Exotic Bhutan Tours and Treks

Trongsa Tshechu Tour

Black Neck Crane FestivalDay 1: Bangkok to Paro:  You depart in the early morning for your Bhutan adventure; approximately a 4-hour flight to Paro from Bangkok. Your flight path finally descends over the high Himalayan ridge bringing you to Paro International Airport, elevation 7,500 ft. Your Druk Air experience has been highlighted with breathtaking views of Himalayan peaks, including the sacred Mount Jumolhari and Jitchu Drake in Bhutan. Your excitement mounts and you are received by your tour representative; visas are processed. Your driver and English speaking Bhutanese guide will take you to your hotel for check in and lunch. You will then depart to tour Ta National Dzong Museum. Once the watchtower for the Rinpung Dzong, it was converted into the National Museum in 1968. The museum stands on a promontory overlooking the Paro valley in all its glory. On the way back visit the Paro Rinpung Dzong. A flagstone path rises gradually from a beautiful wooden bridge with shingle roofing and abutted by two guardhouses, to the Dzong. Today the Dzong is the seat of the district administration as well as the home for the monastic school. The central tower (Utse) of the Dzong, with its superb woodwork; Welcome to Bhutan! Overnight Paro hotel.

Farmhouse with yellow flowers

Day 2: Paro to Thimphu: Today after breakfast we depart Paro heading towards Thimphu, Capitol of Bhutan. Along the route we make an adventurous excursion to our path to hike to Tiger’s Nest view point. The monastery is perched on a rocky ledge with a sheer drop of nearly 800 m. It is said that in the second half of the 8th century, Guru Padma Sambbava alighted here upon the back of a tigress. Lunch at Tigers Nest cafeteria and we return down the path to our vehicle and onwards towards Thimphu. Before arriving at our charming hotel we will visit the Bank of Bhutan and post office; here you will exchange currency and have an opportunity to view and/or purchase elaborate and collector item stamps of gorgeous Bhutanese design. Now we check in at our hotel to refresh and relax and enjoy dinner.

Day 3:  Thimphu (Tango Hike)
This morning you will go over your itinerary with your guide at breakfast and then prepare for our drive to the path to embark on a vigorous hike up the mountain to Tango Goemba Monastery. Today will bring you closer to nature and the spirit there of. You will hike to Tango Monastery, one of Bhutanese' most important Buddhist colleges. Its name, meaning 'horse's head', is derived from the horse-head shaped rock at the top. It is a beautiful Dzong built in the 18h century by the 8th Desi, Druk Rabgye. Today Tango is home to the twelve-year-old reincarnate Lama, Gyaltse Tenzin Rabgye. Meet with senior monks for discussions. Return to your hotel for lunch and rest and later we will explore more of Thimphu village; an archery match will surely please; Bhutan holds Olympic gold! Your expert Bhutanese guide will assist you with areas of special interest on your leisure afternoon. Overnight Druk hotel.

Day 4: Thimphu - This morning we will visit the House of Incense and House of Paper to see first hand the process of hand making incense and paper from raw product in Bhutan. Most amazing, highest quality incense and paper products can be purchased. We will now visit the Memorial Chorten of the Late King, Changlimingthang Lhakhang and the Handicrafts Emporium. Returning to our hotel we enjoy lunch and depart this afternoon to tour the "Textile Museum"; Bhutan’s textiles are unique for their diversity and sophistication; the Textile Museum explores this dynamic craft. Embroidered and appliqué splendid fabric for sacred and ceremonial use is displayed, as well as several exquisite thangkas and altar coverings. Upstairs gallery highlights the diversity of Bhutan’s textile arts and skills featuring masterpieces from the Royal Family of Bhutan. A stop to tour Bhutan’s National Library where you will view hundreds of ancient manuscripts and ancients scrolls. Tonight you will attend a reception dinner at the home of your host in Bhutan, Sonam; Bhutanese hospitality at its very finest! Overnight Druk hotel.

Day 5: Thimphu to Wangdi:  This morning we will check out of our hotel and then we are off to the famous “weekend Thimphu market”. Please load your cameras! You will enjoy this colorful and bustling marketplace. Unique varieties of produce and handicrafts are displayed for sale; locals and visitors alike enjoy this shopping experience; a true Bhutanese experience and wonderful way to mingle with the locals. Photo opportunity abounds here, but please asks permission. Departing the market we begin our drive towards Wangdue across Dochula pass (10,500 ft) to Wangduephodrang. On a clear day you can enjoy a spectacular view of the Eastern Himalayan mountain range. Prayer flags flutter their message of peace and serenity. Tea and snack stop at the pass. We check into our resort hotel and depart to visit the beautiful Punakha Dzong; “Palace of Great Happiness”; the former winter capital and present administrative seat of the district; also the winter residence of the central monastic body and its Chief Abbot. The Dzong lies between two rivers, the Pochu and Mochu, male and female rivers. It was built in 1637 AD. Overnight Resort offers spectacular views of the quaint village river and Wangdi Dzong.

Day 6:  Wangdue (via Gangtey) to Trongsa - Transfer to Trongsa via Gangtey Valley to visit the habitat of the black-neck cranes which migrate from Tibet and Siberia. Phobjikha is a glacial valley on the western slopes of Black Mountain national park. The valley is a designated conservation area and borders the Black Mountain National Park. Because of the large flock of black-necked cranes that winter here (from late October to late March), it is one of the most important wildlife preserves in the country.

