• 5 Days Nepal Classic Tour
  • 5 Days Nepal Classic Tour
  • 5 Days Nepal Classic Tour
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5 Days Bhutan Classic Tour (Paro & Thimphu & Punakha)

Not-be-missed Essence of Bhutan

The land of the Kingdom of Bhutan is small, but the landscape is huge. This 5 days compressed tour is made for those travelers who want to see the essence of Bhutan in a limited time. You won’t miss the three most popular destinations in Bhutan, including Paro, Thimphu and Punakha. All of the three cities are located in western Bhutan which allows you to spend less time on transportation and more time on sightseeing. In your sightseeing journey, you will enjoy the cultural architectural landmarks of Bhutan, peaceful rural environment and a breathtaking view of Himalayan Ranges from a natural viewing deck.

Highlights of this tour:

  • Appreciate the traditional architectures in Rinpung Dzong which is regarded as the best example of Bhutan’s dzong and visit its old watchtower - present Bhutan National Museum to learn about Bhutan’s history, culture, beliefs, etc.;
  • Explore the highlights of Thimphu, like holy National Memorial Chorten, traditional arts (painting, carving, weaving, etc.) and national animal (Takin);
  • Enjoy a nice drive to picturesque Punakha Dzong and take a stop at Dochu La Pass to witness the magnificent ranges of Himalaya;
  • Take a physical challenging but visual rewarding trekking to cliff-hanging Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest) - the most eyes-catching sight of Bhutan.

Tour Brief Information

  • Tour price:

    1. This price is based on a group of 2 adult travelers who will take our private tour and share one standard rooms in regular local 4-star hotel in lower seasons.

    2. This price is subject to change according your traveling season, group size, hotel class, change of activities in your itinerary and possible fluctuation of currency exchange rate. If you want a lower price, you can get more people to join you, or use economy class hotels.

    3. This price is only valid to March 31, 2020.

    4. Reference exchange rate of USD 1= RMB 6.7. The final quotation will be adjusted accoring to the latest real-time exchange rate.

  • Tour code: TD-BT-05
  • Tour type: Private Customizable Tour Package
  • Destination: Paro / Thimphu / Punakha / Paro
  • Duration: 5 days & 4 nights
  • Departure: Flexible
  • Travel Theme: CultureTrekkingPhotographyArchitecture
  • Best Time: SpringSummerAutumnWinter
  • Physical Level

    Physical Requirements

    • Capable of walking short to medium distances by oneself in high altitudes. Must be capable of minor ascents and descents.
    • Capable of light walking and hiking in high altitudes. Suitable for most fitness levels.
    • Average fitness level. High altitude hiking for several hours.
    • Possibly includes high altitude hiking of up to 6 hours per day or activities of a similar nature. Requires an elevated level of fitness.
    • Features demanding high altitude treks or cycling. Only suitable for those with a high level of physical fitness and endurance.

    Note: If you have any questions concerning the requirements or the unique demands for your particular tour package, please feel free to contact one of our helpful Travel Consultants for further information.

    It's advisable to have a body check-up or have your doctor's advice before visiting Tibet. Visitors with a record of heart, lung, liver, or kidney problems must seek medical advice before making the decision to go to Tibet Also, people with any of the following problems should not go to Tibet.

    • Have already caught a cold
    • Have severe anemia
    • Have high blood pressure or severe heart disease
    • Have pneumonia, tuberculosis, tracheitis, or bronchitis
  • Tour Pace
    Leisure

    Tour Pace

    • Leisure: enjoy your tour in a slow pace, allowing plenty of time for photography, you will see the most famous attractions, and spend plenty amount of time in each destination.
    • Comfortable: enjoy your tour in a comfortable pace, you will see most popular attractions, and spend reasonable amount of time in each attraction.
    • Tight: enjoy your tour at a tight pace, as you will be able to see as many tour attractions as possible in the available amount of time.
  • Max Altitude
    3,210 m

    Altitude

    High Altitude Sickness is one of the biggest challenges when travelling in Tibet. According to our experience, most people will be fine up to 3500m above sea level, as the altitude go higher up to 4500m, mild symptoms as shortness of breath, headache might occur. Adverse reactions may vary from person to person. In most cases, the symptoms are mild and will subside in several hours to several days as the body acclimatizes.

