening is at leisure to relax, enjoy explore the delightful surroundings of Bumthang valley at 2,600m. Overnight in Bumthang.

Visited:
Bhumtang

Day 8: Bumthang – Mongar

This morning takes you a scenic drive to Mongar (198-km) for about 6-7 hours at 1,600m. You will come cross two villages of Ura and Sengor, passing through the highest point on Bhutan’s lateral road. Often snow-dusted in early summer and autumn, Thrumshingla pass at an altitude of 3,800m can be seen with a huge collection of multi-coloured prayer flags. Continuing on, you’ll come across Sengor village and Namling where you can view a breathtaking landscape of the cascading waterfalls. Along the highway admire the diverse flora and fauna, which is also the hotspot for birding in the Yonkola area.

​Look for birds like the Satyr Tragopan, Ward’s Trogon and Rufous-necked Hornbill. Look for birds like the Satyr Tragopan, Ward’s Trogon and Rufous-necked Hornbill. We drive down the road to Lingmithang at 700m and then cross the Kurichhu River, where the largest hydroelectric power (60 MW) in Mongar district was commissioned in 2001/02, providing sufficient power to eight eastern districts. A 55-metre high dam was built on the Kurichhu, the river that flows in a southwesterly direction and joins the Manas River, a major tributary of the Brahmaputra River in India. Overnight in Mongar.

Visited:
Bhumtang, Mongar

Day 9: Mongar – Trashigang

After breakfast, leave Mongar behind after a quick visit to the Mongar Dzong and drive through the stunning landscape to Trashigang (91-km) for about 3-4 hours. Stop at places to view scenery, observe local people, villages, and farm for photography. From Korila Pass (2,450m) the road descends and rides through the famous zigzag turns of Yadi to Sherichu valley. En route you will see the monastery of Drametse, perched on top of a steep hill above the village, which is the largest and most important Nyingma monastery (Peling tradition) in eastern Bhutan. This is also the place of origin of the famous Drametse Nga Chham, a masked dance with drums. The dance is ubiquitous feature of many festivals and is included to the UNESCO list of oral and intangible heritage.

​Afterwards, you reach Chazam, the road junction that leads to Trashiyangtse and Trashigang. Take the road uphill to Trashigang (20-mns) at 1,150m, the largest and most populated district in Bhutan. Trashigang was once the hub of the region’s busy trade with Tibet. Visit the Tashigang Dzong, which serves as the civil administrative centre and the local monastic body, situated on a steep hillside overlooking the Gamri River. If you’re lucky, you may encounter the nomadic people from Merak and Sakteng, who come to Trashigang on shopping trips periodically. Overnight in Trashigang.

Visited:
Mongar, Trashigang

Day 10: Trashigang - Trashiyangtse

Leaving Trashigang early, you’ll head to Trashiyangtse (55-km) for about 2 hours at 1,850m, a fairly new district that was bifurcated from Trashigang. On the way you visit the little temple of Gomkora Lhakhang by the side of the river, a sacred meditation site of Guru Rinpoche. A circumambulation path with hundreds of prayer wheels surrounds the temple complex. Elderly pilgrims circle the temple with prayers and others sit quietly in the shade of Bodhi trees spinning hand held prayer wheels. Continue your journey to Trashiyangtse where you visit the old dzong, situated above the road a couple of kilometres before you reach the town.

Next, stop off at the dazzling white Chorten Kora (a stupa modelled like that of the famous Boudhanath stupa in Nepal) on the Kholongchhu riverbank below the town. Then, discover the new Trashiyangtse Dzong (the current administrative centre) and the College of Rigney in Trashiyangtse where students learn the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan.

In the evening, enjoy some leisure time exploring a small Trashiyangtse town. Overnight in Trashiyangtse.

Visited:
Trashigang, Trashi Yangste

Day 11: Trashiyangtse – Bartsham

An unforgettable day of countryside sightseeing is in store for you traversing through breathtaking Ramjar and Bartsham villages. Bartsham geographically shares its boundaries with Ramjar and Bidung blocks, which is 24-km north of Trashigang Dzong. There are three rural roads connecting Ramjar–Bartsham, Riju–Bartsham and Rangjung–Bidung via Bartsham. Enjoy walking through the idyllic villages of pure air surrounded by the forested hills. A special stop is made along the way to observe a local farm work where you learn about the farmer’s way of life. Your countryside tour ends at Chador Lhakhang (also known as Gonpa Ringbu in the local dialect), built in the 12th century. The sacred monastery is located atop a ridge commanding a spectacular view of villages in north Trashigang. The main relic, statue Chana Dorji, is the protecting deity in the locality and people from all walks of life across the country come for blessings. The monastery also runs a Buddhist College (Shedra) offering 12-year courses in liturgical studies, rigney (grammar), Buddhist philosophy, astrology, rituals, other Buddhist practices plus 3 years of retreat. The remainder of your day is at leisure to explore its beautiful natural surroundings. Overnight in Bartsham/Trashigang.

