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5-Days Bhutan Sojourn

Paro, Bhutan
Not Rated

Duration

5 days 4 nights

Tour Type

Daily Tour

Group Size

10 people

Languages

___

Overview

This trip is suitable for those who are traveling to India or Nepal and have a few days to spare. You will visit Thimphu and Paro- the two major towns of the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan. You will spend two nights in each city, exploring Dzong fortresses, temples, monasteries, museums, art schools, weaving centers, etc. You will also have the opportunity to visit farm families and experience Bhutanese life.

You can visit the cultural attractions by car, or if you wish to try something more active, both Thimphu and Paro cater some short and long day hiking destinations. The itinerary given covers the major attractions, but you can customize it to your interests and available time, as you will have your guide and driver at your full disposal.

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HIGHLIGHTS

  • Paro National Museum
  • Rinpung Dzong Fortress
  • Tamchog Lakhang
  • Thimphu Memorial Chorten
  • National Institute of Zorig Chusum
  • Simply Bhutan museum
  • National Institute of Traditional Medicine
  • Royal Textile Academy
  • Buddha Dordenma
  • Trasichoe Dzong
  • Optional hiking to Tango Goempa Monastery
  • Chele la pass
  • Dzongdrakha Monastery
  • Tiger's Nest Monastery

Itinerary

Day 1- Arrive in Paro, Bhutan. Transfer to Thimphu
Your flight will likely include breathtaking views of Mount Everest, Kanchenjunga, and other famous Himalayan peaks, including the sacred Mount Chomolhari and Jichu Drake of Bhutan.

On arrival at Paro, Bhutan, airport, meet your guide and driver after clearing immigration and customs. You’ll need to present your Visa Approval document, which we will email to you about three to four weeks before the trip date. In Paro, you are required to produce the visa document again, and there you will get the actual visa sticker on your passport.

After introductions, your guide and driver will transfer you to a local restaurant for lunch. After lunch, visit the National Museum of Paro which gives an excellent introduction to Bhutan's history, culture, and religion. The museum exhibits a good collection of Bhutanese textiles, manuscripts, books, murals, armors, crafts, traditional utensils, philatelic collections, and more. Then, we will descend to the impressive Rinpung Dzong Fortress that houses the office of the district administration and religious body.

Now, we take scenic one-hour drive to Thimphu, the capital, with a stop for a short walk at the temple of Tamchog Lhakhang-built by Tibetan iron-bridge builder Thangthong Gyalpo –a famous architect, physician, teacher, and a saint of the 13th-century! Until today, his descendants own and maintain the temple.

In Thimphu, we’ll have time to settle in before a walking tour of the tiny city. Thimphu is probably the only capital in the world without any traffic lights! We will take a stroll and visit the memorial Chorten(shrine) of the 3rd King of Bhutan Jigme Dorje Wangchuk, and whatever else time and our interest allow.
Day 2- Sightseeing and hiking in Thimphu
After breakfast, with our guide and driver, the adventures begin as we get a feel for the city. On the weekend, it's worth visiting the weekend market. We also expect to see the archery matches in the nearby stadium. Archery is the Bhutanese national sport, and we’ll hope for matches while we’re there.

Next, visit the National Institute Zorig Chusum that offers a six years course on Bhutan's traditional arts and crafts that include painting, wood carving, embroidery, and statue making. Then, visit the Simply Bhutan Museum, a living museum of Bhutan, resembling to a typical village that promotes the cultural heritage and local lifestyle. Here, you will have chance to wear traditional Bhutanese costumes and pose for photography, if you wish.

Next stop – the National Institute of Traditional Medicine, dispensary of traditional Bhutanese herbal and other medicines. Other attraction, if time permits and if you wish is Royal Textile Academy that preserves the centuries old living art of Bhutan. Thimphu's latest addition is Buddha Dordenma, a gigantic 177 ft tall Buddha statue on a ridge overlooking the valley.

Late afternoon, take a short 10-minute hike through the forest to visit the Takin Sanctuary. Takins – a kind of sheep by way of antelope, are the National animals of Bhutan and believed to exist only in Bhutan Himalaya. On the way back to our hotel, we’ll stop at the Zilukha Nunnery in Drubthob Goemba, home to 40-60 Buddhist nuns.

Finally, we visit the Trasichoe Dzong that houses the Royal Throne, National Assembly, and the seat of Chief Abbot of the central monastic body.

An option: Hiking enthusiasts keen to experience a monastic lifestyle away from the crowds of town can take a two hour long hike (roundtrip) to Tango Goemba monastery. You’ll miss some sights listed above; and if you are a part of group, the choice will be made by unanimous vote. Tango Goebma Monastery is Bhutan's highest learning center for Buddhist studies. All Je Khenpo, the religious head of Bhutan, must complete a nine-year program here and a three-year, three-month, three-day in mediation at the nearby Cheri Goemba Monastery! With luck, the monks will be in recess, and we can join them for tea. Cheri Goemba Monastery is situated atop an adjacent hill and if you wish, you can attempt this hike as well.Allow another two hours for this trip.

