Bhutan Private Summer Journey – 9 nts

Bhutan Private Summer Journey – 9 nights

Dochu La

Bhutan & Beyond is delighted to announce this amazing SALE offer, exclusively for the months of June-August 2019. It features the best mix of our 3, 4 & 5 star properties.

Our 9 night tour visits 4 very different valleys. Paro, Thimphu, Punakha & wonderfully remote Phobjikha.

AUS toll free ; James – 0412 416 111; Nicola – 0413 598 669

Day 1:

Paro Airport  to Thimphu City – 1 hr 30 mins.

After clearing immigration and customs you will be greeted by your BTCL guide and driver and transferred to Bhutan’s capital Thimphu, travelling through the spectacular countryside en-route. All the houses and buildings in the Kingdom are painted and constructed in traditional Bhutanese style.

On arrival into Thimphu check-in to your hotel and take lunch. Enjoy the remainder of the day to explore Thimphu, both by vehicle and on foot. Your options include visits to the National Memorial Stupa; the celebrated Royal Textile Academy and the Takin Preserve – home to Bhutan’s most unusual national mammal.

Overnight Thimphu – 4* Zhiwa Ling Ascent Resort.

Hike options available in Thimphu are subject to prevailing conditions.

  • Wangditse hike:
    Drive to BBS tower, approximately 15 minutes drive and start hike from there. It’s a gradual walk towards Wangditse Goemba, approx 30 minutes walk. (round trip 1 hr)
  • Tango Goemba hike
    Travel north up the Thimphu valley and hike through the forest to Tango Goemba (2hr round trip)

Day 2:

Activities in the Thimphu Valley today.

This morning visit the awesome Golden Buddha which also offers an excellent 3 km hike option with sensational valley views. Furthermore visit the majestic Trashichhoe Dzong and the beautiful Tara Lhaden Zhingkham lhakang (temple).  

Other recommended places to visit are Zorig Chusum – the Institute of the 13 Arts & Crafts of Bhutan (closed over school holidays and weekends) & the The Folk Heritage Museum. Also, the National Library which holds a vast collection of ancient Buddhist manuscripts. The colourful weekend markets (Fri-Sun) are always a hit. Becuse this is where all the locals go to buy an array of fresh fruits & vegetables, home-wares, handicrafts and clothes.

Don’t forget to take a wander along Thimphu’s main street, Norzin Lam, which offers good shopping and the Craft Bazaar. For those who have an interest in quality weavings and local art check out the Gagyel Lhundrup weaving centre because here you can interact with the weavers. The adjacent S. Bishwa art gallery is also recommended.

Finally the city bars are also worth a visit. Your guide will advise you the best options. Please note Tuesday is ‘dry day’ in Bhutan and most bars in the city will remain closed.

Overnight Thimphu – 4* Zhiwa Ling Ascent Resort.

Day 3:

Thimphu Valley to Phobjikha Valley – 4+ hrs

This morning and drive eastward to the Punakha Valley. Ascend to Dochu La (pass-3116 m) to view the 108 Stupas; a memorial to those who lost their lives in late 2002.  Because this was when Bhutan evicted Indian separatist rebels camped in the jungle on the Bhutan Indian border. On a clear day witness a breathtaking view of the eastern Himalaya.

Descending into the Punakha valley pass the new town of Bajo and, when the Wangdue Phodrang Dzong comes into view, notice the large cacti that cover the hillside below. These were planted long ago to discourage invaders from climbing the steep slope to the Dzong.

Phobjikha is a glacial valley on the western slopes of the Black Mountains and is one of the most beautiful open valleys in Bhutan. It is also one of the most important wildlife preserves in the country and the winter home (late Oct to early Feb) of the rare black necked crane, which annually flies in from Tibet. There are also muntjaks (barking deer), wild boar, sambar, Himalayan black bear, leopard and red fox.

Finally on arrival into Phobjikha enjoy a walk through the quaint Gangtey village to the revered Gangtey Goemba.

Overnight Phobjikha Valley – Traditional 3* Hotel. (TBA)

Hike option available enroute to Phobjikha. (time permitting)

  • Lumichawa hike:
    Drive to Dochu La, approximately 45 minutes drive from Thimphu, and start hike from Dochu La pass. It’s a gradual walk down to Lumichawa, towards Punakha, which is approximately 2 hours walk along the old ancient trail.

Day 4:

Sightseeing & hiking in the Phobjikha Valley.

This morning visit the Black Crane nature information centre. Later take a light hike along the Gangtey Nature Trail.

After lunch at a local farm house (with a local family) take a scenic drive further down the valley to the more remote Phobji area. Here you can take an easy afternoon hike through the local villages, temples and farm houses.

Overnight Phobjikha Valley – Traditional 3* Hotel. (TBA)

Hiking options available in Phobjikha

  • Longtey Hike:
    If you are looking for a picturesque hike through some of the most beautiful parts of Gangtey, this is the one. A 30-minute drive will take you to the starting point in Longtey village, and the hike takes about 3-5 hours. The trail initially takes you through a small village where the yak herders put up their camps in the winter. From here you continue upwards through mysterious old-growth rhododendron forest. For the next two hours or so, you might feel like you are in the settings of Lord of the Rings surrounded by tall old trees which appear to be living creatures around you. The last part through the forest is slightly steeper uphill until you reach the pass with impressive views of the Gangtey Goemba, the Shedra, and the rest of the valley.
  • Gogona Hike:
    The trek leaves the valley at 2830km and leads south, then west through meadows and fields. It then climbs through a mixed forest of juniper, bamboo, rhododendrons and magnolia. The trail is rough and rocky and weaves through trees where pack animals have created deep muddy furrows. After crossing Tsele La (3440m) the trail crosses several meadows, and then descends through forests to Gangak (3020m). It is then a short climb to the camp at Gogona (3100m), a beautiful hilltop site overlooking a long valley. Nearby is Gogona Lhakhang and dozens of poles with white prayer flags fluttering. A 30-minute walk beyond Gogona is a hamlet where you may find homemade arra to buy. The women here weave blankets and speak a different dialect called Bjop-kha (language of the nomads).

