A combo of what Bhutan already offers in terms of natural beauty, culture and pristine environment with stays in high-end resorts and five-star luxury hotels.
We ensure that your trip is led by a competent guide who is well-versed in Cultural and Historical places. We take you around in luxurious Toyota Land Cruisers and luxury buses
The true essence of Bhutan lies in the hamlets far away from the modern towns. So we will go out of our way to ensure that we get to capture lifestyles of real Bhutan.
7 Nights | 8 Days
Paro ,Thimphu, Punakha, Phobjikha, Trongsa & Bumthang
Day 1: Paro - Thimphu
Your introduction to our enchanting kingdom begins on a flight over the Himalayas into the lush green valley of Paro; truly one of the world’s most spectacular sights. Flying into Paro, Bhutan is a unique experience altogether. You will view the world’s highest, most majestic peaks and enjoy the view of the approaching valley with its primeval alpine forest, monasteries, temples and farmhouse nestled in splendid mountain isolation.
On arrival to Paro you will be received by our representative, the tour guide, and driven to Thimphu, the capital city, in the next one hour. Towards late afternoon, we will do sightseeing in Thimphu including visits to the Memorial Chorten and Kuenselphodrang where the world’s biggest Buddha statue sits.
Overnight: Six Sense
Day 2: Thimphu Sightseeing
Excursion to Tango: drive 12 kilometers North of Thimphu town for half an hour till the base of Tango Hill. It is a 45-minute hike to Tango Monastery, a renowned Buddhist College and a site blessed by many great Buddhist masters over nearly a thousand years. “Tango” literally means “horse-head” named after the rock formation on the side of the temple that resembles the head of a horse. Picnic lunch will be served near the river bank after we cross a traditional wooden bridge near Cheri Zam.
Visit the “School for Thirteen Traditional Arts and Crafts”, the Traditional Medicine Centre which includes a herbal medicine manufacturing unit. Visit Bhutan post office, and then finally Trashichhodzong, the Central Secretariat of the Royal Government of Bhutan.
Later in the evening Talk on Gross National Happiness Philosophy by Bhutanese scholars.
Overnight: Six Sense
Day 3: Thimphu - Punakha
It’s a drive from (77 km/3 hours) Thimphu to Punakha, the former capital of Bhutan. The first stopping point is at Dochula Pass (3150 m), which offers a stunning 360 degree panoramic view of the Himalayan mountain range. The view is especially brilliant on a clear winter day, with Snowcappedd Mountains forming a majestic backdrop against the open valley below. Further, Druk Wangyal Temple, along with 108 Druk Wangyal stupas, which stands elegantly on the mountain pass, also makes Dochula a place of worship for both the local people and tourists. The next stop is at Lampelri Botanical Garden for sightseeing - mainly the Baritsho Lake. As you travel further from Lampelri, you will observe dramatic change in the vegetation. At the lower elevations cacti, banana plants, poinsettias and other semi-tropical plants dominate the exotic landscape.
After lunch in Lobesa, visit Chimi Lhakhang, the temple dedicated to the 15th century iconoclast and patron saint of fertility, Lam Drukpa Kinley, also fondly remembered as the ‘Divine Madman.’ The temple is visited by people from all over the world, especially by couples who are barren.
Day 4: Punakha Sightseeing
Our most significant visit today is Punakha Dzong, a magnificent castle-fortress that served as the old capital of Bhutan. It is considered the best specimen of Bhutanese architecture. Built in 1637 on the confluence of the Pho Chu (male river) and Mo Chu (female river,) this fortress monastery is the preserve of Bhutan’s most precious religious relics and treasures. It is in this monument that the kings of Bhutan are crowned and the head of Buddhism in Bhutan (Chief Abbot) is anointed.
After Lunch, we drive about 20 minutes further up and take a short hike to the stupa called Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal. This three-storey stupa is the one only of its kind in the world conceived from the visions of a great tantric treasure revealer called Dudjom Lingpa. We also get to see the surrounding villages with its quaint architecture, farming activities and the rural life in general. Towards evening, we return to our hotel by rafting along the Mochu (Female River).
