India, Asia
Location
9 Days
Duration

Bhutan – The Last Shangrila

Welcome to India, Asia!

ROUTE: Delhi, Thimpu, Punakha, Paro, Delhi

DURATION: 9 Days

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Visit to historical sites/monuments
  • Thimpu visit the Late King’s Memorial Chorten, the National Library, the indigenous hospital specializing in herbal medicine, handmade paper factory, and the nunnery at Zilukha
  • Hike to Chimi Lhakhang, the divine mad monk’s temple
  • Punakha excursion to Wangduephodrang Valley
  • Paro sightseeing
  • Day excursion to Tiger’s Nest, trek beyond Takstang to see several monasteries, temples and retreat houses
AIRFARE: International Airfare Upon Request
ACCOMMODATIONS:  Hotels used (or similar)
FIRST:
  • Thimpu: Phunshopelri
  • Punakha: Meri Punsun
  • Paro: Hotel Olathang
DELUXE:
  • Thimpu: Termalinca Hotel
  • Punakha: Dhensa Resort
  • Paro: Zhiwaling
LUXURY:
  • Please inquire

Included:

Accommodations Per Person Sharing, including hotel taxes

Arrival & departure transfers where applicable

Local guides where applicable

Meals per itinerary

Park entrance fees and sightseeing fees where applicable

Applicable transportation

Not Included:

Airfare and air taxes

Cancellation, baggage, travel and medical insurance

Items of a personal nature such as baggage porterage, gratuities/tips, laundry, telephone calls, bottled water, etc.

Visa and visa fees

Optional sightseeing and activities

Meals, beverages and services not mentioned in itinerary

For additional information or reservations please complete QUOTE REQUEST form in side bar of this page or contact us directly to speak to one of our Destination Experts.


We can personalize this tour just for you! Call: 1 800 263 2995 / 416 391 0334 or complete form in: CUSTOM-CRAFTED tab on this page.


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Terms & Conditions

1

Day 1 Arrive Paro - Drive To Thimpu

The flight into Bhutan takes you over the great Himalayas, offering the scintillating scenery of the world’s highest glacial peaks. As you enter Paro valley, you will see the silvery Pa Chu (Paro River) meandering down the valley, the Paro Dzong (fortress) and Ta Dzong (watch tower). On arrival in Paro you will be received by our representative. Meeting & drive to Thimpu (55 Kms/ 01 Hr).

Activities:

  • En route visit Simtokha Dzong, the oldest fortress of the Kingdom which now houses the School for religious and cultural studies.
  • Evening is free.

Overnight: Thimpu – (D)

2

Day 2 Thimpu

Activities:

  • Today, we visit National Memorial Chorten: The building of this landmark was envisaged by the third king, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, as a monument to world peace and prosperity. Completed in 1974 after his untimely death, it is both a memorial to the Late King (the Father of modern Bhutan) and a monument to world peace. The paintings and statues inside the monument provide a deep insight into Buddhist philosophy.

Overnight: Thimpu – (B, L, D)

3

Day 3 Thimpu

Activities:

  • There are a many good things to see in the capital which has a very relaxed, laid-back feel about it. Thimphu is relatively small having a population of approximately 90,000 people and the streets are wide and tree lined.
  • In the morning you will visit the Late King’s Memorial Chorten, the National Library, the indigenous hospital specializing in herbal medicine, handmade paper factory, and the nunnery at Zilukha.
  • In the afternoon, tour of the school of fine arts where young students learn the traditional arts and crafts (Zo Rig Chusum – the thirteen crafts); Zangtopelri Lhakhang, the Handicraft Emporium and the local handicraft centers to see the varieties of textiles, thangkha paintings, masks, jewellery etc. on display.

Overnight: Thimpu – (B, L, D)

4

Day 4 Thimpu - Punakha 2 & ½ Hrs

Activities:

  • In the morning we drive to Punakha (3 hrs. drive), the old winter capital. Leaving Thimphu the road climbs via a series of zigzags over the Dochu La Pass, 10,000 ft/3,048 m. On a clear day panoramic views can be had of the eastern Himalaya, including Bhutan’s highest mountain, Gangkar Punsum, 24,770 ft/7,550 m. The road drops down through varied forest finally emerging into the highly-cultivated Punakha valley.
  • In the afternoon hike to Chimi Lhakhang, the divine mad monk’s temple. It is a beautiful walk through a lovely village. The temple can be visited and there is a tree outside which is supposed to have sprouted up after Drukpa Kunley sent a thunderbolt from an adjoining valley to kill some evil spirits who had gathered at the site.
  • Also visit the courtyard of Punakha Dzong.

Overnight: Punakha – (B, L, D)

5

Day 5 Punakha

Activities:

  • Punakha excursion to Wangduephodrang Valley(25 Kms/ 30 Minutes).
  • Excursion to Wangdi visit Wangduephodrang Dzong – very large fortress built in the shape of a sleeping bull and Rinchengang village situated on the sloppy hillside and unique in Bhutan.
  • Evening return to Punakha for overnight stay.

