002 Thimphu- Punakha- Gangtey-Paro-Haa Valley-Paro
Program Bhutan 6 Days 5 Nights
Day 1 – Thimphu
- Tachhogang Bridge
- Folk Heritage Museum
- Memorial Chorten
- Changangkha Lhakhang
- Mini Takin Zoo
- Weekend Market
- Tashichho Dzong
Day 2 – Thimphu & Punakha
- Buddha Dordenma Statue
- National Post Office
- Institute for Zorig Chusum
- Dochula Pass
Day 3 – Punakha - Gangtey
- Pho Chu Suspension Bridge
- Punakha Dzong
- Gangtey Goempa
- Gangtey Nature Trail
Day 4 – Gangtey - Paro
- National Museum ( Ta Dzong )
- Paro Dzong
Day 5 – Day trip to Haa Valley
- Chele la Pass
- Haa Valley
- Bhutanese Farm House
- Visit a school at a village
Day 6 – Paro
- Excursion to Tigers Nest & Drugyel Dzong if time persists
- Mask Dance and Folk Songs Cultural Performances
Day 1 – Arrival to Paro and transfer to Thimphu (Meal on Board/Lunch/Dinner)
Upon arrival you will be received by our representatives with white scarf’s as our traditional way of welcome. We then proceed to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. On the way we will visit the 1000 years old Tachogang Bridge and experience walking through this traditional year old bridge built by Thangtong Gyalpo (1385-1464) who was a great Buddhist, a yogi, physician, blacksmith, architect, and a pioneering civil engineer. He is said to have built many iron chain suspension bridges around Tibet and Bhutan, several of which are still in use today. Upon Arrival in Thimphu we will visit the Folk Heritage Museum to discover the everyday lifestyle and traditional cultures of Bhutan. You will then experience your first ever authentic Bhutanese cuisine at Folk Heritage Restaurant. We will then visit the National Memorial Chorten, an impressive Tibetan Styled Stupa built to honour the late 3rd King of Bhutan. We then visit Changangkha Lhakhang, the oldest temple in Thimphu from the 12th Century. We then proceed the Takin Zoo, Takin is the national animal of Bhutan and also called cattle chamois. This globally rare and endangered animal is admired for its unique physique and agility on steep terrain of Bhutan. Then located below the main town, near the Wangchhu River, we will go to Thimphu’s weekend market by far the largest domestic market for the farmers in Bhutan. Thereafter, we visit the Tashichhodzong, which houses the throne of the King of Bhutan. We will have dinner at Upstairs Restaurant or Bhutan Kitchen or Bhutan Orchid.
Day 2 – Thimphu - Punakha (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)
Today we begin the day by visiting Buddha Dordenma Statue also known as Kuenselphodrang Nature Park where you can catch the panoramic view of Thimphu Valley and admire the 169 feet bronze Buddha Statue. Then we visit Bhutan Post Office where you can send unique postcards and amazing Bhutanese stamp collections for your family and friends. After that we will visit the Institute for Zorig Chusum. Over here you will witness the artistic heritage and works of excellent quality and great artistic value of Bhutan. We will then have lunch along the way at the New Restaurant in Dochula Pass. Over here, we admire the 108 Chortens, of which the construction was commissioned by the eldest Queen Mother. On a clear day, you may have a chance upon a magnificent view of the Himalayas, the mountain range which is also home to the highest peak in the world, Mount Everest. Evening at our leisure and Dinner will be served at the Resort.
