Best of Bhutan Tour
Best Bhutan tour is the curtain raiser to the places of interest in western and central Bhutan. This seemingly leisure paced odyssey take you to the road of discovery of well preserved tradition and culture, medieval Dzongs, pristine environments, monasteries and ever friendly people. Best Bhutan tourr start from capital city Thimphu, which stole the limelight for being only capital in the world without traffic lights. After visiting sights and attraction in Thimphu valley, we then drive east across spectacular Dochula, offering grand vista of eastern Himalayan peaks on a clear day to the glacial valley of Phobjika, where electricity is still a novelty, an initiative undertaken in conversation programme of sacred Black Neck Crane. On the way back, we stop at semi tropical agrarian valley of Punakha and Wangdi, that houses one of most beautiful Dzong (Punakha Dzong) in the country on the confluence of Po and Mo Chhu river, after visiting these attraction, crossing again Docula pass, take you to verdant valley of Paro, culminating into hike to the famous Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) monastery, a quintessential Bhutan travel experience.
Day 01:Arrive Paro by Druk Air and transfer to Thimphu (55km, approx. 1.1/2 hour drive).
Day 02:Sightseeing in Thimphu.
Day 03:Thimphu to Punakha and Wangduephodrang (75 km, approx. 3 hours drive)
Day 04:Punakha and Wangduephodrang (Excursion to Gangtey)
Day 05:Punakha and Wangduephodrang to Paro (125 kms, approx. 4.1/2hours drive)
- All Meals [Breakfast /Lunch/Dinner]
- Accommodation [Twin Sharing] Single Room Supplement Extra US $: 40 per room per night in Three star hotel.
- All transportation within the country including airport transfers.
- Royalty and Govt. Taxes.
- Entrance fees for Museums and Monuments.
- Visa Fee.
- English speaking Local guide.
- Sightseeing as per itinerary.
What's not Includes
- Druk Air fares.
- Insurance Premiums
- Payments for service provided on a personal basis
- Cost for any services not mentioned in the "Cost Include head"
- Cost incurred due to mishaps, strikes, political unrest etc.
- Personal expense in items such as laundry, soft drinks, Camera Charges, Bottle water,
- Incidentals, Portage, Bellboy charges tips or any other services
Day 1Arrive Paro by Druk Air and transfer to Thimphu (55km, approx. 1.1/2 hour drive). The flight to Paro is one of the most spectacular in entire Himalayas. Whether flying along the Himalayan range from Kathmandu or over the foothills from Kolkata, the journey offers fascinating views and an exciting descent into the Kingdom. Bhutan’s first gift as you disembark from the aircraft will be cool, clean fresh mountain air. After immigration formalities and baggage collection, you will be met by our representative, and afterwards drive to Thimpu, the capital town of Bhutan with en-route stop at Chuzom, the confluence of Thimpu and Paro rivers. Three different style of stupas; Tibetan, Nepalese and Bhutanese adorn this confluence. On arrival in Thimpu, Hotel checks in. The capital town of Bhutan and the centre of government, religion and commerce, Thimpu is a unique city with unusual mixture of modern development alongside ancient traditions. With the population of about 90,000 it is perhaps still the world’s only capital city without a traffic light. At evening, you can walk around Thimpu Main Street and market area. Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu. Meal: dinner.
Day 2Sightseeing in Thimphu.After breakfast, drive to Buddha Point (Kuensel Phodrang). Located at a short drive from Thimphu city centre, visitors can get a good overview of the Thimphu valley from the Buddha point (Kuensel Phodrang). You can pay your obeisance and offer prayers to the Buddha, the largest statue in the country and then walk around and take a glimpse of the valley.
Then, visit King's Memorial Chorten continuously circumambulated by people, murmuring mantras and spinning their prayer wheels. Construction of this landmark was the idea of Bhutan’s third king, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuk (“the father of modern Bhutan”) who has wished to erect monument to world peace and prosperity. Completed in 1974 after his untimely death, it serves both as a memorial to the Late King and as a monument to peace.
Afterwards visit to Textile and Folk Heritage Museums, a fascinating testimony of the Bhutanese living traditions.
Post lunch, visit the National Library, housing an extensive collection of priceless Buddhist manuscripts and the Institute for Zorig Chusum (commonly known as the Painting School) where students undergo a 6-year training course in Bhutan’s 13 traditional arts and crafts.
