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Bhutan Sojourn


5 days 4 nights

Code BCT02

Category Bhutan Classic Tours

  • Group Size 1-16
  • Difficulty Level 2
  • Highest Altitude 10,240 ft. (3,120 m)
  • Trip Starts From Paro
  • Trip Ends At Paro
  • Type Tours
  • Destination Thimpu Paro
Dates & Prices
No available seat

Overview

In this short trip, you will visit Thimphu and Paro- the major towns of the tiny Kingdom of Bhutan. You will spend 2 nights in each city, exploring Dzong fortresses, temples, monasteries, museums, art schools, weaving centers, etc. You will also have opportunity to visit farm families and experience the Bhutanese life.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 01~Arrive in Paro and 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 prior to the trip date. In Paro, you are required to present the document again, and there you will get 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 a good introduction on Bhutan's history, culture and religion. The museum exhibits good collection of Bhutanese textiles, manuscripts, books, murals, armors, crafts, traditional utensils, philatelic collections, and more. Then, we can either descend or visit the impressive Rinpung Dzong Fortress that houses the office of the district administration and monastic bod.

Now, we take scenic one-hour drive to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan.

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 leisurely stroll and visit the memorial chorten (shrine) of the 3rd King of Bhutan Jigme Dorje Wangchuk, and whatever else time and our interest allow.

Overnight at hotel.

Meals : Lunch, Dinner
Day 02~Sightseeing 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. Archery is the Bhutanese national sport, and we’ll hope for matches while we’re there. We’ll visit a small handmade paper factory across the river to see the traditional Bhutanese paper making method that uses “daphne” or mulberry plants.

We return to the town and visit the National Institute Zorig Chusum that offers a six year course on Bhutan's traditional arts and crafts that include painting, wood carving, embroidery, and statue making. Then we head to the Folk Heritage Museum, a three-story mud and timber building that replicates a century-old traditional farmhouse that gives us a glimpse of not only the lives of ancient Bhutanese people, but also many rural people even today.

Next stop – the National Institute of Traditional Medicine, dispensary of traditional Bhutanese herbal and other medicines.

Late afternoon will bring us to a grand panoramic view of the valley, followed by 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 believe 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 half-day hike 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 majority vote. Tango Goema 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.

Overnight at hotel.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 03~Continue sightseeing of Thimphu. Afternoon, transfer to Paro

After breakfast, we will continue sightseeing of Thimphu.

We will visit the Great Buddha Dordenma- a gigantic Shakyamuni Buddha statue that you may have already seen almost from everywhere in Thimphu. But being there is just different! The great gold gilded statue is 169 ft. tall and is a multi-million dollar project!! The statue is just magnificent and the view from the ridge over to the valley is also super!

Today, also stop by Bhutan's General Post Office where you can make your own stamps!

Next, visit the Gagyel Lhundrup Weaving Center, a private enterprises where you can see women weavers at work (except on Sunday). You are also able to buy some garments here.

Now, after lunch, we transfer to Paro (1 hour) with a stop for a short walk at the 13th century temple of Tamchog Lakhang. The temple was built by the famous Tibetan iron-bridge builder Thangthong Gyalpo – architect, physician, teacher, and a saint! The temple is owned and maintained by his descendants.

Near Paro, visit a typical Bhutanese 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.

Hiking option: If you are hiking enthusiasts or a nature lover, we can take you on a short hiking (2-3 hours) in Thimphu or Paro. Please, let us know and we can alter the itinerary accordingly.

Overnight at hotel.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 04~Paro: Hike the Takstang Monastery hike

This morning, we will hike to the famous Taktsang 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.

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 per person.

Overnight at hotel in Paro.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 05~Depart Paro

After breakfast, you are transferred to the airport in time for flight to your next destination.

Meals : Breakfast

Trip Map

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