Hidden Gems of Bhutan10 Nights 11 Days
Hidden Gems of Bhutan
From an exhilarating flight to spectacular views of the architectural masterpieces of the Himalayan Kingdom, embodied in the scores of Dzongs (Fortresses) and monasteries, a virgin landscape preserved and unsoiled, including flora and fauna that will enthrall you, a journey to some of Bhutan’s most beautiful places is an experience you cannot forget. Taking you to Bhutan’s most sacred valley, this package has almost everything you would wish for.
Zoom into a cluster of quaint farmhouses that embroiders the beauty of Paro Valley. Visit National Museum, 1400-year-old Kichu temple, Rinpung Fotress, The best in Paro is hike to Taktsang Monsatry, the most renowned Buddhist structure in the entire Himalaya, built on sheer cliff wall 900m above the valley. Only the sounds are murmurs of winds, waterfall, birds and the chanting of monks.
Capture the unusual mixture of modern development alongside ancient tradition in Thimphu. Visit academy of Art & Craft, World Biggest Buddha Statue, Takin Enclaves, Memorial Stupa, Textile Factory, Indigenous paper factory, Tashi Cho Dzong “ The Glorious Fort of Happiness” & weekend market to mix with locals and get a closer view of their traditions.
Punakha & Wangdue
Stop over at Dochula for the breath taking view of Eastern Himalaya. Visit Dochu-la Temple and 108 Stupas. Drive through a beautiful dense forest of spruce, pine, rhododendron and larch. Stopover at Chimi Lhakhang the “ Temple of Fertility”. The best for the day is the visit to the magnificent Punakha Fortress considered the best specimen of Bhutanese architecture and epitome of beauty and ancient political power. Also sock in the beauty at Khamsum Yuelley Namgyel another an impressive fine Bhutanese Art & Architecture and capture the beautiful landscape of Punakha valley with farms, rice fields and the part of Jigme Dorji National Park
Capture some breathtaking view of Phubjikha valley, home of the graceful endangered Black –Necked Crane, the Biggest Nymimapa Monastery in Western Bhutan. Weave your journey through beautiful villages, springs, waterfall, and numerous species of birds, mammals & flowers.
Trongsa & Bumthang
Head interior to Mangde valley, the bastion of power exemplified by Trongsa Dzong and the watch tower” The Museum of Kings” Drive to Bumthang “The Valley of one thousand Plains” The beautiful spiritual heartland teeming with monuments and temples built more than a thousand years ago.
Arrival Paro – Thimphu
After an unforgettable flight into Paro International Airport, wherein you would have feasted on some of the wonders of the Himalayas, such as views of Mount Everest, Kanchenjunga and other famous Himalayan peaks, including Bhutan’s Jomolhari and Mount Jichu Drake, you will have a thrilling landing. At the airport, you will be received by representatives of our Company, who will escort you to a Hotel. After lunch at the hotel, you will be driven to Thimphu. Over Night at Hotel
Explore Thimphu valley
The morning will be dedicated to sightseeing. You will visit the weaving centre, Memorial Chorten (a huge stupa) built in memory of the third King of Bhutan, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, Changangkha monastery, built in the 12th century, Takin zoo, Buddha Point, where the statue of the world’s largest Buddha is being constructed; a Nunnery and the Arts and Craft school. You will also be taken to Sangaygang, a place from where you can have a bird’s eye view of Thimphu town and the surroundings. After lunch, visit National Library where ancient manuscripts are preserved, the Folk Heritage museum and the Tashichho Dzong, the main secretariat building. This massive structure houses part of the government Ministries, the office of the King and the Throne Room. It also houses the State Monastic Body and the living quarters of the Chief Abbot and the senior monks. Over Night at Hotel
Thimphu – Punakha / Wangdue
Taking about three to four hours, the drive from Thimphu traverses thorough a constantly changing landscape of vegetation, waterfalls, flowers, mountains and meadows. After a 45 minutes drive, we will stop at the popular Dochula pass (3,100m), from where on a clear day, we can see the entire eastern Himalayan range, comprising snow-capped mountains with heights ranging from 6000m to 7554m. Apart from its wealth of extremely beautiful flowers, the 108 Buddhist stupas exquisitely built around a mound adds to the grandeur of the place. The journey forward from the pass descends to the sub-tropical valley of Punakha, which served as Bhutan’s capital in the past and holds some of the country’s most priceless treasures, especially Buddhist relics. The Punakha Fortress is an architectural masterpiece and