Remote Bhutan first allowed the world a peek inside in 1974. With four millennia of habitation, the Himalayan kingdom offers a trove of archaeological treasures, including many ornate temples and dzong fortresses. Isolation has preserved the heavily Buddhist-influenced culture of the last Shangri-La.
Guides & Suggested Itineraries
Our first tip: always go to your guide for discussions big and small. Whetheryou’re a fast walker/climber, prefer going slow to have a feel of the land,
wish to swap a place out for another – do share, so we’ve time to make arrangements. Do note that your final itinerary is still subject to changes,
perhaps due to ad-hoc local events or weather conditions etc.
Two: We realize that our longer itinerary providewider options for travellers who prefer variety to their stay in Bhutan. Instead of going for another
monastery,you can go for a trek. Instead of going for a trek,you can visit a Museum. We suggest that you use your itinerary as a guide rather than a
fixed schedule. Unexpected stuffs always happen in Bhutan.
Three: Yours is an exclusive holiday, not to be combined with other groups at any point of stay. This explains the freedom to be flexible on this trip of a
lifetime – time and weather permitting, and to the final professional discretion ofyour guide.
Elevation: 2334m | Drive Time ~1.5 hour
Welcome to Bhutan, the Land of the Thunder Dragon. Touching down at Paro International Airport, you will be greeted by your guide
upon exiting the arrival hall. Today, we will take it easy to acclimatise to the altitude. Drive to Thimphu, check in to the hotel and lets
have your first taste of Bhutanese cuisine.
Simply Bhutan [1 hours] - Simply Bhutan is an interactive living museum that gives an introduction to Bhutanese traditions.
There’s also a café that dishes nosh that locals eat at home. [Opening hour Summer 09.00 AM - 17.00 PM, Winter 10.00 AM - 16.00
Buddha Point [1 hours] - Located at Kuenselphodrang Nature Park, the 51.5-metre-tall bronze statue of Buddha Dordenma, Vajra
Throne Buddha is one of the largest statues of Buddha in the world. The Buddha Dordenma symbolises indestructibility, and is said
to emanate peace and happiness to the world.
National Memorial Chorten [1 hours] - Meet the elderly generation in circumambulation at the National Memorial Chorten.
Chorten means ‘Seat of Faith’ and Buddhists often call such monuments, the ‘Mind of Buddha’. Treat yourself with the fantastic
depiction of Buddhist teachings in the form of paintings and sculptures at this temple. As the name denotes this National Memorial
Chorten was consecrated on July 28, 1974, in memory of the Third King.
Simtokha Dzong [1 hours] - Five miles from Thimphu, on a lofty ridge, stroll through the very first dzong, built in 1627 by
Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. The Institute for Language and Cultural Studies is located here now. Enthral yourself with the most
noteworthy artistic feature in from of over 300 finely worked slate carvings behind the prayer wheels in the courtyard.
Walk Around Thimphu Town [1 hours] - Shop and walk around Thimphu town.Thimphu is the most modern city in Bhutan with
an abundance of restaurants, cafes, shops and nightclubs. However, it still retains its cultural identity and values amidst the signs of
Elevation: 2334m | Drive Time ~N/A
Situated at an altitude of 2400m, Thimphu is the centre of government, religion and commerce. The capital has an interesting
combination of tradition and modernity and includes some of the most advanced and remotest parts of the kingdom. The Thimphu
Tshechu, as all Tshechu festivals, honours Padma Sambhawa, also known as Guru Rimpoche, the precious yogi and saint who is
credited with having introduced Tantric Buddhism throughout the Himalayas.
