Fly to Paro on Druk Air. From a window seat on clear days you can experience a spectacular view of Himalayan peaks as you approach Paro. On arrival you will be received by our representative, and then drive to Thimphu, which will be approximately 1.5 hrs drive. Thimphu is situated at an elevation of 2500 meters / 8200ft. Overnight at hotel in Thimphu.
Visit King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk Memorial Chorten, Dupthop Lhakhang ( Monastery for the nuns), National Library, the Painting School where traditional art is still kept alive through instructions in the art of painting Thangkhas ( sacred Buddhist religious scrolls), and the Medicine Institute where traditional medicines are prepared according to ancient practices. After lunch you will visit Lungtenzampa to observe the traditional silver smiths plying at their crafts and tour the Bhutanese traditional paper factory. Return back to town to visit the handicraft stores and stroll around the tiny capital city. Overnight at Hotel.
Leaving Thimphu the road climbs steeply through a forest of pine and cedar, festooned with hanging lichen high up near Dochula pass (3,050 m). This pass offers panoramic views of the Himalayan mountain ranges. Your car will drop you at the mule track, from where you will hike through the Rhododendron, Magnolia, juniper and pine forest with chirping sounds of the many rare species of birds that are found in Bhutan. Your picnic lunch will be served at a good spot. You will then be driven to Lobesa where you will make another hike to Chimi Lhakhang Temple on small hill. This temple is dedicated to the great Yogi in 14th century known as Drukpa Kuenley or popularly known as "Divine madman" to the westerners. We will proceed to old Punakha town to view the majestic Dzong ( fortress), situated between the two rivers Pho Chu and Mochu (male and Female River). This fortress is now used as the winter seat of the Je Khenpo ( the Spiritual head of Bhutan). In the past this Dzong was the capital seat of the Kingdom. Evening drive back to Thimphu.
After breakfast drive to Haa, the drive is through terraced rice field, apple orchards. Make several stops during the drive to visit a farm house or to talk with small school going children who would be very excited to practice their few words of English with you. Afternoon sightseeing around the Haa valley. Overnight at family run guest house.
After breakfast our car will shuttle us to Yangtong, where we will meet our porters and trekking crews. After an hour of baggage loading and arranging we will start our trek. It is a steep climb to Yangtong Gompa set on a hilltop. This big temple surrounded by a few houses is believed to be 300 years old and is dedicated to Guru Rinpochey and his eight manifestations. From here it is more or less a level trail through pine forest which will bring you back to the main trail to the valley below Saga La (La – Pass). Here the Makhang River flows through the region called Talung, consisting of three beautiful villages known as Tsenka Gom, Tsenka Wom and Langlo. The track winds along the farmland that is fenced with cobblestone walls to protect the farmland from wild animals. We will climb to a wooden bridge, Chagdo Zam, cross more meadows and some forests until you reach a rock with twin eyes and a distorted mouth. It is believed that a Tibetan saint known as Thangtong Gyalpo, in the 14th century subdued the Nyela Demon and turned it into this rock. Ever since, the travelers using this trail have walked across without any fear of the Demon. This holy rock is located in the Khadey Gom meadow, where tonight's camp is situated.
After breakfast we start a gradual hike for about 1 hour through meadows and coniferous forest followed by 2 hour climb to the Saga La Pass 12,200 feet. It is customary to take a gift for the pass, so either pick a rock or break off a twig/flower to pile it on the mini stupa built by thousands of former travelers. Once you reach the top of the pass, shout "Lhagyelo" (God be victorious) and you will be blessed. During a good weather there is spectacular view from both sides of the Pass, The view towards Paro (east) includes Mount Jhomolhari (23,993 feet), Mount Chaterake (18,270 feet) and below in the valley the Drukgyal Dzong and the sacred Tiger's Nest Monastery. Looking to the west the peaks of Haa forming the borders with Tibet can be seen. From the Pass it is good two hours downhill hike through mixed conifers and rhododendrons, the camp is set at an open meadow at Dongney Tsho, surrounded with tall firs. To the left is the black Choshola mountain, a holy place from which a lake escaped.
After breakfast we start our hike steep downhill for about 1.5 hours until we are at Genchu Zam (Bridge). The hike is through thick vegetation with chances of encountering laughing thrushes, magpies, nutcrackers and pheasants. You will cross a beautiful village comprised of eight households and a temple at the left side of the trail known as Chodeyphu, set picturesquely at the base of Mount Lamp Baja (Foggy Mountain, inhabited by mountain goats) Another 1 hour will bring you to Balkan Chu where the ancient Haa Planters' Trail ends. From the road head you will be picked by your car and shuttle to your hotel.
