10 Days Culture Itinerary

LAND OF CENTRAL AND SPIRITUAL TOUR

 The 10 days tour will have an opportunity to discover the highlights of Bhutan’s popular western and spiritual central valleys from Paro to Bumthang. Arrange talk on Buddhism, if interested, then visit Dzongs, temples, monasteries, palaces, and witness Bhutan’s ever-changing scenic beauty of forests and Himalayan peaks from the comfort of a luxury car. In the evenings, you may attend the Karaoke and spend night for camping or to farm house for few nights. For those with a little less time or are interested in a birds-eye view, we can easily arrange via domestic flight or organize helicopter transfers. At the end of the day you will unwind at your recommended luxury or 3 star hotels. This tour included a night in the stunning Phobjikha Valley, winter home of the endangered Black-Necked Crane. We can also organize a range of add-on options to provide you with the most luxurious and unforgettable experience of the Dragon Kingdom of Bhutan.

OVERVIEW

DAY 01: PARO

DAY 02: THIMPHU

DAY 03: PUNAKHA

DAY 04: TRONGSA

DAY 05: BUMTHANG

DAY 06: BUMTHANG

DAY 07: PHOBJIKHA

DAY 08: PARO

DAY 09: PARO

DAY 10: DEPART

DAY 01: Arrive Paro Check in hotel and visit Paro Dzong built in 1646 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, perhaps the finest example of Bhutanese architecture as well as a local religious administrative Centre. Next visit Paro Museum an ancient watchtower housing the National Museum, with abundant culture relics. Then visit Weekend market and watch archery match in the evening.

Talk on Buddhism: Bhutan is a Buddhist country and people often refer to it as the last stronghold of Vajrayana Buddhism. Buddhism was first introduced by the Indian Tantric master Guru Padmasambhava in the 8th century. So, without any doubt, Bhutan is one of the best places to hear a talk on Buddhism.  Buddhism is not just a religion for Bhutanese people, in fact it is the religion for all, if people believe and have faith in it, at the end, and it really gives a miracle for the followers. This program will be very simple and lively but very powerful. You will be introduced about Buddhism and share it’s importance. We are sure everyone will be benefited and feel the inner peace after the session.

Paro Weekend Market: Paro's weekly vegetable market isn't very large but it has a traditional feel and is a fine introduction to some of Bhutan's unique local products.

DAY 02: Paro to Thimphu (65 km-1½ Hours). Upon arrival check in hotel and visit National Post Office where you can make stamps with your own photos and Next visit Folk heritage Museum provides glimpse into the traditional Bhutanese life. Upon arrival check in hotel and visit Buddha Point the tallest statue of Buddha and could get a superb view of Thimphu Valley   Memorial Stupa built in 1974 in the memory of Bhutan‘s third King. Chorten literally means ‘Seat of Faith’ and Buddhists often call such monuments, the ‘Mind of Buddha. 

Later Hike to Wangditse (1-2 hours) Sangaygang Cross Country Hike or Wangditse Hike It starts from Bhutan Broadcasting Service (BBS) tower and ends at Dechenphodrang, through Pine forest. It is a very easy hike and it takes about 2 hours. Through this hike we can see Thimphu valley & Tashichho Dzong so beautifully.

In the evening visit Tashi chhodzong “fortress of the glorious religion” was initially erected in 1641 and rebuilt by King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck in the 1960s.  Tashichhodzong houses some ministries, His Majesty’s secretariat, and the central monk body.

Karaoke /Night club-Karaoke usually takes place in the evening in pubs, clubs and bars are popular events. It is also a place where people hang out, meet friends, come across new people and get to know more people. Karaoke is for everyone and not necessarily for people with a good voice. It’s not the voice that counts, but the enjoyment one derives from singing that does. There are many night clubs that the guest can choose where the western music is being played. Night Club offers endless entertainment to their customer. They stage all forms and kinds of dance acts at the venue. You can witness the young Bhutanese talents giving their best performance. Club also serves food and drinks. Extra payment may be necessary.

