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Bhutan-The Kingdom in the Sky ( 12 Nights 13 Days )

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Stop At: Tashichho Dzong (Thimpu Dzong), Chhagchhen Lam, Thimphu Bhutan

Day 01: Arrive Paro.

Paro - Thimphu (54 km, 1 hr drive)

Arrive Paro by Drukair (Royal Bhutan Airlines) or Bhutan Airlines (Private Airlines).You will be received at the Paro International Airport by the representative of World Tour Plan, who will be your guide throughout your tour.

You directly travel to Thimphu, the capital town of Bhutan. The road runs down through the Paro valley, to Chuzom (Confluence) at the entrance to the valley, where the Paro and Thimphu rivers meet. The road passes along a narrow valley with high, rocky cliffs on the left, and then the valley opens out into farmland on the approach to Thimphu.

On arrival at Thimphu, check into your hotel and after a refreshment or lunch, visit the following places:
• Centenary Farmers’ Market (open from Thu-Sun only): Most of the Thimphu’s population and many valley dwellers converge on the bustling weekend market, held by the side of Wangchu River. A wide range of foodstuffs and local arts and crafts are sold at the market, which runs from Thursday afternoon till Sunday evening. A visit to the market provides great photo opportunities, as well as the chance to mingle with local people.
• Archery Match (National Game of Bhutan) at Changlimithang National Stadium.
• Kuenselphodrang (commonly known as Buddha Point) where the largest Buddha statue in the country is perched on the hillock overlooking the Thimphu Valley. You may take a nature hike through Kuenselphodran Nature Park for about 20-30 minutes.
• Tashichhoe Dzong, a fortress of the glorious religion. It was built in 1641 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel and was reconstructed into present structure by the late King, His majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck in the year 1962-1969. It houses the secretariat building, the throne room and the office of the king, and the central monk body.
• The National Memorial Chorten (stupa) which was constructed in 1974 as a memorial for the third King of Bhutan, King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, who is widely regarded as the father of modern Bhutan. The term ‘chorten’ literally means ' seat of faith' and Buddhists often call such monuments the 'Mind of Buddha'. Meet the elderly generation in circumambulation, especially in the evenings, at the National Memorial Chorten.
• Craft Bazaar – A one stop place to witness Bhutanese culture and to buy Bhutan made art and craft product. The Bazaar in its 80 stalls covers all aspects of the traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan. You will get to see craftsmen and artisans from across the country displaying and selling their handicrafts. You can also visit other handicraft stores in town.Dinner and overnight in Thimphu.

Duration: 8 hours

Stop At: Thimphu’s Weekend Market, Chhogyal Lam, Thimphu Bhutan

Day 02: Thimphu Sightseeing.

After breakfast visit the following places:
• School of Traditional Painting of Arts and Crafts where students undertake a six-year course on the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan.
• Traditional Bhutanese paper making factory. The handmade paper making in Bhutan stemmed from the age old tradition originated in 8th century of Bhutanese history. The handmade paper constitutes as valuable National heritage of Bhutanese cultural identity and is preserved through all the ages. The Traditional paper is recognized and held high esteem both in home and outside world. Jungshi Paper Factory was established in November 1990 as an undertaking of the Royal Government of Bhutan. The unit now boasts as a major and sole dealer in handmade paper and its products.
• Bhutan Post Office Headquarters to get personalized Bhutanese postage stamps with your photo on them. You can bring along your favorite photo to put on the stamps and put these stamps on your postcard to send to your family and friends.

After lunch visit the following:
• Takin Preserve, which houses the national animal the Takin that is only found in Bhutan. This is an extremely rare member of the goat family. Found in herds in the very high altitudes (13,125ft and over). They live on a diet of grass and bamboo. It can weigh as much as 550 pounds.
• Changangkha Lhakhang (temple): Changangkha Lhakhang is an old fortress like temple and monastic school perched on a ridge above Thimphu. It was established in the 12th century on a site chosen by Lama Phajo Drukgom Shigpo, who came from Ralung in Tibet. The central statue is Chenresig in an 11-headed, thousand-armed manifestation (God of compassion). There are enormous prayer wheels to spin and even the prayer books in the temple are larger in size than usual Tibetan texts.
• Dechenphodrang (Palace of great bliss) Monastery located at north of Thimphu valley. It is a monastic school for about 500 young monks enrolled for 8 years courses. You will visit the monastery and have free interaction with young monks who are mostly from poor family ground and some even orphan. The ‘Palace of Great Bliss’ serves as a home and learning center for these young monks. You will spend some time interacting with young monks.

