11 Days Central Bhutan TourBack
Trip Facts Program Code: PTT-BHUTAN Duration: 11 days Program Type: Leisure Maximum Altitude: 3000m Minimum Pax: 2 Mode of Travel: Drive Start Trip: Kathmandu/Bangkok/Delhi End Trip: Kathmandu/Bangkok/Delhi Program Grading: Easy - Tour Driving Hour: 0 hours Driving Distance: 0 KM Trek Distance: 0 KM Flying Hour: 0 hours

Overview

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Bhutan, located in the eastern Himalayas, borders China to the north and India to the south, east and west. The altitude varies from 300m (1000ft) in the narrow lowland region to 7000m (22,000ft) in the Himalayan plateau in the north. The foothills are tropical and home to deer, lion, leopards and the rare golden monkey. The Inner Himalaya region is temperate; wildlife includes bear, boar and sambar and the area is rich in deciduous forests. Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan, lies at a height of over 2400m (8000ft) in a fertile valley. It resembles a large, widely dispersed village rather than a capital. The yearly religious Thimphu Festival is held in the courtyard directly in front of the National Assembly Hall. A visit to the Paro Valley and the Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) Monastery clinging to the face of a 900m (2952ft) precipice is highly recommended. Restaurants are scarce and most tourists eat vegetarian food served buffet-style in their hotels. Cheese is a popular ingredient, the most popular being dartsi (cow’s milk cheese). Rice is ubiquitous and is sometimes flavored with saffron. The most popular drink is souza (Bhutanese tea).

Bhutan, located in the eastern Himalayas, borders China to the north and India to the south, east and west. The altitude varies from 300m (1000ft) in the narrow lowland region to 7000m (22,000ft) in the Himalayan plateau in the north. The foothills are tropical and home to deer, lion, leopards and the rare golden monkey. The Inner Himalaya region is temperate; wildlife includes bear, boar and sambar and the area is rich in deciduous forests. Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan, lies at a height of over 2400m (8000ft) in a fertile valley. It resembles a large, widely dispersed village rather than a capital. The yearly religious Thimphu Festival is held in the courtyard directly in front of the National Assembly Hall. A visit to the Paro Valley and the Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) Monastery clinging to the face of a 900m (2952ft) precipice is highly recommended. Restaurants are scarce and most tourists eat vegetarian food served buffet-style in their hotels. Cheese is a popular ingredient, the most popular being dartsi (cow’s milk cheese). Rice is ubiquitous and is sometimes flavored with saffron. The most popular drink is souza (Bhutanese tea).

Paro Valley
One of the best agricultural regions of the country, Paro is also one of the most affluent. Fields cover most of the valley floor, while hamlets and isolated farms dot the countryside. The houses of Paro valley are considered to be among the most beautiful in the country. Paro is also the site of one of Bhutan's most impressive buildings – Paro Dzong. The famous monastery of Traktang and the ruins of Drukyul Dzong are nearby.
Thimphu
Thimphu lies in a wooded valley, sprawling up a hillside on the West Bank of the Thimphu Chhu [Chhu means River]. Thimphu is unlike any other world capital. Small and secluded the city is quiet and there are never the traffic jams familiar in other Asian Capitals. It is often said that Thimphu is the only world capital without traffic lights. Thimphu's main shopping street is a delight not so much for what you can buy there, but for the picturesqueness of the architecture and national costume. Beautiful weaves in wool, silk and cotton, basketwork, silver jewellery, thangkas and other traditional crafts of the Kingdom are available in various Handicraft Emporiums.


Short Itinerary

DRAGON HEART EXPERIENCE -10 nights / 11 days
 
Day 01 : Home-Paro[LD]
Arrive Paro by Druk air A 319, the only national carrier. The flight offers you beautiful view of mountains and landscapes. On arrival and after visa formalities you will be received by our guide. Afternoon / evening time at leisure. Overnight in Hotel.
 
Day 02 :  Paro-Thimphu[BLD]
Paro Sightseeing - visit the ruined fortress of Drugyel dzong which still attracts visitors due to the strategic location of the fort. The fort defended the Paro valley from the  Tibetan invasion from the north in the early 17th century. On clear weather Mount Chomolhari 7320 meters can be seen towering over the dzong. Proceed through the beautiful valley to the watch tower or locally known as Ta-Dzong. It was housed into the National museum in the 1960s by the third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. The seven floors museum highlights various aspects of Bhutanese culture and history dating back to the 7th century.  A short walk downhill to the Rinpung Dzong which serves as the administrative center and school for monks.  Walk further down crossing the traditional bridge into Paro Town.  Evening drive 1 & 1/2 hours to Thimphu (54km).  Overnight in Hotel.
 
