Cultural Tour

Day 1: Arrive Paro Drive to Thimphu

Pick up from Paro Interational Airport (2280m). Depending on the arrival time of the Druk Air flight, you will either be served a meal in Paro or be driven straight to Thimphu, the capital city, which is about 53 kilometres away. The drive normally takes about an hour and a half. If Thimphu is reached early, you can go out in the town and mingle with the Bhutanese people. Dinner will be served in hotel.

Day 2: Thimphu Sightseeing

Sightseeing in Thimphu (2320m) includes visits to : National Library which was established in 1967 and has many ancient Dzongkha and Tibetan texts); Painting School or the National Institute for Zorig Chusum (the 13 traditional arts and crafts like painting, woodcarving, embroidery and statue making; National Memorial Chorten which was built in 1974 in memory of the third King of Bhutan; Semtokha Dzong which is about five kilometres south of Thimphu. Semtokha Dzong was built in 1629 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. Today it houses the Institute for Language and Culture Studies.); Tashichhodzong the seat of the government of Bhutan. It houses the secretariat, the Throne Room, His Majesty’s secretariat, the Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs and the Ministry of Finance. If the sight seeing falls on the weekend you can visit Thimphu’s open vegetable market where farmers from the nearby regions gather to sell their produce.mask

Day 3: Thimphu to Paro. Paro Sightseeing

The first stop on this road journey is at Dochula pass at 3,140 meters. Dochula is about 23 kilometres from Thimphu and during a clear day it offers a clear view of the Himalayas. After refreshments in Dochula the journey continues to Paro. It is about 72 Km journey from Dochula to Paro. Lunch will be served in the hotel at Paro. In the afternoon the sightseeing of Paro starts. Sightseeing include a visit to the Ta-Dzong (National Museum) which was built in 1656 and served as the watch tower of Paro Dzong in the past. After the Ta-Dzong visit you can go to the town and interact with the local Bhutanese people and do some shopping. Dinner will be served in the hotel.

Day 4: Paro Sightseeing

After the Breakfast, proceed towards Drukgyel Dzong, 14 kilometres from the Paro town. Also known as the fortress of victory Drukgyel Dzong was built by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1649 to commemorate the victory over Tibetan invaders in 1644. On the way to Drukgyel Dzong you can view Takshang Monastery, perched on the side of a cliff 900m above the floor of Paro valley. Legend has it that Guru Rinpoche, who brought Buddhism to Bhutan in the eighth century flew to a cave in Taktshang spot on a tigress and mediated for three months. Return to Paro town for lunch. In the afternoon, visit Paro Dzong also called the Rinchen Phug Dzong, which means fortress on a heap of Jewels. Paro Dzong is one of the most impressive and well-known dzongs of Bhutan and was built in 1644. Return to the hotel and have Tea/Coffee. Visit the town for last minute shopping. Dinner will be served in the hotel.

Day 5: Departure

After an early breakfast, our representative will see you off at the Paro International Airport.

Day 01: Arrive Paro
Our will receive you at the Airport. You will be taken to the hotel for checking in with your Welcome tea. And then visit Kyichu monastery dating back to the 7th century, and it’s one of the oldest monastery in Bhutan. After your lunch visit Drugyel dzong which is a ruin fortress at present, and it was built in 1649 by Shabdrung Nawang Namgyel. The dzong was actually built to commemorate the winning victory over the Tibetans in 1644. Overnight at the hotel in Paro.

Day 02: Paro – Thimphu
After breakfast visit National Museum which houses numerous collections of arts and artifacts. The museum was built in the mid of 17th century as a watch tower for the dzong below. Visit Paro Ringpung dzong after the museum and walk down to the cantilever bridge which lies below the dzong. Have lunch in one of the restaurants in the town and take a stroll around the town for a while. And then drive to Thimphu for about an hour. Overnight in Thimphu.

Day 03: Thimphu local sightseeing
Visit the school of Arts and Crafts which was established to preserve and promote our age old arts and crafts. Visit the Folk Heritage museum which is a replica of a medieval farm-house, and we still have this kind of house in some of our rural parts. And visit the mini zoo to see the Takins which is our national animal.