Tashichhodzong (Thimphu Dzong) [1 hours] - The “fortress of the glorious religion” was first constructed in 1641 and restored
by the Third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck in the 1960s. Tashichhodzong houses the offices of some ministries, His Majesty’s
secretariat, and the central monastic body. Opening hour: Weekday 05:00 PM - 06:00 PM Weekend 09:00 AM - 06:00 PM Winter 04:00
PM - 06:00 PM
Centenary Farmers' Market [1 hours] - Most of the Thimphu population congregate on the banks of Wangchhu River where the
weekend market is held. Villagers from the Valley and other nearby places come to sell their wide range of agriculture products in the
market. The market is by far the largest domestic market in Bhutan. A visit to the market provides great photo opportunities, as well
as the chance to mingle with local people and perhaps buy souvenirs. [Operating hour: Every Fridays to Sundays 07:00 AM - 07:00
Sangaygang (BBS Tower) [2 hours] - Drive about 15 minutes from the main city to a hillock where the Bhutan Broad Casting
Tower is stationed. From there you can relish the beautiful scene of the whole of Thimphu City. On the way up or down from the
hillock, you can also see Takin the national animal of Bhutan. It is also possible to request for the early morning walk up to this
Takin Enclosure [2 hours] - On the way to the viewpoint over Thimphu is the home of Bhutan’s national animal, the Takin, a
strange looking beast some say looks like a bee-stung moose.
Elevation: 1242m | Drive Time ~2.5 hours
We will set off early from Thimphu after breakfast. Then proceed to Punakha, the ancient capital of Bhutan, about 2 1/2 hours drive
from Thimphu across Dochu-la pass. Once you cross the pass, you wind down into a warm fertile valley and meander along a gently
flowing aquamarine river that leads you to the Punakha Dzong, the second dzong to be built in Bhutan.
Dochula Pass [1 hours] - At 3,100 metres, this beautiful pass located on the way to Punakha from Thimphu offers stunning 360-
degree panoramas of the Himalayas mountain range. Here you will also see 108 chortens built by Her Majesty The Queen Mother
Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck. The pass is a popular spiritual destination for both locals and tourists.
Pho Chhu Suspension Bridge [1 hours] - At 160 metres, this is known as the longest suspension bridge in Bhutan. From here, you
will get spectacular views of Punakha Dzong and the Pho Chhu Valley.
Punakha Dzong [1-2 hours] - Located strategically at the junction of the Pho Chu and Mo Chu rivers, the Dzong was built in 1637
by the Great Unifer of Bhutan as the religious and administrative seat of the region. It was here that the dual system of government in
Bhutan was introduced in the 17th century. The first King Gongsar Ugyen Wangchuck was crowned here in 1907. Damaged by four
fires and an earthquake over the centuries, the Dzong was fully restored in recent years by the 4th King Jigme Singye Wangchuck. It is
now the winter home of Je Khenpo, the head abbot of Bhutan, along with a retinue of 1,000 monks. Marvel over intricate woodwork
by the best craftsmen in Bhutan. Visiting Window: Summer Timing: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm Winter Timing: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Chimi Lhakhang [1 hours] - Also known as the Fertility Temple, this monastery is located in the beautiful village of Sopsokha. It
stands on a small hill close to the village of Lobesa and was constructed in 1499 by Ngawang Choegyel, the 14th Drukpaheirarch.
This monastery is dedicated to Lama Drukpa Kunley, the 'Divine Madman', known for his risqué behavior. The footpath to Chimi
Lhakhang meanders through beautiful terraces of paddy fields. The walk across the fields takes about 30 minutes. Many have been
blessed with children after praying at the temple. Visiting Window 9:00 A.M to 12:00 NOON 2:00 P.M to 4:00 P.M
Rest in Punakha [0 hours] - Check in to hotel and rest for the night
Elevation: 1242m | Drive Time ~N/A
Khamsum Yuley Temple [3 hours] - [Duration 2 hour, 1 hour to ascend and 1 hour to descend] There is no temple in Bhutan built
elaborately as this. This fascinating temple was built by the Queen Mother of the 5th King to bring universal peace in this world. The
best of the spiritual art works are painted on the inner walls. There are also paintings of Buddhist teachers and tutelary deities of the
country. This is a great temple to study the symbolic meanings from frescoes and sculptures.The Chorten is situated along a hill up
the valley and can be reached after a leisurely hike through the woods and paddy fields.
Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Lhakhang [1 hours] - A temple and nunnery perched on a ridge and overlooking Toebesa, Punakha
and Wangduephodrang valleys. The temple is consecrated by His Holiness and was attended by His Majesty the King, the Fourth
Druk Gyalpo, members of the royal family along with hundreds of people from Punakha. The temple is dedicated to the bodhisattva
Home Visit [2 hours] - Visit a Bhutanese family at their home. Take a peek into their lives and experience dining in a traditional
Bhutanese home embraced by the warm hospitality of the family.
