Highlight of Bhutan

Highlight of Bhutan

Highlight of Bhutan
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7 Days 6 Nights
Thimphu, Punakha, Paro

Day 1:    Paro – Thimphu (D)

Arrive in Paro.  Stepping out of the aircraft, the first impressions of Bhutan are the cool fresh air and deep blue skies.  Meet by local representative and begin a short transfer to Thimphu, the capital town of Bhutan, leads through the Paro valley to the confluence of Paro and Thimphu rivers at Chuzom (confluence).  On arrival in Thimphu, check into the hotel.  In the evening, enjoy an exploratory walk around Thimphu Main Street and market area.
Accommodation: Norkhil Boutique Hotel & Spa or similar

Day 2:     Thimphu (B/L/D)

After breakfast, proceed for a guided tour of the city’s main highlights:

Textile Museum: is worth a visit to experience the living national art of weaving. Exhibitions introduce the major weaving techniques, styles of local dress and textiles made by women and men.

National Library: The history of Bhutan lies imprinted in archaic texts, which are preserved at the National Library. Besides thousands of manuscripts and ancient texts, the library also has modern academic books and printing blocks for prayer flags.

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, one can see students learning the various skills taught at the school.

Simply Bhutan Museum: The newly commissioned museum depicts ancient Bhutanese architecture, which is slowly being lost to modernization.  The uniqueness of the structure is in its composition of the materials used. The structure is built reusing old timber, window and door frames and other items from traditional and old demolished houses.  One highlight is the portrayal of the age-old life styles of the Bhutanese people.

Following lunch, proceed for a city tour that includes:

Memorial Chorten: The stupa built in the memory of Bhutan’s third King, His Late Majesty, King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk, who is popularly regarded as Father of modern Bhutan.  The paintings and statues inside the monument provide a deep insight into Buddhist philosophy.

Buddha Point (Kuensel Phodrang). Located just a short drive from Thimphu city center, visitors can get a good overview of the Thimphu valley from the Buddha point (Kuensel Phodrang). You can pay your obeisance and offer prayers to the Buddha, the largest statue in the country and then walk around and take a glimpse of the valley.

Conclude the tour of the day with a visit of Trashichhoedzong, “fortress of the glorious religion”. This is the center of government and religion, site of monarch’s throne room and seat of Je Khenpo or Chief Abbot. Built in 1641 by the political and religious unifier of Bhutan, Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, it was reconstructed in 1960s in traditional Bhutanese manner, without nails or architectural plans.

Day 3:     Thimphu – Punakha (B/L/D)

After breakfast, drive to Punakha across Dochula pass (3,080 m).  Dochula pass offers the most spectacular view over the high peaks of the eastern Himalayas on a clear day.  On arrival, visit Punakha Dzong, built strategically at the junction of Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu rivers in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to serve as the religious and administrative centre of the region, Punakha Dzong has played an important role in Bhutan’s history. Damaged by four catastrophic fires and an earthquake, the Dzong has been now fully restored.  Punakha Dzong visit is followed by a walk to Richengang village, this is one of the oldest villages in Bhutan with traditional architecture and delightful local people in a remote corner of sleepy Punakha valley where an ancient way of life has remained unchanged for generations and most of villagers still work at as stonemasons and original craftsmen of dzongs (fort cum monastery) and lhakhans (temples). Walk into a local farmer or stonemason house at Richengang village, peep into the daily life and lifestyle of the villagers. Bhutanese farm houses are very colorful, decorative and traditionally built without the use of nail. The majority of the population of Bhutan continues to live as it has for centuries – in small isolated farms and hamlets, surrounded by terraced fields of rice, maize and buckwheat.   Later in the day after lunch excursion to ChimiLhakhang road and then walk starts through paddy fields and villages. This is total about 1.1/2 hour walk, including both way). The ChimiLhakhang, situated on a hillock in the centre of the valley, also known as the temple of fertility. It is widely believed that couples who do not have children and wanting one, if they pray at this temple, they are usually blessed with a child very soon. The trail leads across rice fields to the tiny settlement of Pana, meaning ‘field’. A walk through the village near the temple will give you rare glimpses into the daily life and lifestyle of the villagers.
Accommodation: RKPO Green Resort or similar

Day 4:    Punakha (B/L/D)

