Glimpse of Bhutan

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Duration

6Days/5Nights

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Season

Jan-June & Sept - Dec

Mar-June & Sept-Nov

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Group Size

2-18 People

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Region

West Bhutan

Mar-June & Sept-Nov

Embark on a delightful 6-day journey, immersing yourself in the vibrant western districts of Thimphu, Paro, Punakha, and Wanguephodrang — each boasting key visitor’s attractions. As the capital city and with Paro housing the international airport, western Bhutan plays a pivotal role in the nation’s development and prosperity. This carefully crafted tour provides first-time visitors with a captivating glimpse into the country, offering a solid introduction to Bhutan.

Itinerary

Embark on a spectacularly nerve-breaking flight in entire Himalayas.  If you fly from Kathmandu, you will have an opportunity to see some beautiful Himalayan mountains – flying eighty kilometers east of Kathmandu valley, you will be greeted with Mount Cho Oyu 8188m, Mount Everest 8,848m (world’s highest mountain), Mount Lhotse 8516m and Makalu 8481m of Nepal. Skimming over east Sikkim towards the border of Bhutan, you will see five-pronged 8586m peak Kanchenjongga and just before landing in Paro, you will see Mount Jumolhari 7315m, and Jichu Drake 6662m of Bhutan.  Maneuvering Pachu River and tall mountains, you will soon land at the Paro International airport.  It’s the only international airport in the country situated at 2200m.  Paro is the second largest city of Bhutan with vivid landscape.  You will be received by your guide with a traditional white scarf in a full Bhutanese etiquette.   If you wish, you may get your money changed before you come out of terminal or even get a Bhutanese sim card.  On completion of receiving formalities, you will drive to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan.  Journeying south of valley downstream of Pachu River passing Bondey, Shaba and Isuna villages, you will soon come at the confluence, an interesting river and road junction. 

After a brief stop, you will continue driving northward to Thimphu along Thimphu River.  Passing through several settlements and road-side stands, you will arrive Thimphu.  It is an ever booming city undergoing huge developmental activities.  Thimphu encompasses mixed of both traditional and modern tastes with interesting blende of people.  Overnight at a hotel in Thimphu.

We will spend full day sightseeing in Thimphu with morning on bus tour and afternoon we explore by walk. Thimphu has around 1700 square kilometers with sights and attractions spread away from town centre. It encapsulates different markets, government institutions, expatriate buildings, private buildings and king’s office, inhabited by about one hundred thousand people from various
culture. After a breakfast at the hotel, we ride on a bus to visit the memorial chorten, a giant Buddha at Kuenselphodrang which is further up on a hill overlooking south and north Thimphu valley. A 169 feet Buddha statue is suppose to be the biggest bronze statue in the world. If you are a bit of photography genius, it gives you different angles for a fantastic shot. We then go on to Motithang area, north of Thimphu to visit an enclosure where Takins, national of Bhutan are being kept.

Visit Sangaygang for the view of Thimphu city – the place is also adorned by colourful Buddhist prayer flags. After visiting the School of Traditional Arts and Crafts, you will go to a local restaurant in town for a lunch. From the restaurant, we start our walking tour, first visiting Bhutan Post Office where you can see some of the most beautiful stamps in the world. You will have a unique opportunity to make your own stamps with your photo and send letters back home using them. From here, you will walk towards the famous Sabji bazaar area to visit Centenary Farmers’ Market where locals from different parts of the country come here to sell their farm produce – it also offers one of the best opportunity for photography. If we are lucky, you will come across an archery match taking place at Changlingmithang Stadium. After this, option is for you either to continue strolling in town or go to your hotel for a rest. Overnight at hotel in Thimphu.

Dochula pass, which is situated at 3100m (10,200ft) remains as the highlight of our drive today. It is marked by 108 Bhutanese style stupas, which was built by the eldest queen of Bhutan. On clear weather, you can also see panoramic views of Himalayan mountain ranges to the extreme north. We arrive at this pass driving for about 40 minutes from our hotel in Thimphu. After exploring the pass and having some tea at the Cafeteria, you will continue driving downhill all the way to Punakha through forests of pine, daphne and rhododendron finally arriving at Punakha. It’s comparatively a low valley situated at 1242m. No wonder, lower elevation of the valley is being marked by presence of bamboos, banana, mango and guava trees around.