Elevation: 2200m | Drive Time ~3 hours
The beautiful valley of Paro is home to many of Bhutan's old monasteries and temples. The country's only Airport is in Paro. The
valley is also home to mount Chomolhari (7,300 meters) situated at the northern end of the valley whose glacier water forms the
Pachu flowing through the valley
Paro Dzong (aka Rinpung Dzong) [1 hours] - Explore Rinpung Dzong, which the locals call the ‘fortress of a heap of jewels’. Built
in 1646 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the dzong stands on a hill above Paro Township. It is linked by a traditional cantilever
bridge called the Nemi Zam over the Po Chhu. Walk up the stone paved path running alongside imposing outer walls. Once inside the
Dzong, you will be welcomed by the monks, architecture and beautiful frescoes. This dzong is a highlight for art and history lovers.
Paro Town [1 hours] - Explore the main street of Paro town and check out if there's anything you will like to pick up as a souvenir!
Paro Valley [1 hours] - The beautiful valley is home to many of Bhutan's old monasteries and temples. The valley is also home to
Mount Chomolhari (7,300 meters) situated at the northern end of the valley whose glacier water forms the Pachu flowing through the
Kyichu Lhakhang [1 hours] - At 1,300 years old, this is one of the oldest temples in Bhutan. Like the Jambhay Lhakhang in
Bumthang, it is one of 108 temples built by the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo to subdue and vanquish an ogress that was
obstructing the spread of Buddhism. Legend has it that all 108 temples were built in a single night. The Kyichhu temple’s name
means “reservoir of peace”. Next to the temple is a museum dedicated to the late Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. You will see photographs
and other personal artefacts belonging to the Rinpoche.
Elevation: 2200m | Drive Time ~N/A
Are you ready? We will be making the hike up to one of the key highlights in Bhutan today! Tiger's Nest aka Taktsang Monastery
Taktsang Monastery [6 hours] - Also known as the Tiger’s Nest, this monastery set dramatically on the cliffs of Paro Valley, is
Bhutan’s most famous landmark. In fact, some tourists would even say that “A trip to Bhutan is not complete without climbing to
Taktsang.” According to local folklore, the Guru Rinpoche flew to this location from Tibet on the back of a tigress (his consort Yeshey
Tshogyal) and meditated in one of the caves, before emerging in eight manifestations. A hike up to Taktsang draws people with
different interests. It fills those who are spiritually inclined with a sense of peace, while avid hikers feel a sense of achievement upon
reaching the monastery. Take time to process the mental and physical sensations that wash over you during the uphill climb as you
ascend more than two thousand feet from the valley floor to reach the monastery.
Hot Stone Bath [1 hours] - You can go for a locally own Hot Stone Bath, which can take four people at one time. This bath will help
loosen your joints, release muscle tension and invoke a profound sense of relaxation. The cost is approximately USD 25 per person.
Today we will bid a fond farewell to this beautiful Himalayan country and take a flight back home. We hope by now you would have
made some friends and also kept many photos and beautiful memories of Bhutan! And we look forward to seeing you again in this
beautiful land of endless Enchantments! Tashi Delek
- A qualified & licensed English speaking guide
- An experienced driver
- A tour vehicle
- All meals on tour
- Accommodation at 3 star hotels (subject to availability)
- Taxes, surcharges and SDF (SustainableDevelopment Fund)
- Mineral water for the duration of the stay
- Traditional costume set - Gho / Kira - for use throughout your stay in Bhutan. To
- be returned to the guide on the last day of tour.
- Flight to Bangkok/Kathmandu/India/Singapore to connect to Drukair flights.
- Hotel stay outside Bhutan (e.g. to catch a flight to Bhutan)
- Travel Insurance
- Lunch & dinner outside selected restaurants (e.g. 5-star resorts)
- Tips for guide and driver
- Alcoholic drinks
- Expenditure of personal nature (e.g. shopping and hot stone bath)