Travel Western Bhutan

Travel Western Bhutan

  • CulturalSight-seeing
  • FarmHouseStay
  • Festival
  • Hiking
  • Photography
  • Textile
  • ValueAddedActivity
  • VillageLife
Travel Western Bhutan,Explore Asia, Holiday In Asia, trip to Asia, trekking in Himalaya, travel  tour in Bhutan
Trip Code: T018
Trip Duration : 8 Days
Trek Duration:
Trip Type: Cultural Tours
Difficulty Level:
Psychical Demand:
Destination(s): Bhutan
Highest Altitude:
Max Elevation:
Highest Camp:
Max Group Size: 16
Best Season: April to June & Mid September to Mid Nov
Trip Start: Paro
Trip End:Samdrupjongkhar/Paro
Avg. user rating:
Trip Route: Paro > Thimphu > Punakha
Activities: Hiking, Visit Farm House, Fortress, Hiking, Monastery, Museums, Weekend market, Stroll around the City etc

Overview


Travel Western Bhutan (8 days) is tour program designed in such a way that when you Explore Asia, Holiday In Asia, trip to Asia, trekking in Himalaya, travel or tour in Bhutan one can experience the gift of Western Bhutan with beautiful mountains and valleys. It offers stunning scenery with golden paddy fields cascading down the magnificent mountains, the pristine rivers flowing through the main towns of Paro, Thimphu and Punakha, and unique two-story houses displaying rich traditional paintings and architectural designs.

Thimphu is Bhutan’s capital city with a population of around 100,000 people. It is also Bhutan’s largest city. The city’s main thoroughfare is lined with shops, restaurants, and public buildings, and the rest of the city comprises apartments, small home, and family-owned stores. All buildings are built in traditional style featuring Buddhist motifs, lending a unique air to the city that attracts travelers of all kinds.

The surrounding valley has been the site of small settlements for centuries, but the area only began to truly develop after it was named the new capital in the early 1960′s. The city is home to numerous cultural attractions, including monasteries, museums, government buildings, botanical gardens, and traditional art centers as well as bustling weekend markets.

Paro is another important town of western Bhutan. Just outside of the town, visitors can find the famous Tiger’s Nest hermitage, built on a sheer cliff face. It is believed that the father of Bhutanese Buddhism flew to the cliff on the back of a tigress; therefore Buddhists consider the hermitage highly sacred. Also in the valley are the ruins of Drugyal Dzong, large fortress-monastery that was partially destroyed by fire in the early 1950′s.

Paro is the home of Bhutan’s international airport, and the area features a number of fascinating architectural relics including a fifteenth century temple and the Ugyen Perli Palace.

Trip Highlights

  • Visit the impressive Dzong (fortresses), former palaces and Buddhist monasteries!
  • Hike through the ridge top Goembas (monasteries) and meet the monks.
  • Hike through the terraced farmlands and villages, visit the farmhouses and meet the villagers.
  • Attend the local festivals and events.
  • Visit the vibrant markets and towns.
  • Visit the traditional arts and crafts workshop, meet the artisans, weavers and painters!
  • And much more…

What’s included

  • Receive and Transfer to Airport
  • Double/Twin in 3 Star Hotel
  • 3 Meals every day with Evening Tea
  • Toyota SUV for FIT & Toyota Bus for Group with Driver.
  • English Speaking Guide
  • All Sightseeing
  • Museum Fees
  • Bhutan Visa
  • All Permits
  • Bottled Mineral Water
  • Walks and Hikes

What’s is Not Include

  • Guide and Driver tip
  • International Airfare
  • Laundry Charges
  • Internet, International calls
  • Other Beverages
  • Donation when photographing
  • Travel Insurance
  • Baggage Handlers tip

Intinerary


You’ll follow an itinerary which has been researched and planned by our experts, saving you all the hassle of organizing the trip. The itineraries are designed to minimize the time spent travelling and maximize the variety of experiences. From small buses to riverboats as well as on foot.

Itinerary at a Glance:

  • DAY 1: Arrive Paro International Airport by Druk Air-Drive to Thimphu.
  • DAY 2: Thimphu-Thimphu.
  • DAY 3: Thimphu-Punakha.
  • DAY 4: Punakha-Punakha.
  • DAY 5: Punakha-Paro.
  • DAY 6: Paro-Paro.
  • DAY 7: Paro-Taksang excursion.
  • DAY 8: Paro-departure.

