Day 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.
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)
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
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 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.