BHUTAN TOUR: 10 DAYS TOUR
Days: 11 Nights - 10 Days
CPAI Off Season
|Category||02 PAX||04 PAX||06 PAX||08 PAX||SRS||Extra Bed||CNB|
MAPAI Off Season
|Category||02 PAX||04 PAX||06 PAX||08 PAX||SRS||Extra Bed||CNB|
Meeting & greeting upon arrival at Bhutan’s border town of Phuentsholing. The gateway to the south, Phuentsholing is a thriving commercial centre on the northern edge of the Indian plains. Situated at the base of Himalayan foothills, Phuentsholing is a fascinating mixture of Indian and Bhutanese, a perfect example of mingling of people and their culture. Rest of the day free at leisure.
Evening visit to Zangtho Pelri Lhakhang, the temple representing heaven of Guru Rinpoche. Then take a stroll around town and local market. Overnight at the Hotel.
Day 02: Phuentsholing – Thimphu Drive: Approx 180 Kms/06 Hrs
Morning after buffet breakfast at the hotel drive to Thimphu, the modern capital town of Bhutan situated at the altitude of 2,400m. 4 km ahead of Phuentsholing, visit Kharbandi Goemba, the beautiful monastery built by Royal Grand Mother. After visiting continue drive to Thimphu & en route visit Simtokha Dzong the oldest fortress of the Kingdom which now houses the School for religious and cultural studies. Evening free at leisure. Overnight at the Hotel.
Day 03: In Thimphu
Morning after buffet breakfast at the hotel visit to National Memorial Chorten: The building of this landmark was envisaged by the third king, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, as a monument to world peace and prosperity. Completed in 1974 after his untimely death, it is both a memorial to the Late King (“the Father of modern Bhutan”) and a monument to world peace. The paintings and statues inside the monument provide a deep insight into Buddhist philosophy. Overnight at the Hotel.
Day 04: Thimphu – Punakha (Wangduephodrang) Drive: Approx 77 Kms/ 03 Hrs
Morning after buffet breakfast at the hotel Punakha an old winter capital of Bhutan. En-route stop at Dochu LaPass, 10,000ft/3,048m to view the eastern Himalayas, including Bhutan's highest mountain, Gangkar Punsum, 24,770ft/7,550m. The road then drops down through varied –ever changing forest, finally emerging into the highly cultivated Punakha valley.
Afternoon you will make a short trek to visit the Crown Prince's chorten and nearby villages. You return on a different route through the village to Sonagasa (the King’s winter residence) and through to Punakha Dzong, following the Mo chu river. You will meet the vehicle and visit huge impressive Punakha Dzong.
Punakha Dzong: Its proper name is Pungthang Dechen Phodrang, which means the Palace of Great Happiness. The Dzong is located on the confluence of Phochu and Mochu rivers and was constructed by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1637-38 near Dzongchung or the little Dzong, built in 1328 by Ngagi Rinchen (which can be still seen opposite the main Dzong). The Dzong was damaged by flood, earth quake and several times by fire and was rebuilt each time to its original grandeur. The Dzong houses the most sacred relics of the Drukpa Kagyu school including the Rangjung Kasarpani, and the mummified remains of Zhabdrung Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, who passed away here in 1651. In 1907 (on 17 Dec) Punakha Dzong was the site of the coronation of Ugyen Wangchuck as the first King of Bhutan. It is the district administrative center of Punakha Dzongkhag and the winter home of Bhutan's Central Monastic Body led by HH the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot).
Khamsum Yuley Chorten: Khamsum Yuley Namgay Chorten was built in 1990s and took period of nearly 10 years. It was built by Queen Mother and dedicated to the King and for the well being of Bhutanese. It majestically located on a ridge, with amazing views of the country side. It is one of the finest Bhutanese architects. It is located in idyllic countryside north of Punakha, about 30 minutes drive from town. From the parking, it is another 45 minutes uphill walk through the rice fields and the return portion downhill takes around 30 minutes. In the summer or during the rainfall, the trails could be muddy and slippery. After return walk back, there is an option to walk along the riverside, following the ancient trail that goes through farmlands, homes, Sonagasa village and arrive near Punakha Dzong. This extra walk takes another two hours or so. It is particularly interesting for those interested in birding and to enjoy the walk viewing the countryside. Overnight at hotel, Punakha / Wangduephodrang.