Overnight: Punakha – (B, L, D)

6

Day 6 Punakha - Paro

Activities:

  • After breakfast drive back to Paro VIA Thimpu.
  • Upon arrival check in at the Hotel.
  • Evening free.

Overnight: Paro – (B, L, D)

7

Day 7 Paro

Activities:

  • Ta Dzong (Sun, Mon Govt holiday closed): once a watchtower, built to defend Rinpung Dzong during inter-valley wars of the 17th century, Ta Dzong was inaugurated as Bhutan’s National Museum in 1968. It holds fascinating collection of art, relics, religious thangkha paintings and Bhutan’s exquisite postage stamps. The museum circular shape augments its varied collection displayed over several floors.
  • Afterwards, walk down a hillside trail to visit Rinpung Dzong, which has a long and fascinating history. Built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the first spiritual and temporal ruler of Bhutan, the Dzong houses the monastic body of Paro, the office of the Dzongda (district administrative head) and Thrimpon (judge) of Paro district. The approach to the Dzong is through a traditional covered bridge called Nemi Zam. A walk through the bridge, over a stone inlaid path, offers a good view of the architectural wonder of the Dzong as well as life around it. It is also the venue of Paro Tshechu, held once a year in the spring.

Overnight: Paro – (B, L, D)

8

Day 8 Paro

Activities:

  • Day excursion to Tiger’s Nest Taktshang or ‘Tiger’s Nest’ as it is often referred to for Taktshang Pelphung monastery, is one of the most venerated and famous of Bhutan’s monasteries. It is located on the face of a 900 m sheer cliff. It is an impressive and unmissable site, but accessible only by walk or to ride mules/pony.
  • From the trail head at Rumtokto (2600 m), the walk till the Cafeteria is a steep one hour uphill (about 350 m ascent). From the Cafeteria (2940 m), one can get a good close-up view of Taktshang. Savor views of the monastery over a well deserved cup of tea and biscuits at the cafeteria and continue uphill for another 45 minutes to a high observation point (3140 m) where there is a Chorten. From this vantage point, the lookout to the monastery is a very spectacular and seems almost close enough to touch. It is now on the other side of a deep chasm, only around 150 m away as bird flies, but takes half hour or even more to reach.
  • Continue down the flight of cliff­hanging steps on the narrow trail to a beautiful waterfall that plunges down the deep chasm and alongside is a retreat hermitage, jammed dramatically into a rock crevice. Then climb up the flight of steep steps to the monastery. At any point on this walk, you can always return if you find it too difficult. Once inside the monastery, there are several shrines or temples with few monks in residence.
  • After visiting Taktshang monastery’s many shrines, most tours schedule lunch at the Cafeteria upon return.
  • After lunch, retrace back to the road-head where you started in the morning. The return from Cafeteria is all downhill and takes just over half hour.
  • Further, if you have more time, energy and ready for more challenging day, you can start early and trek beyond Takstang to see several monasteries, temples, retreat houses in the surrounding area. The most notable among them are Zangdopelri and Ugyen Tsemo. Pony/horse can be hired for ride up till the Cafeteria. However you cannot ride beyond the cafeteria or come down hill on the horse. According to the legend, Guru Padmasambhava or Guru Rinpoche, who spread the Buddhism across the entire Himalayas is said to have flown here in the 8th century on the back of a Tigress, in order to subdue negative spiritual forces that were hostile to spread of Buddhism. In 853, one of his students, Pelgyi Senge mediated here in the main cave. The stupa inside one of the temples contains his mortal remains and therefore the cave is known as ‘Pelphung or Pelgi’s cave’. Subsequently many great spiritual masters such as Milarepa, Thangthong Gyalpo, Phajo Dugom Zhigpo, Shadrung and many others, passed periods here in profound meditation. In 1692, Tenzin Rabgye built a two storey temple around what little may have existed previously. This was expanded and refurbished many times over the period of time. Taktshang and several temples in the area were burnt down in 1951 by fire accident but much of them remained intact and most of the relics were saved. Soon after, the, Taktshang was rebuilt by population of Tsento village. Again in April of 1998, a major fire destroyed the main structure of the building and its contents (some believe it to be arson). Reconstruction began in 2000 and was completed and consecrated after extensive efforts and financial support of Governments as well as donors.

Overnight: Paro – (B, L, D)

9

Day 9 Departure Flight

Departure: Transfer to Paro Airport to connect departure flight for onward destination.


Meals as per itinerary: (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner)


We can personalize this tour just for you! Call: 1 800 263 2995 / 416 391 0334 or complete form in: CUSTOM-CRAFTED tab on this page.


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Location Name: India, Asia
Area (SQ KM): 3,287,263
Population: 1,251,695,584
Capital: New Delhi
Language(s): Hindi, English, Bengali, Gujarati, Kashmiri, Malayalam, Marathi, Oriya, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, Kannada, Assamese, Sanskrit, Sindhi (all official); Hindi/Urdu; 1,600+ dialects
Religion: Hindu, Islam, Christian, Sikh
Currency: Indian rupee - INR
Time Zone: GMT +5.5
Electricity: 230 V
Phone Country Code to Call (India, Asia): 91


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