Enticing Bhutan Tour - 13-22 SEP 24, 10 days/9 nights,

Festival Dancers

Page updated – 10 June 2024

Introduction:

After the awesome flight into Paro experience the 4 valleys of Paro, Thimphu, Phobjikha & Punakha. You will be amazed by the colour & spectacle of the Thimphu & Gangtey Tshechu’s (festival).  Furthermore, it features the most important sights in Thimphu city; the remote beauty of the Phobjikha valley and the splendour of the magnificent Punakha Dzong. Finally a special pilgrimage hike to Taktsang Monastery (Tigers Nest) in Paro. In addition to witnessing the Thimphu & Gangtey Tshechu’s, this tour combines the very best sites the Kingdom of Bhutan has to offer in western Bhutan.

This small group tour caters only to a maximum of 8 persons. BOOK NOW to avoid disappointment.

Tour Itinerary Overview.

  • 2 nights Thimphu with festival, exploring & hiking. 
  • 2 nights Phobjikha valley for hiking, festival & exploring.
  • 2 nights Punakha valley with monastery & Dzong visits.
  • 1 night Thimphu for exploring & sightseeing.
  • 2 nights Paro valley with Taktsang Monastery hike, shopping & exploring.
 

PRICE FROM US$3387.00 per person twin/dbl share

Guaranteed departure – limited space remaining – BOOK NOW!

Enticing Bhutan Featuring Thimphu & Gangtey Tshechu's Map

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

  • We only take a maximum of 8 persons on our tours.
  • We guarantee our small group cultural tours will operate even if only 2 persons  travel! 
  • Maximise your Bhutan experience  with one of our top rated Bhutanese guides.
  • Immerse yourself in the vibrant Buddhist culture of Bhutan. 
  • All hiking on this tour is optional though you must be able to climb a steep set of stairs to gain entry to the magnificent Punakha Dzong.
  • The spectacle of the Thimphu & Gangtey Tshechu’s. (festivals)
  • We tailor our tours for less driving & more sightseeing!
  • Our 20 years of Bhutan experience, service & knowledge.
  • Competitive pricing & well-constructed itineraries.
  • We provide a comprehensive pre-departure planning guide.
  • Experts at combining Bhutan with India & Nepal.
  • ATAS Accredited via our parent company MTA Travel

Your Bhutan Tour Inclusions:

  • Professional guide, driver & private coach.
  • All touring & transfers throughout your journey
  • Bhutanese style 3* hotels with private bathrooms 9nts.
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) and two 500 ml bottles of water daily.
  • All monument, entrance fees, hiking and sightseeing.
  • Bhutan visa fees & processing.
  • Sustainable Development Fee (SDF) & local Bhutan taxes.
  • Bhutan & Beyond bank transfers for payments to Bhutan suppliers.
  • Witness the Thimphu Tshechu & Gangtey Tshechu’s (festivals). (subject to scheduled dates being realised.)
  • Professionally run by Bhutan Tourism Corp Ltd – BTCL.
  • A comprehensive pre-departure trip planning guide.

Tour Exclusions:

  • Air flights to/from Paro are additional.
  • Personal bank charges incurred making payments to Bhutan & Beyond.
  • Personal items: phone calls, laundry, drinks, designer coffee, etc.
  • Tips – please refer to tipping suggestions in our Bhutan Visitor Info guide.
  • Travel Insurance – essential when travelling to Bhutan.
  • Any COVID-19 PCR or RAT tests required.

Available On Request:

  • Single Room Supplement – Please add US$ 360.00
  • Upgrade to Business Class to/from Paro.
  • Ex-Australia Stopovers & Additional Asian Arrangements

Cancellation Conditions:

  • Deposit date until 45 days prior arrival in Bhutan – Land tour deposit is refundable less B&B service fees.
  • 45 days or less prior to arrival in Bhutan – No land tour refund permitted.

Please note: – These conditions cover land travel arrangements only, not airfares, which are subject to their own cancellation conditions.

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Friday 13 September 24:

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

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 make a stop at the Tachogang Lhakhang (iron bridge). All the houses and buildings in the Kingdom are painted and constructed in traditional Bhutanese style.

On arrival in Thimphu take lunch at a local Bhutanese restaurant. This afternoon visit the Centenary markets, the National Memorial Chorten and the Takin Preserve, home to Bhutan’s most unusual national mammal. 

Overnight Thimphu – Bhutanese Style 3* Hotel

Bhutanese Dancers
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Saturday 14 September:

Thimphu Sightseeing & Festival

This morning visit the awesome Buddha Dordenma statue located at Kuenselphodrang. The statue is made of bronze and gilded in gold. It is considered the largest Buddha Shakyamuni statue in the world. There is also an excellent 3 km hike option through Kuenselphodrang Nature Park which offers sensational valley views.