    Mild Symptoms of AMS include:

    • Headache
    • Shortness of breath with exertion
    • Rapid pulse (heart rate)
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Fatigue
    • Loss of appetite
    • Poor sleeping
    • Dizziness or light-headedness
    Definition of High Altitude

Your tour - at a glance

Day 1 Paro Arrival & Driving to Thimphu

Upon arrival, you will be met by you private guide and driver. Then you will visit National Museum and Rinpung Dzong. After the sightseeing, drive to Thimphu for accommdation.

Day 2 Thimphu Tour

On Day 2, you will firstly visit holy National Memorial Chorten which is the holy center in Thimphu and many pilgrims will kora there. Then visit Traditional Painting School and National Textile Museum to watch the students learning their tradtional arts. After that, visit Motithang Takin Preserve to see Bhutan's National Animal - Takin. Drive to Punakha for Sightseeing.

Day 3 Punakha Tour

Today, you will visit Bhutan's most beautiful Dzong - Punakha Dzong first and then move to Chimi Lhakhang. Drive back to Paro after the sightseeing.

Day 4 Taktsang Monastery Tour

You will have a full day to explore the mystery of Taktsang Monastery by treking.

Day 5 Paro Departure

Today is free for you to leave Kathmandu.

Itinerary Details - Day by Day

Day 1 Paro Arrival & Driving to Thimphu / About 1.5 hours’ Driving (L, D)

Welcome to Bhutan, the Land of the Thunder Dragon! Upon arrival, you will be greeted by your local travel guide and driver, and then be escorted to Paro Town to start your wonderful journey.

You will firstly visit Bhutan National Museum where you are going to learn a crash course in Bhutanese rich culture and history. There are many impressive collections displayed in its five galleries, including traditional thangkas, festival masks, religious statues, interesting carvings, etc. Your next attraction is Rinpung Dzong, also known as Paro Dzong, which is reputed as the finest example of Bhutanese dzong. After appreciating these charming architectures in Rinpung Dzong, you could take a leisure walk through cantilever bridge and to Paro Town and witness national game archery, which is played almost every day on the ground. After the sightseeing, drive about 1.5 hours to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan Kingdom, for accommodation.

Arrival Ideas: 1) you are able to take an international flight from Kathmandu (1 hour), Kolkata (1 hour), New Delhi (2.5 hours), Guwahati (55 minutes), Siliguri (30 minutes), Bangkok (3 hours), Singapore (5 hours) and some other cities in India in peak seasons; 2) so far, all the flights to Paro depart and arrive in the morning.

  • Bhutan National Museum in Paro Bhutan National Museum in Paro
  • Rimpung Dzong & National Museum Rimpung Dzong & National Museum

Day 2 Thimphu Sightseeing & Driving to Punakha / 80km, About 2.5hrs' Driving (B, L, D)

This morning you will start the day by visiting the National Memorial Chorten (shrine), a monument dedicated to the past 3rd king of Bhutan, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. More than a memorial stupa, it is also one important religious center for Bhutanese daily worship. Then go to visit Traditional Painting School, a school where students are taught to make Bhutan’s 13 traditional arts and crafts, like painting, woodcarving, embroidery, statue-making and so on. Next, go to National Textile Museum which is a good place to display textile weaving – Bhutan’s living national art. You can not only feast on the beautiful costumes, but also learn about the type of textiles, the styles of local dress and the techniques of weaving. Last activity of today is visiting the national animal - Takin in Motithang Takin Preserve, a unique looking animal with the head of sheep and body of cattle.