Day 3 – Punakha - Gangtey (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)
Breakfast at the resort. We then head towards Punakha Dzong and take the road across to the Suspension bridge (about 200m long) through absolutely fresh breeze and fascinating view of Dzong. We then visit Punakha Dzong, “the palace of great happiness” which resides at the intersection of the Mo Chhu and Pho Chhu Rivers. We then begin our drive to Gangtey Valley where we will have lunch along the way at a local Bhutanese restaurant. Upon Arrival, we will visit Gangtey Goempa, perched on a small hill that rises from the valley floor,the Gangtey Monastery is the only Nyingmapa monastery on the western side of the Black Mountain’s Gangtey valley, Bhutan and also the biggest Nyingmapa monastery in Bhutan. The Monastery is surrounded by a large village inhabited mainly by the families of the 140 Gomchens who take care of the Monastery. We will then take a leisure walk from here to Khewa Lhakhang while experiencing and witnessing the local villages and its folks there. We will have dinner at Dewachen Resort in Phobjikha.
Day 4 – Gangtey - Paro (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)
Today we travel to the beautiful Paro Valley, home to the many old Bhutanese monasteries and temples. En-route we will have lunch at Chimmi Cafeteria. In Paro, we will visit the Ta Dzong, the national museum, an ancient watch tower which now houses a fascinating collection of costumes, arts, national stamps and handicrafts. Thereafter, visit Paro Dzong which was built in 1645 to defend the valley against Tibetan invaders and now been transformed to serve as an administration centre and school for monks and a venue of the annual spring festival. Dinner at the resort.
Day 5 – Haa Valley (Breakfast/Picnic Lunch/Dinner)
Depart from Paro to Haa Valley. Haa valley is one of the most picturesque places in the Kingdom. The Haa valley was opened for the first time to foreign tourists in 2002. It is culturally rich valley and at the foothills of a venerated three brotherly mountains known as Meri Puensum. The valley is also unparalleled in Bhutan in terms of the diversity of the folk culture, legends and shamanistic rituals. The valley is also a paradise for nature lovers and travelling there is a very rewarding experience. The drive to Haa valley crosses 3988m Chele-la pass, from where one can have a superb views of Mount. Chomolhari & Jichu Drakey on a clear day. It is also an ideal place to take short walk, enjoying panoramic vistas. We will have picnic lunch today at a Bhutanese Farm House. Today we can visit a local school if interested.
Day 6 – Paro (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)
Clinging precariously to a granite cliff 800 metres above Paro Valley is Taktsang Monastery, also known as “Tigers Nest”. The breath-taking scenery is definitely worth the challenging climb up to the view point. Lunch will be served at Taktsang Cafeteria. In the evening, enjoy a get together dinner fiesta with newfound friends while immersing yourself in a Bhutanese cultural dance performance.
Journey to Tigers Nest:
You should be physically fit for the climb uphill to Taktsang Monastery and wear a comfortable pair of walking shoes for the hike.
Ponys for the elderly will be provided and Walking stick will be provided.
From the car park to Taktsang Cafeteria (for tea break and bathrooms) takes 1.5 hrs 2 hrs.
Continue walking upslope, then go down steep staircase and up to the Taktsang Monastery takes 1 – 1.5 hrs
After visiting the monastery. We return to the cafeteria for lunch break.
Total hike takes about 6 – 8 hrs
Day 7 – Departure (Breakfast/Meals on Board)
If time permits, you can do some last minute shopping before you transfer to the airport for your flight home.
Royal Bhutan Airlines ( Druk Air )
Flight Schedule: To be determined
Flight duration: 6 hours
Note: Both ways flights may have stopover
Please remain in the aircraft
Check in 2 hrs prior to departure
Show Bhutan Visa letter during check in.
Aircraft: A319 (3-3 seat configuration, single aisle)
Baggage Allowance: Check in luggage: maximum 20 kg per person
Hand carry: maximum 5 kg per person
Meals: Meals: Breakfast served on flight
Drinks/ Snacks (sandwich and cookie)
Newspapers and inflights magazine provided
No inflight entertainment.
THINGS TO NOTE:
Bhutanese Ngultrum (BTN) equivalent to Indian Rupees (INR)
Use USD to change with our company rather than at the airport as we offer better rates
Approx USD 100 = 6000 Nu.
ATMs at only few locations. Credit card payments are rarely accepted.
