Enchanted Bhutan (10N/11D)

Prices start from USD $1,936 per person

Horse riding to Taktshang

Ten-day Journey of Discovery in Bhutan

Enchanted Bhutan (10N/11D)

Overview

An inspiring ten-day journey of discovery in Bhutan. Cross the Himalayas to reach Bhutan’s heartland. Encounter Buddhist culture and a rural way of life.

Day 1   WELCOME TO BHUTAN AND THE RICE FIELDS AND VILLAGES OF PARO.

Arrive in Paro and transfer to the hotel. Afternoon sightseeing in Paro valley. Visit the impressive Rinpung Dzong, which featured in Bertolucci’s film “Little Buddha” and then descend on foot to the traditional bridge and into Paro town, where you can spend some free time.

O/N Paro

Day 2  TEMPLES AND DIVINE MADMEN IN PUNAKHA.

Drive to Punakha (3½hrs). A one-hour drive from Thimphu brings you to the Dochula Pass at an altitude of 3,000m. Stop to circumabulate the 108 chorten and enjoy the view of the Himalayan peaks in the distance.  Then descend to 1,200m and visit Chimi Lhakhang, the temple of 15th Century Lam Drukpa Kuenley, also known as the “Divine Madman”. Continue towards Punakha Dzong, which was the former fortress capital of Bhutan. The monks live here during the winter months, moving from their cooler summer residence in Thimphu Dzong.For those who enjoy village walks and hiking, we have a choice of two wonderful walking tours that you can opt for today.

O/N Punakha

Day 3  PUNAKHA SIGHTSEEING, HIKING AND OPTIONAL RAFTING

Punakha is warm and dry so it is a nice place for some pleasant walking and visiting villages, getting a feel for the daily life of the people. Start early with a hike to Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten. As well as visiting the stupa you will get a lovely view of the Punakha river valley from here. Later visit the surrounding villages and a temple or nunnery. Today you have the option to take a rafting excursion on the river too.

O/N Punakha

 

Day 4    DRIVE TO TRONGSA WINDING ROADS AND A WATCHTOWER MUSEUM.

Cross the Pele-La Pass (3500mts) today and stop at a stupa built in the same style as Boudinath in Kathmandu.A long, winding road (5½ hrs driving), leads to Trongsa, a small town with an impressive Dzong perched on a promontory. Visit the beautifully restored watchtower museum which has a collection of pieces related to the history of the monarchy. The five statues on the top floor of the museum represent the positive forms of the five poisons in our human nature.  We can aspire to transform those poisons into these opposite positive characteristics.

O/N Trongsa

Day 5   BUMTHANG: THE RELIGIOUS HEARTLAND ON A 2,700-METRE PLATEAU.

Drive to Bumthang (2 hrs). Today’s cultural sightseeing in Bumthang includes visits interspersed with optional short walks to Jakar Dzong and the important temples of Jambay Lhakhang, Kurjey Lhakhang and Tamshing monastery. See the monks debating in Tibetan style at Karchu Monastery. Try Bumthang specialties including honey and Swiss-style cheese.

O/N Bumthang

Day 6   DAY EXCURSION TO THE RURAL TANG VALLEY.

A 2-hour drive on a rough road takes you to this isolated village at an altitude of 2,900 meters. The Ogyen Choling palace is an interesting living museum of life in feudal Bhutan. It’s one of our favorites. After lunch in a local guesthouse, return to Jakar and visit Lake Mebartsho, en route. This is a deep pool in a steep gorge so you must  follow your guide’s instructions carefully. It is a site of pilgrimage where Pema Lingpa, a local saint and “treasure-reveler” emerged from the lake with a burning butter lamp in his hand.Alternative excursions to Ura village or some hiking options to Kunzangdrak or Tharpaling are also available.  You may also wish to stay overnight in the valley but please note that the accommodation is in a simple guesthouse.

 

O/N Bumthang

Day 7      RETURN DRIVE TO WANGDI

Return drive to Wangdi (5 – 6 hrs). En route, visit weavers at Zungney village and stop to visit Trongsa Dzong.

O/N Wangdi

Day 8     THIMPHU: ARCHERY, TRADITIONS AND THE NATIONAL ANIMAL.

