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TOUR DESCRIPTION This central Bhutan cultural tour offers you the rare opportunity to savor the different customs and cultures of the western and central valleys of Bhutan at a leisurely pace. Central Bhutan is an exciting destination for all visitors as there are the most significant historical and religious sites in the country. From Trongsa District which has always been of great political importance to the leaders of Bhutan to Bumthang district where most ancient and important monasteries, Central Bhutan has it. Some of the important landmarks in central Bhutan are Kurje Lhakhang (monastery) built-in 1652 and the site where the great Buddhist saint Guru Rimpoche meditated. Tamshing Lhakhang built in 1501by the great religious treasure revealer Terton Pema Lingpa. Mebar Tsho, a sacred burning lake from which Terton Pema Lingpa discovered religious treasures hidden by Guru Rimpoche and The Watchtower Trongsa Museum (Ta-Dzong), which provides visitors with an unparalleled insight into Bhutan’s political history. The tour then returns westward to the glacial valley of Gangtey/Phobjikha, the winter home to the rare black-necked cranes. Apart from this landmarks, the pristine environment, the authentic Bhutanese living, People of different costume and language and different agriculture products in this region makes it a perfect memory to be cherished through personal experience.Flight into Bhutan via Drukair (can be arranged with us) Flight on other airline to catch Drukair Flight Meals at 4-5 stars restaurants Hotel stay outside of Bhutan Expenditure of personal nature Travel Insurance (can be arranged with us) Tips for the guide and driver Language guide Alcoholic drink.
Day 1 : Paro - Haa (8,894 feet)
The Flight to Paro gives you a breathtaking views of Major Himalaya peaks such as Everest, Kanchenjunga and Makalu, and Bhutan’s own snowy peaks, the sacred Jomolhari, Jichu Drake and Tsherimgang on a clear day.
As you enter Paro valley, you will sweep past forested hills with the silvery Pa Chu (Paro river) meandering down the valley below. Paro Dzong (fortress) and Ta Dzong (watchtower) on the hills above the town will be a fine sight. Upon arrival into Paro and completing your visa & customs formalities, a representative of BEST Bhutan will be there to receive you as you exit the Airport. Our team will warmly welcome you by offering a scarf and then take you for a lunch.
After lunch depart towards Haa valley,
- Haa is the ancestral home of the Queen Grandmother and the illustrious Dorji family. Haa valley retains the air of an unspoiled, primeval forest. The wooded hills of Haa valley provide an ideal location for hiking and leisure walks. Walking around the valley and hiking through pristine blue pine and rhododendrons forest is an enjoyable way to spend the day when visiting.
- Begin your journey towards Haa valley via Chelela Pass (13,083 feet), through blue pine & rhododendron forest. Haa was closed until quite recently it opened its door to travelers around the world. The place is considered one of the holy shrines in the country and there are temple’s dating back to the 7th century.
- Our team will stop at Chelela pass, the highest motor-able pass in Bhutan for you to enjoy and nature and take pictures. From the point on one can have the splendid view of the majestic Mt. Jomolhari (24,035 feet) & Jichu Drakey (22,930 feet) one of the tallest Himalayan peak in the world.
- Upon arrival in HAA, you will check in your hotel and relax after the long day. (Overnight at Haa)
Day 2 : Haa to Paro (7,300 feet)
The Haa town has been developed along the Haa Chu River and can be divided into two distinct sectors; the Northern part of town has the central bazaar, main shops, and restaurants while the Southern half of town is occupied by an IMTRAT (Indian Military Training Team) camp and a Bhutanese army training camp.- Start the morning with a visit to Wangcha village to enjoy the authentic rural life of Bhutan and followed by a leisure walk to Haa viewpoint.
- Visit Haa cold water fishery to see some brown trout and learn about how they are being raised from fingerlings to giant 2- 5 kg size
- Followed by a visit to Haa Town to get the feeling of a traditional Bhutanese town.
