10 days cultural tour
Explore Bhutan’s central valleys, rich with ancient historical and sacred Buddhist sites with 10 days cultural tour. Discover some of the most sacred Buddhist monasteries and temples in the Himalaya…
Day 1: Arrive Paro & Paro-Thimphu (Distance: 54 km, estimated driving time: 1 hr)
Fly into Paro by DrukAir / Bhutan Airline After completing your immigration formalities, you will be received by our representative.
Then drive to Thimphu. On arrival at Thimphu, check into your hotel. After refreshment, you will visit the following places:
- Kuensel Phodrang and visit tallest buddha statue and enjoy the full view of Thimphu Valley below.
- National Memorial Chorten. Chorten literally means ‘ seat of faith’ and Buddhists often call such monuments the ‘Mind of Buddha’.
- 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.
- 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.
- Craft Bazaar -A one stop place to witness Bhutanese culture and buy Bhutan made art and craft products. The Bazaar in its 80 stalls covers all aspects of the traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan. At this Bazaar, you will get to witness craftsmen and artisans from across the country display and sell their handicrafts. And also visit other handicraft stores.
Over night at Thimphu
Day 02 : Thimphu sightseeing
After breakfast, visit following place :
- Institute for Zorig Chusum
Commonly known as Arts & Crafts School or Painting School, the Institute offers a six-year course on the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan. On a visit, you will see students learning the various skills taught at the school.
- Coronation Park
Located on the banks of the river (near the city stadium), this 5.6 acres of parkland offer a pleasant and relaxing environment to stroll or to sit and watch the river flow by.
- The Folk Heritage Museum (Phelchey Toenkhyim)
It is dedicated to connect people to the Bhutanese rural past through exhibits, demonstrations, educational programs and documentation of rural life. The principal exhibit in the museum is a restored three storey traditional rammed mud and timber house, which dates back to the mid 19th century. The design and form of house is that of an average household in the Wang area during that era.
- Changangkha Lhakhang
It is a fortress like temple and monastic school perched on a ridge above Thimphu, south of Motithang. The temple was established in 12th century on a site chosen by Lama Phajo Drugom Shigpo, who came from Tibet. The central statue here is Chenrezig in a manifestation with 11 heads. From temple courtyard, there is fascinating view of Thimphu valley.
- Weekend Market
Every Saturday and Sunday most of Thimphu’s scant population and many valley dwellers congregate on the banks of the river where weekend market is held. It is an interesting place to visit and provides opportunity to mingle with the local people.
Over night at Thimphu
Day 3 : Drive to Gangtey / Phobjikha Valley.
After breakfast, drive up to Dochu-la pass (3,088m/ 10,130 ft) stopping briefly here to take in the view and admire the chorten, mani wall, and prayer flags which decorate the highest point on the road. If skies are clear, the following peaks can be seen from this pass (left to right): Masagang (7,158m), Tsendagang (6,960m), Terigang (7,060m), Jejegangphugang (7,158 m ), Kangphugang (7,170 m ), Zongphugang (7, 060 m ), a table mountain that dominates the isolated region of Lunana – finally Gangkar puensum, the highest peak in Bhutan at 7,497m.
After lunch Then drive further en route visiting Rinchengang Village, a small clustered village in Wangduephodrang, on a hill opposite to where Wangduephodrang Dzong was built before.
After lunch, drive onto Gangtey, passing through dense forests of oak and rhododendron tress.
The valley of Gangtey, is one of the most beautiful and unspoiled places in Bhutan. The surprise of finding such a wide, flat valley without any trees after the hard climb through dense forests is augmented by an impression of vast space, and is an extremely rare experience in Bhutan where most of the valleys are tightly enclosed. A few kilometers beyond the Gangtey Monastery, on the valley floor lies the fascinating valley of Phobjikha. Latter visit Gangtey Goempa
Black Necked Crane Information Centre
Situated on the edge of the forest and wetland along the main road of Phobjikha valley, the black-necked crane information Centre has an observation room equipped with high power telescope and spotting scopes for catching the best view of the cranes. The Centre also offers display information that outline the natural and cultural history of the area. There is a small gift shop, which sells handicrafts produced by the local people.
Overnight stay at Gangtey / Phobjikha valley
Day 04 : Drive to Bumthang.
After breakfast, travel to Bumthang through Trongsa.The drive will take you through dense forests of oak and blue pine trees and through the subtropical vegetation. The journey will also take you through the village of Nobding and Pele la pass (3300m). Throughout your trip you will come across the beautiful sceneries of rural Bhutan, with scattered settlements far from the road which makes for good photographing. You will also pass through open meadows, and valley of yak herders and several other villages via ChendebjiChorten( Stupa) .
Lunch will be served enroute. On arrival at Trongsa, you will stop for refreshment and also visit Trongsa Dzong, which is the most impressive dzong in Bhutan. Built in 1644 by the Shabdrung, the dzong is an architectural masterpiece.
Then continue your travel to Bumthang passing through Yotong La Pass (3400 m). Just before reaching Bumthang you will come across “Yathra” Weaving Centre at Zugney Village where you will see local weavers weaving Yathra. Yathra is the name for the colorful, hand-woven woolen cloth (often with geometric designs) that is produced in this region and wool used for this type of textile is sheep wool as the sheep is reared in this Bumthang Valley. Yathra is made into jackets or bags, etc. Then you will be driven further to Bumthang Valley.
