Meeting Bhutanese7 Nights 8 Days
In Bhutan, every district, community and village is unique, with festivals that are little known, even to the urban Bhutanese. In this program, Journey to Discover Bhutan offers a rare opportunity to travel to a distant community/village and immerse oneself in the life of the people there. It’s a great chance for those keen on indigenous communities, anthropological studies and, who’d rather venture off the beaten track.
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.
Thimphu(2300m) / Arrival at Paro – Thimphu
As the plane banks over the mountain slopes, the Paro Valley greet you with luminous paddies rippling in the breeze and tiny houses sprinkled on the bank of the meandering river. The air is crystal clear, light translucent and on horizon, snowcapped mountains frame the idyllic like painting. It does not matter how many times you land in Paro, the bucolic valley unfolds like a dream. If you are lucky, you will have a glorious view of the Snowcapped Himalayas. After visa formalities and collection of baggage, you will meet our representative from Journey to Discover Bhutan. Afternoon Visit Paro Dzong built in 1646, which houses the administrative center of the Paro district and religious institute for monks. The Paro Dzong may be familiar to people who watched Bertolucci’s film “The Little Buddha” walk down to the coach crossing over the traditional wooden covered bridge called “Nymezampa” which spans over the Paro river. Over Night at Hotel.
Wangdue(1300m) / Paro - Wangdue ( Sha Jena Valley with Local Family)
With Early breakfast drive to Thimphu. It takes a 1½ - hour leisurely drive towards the Capital of Bhutan, Thimphu. Passing through hills and some astounding countryside. Thimphu is situated in a large valley traversed by the Wangchuk River and overshadowed by high peaks. Enroute you will view Tachogang monastery, “the temple of excellent horse” built by Thangthong Gyalpo (Iron chain builder in Bhutan) we drive following the Thimphu River upwards passing through several villages. Visit the following places of cultural interest in Thimphu The Memorial Chorten: With its golden spines shining in the sun, its tinkling bells built in honour of third King of Bhutan, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. The inside paintings and statues provide a very rare insights into Buddhist Philosophy in all its complexity of tantric Buddhism. This Chorten is centrally located and you will see an endless procession of elderly people circling around it. The Arts and Craft Institute: This is a vocational training institute where the art of painting, woodcraft and sculpturing are taught to students with the objective of preserving the rich and pristine heritage. Kuengzang Phordang: to see World Biggest seated Buddha Afternoon: Drive to Wangdue over the Dochu-La Pass (3050m) is one of the most beautiful drive in Bhutan. On a clear day you will be able to see a spectacular view of the Eastern Himalayas from this pass. The pass is also dotted by many colorful prayer flags and 108 chortens. Walk around the pass and visit Dochula - Temple. Their after descend through the forest of rhododendrons and magnolia to Lobesa. After several stops on the way, you pass the village of Lumitsawa, Thinleygang and reach the fertile valley of Lobesa. Drive for another 45 minutes to Jenna Valley. Evening you have a opportunity to mingle with the local people scroll in and around their village. Tonight you will be experiencing “Hot Stone bath” with Typical Bhutanese Dinner with your Local Bhutanese Family.
Bumthang (2800m) / Sha- Jenna – Bumthang
Drive to Bumthang, throughout your drive you will see the ever-changing beautiful sceneries of rural Bhutan, with scattered settlements far flung from the road to Nobding. Continue your Journey over Phele pass (3350m 11000ft) surrounded by Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park and descend through a landscape of open meadows, valley of yak herders and several other villages en route to Chendebji Chorten, a village notable for its 19th-century Chorten modeled after the famous Sawayambhunath Stupa in Katmandu, Nepal. The chorten, built by Tibetan lama Shida, is the westernmost monument along the route of early Buddhist missionaries and it covers the remains of an evil spirit killed on this spot. Lunch will be served at Trongsa Afternoon You will drive to visit the massive and architecturally the most impressive Dzong of the country “The Trongsa Dzong”. This Dzong has played a vital role in shaping the political history of the country. Their after we departed towards the Bumthang valley. The Bumthang region encompasses four valleys—the Choekhor (Jakar), Tang, Ura and Chhumey. The Bumthang valley has most of the sacred monasteries and it is called the heart land of Buddhism in the country. We drive over the Yotung la pass (11,600ft. and descend down to Chumey Valley to Zuney, where you will be able to see the weaving center (“Yathra” woolen cloths). Drive another 30 minutes to Jakar and on arrival you will check in at the hotel.
Morning: Visit following place of cultural interest and religious sacred sites.
- Zangdopleri Lhakhang built by Grand Queen mother and
- Kurjey Lhakhang: legend has it that the body imprint of Guru Rimpoche was left behind while meditating in a cave in this temple.
- Thereafter we take a gradual hike to Tamshing monastery built by Terton Pema Lingpa
- Jambay Lhakhang built by the Tibetan King Songsten Gampo in the 7th Century, which denotes the spread and emergence of Buddhism in the country
- Jakar Dzong, the castle of white bird which houses the administrative center and institute for monks and
- Karchu Dratshang, the institute for monk under his eminence Namkai Ningpo Rinpoche, where you will have the opportunity to see the evening prayer ceremony and also the monk debating session.
Bumthang - Trongsa - Wangdue
Morning: You will depart early morning from the hotel and drive to Wangdue district via Trongsa to Chendebji Chorten. Through out your journey, you will be able to see the best sceneries of dense forest and also the villages along the way. You will have a lunch at Chendebji Hotel. Afternoon: You will drive over Phele La pass and descend to Nobding. Continue your drive to Wangdue for your overnight night halt at Wangdue. Over Night at Hotel
Punakha – Thimphu
In the morning drive to visit Punakha Dzong, This dzong is one of the most beautiful and architecturally impressive Dzong in the country. It is ideally located between two rivers Pho Chu “Male River” and Mo Chu “Female River”. It was built in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngwang Namgyel and it has served as the seats of the Government till 1953. The construction of the Dzong was foretold by Guru Rimpoche. Take time to admire the impressive, colourful and detailed artistry of the surrounding, including the huge statues of Buddha, Guru Rinpoche and Zhabdung Nawany Namgyel. Their after Drive to Thimphu over a Dochu-la Pass. Visit Kuengzang Phordang to see the world largest Buddha seated Statue in the world. Dinner and Overnight at Local Bhutanese Family living.
Thimphu – Paro Tiger Nest Hike
With Early Breakfast depart Paro for a hike to the Taktsang monastery (Tiger’s Nest). The trail climbs through beautiful pine forest, many of tress festooned with Spanish moss and an occasional grove of fluttering prayer flags. Visitors are permitted to hike up to the viewpoint from where you can see the monastery hanging on a cliff. We will obtain a special permit to allow you to visit the monastery. Legend has it that Guru Rimpoche, founder of Buddhism flew from Eastern Bhutan on a tigress, bringing Buddhist teachings and meditated here in this cliff. This is one of the most venerated and sacred of all Buddhist site around the world. We can arrange a horse ridding till the cafeteria, if you feel that you would prefer to have horse ride. After visiting the monastery, we will walk down to Taktsang cafeteria for lunch. Afternoon: You will walk downhill to the base and drive towards the north of Paro valley to visit Drukgyel Dzong (now in ruins), which reveals the ancient architecture. On the way back, we will visit Kyichu Lhakhang, one of Bhutan’s oldest and most sacred monasteries dating from the introduction of Buddhism in the 8th century. We drive back to hotel. Over Night at Hotel
Drive to Paro Airport for your onward flight
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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.