Detail Itinerary

1

ARRIVE PARO & DRIVE TO THIMPHUAs you approach Paro, on clear sunny days you can capture a spectacular view of Himalayan peaks. Just before landing, you will have unusual experience with the aircraft as it prepares to land on one of the most difficult airports in the world. On arrival you will be received by our representative who will then drive you to Thimphu, which is about 1.5 hour drive from Paro. Thimphu is at the elevation of 2500 meters / 8200ft.Overnight at hotel in Thimphu.

2

SIGHTSEEING OF THIMPHU VALLEYVisit King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk Memorial Chorten, Dupthop Lhakhang ( Monastery for the nuns), National Library, the Painting School where traditional art is kept alive through instructions in the art of painting Thangkhas ( sacred Buddhist religious scrolls), and the Institute of Medicine where traditional medicines are prepared according to ancient practices. After lunch at a local restaurant, you will visit Lungtenzampa to observe the traditional silver smiths plying at their crafts and the Bhutanese traditional paper factory. Drive back to town and visit the handicraft stores and stroll around the tiny capital city.Overnight at Hotel.

OPTION: If you are in Thimphu during Friday Saturday and Sunday then the sightseeing will

Visit Farmers’ Centenary market in Thimphu, which is in a permanent set of stalls. The market was opened in 2008 to celebrate 100 years of monarchy in Bhutan. Vendors from throughout the region arrive on Friday afternoon and remain selling their goods until Sunday night. It’s an interesting place to visit, where village people jostle with well-heeled Thimphu residents for the best and cheapest vegetables and foodstuffs. This is the only time that fresh produce is easily available and the shopping is enhanced by the opportunity to catch up on the week’s gossip. At the northern end of the market are stalls called indigenous goods and handicrafts section. Here you will find locally produced goods, including religious objects, handmade metal swords and knives, baskets, fabrics and different hats from various minority groups. Your sightseeing will continue to Zangdopelri temple in Changlimithang where you can witness young Bhutanese practicing their favorite archery game. We will return to hotel for lunch. After lunch, you will visit the Memorial Chorten built in honor of the late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk, Dupthop Lhakhang (Monastery for the nuns) and other places of interest.

3

THIMPU-PUNAKHALeaving Thimphu the road ascends steeply through a forest of pine and cedar, festooned with hanging lichen high up near Dochula pass (3050 m). This pass offers panoramic views of the Himalayan mountain ranges. Your car will drop you at the mule track, from where you will hike through the Rhododendron, Magnolia, juniper and pine forests with chirping sounds of the many rare species of birds found in Bhutan. Your picnic lunch will be served at a cosy spot. You will then be driven through the long winding road to Lobesa where you will make another hike to Chimi Lhakhang, a Temple on small hill. This temple is dedicated to the great Yogi known as Drukpa Kuenley popularly known as “Divine madman” to the westerners. Bhutanese believe that this temple blesses women who seek fertility. You will continue your drive north to visit the majestic Punakha Dzong, built on the confluence of Phochu (Male River) and Mochu (Female River). It is the most magnificent dzong of Bhutan and was the capital in the 17th and 18th century. Presently, the Dzong is the district administration and judiciary office as well as the winter seat for Bhutan’s spiritual leader Je Khenpo and the 600 monks of Thimphu and Punakha.Overnight at hotel.

4

PUNAKHA-PHOBJIKHA-PUNAKHAAfter breakfast, you will take a short drive to Wangdue at an elevation of 1,350 meters (4,430 feet). Wangdue is one of the major towns and district headquarters in western Bhutan. We will visit the Wangdue Phodrang Dzong strategically located on the ridge at the confluence of the Tsang Chu and Dang Chu rivers. We will continue our journey for another two hours and enter Phobjikha (3000 m/ 9840 feet), the valley of black necked cranes. We will drive through Oak and rhododendron forests and often witness gigantic Yaks grazing. Phobjikha is also the chosen home of the rare black-necked cranes which migrate from the central Asiatic Plateau to escape harsh winters. The other side of the pass that overlooks the valley is a realm of high altitude dwarf bamboo, the main forage for Yaks in winter. We will visit the Gangtey Monastery, perched atop a small hill that rises from the valley floor. The monastery is surrounded by a village inhabited mainly by the families of 140 gomchens (monks) of the monastery. It is the only Nyingmapa monastery in western Bhutan and the largest in the country. The monastery is headed by the spiritual master known as ninth Gangtey Tulku. We will resume our drive for few more kilometers beyond the monastery to the village of Phobjikha. We will drive back to Punakha, about four hours from Phobjikha.Overnight at Hotel. Picnic lunch will be served.