Have lunch in town and visit our Memorial Chorten, a stupa built in 1974 in the memory of our beloved 3rd king. And then visit the Handicraft Emporium for your souvenir shopping and in the evening walk around the city. Night halt in Thimphu.

Day 04: Thimphu – Punakha
Drive to Punakha for 2 ½ hours with short stop at Dochula pass. If the weather is clear, you could have a superb view of the Bhutan’s Himalayas from the pass. Upon arrival in Punakha, check in at the hotel first. And have lunch in Punakha town and visit beautiful Punakha Dzong built in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, and is situated between Pho Chu (Male River) and Mo Chu (Female River) two famous rivers of Bhutan. And Punakha was the old capital of Bhutan, and winter capital for the central monk body at present.

After wards visit a farm house in one of a typical village in Punakha, to see how people live in rural Bhutan. You will be served some Bhutanese local distilled wine (Ara), tea and snacks at the farm house. Overnight at the hotel in Punakha.

Day 05: Punakha – Paro
After your breakfast drive to Paro via Thimphu for maximum 4 hours drive. On the way take a short walk for an hour to Chime Lhakhang (temple of no dogs), which was built by Lama Drukpa Kuenley, also known as Divine Mad Man. He subdued the demons with his “Magical Thunder bolt”. The Temple is also known as “the Temple of Fertility”. Childless women come here to get the special blessing. So they can conceive and have child. Have lunch in Thimphu and drive to Paro for the night halt.

Day 06: Taktshang hike
The hike will take about 5 hours for a round trip with lunch stop. It’s an up hill hike. Taktsang monastery is perched on the face of a cliff 800 Mts, above the Paro valley. It is a memorable spiritual journey. It was here that the great Tantric master, Guru Padmasambhava flew in from Tibet on the back of a flying tigress to propagate his teachings in Bhutan. Lunch at the cafeteria or you will be served catering lunch from a restaurant. Walk back down hill to your hotel. Take rest or drive to the town for your last minute shopping. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 07: Paro – Bangkok
Our guide and driver will take you to the airport and bid you good bye for your departure to Bangkok. Tashi Delek

Day 01: Arrive Paro
Upon arrival you will be received by the representative and then drive to Thimphu for an hour. Overnight in Thimphu.

Day 02: Thimphu – Punakha
Drive to Punakha for 2 ½ hours with short stop at Dochula pass. If the weather is clear, you could have a superb view of the Bhutan’s Himalayas from the pass. Upon arrival in Punakha, check in at the hotel first. And have lunch in Punakha town and visit beautiful Punakha Dzong built in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. The dzong is situated between Pho Chu (Male River) and Mo Chu (Female River) two famous rivers of Bhutan. Punakha was the old capital of Bhutan, and winter capital for the central monk body at present.

After wards visit a farm house in one of a typical village in Punakha, to see how people live in rural Bhutan. You will be served some Bhutanese local wine, tea and snacks at the farm house. Overnight at the hotel in Punakha.

Day 03: Punakha – Bumthang
The drive will take around 7 ½ hours. You will have lunch at Chendibji Restaurant or in Trongsa. Drive to Bumthang with short stop at Chummey Yathra shop, the place where they weave the woolen clothes. Overnight stay at the hotel in Bumthang.

Day 04: Bumthang sightseeing
The valley is one of the most beautiful valleys in the kingdom. It is also the religious heartland where many saints and masters meditated leaving their imprints as sacred places of worship and pilgrimage Tales of Padmasambhava dominate these holy shrines. In the morning visit, Jampa Lhakhang which was built by Tibetan King Songtshen Gempo in the 7th century to pin down the left Knee of the ogress. And then visit Kurji monastery were body imprints of Guru Rimpoche from the 8th century remains preserved upon a rock. Then short hike to Tamzhing Monastery. If the weather is clear, you will enjoy the view of green valley, dotted with hundreds temples, thousand flags and beautiful chamkhar river flow through the valley. The valley is also called mini Switzerland of Bhutan. After Lunch, drive to visit Tang Member Tsho (Burning Lake), Saint Pemalingpa had discovered several hidden treasure from the Lake. Night halt in Bumthang.