In the evening stroll through Thimphu downtown. Dinner and overnight in Thimphu.

Duration: 8 hours

Stop At: Tango Buddhist Institute, Thimphu Bhutan

Day 03: Thimphu Short Hike to Tango and Cheri Monasteries

After breakfast, travel to the base camp of Tango Monastery which lies north of Thimphu city with packed picnic lunch. From the base camp which is the end of motor road you hike up to the Monastery is through the forest filled with oak and pine trees as well as Rhododendron flower trees which will be in full bloom during spring season. The Tango Monastery site has had religious significance since the 12th century when it was the home of the highly revered Buddhist monks who brought the Drukpa Kagyupa school of Buddhism to Bhutan. The Tango Monastery was built in 1689 by Gyalse Tenzin Rabgyal. The three-storied monastery was built with the help of the locals and was completed within two months. At present Tango Monastery is the center for higher studies for monks. The view from Tango Monastery is breathtakingly beautiful. You will experience complete peace and serenity in this area. After visiting the monastery, walk back to the road and drive to the base of Cheri Monastery where you will eat your packed picnic lunch by the side of the river.

After lunch hike to Cheri Monastery through the forest filled with oak and Rhododendron flower trees. This is the place where monks undergo meditation/retreat with a duration ranging from 4 months to 3 years. Therefore, this place is so peaceful and you will experience complete serenity at this place. The hike up will take approximately 50 minutes. The view from Cheri Monastery is breathtakingly beautiful. You can sit in one of the temples of this monastery complex and meditate for some time if you would like to do so. Then walk back to the base where your car will wait for you and then travel back to Thimphu. In the evening relax. Dinner and overnight in Thimphu.

Duration: 8 hours

Stop At: Punakha Dzong, Punakha 13001 Bhutan

Day 04: Thimphu -Punakha.

(Distance: 71 km Estimated driving time: 2 1/2 hrs.)

After breakfast, travel to Punakha through Dochula Pass 3140 m). In the clear sky enjoy the panoramic view of the Himalayan Mountain ranges. Then pass by the beautiful 108 chortens built on the hill by Her Majesty Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck (Queen Mother of Bhutan) for the security and wellbeing of His Majesty, the King of Bhutan.

Also visit Druk Wangyal Lhakhang (temple) .The temple was built to honor His Majesty the fourth Druk Gyalpo, Jigme Singye Wangchuck. The past and future appear to merge in the details of the Lhakhang that tells the story of a supreme warrior figure whose vision pierces the distant future.

Then continue your journey towards Punakha.

Punakha has been inextricably linked to some of the most momentous events in the Bhutanese history. Punakha had served as the capital of Bhutan from 1637 till 1907 and the 1st National Assembly was held there.

On the way, stop at Metsina village and take a 20 minute walk through the paddy fields to visit the Devine Madman’s Monastery-Chhimi Lhakhang, famously known for its fertility shrine, where one can receive a special fertility blessing.

After lunch visit the Punakha Dzong, located on the island of the Pho - Chu (Male River) and the Mochu (Female River).

The Dzong was built in 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal (the person who unified Bhutan) to serve as the religious and administrative seat of the region. It was here that the dual system of government was introduced in the 17th century and in 1907, enthroned the first King Gongsar Ugyen Wangchuck. Damaged over the centuries by four catastrophic fires and an earthquake, the Dzong has been fully restored in the recent years by the 4th King Jigme Singye Wangchuck. At the Dzong, you can see the highest standards of woodwork.

In the evening, visit Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendup Lhakhang Nunnery and enjoy the breathtakingly beautiful view of Punakha and Wangdue valleys from there. Dinner and overnight in Punakha.

Duration: 8 hours

Stop At: Punakha Suspension Bridge, Punakha Dzong, Punakha 13001 Bhutan

Day 5: Sightseeing & hiking in Punakha.

