Depth of Bhutan
19 Nights - 20 Days Tour
(Covering: - Kathmandu, Patan, Paro, Thimphu, Punakha, Wangduephodrang, Gangtey, Trongsa, Bumthang, Mongar, Trashigang & Trashiyangtse)
Day 01: ARRIVE KATHMANDU
Arrive on Katmandu airport, and transfer to hotel. The tour manager will give pre-tour briefing. Rest of the day is leisure. O/N at Hotel.
Day 02: KATHMANDU
Morning visit Swayambhunath Temple and Patan City. Afternoon visit Pashupatinath, Boudhanath and Old Kathmandu City. Evening free and overnight stay at hotel.
Day 03: ARRIVAL AT PARO
Get on board Druk Air, Bhutan’s national airline, from Kathmandu bound for Paro. The flight to Paro offers fascinating views of the eastern Himalayan range, including Mt. Everest . On arrival you will be received by your guide and escorted to your hotel in Paro.
In the evening visit Paro town, stroll through its quaint two streets and browse through the shops.
Day 04: EXCURSION TO TAKTSHANG
After an early breakfast, drive to the foot of the Taktshang cliff before walking uphill for 2 hours to reach this monastery, giddily perched on a sheer 800m rock face. Taktshang means ‘Tiger’s Nest’ as legend has it that Guru Padmasambhava flew to this spot on the back of a tigress in the eight century. He meditated here making this temple a sacred pilgrimage destination for Buddhists. Lunch at the Taktshang Cafeteria. The trip to and fro takes four hours for which riding ponies can be arranged.
Day 05: PARO Sightseeing
Drive to Drukgyel Dzong, the fortress of the victorious Drukpas. Although gutted by a fire, the fortress once served to repel Tibetan invasions. On the way back visit a typical Bhutanese farmhouse to get a glimpse into the daily life of the Bhutanese. In the afternoon, visit the National Museum and Rinpung Dzong (built in 1645 A.D). After evening tea, drive to Thimphu.
Overnight in Thimphu.
Day 06: Thimphu Sightseeing
Morning, enjoy a cultural show at Royal Academy of Performing Arts and visit the weekend market if on a weekend. Visit the National Library Where many rare and ancient manuscripts are preserved and the School Arts & Crafts.
Day 07: Thimphu Sightseeing
In the morning, visit the Memorial Chorten, a stupa conscpetualised by the Third King to ward off negative influences. It was later built in his memory by the present King and the Queen Mother. Other important places include the Folk Heritage Museum for an insight into the medieval lifestyle of the Bhutanese; the National Library which contains collections of literature and scriptures; the Textile Museum for ancient Bhutanese textile collections; a Nunnery, the 12th century Changgangkha temple; and a drive to the viewpoint of Thimphu and national animal-Takin research center. If time permits, visit Tashicho Dzong, the center of government and the monastic order. Independent tour of the town.
Day 08: Thimphu – Punakha/Wangdiphodrang (77Km. 3hrs)
Thimphu - Punakha/Wangdiphodrang. After an early breakfast, drive to Punakha and Wangdiphodrang. On the way, stop at Dochula Pass (Alt. 3050m. Distance 26 Kms.) for tea/coffee and enjoy spectacular view of the Eastern Himalayan range. In Puankha, visit Chimi lhakhang, built by Lama Drukpa Kuenley or the Divine Madman. The temple is renowned for blessing barren women with fertility. In the evening the Punakha Dzong, straddling a junction between two rivers
Overnight at Hotel in Wangdiphodrang.
Day 09: Wangdiphodrang - Trongsa (129Km. 4.30Hrs)
After an early breakfast, drive to Trongsa which takes about 6 hrs. with picnic lunch at Chendebji .
Overnight at the lodge in Trongsa.