After Lunch on your return journey to Paro,
- Stop by Bhutan’s oldest nunnery – the Kila Nunnery, dating back to the ninth century. The Nunnery is situated along the mountainside, at
an altitude of over 9,800 feet. The nunnery is home to over 40 nuns. After visiting the Nunnery continue your journey to Paro, approximately an hour. (Overnight at Paro)
Day 3 : Paro To Bumthang (8,464 feet),
After breakfast, Fly to Bumthang Valley on Druk Air, flight time is 35 minutes.
The name Bumthang has two probable origins; the first is that it is named after a Bumpa, a vessel for holy water which the valley resembles in shape. The second origin implies that it is the Valley of Beautiful Girls as Bum translates to ‘Girl’ and Thang means ‘flat Piece of land’. This region that spans from 2,600-4,500m is the religious heartland of the nation and home to some of its oldest Buddhist temples and monasteries. Tales of Guru Padmasambhava and the Tertons (“religious treasure-discoverers”) still linger in this sacred region. The fertile valleys of Bumthang are covered in fields of buckwheat, rice, and potatoes. Apple orchards and dairy farms are also common sights here. Bumthang valley not only has a huge historical background it is also considered to the most beautiful valley in the entire kingdom and is compared to mini Switzerland by most of the visitors.
- On arrival in Bumthang, drive to your hotel in check in and have some rest. Then begin exploring the valleys of Bumthang (Jakar, and Tang) over the next couple of days. While your schedule is flexible, we suggest you start by visiting:
- Jakar Dzong the Jakar Dzong is one of the largest and most impressive Dzongs in Bhutan and houses the administrative and monastic offices for the Bumthang district. Then lunch,
- Visit Wangduechhoeling palace, built in 1857 on the site of the battle camp of the Trongsa Penlop Jigme Namgyal, father of the first King of Bhutan, who was also born here. It was the first palace in Bhutan that was not designed as a fortress. Both the first and second king adopted Wangdicholing as their main summer residence. There are five giant water driven prayer wheels, to the north which is quite interesting to see.
- With remaining time open to relax or embark on a leisurely walk in Jakar Valley
Day 4 : Bumthang Sightseeing,
After breakfast, start your day by visiting;
- Jambay Lhakhang built in the 7th century by King Srongtsen Gampo of Tibet and along with Kyichu Lhakhang in Paro (which you will visit) is one of the oldest temples in Bhutan.
- Followed by a visit down the valley to Kurje Lhakhang, a 17th-century temple of great historical importance. This Lhakhang holds the imprint of Guru Rinpoche, the revered Buddhist saint who brought Buddhism to Bhutan and much of the Himalayas.
- And a 30min leisure walk crossing Bumthang Chhu (river) through the buckwheat fields towards Tamshing Lhakhang. Tamshing Lhakhang, a temple built by the Buddhist Saint Pema Lingpa and it contains some of the oldest wall paintings in Bhutan and an iron coat of nail (supposed to have been crafted by Pema Lingpa).
Continue further down the valley for a late lunch,
- Afternoon is an open option for you to do some woolen textile and other products shopping as Bumthang is known for its woolen products. (Overnight at Bumthang)
Day 5 : Bumthang - Ura (10,170 feet),
- Depart to Jakar in the morning and drive 48kms southeast to URA valley. Ura village is one of the largest traditional clustered villages of Bhutan. Explore the village to immerse yourself in the rural life of Bhutan.
- Followed by a departure to Tang. You will spend the day exploring the Tang Valley by visiting the Ugyen Choeling Palace, now converted into a museum which houses permanent exhibits on three floors of the main building.
After lunch at Ugyenchholing,
- Begin your journey toward to Jakar with a stop by Mebar Tsho (The Burning Lake) where Pema Lingpa, one of Bhutan’s most revered saints and Terton (Discoverers of Hidden Treasures), dove into the lake with a lighted lamp, only to emerge back with the lamp still burning.(Overnight at Bumthang)
Day 6 : Bumthang - Trongsa
- Depart toward Trongsa. Enroute, stop at the Yathra factory where the products out of wool are produced. If the travelers are interested, one may indulge yourself in a buying one as a gift back to home
- Upon arrival in Trongsa, visit the restored Ta Dzong at Trongsa, which has been converted into a museum covering the history of the monarchy of Bhutan. You will get a chance to witness a documentary movie on the monarchy of Bhutan. Followed by a Lunch
- Continue to visit Trongsa Dzong - Built 463 years ago. The dzongs street-like corridors, wide stone stairs, beautiful flagstone courtyards and sacred temples have been witness to many significant events that have shaped Bhutanese history since the 16th century. It is also the Avenue where future Kings formalized their ascension as Chhoetse Penlop before ascending the Golden Throne
- Followed by relaxing and enjoy your hotel – option for a walk in Trongsa town. (Overnight at Trongsa).
