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

14D13N BHUTAN in focus

OVERVIEW

One of our favourite program which takes our guests on a voyage of discovery - from the ever popular west to the charming central Bhutan.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • See the major sites in Western and Central Bhutan

  • Spend time with local villagers and photo document their daily life

  • Great fun time with the adorable school kids in schools with MAD projects

  • Scenic view at the Taksang (Tiger's Nest)

SAMPLE ITINERARY

Day 01: Flight To Paro (2,300m)

Arrive at Paro and proceed to Thimphu. 

Elevation 2,300m | Drive time 01 hours 

 

Upon arrival in Paro, we will begin our journey after lunch where you'll visit the ancient fortresses the Paro 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. After which, proceed to Drukgyel Dzong, a UNESCO-protected location and perhaps the most important archeological site in the country. After that, visit the Kyichu Lhakhang – a centuries-old Buddhist temple.

Day 02: Paro to Haa (Day Excursion)

Drive time 03 hours

 

An early start in the morning to see more of picturesque Paro and make our journey to visit the Kila Goenpa Nunnery located on a cliffside enroute to Haa Valley. Upon arrival in Haa in the afternoon, get some insight into local life with a home visit to a farmhouse before returning to Paro for your hotel.

 

 

Day 03: Paro to Thimphu

Elevation 2,300m | Drive time 01 hours

Thimphu being the capital, it is most populace city in Bhutan, the Royal family and all government headquarters are concentrated in Thimphu. 

Memorial Chorten 

It is a monument is built in 1974 as the memory of the Third King of Bhutan and to World Peace. Located close to the center of Thimphu City, it is one of the most iconic monuments of Bhutan.

Elderly Bhutanese people circumambulating the Chorten throughout the day gives a good photo opportunity to capture the spiritual life of the people. 

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Changangkha Lhakhang

It’s the home of Buddhist master Lam Nima, son of Phajo Drugom Zhipo. It’s one of the oldest temples in Thimphu where people around Thimphu valley visit to seek help and blessings from the local deity. From the temple we can enjoy and photograph the panoramic view of Thimphu city. 

Trashi 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. 

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.

 

Day 04: Thimphu to Punakha

Elevation 1,300m | Drive time 03 hours 

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.

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Chimi Lhakhang/ Temple of fertility

The 15th century temple believed to behold the blessings of fertility. The temple is founded by, the divine madman; popularly known as Drukpa Kuenly, a teacher, who the phallic symbol is associated.   

 

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 capture some moments of village life.

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.

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Day 05: Exploring Punakha​​

 

We will visit the market in the early morning. Morning market is the best opportunity to be involved in the bustling activities in Bhutan. Great time to engage with the locals and take close up portraits. 

Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten 

It is a glorious example of the Bhutanese architecture and artistic traditions.  Her Majesty the Queen Mother, Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuck commissioned building of the stupa, which 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.

 

It is 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. Besides, the other statues present here include of Gautama Buddha, Zhabdrung Namgyel Namsum, Saint Padmasambhava, and the 21 Taras, Tsela Namsum and the Tsepamay (Buddha of Longevity).

 

Day 06: Punakha to Phobjikha 

Elevation 3,100m | Drive time 03 hours 

 

Phobjikha is a bowl-shaped glacial valley because of the large flock of black-necked cranes that winters here; it is one of the most important wildlife preserves in the country. In addition to the cranes there are also barking deer, wild boars, sambars, serows, Himalayan black bears, leopards and red foxes in the surrounding hills. The stream drains the marshy valley. Some people know this valley as Gangtey after the goemba that sits on a ridge above the valley.

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Day 07: Phobjikha - Bumthang

Elevation 3,100m | Drive time 06 hours 

Today we will drive towards Bumthang through the winding road, and as the road widening are underway we will experience bumpy ride, but the scenery are never out of your window. We will drive-through Trongsa districts, and cross two passes, Pelala pass 3300m, and this pass separates western Bhutan from central Bhutan, and the Yotongla pass 3400m.

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Day 08: Exploring Bumthang

Today, we will be up early to visit some schools and there will be opportunity to photograph village life. We will spend the rest of the day in Bumthang visiting the historical sites. Spend some time in the Lhakangs and catch the monks during their prayer sessions or in the classrooms.

 

Jambey Lhakhang 

Temple of Maitreya , and the temple is one of the 108 temples built by Tibetan King Songtsän Gampo in 659 CE on a single day, to pin down an ogress to earth forever. It was divined that the supine demoness was causing obstruction to the spread of Buddhism, and temples were constructed on her body parts that spread across Tibet, Bhutan and the borderlands. 

 

Kurjey Lhakhang

This large and important temple is named after the body (kur)print (jey)  of Guru Rimpoche, which is preserved in a cave inside the oldest temple out of the thrtemple buildings. 

 

Jakar Dzong 

The fortress of the white bird derives its name from the account of Lam Ngagi Wangchuk, Zhabdrung’s great grandfather, witnessing an auspicious omen of a white bird landing on the site where he was building a temple. The Dzong standing today was later built in 1646. 

 

Jakar town

We will walk the street and explore the jakar town also known as Bumthang town.

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Day 9: Exploring Bumthang (Tang Valley)

Drive time 01hours 

 

Mebartsho (the burning lake)

The running river is called the burning lake due to a legend in which a treasure discoverer revealed some sacred Buddhist treasures after diving the lake with a butter lamp burning and later coming out with the lamp still burning.

The Tang valley is located in the eastern part of of bumthang valley, we will visit the Family museum and after the visit we will walk about an hour from the Ugyenchholing Palace to the valley.

 

Tag Remochen

While one the way back we will visit Tag Remochen, a temple built in 17th century. 

 

En – route to Bumthang, if time permits,  we will visit the Nunnery monastery at Bazor 

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Day 10: Exploring Bumthang

 

​Today, we will be up early to visit some schools and there will be opportunity to photograph village life.

Day 11: Bumthang to Paro

Elevation 2,200m | Fligth to Paro  (30mins) | Drive to Paro 10hours

 

We recommend taking the domestic Flight to Paro so that we don’t have to the long drive the same way back to places we have passed through. (Airfare at the most USD $200) 

 

Paro Valley

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. 

​Day 12: Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest Temple)

 

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. No trip to Bhutan would be complete without a visit to this remarkable heritage site. 

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​Day 13: Paro

 

Exploring Paro the last day before departure. 

Day 14: ​Departure

 

Departure via Druk Air/Bhutan Airlines. Your guide and driver will accompany you to the airport and bid their farewells there. 

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