druk air

Escape into the Himalayan Kingdom

Tour Duration-  7 nights/8 days

Places covered – Thimphu, Punakha, Dochula Pass, Gangtay/Phobjikha, Paro

Detailed Itinerary

Activities –

Day 1 -Paro to Thimphu

After you arrive in Paro international airport, you will be received by our representative from Colorful Bhutan Travels.

The flight into Paro on Druk Air/Bhutan airlines (only international flight) is a befitting introduction to the spectacular beauty of Bhutan. If the weather is clear you can see magnificent views of the peaks, give way to the lush green Paro valley as you land on arrival at Paro international airport.

Drive to Thimphu, which would take about an hour. Make a stop on the way at the confluence of the two rivers. There are three different Buddhist stupas down below at the confluence of the two rivers. The Tibetan styled stupa, the Nepali styled and the Bhutanese styled stupa. Check in at hotel at Thimphu. Have your lunch after a brief rest at the hotel. In the afternoon, visit the Memorial Chorten(temple) which was built in 1974 in memory of the Late Third King of Bhutan.  On any given day, you shall find people circumambulating this temple in order to gain merits for all sentient beings. Visit Kuenselphodrang, popularly known as the “Buddha Point” where a statue of the Buddha measuring 54 meters tall sits above the Thimphu valley. Later in the evening we will be visiting Tashichhoe Dzong the “Fortress of Auspicious Religion” where today like most of the other fortresses in Bhutan serves as the Administrative and Religious Center. Evening at leisure in Thimphu town.

Overnight at Thimphu

Day 2 – Thimphu – Thimphu

On this day, we shall hike to the Chari Monastery established in 1620 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal who is unified Bhutan as one. The monastery is considered as one of the first central monastic body established in Bhutan. Then we will drive back to Thimphu and visit Royal Textile Academy, which was instituted in 2005 under the patronage of Her Majesty Queen Mother Sangay Choden Wangchuk as a non-profit organization. You will learn about the Bhutan’s living national art of Thagzo (weaving). After that we will also visit the Folk heritage Museum which was opened in 2001 from the initiative of founder Her Majesty the queen mother Dorji Wangmo Wangchuk. The Museum is housed in a 3-storyed 19th century traditional rammed mud and timber house aged more than 150 years. Then we will again visit Jungshi Home Made Paper factory (jungshi meaning natural) which was established in 1990. It was established to expand the old domestic skill for commercial purposes. One can get a closer look at all the steps involved in the manufacturing process, from raw material to finished product.

 Dinner and overnight shall be in the hotel at Thimphu

Day 3- Thimphu to Punakha

After breakfast, drive to Punakha, a place with subtropical vegetation and about 3 hours’ drive from Thimphu. On your way stop at the mountain pass called Dochula where a 108 stupas were built by the Queen Mother of Bhutan,  and enjoy the breathtaking view of the chain of some of the tallest mountains in Bhutan on a day with clear skies. Have your lunch on your way and then visit Chimi Lhakhang(temple) also known popularly as the “fertility temple”. This temple is reputed for granting children to couples who come to seek blessings for a child. People who come to this temple are blessed with a wooden phallus with a silver handle and the bow and arrows of the famous 15thcentury Buddhist saint called “Drukpa Kuenley” to whom this temple is dedicated. After checking in the hotel then rest for some time. Later in the evening we will visit Punakha Fortress also known as Pungthang Dechen Phodrang Dzong (meaning the palace of great happiness or bliss) which was built in 1637-1638 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. It is the second oldest and second largest Dzong in Bhutan and one of its most majestic structure. It is listed as a tentative site in Bhutan’s Tentative List for UNESCO inclusion.

Dinner and overnight shall be in the hotel Punakha

Day 4-Punakha to Gangtey;

After breakfast we shall hike to temple called Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal which lies at about 45 minutes climb from the road end point. After crossing the suspension bridge, the path to the temple passes through fields of mustards and paddy and then gradually starts climbing. This temple is renowned for housing some of the most intricate sculpturing and paintings done in Bhutan. Then after the hike we proceed onward to Gangtey which is about 3 to 4 hours’ drive. We will be stopping for lunch on the way to Gangtay. After reaching Gangtay we will start our Gangtay Natural Trail Hike. The hike is a pleasurable walk which will give you a nice feel of Phobjikha valley after a long drive. From the small hilltop overlooking Gangtey Goemba, you head downhill through flower meadows to Semchubara village and from there through beautiful forests and into the open valley. The trail ends at the local community school after passing a chorten and Khewang Lhakhang.