Day 03:Thimphu to Punakha (70 km-3 Hours) Today after breakfast you will drive to Punakha (1300m/4265ft) the former capital of Bhutan. On the way after 45 minutes’ drive from Thimphu will reach at highest pass between Thimphu and Punakha the place called Dochula pass (3140m) where you can have a superb view of the Eastern Himalayas on clear day.

Proceed to Chhimi Lhakhang a temple dedicated to the Devine Madman and a sacred place where people pray for children. Upon arrival check in hotel and visit Punakha Dzong a very beautiful Bhutanese architecture armed by the Pho Chu (Male River) and Mo Chu (Female River) rivers, built in 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the unifier of Bhutan which houses some rich Buddhist collections.

Camping: It is one of the great ways to enhance travel experience. Bhutan has a clean environment and pristine forest. You will further enjoy with delicious meal featuring local ingredient, fresh vegetables and regional cuisines, which is freshly prepared onsite. Dinning in relaxed and comfortable atmosphere, you will have a Restroom – Simple Toilet tent. A dug-out pit toilet with chairs. In the evening, you can share telling tale and fun around cozy camp fire and many more.

Day 04: Punakha -Today you will witness Punakha Tshechu. The present 70th Je Khenpo Trulku Jigme Choedra and the then Home Minister His Excellency Lyonpo Jigme Yoedzer Thinley introduced this Tshechu. The local people requested to host a Tshechu in order to better preserve Buddhist teachings and keep alive the noble deeds of Zhabdrung Rinpoche.

Farm House; Farm House visit  is one of the unique itinerary with experiences, taking you for Home Stay in Bhutan and living with typical Bhutanese families and children. The most interesting story and the people which you have probably never heard/seem in life are found in Bhutanese farm houses.Local visits are one of the most amazing experiences, tasting particular family special local dishes, sharing one’s stories, learn every day's life and see the daily challenges faced by them ,clicking pictures, joining the family for meals and many more can be organized. They are probably the happiest persons we see in the Land of Gross National Happiness-GNH. Go local and be local crosses beyond the borders and let you be inside villages.

Day 05:  Punakha to Trongsa (182 km-7 hours). After breakfast you will drive to Trongsa (2300m/7545ft) via Pele-la pass (3300m) the highest pass between Wangdue and Trongsa. The Pele-la pass separates the western and central Bhutan. You may stop at Pele la for a while for photo shooting on clear weather and hoisting prayer flags.

Prayer Flag Hoisting at Dochula: Traditionally, prayer flags are used to promote peace, compassion, strength, and wisdom. You will hoist prayer flags to accumulate the good deeds for the present and next life

Upon arrival check in hotel and visit Trongsa Dzong the home of the royals and now the administrative and monastic body.

Day 06 ; Trongsa to Bumthang (68 km-3 hours) Morning we will visit Ta-Dzong (watch tower) a museum dedicated to the monarchs of the kingdom of Bhutan. The museum is equipped with state of the art technology and includes a media room where visitors can watch a documentary program me on the history of the monarchy. Proceed to Bumthang (2600m-4500m / 8530ft-14765ft) the religious heart land. After arrival, check in hotel and visit Kharchu Monastry The buildings are composed of the Guru lhakhang, Tshokhang (Prayer hall) capable of housing about 500 monks, residences for high lamas and teachers, classrooms, Library, Monastery offices, Monks’ hostels, Kitchen, store and dining room.

Day 07: Bumthang Sightseeing.  After breakfast you will make a School Visit; The school in Bhutan remain open almost for 9 months except in December, January and July.  We can make appointment for your visit. Take this opportunity to interact with students and teachers during break time, and get to learn and know the education system in Bhutan, take pictures with them. Your gesture of donating stationaries like, pen, pencils, books and even desktop or in cash is always appreciated but not compulsory.

