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Day 1 : Arrive at Paro. Drive to Thimphu and Sightseeing in Thimphu.
On your Drukair flight to Bhutan, you will be treated to a spectacular view of the snow capped Himalayan Mountains.
On arrival at Paro International Airport you will be received by Boonserm representatives who will accompany the group throughout the journey. From Paro airport we drive for an hour to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. The road leads through the Paro valley to the confluence of Paro and Thimphu rivers at chuzom (confluence). Three different styles of chortens adorn the confluence. A short way beyond, on the left, is Tachogang Lhakhang, the temple of the excellent horse. It is a private temple, built in 15th century, by the famous Tibetan saint Thangtong Gyalpo who came from Tibet in search of iron ores. After a quick stop at the sight we will continue our drive to Thimphu.
On arrival in Thimphu will be doing some sightseeing by visiting the King's Memorial Stupa, around which elderly Bhutanese in their colourful traditional clothing circum-ambulate the holy structure, while spinning their prayer wheels.
Also visit the Tashichho Dzong, which houses the royal office of the king of Bhutan, a number of important ministries offices and the highest religious authority of the country. Overnight at hotel, Thimphu.
Day 2 : Full day sightseeing in Thimphu
Morning we will drive north to Dodena where we will do an hour hike through a rhododendron forest to Tango Monastery, a monastic school founded around the 12th century and then rebuilt in the 15th century, which today serves as Bhutan's highest Buddhist university.
On the way back to we will visit the Choki Traditional Art School (CTAS), the only charitable art school in the Kingdom, which provides an opportunity for economically disadvantaged students from different parts of Bhutan to obtain training in the preservation of traditional Bhutanese arts and crafts. A presentation by the principal will be organized followed by classroom visits where you can interact with the students and watch them painting, drawing, carving and embroidering.
At the small shop at the school you can also purchase craft items and gifts made by the students.
Later we will also visit the paper making factory where the traditional Bhutanese paper is produced from Daphne plant using the very old typical traditional methods. Overnight at hotel, Thimphu.
Day 3 : Morning sightseeing in Thimphu and drive to Punakha
Morning after breakfast we will drive to Kuensel Phodrang where the gigantic 51 meters tall Shakyamuni Buddha statue overlooking the valley resides.
Then we take a short drive to see the takins, the unique national animal of Bhutan.
After visiting the takin preserve we will visit the Folk heritage Museum founded by Her Majesty the Queen Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuk. The museum is one of a kind that portrays the lifestyle of a genteel family in the Thimphu valley in the olden days.
After lunch head out of town on a spectacular 3 hour drive to Punakha via Dochu La pass at 3100 meters.
At this pass on a clear day we see stunning views of the entire Himalayas and the surrounding valley. After a hot cup of tea and snacks at the café on the pass we continue our drive to the Punakha Valley. Overnight at hotel, Punakha.
Day 4 : Hike to Khamsung Yuellay stupa & Sightseeing in Punakha
Morning drive to Nezigang village and hike to Khamsum yuelley Namgyal Chorten, a shrine built by Her Majesty the Queen, Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuck in 1999. The shrine is perched high on a hill on the opposite bank of the Mo chu river offering superb views of the Punakha valley. The hike is a gradual ascent through cultivated rice fields and little hamlets.
After our hike we will be organizing a picnic lunch by the female river side with beautiful views of the valley. Then we will continue our sightseeing by visiting the Punakha Dzong, built in 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. It stands majestically at the junction of the two rivers – Pho Chu and Mo Chu (the Male and Female rivers). The Punakha Dzong is an architectural wonder and it has played a prominent role in the civil and religious life of the Kingdom. The Dzong had been destroyed four times by fire, earthquake and flood. The Dzong has been now fully restored to its original splendour. The official name of Druk Pungthang Dechen Phodrang translates as "the palace of great happiness."
If time permits we can also visit the Sangchhen Dorji Lhendrup Nunnery. Overnight at Hotel, Punakha.
Day 5 : Drive to Phobjikha. Sightseeing
Morning we will drive to Phobjikha which will take approximately three hours drive.
It is a beautiful glacial valley on the western slopes of the Black Mountains. The approach to Phobjikha valley is through a forest of Oak and Rhododendron.
The only Nyingmapa monastery, Gangtey goemba sits prominently on a hill top. The valley is a designated conservation area and borders on the Black Mountain National Park. Because of the large flock of black-necked cranes (Grus nigricollis) that winter here, it is one of the most important wildlife preserves in the country.
En route take a half-hour walk through mustard fields to Chimi Lhakhang, a monastery and fertility temple dedicated to Lama Drukpa Kuenley, a Tibetan Buddhist saint known popularly as “the divine madman” and considered a folk hero in Bhutan for his unconventional ways.
As part of this fertility cult, this temple is frequented by couples wanting children, who go there to be blessed by a large wooden phallus. Related to this religious notion, one finds phallic symbols all over Bhutan which represents both fertility and protection. Then we will continue our drive to Phobjikha valley.
Later at phobjikha we will visit the Royal Society for the Protection of Nature (RSPN), Crane Observation & Education Center was established in the Phobjikha Valley in 1996 by Bhutan’s government, with assistance from the World Wildlife Fund. The centre studies the conservation needs of the valley and holds workshops for farmers and students. The rare and endangered black-necked crane occupies a special place in Bhutanese hearts and folklore. Overnight at hotel, Phobjikha.
Day 6 : Sightseeing in Phobjikha. Drive to Trongsa
Morning we will first visit the beautiful 17th century Gangtey Goemba and then we will hike along the beautiful Gangtey Nature Trail for approximately 2 hours, we pass through villages, potato fields, stupas and will come across remote farm houses as we walk through the pine forest and into the marsh land.