Day 05: Punakha – Gangtey (Phoibjikha) Drive: Approx 78 Kms/03 Hrs
Morning after buffet breakfast at the hotel drive east (3 hrs) on a spectacular road over Dochula pass (3050m) and descend into low lying Wangdu valley. Then drive up the Black-mountains area into Phojikha valley (2hrs). En-route; at Dochula pass, we stop to view the panorama of east Himalayan peaks. In Wangdue, stop to stroll around its interesting township and also stop to view villages, vegetations etc. along the way to Phobjikha. In the afternoon, visit the ancient Gangtey monastery and take a nature in the valley (1-2hours). (Due to conservation measure, there is no electricity in the valley. The hotel uses generator during the evenings and it is turned off after dinner. Hot water is provided in the bucket). From the mid October till about mid-march, Phobjikha valley is the winter roosting ground for the rare and endangered black-necked cranes.)
Gangtey in Phobjikha Valley: Gangtey or Phobjikha at an average altitude of 3,000m is a wide and beautiful valley, designated as conservation zone within the Jigme Singye Wangchuk National Park (formerly known as Black Mountains National Park) is a natural habitat for wildlife, including nesting grounds for endangered black-necked cranes that migrate from Central Asia in the winter (late October and stay till March). Because of the conservation measures, there is no electricity in the valley. The lodges use solar powered cells or generator to light which is turned of after dinner. Hot water is provided in the bucket and rooms are heated with wood stoves. Underground electrification is planned and expected to be completed by 2011. Gangtey is the name for hilltop village and its monastery. The valley is known as Phobjikha and falls under Wangdue Dzongkhag.
Gangtey Gompa Monastery: It sits atop a hillock that overlooks the Phobjikha valley. It is headed by the ninth Gangtey Trulku and is the largest Nyingma monastery in western Bhutan. It was founded in 1613 by Gyalse Pema Thinlay, a grandson and reincarnation of influential treasure finder Pema Lingpa. An incarnate line of Pema Thinlay, representing the body aspects of Pema Lingpa, contrasted with mind and speech emanations. The monastery has been recently built and surrounding the monastery are village homes and hermitages.
Black-necked Crane: Or Thrung Trung Karmo' as this bird is passionately known in Bhutan is subject of many Bhutanese songs and folklore. They are seen among the painting on the walls of temples and Thankga. These endangered species of cranes migrate from Tibet in late autumn and typically stay till the mid march. The wetland in the center of Phobjikha valley provides the nesting grounds and natural habitat for these black necked cranes. Black Necked Crane Information Centre is situated on the edge of the forest and wetland along the main road of Phobjikha valley, has an observation room equipped with high power telescope and spotting scopes for catching the best view of the cranes. The centre also offers display information that outline the natural and cultural history of the area. There is a small gift shop, which sells handicrafts produced by the local people, that local people can benefit from ecotourism. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 06: Gangtey (Phoibjikha) - Bhumtang Drive: Approx 188 Kms/05-06 Hrs
Morning after an early buffet breakfast at the hotel drive east across Pele la pass to Trongsa (2-3hr) and continue drive across Youtongla pass into Jakar in Bumthang (2hr).
Bumthang: Bumthang is one the most historic district, if the number of ancient temples and sacred sites is counted, and therefore it is sometimes called the spiritual and cultural heartland of Bhutan. Bumthang consists of the four valleys of Ura, Chumey, Tang and Choekhor, although often the entire district is known as Bumthang. Jakar town (2800m) is located in spacious tree covered Choekhor valley and is the capital, and center of four valleys of Bumthang district. Almost all the hotels are also located here and most significant Buddhist sites are also located nearby. The current bazaar or town is a single lane street of mostly wooden houses and the area called Chamkhar. There are plans to relocate the town. Bumthang is famous throughout Bhutan for its distinctive and brightly colored woven wool items called Yathra. Bumthang farms yield buckwheat, dairy products, honey and apples among other products. The Bumthangkha is the widely spoken dialect here and differs from Dzongkha and other dialects spoken in the rest of the country Bumthang is the general name given to combination of four valleys – Chumey, Choekhor, Tang and Ura with altitude varying from 2,600m to 4,000m. It is home to many of prominent Buddhist temples and monasteries. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 07: In Bhumtang
Morning after buffet breakfast at the hotel visit to Kurje Lhakhang, where the saint Padmasambhava subdued a local demon and left his body imprint on a rock., the Jambey Lhakhang (7th century temple), Tamshing Lhakhang (housing some of the oldest wall paintings in Bhutan) and Jakar Dzong (administrative center of the region). Stroll in the village, visit the little handicrafts shop at the entrance to the town, and perhaps take refreshments at a local restaurant. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 08: Bhumtang – Punakha/Wangdi Drive: Approx 212 Kms/08 Hrs
Morning after buffet breakfast at the hotel drive to Punakha. From the township of Jakar, you first climb out of the Bumthang valleys on the twisting mountain road towards the Yotong La (11,000ft/3,353m). Near the pass is an area of wild cane/bamboos that is a well-known habitat for Red Panda. The road then descends to Tongsa but instead of stopping here for the night you will drive on, past Chendebji Stupa, over the Pele La (11,000ft/3,353m) and start the descent until you reach your hotel located on the bank of the river. Overnight at hotel, Punakha / Wangduephodrang.