Day 03 : Thimphu[BLD]
AM sightseeing -  visit the Indigenous hospital where traditional old art of healing is still practiced, Art & Craft school, National library, Royal goldsmith workshop and Handicraft centers. PM visit the Memorial chorten built in the memory of the late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, 15 century Changangkha monastery, Motithang mini zoo to see the rare "Takin" national animal of Bhutan and drive further up for a good view of the Thimphu valley. Visit the new Drupthob nunnery temple and free time in the market. Overnight same.
 
Day 04 : Thimphu-Punakha-Wangdiphodrang[BLD]
Drive 3 hours to Wangduephodrang via Punakha crossing the Dochula pass 3100 meters. On fine weather you will see the eastern Himalayan ranges including the highest mountain in Bhutan Mt.Gangar Punsum 7520 meters. The drive from the pass is all the way downhill dropping to the lower and warmer valleys of lobesa. Visit the Punakha Dzong which served as an old capital of Bhutan. This remarkable fortress is built between two rivers and has survived many glacial floods and fire. Every year during the month of February a procession known as the Punakha Serda takes place to commemorate the victory over the Tibetans. Proceed 45 minutes to Wangduephodrang and visit the Dzong and stroll around the market area. Check into Hotel. 
 
Day 05 :  Wangdiphodrang-Trongsa-Bumthang[BLD]
Drive 6/7 hours crossing 3 passes over 3000 meters. The route offers magnificent views of the Himalayas and beautiful landscape through scattered hamlets and forest of rhododendrons and pine.  After one and half hours from Chendebji Chorten arrive at a small town known as Trongsa meaning new village. The town mainly consists of fresh Tibetan refugees but the most impressive of all is the Trongsa Dzong. The whole of eastern Bhutan was con trolled from this fortress during the mid 17th century. Visit Trongsa Dzong and proceed another 2 hours to Bumthang visiting the Chume weaving center. Overnight in Hotel.
 
Day 06 : Bumthang[BLD]
Bumthang altitude 2600m, has an individuality that charms its visitors and separates it from other regions. Comprised of four smaller valleys, the deeply spiritual region of Bumthang is shrouded in religious legend. Here tales of Guru Padmasambhava and his re-incarnation known as Tertons still linger in most nooks and corners. It is also known for its woolen material (yathra) which can be seen hung outside of houses for sale. Sightseeing - Visit the Jakar Dzong, 7th century Jambay Lhakhang, Kurjey monastery, Tamshing and Kunchosum monastery. This sightseeing is a round trip so it is more interesting done on foot. Overnight same.
 
Day 07 : Excurssion to Ura Valley. [BLD]
Excursion to Ura village (about 4 hours drive to and fro) and visit the new Ura monastery. On the way visit the Mebartso meaning burning lake. Stroll around the village and return back to Bumthang. Evening walk to the swiss farm where apple juice, cider, cheese etc... are made.
 
Day 08 :  Bumthang-Thimphu[BLD]
Drive back to Thimphu. Overnight in Wangdi.
 
Day 09 :  Thimphu-Paro[BLD]
Drive to Lobesa and take a short walk through farm houses and fields to Chimme Lhakhang. This monastery was built in the 15 century and dedicated to the famous Lam Drukpa Kunley or divine mad man. He is one of the most famous saints in Bhutan and his temple is visited mostly by childless couples.  Drive 3-4 hours to Paro visiting the oldest building in Bhutan, the Simtokha Dzong. It now serves as a Buddhist university.  Overnight in Hotel.
 
Day 10 : Paro[BLD]
Day hike to Taktsang monastery (4-5 hours). The monastery clings to a huge granite cliff 800 meters from the Paro valley. It is believed that the great saint Padmasambhava came in the 7th century on a flying tigress and meditated in a cave for 3 months. The demons were subdued who were trying to stop the spread of Buddhism and converted the Paro valley into Buddhism. During the end of the 17 century a monastery was built on the spot where the saint mediated and it is a pilgrimage site for every Bhutanese to visit once in their life time. Stroll back to Resort. Evening at leisure. Overnight in Hotel

Day 11 : Paro-Home[B]
Transfer to airport  for departure.

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