Day 05: Bumthang – Trongsa
The drive will take around 2 ½ hours to Trongsa. And check in at the hotel and have lunch. After lunch visit Trongsa Dzong, which was the seat of successive Trongsa Penlop and ancestral home of the kings. Over night at the hotel in Trongsa.

Day 06: Trongsa – Wangdi via Gangtey
After breakfast drive towards Wangdi, which will take around 5 ½ hours. On the way you will visit Gangtey monastery founded in the 15th century. This is one of the Nyingmapa monasteries in the country, and it was renovated by his holiness Gangtey Trulku Rimpoche, and was consecrated only in November 2008. From the monastery you can also have a view of beautiful Phobjikha valley just below the monastery, which is a roosting place for the rarest Black Necked Cranes in winter. If you are here in winter you could see the Cranes and continue drive to Wangdi for overnight stay.

Day 07: Wangdi – Thimphu
Drive to Thimphu for 3 hours and check in at the hotel. Have lunch and in the afternoon visit the mini zoo to see the Takins which is our national animal. This is also an animal which is a rarest species. And visit the handicraft emporium and shops for your souvenir shopping. In the evening take a stroll around the capital city to see the life of urban Bhutan.

Day 08: Thimphu sightseeing
Visit the school of Arts and Crafts which was established to preserve and promote our age old practice. The students here are taught 13 different traditional arts.

You can You can also visit the Memorial stupa which was built in the memory of our beloved 3rd King in 1974. Visit the Folk heritage museum to see the living house in olden days. Visit Zilukha nunnery, one of the temple where the nuns live and study. You can also visit the paper factory to see how the Bhutanese traditional papers are made. If the group visit doesn’t co inside with a festival time, we will host a cultural show in the evening for the group travelers. Overnight halt in Thimphu.

Day 09: Thimphu – Paro sightseeing
After break fast drive to Paro and check in at the hotel. And visit the National museum, the museum which houses numerous collections of arts and artifacts. This museum is also been rated as one of the best museum in Asia. The building was originally built in the mid 17th Century as a watch tower for the dzong below. And then visit Kyichu monastery dating back to the 7th century, and it’s one of the oldest monastery in Bhutan. After that visit Drugyel dzong which is a ruin fortress at present and it was built in 1649 by Shabdrung Nawang Namgyel. The dzong was actually built to commemorate the winning victory over the Tibetans in 1644. Overnight at the hotel in Paro.

Day 10: Paro Tigers nest hike
The hike will take about 5 hours for a round trip with lunch stop. It’s an up hill hike. Taktsang monastery is perched on the face of a cliff 800 Mts, above the Paro valley. It is a memorable spiritual journey. It was here that the great Tantric master, Guru Padmasambhava flew in from Tibet on the back of a flying tigress to propagate his teachings in Bhutan. Lunch at the cafeteria or you will be served catering lunch from a restaurant. Walk back down hill to your hotel. Take rest or drive to the town for your last minute shopping. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 11: Paro – flight departure
Our guide and driver will drop you at the airport for your departure back home.

Day 01: Arrive Paro
On arrival you will be greeted by our representative and transferred to your hotel. In the afternoon you can visit the Paro Dzong. Afterward you will visit Kyichu Lhakhang, the oldest temple in the country. From there you will be taken to the Drugyel Dzong , which was built in 1646 to commemorate Bhutan’s victory over Tibetan invaders during the 1600s. On a clear day you can see Mount Jumolhari, Bhutan’s second-highest mountain at 7,329 meters, from the village below the dzong. In the evening you can stroll through the Paro market and town. Overnight in Paro.

Day 2: Paro – Thimphu
After breakfast hike to Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) Monastery, which is Bhutan’s most famous monastery. Guru Rinpoche is said to have flown on the back of a tigress from Singye Dzong in Lhuntse to meditate in a cave where Taktsang Monastery now stands. It is perched on the edge of a steep cliff, about 900 meters above Paro Valley. The hike to reach the viewpoint to the monastery makes for a nice half-day excursion. In the afternoon you will drive to Thimphu. In the evening you can explore Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan, and absorb the lifestyle of the people. You can also visit some interesting handicraft shops. Overnight in Thimphu.