After breakfast hike up through fields of chilies, cabbages and rice along the banks of the Mo Chhu to Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten, a stunning monument recently built by the Queens and consecrated in 1999. Khamsum Yulley Namgyal stands majestically on a strategic ridge above the Punakha valley. Bhutanese craftsmen including carpenters, painters, and sculptors consulted holy scriptures rather than engineering manuals, to construct this four-storey temple. It is a splendid example of Bhutan’s fine architectural and artistic traditions and the only one of its kind in the world. Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten was built by Her Majesty the Queen Mother, Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuck, in 1999, to protect the crown prince (present king), and through him, the prosperity of the Bhutanese people. More than just that: it is supposed to promote the world peace, stability, and harmony. It looks very traditional and could almost pass as another relic of the building fervor of Bhutanese leaders of the past, but it is a contemporary chorten. Following lunch, your day will be at leisure for your independent activities.

Day 5:     Punakha – Paro (B/L/D)

After breakfast depart to Paro, the road climbs steeply through a forest of pine and cedar, festooned with hanging lichen high up near Dochula pass (3,080 m). This pass often offers panoramic views of the Himalayan mountain ranges. After stopping for tea and the view, we descend along a series of hairpin bends to river valley. En-route visit Simtokha Dzong, the place of profound tantric teaching, this dzong now houses a school for the study of the Dzongkha language. Later in the day set out on an exploratory excursion in around Paro valley. The beautiful valley of Paro encapsulates within itself a rich culture, scenic beauty and hundreds of myths and legends. It is home to many of Bhutan’s oldest temples and monasteries, National Museum and the country’s only airport. Mount. Chomolhari (7,314m) reigns in white glory at the northern end of the valley and its glacial water plunge through deep gorges to form Pa Chhu (Paro river). Paro is also one of the most fertile valleys in the Kingdom producing a bulk of the locally famous red rice from its terraced fields. Visit Ta Dzong, originally built as a watchtower, which now houses the National Museum. The extensive collection includes antique thangkha paintings, textiles, weapons & armor, household objects and a rich assortment of natural and historic artifacts. Then walk down the trail to visit Rinpung Dzong, meaning (“fortress of the heap of jewels”), which has a long and fascinating history. Along the wooden galleries lining the inner courtyard are fine wall paintings illustrating Buddhist lore such as four friends, the old man of long life, the wheel of life, scenes from the life of Milarepa, Mount. Sumeru and other cosmic Mandala.
Accommodation: Raven Nest Resort or similar

Day 6:     Paro – Tiger’s Nest  (B/L/D)

After breakfast take a short drive to Satsam Chorten, stop en route at the 7th century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples built in the Himalayas by Tibetan King, Songtsen Gampo. The building of this temple marks the introduction of Buddhism in Bhutan. On arrival at trail-head point, embark on a walking excursion to Taktshang Monastery: It is one of the most famous of Bhutan’s monasteries, perched 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. Lunch at the famous Taktsang cafeteria overlooking the Tiger’s nest hanging on to the Cliffside. Return to Paro with an en-route stop at Drukgyel Dzong, a ruined fortress where Bhutanese warriors fought Tibetan invaders centuries ago. The snowy dome of sacred Chomolhari, “mountain of goddess” can be seen in all her glory from the approach road to the Dzong.

Day 7:     Paro – Departure (B)

After an early breakfast at the hotel, transfer to airport for your homebound flight to Canada.

 

B – Breakfast    L – Lunch   D – Dinner

Tour Price per Person Double Occupancy – minimum 2 persons

DAILY DEPARTURE Land Package From Single Supp.
2019: April, May, September – November 4680 670
2019: June – August, December 4290 640
2020: January, February 4420 670
March 2020 4810 690

HOTEL BLACKOUT DATES and SEASONAL SURCAHRGE may apply.

~~ ALL PRICES ARE IN CANADIAN DOLLARS AND ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE ~~

Your Tour Package Includes:

• Return Intra-Asia flights between Bangkok and Paro
• Return transfer between airport and hotel.
• Superior hotel accommodation with daily breakfast.
• Sightseeing Tours with admission and meals as per itinerary.
• Professional English Speaking local guide service.

Your Tour Package Does NOT Include

• International Airfare from Canada to Bhutan.
• Any applicable weekend and other surcharges imposed by airlines.
• Any taxes, airport fees and fuel surcharge.
• Travel/Medical/Cancellation insurance and all personal expenses.
• Tipping and gratuities to local guides, drivers, and hotel staff.
• Any items not specified as included.

Click HERE to download PDF.