On arrival at Bumthang, check into your hotel in Bumthang.
overnight at a hotel in Bumthang.
Day 05 : Bumthang Local sightseeing.
- Jambay Monastery.
SongtsenGampo, King of Tibet built 108 lhakhangs in the year 659, throughout Tibet and Himalayas to overcome a demoness .All the Lhakhangs were built on the same day.
Among the 108 Lhakhangs, Jambay Lhakhang in Bumthang and Kyichu Lhakhang were erected on the demon’s left foot, Jambay Lhakhang was placed on the demon’s left knee. JambayLhakhang was visited by Guru Rinpoche in the 7th century when he came to Bumthang. Sindhu Raja renovated the temple after Guru had restored his life force at JambayLhakhang.
- Kurje Monastery
The Tang rivers cuts through the first line of hills, forming a narrow gorge which contains one of the great pilgrimage site in Bhutan: Mebartsho, “ The burning lake”
Today it is a sacred pilgrimage site where the devoted Bhutanese float small butter lamps and makes a wish.
- Jakar Dzong.
Founded by great grand-father of the first Shabdrung, the Dzong was initially built as a monastery in 1549. It was upgraded after the Shabdrung had firmly established his power in 1646.
- SWISS FARM AND RED PANDA BEER FACTORY.
The Swiss Farm was founded by Fritz Maurer, a Swiss who came to Bhutan in the mid 1960s to help develop farming in the Bumthang region as part of the Pro Bhutan Foundation. He got married to a Bhutanese and started a Swiss cheese factory and in 1996 set up the brewery. The small family run factory produces variety of Swiss cheeses, clover honey, apple cider, wine, apple brandy and local draft beer called Red panda. Beer and cheese tasting can be arranged.
Over night stay at Bumthang.
Day 06: Punakha.
After breakfast drive to Punakha and hotel check in . & Latter visit the Devine Madman’s Monastery-Chhimi Lhakhang, famously known for its fertility shrine, where one can receive a special fertility blessing the visit 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 to serve as the religious and administrative seat of the region. At the dzong, you can see the highest standards in woodwork.
Over night stay at Punakha
Day 07 : Punakha Short Hike & Local sightseeing.
After breakfast short hike and local sightseeing .
Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten Hike
A beautiful hike takes one to the regal Khamsum Yuelley Namgel Chorten, which was built to remove negative forces and promote peace, stability and harmony in the changing world. The Chorten dominates the upper Punakha Valley with commanding views across the Mo Chhu and up towards the mountainous peaks of Gasa and beyond.
After lunch visit following place
Drive towards limbukha village later walk across the suspension bridge (about 200m long) through absolutely fresh breeze and fascinating view of Dzong. Follow the farm houses gradually climbing towards Dompala hills. The view of Dzong, Pho Chhu, Mo Chhu rivers and surrounding village is superb amidst chirpine forests. The climb is another two and a half hours to Limbukha. Limbukha farmers grow Bhutan’s famous red rice which is supposed to have medicinal values. This particular rice needs clean mountain spring so that the taste is good and nutritional value maintained. Limbukha is also known for its love of peace and tranquility. Legends says that during medieval wars the “limpus” or the people of Limbukha always volunteered as peace negotiators. This is also depicted during yearly festival called ‘Serda’ when the men are found carrying peace flags instead of swords and fireworks the drive to Gangtey valley . Hotcel chek in
Over night at Punakha
Day 08 : Drive to Paro.
After breakfast drive to paro and hotel check in . After lunch visit following place.
Built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal , the first National Museum Parospiritual and temporal ruler of Bhutan, the Dzong houses the monastic body of Paro, the office of the Dzongda (district administrative head) and Thrimpon (judge) of Paro district. The approach to the Dzong is through a traditional covered bridge called Nemi Zam. A walk through the bridge, over a stone inlaid path, offers a good view of the architectural wonder of the Dzong as well as life around it. It is also the venue of Paro Tshechu, held once a year in the spring.
One time watch tower built to defend Rinpung Dozng during inter-valley wars of the 17th century, since 1967 Ta Dzong is serving as the National Museum of the country. It holds fascinating collection of art, relics, religious thangkha paintings and Bhutan’s exquisite postage stamps. The museum circular shape augments its varied collection displayed over several floors.
Evening leisure walk around paro town .
Over night stay at Paro
Day 09 : Hike to Most amazing tiger nest monastery.
Taktshang Lhakhang (Tiger’s Nest)
It is one of the most famous of Bhutan’s monasteries, Tiger’s nest located on the side of a cliff 900m above the Paro valley floor. It is said that Guru Rinpoche arrived here on the back of a tigress and meditated at this monastery and hence it is called “Tiger’s Nest”. This site has been recognized as a most sacred place and visited by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1646 and now visited by all Bhutanese at least once in their lifetime. On 19 April, 1998, a fire severely damaged the main structure of building but now this Bhutanese jewel has been restored to its original splendor. Lunch will be served in tiger nest cafe Latter walk down to road point and visit…
Farm House (traditional village house)
The beauty of Paro valley is embellished by cluster of quaint farm houses. Bhutanese farm houses are very colorful, decorative and traditionally built without the use of single nail. All houses follow the same architectural pattern. A visit to Farm House is very interesting and offers a good glimpse into the lifestyle of a farmer.
Over night stay at Paro
Day 10 : Departure
In the morning after breakfast your tour guide will escort you to the Paro airport for your flight to your onward destinations.