Day 5:

Phobjikha Valley to Punakha Valley (3 hrs drive time)

Depart early this morning on the very scenic drive to the Punakha Valley. This valley holds the title as the winter capital because of its more temperate climate. 

Firstly, arriving into the Punakha area stop at the markets at Mesina. After that visit Chimmi Lhakhang, a monastery built by Lama Drukpa Kuenley (also known as the Divine Madman or Mad Monk) with a very colourful history. It is believed childless women who visit the temple will conceive after receiving a ‘wang’ (blessing) from the resident monk. The walk across rice paddy fields takes about 20 minutes each way.

Overnight Punakha Valley – 3* Zhingkham Resort.

Day 6:

Sightseeing and hiking in Punakha today.

This morning, visit the Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Lhakhang & nunnery followed by the dramatic Punakha Dzong. This dzong formally served as the seat of the government and is still the winter residence of the Dratsheng (Central Monk Body). This is Bhutan’s most spectacular Dzong because it is an excellent example of how a medieval fortress, and a centre of both monastic and administrative functions, has adapted and evolved for modern day use.

This afternoon we recommend you travel further up the valley & hike through rice paddies, fields of vegetables and through tiny hamlets to Khamsum Yulley Namgyel Chorten. This Chorten holds very special significance because it was consecrated in 1999 & dedicated to the protection of the former Crown Prince. Now King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck.

Overnight Punakha Valley – 3* Zhingkham Resort.

Hike option available in Punakha.

  • Logodama Hike:
    From Talo you have the option of hiking to Logodama (3+ hrs). Enroute enjoy the forest scenery and pass the villages of Lungtam & Pachekha and view the Punakha Dzong below. Your guide will also advise any other hiking options that may suit you today.

Day 7:

Punakha to Paro (4 hrs drive time)

This morning drive back to Paro valley. Again traversing Dochu La. Enjoy an afternoon tour of the major features in Paro town. These  include the Rinpung Dzong with its cantilever bridge & the National Museum. Finally take a wander through Paro main streets for good handicraft and local jewellery shopping.

Overnight Paro Valley – 5* Zhiwa Ling Heritage Resort.

Day 8:

Hiking Pilgrimage & Sightseeing in the Paro Valley.

This morning hike to the Taktsang Monastery, also known as Tiger’s Nest. This is Bhutan’s most revered monastery and all Bhutanese strive to make the pilgrimage here at least once in their lives. This visit is much more than ‘just a hike’ and each step gains merit points for the next part of life’s journey.

Choose between a 1.5-2 hr round trip hike to the monastery viewpoint, or a longer 5 hour and more strenuous hike into the monastery itself. Please note you must be of at least moderate fitness to make it all the way to the monastery and back.

Tigers Nest clings impossibly to a cliff of rock at 800 metres above the valley floor. This is where Guru Rinpoche flew on the back of a tigress to subdue the local demons followed by 3 months’ meditation in a cave still visible in the monastery. In 1998 Taktsang was seriously damaged by fire. It has since been painstakingly reconstructed to its original condition and consecrated by the 4th King in 2005.

Finally this afternoon visit Kyichu Lhakhang. This is one of Bhutan’s oldest and most beautiful temples. It boasts an orange tree that perpetually bears fruit.

Overnight Paro Valley – 5* Zhiwa Ling Heritage Resort.

Day 9:

Paro Region Sightseeing.

This morning, enjoy an excursion to Chele La (pass 4000m) on Bhutan’s highest motorable road. 

Visit the remote Kila Nunnery. This is Bhutan’s oldest and the nuns live a very quite & basic life. They do welcome visitors!

Option 1 is to continue on the the Haa valley for a light afternoon hike. Or instead, return to Paro and the afternoon is at leisure for relaxation at the resort.

Overnight Paro Valley – 5* Zhiwa Ling Heritage Resort.

Day 10:

Day of departure.

This morning transfer to Paro Airport in time for your onward flight.

All-inclusive 10 day/9 night private land tour

No. TravellersSolo Traveller2 persons twin/dbl4 persons twin/dbl
Tour Costs US$US$3319.00US$2855.00US$2489.00 pp
SGL Rm SupN/AUS$456.00 ppUS$356.00 pp

AUS toll free ; James – 0412 416 111; Nicola – 0413 598 669

Book Your Place Now!

Name of Tour: Bhutan Private Summer Sale 9 nts


I require a single occupancy room (a supplement applies).I am interested in trekking option, if available.I need help arranging Travel Insurance.

Tour Details

Price: From US$2489.00 pp for 4+ persons travelling together sharing twin/double rooms.

Daily departures 01JUN-31AUG19, subject to availability.

Depart: Paro
Return: Paro

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