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Western Central Bhutan Culture Tour 9 Nights 10 Days:

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Trip Facts

Group size:                  : 1-12 people

Duration:                      :  10 days 9 nights

Code:                               : BCT06

Category                        : Bhutan Classic Tours

Trip Starts From            : Paro

 

Trip Ends At                      :Paro

Accommodation: Hotels

Type:                                   : Tours

Destination: Thimphu Punakha Phobjikha Trongsa Jakar (Bumthang) Ura Paro.

Fitness level: Difficult

Meals: All meals during the trek and breakfast in Kathmandu
Accommodation: teahouses during the trek

Tour Details
Overview

Bhutan  CultureTour  is an exhilarating adventure in the Himalayas of Bhutan that
includes trekking and culture trails while also discovering unique gems of the
Monastery.

Includes & Excludes

Price Includes

  • Airport pickups and drops in a private vehicle.
  • Accommodation in Kathmandu with breakfast.
  • Teahouse accommodation during the tour.
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) during the trek.
  • Welcome and farewell dinners .
  • All ground transportation on a comfortable private vehicle as per the itinerary.
  • Daily government royalty & taxes
  • Bottled water in bus as complimentary
  • Entrance fees for sightseeing/monument visits as per the itinerary .
  • An experienced, English-speaking and government-licensed tour guide.
  • One time tea & snacks each day.
  • Staff costs including their salary, insurance, equipment, food and accommodation.
  • High Spirit trekking T-shirt and trekking map are yours to take .
  • Visa fee.
  • All necessary paper works, National park entry permits and TIMS permit.
  • All government taxes, VAT and service charge.

Price Excludes

  • Nepal entry visa fee (you may easily issue the visa upon your arrival at Tribhuwan International Airport – Kathmandu).
  • Your Travel insurance (compulsory).
  • Food (lunch and dinner) while you are in Kathmandu.
  • Personal expenses and all the alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks.
  • Sweet things like chocolate bars and hot shower during the trek.
  • International airfare and airport departure tax.
  • Tips for the guide and staffs.
  • Any others expanses which are not mentioned in &"Trip Includes" section etc.

Complementaries

  • High Spirit T-Shirt
Itinerary

Day 1:Arrival in Kathmandu (1300 m/4264 ft) .

After our arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu, a our
reprentative/staff will pick us up from the airport and take us to our hotel. We can take
rest and later visit the company office in Thamel, a popular tourist hub. However, there
will be a welcome dinner in the evening where we get to experience excellent Nepalese
cuisine.

Day 02:Kathmandu: sightseeing and trek preparation.

After breakfast, we begin our tour of four amazing UNESCO World Heritage Sites. These
include the architecturally rich Durbar Square, the sacred Hindu temple of Pashupati
Nath, the interesting ‘Monkey Temple’ (Swayambunath) and Buddha Nath Stupa which
is one of the largest stupas in the world. After completing our tour late in the
afternoon, we drive to High Spirit office for a brief meeting about our trek and
get to know our team leader (guide) and fellow travelers.

Day 03: Arrive at Paro. Drive to Thimphu Distance: 55km, Time: 2 hours.

Flight into Paro with Druk Air, Bhutan National Airline. The flight takes you over the great Himalayas, offering the most beautiful scenery of the snow-capped mountains and lush valleys. As you enter Paro valley, you will see the Paro Dzong (Fort), the National Museum and the Paro town. You will be greeted by our local representative at the airport & welcome you to Bhutan with traditional scarves. After completing the formalities, you will drive through the fascinating valley of Paro to Thimphu. A mixture of rice fields, apple orchards, and farmhouses. After passing the confluence of Thimphu and Paro rivers, the road ascends and the valley turns into a narrow gorge before widening out at Namseling, and soon the quaint shrubs of Thimphu begin to appear. Thimphu is the capital of Bhutan and is the only large settlement in Bhutan. Thimphu has a special charm and it is fascinating to sit and watch a gathering of local people in the town square, wearing their traditional dress, and going about their business in a typically unhurried Bhutanese way.
After hot lunch in one of best restaurants in the town, stroll in the town, visit craft bazaar and buy souvenir from Bhutan as you like, and visit weekend market where you have immense opportunity to take pictures of the people and the goods they display for sell; both produced locally and imported from neighboring India. Overnight at Hotel. B.L.D.

Day 04:Thimphu sightseeing.