Day 3: Thimphu
After breakfast you will visit the King’s Memorial Chorten (built in memory of the third King of Bhutan who reigned from 1952-1972), Changgangkha Monastery, the radio tower (for a great view of Thimphu Valley and the Thimphu Dzong), and the zoo, which contains the national animal of Bhutan: the takin. From there you will visit the nunnery temple, the National Library (which houses ancient manuscripts), and the School of Arts and Crafts (also known as the painting school). After a relaxing lunch, you will visit the National Institute of Traditional Medicine, a traditional paper factory, the majestic Tashichodzong, and Simtokha Dzong (the oldest fortress in the kingdom). Overnight in Thimphu.

Day 4: Thimphu – Wangduephodrang, with afternoon excursion to Punakha
After breakfast you will drive to Wangduephodrang, with a stop en route for tea at Dochu La (3,100 meters), where on a clear day you can get spectacular views of the Himalayas. After lunch you will drive to Punakha, the former capital of Bhutan, and visit Punakha Dzong, which is noteworthy both for being one of the most beautiful dzongs in Bhutan and also for having been built by the first Shabdrung in 1637. On the way back from Punakha, you will stop at Metshina Village and take a 20-minute walk through the rice fields to Chimi Lakhang, which is a fertility temple, where you may receive a special fertility blessing if you wish. Overnight in Wangduephodrang.

Day 5:
Wangduephodrang – Trongsa, with stop in Gantey
You will begin the day by driving to Gantey. You’ll pass through dense forests of oak trees and rhododendrons and arrive at Gantey village, where you’ll visit Gantey Gompa, the only Nyingmapa monastery in western Bhutan. From Gantey, you can see the picturesque Black Mountain range as well as Phobjika Valley, the winter habitat of the black-necked cranes. From there you’ll head to Trongsa, the ancestral home of the royal family. The route is along a spectacular winding road, crossing 3,300-meter-high Pele La, and at certain times of year it’s possible to see yaks. You can browse through the Trongsa shops and town in the afternoon. Overnight in Trongsa.

Day 6: Trongsa – Bumthang
In the morning you’ll visit Trongsa Dzong, the masterpiece of Bhutanese architecture, and you’ll also see Ta Dzong, the watchtower built to defend this dzong. After lunch, you’ll proceed to Bumthang, the religious heartland of the nation, with lush valleys and hilly forests. Along the way you will stop at a yethra (textile weaving) factory, where the yethras are designed with patterns unique to Bumthang, and you can even watch some of the weavers at their looms. The afternoon will be spent sightseeing in the area, including Jakar Dzong, the administrative center of the valley; the Udee woodcarving factory in Jakar; Jambey Lhakhang, one of the oldest monasteries in Bhutan, dating from the introduction of Buddhism in Bhutan; and Kurjey Lhakhang, one of the most sacred places, because Guru Rinpoche left his body imprint on the cave when he was meditating. You can spend the evening strolling through Bumthang town. Overnight in Bumthang.

Day 7: Bumthang
Day excursion to Tang Valley. Tang valley is the most remote valley in Bumthang, and this will make a nice enjoyable excursion. You’ll make a stop in Tang valley for lunch and will have a chance to visit the Ugyen Chholing Palace and explore the village. On the way back to town, you will see Mebar Tsho (Burning Lake), where some of Guru Rinpoche’s treasures were found in the 15th century by the famous treasure discover Pema Lingpa. It’s a good place to meditate. You will also have a chance to tour Tamshing Lhakhang, a treasure house of interesting religious Buddhist paintings, and you will make a stop at the Swiss cheese factory. In the evening you can visit local shops. Overnight in Bumthang.

Day 8: Bumthang
Bumthang consists of four valleys–Chumey, Choekhar, Tang, and Ura–with altitudes varying from 2,600 to 4,000 meters. It is home to many prominent Buddhist temples and monasteries. Today you will hike to Tharpaling Monastery. You’ll begin the hike in the morning, since this is a fairly lengthy hike–about three hours to the monastery. It’s a picturesque trail through the forest. The monastery itself is somewhat large, with several temples, and about 100 monks live in the nearby huts. From the monastery, you will have a beautiful view of Chumey Valley, and you can have a relaxing lunch while you take in the scenery. In the evening you can relax in the town. Overnight in Bumthang.