Day 10: Trongsa – Bumthang (68Km. 2.30Hrs)
After viewing Trongsa Dzong, one of the most impressive Dzongs built in the 17th century by Shabdrung. It is an architectural masterpiece with courtyards and corridors and 23 temples. After an early lunch, depart for Bumthang over Yongtong La pass (3340m) En route, observe the Yathra weaving center at Zungey. Overnight Hotel.
Day 11: Bumthang – sightseeing
After breakfast explore the beautiful valley which open and spacious at elevations ranging from 8’500 ft to over 13’000 ft. It is a haven for trekkers and hikers. It is also home to many prominent Buddhist temples and monasteries.
Visit to Tamshing Lhakhang, the treasure house of interesting religious Buddhist paintings and Jakar Dzong, the administrative centre of the valley.
Afternoon visit Kurje Lhakhang, one of the most sacred temples here. Later visit Jambay Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples built by the Tibetan king, Tsongtsen Goembo. Evening visit to local shops.
Overnight at the lodge in Bumthang.
Day 12: Bumthang – Mongar (198Km. 7hrs)
The journey continues eastwards winding through more rugged terrain. The drive with spectacular views will take about 7 hours. Pass through Ura village in Bumthang before climbing sharply to the highest motorable pass in the Kingdom, the Thrumshingla pass (4,000 m). Gradually drop down to Sengor, with cascading waterfalls on the way.
The descent stops at 700m, on a bridge over the Kurichu. Ascent again through pine forest, maize fields and eastern hamlets to Mongar town. Visit Mongar Dzong, built quite recently. Overnight at the lodge in Mongar.
Day 13: Mongar – Trashigang (90Km. 4hrs)
This trip of about 96 km takes 3 hours passing through Kori la pass (2,450m), the place marked by a pretty chhorten and a stonewall. The first part of the journey is through leafy forest filled with ferns. Later road descends rapidly through cornfields and banana groves and the famous ziazags of Yadi, a recent settlement. About 30 km onwards lies Trashigang at 1000m. Trashigang is the biggest and most populated district in the country. Visit Trashigang Dzong, standing at the extreme end of the spur, overlooking the Gamri river. It serves as the administrative seat for the district and the monastic school. Overnight at the lodge in Trashigang.
Day 14: Trashigang (Excursion to Trashiyangtse) (52Km. 2.30hrs)
24 km from Trashigang, visit the temple of Gom Kora , set on a small alluvial plateau, overlooking the river. Gom Kora is the spot where Guru Rinpoche subdued a demon. Further ahead reach Doksum village where you can see women weaving traditional Bhutanese fabric and a chain bridge dating back to the 15th century. Visit to Trashiyangtse Dzong, situated at the altitude of 1,850m. Evening return to Trashigang. Overnight at the lodge in Trashigang.
Day 15: Optional : Trashigang - Samdrup Jongkhar (180Km. 6hrs.)
This 6-7 hours drive to the small town in the south bordering Assam is about 180 kms. This route passes through Kanglung, the site iof Bhutan ’s only university, Sherubtse College .
Overnight at hotel.
Day 16: Samdrup Jongkhar - Gauhati Airport (110Km.3hrs)
You can drive to Gauhati, which is 2-3 hours to connect your onward flight to Delhi/Kolkotta. Representative of Himalayan Kingdom Tours will bid you farewell.
Day 17: Trashigang – Bumthang (289 km, 10 hours)
After breakfast drive back to Bumthang with lunch en route.
Overnight at the lodge in Bumthang.
Day 18: Bumthang – Punakha (205 km, 6 hours)
Morning visit Bumthang market and drive to Punakha. Lunch will be served in Trongsa town.
Overnight at hotel in Punakha.
Day 19: Punakha – Paro (125 km, 4.1/2 hours)
Morning free time in Punakha. After lunch drive to Paro for overnight stay.
Day 20: Departure
After breakfast in the hotel, drive to the airport for flight to onward destination. Representative of Eco Trek will bid you farewell. TASHI DELEK.
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