Then, drive to Takin Preserve. The Takin is national animal of Bhutan, and looks like a cross between a cow and goat.
Later in the afternoon visit Trashichhoedzong, “fortress of the glorious religion”. This is the center of government and religion, site of monarch’s throne room and seat of Je Khenpo or Chief Abbot. Built in 1641 by the political and religious unifier of Bhutan, Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, it was reconstructed in 1960s in traditional Bhutanese manner, without nails or architectural plans.
Evening time can be spent strolling through the government-run Handicrafts Emporium and local crafts bazaar, to browse through example of Bhutan's fine traditional arts. Here you can buy hand-woven textiles, thangkha paintings, masks, ceramics, slate and wood carvings, jewelry, interesting items made from local materials.Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.
Meal: breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Day 3Thimphu to Punakha and Wangduephodrang (75 km, approx. 3 hours drive)After breakfast, drive to Punakha across Dochu La. Located at a height of 3,088m/ 10,130 ft, Dochula is a scenic location with chorten, mani wall, and prayer flags which decorate this highest point on the road. If skies are clear, it may be possible to see the following peaks from this pass in the order left to right: Masagang (7,158m), Tsendagang (6,960m), Terigang (7,060m ), Jejegangphugang (7,158 m), Kangphugang (7,170 m ), Zongphugang (7, 060 m ), a table mountain that dominates the isolated region of Lunana - finally Gangkar puensum, the highest peak in Bhutan at 7,497m.
Afternoon visit Punakha Dzong or (Palace of Great Happiness), built in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, at the junction of the Phochu and Mochu rivers. This majestic dzong served as both the religious and the administrative center of Bhutan in the past. It measures some 600 by 240 feet and has a six-story, gold-domed tower. Inside are courtyards and religious statuary that hint at the depth of history and spiritual tradition embodied here. Your guide will illuminate your understanding of this intricate culture that is exotic to us, though long established here.
Later in the day excursion to Chimi Lhakhang.
The Chimi Lhakhang, situated on a hillock in the centre of the valley, is also known as the temple of fertility. It is widely believed that couples who do not have children and wanting one, if they pray at this temple, they are usually blessed with a child very soon. A walk through the village near the temple will give you rare glimpses into the daily life and lifestyle of the villagers.Overnight at the hotel in Punakha / Wangduephodrang.
Meal: breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Day 4Punakha and Wangduephodrang (Excursion to Gangtey)After breakfast, embark on a fascinating excursion to Gangtey. The valley of Gangtey is one of the most beautiful spots in Bhutan. The surprise of finding such a wide, flat valley without any trees after the hard climb through dense forests is augmented by an impression of vast space, an extremely rare experience in Bhutan where most of the valley’s are tightly enclosed.
VisitÂ here the Gangtey Gompa : Perched on a small hill that rises from the valley floor, the Gangtey Monastery is the only Nyingmapa monastery on the western side of the Black Mountain’s and also the biggest Nyingmapa monastery in Bhutan. The Monastery is surrounded by a large village inhabited mainly by the families of the 140 Gomchens who take care of the Monastery.
Then explore the fascainting Phobjikha Valley. This place is the winter home of black necked cranes that migrate from the arid plains in the north to pass winter in milder and lower climate. Phobjikha, at an altitude of 2900 m, falls under the district of Wangduephodrang and lies on the periphery of the Black Mountain National Park.
Also visit Black Neck Crane Information Centre. Situated on the edge of the forest and wetland along the main road of Phobjikha valley, the black-necked crane information Centre has an observation room equipped with high power telescope and spotting scopes for catching the best view of the cranes. The centre also offers display information that outline the natural and cultural history of the area. There is a small gift shop, which sells handicrafts produced by the local people.
Later in the afternoon drive back to Punakha / Wangduephodrang, for overnight stay.
Meal: breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Day 5Punakha and Wangduephodrang to Paro (125 kms, approx. 4.1/2hours drive) After breakfast drive back to Paro descending back down from Dochu La, follow the way back up the dramatic Wang Chhu and Paro Chhu river valleys, before crossing through Paro town towards the north end of the valley.
En route visit Simtokha Dzong, one of the oldest fortress of the country and known as the place of profound tantric teaching. This dzong now houses a school for the study of the Dzongkha language.
Later in the day after checking into hotel, proceed to visit Ta Dzong, originally built as Watchtower, which now houses National Museum. The extensive collection includes antique thangkha paintings, textiles, weapons and armour, household objects and a rich assortment of natural and historic artifacts.
