Bhutan: Land Of Thunder Dragon SX01

14 Days From £0 (Please Enquire)

Explore the fascinating and little known moutain kingdom of Bhutan. With fabulous scenery, ancient monasteries and warm welcoming people this is a wonderful getaway from the modern world.

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Key Information

Travel Style: Private Tour
Start Location: Paro, Bhutan
End Location: Paro, Bhutan
Accommodation: Hotels
Period: Spring, Summer and Autumn
Difficulty: Suitable for Most Travellers

About The Operator

Accreditations: Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) and The Association of Bhutanese Tour Operators (ABTO).
Years In Business: 3

Description

A full day by day itinerary will be provided by the tour operator when you make an enquiry about this holiday.

Includes
- Accommodation with breakfast
- All transport and transfers
- Guide
- Entry fees
- Activities

Excludes
- Flights
- Personal expenses eg visa, drinks, tips, insurance etc

Prices per person - please submit an enquiry to receive a personalized itinerary and costs.

Itinerary
Day 01. Thimphu: Arrive at Paro international airport. You will be received by our representative and driven straight the capital, Thimphu, for lunch. After lunch, visit Folk Heritage Museum: established in 2001, this museum is housed in an old farm house to show case the life of people living in the past. It is a walk through the fast changing rural traditions, habits and skills. School of Arts and Crafts: the school offers four to six years course in the traditional arts and crafts such as wood carving, sculpturing, religious paintings, embroidery and weaving etc. one can see students working through the progressive levels practicing precise rules of Bhutanese arts. Walk in the town: stroll in the town to mingle with the locals and get the feel of a Bhutanese way of life.
Day 02. Punakha: In the morning, continue with the sightseeing in Thimphu and visit the Memorial Chorten: built in 1974 in memory of the 3rd King, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck who died in 1972. It is a Tibetan style of stupa. Buddha Point: also known as Kuensel Phodrang, world’s largest Buddha Sakyamuni statue is being built here. It is 169 feet tall. Takin Preserve: takin, national animal of Bhutan is supposed to have been miraculously created by Lama Drukpa Kuenley, more popularly known as the Devine Madman. After lunch drive slowly towards Punakha: the old capital of Bhutan till 1955. En route, stop at Dochula Pass to enjoy the magnificent view of the snow capped peaks (weather permitting) and 108 Druk Wangyel Chorten.
Day 03. Punakha: In the morning visit the Punakha Dzong: built in 1637 as per the prophecy of Guru Padmasambhava, it is situated in between two rivers, male and female. A battle was fought here in the 17th century with the Tibetan army and still to this date the re enactment of the scene from the battle is shown during Punakha Festival known as Serda. It was partially damaged by the 1994 flash flood from a glacial outburst. Hike up to Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten: built in 199 for the present king. Its mere presence also brings about peace and prosperity to the country and benefits its people as well as all the sentient beings of this universe. Round trip will take about 2 hours in total including ½ an hour visit of the temple. After lunch, hike to Chimi Lhakhang: the temple of “no dog” also popularly known as the temple of fertility. The place was founded by the Devine Madman and locals believe that barren woman, after getting blessed from the temple can conceive.
Day 04. Trongsa: Drive for 4 and ½ hours to reach Trongsa by lunch time. After lunch, visit the museum: housed in a watch tower showcases the history of Trongsa and our monarchs. Trongsa Dzong: once an important seat of power, the Governor of Trongsa controlled all of the eight eastern districts of the country. He was also the most powerful governor. Still to this day, as a mark of significance to the post, our kings assume the role of Trongsa Penlop, before ascending the Golden throne.
Day 05. Bumthang: Today you will reach Bumthang after 2 hours drive from Trongsa. After lunch you will visit Kurjey Lhakhang: ku means body and je means imprint. There is a cave within the temple where Guru Padmasambhava left his body imprint on the rock after three months of meditation. This temple was built in 1652 by the first governor of Trongsa, Chogyal Minjur Tempa. The middle temple was built by first king, while he was still the Trongsa Penlop in 1900 and the third temple was built by the present royal grandmother in 1984. And then walk towards, Tamshing monastery: meaning temple of good message was built in 1501 by Terton Pema Lingpa. It is one of the important Nyingmapa centre in the country.
Day 06. Bumthang: Day trip to Tang Uggyenchholing Museum: the place was founded in the 14th century by Terton Dorji Lingpa. The present building was built in the 19th century by Trongsa Penlop Tshokye Dorji, the 15th blood descendant of Terton Dorji Lingpa. The present generation converted it into a museum in 2001.