Phobjikha Valley is circled by beautiful pine covered mountains. Along the way, look for nocturnal red pandas that sleep in the trees during the day. At the valley’s centre, rising dramatically from a small ridge, stands Gantey Gompa, one of the oldest Nyingma Buddhist monasteries in Bhutan. Gantey Tulku Rimpoche, the head lama of Gantey Gompa, is the ninth incarnation of Terton Pemalingpa, the famous 14th-century Treasure Revealer from Bumthang, one of Bhutan’s famous Buddhist saints and an ancestor of the ruling Wangchuck dynasty. Visit the Gangtey monastery overlooks the large green expanse of Phobjikha Valley. The extensive complex consists of the gomba itself, the monks’ quarters, meditation centers, and schools. Visit the Black-Necked Cranes roost in the swampy marshland; from the Observatory overlooking the fields you can view these magnificent birds Continue on to Trongsa for overnight hotel.

Day 7: Trongsa Festival -Today we attend a full day at the Trongsa Festival. The Trongsa Dzong was built by Chogyel Minjur Tempa, the Third Desi, in 1648 A.D. It is presently the administrative seat of the district and home of the monastic school. Built at split-levels on a narrow spur, the Dzong is an architectural wonder. Views from here are extensive creating strategic location of this Dzong. Over the Dzong is the medieval Watchtower. This ancient structure gives unobstructed views of the valley, and its Winding River and roads. The watchtower is located strategically above the Trongsa Dzong. LOAD your camera to capture the intensity of this festival, while your gain merit and religious purification; be immersed into medieval Bhutan and the enchanting Bhutanese culture. Here one can truly appreciate the essence of Bhutanese people and a preserved steadfast culture. Arrays of colorful brocades whirl through the air as the dancers spin and dance the "thunderbolt step". Masks of glorious demonic demons and animals arouse your senses as purification takes place. The intensity goes on; your spirit will fly. Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight hotel.
 
Day 8: Trongsa - This morning we return to the Trongsa festival; today watch for the Atsara (clown) this dancer, unique in his own style, mimics dancers and entertains onlookers. Festival deities are invoked through benediction and luck is increased and misfortunate gone. Tashi Delek. After lunch visit Kuenga Rabten Palace, Home of the 2nd King, 25 Km from Trongsa. We now continue eastward towards central Bhutan; Bumthang. On our scenic drive we stop to visit Yatha Textile Centre; and we watch for yaks along the route. Overnight: River Lodge Hotel

Day 9: Bumthang - Enjoy breakfast and get ready to explore Bumthang village. Meet with textile weavers at looms as they weave their Bhutanese fabric and textile on toe strap looms with hand spun and dyed threads. Here is the best place for purchase of textile. Tour historical Jakar Dzong, “Palace of the White Bird”, as well as Jambay and Kurjey Lhakhang. Take a short walk to Flaming Lake to visit this religious and holy pilgrimage spot. Visit a Stone flour grist water mill and a beer and cheese factory; we also visit   Tamshing Monastery and Wangdichholing Palace, as well as a farmhouse for local hospitality. Return to lodge for relaxation and dinner.

Day 10: Tang Valley Day Excursion- This morning after a hearty breakfast we depart and drive to our hike path in the Tang Valley; one of the four most beautiful valleys in Bhutan. "Visit The Ugyenchholing Palace; a Family Museum, located on a hill Top in beautiful and remote Tang Valley. Enjoy a scenic hike Through a beautiful meadow dotted with Bhutanese farmhouse And water turned flour grist mills.  Here you will experience Time that will transport you back into medieval Bhutan. You View permanent exhibits recreated to capture the ambience of The lifestyle of the Trongsa Penelope (Governor) Tshokey Dorji And his household. Bhutan's history unfolds. This is a most Interesting and unique museum and the location of the Museum and architecture at this site are most intriguing. We Will visit a local farmhouse for tea and conversation while in Tang Valley. Return to Jakar for overnight at River Lodge.

Day 11: Bumthang to Wangdue - Departing Bumthang we drive westward to Wangdue. Photo and rest stops along our way; perhaps an interesting archer’s match in Trongsa. After check in at our resort, we will visit Wangdue Dzong as well as a visit to Chimi Lhakhang; a Fertility Monastery. Dinner and relax at our resort hotel.

Day 12: Wangdue to Paro - After breakfast we enjoy a leisure drive to Paro. Check into your hotel and enjoy free time to relax. This evening we visit Paro town to shop for any special purchase request you may have.

Day 13: Haa Valley Day Excursion: Full day excursion to Haa  Recently opened to tourism  in 2001. Haa Valley is situated in the north-west of the Bhutan-Tibet border. Our Drive is exciting and stimulating over a 13,000 ft pass with Prayer flags fluttering and blessing you along your route. We Enjoy a picnic lunch along this beautiful drive. Some have said Haa is the Lost Shangri-la; the valley is traversed by the Haa Chuu (river) and its characteristic features are three almost Conical hillocks considered to be holy by the local people. The First hillock is dedicated to Ap Chhundu, the supreme local protective deity of Haa. On arrival we stroll through the quaint town. We will take an excursion towards  Katso village(8,840 ft)Here you can see the famous Katso Lhakhang(temple) of Guru Rimpoche built against a rocky ledge. Return to Paro for a farewell dinner at hotel.

Day 14: Drive to Paro airport and fly to your next destination. We hope you have enjoyed your visit to Bhutan.

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