Enchanting Bhutan Tour - 26OCT20

Paro Dzong

Introduction:

After the awesome flight into Paro be amazed by the colour & spectacle of the Jambay Lhakhang Drup (festival) in central Bhutan. This small group tour, catering to a maximum of 8 persons, also features the most important temples & scenery of the central Bumthang region; the remote beauty of the Phobjikha Valley; the splendour of the magnificent Punakha Dzong and culminates with a pilgrimage hike to the majestic Taktsang Monastery (Tigers Nest) in Paro valley.

This tour combines the very best the Kingdom of Bhutan has to offer in the west & central regions.

OR CALL THE BHUTAN TRAVEL EXPERTS ON
AUS toll free, James – 0412 416 111,
Nicola – 
0413 598 669

Reasons To Book This Small Group Tour

  • This all-inclusive 12 night tour is a guaranteed departure.
  • We only take a max of 8 persons on our tours.
  • Witness the Jambay Lhakhang Drup (festival) in Bumthang.
  • See the rare Black-Necked cranes in Phobjikha.
  • We tailor our tours for less driving & more sightseeing!
  • 16 years experience, service & knowledge.
  • Competitive pricing & well constructed itineraries.
  • We provide a comprehensive pre-departure planning kit.
  • Experts at combining Bhutan with India & Nepal.
  • ZERO FLIGHT RISK – free cover for supplier default.
  • ATAS Accredited via our parent company MTA Travel.

Bhutan 13 day/12 night land Tour Costs & Inclusions

Tour Dates – 26 OCT – 07 NOV, 2020
All inclusive Bhutan land tour cost    @US$3481.00 per person twin/dbl share.
Single room supplement @US$515.00 

Please note tour costs are quoted in USD.
Airfares to from Bhutan are additional.

Your Bhutan Tour Inclusions:

  • Professional guide, driver & private coach.
  • All touring & transfers throughout your journey.
  • Bhutanese style 3* hotels for 12 nights with private bathrooms.
  • All meals & bottled water daily.
  • All entrance fees and sightseeing.
  • Bhutan visa fees, Bhutan Govt royalties & taxes.
  • See the rare Black-Necked cranes in Phobjikha.
  • Witness the Jambay Lhakhang Drup & Prakhar Duchhoed festivals in Bumthang.
  • Professionally run by Bhutan Tourism Corp Ltd – BTCL.
  • We provide a comprehensive (16 page) Bhutan visitor guide.
  • ZERO FLIGHT RISK – free cover for supplier default.

Your Tour Exclusions:

  • Flights to/from Paro are additional.
  • Personal items: phone calls, laundry, drinks etc.
  • Tips – Please refer to tipping guide in our Bhutan visitor guide.
  • Travel Insurance – which is mandatory to enter Bhutan.

Available On Request:

  • Single Room Supplement – Please add US$515.00.
  • Upgrade to Business Class to/from Paro.
  • Ex-Australia Stopovers & Additional Asian Arrangements

Cancellation Conditions:

  • Deposit date until 60 days prior departure – Loss of deposit
  • From 60 days prior arrival in Bhutan – No refund permitted

Monday 26 October 2020:

Paro to Thimphu (1 hr 30 mins, drive time)

After clearing immigration & customs you will be greeted by your BTCL guide & driver immediately outside the terminal exit door. Transfer by road 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.

Enjoy the remainder of the day to explore Thimphu including the National Memorial Stupa; the Takin Preserve, home to Bhutan’s most unusual national mammal, and the celebrated Royal Textile Academy.

Overnight Thimphu-Bhutan Style 3* Hotel

Tuesday 27 October:

Sightseeing in the Thimphu Valley today.

This morning view the majestic Trashichhoe Dzong, the seat of Bhutan’s government and royal offices; the beautiful Tara Lhaden Zhingkham lhakang (temple) and followed by a visit to the awesome Golden Buddha with a 3 km hike option through the nearby National Park.

After lunch at a local restaurant visit the Folk Heritage Museum and the adjacent Zorig Chusum – the Institute of the 13 Arts & Crafts of Bhutan. Other options are a wander along Thimphu’s main street Norzin Lam and visit the craft bazaar. For those keen on weaving & textiles visit the Gagyel Lhundrup Weaving Centre where you can interact with the weavers and the S. Bishwa local art gallery is opposite.

