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Buddhist monks at Punakha Dzong

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BT03: 8 Days Paro - Thimphu - Punakha - Phobjikha Valley - Paro

Tour Type: Private Tour, flexible and customized
Guide & Driver: English-speaking guide, experienced driver & air-conditioned car
Hotel: 3-star well selected hotels, also be open to your own choice

Itinerary
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Day 1: Arrival in Paro, Transfer to Thimphu for half-day sightseeing
Welcome to Bhutan. If you come from Kathmandu, you must have enjoyed the snow scenery of the Himalaya Mountains, and may have seen the famous Kanchenjunga and Jichu Drake Peaks if on a clear day. That is a wonderful start to your dream trip to Bhutan. Once your flight arrives at Paro airport, our guide will meet you and transfer you to the capital city Thimphu. On the way, you will see the Tamchog Lhakhang Iron Bridge.

After checking in at the hotel, you will have a Thimphu city tour including the National Memorial Chorten, built in memory of the third King of Bhutan Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. It is actually a stupa, housing many valuable religious paintings and Buddha statues. Over here you will see many local people circumambulating the Chorten throughout the day. Then we will visit the Buddha Dordenma Statue, reputed as the largest seated statue of Buddha in the world. In addition to the Buddha itself, the 360-degree unobstructed panorama view of the city would be a reward for you.

Next we will go to Thimphu Dzong (Tashichho Dzong), a finest example of Bhutanese architecture, is actually a beautiful fortress housing the King and government offices. The decoratively painted wood exterior with intricate carvings makes it a mandatory to take a lot of photos.

The dinner will be served at Folk Heritage Cafeteria offering an authentic Bhutanese cuisine, local drinks, starter, main course and soup.

Meals: Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Hotel Tashi Yoedling (3 stars) or similar

  • Buddha Dordenma Statue
    Buddha Dordenma Statue
Day 2: Thimphu full day cultural tour
After breakfast, drive to the Thimphu Valley, then walk through the forest to Tango Buddhist Institute, the highest ranked Buddhist learning center in Bhutan. The climb takes about an hour in a paved path. It's steep at some points, but you can always stop to have breaks and enjoy the stunning scenery along the way. You can take it as a good practice for the ultimate hike to Tiger's Nest in Para later.

In the afternoon, you will be exposed to the traditional handicrafts, history and culture of the country from the Thirteen Traditional Arts and Crafts School and the Folk Heritage Museum. Then we will go to Motithang Takin Preserve, where you can see the Takin, Bhutan's national animal.

At night, you can make your own way to Thimphu's main street, Norzin Lam, which is lined with shops selling traditional ethnic crafts. Or you could try a bar experience in Bhutan. Please note that every Tuesday is Bhutan Dry Day and all bars in Bhutan are closed.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Hotel Tashi Yoedling (3 stars) or similar

Day 3: Drive to Punakha via Dochula Pass, Punakha highlights
Today we are on our way to Punakha. En route, we will first stop at Simtokha Dzong, 8 km (5 miles)from Thimphu. This is the oldest temple in Bhutan, built by Lama Ngawang Namgyel in 1626-1627. The castle was once the social, religious and educational center of Bhutan, and now houses a cultural institute for Buddhist studies. Continue from Simtokha for about one hour, we will come across the Dochula Pass, which is a popular location among tourists offering a stunning 360 degree panoramic view of Himalayan mountain range, and have a nice glimpse of the 108 grand stupas. Then after another hour and a half of driving, we will arrive in Punaka. This afternoon, our guide will show you Punakha Dzong (Fortress). Built in 1637 between two rivers, the majestic Punakha fortress boasts itself of unique Bhutanese architecture. Later, we will reach Suspension Bridge to admire the fine views.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Lobesa Lodge (3 stars) or similar

  • Punakha Dzong
    Punakha Dzong
Day 4: Private transfer to Phobjikha Valley
After breakfast, we will drive about 30 minutes to Chhimi Lhakhang in the Punakha Valley. The monastery, built by Lama Drukpa Kunley and commonly known as the "Temple of Fertility", claims to have powers in increasing fertility in women. To reach the temple, you will walk from the highway for 30-40 minutes, passing through farmland and a small village. Then, continue to drive for 2.5 hours to Phobjikha Valley via Wangdue Phodrang and Pelela Pass at an altitude of 3400 meters (11,155 feet).