Interested in Buddhist astrology consultation? On our way back, we can stop at Pangri Zampa Temple-an astrology school for the state clergy. More than hundred monks study astrology in this center and welcome public if anyone wish for consultation. A week-advance notice is requested for scheduling purpose, though.
Day 3 - Continue Sightseeing of Thimphu. Return to Paro with a side excursion of Chele La pass
After breakfast, with our guide and driver, the adventures begin as we get a feel for the city. On the weekend, it's worth visiting the weekend market. We also expect to see the archery matches in the nearby stadium. Archery is the Bhutanese national sport, and we’ll hope for matches while we’re there.

Next, visit the National Institute Zorig Chusum that offers a six years course on Bhutan's traditional arts and crafts that include painting, wood carving, embroidery, and statue making. Then, visit the Simply Bhutan Museum, a living museum of Bhutan, resembling to a typical village that promotes the cultural heritage and local lifestyle. Here, you will have chance to wear traditional Bhutanese costumes and pose for photography, if you wish.

Next stop – the National Institute of Traditional Medicine, dispensary of traditional Bhutanese herbal and other medicines. Other attraction, if time permits and if you wish is Royal Textile Academy that preserves the centuries old living art of Bhutan. Thimphu's latest addition is Buddha Dordenma, a gigantic 177 ft tall Buddha statue on a ridge overlooking the valley.

Late afternoon, take a short 10-minute hike through the forest to visit the Takin Sanctuary. Takins – a kind of sheep by way of antelope, are the National animals of Bhutan and believed to exist only in Bhutan Himalaya. On the way back to our hotel, we’ll stop at the Zilukha Nunnery in Drubthob Goemba, home to 40-60 Buddhist nuns.

Finally, we visit the Trasichoe Dzong that houses the Royal Throne, National Assembly, and the seat of Chief Abbot of the central monastic body.

An option: Hiking enthusiasts keen to experience a monastic lifestyle away from the crowds of town can take a two hour long hike (roundtrip) to Tango Goemba monastery. You’ll miss some sights listed above; and if you are a part of group, the choice will be made by unanimous vote. Tango Goebma Monastery is Bhutan's highest learning center for Buddhist studies. All Je Khenpo, the religious head of Bhutan, must complete a nine-year program here and a three-year, three-month, three-day in mediation at the nearby Cheri Goemba Monastery! With luck, the monks will be in recess, and we can join them for tea. Cheri Goemba Monastery is situated atop an adjacent hill and if you wish, you can attempt this hike as well.Allow another two hours for this trip.

Interested in Buddhist astrology consultation? On our way back, we can stop at Pangri Zampa Temple-an astrology school for the state clergy. More than hundred monks study astrology in this center and welcome public if anyone wish for consultation. A week-advance notice is requested for scheduling purpose, though.
Day 4 - Hike the ultimate Tiger's Nest Monastery
A big day and special one, with an early start. After breakfast, we’ll transfer to Paro and hike to the famous Takstang Monastery, also known as the Tiger's Nest, a highlight of any trip to Bhutan. The monastery is dramatically perched on the edge of a 4000-foot cliff above the valley floor; it is an unbelievable sight. The hike up is less than three hours. With a prior arrangement, ponies can take us two-thirds of the way up, but no further. Legend has it that Guru Padmasambhava, known as Guru Rinpoche by Tibetans and Bhutanese, flew on a tigress from Tibet and landed at the monastery’s site. Guru meditated in a cave here, it is said, and subdued the local demons and established the supremacy of Buddhism in Bhutan.

On the way back to the town, we will detour to the ruins of the historic Drukgyel Dzong. It was built in the 16th century to mark the Bhutanese victory over the Tibetan invaders. We will also stop to visit the ancient Kyichu Lakhang Temple, notable as one 108 temples that King Songsten Gampo of Tibet built miraculously over a single night in the 7th century in order to subdue a demoness!

Late afternoon, visit a farm family and their colorful farmhouse, made up of wood without use of a single nail! With prior arrangement, we can share a traditional meal with the family.

Experience Traditional Hot Stone Bath (Optional):

After such an active day, we recommend a traditional Bhutanese Hot stone bath, an ancient Bhutanese method of curing skin ailments, joint pains, hypertension, stomach disorders, arthritis, and many other diseases. Your guide needs one day advance notice to arrange the hot stone bath and it can be taken at some hotel or a private farm house. Estimated cost is approximately $25-$30 per person.

Included/Excluded

  • Accommodation on double occupancy basis on the choice of your hotels.
  • All transfers and sightseeing by a private car.
  • Three meals a day.
  • English speaking local tour guide.
  • Sightseeing admission fee.
  • Bhutan visa fee.
  • Service of airfare reservation.
  • Airfare to and out of Bhutan.
  • Drinks, tipping, laundry, phone, internet usage, and other personal expenses.
  • Extra expenses due to nature and unforeseen events.
  • Travel Insurance.

Tour's Location

Paro, Bhutan

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from US$ 1,200.00

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