Day 9: Bumthang – Mongar
You will begin your journey to eastern Bhutan, which is different from western and central Bhutan in terms of development and lifestyle. The steepness of the region lends itself to some spectacular views, with rushing waterfalls and sheer drops. The drive on this day is an exhilarating 8 hours, particularly the Thrumshing La (pass), which peaks at 3,750 meters. You can wander around Mongar town in the evening and sit down to a relaxing dinner. Overnight in Mongar.

Day 10: Mongar – Trashigang
In the morning you will visit Mongar Dzong, which is more modern than most dzongs in Bhutan (though architecturally it looks the same), having been built at the request of the third king in 1953. You will then head to Trashigang, passing through several villages. In the afternoon, you can visit Trashigang Dzong and stroll through the town, absorbing the culture of eastern Bhutan. Overnight in Trashigang.

Day 11:
Trashigang, with excursion to Tashiyangtse
Today you will visit Tashiyangtse, which is a small, pretty, quiet town. The people are known for making wooden bowls and containers, which are said to be the best in Bhutan. Just below the town is the Chorten Kora. Along the way to Tashiyangtse you will stop at the Gom Kora temple, behind which is a large black rock. It is said that Guru Rinpoche meditated in a cave in the rock and that you can see the impression of his thumb, his hat, and his body on the rock. You will also visit the abandoned iron chain-link bridge behind the village of Duksum. It is said that this is the last remaining bridge of those built by a Tibetan bridge builder by the name of Thangtong Gyalpo in the 15th century. Later in the day you can relax in Trashigang and enjoy a nice dinner. Overnight in Trashigang.

Day 12: Trashigang – Mongar
In the morning you can visit the weaving center in Khaling (which is operated by the National Women’s Association of Bhutan), Sherubtse College in Kanglung (Bhutan’s first college), and Zangdopelri Monastery. From there you will head back to Mongar. Overnight in Mongar.

Day 13: Mongar – Bumthang
Drive the spectacular 8-hour route back to Bumthang, with stops for lunch and tea in nearby villages. Overnight in Bumthang.

Day 14: Bumthang – Wangduephodrang
You’ll begin the day at the Bumthang market, and then drive to Wangduephodrang, where you can stroll through the town and visit the shops. The nearby villages are known for their slate and stone carvings and bamboo work. Overnight in Wangduephodrang.

Day 15: Wangduephodrang – Thimphu
In the morning you will drive back to Thimphu. After lunch, you will tour the Textile Museum and the Folk Heritage Museum, and you can explore the interesting handicraft shops. Overnight in Thimphu.

Day 16: Thimphu
In the morning you can hike to Tango Monastery, which was built by the “Divine Madman” in the 15th century. It’s a center of study for monks, and it affords a great view of the Thimphu Valley. On the grounds of the monastery is a “sin-testing” tunnel–it is said that if you have sinned, you will get stuck in the tunnel, and if you are without sin, you will go through with ease! After lunch, you can hike to Cheri Monastery, which was built in 1620 and housed the first monk body. The Shabdrung’s father’s ashes are contained inside the monastery. Overnight in Thimphu.

Day 17: Thimphu – Paro
You can spend the morning shopping in Thimphu. If it’s the weekend, you can stroll through the market to see the variety of food of the country, including basket upon basket of fiery chilies, fresh cheese, and mangoes. In addition, many stalls contain Bhutanese handicrafts and household items. It’s fun to wander the aisles, taking in the bustling atmosphere of the market. In the afternoon, you will drive to Paro. You will tour the National Museum, which was formerly the watchtower for the Paro Dzong. It now houses a collection of fine arts, paintings, thangkas, statues, and antiques. In the evening you can visit a traditional farmhouse and, if you wish, enjoy a hot-stone bath and a typical Bhutanese dinner. Overnight in Paro.

Day 18:
Depart Paro for your return flight
Tashi Delek and have a pleasant flight