Duration: 10 Days
The 10-day cultural tour of Bhutan is a perfect way to combine all the highlights to provide insight into a wide range of attractions and national highlights. Visit the traditional cultural sites in Thimphu and Paro while incorporating additional trips to Trongsa, Gangtey, Phobjikha and the important cultural center of Punakha to create a complete trip offering greater understanding of the local culture and way of life. Spend extra time to explore the scenic Bumthang Valley to experience local hill life first hand. We will spend our time visiting all the highlights of these charming cities combining aspects of traditional culture, spirituality and history in a thorough rewarding package.
- Destination: Bhutan
- Activities: Tours
- Duration: 7 - 14 Days
- Region: Bhutan
- Best Season: Spring / Summer / Autumn
- Group Size: 02+ Pax
Day 1 Arrival in Paro
After arriving from your scenic mountain flight to Para, you will be greeted by a friendly representative of Good Karma Trekking who will take you to the capital city of Thimphu. During the evening, we will organize a welcome diner and drinks and you will have plenty of time to enjoy the bustling night streets and get a first look at the traditional architecture of the quaint capital city.
Day 2 Thimphu
After breakfast we will explore the highlights of the capital city starting with a visit to the well-preserved medieval fort of Trashichhoedzong, which serves as the home to the royal family and government, as well as the spiritual leaders of the country in the monastery complex. We then visit the arts and crafts school to learn about the traditional preparation of clothing, thangka paintings and handicrafts that have been passed down for generations. We then continue to the Textile and Folk Heritage Museum to learn about the preservation of local culture and custom in Bhutan. After lunch, we move to the handicrafts emporium to explore the bustling market and admire the local craftsmanship before going to the Memorial Chorten erected to promote peace and harmony in the region. We will also take more time to view the wide range of traditional paintings and statues in the monument to learn more about the Bhutanese Buddhist art form.
Day 3 Thimphu to Trongsa
After an early breakfast at the hotel, we will continue along the scenic Dochula Pass offering views of a wide range of eastern Himalayan giants from a relaxed vantage point. We will stop for a relaxing drink among the peaks of Zongphugang, Gangkar Puensum, Masagan and more before continuing to Wangduephodrang for lunch. We continue along the Pelela Pass while stopping at the Chenbji Chorten made in the Nepalese style know for its famous eyes looking in all directions. Upon arrival in Trongsa, we will take time to explore the quaint town during the evening before returning to the hotel for the night.
Day 4 Trongsa to Bumthang
We will make a morning visit the Trongsa Dzong known for its traditional 17th century architecture. The fort serves as the governing capital of the eastern and central regions of Bhutan and was home to the first and second Bhutanese kings.
We then continue toward Bumthang passing along a scenic valley featuring charming traditional villages and timeless green scenery. We will stop at the Yutong-La Pass to enjoy the scenic views of the surrounding mountains, valleys and dense forests before exploring the town of Bumthang and returning to the hotel for the night
Day 5 Bumthang
After breakfast, we take a full day to explore Bumthang, which is home to a combination of the Chumey, Choekhor, Tang and Ura Valleys. We start with a visit Kurje Lhakhang, the 7th century temple of Jambey Lhakhang and the oldest monastic school in the country at Tamshing to learn more about traditional Buddhist practices in Bhutan. Finally, we will visit a traditional farmhouse to learn firsthand how the local people live and practice religion in a peaceful valley before returning to the hotel in Bumthang.
Day 6 Bumthang to Gangtey and Phobjikha
After an early breakfast, we will take a scenic mountain view through the Phobjikha Valley to visit the pilgrimage site of Gangtey. This 17th century monastery is known for its secluded beauty situated at the base of the valley and serves not only as a spiritual center but also a nesting place for the endangered black-necked cranes. We will spend the day exploring the temple and scenic valley stopping to visit local and learn more about their customs and beliefs before stopping at the hotel for the night.
Day 7 Gangtey to Punakha
We continue our trip stopping to visit the historical Punakha Dzong situated on two peaceful rivers, which has protected the area from invaders since the 17th century. Serving as the regional capital and a monastery, this fort has a long history and has been frequently restored due to its strategic importance. After lunch, we will visit the newest stupa in the region known as Khamsum Yulley Namgyal to compare the current and traditional architectural structures and techniques.
Day 8 Punakha to Paro
After breakfast, we will continue to the 17th century fortress known as Simtokha Dzong, which is known for its school of religious studies that attracts students throughout the country. Upon arrival in Paro we will visit the Ta Dzong, which serves as the National Museum to observe a wonderful collection of local art, paintings, artifacts and the famous Bhutanese stamps. We then take a short wall to the hillside Rinpung Dzong that serves as the spiritual and administrative capital of Paro. We will then spend a relaxing evening exploring the streets of Paro while enjoying a traditional Bhutanese dinner.
Day 9 Paro
After breakfast, we will continue to the ruins of Drukgyel Dzong in the Paro valley before stopping to visit several traditional Bhutanese farmhouses to learn more about the life of the valley people firsthand. We then continue to the holy Taktsang Monastery. The peaceful hike offers some stunning views of the city and surrounding lowland. After resting at the viewpoint we continue to the actual monastery to learn more about the religious practices of the region while observing the daily life and practices of the local monks. This “tiger nest” monastery is one of the holiest in the region and a popular attraction for both locals and tourists alike. We then make a return trip to Paro to celebrate the completion of the trip.
Day 10 Departure
Depending on your flight time you may be able to see a few more attractions before departing approximately 3 hours before the scheduled flight time. You will be escorted to the airport with a representative from Good Karma trekking staff. After our farewells, you will have plenty of time to plan your next adventure with Good Karma, as one time is never enough.
- Airport / Hotel / Airport pick up & drop by private car / van / bus (all airport transfers).
- Standard government approved accommodation (in twin share rooms) for the duration of tour.
- licensed English speaking Bhutanese Tour Guides.
- All Monument /Museum sightseeing tours, entrance Fees as per itinerary.
- All meals fixed breakfast, lunch & dinner with Tea and Coffee while remaining in Bhutan
- Government Royalty (which is 35% of $250) this goes to the country's health & education projects.
- Private Transport & Driver within Bhutan. (Imported Prado's, Micro Buses & Toyota Coaster Buses)
- Toyota 4 X 4 luggage vans & light trucks for group travel
- All our government taxes.
- Tourist service charge, vat.
- Official expense
- Bhutan Visa Fees and Visa Processing assistance
- Bottled/alcoholic/cold drinks, room service and al a cart meals.
- Your travel insurance (compulsory).
- International airfares and airport departure tax.
- Photography charges (if and when applicable).
- Items of a personal nature such as laundry.
- Personal Equipment.
- Tips to guides, restaurants, hotel lobby. (Tipping is expected.)
- Any others expenses which are not mentioned on Price Includes section.
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