After Breakfast drive to Khamsum Yulley Namgyel Chorten through fields of vegetables, rice paddies and tiny hamlets. This Chorten holds very special significance being consecrated in 1999 and dedicated to the protection of the former Crown Prince – today’s current King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck. This temple is situated on the hilltop overlooking the valley below. The leisurely walk up to the temple would take about an hour. Visit the temple and also enjoy the breathtakingly beautiful view from there.

After lunch, you will visit Rinchengang village in Wangduephodrang where you will take a short walk through the village and have free interaction with the villagers. Round trip hike will take about 1 hr. At the same time you can view the ruins of Wang due Dzong (the Dzong was razed to the ground by fire in 2012). Dinner and overnight in Punakha.

Duration: 8 hours

Stop At: Phobjikha Valley, Bhutan

Day 06. Punakha – Phobjikha

After breakfast drive to the beautiful valley of Phobjikha. Phobjikha is one of Bhutan’s few glacial valleys, and chosen winter home of black necked cranes (November – March) migrating from the Tibetan plateau.

On arrival in Phobjikha after lunch visit Gangtey Gompa Monastery, from outside. Gyaltse Pema Thinley, the grandson and mind reincarnation of Pema Lingpa founded the Temple in 1613. It is a Nyingmapa monastery and is affiliated to other Nyingmapa monasteries including Tamshing in Bumthang. Dinner and overnight in Phobjikha.

Duration: 8 hours

Stop At: Gangtey Monastery, Gangtey Bhutan

Day 7: Sightseeing in the Phobjikha Valley.

While you are in Phobjikha you will visit the Black Crane nature information Centre and enjoy time to wander through Gangtey village and hike the Gangtey Nature Trail. There are many additional hikes available in this beautiful valley and your guide will advise you the best options. Dinner and overnight in Phobjikha.

Duration: 8 hours

Stop At: Gangtey Monastery, Gangtey Bhutan

Day 8: Hike to Meditation Huts.

Scattered in a rock face in the mountain behind the Shedra are seven houses used as meditation facilities for hermits. This hike takes you to a location overlooking the huts and with extraordinary views of Gangtey Valley. From the starting point just below the Lawola Pass, you will walk upwards through bamboo and forest until reaching a lower mountain top. From here, you can choose which ever yak trail you wish to follow through the bush bamboo until reaching the mountain top from where you will spot the huts. At this point, you may feel like you are on top of the world surrounded by magical fairytale landscape in all directions. As you wander back down the mountain ridges through bamboo and flower meadows towards the Shedra, take time to enjoy the presence and the beauty of the surroundings.

Time : 20 minutes drive to the pass, 1 -2 hour walk up, 1 – 2 hours walk down depending on the ending point. Difficulty level Moderate. Dinner and overnight in Phobjikha.

Duration: 8 hours

Stop At: Wangdue Dzong, Wangdue Bhutan

Day 9 : Punakha – Sightseeing.

After early breakfast travel to Punakha. Check in Hotel in Punakha and later explore around Punakha valley and look for semi-nomadic tribal people known in Bhutan as “Layaps” (Interaction with Layap people is possible only from Dec –end of March). They can be seen in and around Punakha valley during the winter months when they migrate southward from Laya to escape the extreme cold.

After a picnic lunch nearby the Pho Chu River, we will drive back to Lobesa and to visit a farm house. Here we will see a Traditional Bhutanese cooking and farming demonstration. Afterwards, participate in some unique Bhutanese recreational activities including Khuru, a Bhutanese dart game, Archery, The National Game of Bhutan and Degor, a throwing competition. Dinner and overnight in Punakha.

Duration: 8 hours

Stop At: Dochula Pass, Thimphu Bhutan

Day 10: Punakha Valley to Paro Valley

Depart Punakha early morning for your transfer westwards to the Paro Valley, once again traversing Dochu La, and arriving in Paro town in time for a late lunch at one of the local restaurants.

This afternoon enjoy an orientation tour of the major features in Paro town including Paro Dzong with its cantilever bridge; Kyichu Lhakhang – one of Bhutan’s oldest and most beautiful temples boasting an orange tree that perpetually bears fruit followed by a visit to the old ruined fortress of the Drugyel Dzong (14km from Paro). This is the historical site of the Fort of Drukpa Victory, from which the Bhutanese used to repel the Tibetan invaders again and again. On a clear day views of the 7314 m snow domed peaks of sacred Mt Chomolhari can be seen. Dinner and overnight in Paro.

