Bhutan is Asia’s best-kept secret. Overshadowed and nestled between China and India, it is a relatively new travel spot, with many undiscovered secrets in its natural scenery and quiet townships. The land is dotted with red-clothed monks, ancient Buddhist temples, and friendly smiles. Embark in this journey with us to truly discover & experience Bhutan.
Day1: Arrival in Paro
Upon arrival at Paro International Airport, just outside the arrival hall, you will be greeted by one of our guides. At more than 7,300 feet above sea level, you will need to acclimate to the high altitude. So, we will take it easy with a short drive to your hotel, enjoy a Bhutanese lunch, and then visit a few sights around the capital city of Thimphu.
Day2: Tour Thimphu
We will give you a tour of whole Thimphu exploring the most famous tourist spots around, most famous of all being The Memorial Chorten, Buddha point, Farmers’ Market, Folk Heritage Museum, Thimphu Tashichho Dzong and more.
Day3: Trip to Punakha
On our way to Punakha, the former capital of Bhutan, we will stop at Dochula Pass. Providing stunning 360-degree views of the Himalayan Mountains. Sitting at the fork of two rivers, Punakha Dzong is considered one of the most beautiful spots in Bhutan. With spectacular displays of Bhutanese architecture, it stands like a medieval city surrounded by lavender Jacaranda trees.
Day4: Punakha to Bumthang via Trongsa
About eight hours’ drive from Punakha to Bumthang, we enter the central district of Trongsa, the ancestral home of Bhutan’s royal family. We get to see the resplendent Trongsa Dzong in the valley center. Its labyrinth of temples, corridors, offices and living quarters for the monks add up to a masterpiece in Bhutanese architecture. We also get to visit the Chendebji Chorten. This large white chorten is patterned after Swayambhunath temple in Kathmandu. It sits at a lovely spot by a river confluence.
In Bumthang we will visit the most scared temples and monasteries of Bhutan like Kurjey Lhakhang, Jambay Lhakhang, Tamshing Goemba and Kenchosum Lhakhang. We will also visit the Jakar Dzong (known as the Castle of White Bired in the medieval times). There is also a place to behold – The Swiss Farm – owned by a local Swiss Bhutanese Fritz Maurer. This is where a variety of Swiss cheese and Bhutan’s only native beer, Red Panda are produced.
Day6: Bumthang to Gangtey
On our way to Gangtey, up the mountain sits the Trongsa Museum Taa Dzong, a watchtower built in 1652 to ward off attacks of the town below. It now serves as home to the Royal Heritage Museum, highlighting the history of the area and the Wangchuck dynasty. Featuring Buddhist art, royal memorabilia, a 500-year-old jacket of Ngagi Wangchuck, and Padma Kathang’s personal copy of the handwritten biography of Guru Rinpoche.
Today we travel to Phobjikha (Gangtey) Valley. Known as the winter home of the black-necked cranes (Grus nigricollis), you can see 600 of these elegant, shy birds that migrate here from Tibet between November and March. This bowl-shaped valley is also a wildlife preserve, so you might also see the other native animals to Bhutan, including muntjac, sambar, serow, or yak. We will also visit the Gangtey Goemba – which is a 17th-century monastery that sits on a hill, overlooking the entire Gangtey valley.
Day8: Gangtey to ParoWe head back to scenic Paro Valley, home to many of Bhutan’s oldest monasteries and the country’s only airport. This mixture of old and new makes Paro an important part of Bhutan’s past, present, and future. We will visit Paro Dzong, The Taa Dzong and take a look around the main town of Paro.
Day9: Hike to The Tiger’s Nest (Paro Taktsang Monastery)
We will take a two-hour hike to Taktsang Monastery, arguably one of the most photographed monasteries in Bhutan. Accessible only by foot, this sacred site was built precariously on the cliff’s edge, more than 10,000 feet above sea level. This is where Guru (Rinpoche) Padmasambhava, the father of Bhutan Buddhism, is said to have flown on the back of a flying tiger to meditate there. Hence the name “The Tiger’s Nest”.
After breakfast, we drive you to airport for your departure. We hope by now you would have made some friends and also kept many photos and beautiful memories of Bhutan! We look forward to seeing you again.