resembles a gigantic ship on an ocean floor from afar, and girdled by two (Male and Female) rivers. It was the capital of Bhutan until 1955 and is still home of the Chief Abbot in winter months. On the way to Punakha, we will hike for about 1 hour round trip to the monastery of Drupa Kuenley, “Divine Madmonk,” which was built in the 15th century. Punakha Dzong, built in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal has played prominent role in civil and religious life of the Kingdom. Destroyed four times by fire and an earthquake in 1897, the Dzong has been now fully restored in its original splendour. After Lunch at a local restaurant, we will visit Punakha Dzong and then drive for half an hour and hike to the Khamsumyuly chorten. Over Night at Hotel
Trongsa – Bumthang
After breakfast walk by Tongsa Dzong, built by Shabdrung in 1647. Another majestic architectural masterpiece and once ancient Bhutan’s capital, it is very historic and every King, before ascending the Throne must, as the Crown Prince serve as the Penlop (Governor) of Trongsa. We will also visit the Ta Dzong (watch tower) and then drive to Bumthang which is about 3 hours. 29 Kms from Tongsa we reache the Yutong La pass (alt. 3,400 m) and after a further 13 kms drive, the road enters into a wide, open and cultivated valley known as Chumey valley. On arrival in Bumthang, check into a hotel. Over Night at Hotel
One of the most sacred regions in the Kingdom, Bumthang valley is a blend of the abstract and concrete with innumerable legends surrounding the area. You will be visiting Kurje Lhakhang where the Great Indian Saint Guru Padsambhava subdued a local demon and left his body imprint on a rock. The other is Jamphel lhakhang, which was built in the 7th century by Songsten Goembo, the Tibetan Buddhist King. Jakar Dzong (the fortress of white bird) built in the 17th century by Tenzin Rabgay (the fourth Desi) is another famous landmark. You will also be visiting, Tamshing lhakhang built in 1501 by Terton Pema Lingpa (the founder of religious treasures). Kunchosum lhakhang and Membertsho (the flaming lake) are other places. Legend has it that Pema Lingpa discovered several religious text from the lake. Over Night at Hotel
Bumthang – Trongsa – Gantey / Phobjikha
After breakfast proceed to Gantey/Phobjikha via Trongsa. The approach to Phobjikha valley is through a forest of Oak and Rhododendron. Phobjikha is one of the few glacial valleys in Bhutan and chosen home of black necked cranes which migrate from the central Asiatic Plateau to escape its harsh winters. Over Night at Hotel
Gantey / Phobjikha – Wangdue – Thimphu- Paro
After breakfast, explore Phojikha valley and also visit Gangtey Monastery. Then we drive to Paro via Wangduephodrang. Over Night at Hotel
We will visit Kyichu Monastery, one of Bhutan’s oldest, built in 659 A.D. by the Buddhist Tibetan King Songsten Goembo. A short drive from there will take us to the ruins of Drugyel Dzong (”Castle of the Victorious Drukpa”), which was built to commemorate the victory of Bhutanese forces over the Tibetans in the 16th and 17th centuries. You will also visit the National Museum and Paro Rimpong Dzong. You can take a stroll of the town after which you can call it a day. Over Night at Hotel
Paro – Takstang monastery hike
One of Bhutan’s holiest shrines and an amazing structure that crosses all boundaries of architectural masterpiece, Taktsang (Tiger’s Lair) monastery is perched some 1000m/3000ft on a cliff overlooking a valley. It is said that the legendary Indian saint, Guru Padma Sambhava, flew from Tibet on the back of a tigress to tame five demons, who were opposing the spread of Buddhism in Bhutan in 746 A.D. Taktshang monastery is the ultimate pilgrim site for all Buddhist, especially in Bhutan. The hike to the monastery takes about 5 hours (up and down), and follows an ancient path marked by river powered prayer wheels. Over Night at Hotel
After early breakfast, we drive to the airport for flight to onward destination
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What our clients say
Our ten day trip through Bhutan was a truly amazing experience. Bhutan is a beautiful kingdom and thanks to our excellent guide Tsheten, we could explore it thoroughly.
Tine Raeymaekers & Cis Verbeeck
I visited Bhutan in January/February 2007 for 11 days, and it was an incredible experience. Tsheten took very good care of me and introduced me at easy pace to Bhutan culture, customs, history and people.
It was clear that Bhutan had captured everyone's attention when my fellow taking photos the minute they stepped off the plane - and we hadn't even entered the airport yet! I was met at the airport by Tsheten himself, and from start to finish, he was organized, charming and attentive.