Leaving Thimphu, drive through a forest of pine and hemlock, up to cross over the Dochu La Pass (Alt: 10142ft/ 3,050 m). From the place, you can enjoy the panoramic views of the majestic Himalaya Mountains. Keep driving along the winding road to the fertile valley of Punakha (Alt: 4430ft/ 1,350 meters).

Accommodate in Punakha Town.

  • National Memorial Chorten - Holy Site in Thimphu Holy Bhutan National Memorial Chorten Kora
  • 108 Stupas in Duochu La Pass Duochu La Pass
  • Takin - Bhutan's National Animal Takin - Bhutan's National Animal

Day 3 Punakha Sightseeing & Driving to Paro / 130km, About 3.5hrs' Driving (B, L, D)

After breakfast, you will go to visit Punakha Dzong, situated between Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu (male and female rivers) and featuring in three docheys (one more than other dzongs). It is praised by many people as the most beautiful one in Bhutan’s 21 dzongs, especially in spring when the lilac jacaranda trees in blossom. Next, move to the Chimi Lhakhang, a mysterious temple built in 1499 by the legendary “Divine Madman” - lama Drukpa Kunley. There is a tradition that the childless women can visit this temple to receive a wang (blessing) from the saint, then they will have a child.

After lunch, drive about 3.5 hours back to Paro. Have a good night in Paro Town.

  • Grandiose Architectures in Punakha Dzong Amazing Architectures in Punakha Dzong
  • Chimi Lhakhang - Temple of Fertility Chimi Lhakhang - Temple of Fertility

Day 4 Paro - Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) / About 20mins' Driving Plus 2~3hrs' Trekking (B, L, D)

Start the day with short drive to Paro’s upper valley. If the day is clear, you’ll have an unforgettable view of the “Goddess” – Mt.Chomolhari (23,640 feet).

Afterward, it’s a short drive to Taktsang trail ahead. Take a challenging but necessary 2~3 hours’ trek to Taktsang Monastery, the most famous monastery in Bhutan, also known as “Tiger Nest Monastery, because Guru Rinpoche reportedly flew to the site on the back of a flying tiger late in the 7th century. Between blue pines and a blue sky, the monastery perches miraculously on a cliff nearly 2,700 feet above Paro’s valley floor. Break along the way for tea and snacks in small tea house, and the view of both Taktsang Monastery and Paro Valley is magnificent.

Hike down the mountain, then drive back to Paro for accommodation.

Tips: 1) it takes about 2 ~ 3 hours to trek from the parking lot to Taktsang Monastery, and you could ride a horse for the first hour; 2) photography is strictly forbidden in the monastery, but you can take a nice shot on your road to Taktsang Monastery; 3) travelers have to deposit all belongings (cameras, phones or other electronic equipment and bags) at the entrance.

  • Cliffside Tiger's Nest Monastery Cliffside Tiger's Nest Monastery

Day 5 Paro Departure (B)

Your journey in Bhutan comes to an end today! After breakfast, your guide will pick you up from the hotel to the airport in time for the scheduled flight to your next destination. Before that, you can take a rest at the hotel or go for a walk nearby.

Tips: Please pack your luggage carefully, especially for small things like camera charge, power adaptor, mobile phone, phone charger, wallet and towel.

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Price & Service Guide

The quotation for this trip is per person

1. This price is based on a group of 2 adult travelers who will take our private tour and share one standard rooms in regular local 4-star hotel in lower seasons.

2. This price is subject to change according your traveling season, group size, hotel class, change of activities in your itinerary and possible fluctuation of currency exchange rate. If you want a lower price, you can get more people to join you, or use economy class hotels.

3. This price is only valid to March 31, 2020.

4. Reference exchange rate of USD 1= RMB 6.7. The final quotation will be adjusted accoring to the latest real-time exchange rate.

What's included in this price?