You will arrive at Punakha after diverting from an interesting road-junction of Lobesa. Crossing through a stream, rice fields and driving along the bank of Punatsangchu River you arrive Punakha. Check into your hotel for a rest before we begin our sightseeing of Punakha Dzong. Anchored like a ship in between the two rivers, Punakha Dzong or fortress is one of the most beautiful Dzongs with intricate designs depicting the masterpiece of Bhutanese craftsmanship. It was an ancient capital of Bhutan where first National Assembly took place in 1953. The royal wedding also took place here on October 2011. After an elaborate tour of the Dzong, we drive to hotel for your overnight stay.

Today we drive to Paro via Dochula pass and Thimphu, which will take us almost 4 hours. Little further away from the hotel is the Chimi Lhakhang, which stands on a small hill. You will walk through many craft stores, rice fields and farmhouses to the temple. It is believed that temple was built by the Saint Drukpa Kuenley who is popularly known as Devine madman. There are many interesting folklores about his unconventional style of teaching, which is considered Crazy wisdom in western world. We then walk back to our bus to continue our journey up to the pass and then descending down to Thimphu city where you will stop here for a lunch. You may have some time after lunch to make a last purchase in case you have forgotten to buy other days. Driving along the bank of Thimphu river to the Confluence and then along Pachu river, you will be arrive at Paro. Check into hotel for overnight stay.

Hike to the Tiger’s Nest hike is an unmissable highlight of any trips to Bhutan. Situated at an elevation of 3120m, the temple has been blessed by Padmasambhava in 8th century, who was the pioneer of vajrayana Buddhism in Tibet and Bhutan. Ascending about 900m from Paro through the pine, fir and rhododendron forests, we arrive at the Cafeteria where you will have tea with an amazing view of the temple. Walk further up to the first lookout point, descend to the gorge with a small water fall and to the main temple. After exploring the temple complex, we walk down for a lunch at the Cafeteria and descend to the base of the temple, where your car will be waiting here for you. Explore Paro town to make a last souvenir purchase. Overnight at hotel in Paro.

After breakfast, drive to the airport for your departure. Our guide will bid you farewell.

Q: Who would find the Glimpse of Bhutan Discovery Tour suitable or ideal?

This your is designed for those with limited time seeking a swift yet comprehensive overview of Bhutan. Western Bhutan, home to the capital and the Paro international airport, stands out as the most developed region. However, for a more thorough exploration, extending to central and eastern Bhutan is recommended, as these regions offer a distinct experience compared to the western part of the country. 

Q: What trip extensions are available for this itinerary, and what recommendations are there for those with a few extra days on hand?

Should time allow, there is an opportunity for a two-day extension encompasses a thrilling day of white-water rafting on the Phochu river in Punakha River, complemented by visit to the lonest suspension bridge and the villages of Kabesa. Another day presents option for an excursion to Phobjikha Valley, renowned for its wintering Blacked Necked Cranes.  

Q: What type of hotel accommodations can we expect throughout the trip in Bhutan?

As per government regulations, we ensure a minimum three-star accommodation for your stay. You can expect three-star hotels or even upgraded options with upscale amenities. Additionally, for those seeking a more luxurious experience, we can arrange accommodations in four or five-star hotels, with supplementary fees applicable.  Farmhouse stays can also be arranged upon request.

Q: What is the optimal season for this tour, and how flexible are the options for customizing the itinerary?

While Bhutan is often hailed as a year-round destination, we do exercise some caution. While Western Bhutan is suitable for travel throughout the year, we recommend exercising caution when planning to explore Central Bhutan and Eastern Bhutan. It’s advisable to limit travel to this region during July, August, and mid-September, as these months tend to be a bit wet, impacting the overall tour experience.

We offer the flexibility to tailor the trip according to your schedule and preferences. One unique customization option includes attending Tshechu, a vibrant Buddhist festival celebrated throughout the country at specific times. Whether you’re interested in archery, traditional attire, astrology, marriage ceremonies, authentic dinners, cooking experiences, traditional hot-stone bath, white water rafting, or sessions of yoga and meditation, we can arrange it all to suit your preferences.

Q: Will the Company coordinate our visa and flight arrangements?

Yes! Your visa and flight arrangements are seamlessly included in your package, with no extra charges. We’ll take care of your internal flights, and if you require assistance with external flights, we can make special arrangements upon your request.