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Hotel Dewachen (3 stars) or similar

Day 5: Phobjikha Valley sightseeing with Gangtey Monastery
Today, you will have a full day tour to the Phobjikha Valley, a secluded glacier valley with abundant wild animal resources, such as black-necked cranes, muntjacs, wild boars and black bears of Himalaya. Your tour will begin with a hiking across Gangtey Nature Trail. During the 45 minutes relaxing trekking, the scenic natural surroundings are worth a seeing and preserving in your camera. Later, you will be accompanied to visit the Black-necked Crane Information Centre, and have a good time with the kids in Gangtey Primary School. At last, visit Gangtey Monastery with delicate wood carvings, delicate frescos and tranquil environment. For the rest of the time, we will take you to the farm house and local villages to experience the way the Bhutanese people live.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Hotel Dewachen (3 stars) or similar

  • Phobjikha Valley
    Phobjikha Valley
Day 6: Drive back to Paro and visit Paro Dzong
Today, we will drive 4.5-5 hours back to Paro via Dochula Pass. This afternoon, you will visit the Paro Dzong, also known as Rinpung Dzong. It is a spectacular fortress rich with Bhutanese architecture and wall paintings. Now one part of the Dzong is used by government administrative offices, while another part is a monastery. The watchtower of the Dzong on the hill top is the National Museum of Bhutan. It will give you a lot of information about Bhutan.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Tashi Namgay Resort (3 stars) or similar

Day 7: Paro one day tour with Taktsang
After breakfast, the guide will accompany you to spend the whole morning hiking up to Taktsang (Tiger's Nest). As Bhutan's most recognizable cultural icon, the Taktsang perches about 900 meters (3000 feet) upon a sheer cliff above Paro Valley is like a ferocious tiger lying in its nest imposingly. Immersing in the picturesque scenery of continuous hills, serene river valleys and idyllic rurality, you would be deeply expressed by the unique Tiger's Nest. The trek to the temple takes about 2 to 3 hours. The path is steep and rough. It does take some stamina, but the view of the monastery and the surrounding valley will alleviate all your pain. Be sure to wear good hiking shoes or trainers.

In the afternoon, continue to the old Kyichu Lhakhang, and then a visit to the Aum Chencho Farm House will enable you to enjoy the hospitality of the Paro farmers.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Tashi Namgay Resort (3 stars) or similar

  • Tiger's Nest
    Tiger's Nest
  • Tiger's Nest
    Praying wheel at Tiger's Nest
Day 8: Departure from Paro, Airport see-off
Your best Bhutan tour will conclude today. After the checking out procedures, our guide will chauffeur you to the airport and see you off there. Please enjoy your homeward flight!

Meals: Breakfast

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This trip can be tailored to match your dates and interests!
Tour Prices

2024 & 2025 Special: 10% off - Book before Aug 31, 2024

2-3 travelers4-5 travelers
USD2729 USD2456USD2629 USD2366
  • Prices are per person based on double occupancy.
  • The prices in red reflect 10% discount.
What's Included
  • Accommodation with daily breakfast at selected hotel.
  • Service of professional English-speaking guide.
  • Service of private driver and air-conditioned vehicle.
  • Entrance fees for all tourist sites.
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Bottled water during the tour.
  • All Government Royalty and Taxes.
  • Bhutan visa fee.
What's Excluded
  • International flight into and out of Bhutan.
  • Personal expenses (laundry, telephone, drinks, etc.).
  • Tips for guides and drivers.
  • Personal travel insurance.
5-Day Weather Forecast of Major Destinations
Paro
Thimphu
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