Following your breakfast, enjoy a full day of sightseeing that includes: Memorial Chorten: This is a most impressive stupa built in the memory of Bhutan’s third King. You can witness people circumambulating the temple and also on the left side of the entrance there are elderly people who sit and turn the giant prayer wheels to earn merits. This temple was built in 1974 by the order of Great Grand Queen mother Ashi Phuntsho Chhoden. Drive further up and visit Buddha Point at Kuenselphodrang. The statue of Buddha Dordenma is supposed to be the tallest statue of Buddha (51.5m) in the world. It is situated on top of a hill with commanding views of the valley below. The photo enthusiasts can use the opportunity to take the pictures of the valley below, the scenic landscape and the greenery around. This gigantic Buddha Dordenma statue also houses one hundred fifty thousand smaller statues of Buddha Dordenma himself made of bronze and gilded in gold. If you feel like walking, there is a short and gentle hike to Kuenselphodrang nature park. Changangkha Lhakhang, the oldest temple in Thimphu dating back to the 15th century. Mini Zoo to see Takin, the national animal of Bhutan, Sangaygang viewpoint from here the whole of Thimphu valley can be seen. Nunnery where the Buddhist nuns are practicing Buddha dharma National Library: It holds a vast collection of ancient Buddhist texts, manuscripts and also modern academic books. Handicrafts Emporiums: It displays a wide range of products such as beautifully woven fabrics for man & women, crafted products & other decorative items. National Institute for Zorig Chusum (thirteen traditional arts & crafts). The Royal Government of Bhutan has sponsored and established this national institute in the year 1971 mainly to preserve and promote culture and to contribute to the country’s economy through quality products and services. In the course of history, Bhutan has developed a unique artistic tradition, which has played a vital role in modeling its distinct cultural heritage and this tradition is reflected in thirteen traditional arts & crafts. Trashichhodzong: The biggest fort of Bhutan built in 1648. It houses secretariat building, King’s throne room, and other government offices. It is also the summer residence of Chief Abbot.

Day 05: Drive to Punakha. Punakha Sightseeing.

Following breakfast, drive to Punakha, the winter residence of the chief abbot. The road climbs for about an hour till you reach a Pass at Dochula at an altitude of 3150M. Weather permitting, this pass offers the most spectacular view over the high peaks of the eastern Himalayas. After a hot cup of tea/coffee at the Dochula tourist’s café, continue to descend a long way to Punakha & Wangdue through the temperate forest of rhododendron & magnolia bloom in spring than a semi-tropical zone where vegetation changes with broadleaf trees, bananas, pines cactuses, etc. En route visit Royal Botanical Park at Lamperi. Hot lunch will be served on the way or on arrival in Punakha, depends on time.
In the afternoon, visit Chime Lhakhang. It is about 20 minute’s gentle walk through rice field and farmhouses of Yoakha village. This temple is dedicated to famous Drukpa Kagyud Lama “Drukpa Kuenley”. This temple was built in 1499 by his descendent Ngawang Chogyel. It is popularly known as “temple of fertility” and is the pilgrim site for a couple who are unable to bear children. Walk back to your hotel. Evening at leisure. Overnight in Hotel B.L.D.

the Himalayan vista. On our way back to Namche we also tour the Khumjung Monastery
(houses a yeti scalp!) and Hillary School. Our guide can also take us to the Tourist Visitor
Center near the headquarter of the Sagarmatha National Park where we can observe an
assortment of things related to the first Everest ascenders, Sherpa culture and learn
about the various plant and animal life in the Everest region. Overnight in Namche
Bazaar.

Day 06: Punakha sightseeing & hiking.

Following breakfast, visit the Punakha Dzong some 7-8 km away from the hotel. Punakha Dzong is the most impressive dzong in Bhutan situated in the confluence of Phochhu & Mochhu (male & female rivers). It looks like a giant ship with excellent wood work and detail of paintings. It was here that the first King was crowned in 1907. It was capital of Bhutan until 1955 and then it was shifted to Thimphu. This Dzong was built by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel in 1637. Punakha Dzong still serves as winter resident of the chief lama of Bhutan and houses both administrative & religious center of Punakha district. Drive some 8 km north; cross the suspension bridge and hike for 45 minutes to a newly built Kham Sum Yuelley Namgyel Chorten built by one of the 4 queen mother’s for the protection of the country, sentient beings and to bring peace and harmony in the world. The view from this temple below is photogenic. Descend and then drive back to Khutu town for hot lunch. After lunch, drive to Wangdue Valley. The Dzong of Wangdue was burnt down completely and the new dzong is now under construction. Overnight in Hotel. B.L.D.

Day 07:Drive Punakha to Trongsa. Distance: 150km, time: 5 hours.

Following b/fast; drive to Trongsa, the central part of Bhutan. The road passes through Wangdi district crossing over Pilela pass (alt. 3,300m), the boundary between western and central Bhutan. After the pass, descend further down & stop at Chendebji Chorten built in the 18th century by Lama Shida in Nepalese style. The view of Trongsa Dzong from 16 km before reaching is fabulous. Trongsa Dzong is the ancestral seat of the present royal family. It was built in 1648 by the order of Shabdrung Rinpoche. This Dzong is built in a very strategic position for political reasons.
Today’s driving to Trongsa has splendid views, driving through beautiful forests of rhododendron and fields of dwarf bamboo, breathtaking scenery of the landscape, green meadows, beautiful wildflowers, gushing waterfalls and constantly changing vegetation. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 08: Drive Trongsa to Bumthang & sightseeingDistance: 68km, Time: 2 hours.

