Bhutan Tour with Day Hike combines the cultural and natural grandeur of Bhutan in the shortest possible time. The Bhutan Tour begins in the scenic Paro Valley with a hike to the famous Tiger’s Nest (Taktsang) monastery. We’ll then drive to Thimphu, a unique capital city that has a blend of a traditional and modern touch. After Thimphu, we’ll drive across the scenic Dochu La Pass into the lower valley of Punakha.
This tour also includes three more day hikes: 1) Phobjikha valley hike – a pleasant short walk (approx. 2 hours) will take us to a viewpoint that provides a stunning view of Phobjikha valley; 2) Day hike to Ngang Lhakhang is of three hours’ walk up the Bumthang river from Thangbi Gompa, which takes us to Ngang Yul (‘Swan Land’), a temple located about 100m above the valley, and 3) Nombang village Hike – this is the third and the last day hike of our tour, which will take us to Nombang valley hilltop before Talo, the native village of four queens.
During the day hikes, we get to experience unique Bhutanese culture and traditions. We’ll also get to witness breathtaking view of Mt Kanchenjunga and other famous Himalayan peaks including the sacred Jumolhari and Mount Jichu Drake of Bhutan.
Fly to Bhutan by Druk Air.The flight to Paro is one of the most spectacular mountain flights in the world, with a constantly changing panorama of some of the highest mountains on earth. Upon arrival in Paro Airport, meet our trek leader and transfer to Hotel for check in. Afternoon sightseeing around Paro, including a visit to the National Museum, Ta Dzong. This museum houses many religious relics, works of art and handicrafts offering a great orientation into Bhutan’s historical and cultural past. Next, visit the Rimpong Dzong to see the painting of the great saint Milarepa, considered as the master of meditation by the Bhutanese and believed to have attained enlightenment in a lifetime. Dzong’s are large monasteries and district administrative centers, which were once strategic forts. Dinner and overnight at your hotel.
After breakfast hike to Taktsang Monastery. The trail is broad and the walk of approximately 2 hours uphill takes you high above the Paro valley. The view of Taktsang Monastery built on a sheer cliff face 900 metres above the valley floor is a spectacular sight. The great Guru Rimpoche is said to have flown here on the back of a tigress when he brought the teachings of the Buddhist Dharma to Bhutan in the 8th Century. Nearby there is a teahouse where you can stop for lunch. In the afternoon drive to the ruins of the 17th Century Drukgyel Dzong, an historic monument built by the Shabdrung tocommemorate his victory against invading Tibetans in 1644. On the return drive to Paro, visit 7th Century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples constructed by the Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo. Kyichu is built in a manner similar to the Jokhang in Lhasa. Overnight at your hotel in Paro.
After breakfast, drive to Punakha via Dochula pass. If the weather is clear, we stop for a while at Dochula pass to view Higher Himalayas. While in Punakha,visit PunakhaDzong built in 1637 by ShabdrungNgawangNamgyal and is situated between Pho Chu (Male River) and Mo Chu (Female River). For many years until the time of the second king, it served as the seat of the Government. The construction of the Dzong was foretold by Guru Rimpoche, who predicted, “…aperson named Namgyal will arrive at a hill that looks like an elephant”. There was a smaller building here called Dzong Chu (Small Dzong) that housed a statue of Buddha. It is said that Shabdrung ordered the architect, ZowePalep, to sleep in front of the statue, while Palep was sleeping; the Shabdrung took him in his dreams to Zangtopelri and showed him the palace of Guru Rimpoche. Nombang village Hike: Nombang valley situated on a hilltop before Talo is the native village of the four queens. A visit to this charming village with great views of Punakha valley can also be combined with a visit to Talo. In the well-laid out village community, you will also find the 4th King’s Palace, two lhakhangs, two chortens in memory of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel, and the Residence of the Yab, the father of the four Queens.
After breakfast drive to the beautiful valley of Gangtey. Enroute sightseeing in the valley of Wangdiphodrang includes: visit to WangdiphodrangDzong built in 1638. Legend relates that as the people were searching for the site of the Dzong, four ravens were seen flying away in four directions. This was considered auspicious sign, representing the spread of religion to the four points of the compass. The Dzong is situated at the confluence of Mo Chu and Tang Chu rivers. Drive further to Gangtey.