Jakar Dzong Centre of the Bumthang region. It played an important role as the fortress of defense of the whole eastern Dzongkhag. It was also became the seat of the first king of Bhutan. At present the Dzong is use as administrative and monastery body. Next visit

Membartsho (The Burning Lake): Tang valley is a wide spot on the Tang Chhu (chhu - water / river) and is considered to be one of the greatest pilgrimage sites of Bhutan. Pema Linga found several of Guru Rinpoche's hidden treasures here. The importance of this site is indicated by the extensive array of prayer flags and the small clay offerings called 'Tse Tsa' in rock niches.

Later visit Jampa Lhakhang one of the first two Buddhist temples built in the country built by Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century A.D. Also visit Kurje Lhakhang the site where royals are cremated.

Day 08: Bumthang to Phobjikha (237 km-8½ hours).After breakfast you will drive to Phobjikha. Phobjikha valley is a paradise for nature lovers and hikers so one can enjoy the hike around the remote valley of Phobjikha. Phobjikha is the winter roosting place of rare Black Necked Crane. Upon arrival at Gangtey visit Gangtey Monastery, the largest and the only monastery of the Nyingmapa sect in western Bhutan

Gangtey Village: Phobjikha is a wide glacial valley with a central stream meandering through the open grassland and thickets of dwarf bamboo. Farmlands occupy the peripheral slopes where potatoes and turnips are grown. The forests beyond the farms are mostly coniferous. The general vegetation is composed of mainly blue pine, birch, maple and several species of rhododendrons. 

Day 08; Phobjikha to Paro (140 km—6 hours). After breakfast we will drive back to Paro. On the way visit Lungchutse Hiking Trail (3.5 Kms) which is about 2 hours travel time (one way). The highest point on the trail is about 3569 meters above sea level. You will trek from Dochula Pass, climb towards the Lungchutse Lhakhang (highest point on the trail) and then descend towards Yusipang via the Tashigang Gonpa covering 9.2 kms.  From Lungchutse one could see the spectacular view of Mount Jomolhari, Gang Bum, Gangchen Tag, Masagang, Tsenda Gang, Teri Gang, Table Mountain, Hinglae La, Gangkar Puensum and Dagala to mention few. The trail mostly passes through conifer forest with rhododendron, juniper, hemlock, birch etc.

Dart/Khuru: Khuru is a favorite traditional game played in Bhutan. Nearly everyone including the women play khuru for enjoyment and to mark the important occasions. It's not easy for beginner to give the hit but with little practice, you'll bet better quickly.  More than just the game is the spirit of the game which makes it lively. Teams sing and dance on each strike making the game even more interesting. Cheering and jeering is the part of the game. There is no age limit or retirement age for any players. As long as one can throw it straight and at the target one can qualify as a player. Away from home you can explore it, we are arranging it on this day. No extra payment is required

Go for evening walk or drive to see the Night View of Paro Dzong

Day 09: Paro: Hike to Taktsang (Distance 3-4 Hours walk). After breakfast we will drive back to Paro for a hike to Taktsang. ‘Trip to Bhutan is never complete without climbing to Taktsang”, says one tourist. Indeed it’s true as the journey there fills you with spiritual bliss. It is located atop an 800 meter cliff in Paro. Its history is associated with the visit of Guru Padmasambhava, the Indian saint who came to Bhutan in the 8th century AD. The cave was named Taktshang after Guru Rinpoche flew into the cave from Kurtoe Singye Dzong from eastern Bhutan riding on a tigress.

Kichu lhakhang one of the oldest temples to have been built in Bhutan by the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century AD

National Game-Archery in Bhutan is more than a sport, it is a living example and a dynamic manifestation of the unique traditions and culture of the Bhutanese people, and it is a celebration of the Bhutanese way of life. No festival and no celebration is complete without a game of archery and the game itself is a combination of physical talents and spiritual influences where the deities and spirits are called upon to help a player or a team to perform better and win the contest. You can explore this game and feel the taste of game

Day 10: Departure 

 

 

 

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