Before travelling north up the valley to the majestic Trashichhoe Dzong to witness the colour & spectacle of the Thimphu Tshechu. Take either a picnic lunch and dine at the festival with the locals, or lunch at a local restaurant.

This afternoon visit the beautiful Tara Lhaden Zhingkham Lhakhang (temple) nearby & enjoy some free time to explore the festival markets in Thimphu city.

Overnight Thimphu – Bhutanese Style 3* Hotel

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Sunday 15 September:

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. 

When the recently restored Wangdue Phodrang Dzong comes 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 Phobjikha’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.

Time permitting walk the Gangtey Nature Trail on arrival this afternoon. This is an easy, mainly flat, walk through forest and pastures.

Overnight Phobjikha Valley – Bhutanese Style 3* Hotel

Prayer Flag - courtesy Marcus Westberg
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Monday 16 September:

Sightseeing & festival visit in Phobjikha

Today you will visit the sacred Gangtey Goenpa (Monastery) to witness the Gangtey Tshechu enroute wander through Gangtey village. 

This afternoon visit the Black Crane nature information centre & time permitting take an excursion further down the valley to the more remote Phobji region. Here you can enjoy an easy hike through villages, temples & farm houses.

Overnight Phobjikha Valley – Bhutanese Style 3* Hotel.

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Tuesday 17 September:

Phobjikha Valley to Punakha Valley (2+ hrs)

Depart this morning to the Punakha Valley which holds the title as the winter capital because of its more temperate climate.

Arriving into Punakha check out the markets at Mesina. After that visit Chimi Lhakhang, a monastery built by Lama Drukpa Kuenley (also known as the Divine Madman or Mad Monk), which is a pleasant 20 minute walk across paddy fields. It is believed that childless women who visit the temple will conceive after receiving a “wang” (blessing) from the resident monk.

Take lunch at a local restaurant before an orientation tour of the valley. This includes the Sangchen Dorji Lhuendrup Lhakhang & Nunnery and the small village of Talo. Here you can wander through the serene grounds of the monastery with its beautiful gardens.

Overnight Punakha Valley – Bhutanese Style 3* Hotel.

Punkah Dzong which you will visit while on this tour.
Punakha Dzong
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Wednesday 18 September:

Exploring & hiking in the Punakha Valley

This morning perhaps enjoy a walk over the Punakha suspension bridge which offers excellent valley & river views, before a visit to 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.

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 Valley – Bhutanese Style 3* Hotel

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Thursday 19 September:

Punakha to Thimphu (2 hrs 30 mins)

Morning departure from the beautiful Punakha and head back to the capital Thimphu, once again traversing Dochu La. 

On arrival in Thimphu visit Zorig Chusum the Institute of the 13 Arts & Crafts of Bhutan where you can interact with the students followed by lunch at a local Bhutanese restaurant 

This afternoon visit the celebrated Royal Textiles Academy & perhaps visit the Thimphu Post Office to get your personalized postage stamp printed. Remainder of the afternoon at leisure.

Overnight Thimphu – Bhutanese Style 3* Hotel

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Friday 20 September:

Thimphu to Paro Valley (1 hr 30 mins)

Enjoy a leisurely start today before a mid morning transfer to the Paro Valley. On arrival take lunch at a local restaurant.

This afternoon enjoy an orientation tour of the major features in Paro town including the Rinpung Dzong, with its cantilever bridge. Also visit the National Museum here you will view the fine collection of ancient Thangkha paintings, textiles, weapons and other artefacts, before a visit to the CSI daily market which offers locally produced goods from cottage and small industries in Bhutan.

Finally we recommend a wander along the main streets which offer good shopping for jewellery and handicrafts.

Overnight Paro Valley – Bhutanese Style 3* Hotel

On this tour you will visit Ta Dzong while in the Paro Valley.
Ta Dzong - Paro
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Saturday 21 September:

Hiking & Sightseeing in the Paro Valley

This morning make a pilgrimage hike to the Taktsang Monastery, also known as Tigers Nest. This is Bhutan’s most revered monastery and all Bhutanese Buddhists strive to make the pilgrimage here at least once in their lives. With each step, merit points are gained 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 which offers good Bhutanese vegetarian dishes.

This afternoon continue down the valley to view the recently restored Drugyel Dzong (14km from Paro). This is the historical site of the Fort of Drukpa Victory, from which the Bhutanese used to repel the Tibetan invaders again and again. Followed by a visit to Kyichu Lhakhang – one of Bhutan’s oldest and most beautiful temples boasting an orange tree that perpetually bears fruit. 

Overnight Paro Valley – Bhutanese Style 3* Hotel

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Sunday 22 September:

Day of departure

Morning departure from your hotel to Paro Airport for your onward flight.