Phobjikha valley Hike: apleasurable walk (around 2 hours) that gives a nice feeling for Phobjikha valley. It is the most beautiful and shortest of the existing nature trails in Bhutan.From the small hilltop overlooking Gangtey Goemba, head downhill through flower meadows to Semchubara village and from here through beautiful forests and into the open valley. After passing a chorten and Khewa Lhakhang,the trail ends at the local community school; this involves a 30-minute walk up to the start of town. The Nature Trail can be combined with a visit to Gangtey Goemba and the local school. Gangtey Goemba is a 16th century monastery situated picturesquely at the hilltop at the edge of Gangtey village, making it the landmark structure of Phobjikha valley. It is also famous for the Black Necked Cranes during winter. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
After breakfast, drive to Trongsa. Visit TrongsaDzong, the most impressive dzong of Bhutan, built in its present form in 1644 by ChogyalMinjurTempa, the official who was sent by Shabdrung to unify eastern Bhutan and enlarged at the end of the 17th century by Desi Tenzin Rabgay. TrongsaDzong is the ancestral home of the present Royal Family and the first two hereditary kings ruled Bhutan from this Dzong. Then Visit Ta Dzong, an ancient watchtower. The chapel inside the Ta Dzong is said to be dedicated to the TrongsaPenlopJigmeNamgyal. After Lunch, drive to Bumthang. Dinner and overnight in Swiss Guest House.
Day hike to Ngang Lhakhang. Three hours’ walk up the Bumthang river from Thangbi Gompa is the small region of Ngang Yul (‘Swan Land’). The temple is located about 100m above the valley. Guru Rinpoche visited the site and Lama Namkha Samdrup contemporary of Pema Lingpa known as the ‘treasure hunter’ built the temple in the 15th century. or Hike to Kunzangdrak Monastery – a tough one-hour steep ascent up the hillside on the way to Tang valley leads you to one of the most important sites related to Pema Lingpa and many of his important sacred relics are located here. Khandroma Lhakhang at the back of the site is spectacularly situated against a vertical rock face that seeps holy water.
visit JakarDzong, which literally means “The Castle of White Bird”. The current structure was built in 1667. Visit JambayLhakhang, built by King SrongsenGampo of Tibet in the year 659 on the same day as KichuLhakhang in Paro. The temple was visited by Guru Rimpoche during his visit to Bumthang and was renovated by Sindhu Raja after Guru Rimpoche restored his life force. Under the temple is said to be a lake in which Guru Rimpoche hid several Terma. In October one of the most spectacular festival, “JambayLhakhangDrup” is staged here. After lunch, we visit KurjeyLhakhang that is named after body print of Guru Rimpoche, built in 1652 by MinjurTempa. Visit TamshingLhakhang (Temple of the good message), established in 1501 by PemaLingpa and is the most important Nyingmapa temple in the kingdom. In the evening, visit Membarstho which literally means, “The burning Lake”.Dinner and overnight in Swiss Guest House or similar
After breakfast, drive to Thimphu. Lunch will be served on the way. Dinner and overnight in hotel. If time permit, visit to the National Memorial Chorten (1974) built in honour of our late King JigmeDorjiWangchuk, the tallest statue of Buddha at Kuensel Phodrang Sangaygang view point, Takin preserve center and the Dupthop Lhakhang one of the few surviving nunneries in Bhutan. Dinner and overnight in Thimphu.
Morning visit the weekend market: Held every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the people crowd the stalls every day, dressed in full colour and gathered to meet and to barter, much like the street markets in London! Paper factory: The handmade paper making in Bhutan stemmed from the age-old tradition originated in 8th century of Bhutanese history. The handmade paper constitutes as valuable National heritage of Bhutanese cultural identity and is preserved through all the ages. The Traditional paper is recognized and held high esteem both in home and outside world. Thangtong Dewachen (Nunnery): It was founded in 1976 by Rikey Jadrel, who is considered as emanation of Thangthong Gyalpo(1363 – 1485), the builder of numerous iron chain bridges across the Himalayas.
Morning visit, Memorial Chorten: This particular chorten was constructed in 1974 as a memorial for the third King of the country, King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, who is widely regarded as the father of modern Bhutan. drive). Later leisure time for you to take rest and prepare for the next journey. Overnight in Thimphu.
After breakfast visit Cheri Goemba (Cheri Dorji Dhen). Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal built this monastery in 1620 and established the first monk body here. A chance to spot birds such as Mrs Gould's Sunbird, Yellow-browed Tit, Yellowrumped Honeyguide, Long-billed Thrush, Ultramarine Flycatcher. Dinner and Overnight stay at Paro.
Leisurely breakfast, drive to the airport and fly home.
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