Later in the afternoon experience Archery and Khuru(Dart) games with the local and enjoy delicious Bhutanese food at farm house and Experience a hot stone bath is in the cool mountain air by the gentle gurgling stream while enjoying the vista of the green forest is best. The family has their own hot stone bath by the stream near a small waterfall. The two full length wooden bath tubs are given privacy by straw mat partitions. Taking a hot stone bath is relaxing and therapeutic and adds to the experience of a farmhouse stay. Farmhouses have been lived in by several generations . Rooms are clean with comfortable mattress & blanket and basic bathroom facilities on sharing basis.
Overnight: Aum Wangmo Farm House
Day 5: Punakha –Phobjikha
Today, we drive along the East-West highway for 40 kilometers until we reach Nobding. At Nobding, we take a 13-kilometer diversion on unpaved road, crossing the Gangtey pass (3140 m), before we enter a huge expanse of a glacial valley called Phobjikha. Phobjikha lies on the periphery of the northwestern tip of the Black Mountain National Park. A designated conservation area, the valley is the roosting place of the Black-necked Crane (grus nigricollis). Each year in winter, the birds migrate into the valley from Tibet and Siberia.
This valley is also famous for the Gangtey monastery, headed by the Gangtey Trulku (abbot) who is highly regarded in the country. Founded in 1613, the monastery – built atop a mound that overlooks the entire valley - is the seat of the Peling branch of Buddhism in western Bhutan. The monastery has some of Bhutan’s most elaborate and beautiful carvings and paintings.
The highlight of our day is the Phobjikha nature hike. We start below Gangtey monastery and walk downhill for about 30 minutes till Khewa Chu (stream) which meanders through the valley. From here, the trail winds through open meadows to Khewa temple which was founded by a descendent of Longchen Rabjam, the great 14th century saint who propounded many treatises on Buddhism. We interact with the monks and the abbot at Khewa temple and then take a short hike to Gophu village where we enjoy an authentic Bhutanese-style lunch at a farm house. After lunch, we explore Phobjikha valley and the surrounding villages.
Over night: Aman
Day 6: Phobjikha-Paro
We retrace our journey today, back to Paro via Thimphu where we will stop for lunch. Enroute, we will stop over to enjoy scenic landscapes and places of interest such as the Botanical Park at Lamperi and Tachog Lhakhang (temple) which has an iron chain bridge cast in the 14th century. On reaching Paro, we will visit Rinpung Dzong, literally the “palace-fortress on a heap of jewels”, and the National Museum that is housed in a monument which in the ancient times served as the watch tower during enemy aggressions.
In the evening, we will stroll about the town and get an insight into how the Bhutanese society is juggling between the ancient and the modern.
En route visit the 14th century Temple and the Iron Bridge
Day 7: ParoTaktshang “Tiger’s Nest”
Today, we go to a place that has become a must for every visitor to Bhutan – the hike up to the “Tiger’s Nest” or Taktshang monastery. This religious edifice, about 800 meters above the Paro valley floor, is built on a dizzying ledge of a gigantic granite cliff that hangs on a mountainside. Buddhists consider the place so holy that to visit it once in a lifetime is considered a must. As to how it could have been constructed in the 17th century remains a mystery; a story has it that celestial nymphs (Khandromas) aided in its construction. It was here that Padmasambhava, an eighth century master who is considered to be the second Buddha in the Himalayan Buddhist world, mediated and concealed religious teachings for the future generations.
After Taktshang visit, we stop for lunch at at a cafeteria enroute, and then descend further to drive to the ruined fortress at Drugyal Dzong. The Dzong – whose name means “Fortress of Victory” – commemorates the victory of Bhutanese over Tibetan invaders in the 17th century. From here, we can see the snow-clad Mount Jumolhari (Abode of Goddess Jumo, alt. 7,329 m), one of the most sacred and beautiful peaks in Bhutan. On our way back to our hotel, we visit Kyichu Lhakhang (temple) which was built in the seventh century. If time permits, we will visit a farmhouse for a cup of Bhutanese tea (Suja) and experience Bhutanese hospitality.
Day 8: Departure
Mercury Bhutan Travels
Dungkar Lam, Motithang
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Suzanne Ö-Zér Khandro
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