Then walk down the trail to visit Rinpung Dzong, meaning (“fortress of the heap of jewels”), which has a long and fascinating history. Along the wooden galleries lining the inner courtyard are fine wall paintings illustrating Buddhist lore such as four friends, the old man of long life, the wheel of life, scenes from the life of Milarepa, Mount. Sumeru and other cosmic Mandala.Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
Meal: breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Day 6Paro.After breakfast excursion to Taktshang Monastery (approx 5 hours round trip walk). It is one of the most famous of Bhutan’s monasteries, perched on the side of a cliff 900m above the Paro valley floor. It is said that Guru Rinpoche arrived here on the back of a tigress and meditated at this monastery and hence it is called ‘Tiger’s Nest’. This site has been recognized as a most sacred place and visited by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1646 and now visited by all Bhutanese at least once in their lifetime.
Along the way, visit the 7th century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples built in the Himalayas by Tibetan King, Songtsen Gampo. The building of this temple marks the introduction of Buddhism in Bhutan.
Evening an exploratory walk around main street and market area..
Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
Meal: breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Day 7Departure.After early breakfast at the hotel, drive to the airport for flight to your onward destination. Our representative will help you with exit formalities and then bid you farewell.
- Short information about Bhutan:
The Buddhist Kingdom of Bhutan lies along the lofty ridges of the eastern Himalayas, location of Bhutan bordering the Tibetan Autonomous region of China in the North and North-West and the Indian states of Sikkim in the West and South-West, Assam in the south, Arunachal Pradesh in the East and South-East and West Bengal in South and South-West. The country within these borders forms a giant staircase, from a narrow strip of land in the south to some of the highest un-climbed Himalayan peaks on earth. With an area of 46,500 square kilometers, Bhutan is comparable to Switzerland both in its size and topography, being largely mountainous.It was the mighty Himalayas which protected Bhutan from the rest of the world and left the Kingdom blissfully untouched. The Drukpa Kagyupa sect of Mahayana Buddhism provided the essence of a rich culture and fascinating history. The Bhutanese people protected this sacred heritage and unique identity for centuries by choosing to remain shrouded deeply in a jealously guarded isolation.
- How To Enter Into Bhutan:
Bhutan is a unique destination and as such it has a few unique rules. All tourists must obtain a visa before arriving in Bhutan. Visas are issued on receipt of full payment of your holiday by the Tourism Council of Bhutan. The money remains with the Tourism Council until your travel in-country is complete before the local tour operate is paid. Bhutan does not restrict tourist numbers any longer and operates an open door policy.
- By Air:
Paro International Airport (PBH) is the only entry point to Bhutan by air. It is located in the south west of the country and served only by the country’s flag carrier Druk Air.E-tickets have been in use since April 1st 2008. Drukair operates 2 planes (two airbuses) which flies to Bangkok,Delhi, Katmandu, Bodhgaya, Dhaka, Singapore, Bagdogra & Guwahati.
- By Land:
There are three land border crossings located along southern border to India only. Phuntsholing in the west, Gelephu in the central region and Samdrup Jongkhar in the east. No border crossings are open along the Chinese northern border. Road permits are also required; however, these are processed by your local tour operator, along with your visa.
Bhutan being a very small country and a developing one has very few tourist accommodations which are luxurious but there are a lot of accommodations which offer basic necessities, especially as you travel further east.
If you are looking for a bit of luxury then we can arrange for you to stay at 5-star establishments i.e. namely Amankora (in Thimphu, Punakha, Paro, Gangtey and Bumthang), Uma Paro and Hotel Taj. These establishments have been developed as a result of Foreign Investment in Bhutan. They offer a variety of privileges which are quite unique from the other establishments, therefore be prepared to pay for these privileges. Also now we have some local hotels which have improved the services and facilities such as Zhiwaling. We can also arrange for cooks to accompany you on treks and camping tours that are skilled in coming up with delicious meals.
We have many other regional languages and the National Language we speak is called as “Dzongkha”, but English is very common among Bhutanese as well and is spoken fluently by most of us. Therefore it is the second official language and it is a medium through which communication takes place.
- Food and Refreshment:
While there are ample restaurants on highways between main towns and the hygiene standards at such places is acceptable, the quality of the food is very low and the choice of dishes limited. In addition, the dining halls offer an environment no better than a bus station waiting room. Therefore, it is generally better to prepare food and refreshment for the journey at the point of departure.
