Magical Western Bhutan Tour

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Trip Introduction

A glimpse of a magical world, where past and present merge, where traditions live and where the spiritual and material are undistinguished and indivisible aspects of every facet of life.

Magical Western Bhutan tour is a venture into a world that will touch your heart and soul. Nestled deep in the eastern Himalaya, unknown to much of the world. Magnificent mountains, lush valleys, thick forests, a serene lifestyle and traditions unchanged for centuries - this is the real of Bhutan. Towns are tiny, little more than villages, with quiet streets lined by decorative shops and houses. In a remote part of the Paro Valley the ruins of Drugyal Dzong mark a fortress from which the Bhutanese repelled many Tibetan invasions.

Outline Itinerary

Day 01: Arrival Paro International airport - transfer to Thimpu (2300m) - 2 hrs. drive
Day 02: Thimpu sightseeing
Day 03: Thimphu - Punakha (1250m.) - 3/4hrs drive
Day 04: Punakha - Trongsa (2200m.) - 5 hrs. drive
Day 05: Trongsa - Gangtey (2890m.) - Wangdiphodrang (1460m.) – 5-6 hrs. drive
Day 06: Wangdiphodrang - Paro (2200m.)
Day 07: Paro - hike to Taksang (Tiger’s Nest Monastery)
Day 08: Departure 

Day 01: Arrival Paro International airport - transfer to Thimpu (2300m) - 2 hrs. drive
During the flight, on a clear day, you can see breathtaking views of the Himalaya Mountains, including the sacred Jumolhari and Jichu Drake Peaks in Bhutan. On arrival you will be greeted by our representative and transferred to your hotel.

If time permit in the afternoon you can visit the following places:
-Kyichu Lhakhang
-Paro Dzong

In the evening you can drive to the capital town of Thimphu.

Accommodation: Hotel, Meals: Dinner

Day 02: Thimpu sightseeing
There are a good many 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 45,000 people and the streets are wide and tree lined. You will almost certainly visit the Late King's Memorial Chorten, the National Library, Drubthob Nunnery, Folk Heritage Museum, the handmade paper factory, the school of arts and crafts where young students learn the traditional arts and crafts (Zo Rig Chusum – the thirteen crafts), Gold and the Silver Smiths workshop, Zangtopelri Lhakhang, and the Handicraft Emporium and the local handicraft centers to see the weavers at work and also varieties of textiles, thangkha paintings, masks, jewellery etc

Accommodation: Hotel, Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 03: Thimpu - Punakha (1250m.) - 3/4 hrs. drive
After breakfast you will drive to Punakha, 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 at Wangduephodrong continue to 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 1636.

Accommodation: Hotel, Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 04: Punakha - Trongsa (2200m.) - 5 hrs. drive
It takes almost four hours to drive between the windswept town of Wangdue and Trongsa. The route crosses the Black Mountains via Pele la (3240 m) before entering the broad, heavily cultivated Mangde Chhu Valley. Trongsa means 'the new village.' and it dates from the 16th century, which is indeed relatively recent for Bhutan. The approach to Trongsa is spectacular, and for miles on the end the Dzong seems to tease you so that you wonder if you will ever reach it. Backing on to the mountain and built on several levels, the Dzong fits narrowly on a spur that sticks out into the gorge of the Mangde River and overlooks the routes south and west.

Accommodation: Hotel, Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 05: Trongsa - Gangtey (2890m.) - Wangdiphodrang (1460m.) - 5/6 hrs. drive
Retracing the route towards Wangdue the road diverts to Gangtey Valley and descends through fields of bamboo a glacial valley on the western slopes of the black mountains. The valley is a designated conservation area and borders the Black Mountains National Park. Because of the large flock of black-necked cranes that visits here in winter. It is one of the most important wildlife reserves in the kingdom. In addition to the cranes, there are also muntjacks (barking deer), wild boars, sambars, Himalayan black bears, leopards & black foxes in the valley and surrounding hills.

