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  • Package Name :- The Grand Bhutan Tour
  • Duration :- 18 Days / 17 Nights
  • Trip Difficulty Level :- Easy

The Grand Bhutan Tour

Paro l Thimphu l Punakha l Phobjikha l Trongsa l Bumthang l Mongar l Trashigang l Trashiyangtse l Lh

The Grand Bhutan Tour

Trip Length:  18 Days / 17 Nights

Days

 Activities

 Overnight

Day One

  Arrive at Paro. Drive to Thimphu and sightseeing in Thimphu.

 Thimphu

Day Two

  Full day sightseeing in Thimphu.

 Thimphu

Day Three

  Thimphu to Punakha. Punakha Sightseeing

 Punakha

   Day Four

 Full day sightseeing in Punakha.

Punakha

Day Five

 Punakha to Gangtey. Sightseeing.

Gangtey

Day Six

Gantey to Trongsa. Sightseeing in Trongsa.

Trongsa

Day Seven

  Trongsa to Bumthang.

  Bumthang

Day Eight

  Full day Sightseeing in Bumthang.

  Bumthang

Day Nine

  Bumthang to Mongar.

  Mongar

Day Ten

  Mongar to Tashigang. Sightseeing

 Tashigang

Day Eleven

  Tashigang Sightseeing

 Tashigang

Day Twelve

  Day excursion to Tashiyangtsi

 Tashiyangtsi

Day Thirteen

  Tashigang to Mongar.

 Mongar

Day Fourteen

 Day excursion to Khoma weaving village

 Mongar

Day Fifteen

 Mongar to Bumthang

 Bumthang

Day Sixteen

 Domestic flight from Bumthang to Paro.

 Paro

Day Seventeen

 Hike to Taktshang Monastery

 Paro

Day eighteen

 Depart

 

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1/Arrive at Paro . Then drive to Thimphu and sightseeing.

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/Full day 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.  If you are interested we can also organize a hot stone bath for relaxation at the farm house. 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 Bumthang Sightseeing

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/Bumthang to Mongar.

After breakfast, drive to Ura village and visit Ura Lhakhang and then continue drive to Mongar. The journey from Bumthang to Mongar is one of the most beautiful in the Himalayas crossing the 3,800metres high Trumshingla pass. Mongar marks the beginning of the eastern Bhutan.  It is the second largest town in the sub- tropical east. The steepness of the region lends itself to some spectacular views, with rushing waterfalls and sheer drops. The drive on this is an exhilarating 8 hours from Thrumshing La once again you will see the spectacular views of the Himalayan range on the clear day. Later at Monger you can walk around the busy town of Mongar. Overnight at hotel, Mongar.

Day 10/Mongar to Tashigang. Sightseeing

Tashigang lies 92 kilometers from Mongar, which is about 5 to 6 hours drive. This is the largest district in Bhutan and it lies in the Far East on the banks of the river Gamri Chu. It was once the centre of a busy trade with Tibet. Today it is the junction of the east west highway with road connecting to Samdrupjongkhar and then to the Indian state of Assam. The nomadic people from Merak and Sakteng who are remarkable for their exceptional features and costumes use this town as their market place mostly during winter. Overnight at hotel, Tashigang.

Day 11/Tashigang Sightseeing

Morning after breakfast we will start our sightseeing by visiting the Tashigang Dzong ( Fortress) built in 1659, the Dzong serves as the administrative seat for the district as well as the home of the monk body. The Dzong commands a remarkable view over the surrounding countryside. We will also visit Radhi village which is famous for raw silk, which is known as bura and you can also witness women weaving raw silk. Overnight at hotel, Tashigang.

Day 12/Day excursion to Tashiyangtsi

Trashiyangtse. Trashiyangtse is also home to the Black Necked Crane especially in Bumdeling.  This is the eastern most part of Bhutan and borders Arunachal Pradesh in India. The people from Trashiyangtse are known for making wooden bowls and containers, which are said to be best in Bhutan. Just below the town is the Chorten Kora, one of the main attractions in this valley. It is a great stupa built in 1740 and modeled on the style of the Boudhnath Stupa in Nepal. Its annual tsechu (religious festival) attracts enormous crowds. Along the way to Tashi Yangtse you will stop at the Gom Kora temple, behind which is a large black rock. It is said that Guru Rimpoche meditated in a cave and we can see the impression of his thumb, his hat, and his body print on the rock. Visit the Dzong and explore the Tashi Yangtse town. Drive back to Tashigang. Overnight at hotel,Tashigang.

Day 13/Tashigang to Mongar

Morning after breakfast we will drive back to Mongar. In the afternoon, take a leisurely stroll in the main market in Mongar and interact with the locals.

Day 14/Day excursion to Khoma weaving village

Today we will drive to Khoma weaving village where you can see a lot of Bhutanese weaver as the eastern side of Bhutan is known for their intricate works in weaving. The khoma village is particularly well know for their Kishuthara weaving which used to be mainly worn by the royals in the olden days. You will also visit the giant statue of Guru Rinpoche which is overlooking the Tangmachu valley and it was built to bring peace and stability in the region. The work of art is particularly amazing inside the giant Guru statue which includes paintings, wood carvings and intricate embroidery work. Overnight at hotel in Mongar.

Day 15/Mongar to Bumthang

Morning drive back to Bumthang. The drive between Mongar and Bumthang is very spectacular with chances of sighting many interesting wildlife such as golden langur, red panda, deer and many himalayan bird species particularly the beautiful tragopan, himalayan monal and blood phasant. You will also see many beautiful waterfalls, remote villages where people are working in the farm. Overnight at hotel in Bumthang.

Day 16/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 17/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 18/Depart from Paro

Drive to Paro international Airport.  See off by our representatives.

Accomodation Detail

Thimphu : Namgay Heritage Hotel or Tashi Yoedling

Paro : Tashi Namgay Resort or Hotel Gangtay Palace

Punakha : Hotel Meri Phuensum or Drubchu Resort

Gangtey : Hotel Dewachen or Yuloke

Trongsa : Yangkhil Resort or Phuenzhi Guest House

Bumthang : Gongkhar Guest House or Wangdicholing Guest House

Mongar : Wangchuk Hotel

Trashigang : Druk Doetjung  or Lingkhar Lodge

Note : Please note that the above hotel will be based on availability at the time of confirming your trip. In the event the above hotels are not available, we will provide hotel in similar catagory.

Price Details

High Season(Mar,Apr,May,Sep,Oct & Nov)

  • One Person :  $4930.00
  • Two Person :  $4760.00
  • Three Person :  $4250.00

Lean Season(Dec,Jan,Feb,Jun,Jul & Aug)

  • One Person :  $4080.00
  • Two Person :  $3910.00
  • Three Person :  $3400.00

Cost includes:  

  • Bhutan Government Royalty & Taxes
  • Accommodation in Standard Tourist Hotels
  • All Meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
  • A licensed English-speaking guide
  • An experienced driver with comfortable private vehicle
  • Bhutan visa fees
  • Entrance fees to all museums & monuments
  • Mineral water
  • Evening Tea/Snacks

Cost does not include:  

  • Drinks and Beverages
  • Tips/Gratitude
  • Personal Insurance
  • Flight ticket To/From Bhutan
  • Domestic flight from Bumthang to Paro (USD 180 per pax )

Route Map

www.welcome2bhutan.com

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