Visited:
Trashi Yangste, Bartsham

Day 12: Moving to Rangjung

Travel north towards Rangjung, a small commercial hub under Trashigang district. Visit the renowned Rangjung Woesel Choeling Monastery, located on a small hillock overlooking Rangjung town. The monastery built in the Tibetan-style architectural has a monastic school (Dudjom Tersar Lineage Education Centre) for monks and nuns to study the Buddha dharma, founded by His Holiness Dungse Garab Dorji Rimpoche in 1989. You can also opt to visit the Thegchog Kunzang Chodon Nunnery in Pakaling village under Radhi Gewog. After lunch, explore the exciting countryside tour towards Radhi and Phongmey villages. Radhi village is known as the “Rice Bowl of the East” and famous for the raw silk textiles. Take a short hike to Tshangkhar village to see the women and young girls strapped to the traditional handlooms and one can also visit the traditional farmhouses. Overnight at village home stay in Radhi/Trashigang.

Visited:
Bartsham , Radhi, Trashigang

Day 13: Trashigang – Samdrup Jongkhar

After breakfast, travel to Samdrup Jongkhar (180-km) for about 6-7 hours. Our journey brings you to the Bhutan’s first and premier Sherubtse College at Kanglung, founded in 1978. Admire the diverse flora and fauna along the highway and often see Langur monkeys, kingfishers, eagles and other birds by the roadside. Next, you’ll pass through Khaling, home to the only institute serving the blind and low vision of Bhutan (Khaling Muenselling Institute), located below the road. En route visit the Khaling National Handloom supported by the National Women’s Association of Bhutan, where you will witness the traditional style of weaving in the eastern region of Bhutan. Continue to Wamrong via Kharungla Pass at 2,350m. Lunchtime is at Wamrong.

Afterwards, you’ll encounter a stretch of road called Melong Bra, where the highway is cut through sheer cliffs before reaching Narphung. You may like to stop here to see some local products including the famous homemade butter tea. As you wind your way to Samdrup Jongkhar via Deothang (the historical site of the famous 19th century battle fought during the Duar Wars) look for the Mithun Breeding Farm, the best breed of cattle in Bhutan. Enjoy an overnight on the Bhutan-India border in Samdrup Jongkhar. It is by far the largest urban centre in eastern Bhutan at an elevation of 215m. In the past, many British Political Officers stationed in Sikkim took the route from Samdrup Jongkhar to enter into Bhutan. 

The evening is free to explore this fantastic border town and all of the fun attractions, sightseeing and shopping. Overnight in Samdrup Jongkhar.

Visited:
Trashigang, Samdrup Jongkhar

Day 14: Depart Samdrup Jongkhar, Bhutan

uwahati, Assam in the northeastern state of India to connect with your onward flight. The travelling distance is 110-km for about 3 hours. Goodbye and Good luck!

Visited:
Samdrup Jongkhar

Paro Thimphu Punakha Gangtey Phobjikha Bhumtang Mongar Trashigang Trashi Yangste Bartsham Radhi Samdrup Jongkhar

Price details

This tour idea is fully customizable

The price reflects this specific itinerary and is designed to give you an idea of the budget required for this destination. Throughout the trip-planning process, our local agency will tailor your itinerary around your budget.

Approx. $2,850 / 14 days
Excluding international flights
2 Pax3 to 10 Pax
Price per person in Peak Season ( Mar, Apr, May, Sept, Oct and Nov) - 3 Stars hotel$3,550$3,130
Price per person in Low Season ( Jan, Feb, Jun, Jul, Aug and Dec) - 3 Stars hotel$2,850$2,430

Included in price:

  • Pickups and drops from airports and hotels
  • Comfortable transport within Bhutan
  • Licensed Bhutanese English-speaking guided tours
  • Best accommodation in 3-star hotels certified by the government based upon two sharing a twin or double bed (single supplements apply)
  • Upgrades to 4-star or 5-star luxury accommodation available on request at additional cost
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
  • Camping equipment and haulage for trekking tours
  • Baggage handling at all hotels and camps
  • All entrance fees to museums and other attractions
  • All applicable internal taxes and service fees
  • Mineral water
  • Visa fees

Not included in price:

  • International airfare (round-trip from hometown departure gateway to destination) and domestic airfare
  • Travel insurance
  • Discretionary gratuities to guides and driver
  • Other personal expenses such as drinks, laundry, telephone calls, etc
  • Single room supplement from US $50 per person per night

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