After breakfast your car will drop you at the starting point of the excursion to view the spectacular Taktsang monastery (Tiger's lair). The trail to the monastery climbs through beautiful pine forest, many of the trees festooned with Spanish moss, and an occasional grove of fluttering prayer flags. You stop at the cafeteria for a rest and refreshments and continue the hike (if not tired) for short while until you see, clearly and seemingly within reach, the remains of Taktsang monastery. Built in 1600s, this incredible monastery clings to the edge of a sheer rock cliff that plunges 900 meters into the valley below. The history states that Guru Padmasambhava, the Tantrum mystic who brought Buddhism to Bhutan, landed here on the back of a flying tiger. Looking at the monastery flying tigers doesn't seem so impossible after all. Lunch will be served at the cafeteria. Overnight at Hotel.
Morning drive to Paro International Airport for departure to your onward destination.
Note: This is a sample intended to give you a general idea of the likely trip schedule numerous factors such as weather, tour conditions, the physical ability of the participants etc., may dictate itinerary changes either before departure or while on the tour. We reserve the right to change this schedule in the interest of the trip participants' safety, comfort and general well being. RATES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.
Surcharges: Individual tourists and smaller groups of less than three persons shall be subject to surcharge, over and above the minimum daily rates applicable, as follows:
Single individual US$ 40 per night
Group of 2 persons US$ 30 per person per night
Clear passport scanned and in colour of the tourist should be sent to us at least 30 days in advance. Best to send a scanned photo too if passport is not clear.
On receiving the tour payment, we shall process the visa on behalf of the tourist and we will advise the visa approval document to the agent/tourist by scanned image in email to board the flight.
We will also book, purchase and deliver the Druk Air tickets on behalf of our guest. Actual visa is stamped on the visitor's passport on arrival at the port of entry.
Note: (The Government will process the visa only on depositing the full tour payment with them)
There will be no discounts for diplomatic passport holders.
There shall be no charge for CHILDREN up to the age of 5 years except for actual expenses. However, those between the ages of 6-12 years accompanied by elders/ guardians shall be given 50% discount.
Full time STUDENTS below the age of 25 years holding valid identity cards and date of birth from their academic institutions shall also be given a 25% discount.
Detailed information on Druk Air flights, tour and trekking programmes, festivals, places of interest, hotels etc can be obtained from us.
Tour/Trek Reservation: For Cultural Tours and Trekking, booking arrangements and planning must be completed at least 3 months in advance for regular season and at least 4 months in advance for peak/festival season. The spring and autumn festivals are our peak times for tourism, and without early reservations it can be difficult to confirm flights and hotels.
BTS offers your clients a choice of the finest and best organized trekking experiences in the entire Himalayas.
If our packages cannot find one that suits your interest we can always work out with customized Tour/Trek depending upon the interest and duration of you or your groups, please contact us at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Payment Procedure: Advance payment in full for the entire tour package must be sent to Bhutan Travel Service at least 3 months prior to arrival. It is advisable to remit payment for Druk Air flights 4/5 months in advance or at the time of booking. This will help us to obtain confirmed seats on the requested flights.
Payment is done through wire transfers; we do not have credit card facility in Bhutan for tour payments.
Full tour Payment has to be transferred (wired) on confirming your Bhutan Visit with us to the following account of our Bank - Bhutan National Bank, maintained at Citi Bank, New York.
Bank charges are additional on the above amount.
Please request your bank to remit money through Bhutan National Bank Ltd., Correspondent Bank as follows:
Bank Address : Standard Chartered Bank Ltd.,
(Correspondent Bank) One Madison Avenue, New York,
SWIFT Code: SCBLUS33
CHIPS ABA: 0256
FED ABA: 026002561
Beneficiary Bank Account : 358-202-171-9001 (USD A/C)
Beneficiary Bank : Bhutan National Bank, P.O Box 439,
GPO Building, Chang Lam, Thimphu, Bhutan
SWIFT Code: BNBTBTBT
Beneficiary/Ultimate Beneficiary : Account No.13841004 of Bhutan Travel Service maintained with BNB, Thimphu, Bhutan
NOTE: PLEASE SEND US A REMMITTANCE COPY FOR ALL TRANSFERS.
Cancellation Policy: Tour Programmes booked and subsequently cancelled shall be subject to cancellation charges as follows:
within 30 days of start of programme ---> no charges except for actual assessment
within 21 days --> 50% of rate
within 14 days and after arrival in Bhutan ----> 100% of rate after arrival in Bhutan
Flights booked and cancelled 30 days or more from travel date, 75% refund but no administration fee. 50% refund between 30 - last 10days from travel date, no refund if cancelled within last 10 days from travel date but valid for one year with additional costs.
Administrative fee of USD 25 applicable per cancellation.
USD 10 or equivalent local currency for every date change.
No name change permitted once booking is made on the same PNR.
Delayed Arrivals: There is no charge for delays in arrival and departure because of weather conditions disrupting flights or road blocks. The tourist must however bear the cost of food, accommodation, transportation, and other services required.
Note: Nepali rupees and Thai Baht and INR (Indian Rupees) denominations of 500 and above are not accepted in Bhutan.
Mr Mr. Karma Khorko