Day 7 : Trongsa - Phobjikha
After early breakfast,
- Continue journey to Phobjikha (3 hours) crossing Pele La Pass (11,250 feet) where on a clear day you can see Mt. Jhomolhari, Jichu Drakey and Kang Bum, three of Bhutan’s prominent peaks.
Upon arrival in Phobjikha, you can visit the Gangtey Goenpa (monastery) founded in 1613. The current Gangtey Trulku is the 9th reincarnation of Pema Lingpa, the famous Buddhist saint from whom the Royal Family is descended.
- You will have a 1.5 hr. nature walkthrough
Gangtey natural trail. The trail is covered with pristine blue pine forest and beautiful village of Gangtey to rejuvenate your mind and enjoy the best nature can afford.
- Followed by a visit to the Black-Necked Crane Information Centre to learn more about the bird. (Overnight at Phobjikha)
Day 8 : Phobjikha - Punakha (4,265 feet)
- Depart to Punakha. Punakha valley has a pleasant climate with warm winters and hot summers. It is located at an average elevation of 1200 meters above sea level. Owing to the favorable climatic conditions, rice grows very well in this region and is the main cash crop cultivated here.
Two major rivers in Bhutan the Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu converge in this valley with Punakha Dzong built at the confluence of these two rivers and is an especially beautiful sight on sunny days. In addition to its structural beauty, Punakha Dzong is notable for containing the preserved remains of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the unifier of Bhutan as well as a sacred relic known as the Rangjung Karsapani.
Upon reaching Punakha, you will have lunch.
- Visit the Punakha Dzong, the most spectacular Dzong in Bhutan, built at the confluence of the Mo Chhu (Female River) and Pho Chhu (Male River) in 1637. This huge fortress/monastery was the national capital until 1966 and is the place where the country’s kings have been crowned and the site for the 5th King’s Royal Wedding in Oct. 2011.
- Followed by a walk to one of the longest suspension bridge in Bhutan for you to have a heart Pumping Experience.
(Overnight at Punakha)
Day 9 : Punakha - Thimphu
After an early breakfast;
- Hike to Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten, built by Her Majesty the Queen Mother. This temple is dedicated for her son Druk Gyalpo, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk and for the well-being and the benefit of all sentient beings. Khamsum Yulley stands majestically on a strategic ridge above the Punakha valley and offers you with a spectacular view of the surrounding mountain and the valley below.- Followed by a visit to Chimi Lhakhang and learn about Bhutan’s most beloved saint, Drukpa Kinley, the Divine Madman who is popularly known for his unorthodox way of teaching religion. After visiting the Lhakhang our team will take you for lunch.
- Depart to Thimphu. Enroute you will stop by the Dochula Pass, (10,100 feet). The pass is a popular location among visitors as it offers a stunning 360-degree panoramic view of Bhutanese Himalayan
range. The view is especially scenic with snowcapped mountains forming a majestic backdrop to the tranquility of the 108 Druk Wangyal Chortens (Stupas) gracing the mountain pass. (Overnight at Thimphu).
Day 10 : Thimphu (Day Halt in Thimphu)
After breakfast explore Thimphu valley,
The Kingdom’s capital city is home to approximately 100,000 inhabitants including the Royal family. This bustling little city is the main center of commerce, religion, and government in the country.
Thimphu is the most modern city in Bhutan with an abundance of restaurants, internet cafes, nightclubs and shopping centers, however, it still retains its’ cultural identity and values amidst the signs of modernization. Thimphu is one of the few towns in Bhutan that have been equipped with ATM banking facilities and is a good place to stock up on some currency.
