Bhutan Thunder Dragon Tour
Bhutan Thunder Dragon Tour covers Western valleys is the introduction to Bhutan. You get to see the immense ever-changing landscapes and enjoy the people’s hospitality and immerse yourself into Bhutan’s rich culture and tradition. The “Glimpse of Bhutan” cultural tour explores all of the highlights of Bhutan’s western valleys, and is ideal for those with a limited time frame. Visit and discover the sacred monasteries and temples in the west of Bhutan. Climb up to the famous Taktsang Monastery situated on a cliff 900m above the ground. Enjoy the beautiful changing landscapes travelling from one place to another. Visit fortresses (Dzongs), preserve centers, markets and museums, See ancient wall paintings and carvings in Dzongs and temples.
Day 01:Arrive Paro and Paro-Thimphu. (Distance: 54 km, estimated driving time: 1 hr)
Day 02:Thimphu sightseeing.
Day 03:Thimphu-Punakha. Distance: 71 km, estimated driving time: 2 ½ hours
Day 05:A Day Hike to Taktsang Ghoempa (Tiger’s Nest Monastery).
- All Meals [Breakfast /Lunch/Dinner]
- Accommodation [Twin Sharing] Single Room Supplement Extra US $: 40 per room per night.
- All transportation within the country including airport transfers.
- Royalty and Govt. Taxes.
- Entrance fees for Museums and Monuments.
- Visa Fee.
- English speaking Local guide.
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 and Paro-Thimphu. (Distance: 54 km, estimated driving time: 1 hr)Fly into Paro by Druk Air / Bhutan Airline After completing your immigration formalities, you will be received by our representative who will be your tour guide throughout your tour.
Then drive to Thimphu . On arrival at Thimphu check into your hotel and after refreshment visit the following:
• Kuensel Phodrang and visit tallest buddha statue and enjoy the full view of Thimphu Valley below.
• National Memorial Chorten, chorten literally means ' seat of faith' and Buddhists often call such monuments the 'Mind of Buddha'. Meet the elderly local in circumambulation at the National Memorial Chorten.
Takin Preserve, which houses the national animal the Takin that is only found in Bhutan. This is an extremely rare member of the goat family. Found in herds in the very high altitudes (13,125ft and over). They live on a diet of grass and bamboo. It can weigh as much as 550 pounds.
• Tashichhoe Dzong, a fortress of the glorious religion. It was built in 1641 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel and was reconstructed into present structure by the late King, His majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck in the year 1962-1969. It houses the secretariat building, the throne room and the office of the king, and the central monk body.
• Craft Bazaar -A one stop place to witness Bhutanese culture and buy Bhutan made art and craft product. The Bazaar in its 80 stalls covers all aspects of the traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan. At this Bazaar craftsmen and artisans from across the country display and sell their handicrafts. And also visit other handicraft stores. Over night at Thimphu.
Meal: breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Day 2Thimphu sightseeing.After breakfast visit following place :
Institute for Zorig Chusum
Commonly known as Arts and Crafts School or Painting School, the Institute offers a six-year course on the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan. On a visit, one can see students learning the various skills taught at the school.
Located on the banks of the river (near the city stadium), this 5.6 acres of parkland offer a pleasant and relaxing environment to stroll or to sit and watch the river flow by.
The Folk Heritage Museum (Phelchey Toenkhyim)
It is dedicated to connect people to the Bhutanese rural past through exhibits, demonstrations, educational programmes and documentation of rural life. The principal exhibit in the museum is a restored three storey traditional rammed mud and timber house, which dates back to the mid 19th century. The design and form of house is that of an average household in the Wang area during that era. The age of structure demonstrates the durability and performance of the building materials. From ground to top floor, household objects, typical domestic tools and equipments that would have been used by a family during that period are put on display. The museum is also developing some of the native trees and plants that were used for various domestic purposes in the rural households.
It is a fortress like temple and monastic school perched on a ridge above Thimphu, south of Motithang. The temple was established in 12th century on a site chosen by Lama Phajo Drugom Shigpo, who came from Tibet. The central statue here is Chenrezig in a manifestation with 11 heads. From temple courtyard, there is fascinating view of Thimphu valley.
Every Saturday and Sunday most of Thimphu's scant population and many valley dwellers congregate on the banks of the river where weekend market is held. It is an interesting place to visit and provides opportunity to mingle with the local people. Over night at Thimphu.
