Engaging monks in Bhutan
Bhutan school children playing
Prayer flags at Chelela Pass
Festivals in Bhutan
Majestic view of Bumthang
Authentic Experience in Bhutan
Great sky in Bhutan
Iron chain bridge in Bhutan
Kids in Bhutan
Nunnery visit in Bhutan
Photography in rural Bhutan
Rice winnowing in Bhutan
Monks prayer session in Bhutan
local experiences in Bhutan
Farm house experience in Bhutan

7D6N BHUTAN in a flash

OVERVIEW

Photographing the Bhutanese way of life in a week.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Visiting the major sites in Western Bhutan

  • Opportunity to mingle with local villagers and photo document their daily life

  • Scenic view at highest motor-able pass, Chelela 

  • Great hike to the Taksang (Tiger's Nest)

SAMPLE ITINERARY

Day 01: Arrival in Paro and proceed to Thimphu.

Elevation 2,300m | Drive time 01 hours

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 landing in Paro international airport our MAD representative will be waiting for you at Paro airport.

And you will be escorted to Thimphu, and the drive is about an hour.

Thimphu being the capital, it is most populace city in Bhutan, the Royal family and all government headquarters are concentrated in Thimphu. On the way we will visit Tamchhog Zam (Iron Bridge), the bridge is made of iron chain and the materials are from 15 century.

Memorial Chorten

It is a monument is built in 1974 as the memory of the Third King of Bhutan and to World Peace.

Visitors will find elderly Bhutanese people circumambulating the Chorten throughout the day. Chorten literally means ‘Seat of Faith’ and Buddhists often call such monuments, the ‘Mind of Buddha’. The chorten is a large white structure crowned with a golden spire. It is located close to the center of Thimphu city and is one of its most iconic monuments.

We will spend some time here to photograph the religious Bhutanese going about their daily prayers.  

Tashi Chhoe Dzong

‘Fortress of glorious religion” constructed in 1641 and restored in 1960s. It’s the office of His Majesty the King and the secretariat, and houses two ministries and other offices. The coronation of the present King took place in this fortress in 2008.

The Dzong is open for tourist only after 5:00 PM on working days and weekend it is open all day long.

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Day 02 - Thimphu to Punakha

Elevation 1,300m | Drive time 02 hours

Weekend Market

A good place to take images of the local daily activities in the market. Starts around noon on Friday and ends on Sunday afternoon and It resembles the farmers market in the west. However, since there are no big super markets, Thimphu's weekend market is the main source of fresh produce. It is an interesting place to visit, where armers jostle with well- heeled Thimphu residents for bestand cheapest vegetables and other food products.

Buddha Point

It is one of the largest statues of sitting Buddha (Made of Bronze glided in gold) in the world at the height of 169” (51 meters) approximately; the place gives you a bird’s eye view of Thimphu city.

Dochula Pass

It is located approximately 3,140m above sea level and it is a mountain pass to go to Punakha. It’s a breath-taking viewpoint where you can see panoramic view of Himalayan ranges that fall in Bhutan. There are also 108 Chortens (Stupas) built beautifully to mark the spot.

Chimi Lhakhang/ Temple of fertility

The temple is founded by, the divine madman; popularly known as Drukpa Kuenly, a teacher, who the phallic symbol is associated, in 15th century. It’s a pleasing 20 minutes walk to the temple through local field and village. While passing through the village we will have time to interact with the locals and take some interesting photos of village life. The temple believed to behold the blessings of fertility.

Punakha Dzong

"The palace of great happiness or bliss", is the administrative centre of District, in Punakha Bhutan. Constructed by Ngawang Namgyal, in 1637. It is the second oldest and second largest dzong in Bhutan and one of its most majestic structures. Punakha Dzong was the administrative centre and the seat of the Government of Bhutan until 1955, when the capital was moved to Thimphu.

It is listed as a tentative site in Bhutan's Tentative List for UNESCO inclusion.