Day 09: Punakha – Paro Drive: Approx 143 Kms/05 Hrs
Morning after buffet breakfast at the hotel drive to Paro. En route visit to Simtokha Dzong. This dzong, built in 1627 is the oldest in Bhutan. It now houses the Institute for Language and Culture Studies.
Upon arrival transfer to hotel. Rest of the day free at leisure. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 10: In Paro
Morning after buffet breakfast at the hotel visit to Ta Dzong Dzong (Sun, Mon Govt holiday closed), which in the past served as watchtower for Paro Dzong (Rinpung Dzong) (Open 10-4pm - closed on Monday). Then walk down the trail to visit Rinpung Dzong, built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal , the first spiritual and temporal ruler of Bhutan, the Dzong houses the monastic body of Paro, the office of the Dzongda (district administrative head) and Thrimpon (judge) of Paro district. The approach to the Dzong is through a traditional covered bridge called Nemi Zam. A walk through the bridge, over a stone inlaid path, offers a good view of the architectural wonder of the Dzong as well as life around it. It is also the venue of Paro Tshechu, held once a year in the spring. Overnight at the Hotel.
Day 11: Paro - Phuentsholing Drive: Approx 176 Kms/06 Hrs
Morning after buffet breakfast at the hotel drive to Phuentsholling. En route stop at Chuzom, the confluence of Paro and Thimpu rivers with three different style of stupas adorn this confluence - Drive further through Chapcha and later take glimpse of famous Chukha Dam and the magnificent Vince waterfall before Gedu town. Upon arrival proceed for check-in at hotel. The evening is free for leisure and shopping. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 12: Phuentsholing Departure
Morning after buffet breakfast at the hotel transfer to Phuentsholig border for onward journey.
Note: Check in time at the International airport in India is 03 Hrs prior to the departure flight schedule.
HOTEL ENVISAGED IN TOUR
|Luxury||Ziwa Ling Hotel||Taj Tashi||Dhensa Resort||Gangtey Gompa Lodge||Yu Garling||Druk Hotel / Bhutan Residence|
|Deluxe||Udumwara Resort||Khang Residency / Namgey Heritage||Kunzang Zhing||Dewachen / Yo Lo Koe||Swiss Guest House||Lhaki / Orchid|
|Superior||Tashi Namgey / Metta Resort /Olathang||Kisa / Migmar / Jumolhari / Bhutan Suites||Pema Karpo / Damchen / Meri Punsum||Dewachen / Yo Lo Koe||Wangdi Choling (Ygyenling)||Lhaki / Orchid|
|Standard||Bongde Gompa / Tashi Phuntsho / Tashi Lhadling||Phuntsho Pelri / Riverview / Wagchuk Resort||Pema Karpo / Damchen / Meri Punsum||Gakling||River Lodge / Kalia Guest House||Lhaki / Orchid|
Tour Cost Includes
- Total no. of hotel nights in Bhutan as per mentioned in the program using base category rooms with daily breakfast & dinner at the hotel.
- Local English speaking guide during the sightseeing.
- All transfers, sightseeing’s & excursions by an private Non A/c vehicle i.e. Santa Fe – 1-2 pax; Hiace – 3-8 Pax; Coaster – 9 pax and above
- Necessary permits to visit Bhutan.
- Road taxes, parking fee, fuel charges, interstate taxes. Any hikes in these fee / taxes will be extra.
Tour Cost Excludes
- Any expenses of personal nature such as table drinks, laundry, telephone calls, mineral water, soft drinks, tips, shopping etc.
- Monument entrance fee during the sightseeing approx. Rs. 250 – 350 per person.
- Festival period supplements at hotels if any in Bhutan.
- Any other meals / services not mentioned in the program.
- Any air fare.
- Govt. Service Tax @ 3.09%
- Indian nationals must possess a valid Indian Passport with minimum 06 month validity or voter ID card however children’s below 12 Yrs can travel with their school photo ID card accompanied with birth certificate in original.
- To visit places other than Paro & Thimphu, a road permit is required for which guests shall have to personally visit immigration office in Thimphu along with our guide on any working day.
- Check in time is 1400 Hrs / check out time is 1200 Noon at the Hotels except few hotels / cities.
- All drive times are approximate and are subject to change.
- Vehicle shall be strictly as per the itinerary & not on disposal, vehicle after 6 pm would attract additional charges.
- For International flight check-in time is 03 hours before the departure time.