Bhutanese dishes consist mostly of vegetables, chili, cheese, chicken, beef, pork, yak, rice with “Ema Datse” is the national dish (chili & cheese stew) Momo (cheese or pork dumplings), Hogay (cucumber, tomato, onion, and cheese salad), curries with chicken or pork, Nosha Paa (beef and chili) – these are all popular Bhutanese dishes. Due to the hot flavoring and abundant use of chilies in the cuisine it is spicy. There is little to no seafood but on request you can get buffet style meals with choice of continental, Bhutanese and Indian Cuisine. Our cooks, who accompany the treks and camping tours, are well trained and equipped and can come up with delicious feasts every day. For beverages locals enjoy Yak Butter Tea (tea leaves, water, salt, & yak butter) and Ara (spirit distilled from rice).
- Tour Guides:
Our tour guides have good knowledge of the history and culture of Bhutan and are very hospitable in nature. They are certified by the Tourism Authority of Bhutan. The most common mode of communication is English but we can also provide guides who can speak French and Japanese.
Although geographically quite small, Bhutan’s weather varies from north to south and valley to valley, mainly depending upon the elevation. In the North of Bhutan on the borders with Tibet it is perennially covered with snow. In the western, central and eastern Bhutan (Ha, Paro, Thimphu, Wandue, Trongsa, Bumthang, Trashi Yangtse, Lhuntse) you will mostly experience European-like weather. Winter lasts here from November to March. Punakha is an exception as it is in a lower valley and summer is hot and winter is pleasant. Southern Bhutan bordering with India is hot and humid with a sub-tropical climate. While the monsoon affects northern Indian it does not command the same influence in Bhutan. Summer months tend to be wetter with isolated showers predominately in the evenings only. Winter is by far the driest period while spring and autumn tend to be pleasant.
There are four distinct seasons similar in their divisions to those of Western Europe. Temperatures in the far south range from 15°C in winter (December to February) to 30°C in summer (June to August). In Thimphu the range is from -2.5°C in January to 25°C in August and with a rainfall of 100mm. In the high mountain regions the average temperature is 0°C in winter and may reach 10°C in summer, with an average of 350mm of rain. Precipitation varies significantly with the elevation. The average rainfall varies from region to region.
For Checking exchange rate , Please click here : Bank of Bhutan.
Due to the varying temperature and climatic conditions it is advisable to dress warmly, layered clothing is better than one or two thick garments in order to keep warm. Clothing should preferably be made from natural materials in order for the body to be comfortable.As Bhutan is in its developing stage people think differently therefore it would be advisable for you to avoid walking around in skimpy or tight fitting clothes. For visits to monasteries, dzongs and other religious institutions dress modestly and respectfully, and refrain from smoking while on the premises. Hats, caps, shoes etc. should be removed before entering the premises.
You need to pack clothes as per season, sunglasses/spare glasses, pair of casual shoes, knife, hat, umbrella, camera, films and accessories (including spare camera batteries), insect repellent, hand cream, small sewing kit & safety pins, torch or flash light with spare batteries, mirror, scissors, sun cream, lip salve, soluble aspirin, antiseptic cream, anti-histamine cream, anti-diarrhea pills, a preparation for the relief of sunburn, and any medication you take regularly, or might need to take for a periodically recurring condition, such as asthma.
-Visa is needed for Traveling to Bhutan and it is processed in Thimphu through a local tour operator such as Bhutan Travel Gate. Foreign missions or embassies abroad will not grant tourist visa.
-Passport details should be forwarded to the Travel agent at least 1 month prior to date of travel for visa processing.
-The visa is stamped only on arrival in Bhutan with the support of visa clearance, which will be sent to you in advance.
-Those Travelers, entering Bhutan via Druk Air, visa clearance number is forwarded to the concerned overseas Druk Air Stations and without this clearance number the passengers are not allowed to board the flight.
-Travelers entering the country by surface through Phuentsholing and Samdrup Jongkhar (The border town in the Southern Bhutan), visa clearance number is forwarded to the Local Authority and the actual visa is stamped on arrival. Two copies of passport size photographs are required on arrival.
-Visa fee is USD 40 per person one time and which should be paid along with the Tour payment.
For Details , Please find this link Bhutan Tourism Board.