Suspension Bridge

The longest, suspension, bridge in Bhutan that stretches 145m over Phochu (male) River and It’s about 20 minutes walk from the Punakha dzong if, you happen to walk but about 5 minutes walk from nearest road point.

From the bridge you will enjoy the magnificent view of the river valley and village by the bridge- side.

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Day 03 - Punakha

Elevation 1,300m | Local Sightseeing

Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten

It is a glorious example of the Bhutanese architecture and artistic traditions. The temple took about nine years to build. It is located on a ridge at Kabisa Gewong in Punakha overlooking several villages. This temple has been dedicated for the well being of the kingdom, its people and all sentient beings. The walk/hike through rice fields before you start climbing a moderately inclined trail surrounded by pine trees. It takes about 1 hour from the car park to hike up to the temple, and from the temple you will enjoy the magnificent view of mo-chhu valley below.

Sangchchen Dorji Lhuendrup nunnery

The temple is located on a ridge beside the neighboring Punakha and Wangdue Phodrang amidst pine trees. The temple complex also has a learning and meditation centre for the nuns, and it also provides them other trainings such as embroidery, tailoring, statue making, and the famous thangka painting. There is a majestic bronze statue of a height of 14 foot Avalokiteshwara. The statue is also considered as one of the biggest statues in the country made by the unique handwork of many local Bhutanese artisans.

If timing is right, we may be able to capture moments of them performing their daily rituals.

Day 04 - Punakha to Paro

Elevation 2,200m | Drive time 03 hours

Drive same way back to Paro via Thimphu and to the beautiful valley is home to many of Bhutan's old monasteries and temples. The valley is also home to Mount Chomolhari (7,300 meters) situated at the northern end of the valley whose glacier water forms the Pachu flowing through the valley

Paro Rimpung Dzong

Also called the Rinpung Dzong, the Fortress of the Heap of Jewels, Paro Dzong was built in 1645 by the Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel. It is an imposing square fortress, representative of typical Dzong architecture, with a central tower and courtyards housing the administrative quarters and the monastic section

Kyichu Lhakhang

A short drive from Paro is Kyichu Lhakhang, one of Bhutan's oldest and most beautiful temples. The temple believed to have been built by the King Songtsen Gampo of Tibet, in 659 to pin down the left foot of a giant ogress who was thwarting the establishment of Buddhism into Tibet. Additional buildings and a golden roof were constructed in 1839 by the penlop (governor) of Paro and the 25th Je Khenpo. Elderly pilgrims constantly walk around the temple spinning its many prayer wheels.

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Day 05 - Paro Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest Temple)

Elevation 3,100m 

Taktsang Lhakhang is Bhutan’s most iconic landmark and religious site. The name Taktsang translates to “The Tiger’s Nest”. This temple is one of the most holy sites in the kingdom and clings impossibly to a sheer cliff face 900 hundred meters above the Paro Valley.
It was first built in 1692 at a cave where Guru Rimpoche meditated in the 7th century A.D. Legend states that Guru Rimpoche flew to the site atop the back of a tigress and meditated in the cave for 3 years, 3 months, 3 days and 3 hours in order to subdue evil demons residing within it. The cave has been considered a sacred site ever since and many famous saints have travelled to meditate in it.

In order to arrive at the temple visitors must trek for around 2-3 hours through beautiful, shady pine forests.

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Day 06 - Paro to Haa to Paro (Day Excursion)

Elevation 2,740m| Drive time 02 hours 30 Mins each way

Today, after breakfast, we drive to a day at the green valley of Haa, crossing the highest motor- able Pass, the Chelela (3899m), in Bhutan, from the pass, on a clear day we will have a good view of the Himalayan Ranges and the valley beyond can be spotted. We can see Paro valley on one side and then Haa valley on the other. This will be a good spot to take some stunning images of prayer flags with the majestic background.

 

The valley of Haa was only opened to Tourist in 2002 and Haa is the least visited valley in Bhutan due to the lack of Tourist infrastructure. This has helped in keeping Haa the way it has always been. 

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Day 07 - Depart Paro

Arrangements have been made for your transfer to the airport in time for your flight out.

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