After lunch in Gangtey, we drive to Trongsa which take approximately 3 to 4 hrs drive. Evening leisure and relaxtion. Overnight at Hotel, Trongsa.
Day 7 : Trongsa Sightseeing and drive to Bumthang
Morning we will visit the magnificent Trongsa Dzong, built in 1648. It is the ancestral home of the royal family of Bhutan. It was around this dzong with its strategic location that the nation of Bhutan was formed. Perched above the Trongsa Dzong is a watch tower, that now serves as a repository/museum, housing some of the most beautiful and interesting pieces of religious and secular arts.
Then drive to Bumthang via Yutong La pass (11,155 ft/3,400 mtr) which will take about three hours drive. Crossing the pass we enter a wide, open, cultivated valley known as Chumey Valley. Before arriving in Bumthang we stop to visit the Yathra sheep wool factory, where we can watch the wool being spun, died and woven. Yathra style weaving is found only in this area.
In addition to being able to buy sweaters, jackets, and a variety of woven goods, this is one of the best shopping experiences in Bhutan. The local shop carries a wide variety of local craft items. Overnight at Hotel, Bumthang.
Day 8 : Full day sightseeing in Bumthang.
Bumthang valley is one of the most sacred valleys in the Kingdom and innumerable legends surround the area. It is here that the kings are cremated and the present royal family traces their ancestry back to the famous saint, Pemalingpa.
Full day sightseeing include visit to Kurje Lhakhang (where the saint Padsambhava subdued a local demon and left his body imprint on a rock), Jampel lhakhang which was built in 7th century, then jakar dzong ( the fortress of white bird) built in 17th century by tenzin rabgay ( the fourth desi).
Later we will also visit a typical Bhutanese farm house to get a glimpse into the lifestyle of a farming family in Bhutan.
A visit to a local traditional farm house will take you right back to the olden days in Bhutan as you enter the farm house you would be greeted by the host family who will first serve you traditional butter tea and snacks made of puffed rice/roasted rice, followed by the locally brewed Ara (Rice Wine) at their warm spacious living room. After interaction and getting to know the family they will show you around their home.
Also try out our national sport archery with the traditional bow and arrow at the farm house. This experience will allow you to immerse with local community and learn about their culture. If you are interested we can also organize a hot stone bath for relaxation at the farm house.
Later if time permits also visit the local beer factory and try out the red panda Weiss beer produced at the factory. Overnight at hotel, Bumthang.
Day 9 : Domestic Flight to Paro. Sightseeing in Paro
Morning after breakfast, we drive to the airport and you will take the beautiful 30 minutes flight to the Paro.
On this short flight you will get breath taking views of the valleys and the Bhutanese mountains.
After arrival in Paro we will visit the National Museum, which showcases our rich flora and fauna, important antique thangkha/scrolls paintings, textiles, gallery of different masks and beautiful old statues. If time permits we will also visit the Rinpung Dzong, built in 17th century to defend valley against Tibetan invaders. It is now used as an administrative centre and home of monastic community.
Towards the evening we can explore the charming town of Paro for shopping and leisure. Overnight at hotel, Paro.
Day 10 : Morning hike to Taktshang Monastery
Today we will hike to the famous Taktshang Monastery “The Tiger's Lair”, the national symbol of Bhutan. Clinging to a black rock face, 900 meters above the valley floor, nestles Taktshang Lhakhang, one of the holiest and the most beautiful site of Bhutan.
Taktshang, the tiger's lair, acquires its name from the legend of its foundation, when in the 8th Century Guru Rinpoche, widely revered as the second Buddha, arrived from Tibet flying across the mountains on the back of a tigress.
The hike to the Monastery is a gradual climb through lush meadows, oak and rhododendron forest, past quaint hamlets, fluttering prayer flags and rotating prayer wheels. The hike takes you about 4-5 hours from the car park.
Evening free time for leisure and shopping.
Day 11 : Depart from Paro
Drive to Paro international Airport. See off by our representatives.
Payment Terms & Methods :
* Some Advance Percentage of total booking amount
* Airfare/Transport fare to be paid full at one time in advance.
Cancellation & Refund Policy :
* Upon cancellation, refund will be made after deducting the Retention Amount.
* Retention Amount varies as per the number of days left before your package start date.
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About Boonserm Tours & Travels
Reviewed: Jul 13, 2018
I am really glad that I chose this agent for booking different types of travel packages. I have joined hands with this company for availing exciting packages few years ago. And, since then I am availing their services as I know they provide the best of all. Also, I recommend this company to every friend and family member of mine.
Chris & Peggy Sellers -
Reviewed: Jul 13, 2018
Our guide, Tandin was exceptional. He brought the culture of Bhutan alive! always able to explain in faultless English. Our tour was thoughtfully planned and organized, yet remained flexible. We can highly recommend Boonserm. From superb local restaurants to archery lessons and even a birthday cake, they made our trip memorable and we would have no hesitation in using them again. From Noah Yorks, UK
Mary Beth & Katie Gwynn Sackso -
Reviewed: Jul 13, 2018
Pre trip, our communication with Boonserm was clear, professional and prompt. It took us a while to finalize our plans and the agency was patient, helpful and accommodating throughout. Once we arrived in Bhutan, our already high expectations were exceeded. We could not have asked for a better guide and driver for our 11 day tour as we were always well taken care of and at ease. We are a mother-daughter travel team with a 41 year age difference. Both of us has a magnificent experience of Bhutan. Thanks to Boonserm Tours & Travels. from Asheville, NC, USA
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