This tour will take you to some of the beautiful places to experience authentic Bhutan
10 Nights | 11 Days
Paro ,Thimphu, Punakha, Phobjikha, Trongsa & Bumthang
Day 1: Paro
Your introduction to the enchanting Kingdom of Bhutan begins on the flight itself, a couple of minutes before landing into the beautiful Paro valley. The majestic mountains, ancient monasteries and lush alpine forest will usher you into the country popularly branded as the last Shangri-La of the world.
On arrival at Paro Airport you will be received by our representative, who will straight away take you to Hotel for check in and refreshment. We begin our tour of Paro valley straight after.
Visit the Museum at Ta Dzong, which served as a watch tower for Paro Rinpung Dzong back in the old days. But since its conversion to a museum, it has become the hotspot for tourists. The artifacts on display will give you an insight into the Bhutanese way of life, which you will be experiencing first hand in the following days.
Visit Paro Rinpung Dzong. Built in the year 1645, this towering monastery-fortress is the administrative centre of Paro district. Like every Dzong in Bhutan, the clergy resides inside pursuing their dharma activities. While you are there you can interact with the monks and get a feel of the monastic life in Bhutan through their eyes. Then we go to nearby Dungtse Lhakhang, a temple designed in the shape of a Stupa. This temple has a wide collection of illustrious ancient paintings on Drukpa Kagyu sect of Buddhism. Towards evening, we visit the nearby archery field to watch the local people play.
Overnight: Tenziling Resort
Day 2: Paro –Bumthang
Today, we take a flight from Paro to Bumthang which takes around 35 minutes. Bumthang valley (2600m) abounds with innumerable legends. Amazingly beautiful, Bumthang (literal meaning: valley of a thousand plains) is the spiritual center of Bhutan with temples and other sacred sites dating back to the 7th century. Visit Kurje temple, built against a rock cave where, in the 8th century, Guru Padmasambhava subdued evil spirits. There are three main temples: the oldest built in 1652 on the site where the Guru meditated, the second temple where he left his body imprints, the third added in the 1990s. The first temple contains the statues of Buddha Amitabha, Sakyamuni, Maitreya; the second has the statue of Guru Rinpoche; and the third complex comprises the Khenlop Chosum lhakhang, Phurba lhakhang (temple of Vajrakila) and Neten Chudrug lhakhang (temple of the Sixteen Arhats). Stroll through Bumthang town in the evening.
Visit Jampa Lhakhang, Jambay Lhakhang : This monastery was built in the 7th century by Tibetan King, Songtsen Gampo. It is one of the 108 monasteries built by him to subdue evil spirits n the Himalayan region. Its present architectural appearance dates from the early 20th century.
Take a short walk from Kurjey crossing suspension bridge over Chamkhar River to Tamshing Goemba (also known as Tamshing lhendup Tsholing, literally ‘temple of the good message’) was established in 1501 by Pema Lingpa and is the most important Nyingmapa Goemba in the kingdom. Pema Lingpa built the structure himself, with the help of Khandroms (female celestial beings) who made many of his statues. The relics include the statue of Guru which was supposedly built by Khandroms (celestial nymphs); the Uzham (hat) of the Guru statue was crafted by Pema Lingpa himself; weapons in the armory cast by Terton Pema Lingpa, a life-size replica image of Terton Pema Lingpa and Pema Lingpa’s throne.
Day 3: Bumthang (A day hike to Thangbi & Ngang Lhakhang)
Visit Tangbi village situated in the north of the district, about one and a half hour drive on the farm road from Jakar, and visit the village monastery built in 1460 by the 8th Karma Zhamar Rinpoche. From there you will continue the hike to Ngang Lhakang, which will take you over Chamkhar River and through the verdant pine forest. Also visit the ruins of Drapham Dzong, an archeological site which is being restored today.
After Lunch, we travel to Zhabjeethang, a beautiful hamlet located in the Wangchuck Centennial Park. We go to a typical farm house and experience Bhutanese hospitality.
Chakar Lkhakhang :
Chakhar Monastery- It is said that the Chakhar Gab ( Sindhu Raja) built a nine storey iron castle and later as the castle deteriorated, the Terton Dorji Lingpa built a temple on the site.
Stroll through Bumthang town in the evening.