Morning, after breakfast, drive down and visit the Trongsa Dzong and then head off to Bumthang crossing over Yotongla pass (alt. 3400m), Chumey valley and Kikila pass (alt. 2900m). Stop at Zhungne Village and see Bhutanese women weaving Bumthang Yathra in their traditional looms. Yathras are made out of sheep wool and are Bumthang’s special products. You can also buy some here if you like. Bumthang is the general name given to a complex of 4 valleys viz: Chumey, Choekor, Tang & Ura with altitude varies from 2600m to 4000m. On arrival check in to the lodge. After lunch, visit Jambay Lhakhang built in 7th century AD by King Songtsen Gampo of Tibet. It is one of the 108 temples built by him all over Nepal, Tibet & Bhutan. Return to hotel. Overnight at the hotel. BLD

Day 09:Bumthang sightseeing.

Visit Kurje Lhakhang, one of the most sacred temples in Bhutan. It is believed that Guru Rimpoche came here in the 8th century and meditated for several days until his body got imprinted on the back of a rock. He then manifested into different forms and subdued Sheiling Karpo, the local deity of Bumthang valley and converted him into Buddhism. Visit Tamshing Lhakhang, founded in 1501 by Pema Lingpa, the treasure discoverer. It contains interesting Buddhist paintings dating back to the 16th century. The paintings on the wall are supposed to be the oldest in Bhutan painted by Pema Lingpa himself. Also visits Koncho Sum Lhakhang, which is close to Tamshing. On your way back, stop and visit Swiss farm, cheese and beer factory where Bhutanese beer ‘Red panda’ is produced. Stroll in the Chamkhar town, visit local shops, and meet local people as you wish. Overnight at the lodge.

Day 10: Fly Bumthang-Paro by domestic flight (Thu, Sun & Tue), so we have to make the connection accordingly).

In the afternoon, visit National museum & Paro Rinpong dzong. Evening at leisure, still in the Paro town square, visit local shops, buy some souvenirs as you wish. Overnight at the hotel. B.L.D.

Day 11:Excursion to Tiger’s Nest Monastery, Visit of Historical places:

Following breakfast, drive 10km north through the beautiful valley of Paro and hike to Taktsang (tiger’s Den) monastery hanging on a cliff 800m above the valley. In the 8th century Guru Rimpoche flew here on the back of a tigress in one of his eight forms called Guru Dorje Drolo and meditated for 3 months in a cave and converted Paro valley into Buddhism. Later in the 17th century, the 4th temporal ruler of Bhutan Tenzin Rabgye built this present temple and named it Taktsang meaning; tiger’s lair in the same spot where Guru meditated. This temple is one of the most sacred and also a pilgrimage center for Buddhists from all over the world. It was completely burnt down in 1998 and re-built with help from Bhutan government, individual donors and financial support from other nations.

It takes 2 hours to ascend till the closest viewpoint and 1 hour descend to the valley. Stop at tourism café situated half way for refreshment. On your way back, you again stop at the café for lunch. After lunch, continue to walk down to the bottom of the valley where your vehicle is waiting. Drive further north and visit the Drukgyel Dzong (fortress of victorious Drukpas). It was burnt in 1951 by the tilting of butter lamp in the middle of the night so in present days it remains as ruins preserved as a monument. It was built in 1647 after Bhutan stand victorious against Tibetan invasion. On your way back, visit Kichu Lhakhang, the oldest and the most sacred temple in Bhutan built in the 7th century by Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo. The legend says that he built 108 temples throughout the Himalayan regions in a single day to subdue the demoness who was terrorizing the whole of the Himalayan region. Drive to visit Ta-dzong (national museum) an ancient tower, which served as a watchtower to the Paro Rimpong Dzong until 1968 when it was converted into a museum. The museum collection includes displays of spectacular thankas (religious scroll painting), ancient artifacts dating from 7th century onwards, beautiful Bhutanese stamps, temple with tree of wisdom depicting the history of Buddhism, collection of animals, birds & butterflies and the good collection of ancient armors such as canons, guns, shield, bows & arrows, spears etc. After the museum, drive back to the Hotel. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

Day 12: Depart Paro-Kathmandu.

Following early breakfast, drive to the airport for your onward flight. Your guide will assist with your baggage, bid you farewell and wish you a safe journey back home.

Day 13 :Final departure.

Our amazing journey in Bhutan including that to the Paro, Thimpu comes to an end today. A company representative will
pick you up from your hotel and drop you off at the airport 3 hours before our scheduled
flight.

Map
Photos