To the Bhutanese, going to Gangtey is like going back in time, an interesting perspective given that they themselves live in a country not rushing towards modernization.

Gangtey Gompa overlooks the large green expanse of the Phobjikha Valley. The extensive complex consists of the Gompa and several other buildings, which include monk quarters, meditation centers, school and small hostel. In the front of the yellow roofed Gompa is a Tibetan style Chorten with a wooden roof. In the evening return to Wangdu for overnight stay.

Accommodation: Hotel, Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 06: Wangdiphodrang - Paro (2200m.) - 3/4 hrs. drive
Today we drive along the winding mountain road to Paro. Afternoon, visit Bhutan's national museum, a fascinating place housed in an old watchtower above the huge Paro Dzong (monastery/fortress). The museum holds a fantastic collection of Bhutanese national treasures ranging from ancient armour to textiles and thangkha paintings. Then, we drive to the head of the valley and visit Drukgyel Dzong built in a location that was chosen for its control over the route to Tibet. A spectacular view of Mount Jumolhari (23,996ft /7314m) can be seen from here. Also visit Rinpung Dzong and a typical Bhutanese farm house.

Accommodation: Hotel, Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 07: Paro - hike to Taksang (Tiger’s Nest Monastery)
After breakfast hike to Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) Monastery, Bhutan’s most famous monastery. 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. After lunch you can visit other important site which you could not complete previous days.

Accommodation: Hotel, Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 08: Departure
Drive to the airport to connect flight for onward destination. Or Fly to Kathmandu for Nepal Tours.

Meals: Breakfast

Magical Western Bhutan Tour

Chris Wells & Stephene Goodrich

United States

2009-05-06

My sister and I traveled in Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan for 2 weeks with Friendship Tours. The trip, including all the internal airflights, visas and accommodations was arranged by Roka, the manager of Friendship Tours.  He certainly did his very best to make this an enjoyable adventure.  Our hotel in Kathmandu, Yak and Yeti was first rate with a great outdoor swimming pool, health spa and beautiful gardens.  The Potala Palace tour was the highlight of our 3 days in Tibet.  However, the accommodations at the Manasarovar Hotel in Lhasa left a lot to be desired.  We thoroughly enjoyed our stay in the kingdom of Bhutan, our guide and driver were exceptionally friendly and informative about their country's culture. 
 
The last stop on our adjenda was the Royal Chitwan National Park.  Although the accommodations at the Machan Paradise View were rather spartan, we enjoyed the elephant safari ride, looking for rhinos and other big game. Roka and his staff of guides and drivers made this an exciting and enjoyable trip to be remembered. 

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What is Included in the Cost

    • All arrival and departure transfers using private vehicle
    • Twin share hotel accommodation at respective hotels on BB (Bed & Breakfast) basis
    • Lunch & Dinner
    • All sightseeing tour with local English speaking guide
    • All transfer by private vehicle; it is depend on group size
    • Necessary entrance fee as per itinerary

What is Excluded in the Cost

    • International flight ticket.
    • Bhutan visa fee US$ 40.00 and TDF US$ 10 per person
    • Beverage and expenses of personal nature.
    • Any Optional Sightseeing Tours and extension of tours, hotel accommodation etc.
    • Tips to guide, porters, drivers etc.
    • Personal Insurance.

personal information

  • Mr.
  • Ms.
  • Dr.

trips information

  • Mt. Everest Flight
  • Air Ticket
  • Airport Pickup

Trip Facts

  • Trip Code: ftb005
  • Trip duration: 8 Days
  • Grade: Easy to Moderate
  • Group size: 2-12
  • Max-Altitude: 2890m.
  • Activity: Sightseeing
  • Starts in: Paro
  • Ends in: Paro
  • Accomodation: Hotel
  • Transportation: Private as per group size
  • Best Time: Around the year
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