Day 4: Excursion Tang Valley
Today, we drive to Tang valley which is located approximately 2800 meters above sea level and is approximately 27 kilometers away from our hotel. We hike for about an hour from the valley floor crossing a newly-built bridge near Kisum village to Ugyenchholing Dzong (monastery-fortress). Ugyenchholing Dzong overlooking the Tang valley was built in the 18th Century by Trongsa Penlop (Governor of Trongsa) Chokey Dorji.
After lunch at Ugyenchholing, visit the museum in the Dzong and explore the surroundings of this historical place. We also meet with the local people.
Overnight: Return to Jakar
Day5: Bumthang- Trongsa
After breakfast we drive to Trongsa in central Bhutan. The 79 KM journey takes us through via Yotongla La (3436m), and on a clear day it gives a panoramic view of the Black Mountain Ranges and its one of the highest road in the country.
Trongsa Dzong, the powerhouse of medieval Bhutan from where the central and eastern half of Bhutan was ruled. Built in 1647, from within the walls of this architectural masterpiece arose a powerful leader who eventually defeated all his adversaries, thus paving way for the crowning of his son as the first king of Bhutan in 1907. Today, an heir to the Bhutanese throne must first assume the post of Trongsa Penlop or Governor of this palace-fortress before being crowned as the king. Thereafter, we take a tour of the Ta Dzong (watch tower), now preserved as the museum of Bhutanese kings, thus blending tradition and modernity. The museum has on display about 224 items used over the years by the Bhutanese kings, including the Raven Crown worn by the first King in 1907.
Lunch at museum cafeteria.
After lunch visit Trongsa museum and Dzong.
Overnight hotel : Yangkhil Resort
Day 6 Trongsa to wangdue. Phobjikha valley
Drive from Trongsa to wangdue takes to through some of the pristine and protected nature in the country. And crosses over pelela pass at 3300m. Visit Chendebji chorten a Nepalese style Stupa.
Lunch will be at Phobjikha valley with a visit to the village. 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. 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.
Overnight hotel: Eco lodge
Day 7 Wangdue to Thimphu
After your breakfast, drive to Punakha and visit the most beautiful and second oldest dzong in the country built in 1637 by the first supreme leader and unifier of Bhutan, Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. It houses the most sacred relics of Bhutan, Rangjung Kharsapani, the self-created image of Avalokiteshvara, the Buddha of compassion. It is situated at the confluence of male and Female River.
After coming back from Punakha take a small hike to 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.
And after that stop for lunch.
After lunch drive to Thimphu takes you over Dochula pass at 3150m. On a clear day offering panoramic view of the eastern Himalayan ranges.
Enroute we visit the Semtokha Dzong built in 1627. This is the earliest among numerous Dzongs that Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal built which today are still the finest specimens of Bhutanese architecture.
Over night: Khang Residency
Day 8 Thimphu (Tashichho Dzong)
Thimphu, the capital city, is Bhutan in a miniscule. Its population of 130,000 comes from every nook and cranny of the King¬dom, providing a rare glimpse of a large mix of culture, customs and traditions around which Bhutan has built its identity as a nation.
In the morning we will take 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.
Other at¬tractions include trips to the Folk Heritage Museum, Textile Academy and in the evening visit 17th century Tashichhodzong the seat of the central government and also houses the office of the King.
Overnight: Khang Residency
Day 9 Thimphu- Paro
In the morning we visit the Memorial Stupa built in the finest tradition of Buddhist architecture, the 12th century Changangkha monastery which serves as the protector and guardian of Bhutanese children born in Thimphu valley, and the. Academy of 13 Art and Craft of Bhutan, the site of the world’s largest Buddha statue, and the Takin preserve near Sangaygang. We also visit the Post Office and then, if time permits, take a leisurely stroll around town.
After Lunch Drive to paro ( 1hr 30 mins) on the way visit Tachog Lhakhang. It is the private owned temple dedicated to Thangthong Gyalpo built in 14th century.
Overnight: Tenziling Resort/ village lodge
Day 10 :Paro (Taktshang “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 take a stroll around the town and have a good cup of coffee.
Day 11: Departure
Transfer to airport for departure from Bangkok
Mercury Bhutan Travels
Dungkar Lam, Motithang
Phone:+975 2 335305 | +975 339841
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Fax: +975 2 335305
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Mercury Bhutan Travels