Overnight Thimphu-Bhutan Style 3* Hotel

Wednesday 28 October:

Thimphu to Phobjikha Valley (4-5 hrs)

This morning you will be transferred by road eastwards to the Phobjikha Valley. En-route passing the Semtokha Dzong, built in 1629 & the oldest fortress of its kind that guarded the Thimphu valley, which today it is a monastery. Continue ascending to Dochu La (pass) to view the 108 Stupas, commissioned by a former Queen as a memorial to those who lost their lives during the low intensity conflict in late 2002 when Bhutan evicted Indian rebels camped in the jungle on the Bhutan – Indian border. On a clear day you will witness a breathtaking view of the eastern Himalaya and depending on the time of the year the vista can vary from alpine snow (November – March) to a profusion of blossoms (March – May) splashed among the soft green of the wild herbs and forest trees.

When the ruins of the Wangdue Phodrang Dzong (tragically destroyed by fire in June 2012)come into view, notice the large cacti that cover the hillside below which, were planted long ago to discourage invaders from climbing the steep slope to the Dzong. From the road view Rinchengang, one of Bhutan’s oldest villages, which did not have access to water, electricity or schooling until the early 1990’s.The craftsmen of Rinchengang are sought after for their skills in construction of Dzongs and Lhakhangs (temples).

Potatoes are this region’s primary cash crop and mainly exported to India. 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 October to early February) 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 foxes.

Overnight Phobjikha Bhutan Style 3* Hotel

Thursday 29 October:

Sightseeing & hiking in the Phobjikha

Today you will visit the sacred Gangtey Goenpa (Monastery) to witness the Gangtey Tshechu plus enjoy time to wander through Gangtey village, hike the Gangtey Nature Trail and visit the Black Crane nature information centre and nearby hide to view the cranes should they be present in the valley. Take time this afternoon for some relaxation, an additional hike, or exploring on your own in this beautiful valley.

Overnight Phobjikha Bhutan Style 3* Hotel

Friday 30 October:

Phobjikha to Choekhor Valley (4 hrs)

This morning depart Phobjikha to the central Bumthang region comprising the 4 valleys Choekhor, Tang, Ura and Chhume. Traverse the Pele La (Pass) which crosses through the Black Mountains National Park and divides western and central Bhutan and stop for lunch near Trongsa, where you will spend more time on your return journey. Keep a watchful eye out for Rhesus Macaques (Brown Monkeys) on the side of the road. The Trongsa Dzong is perched at the end of a ridge and seems to hang in space at the head of the valley. The Dzongs location afforded it great power over this part of the country as the only foot and mule trail between east and western Bhutan leads straight through Trongsa and through the Dzong itself.

On arrival in the Bumthang region notice the large fields of buckwheat that cover the valleys…..buckwheat noodles and pancakes are a Bumthang specialty. Enjoy the remainder of the afternoon at leisure. There are short walks and hikes to choose from and your guide will be happy to make recommendations.

Overnight Choekhor-Bhutan Style 3* Hotel

Saturday 31 October:

Festival & Sightseeing in the Bumthang Valleys.

This morning witness the colour & spectacle of the Jambay Lhakhang Drup, held at Jambay Lhakhang. The Bhutanese love their festivals and will all be dressed in their finest clothes. Today also visit Kurjey Lhakhang, Jambay & Kurjey Lhakhangs are the oldest two monasteries in the kingdom and all the Kings of Bhutan are cremated at Kurjey Lhakhang. 

After a later lunch visit Wangdichholing Palace (exterior courtyard only) or return to spend a little more time at the festival.

Overnight Choekhor Bhutan Style 3* Hotel

Sunday 01 November:

Sightseeing and Hiking (optional) in the Ura Valley (4 hrs)

Take a scenic excursion to remote Ura Valley today. Ura is the cradle of Buddhism in the Kingdom. Enjoy an easy downhill hike to the valley floor for a picnic lunch at the village Lhakang. Take a wander through the village which has an almost medieval feel with its stony paths. Meet up with your driver and return to Choekhor valley mid-afternoon and enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure or perhaps take time to visit the Jakar Dzong and wander along the lively main streets of nearby Chamkhar town.