Please wear a good pair of walking/track shoes
Full length pants/jeans/skirt
Collared shirts with sleeves, polo tees, jacket
Visitors to Dzong/Monasteries:
Not allowed to wear hat, scarves, shorts, revealing clothes and slippers
No photography upon entering monasteries. You can take photos of only the courtyard and exteriors.
2 bottles of mineral water provided daily. Tap water is not suitable for drinking.
Bhutan can be enjoyed in any season.
No matter what time of year Bhutan will provide you with a rewarding and enriching experience. Personally we love the months when there are far less visitors….June – August and December – February.
Our favorite time is the early-midsummer period (June to July) You may experience occasional heavy falls of rain during the afternoons however to see Bhutan so green and full of clear streams and waterfalls is worth it. While you may not experience grand Himalayan vistas at this time, you will enjoy the warmer weather and a noticeable reduction in tourist numbers. It is a beautiful time to visit!
Bhutan has four distinct seasons. The spring season (late March, April & May) and autumn season (late September, October & November) are the most popular times to visit with generally clear, mild weather, excellent scenery, lower rainfall and a range of festivals called Tshechus and Dromchoes. They are however the busiest months for tourist visitors and you can expect some congestion at major tourist sights.
The winter season (December to mid March) brings snow to the higher regions however the southern regions and main valleys where visitors generally travel are considerably warmer. Paro and Thimphu normally experience only light dustings of snow so still well worth a visit with mid December to mid-January normally offering cool, pleasant days and clear skies although temperatures fall below zero at night.
Highest: 3988m at Chelela Pass
Walk at comfortable pace when walking upslope and down slope.
Longest driving time point to point:
6 hours from Gangtey to Paro. Expect some bumpy, windy mountain roads
Customs & Duty Free:
1 carton with duty of 1600 (approx USD 30) Bhutan is a smoke free country. Please do not smoke in the public. You may smoke in your room.
Duty free allowance:
1 litre of alcohol
Electric Voltage & Plugs:
230V/240V, 50 hertz
Please watch out for steep staircases and uneven steps inside/ en route to Dzongs, Temples and Villages.
Day 6 Alternative to Taktsang Monastery:
Please decide by Day 4 on whether you want to go for the hike to the Tigers Nest and inform your Tour Leader about it.
Alternative Programme: Visit to Sangchoekor Monastery, Visit Druk Choeding and Dungtse Lhakhang and Souvenir shopping in Paro Town.
Mix of Bhutanese, Indian, Chinese and Western Cuisines
Buffet comes with Tea or Coffee (separate charges for soft drinks/ juices)
3 star hotels/resorts (tourist standard class)
Bhutan is a less developed country and Government controls tourism to sustain its natural environment and culture.
Limited tourist facilities. Tourist standard class hotels are small scale and usually around 20-30 rooms, up to 5 storey. Many hotels do not have lift.
Possibility of facing problem with water heater and power trip for any hotel class.
Night of stay (6 nights).
Thimphu – http://www.hotelnorbuling.com/ or Similar
Punakha – http://meripuensum.bt/punakha/ or Similar
Gangtey – http://www.dewachenhotel.com/ or Similar
Paro – http://www.tnr.bt/ or Similar
Wi-Fi access is usually available in the hotel lobby.
Reminders and Tipping Guidelines:
Always use toilets in your hotel before starting your day tour and at restaurants as it will be hard to find them outside. Limited and not so clean.
If you are on medication, please bring enough medicine to last for the whole trip, as it may not be convenient to replenish your medicine on the tour, or the medicine may not be available in Bhutan.
Bring your travel adapter, toothbrush and toothpaste, basic shampoo and soap provided by hotels, hairdryer may not be provided by all hotels, sun block cream (high UV in elevated countries), energy bar or snacks for the hikes and rain gear.
It is customary to tip your local tour guide, driver to show appreciation for their services rendered. The guidelines are as follows:
Local Guide: USD 5 per person per day.
Driver: USD 3 per person per day. Total USD 56 per customer.