Overnight at Gangtay

Day 5- Gangtey to Wangdiphodrang/ Punakha

Gangtey also called “Phobjikha” is one of the most famous marsh lands in Bhutan. It is usually a very quiet place. This valley is famous for the Black Necked Cranes that come here from Tibet to roost during the cold winter months. Visit the Black Necked Craned Information Center then we will visit Gangtay monastery. It is an important monastery of Nyingmapa School of Buddhism. The monastery’s history traces to the early 17th century and back to the prophecies made by the well-known Terton (treasure finder) Pema Lingpa in the late 15th Century. Then we will head back towards Punakha. On the way we will stop in Wangdiphodrang where we will go and visit and see the reconstruction of Wangdi Dzong which was completely burnt down by fire in 2012.

Overnight at Punakha/Wangdiphodrang

Day 6- Wangdiphodrang/Punakha to Paro

Move to Paro via Thimphu. After reaching Paro we will check into hotel and after a short rest then we will visit Paro National Museum. It was established in 1968, in the renovated ancient Ta-dzong building under the command of His Majesty, the king Jigme Dorji Wangchuk. It houses for some of the finest specimens of Bhutanese art, including masterpieces of bronze statues and painting. Suitable galleries were constructed to house the extensive collections.The works of art is elegantly displayed on scientific lines. After the museum we will visit Paro Rinpung Dzong. Under the command of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal the dzong was built in 1646 and it was established as administrative and monastic center of the western region and it became known as Rinpung Dzong (meaning Heap of Jewels). The dzong is listed as a tentative site in Bhutan’s Tentative List for UNESCO inclusion.

Overnight at Paro

Day 7-Paro – Paro

After breakfast, the day starts by driving to the base of Taktshang (Tiger’s Nest). From here on, the walk uphill begins. Taktshang is a highly recommended place to visit for guests. The walk uphill offers clean and pristine air for breathing while you enjoy the occasional view of the valley below.  Almost halfway through your way up, have some tea and snacks at the restaurant with the stunning view of the temple suspended on a cliff.  Proceed to the temple, visit the many shrines in the temple and on your way back, have your lunch at the restaurant.  Get back to the base where your car will be waiting for you. Then visit Kychu Monastery which is considered as one of the oldest monastery built by the Tibetan king in 7th century.

The rest of the day is leisure where you can relax and take a walk in the Paro town.

Overnight at Paro.

Day 8- After breakfast, depart from Paro Airport. Your guide will be there to see you off on behalf of the company.

Cost Inclusion

  1. All meals – American plan include
  2. English Speaking Guide for the tour
  3. All Entrance Fess of all Places of interest
  4. Internal Transport within Tour Activity: Cultural/Hiking
  5. Accommodations – minimum of 3* hotels or resorts
  6. All Government Taxes

Cost Exclusion

  1. Air fare
  2. Travel Insurance
  3. Laundry Services
  4. Shopping and Telephone services
  5. Tipping for service providers

Tour cancellation & refund policy

Tour Programs booked and subsequently cancelled shall be subject to cancellation charges as follows:

  • 45 days or more prior to arrival date in Bhutan– no charges
  • 45-30 days prior to arrival date in Bhutan – 20% of rate
  • 22– 29 days prior to arrival date in Bhutan – 30% of rate
  • 15-21 days prior to arrival date in Bhutan – 50% of rate
  • Less than 15 days prior to arrival date in Bhutan – No Refund
  • An Administration fee of USD75 will be applicable for all cancelled tours

In the event of cancelled or shortened trips due to unforeseen reasons after arrival in Bhutan, no refund will be made due to the company already having paid for hotels and other logistics.

No refund will be made for missed connections or no show at the airports.

Tashi Delek!