Bhutan Classic Tour – 10 Days
Classic Bhutan tour package covers some of the most admired and popular cultural, historical, religious, and traditional sites. When based on this, the Taktsang Palphung Monastery becomes the top priority. Besides, you will be touring the country across hills and passes amid the spectacular landscapes. However, it will be particularly focused on exploring the classic aspects of the country, and hence comes the Paro Dzong, the humungous buttressed walls overlooking the valley. It is a must-visit for its architectural excellence. The aforementioned Paro Taktsang, also popular as the Tiger’s Nest, is a prominent Himalayan Buddhist sacred site. It is located on a precarious precipice at 3,120 meters and about 900 meters above the valley. This tiny Himalayan Kingdom, surrounded by India and Tibet, China has several classic dzongs (forts) and Lhakhang (temples). Dumtse Lhakhang, Rinpung Dzong, Dungtse Lhakhang, and Kichu Lhakhang are some in Paro that you will be visiting.
Dzong is a distinctive type of fortress. The architecture is stupendous in style with towering exterior walls surrounding a complex of courtyards, temples, administrative offices, and monks’ accommodation. Undoubtedly it will be quite overwhelming and awe-inspiring to get close to it. These forts have many unique features.
Lhakhang is a Buddhist Monastery, and it too has a distinctive feature in terms of architecture and operation. Bumthang, considered the religious heartland of the country and home to some of the oldest monasteries, has some magnificent Lhakhangs like Jambey Lhakhang and Tamshing Lhakhang.
Thimpu, the capital city, has much more to offer to you besides Dzongs and Lhakhang. Zilukha Nunnery and the National Memorial Chorten are also worth your visit. The city has several historical and religious sites. Moreover, you wouldn’t want to miss the Tashichho Dzong during the Bhutan tour package. It is a Buddhist Monastery and fortress on the northern edge of Thimpu. The two-storied building with three-storied towers at each of the four corners topped by triple-tiered golden roofs is an aesthetic sight to behold. It is a pure marvel. It is pure awe.
Day 01: Arrival in Paro & drive to Thimphu
Day 02: Visit Thimphu
Day 03: Drive Thimphu to Punakha
Day 04: Drive Phunakha to Phobjikha
Day 05: Drive Phobjikha to Trongsa
Day 06: Drive Trongsa to Chokhor / Bumthang
Day 07: Drive Bumthang to Punakha
Day 08: Drive Punakha to Paro
Day 09: Visit Paro: Taktsang monastery
Day 10: Flight Paro to Kathmandu
Day 1: Arrival in Paro and drive to Thimphu: The flight to Bhutan takes you over the great Himalayas, offering the most scintillating scenery of the world’s highest glacial peaks. Upon your arrival our representative will receive you and drive to Thimphu.
Road from Paro to Thimphu, The distance of about 55km from Paro town takes an hour with recently broadened road. Drive south following Pachu river to the river confluence at Chuzom, which is also the hub of road network going to Paro, Haa, Thimphu and Phuntsholing. From Chuzom, the road follows Wangchu River upstream as you pass through villages and suburbs to the capital, Thimphu. En-route, you can stop to view Tachogang temple and the nunnery at Sitsina.
Thimphu (at 2350m) is Bhutan's capital city and center of government, religion and commerce. About an hour drive east from Paro is this a unique city with unusual mixture of modern development alongside ancient traditions. Home to civil servants, expatriates and monk body, Thimphu maintains a strong national character in its architectural style. It was a wooded farming valley until 1961, when it became Bhutan's official national capital. The massive Tashicho Dzong, about 700 years old, was carefully revamped in the 1960s by the late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk to house the royal and main government offices. Even today, it still only has a few streets and no traffic lights with estimated population of 100,000 people. Thimphu has many places and sights to visit, in addition to several day excursion possibilities. It has relatively more choice in terms of the accommodations.
This fortress serves as the office of the King, ministers and various government organizations. It also is the headquarters for central monastic body of Bhutan. Bhutan's spiritual leader Je-Khenpo and the monks of both Thimphu and Punakha reside here during summer. It is also the venue for Thimphu Festival in the fall season.
Overnight: Hotel Phuntshopelri or similar (3*).
Distance 54 kms, driving time about an hour
Day 2: Visit Thimpu: The day is free for additional cultural touring to sights such as the weekend market (if the day is right), changangkha lhakhang, zilukha nunnery, the takin preserve and national memorial chorten. Or, hike to a remote monastery with a traditional pack lunch. The evening is free for activities as you choose.
Overnight: Hotel Phuntshopelri or similar (3*).