Day 07. Bumthang: Morning, hike to Ngang Lhakhang: meaning the swan temple. Lama Namkhai Samdrup from Tibet shot an arrow and built the temple where the arrow landed. This is also the first leg of the Bumthang cultural trek. In the afternoon, visit Jampa Lhakhang: supposed to have been built by the first religious king of Tibet, Songtsen Gampo in 659 AD, as a part of his missionary project to build 108 temples throughout the Himalayan region in order to subdue an ogress. Jampa Lhakhang was built on the left knee of the ogress. It was visited by Guru Padmasambhava in the 8th century. And Jakar Dzong: the fortress of the white bird was built in 1650’s by Chogyal Minjur Tempa, upon instructions from Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. The actual monastery was built in 1549 by Zhabdrung’s great grandfather, Drupthop Ngagi Wangchuck.
Day 08. Phobjikha: Drive to the valley of the black necked crane. Phobjikha valley is one of the most beautiful spot in the country. Situated at an altitude of 2900 meters, the valley is wide and flat surrounded by dwarf bamboo. The valley is a designated conservation area, which borders the Black Mountain National Park. It is a winter roosting habitat for the endangered Black Necked Crane (Grus nigricollis). By the end of march, it flies back to its summer habitat in the Tibetan plateaus. Visit the crane centre: founded by the only conservation NGO, Royal Society for the Protection of Nature (RSPN), displays information about the cranes and the surrounding environment.
Day 09. Thimphu: Walk on Gangtey Nature Trail: the walk starts from Tabading Community School and gradually ascends through the pine forest to reach Gangtey Goemba. It takes about 45 minutes to complete the trail. And at the end of the trail also visit Gangtey Goemba: more than 450 years old, the monastery was built in 1613 by the 2nd incarnation of Terton Pema Lingpa. It was renovated in the early part of 2008. The present abbot, Kuenzang Pema Namgyal is the 9th body reincarnation of Terton Pema Lingpa. After lunch in Wangdue, visit the Dzong: built in 1638, used to be the country’s secondary capital. The strategic position of the Dzong also helped in controlling the routes to Trongsa, Punakha, Dagana and Thimphu. The governor of Wangdue was the third most powerful ruler after the governor of Trongsa and Paro. And drive towards Thimphu.
Day 10. Thimphu: Full Day Excursion of Tango: initially the place was founded in 12th century by Lama Gyalwa Lhanangpa of the Lhapa School. A century later, Lama Phajo Drugom Shigpo, who brought Drukpa Kagyud to Bhutan, had a vision of Tamdrin (haygriha), god with horse head, so the place came to be known as Tango. Later it became the residence of 4th Desi Tenzin Rabgye. Now, it houses a Buddhist University where monks undergo 6 to 9 years of studies in Buddhist Philosophy. And Chari: lies south of tango. It was built in 1620 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal with the aim to preserve his father’s ashes. Later, it became his permanent residence. The first monastic community was instituted here in 1623 with 30 monks. It is now a retreat centre for the monks who have completed their studies from tango. Here they enter into 3 years retreat.
Day 11. Paro: Drive to Paro. Visit National Museum: built in 1649 as a watch tower for the Dzong below, was converted into the museum in 1968. It showcases the richness of Bhutan’s religious, natural and cultural heritages. And the Dzong: built in 1646 houses the clergy and the district administrative offices. After lunch visit, Kyichu Lhakhang: it is one of the 108 temples built by the first religious king of Tibet, Songtsen Gampo. It was built on the left foot of the ogress. Today it is a very sacred pilgrimage site for the Bhutanese and the Buddhist world. Guru Lhakhang was built in 1968 y the present royal grandmother. Dungtse Lhakhang: it was built in 1421 by the famous Tibetan saint, Drupthop Thangtong Gyalpo. The Lhakhang was built in the form of a stupa in order to immobilize or subdue the demon and proclaim victory over evil. And Drukgyel Dzong: fortress of the victorious Drukpa, built in 1647 to commemorate the victory of Bhutanese over the Tibetan invasion of 1644. It caught fire in 1951 from a butter lamp and now lies in ruins.
Day 12. Paro: Chelela – Kila Goemba Hike: Chelela Pass is the highest motor able point in Bhutan, located at an altitude of 3998 meters. Starting point of the hike is from here and it gradually descends through Rhododendron forest till we reach a small stupa. From here it is about 10 minutes uphill climbing to reach the Kila Nunnery. There are about 40 nuns studying here. Nuns undergo same rigorous training like monks to reach their final goal of attaining nirvana. Then we continue to descend down to the road point where you will be picked up by your car. It takes about 3 hours hiking and 1 and ½ hour drive to complete the hike.
Day 13. Paro: Taktsang Excursion: Tiger’s Nest is the direct literary translation. It was built in 1692 during the time of the 4th temporal ruler, Desi Tenzin Rabgye. The place is considered to be one of the most sacred place in Bhutan since it was where Guru Padmasambhava, the 2nd Buddha came riding on the back of a tigress in the 8th century. There is a cave within the temple complex where Guru is supposed to have meditated for three months. The trail to the monastery climbs through beautiful pine forest, where trees are festooned with Spanish moss and an occasional grove of fluttering prayer flags.
Day 14. International Departure: After breakfast, you will be driven to the airport for your International Departure.