5

PUNAKHA-PAROAfter Breakfast, we will drive to Paro and stop at Dochula Pass to take photographs and explore the recently built stupas. On clear sunny days, you can view the Bhutan’s 200 mile snow-capped peaks in the north. From Dochula, you will drive down and stop at the oldest Simtokha Dzong, built in 1629 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. It now houses the institute of traditional studies for lay men and women. We will continue our drive and eat lunch in a local restaurant in Thimphu. After lunch, you will have about an hour to do the last minute shopping before you resume journey to Paro. On your way to Paro you will stop at the Tachogang Temple, built in the 15th century by Thangtong Gyalpo, who also built several iron bridges in Bhutan. We will resume our drive to Paro and check in to Hotel.Overnight at Hotel.

6

SIGHTSEEING OF PARO VALLEYAfter breakfast, you will visit Drukgyal Dzong built in 1647 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. The Dzong was built to commemorate the victory against the invading Tibetan army in 17th century. The Dzong was destroyed by fire and left in ruins. On a clear day you can get a magnificent view of Mount Jhomolhari (7314 m / 23,990 ft). From Drugyal Dzong, we will drive south to Satsam Chorten, built in memory of the late Dilgo Khentse Rinpoche, and continue on to Kyichu Lhakhang, built in seventh century by a Tibetan King, Songtsen Gonpo. After lunch in a local restaurant, we will visit Ta Dzong, the National Museum of Bhutan, which has collection of works of art, handicrafts, costumes, armor and rare stamps. We will take a short hike down to Rimpung Dzong. The short hike will take you through a traditional cantilever bridge and to your waiting car at the valley floor. Depending on time, we will hike up to the nearby hill to get a panoramic view of the Paro Valley.Overnight at hotel.

7

PARO (EXCURSION TO TIGER’S LAIR)After breakfast, your car will drop you at the starting point of the excursion to the spectacular Taktsang monastery (Tiger’s nest). The steep trail to the monastery will take you through beautiful pine forest, many of the trees festooned with Spanish moss, and an occasional grove of fluttering prayer flags. You will love to stop at the cafeteria for refreshment after a steep climb. If not tired, you will hike further until you get a clear view of Taktsang monastery. Built in 1600s, this incredible monastery clings to the edge of a sheer rock cliff that plunges 900 meters into the valley below. The history states that Guru Padmasambhava, the Tantric mystic who brought Buddhism to Bhutan, landed here on the back of a flying tiger. Lunch will be served at the cafeteria.Overnight at Hotel.

8

DEPART PARO BHUTANOur tour leader will drive you to the Paro International Airport for departure to your onward destination.

Images



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FAQ

What is the best time to visit Bhutan?

In Bhutan every season has its own charm; as such the country has variety of doings to the tourist according to their interest. But the most visited months are usually March, April and May during which the country is at its best scenery as the spring just hits off and of course in the later months of the year like August, September, October and November. These are the peak seasons as the weather during these time of the years are pleasant and warm and not to forget the festival months. However, Bhutan Creative Tours is focusing to spread out visitation over the year because, come rain or shine, there is something for all parts of the year. The winters are cold, but we have winter treks and festivals in the southern parts of Bhutan,which has warm weather through out the year. A winter in Bhutan is characterized by clear blue skies, but you need your jackets with you.


Do I need a Visa for Bhutan? How can I obtain a Visa for Bhutan?

All visitors traveling to Bhutan are required to obtain a Visa prior to your arrival to Bhutan, except for Indian nationals holding a valid Indian passport. After your confirmation to visit Bhutan with us, you can just download and fill out the Visa Application form from our website and send it to us. We’ll have the visa confirmation letter processed within 7 working days and send it to you. The Visa Application System used by the national tourism office is designed by our CEO when he was working as the Chief Researcher for the Tourism Council of Bhutan. This makes it very easy for us to leverage visa processing even during the final minutes before your arrival to Bhutan.


What Documents will I require at the Airport when I come to Bhutan?

You will need your Passport which has 6 months validity for its expiry date, Druk Air e-ticket, whether you booked it through us or the Druk air’s website and your Visa confirmation letter which we will send you prior to your arrival in the country. And please to carry a copy of your tour itinerary as well.

Route map