Day 3: Drive Thimpu to punakha (1250m): Leave thimpu after breakfast for the journey to Punakha. The first stop en route is simtokha dzong, followed by dochu la pass and the 108 dochu la chortens , an optional 4-hour high elevation hike o the remote lungchuzekha goemba, and later the botanical gardens. After descending from the pass, enjoy a short 20-minute walk to chimi lhakhang. Also known as the divine madman’s, people now visit to receive blessings for fertility from his wooden phallus.
Overnight: Hotel Meri Puensum Resort or similar (3*).
Driving Time: 3 Hours
Day 4: Drive Punakha to Phobjikha: Enjoy morning touring in punakha with visits to the punakha dzong and the Bhutan souvenir training center before continuing east. Reaching Phobjikha is like stepping back in time where, due to conservation measures, no electricity is allowed (hotels have generators or solar power). As time permits, enjoy an afternoon stroll through gangtey village, including a visit to the gangtey goemba, before retreating to your hotel.
Overnight: Hotel Gakiling or similar
Driving Time: 3 ½ Hours
Day 5: Drive Phobjikha to Trongsa: Enjoy a leisurely morning in Phobjikha as you like with optional visits to the black necked crane information center and the Norsang carpet factory. Afterwards begin the drive into center Bhutan with a stop en route at the chendebji chorten. Upon arrival to Trongsa chek-in to your hotel with the remainder of the day free to visit the dzong, museum, and town as time permits.
Overnight: Hotel Tashi Ningay or similar
Driving Time: 4 Hours
Day 6: Drive Trongsa to Chokhor, Bumthang: Finish up sightseeing in Trongsa before the drive to the Chokhor valley of Bumthang with a stop along the way at the yathra weaving center in Chummey. Often considered the religious heartland of the country and home to some of the oldest monasteries in Bhutan, Bumthang offers many places and sights of interest, some of which include jambey lhakhang, jaskar dzong, tamshing lhakhang. Wangdichholing palace and membartsho. Or simply enjoy the valley and sights on foot. Enjoy dinner at your hotel.
Overnight: Mountain Lodge Resort or similar (3*).
Driving Time: 2 ½ Hours
Day 7: Drive Bumthang to Punakha: start early route back to Pelela Pass (altd. 3,400 m) via Trongsa. We will drive through several small villages along the way.
Overnight in Meri Puensum Resort or similar (3*)
Distance 240 kms, driving time 8 hours
Day 8: Drive Punakha to paro: we drive back to Paro after an early breakfast with morning sights to include dumtse lhakhang, Rinpung Dzong, Dungtse Lakhang and kichu Lhakhang in Paro.
Overnight: Tenzinling Resort or similar (3*).
Distance 127 kms, driving time 4 hours, Paro elevation 2250 mts
Day 9: Visit Paro: after breakfast at your hotel, hike to taktsang monastery or “tiger’s nest” (approximately 4 hours roundtrip), the monastery is perched on a rocky ledge with a sheer drop of nearly 3,000 feet and overlooks the paro valley, it is one of the most venerated pilgrims sites in the Himalayan world and houses 13 holy places. If you aren’t up for hiking, ponies are available to take you as far as the teahouse which offers amazing views of the temple. Enjoy the afternoon at the Paro Dzong and National museum with the evening free for activities as ou choose.
Overnight: Tenzinling Resort or similar (3*).
Walking Time: 4 Hours
Day 10: Departure: after breakfast transfer to the airport for your onward flight. Your guide and driver will bid you farewell after assuring all flight formalities are taken care of.
The tour price includes:
- Bhutan Royalties, Tourist Visa & TDF Fees
- Accommodation in Twin Sharing basis at tourist standard Hotels
- All Meals in Bhutan (Breakfast + Lunch + Dinner)
- All Transfers (Private vehicle) & Sightseeing with Entrance Fees
- English Speaking Local Tour Guide
- Bottled Water in Vehicle
The tour price does not include:
- International Flights
- Travel / Medical Insurance – recommended
- Use of Bar & Beverages in the Hotels / restaurants
- Tips & Gratuities to the Guides & Drivers
- All Personal Gears
- Personal Expenses such as phone / internet / laundry etc
Average Temperature of Bhutan in different cities
- Travel Pack / Suit case
- Day pack
- Lightweight, low maintenance and versatile clothing
- Convertible travel trousers
- Lightweight fleece
- Lightweight waterproof jacket
- Comfortable shoes/boots
- Hat (sun/warm hat)
- Warm clothes / Jackets / trousers (If travelling in early Spring / Autumn / Winter)
- Luggage locks
- Head light (torch)
- Wash bag
- Travel towel
- All purpose travel soap
- Small repair kit (needle and thread)
- First aid kit
- Accessory bags
- Guide book
- Electrical adaptor
- Insect repellent
- Sun cream
- Valid passport
- Print out of Airline tickets
- Contact detail of Embassy / Tour agency
- Travel insurance