Overnight Choekhor Bhutan Style 3* Hotel

Monday 02 November:

Choekhor Valley to Trongsa (2 hrs)

Enjoy a more leisurely start today before transferring westwards today to Trongsa, en-route visiting the Chhume weaving centre for the opportunity to shop for excellent local handicrafts and textiles. This region is renowned for its exceptionally high quality weaving’s. Also while in the Chummi valley today also make a brief stop at the Prakhar Duchhoed.

Take lunch at a local restaurant on arrival in Trongsa. Trongsa Dzong is the ancestral home of the Royal Family of Bhutan and has added an excellent museum into its ancient watchtower which you will visit tomorrow morning. This afternoon enjoy an excursion to the Dzong itself or take one of the hiking options available in this region.

Overnight Trongsa – Bhutan Style 3* Hotel

Tuesday 03 November:

Trongsa to Punakha Valley (4 + hours)

Depart early this morning on a very scenic drive to the Punakha Valley, which holds the title as the winter capital because of its more temperate climate, taking lunch on arrival in Punakha.

When the Wangdue Phodrang Dzong comes into view (the Dzong was engulfed by fire in June 2012 and is currently under reconstruction) 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. From the road view Rinchengang, one of Bhutan’s oldest villages, which did not have access to water, electricity or schooling until the early 1990’s.The craftsmen of Rinchengang are sought after for their skills in construction of Dzongs and Lhakhangs (temples).

This afternoon, on arrival into Punakha, take an orientation tour of the valley including the markets at Lobesa and the nearby Chimi 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-Bhutan Style 3* Hotel

Wednesday 04 November:

Sightseeing in the Punakha Valley.

This morning visit the dramatic Punakha Dzong, which 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 and 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.

Continue on and visit the Sangchen Dorji Lhuendrup Lhakhang & Nunnery followed by an excursion along a delightful country lane the very traditional village of Talo where you can wander the beautiful & serene gardens of the local monastery.

Choose to enjoy a relaxing afternoon at leisure or travel up the valley & take a fascinating hike to Khamsum Yulley Namgyel Chorten through fields of vegetables, rice paddies and tiny hamlets. This Chorten hold very special significance being consecrated in 1999 and dedicated to the protection of the former Crown Prince – today’s current King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck.

Overnight Punakha – Bhutan Style 3* Hotel

Thursday 05 November:

Punakha Valley to Paro Valley (4+ hrs)

Depart Punakha early morning for your transfer westwards to the Paro Valley, once again traversing Dochu La, and arriving in Paro town in time for a late lunch at one of the local restaurants.

This afternoon enjoy an orientation tour of the major features in Paro town including Paro Dzong with its cantilever bridge and the National Museum in Paro to view the fine collection of ancient Thangkha paintings, textiles, weapons and other artefacts. Finally we recommend a wander along the main streets which offers good shopping for jewellery and handicrafts.

Overnight Paro – Bhutan Style 3* Hotel.

Friday 06 November:

Sightseeing and Hiking in the Paro Valley.

This morning hike to the Taktsang Monastery, also known as Tigers 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 2 hour round trip hike to the Monastery viewpoint or a longer 5 hour and more strenuous hike into the Monastery itself. Tigers Nest clings impossibly to a cliff of rock at 800 m above the valley floor and 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 the monastery was seriously damaged by fire and has since been painstakingly reconstructed to its original condition and consecrated by the 4th King in 2005.

Take lunch at the Viewpoint Cafe on the hiking trail and this afternoon visit Kyichu Lhakhang – one of Bhutan’s oldest and most beautiful temples, boasting an orange tree that perpetually bears fruit. Take the remainder of the day at leisure or return to Paro town for shopping/sightseeing and maybe a visit to the National Museum.

Overnight Paro -Bhutan Style 3* Hotel

Saturday 07 November:

Day of departure.

Early morning departure from you hotel to Paro Airport for your onward flight.

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Enchanting Bhutan: Start 26 OCT, 2020  |  End: 07 Nov, 2020

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