One of the most curious features of Thimphu is that it is the only capital city in the world that does not use traffic lights. Instead, a few major intersections have policemen standing in elaborately decorated booths (small pavilions), directing traffic with exaggerated hand motions. The juxtaposition of ancient tradition and modernity make Thimphu the ideal location for visitors to break away from their tour itinerary and just immerse themselves in the lifestyle of contemporary Bhutanese.
After your Breakfast,
- Embark on a leisurely hour-long walk to the 18 Century Wangditse monastery, situated atop Thimphu. The
Lhakhang houses the statues of the guardian deities Yeshey Goenpo (Mahakala), Palden Lhamo (Mahakali) and Tsheringma (the goddess of longevity). From the monastery, you will have a spectacular view of Thimphu valley, National Assembly, and the Majestic Trashichoe Dzong. On your way back from Wangditse, stop by the Motithang Takin Preserve to see the Takin, Bhutan’s National Animal.
- Followed by a visit to Changangkha Lhakhang, a popular pilgrimage site for the people living in Thimphu. The parent of newborn come to this place to seek a new name and blessing for their children from the local deity Tamdrin. You can also seek a name for future children.
- Visit key cultural sites such as the Textile Museum, Handmade Paper Factory and the Zorig Chusum Art School, the Folk Heritage Center and Trashichoe dzong. Today, you also have the option of relaxing (or) exploring Thimphu town and doing some handicraft shopping. (Overnight at Thimphu)
Day 11 : Thimphu - Paro,
- Start your day by visiting The Buddha Dordenma Statue, this massive statue of Shakyamuni measures at a height of 51.5 meters, making it one of the largest statues of Buddha in the world.
- Followed by a drive to Paro valley with a visit to Tachog Lhakhang (monastery), built in the 14th century. One must actually cross one of
Drupthob Thangtong Gyalpo (iron chains) bridges to get to the Monastery. Drupthob Thangtong Gyalpo built the iron chain bridges in Bhutan in the late1300s and is said to have built 108 of these bridges around Tibet and Bhutan. Some are still in use today.
After Lunch at Paro;
- Visit key cultural sites such as the Paro Rinpung Dzong (Built-in 1644 is known as the fortress of the heap of jewels), is the administrative seat of the district of Paro.
- Followed by a visit to Paro National Museum (Ta-Dzong) initially the watch is serving as the National Museum of the country. It holds a fascinating collection of art, relics, religious Thangkha paintings and Bhutan's exquisite postage stamps.
- Our team will then take you to your hotel for a rest and freshen up for the “Happiness Campfire”. You will join the campfire in the Bhutanese attire to witness the traditional dances performed by our dancer. The traveler will also join the dance played on the Bhutanese Songs and music. You will then have your dinner at the hotel, where you will share your experience with us. (Overnight at Paro)
Day 12 : Paro (Hike to Taktshang Monastery)
- You will begin our journey to Taktshang (Tigers Nest) by 8 am. At a very moderate pace, you can be up at the monastery by 11:30 am and back at the base by 2 pm.
Taktshang Monastery is Bhutan’s most iconic landmark and religious site. This monastery is one of the holiest sites in the kingdom and clings impossibly to a sheer cliff face 2,900 feet above the Paro Valley. At about an altitude of 10,200 feet, Taktshang was first built in 1692 at a cave where Guru Rimpoche meditated in the 7th century A.D. No trip to Bhutan would be complete without a visit to this remarkable heritage site.
- Explore Paro town for some last minute handicraft shopping, followed by a hot stone bath and dinner at eco-lodge. Our team will then drop you to your hotel for rest and preparation for the departure. (Overnight at Paro).
Day 13 : Depart Paro
After Breakfast, Our team will escort you to Paro Airport for your departure.
|For Travel during the months of: Mar-May and Sep-Nov||For Travel during the months of: Dec-Feb and Jun-Aug|
|USD 3,370 for 1 person||USD 2,830 for 1 person|
|USD 3,250 per person for 2 person travelers||USD 2,710 per person for 2 person travelers|
|USD 2,890 per person for group of 3 and above||USD 2,350 per person for group of 3 and above|
Other Terms & Conditions :
For the discounted Tour Please Contact us
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