Duration: 8 hours

Stop At: National Museum, Tag-Dzong Rinpung Dzong, Paro 12001 Bhutan

Day 11: Sightseeing Paro Valley.

This morning check out the National Museum in Paro to view the fine collection of ancient Thangkha paintings, textiles, weapons and other artifacts and we recommend a wander along the main street which offers good shopping for jewelry and handicrafts. Dinner and overnight in Paro.

Duration: 8 hours

Stop At: Paro Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest), Taktsang Trail, Paro 11001 Bhutan

Day 12: Paro Taktshang Hike – Hike to Tiger’s Nest Monastery.

After breakfast, hike up to Taktshang Monastery, also known as ‘Tiger’s Nest Monastery’. The climb up to the viewpoint will take around 1 ½ hours and from there you will enjoy a spectacular view of the monastery clinging to the side of the cliff. Stop for refreshment at the View Point Cafeteria. Then walk further up to the monastery which will take about 1 hour. It is said that in the 8th century Guru Rinpoche flew on the back of a tigress from eastern Bhutan to this place and meditated in a cave here for 3 months.

The principal Lhakhang (monastery) of the present monastic complex dates from 1692. Taktsang was damaged severely by fire in 1998 but has now been fully restored to its former beauty. After visiting the monastery, walk back down to the road on the way stop for lunch at the view point cafeteria and then walk further down to the road point.

Then drive back to hotel. On the way visit Kichu temple, one of the 108 temples built in the 7th century by the Tibetan King Songsten Gampo. The story goes that a giant demon lay across the whole area of Tibet and the Himalayas and was preventing the spread of Buddhism. To overcome her, King Songtsen Gampo decided to build 108 temples, which would be placed on all the points of her body. Of these 108 temples, 12 were built in accordance with precise plans. Thus, it happened that in about the year AD 638 the temple of Jokhang in Lhasa was built over the very heart of the demon. In the evening relax. Dinner and overnight in Paro.

Duration: 8 hours

Stop At: Paro Airport Bird's Eye View Point, Paro Bhutan

Day 13- Departure

In the morning, after breakfast representative from World Tour Plan will see you off at the Paro airport for your onward flight.


Duration: 1 hour
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Important Information
Departure Point
Traveler pickup is offered
Departure Time
9:00 AM
Duration
13 days
Inclusions
  • All taxes, fees and handling charges
  • Bottled water
  • Meals as per itinerary (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner)
  • Professional guide
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Pickup and drop-off from designated meeting points
  • Private tour
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Coffee and/or Tea
  • Entry/Admission - Tashichho Dzong (Thimpu Dzong)
  • Entry/Admission - Thimphu’s Weekend Market
  • Entry/Admission - Tango Buddhist Institute
  • Entry/Admission - Punakha Dzong
  • Entry/Admission - Punakha Suspension Bridge
  • Entry/Admission - Phobjikha Valley
  • Entry/Admission - Gangtey Monastery
  • Entry/Admission - Wangdue Dzong
  • Entry/Admission - Dochula Pass
  • Entry/Admission - National Museum
  • Entry/Admission - Paro Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest)
Exclusions
  • Souvenir photos (available to purchase)
  • Alcoholic drinks (available to purchase)
  • Entry/Admission - Paro Airport Bird's Eye View Point
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Additional Info
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • A current valid passport is required on the day of travel
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Passport name, number, expiry and country is required at time of booking for all participants
  • A current valid passport is required on the day of travel
  • Service animals allowed
  • Near public transportation
  • Infant seats available
  • Not recommended for travelers with back problems
  • Not recommended for pregnant travelers
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This is a private tour/activity. Only your group will participate
Cancellation Policy
For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
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Reviewed 31 March 2019

To visit Bhutan was a long awaited wish come true. It was indeed the best holiday therapy form my busy lifestyle.The best thing i did on tour was witnessing the people of Bhutan and experiencing "Gross National Happiness "for real , in the world where...More

Date of experience: March 2019
Thank needhikhurana
worldtourplan, Director of Sales at World Tour Plan, responded to this reviewResponded 6 May 2019

Happy to get to hear from you and to know that you really liked our service. Through our guest reviews we get chance to correct our mistakes and we try to improve and grow up. Thank you once again for your beautiful words and would...More

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