Meal: breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Day 3Thimphu-Punakha. Distance: 71 km, estimated driving time: 2 ½ hoursAfter breakfast, travel to Punakha through Dochula Pass 3140 m). In the clear spring sky, you can enjoy the panoramic view of the Himalayan Mountain ranges. . Then pass by the beautiful 108 chortens built on the hill by Her Majesty Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck (Queen Mother of Bhutan) for the security and well being of His Majesty, the King of Bhutan.
You will also visit Druk Wangyal Lhakhang (monastery) which was built by Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck ( the Queen Mother of Bhutan) as a tribute to His Majesty the fourth King of Bhutan, Jigme Singye Wangchuck and armed forces after His Majesty led a successful operation against Indian militants who had occupied certain areas of Bhutan. The gallery of the Druk Wangyal Lhakhang has beautiful murals depicting some of the important events in the reigns of the Kings of Bhutan.
Then travel onto Punakha. Punakha has been inextricably linked to some of the most momentous events in the Bhutanese history and deserves its reputation as one of the most beautiful and significant regions at the heart of Bhutanese culture. Punakha had served as the capital of Bhutan from 1637 till 1907. The dzong is historically important and stands as the symbol for a unified Bhutan.
On the way, stop for lunch at Metsina village and then visit the Devine Madman’s Monastery-Chhimi Lhakhang, famously known for its fertility shrine, where one can receive a special fertility blessing.
Then visit the Punakha Dzong, located on the island of the Pho - Chu (male river) and the Mochu (female river). The dzong was built in 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to serve as the religious and administrative seat of the region. At the dzong, you can see the highest standards in woodwork.
In the evening visit Rinchengang and Lobesa villages where you will take a short walk through the village and have free interaction with the villagers. Overnight at Punakha.
Meal: breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Day 4Punakha-Paro.After breakfast travel to Paro. On arrival at Paro check into your hotel and visit the following:
• National Museum, housed in the Ta Dzong (watchtower). Here an intriguing collection of artifacts provide a wonderful introduction to the rich culture and heritage of the Kingdom.
• Paro Dzong, a fine example of Bhutanese historic architecture. It is also known as the Rinpung Dzong which means a “fortress that sits on a heap of jewels”. This imposing dzong located above the Paro River is a fine example of Bhutanese architecture with its inward sloping walls that rise to an impressive height. The dzong was built in the 16th century on the foundation of a monastery built by Guru Rinpoche (who is regarded as the "second Buddha.") .From the dzong, walk further down to Nyamai Zampa, an oldest traditional cantilever bridge in Bhutan.
• In the evening stroll through the Paro town and visit local handicraft stores.
Over night at Paro.
Meal: breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Day 5A Day Hike to Taktsang Ghoempa (Tiger’s Nest Monastery).After breakfast, drive to Paro which takes about 1 hr and then hike up to Taktsang Monastery, also known as ‘Tiger’s Nest’. The walk up to the viewpoint will take about 1 – 1 ½ hrs depending on your fitness and from View Point you will enjoy a spectacular view of the monastery clinging to the side of the cliff. Stop for refreshment at the View Point Cafeteria. Then walk further up to the monastery which will take about 1 hour. It is said that in the 8th century Guru Rinpoche flew on the back of a tigress from eastern Bhutan to this place and meditated in a cave here for 3 months. The principal Lhakhang (monastery) of the present monastic complex dates from 1692. Taktsang was damaged severely by fire in 1998 but has now been fully restored to its former glory.After visiting the monastery, walk downhill back to the road on the way stop for lunch at the view point cafeteria and then walk further downhill to the road point. Then drive back to hotel. On the way visit Kyichu temple,one of the 108 temples built in the 7th century by the Tibetan King Songsten Gampo. The story goes that a giant demon lay across the whole area of Tibet and the Himalayas and was preventing the spread of Buddhism. To overcome her, King Songtsen Gampo decided to build 108 temples, which would be placed on all the points of her body. Of these 108 temples, 12 were built in accordance with precise plans. Thus, it happened that in about the year AD 638 the temple of Jokhang in Lhasa was built over the very heart of the demon. Over night at Paro.
Meal: breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Day 6Departure. In the morning after breakfast your tour guide will escort you to the Paro airport for your flight to your onward destinations.
- 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.