Once you land in Paro International Airport, you will be warmly welcomed in Bhutanese traditional style by an English/Chinese speaking tour guide. Proceed to visit Paro Dzong, a monument built in 1646 AD. It is a large Drukpa Kagyu Buddhist Monastery and houses the district Monastic Body, and government administrative offices of Paro. Lunch is followed by a 3.5-hour drive to Phunakha, the old Capital of Bhutan via Thimphu, the Modern Capital of Bhutan, and Dochu La Pass (Alt. 3050m) where you can enjoy the first view of the eastern Himalayan Mountains. Overnight Stay.
Visit Chimi Lhakhang Temple, the fertility temple where people pray for children. Visit the Punakha Dzong between the Phochu and Mochu rivers, symbolizing the masculine and the feminine co-existence. Their currents are of different colours, and the two rivers unite at this spot. Drive down to Trongsa which is situated in Central Bhutan, 6.30 hours away from Punakha. Afternoon, drive over the Black mountains and Pele La Pass (Alt. 3300m). Visit the Trongsa Dzong founded in 1543, a masterpiece of architecture. Overnight Stay.
Rich and fertile high lands covered in pine, broad U-shaped valleys, and sloping mountains add to the beauty of Bumthang. This place is also known for buckwheat and apple production, sturdy stone houses, and plethora of monasteries. Proceed to Bumthang, a 2-hour drive from Trongsa. Bumthang is a complex of four valleys – Chumey, Choekhor, Tang and Ura – with altitudes varying from 2,600 to 4,000 metres. Explore the valleys. If the weather is clear, you will enjoy great views of green valleys, dotted with hundreds of temples, thousand flags, and the beautiful Chamkhar river flowing through the valley. The valley is also called the mini Switzerland of Bhutan. Visit Jakar Dzong – the administrative centre of the valley, Jambay Lhakhang – one of the oldest monasteries in the Bhutan, and Kujey Lhakhang – one of the most sacred places where Guru Rinpoche left his body imprint on the cave when he was meditating. Overnight Stay.
After breakfast, a 10-hour drive will bring you to the country’s largest district – Trashigang which lies in the far east of Bhutan. Trashigang town, on the hillside above the Gamri Chu (river), was once the centre for a busy trade with Tibet. Today it is the junction of the east-west highway, with road connections to Samdrup Jongkhar, and to the Indian state of Assam. This town is also the principle market place for the semi-nomadic people of Merak and Sakteng, whose way of dressing is unique in Bhutan. Overnight stay.
Visit Trashigang Dzong, which was built in 1659 by Trongsa Penlop Minjur Tenpa. It served for centuries as an administrative headquarters and monastery, although the government offices mostly relocated by 2011. Drive into Khaling. Enroute visit Sherubtse, Bhutan’s only college, and the sacred Zangtokpelri Monastery. At Khaling, visit the traditional weaving centre and return to Trashigang in the evening. Overnight stay.
After breakfast, drive to Mongar which is 4 hours away from Trashigang. Enroute, visit Gom Kora, 24 kms from Trashigang. The temple of Gom Kora is set on a small alluvial plateau, overlooking the Dangmechu River. Surrounded by rice fields and clumps of banana trees, it looks like an oasis in an arid landscape. Visit Mongar Dzong which was built in 1930. This Dzong was constructed as the administrative headquarters for the District and to house the spiritual monks. The Dzong also houses the artifacts of the old Zhongar Dzong besides the other relics. Overnight stay.
Drive back to Bumthang which is 8 hours away from Mongar. Have a nice stroll through the small little town of Bumthang, and enjoy the relaxing life style of the Eastern Bhutanese. Overnight stay.
After breakfast proceed to Phobjikha Valley, an important cultural, historical, and natural site which is 6 hours away from Bumthang. The first stop will be at Gantey Gompa, a monastery perched atop a small hill that arises from the floor of Phobjikha Valley. This beautiful spot is also the home to migratory black-necked crane (from November till March). Overnight Stay.
Today we will head to the Modern Capital of Bhutan, Thimphu, which is 6 hours away from Phobjikha Valley. Entering Thimphu, visit Trashicho Dzong which houses the main Secretariat of the Government, offices of the King, Ministries of Home Affairs and Finance, and also the Throne of His Majesty, the King of Bhutan. It is an impressive large structure surrounded by well-kept lawns and beautiful gardens. Overnight Stay.
Today sightseeing starts with the National Memorial Chorten, Traditional Medicine Institute, National Library, Textile and Folk Heritage Museum, and School of 13 Arts & Crafts. After Lunch visit the Takin mini zoo, Zilukha Nunnery, General Post Office, and traditional paper factory. Overnight stay.
Proceed back to Paro which is 1.30 hours away from Thimphu. Explore the main street where there is a vintage-looking complex with richly decorated buildings, housing small shops, institutions, and restaurants. In the evening visit the local farm house where you can experience the making of the famous local dish “ema datshi” (Chilli & Cheese) and taste “Ara” – the local wine. Overnight Stay.
Today, visit the Taktsang Monastery also known as Tiger Nest Monastery. It is perched precariously on a side of a cliff. Guru Padmasambhava, known as the Second Buddha, arrived on a flying tigress and meditated at this shrine in the second half of the 8th century. As a result, it is the dream destination for Buddhist pilgrims from all over the world. Evening you can enjoy hot stone bath (Dotsho or Menchu), and exclusive dinner at Beer Factory to get taste of the country’s best. Overnight Stay.
Your exploration of Bhutan will end today. Have a safe trip back home.
12 Nights Tour Start From
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