Drive to Thimphu (2½hrs). Spend the rest of the day sightseeing in Thimphu. Archery is the national sport of the Bhutanese so spend some time at the archery ground today where you are sure to find some archers honing their skills.  Visit the Chang-gangkha Temple, where locals take their children to be named. Drive up to the Takin Reserve to see the national animal and visit one of a choice of museums. Finally, take a stroll to the Memorial Chorten, where you will meet people of all walks of life circumambulating the stupa with their hand-held prayer wheels.

O/N Thimphu

Day 9   THIMPHU: CRAFTSMEN AND DZONGS.

Today, start early for a short hike to Tango monastery. Drive along country lanes on the way to the trail and then hike uphill for just under one hour before reaching Tango Monastery, one of the most important institutes of Buddhist studies for the monks of Bhutan. A picnic lunch will be served near the riverside before returning to Thimphu.Finally, visit the impressive Thimphu Dzong (Trashichodzong) which is a fortress-like building housing important offices of both the government and the monastic body as well as a number of temples. Dinner in one of our favorite restaurants in the city.

O/N Thimphu  

Day 10   THIMPHU AND PARO SIGHTSEEING.

Start the day at the huge Buddha statue with a great view over the city.  Visit the Folk Heritage Museum to get an idea of life in an ancient Bhutanese farmhouse. At the Institute for the 13 Traditional Arts (Zorig Chusum) students learn one of 13 skills such as statue-making, Buddhist painting or silk embroidery. If you are interested in traditional herbal-based medicine you can choose to visit the Institute of Traditional Medicine. Alternatively, at the Textile Museum you will learn about the intricate silk weaving which is very much a part of Bhutanese culture.In the afternoon drive to Paro (1 hr). En route stop at Simtokha dzong and the chain bridge at Tamchog Lhakhang.

                                                                                                                                      O/N Paro

Day 11  MORNING HIKE TO THE TIGER’S NEST: A TRUE PILGRIMAGE.

Hike or horse ride to Taktsang temple, also known as the Tiger’s Nest, which is built into the sheer rock face at an altitude of 3,000 meters. This is a highlight of the tour and involves a 2-hour uphill hike. The visit to the temple, and the return downhill to the base makes this a 4-hour round trip. This hike requires a certain level of fitness but is not excessively difficult. In the afternoon drive towards the ruined fortress Drugyel Dzong from where you can get a view of the distant Jhomolhari mountain and enjoy the rural scenery of the valley with its small villages and farms scattered here and there.  On the return to town, visit Kyichu Lakhang, one of the oldest temples in Bhutan. You may wish to book a massage at one of several hotel spas to relax after your hike.

O/N Paro

Day 12  FLIGHT DEPARTURE

After breakfast transfer to the airport for check-in and flight departure from Paro. Tashi Delek!

 

The Cost IncludesAccommodation in 3* 4* and 5* tourist hotels according to the package chosen.
Three meals a day.
English-speaking Guide services for the duration of your stay (Other languages on request).
Comfortable vehicle and driver for the duration of your stay.
All transfers between airport and hotel.
Sightseeing and entrance fees as per itinerary.
Government Royalties and Surcharges and all taxes.
Complimentary processing of Bhutanese visa and flight booking service.
The Cost Does Not Includes Visa Fee: payable at the time of booking your tour ($ 40).
Flights: your flight costs are itemized separately.
Upgrades to a higher category hotel accommodation on request.
Drinks and other expenses of a personal nature (laundry, telephone etc.)
Tips for guide and driver.
Travel & Health Insurance: we strongly recommend that you purchase a comprehensive travel insurance to cover medical expenses, baggage loss, and trip cancellation.
All extra expenses incurred due to forces of nature or unforeseen events.

10N/11D Tour Prices

 1 person2 person3 person & above
High SeasonUSD $3,486USD $2,736USD $2,436
Low SeasonUSD $2,736USD $2,236USD $1,936
Visa FeeUSD $40
FlightPlease see separate tab for flight options and prices.
High Season: March, April, May, September, October, and November
Low Season: January, February, June, July, August, and December

Return flight prices to Paro

Sector Economy Business
DelhiUSD $606USD $765
BangkokUSD $646USD $780
KathmanduUSD $379USD $469
KolkataUSD $406USD $489
SingaporeUSD $818USD $1,478
BagdograUSD $208USD $352
GayaUSD $390USD $694

Ten-day Journey of Discovery in Bhutan


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