  • Bhutan visa fees.
  • Private professional English-speaking tour guide.
  • Private vehicle and luggage transfers.
  • All accommodations, based on double-occupancy. Medium standard accommodation with attached bathroom on twin sharing basis. Guesthouse or tent in remote areas.
  • Meals noted in the itinerary as "B,L,D".
  • Admission fees and activity expenses, as noted in the itinerary.
  • Service Charge (the planning, handling, operational and communication charges) & government taxes.
  • Tourists Accident/Casualty Insurance

What's excluded in this price?

  • Sightseeing not listed in the itinerary.
  • Meals not listed in the itinerary (all lunches and dinners).
  • Personal expenses such as laundry, drink, fax, telephone call, optional tour activities, etc.
  • Gratuities, tips to guides, drivers, bellboys, etc.
  • Excess Baggage Charges.
  • Single room supplement.
  • Additional tour service and/or activities.
  • International flights to/from Bhutan

Value for money:

While the trip of a lifetime is priceless, we know value is a vital aspect for those deciding which tour to choose.

When comparing tour prices, be sure to compare like to like. Our tours are designed to ensure that our customers experience all the culture, history, and beauty that Tibet has to offer, and at a reasonable price.

A great way to enjoy the lowest possible price is to invite more people to join your trip to share the travel experience as well as the tour expense. The more people in a group, the lower the price per person. (We recommend you join our group tour if you are traveling alone. Please contact our travel consultant for more information)

Booking early is also an easy way to ensure the best rate! We highly recommend you contact us at least 1 month before your planned departure date.

FAQs of This Trip

  1. Service Information- What is a private tour package?

    Private Bhutan Tour Package means you will have your own private local tour guide, private vehicle and private driver for your group. You don't have to share the vehicle with others. You tour guide will take care of only your group. With the help of your private tour guide, you will see more in Bhutan, communicating with locals to learn about Bhutanese lifestyle and culture.

    You have the flexibility to arrange the group activities accorddingly, such as changing the visiting order of attractions or extending the visiting time of certain place. You can also stop on the road as you need.

    If you are traveling with your family or a group of friends, a private tour for your group is ideal. As you have more people in the group, the price won't be much higher than a join-in group tour. It is a good way to save money and enjoy ultimate service.

  2. Our Tour Guide and Driver Information

    Local Tour Guides
    Our tour guides are born and raised in the regions we visit so they know all the potential difficulties and how to avoid them. They are highly trained, speak excellent English and know the local myths, traditions and history which they will share with you. Wherever you travel, our guides are the key that unlocks each destination and make the trip memorable and unique.

    Private Driver
    Our drivers have many years of driving experience in the areas and are very reliable. With Tibet Discovery, you can rest assured that we only use the highest quality vehicles available. We use mainly private vehicles, to ensure we get to our destinations as swiftly and smoothly as possible, as well as allowing the freedom and flexibility to stop and look around or stretch your legs.

  3. Tibet Discovery’s Service and Value

    Tibet Discovery’s Service and Value:


    Travel Insurance:
    We provide a limited Accident/Casualty Insurance in Bhutan which only covers accidents that occur within Bhutan. This policy’s indemnity is relatively low, so if you would like a more inclusive plan, then it is best to purchase one in your home country before your departure.


    Before the trip: Before your trip, feel free to contact our Travel Consultants for any further information you need. All of our tours are fully customizable, so if you are not satisfied with any part of a tour pakage, just let us know and our expert Travel Consultants will do their best to design the perfect tour for you.


    During the trip:
    If you have any questions or concerns during your trip, please do not hesitate to contact us. Your Travel Consultant will do his or her best to resolve any problems you have and ensure that your trip runs as smoothly as possible.

    After the trip:
    Once you have returned home and have had a chance to settle back in, we’d love to hear from you. We welcome your comments, suggestions, pictures, and whatever else you want to share with us about your trip. We are always striving to improve our customers’ experiences, and also love to hear about their adventures!

      Reviews of Our Customers

      Still not know us well? Read what other travelers are sharing about their Tibet trip with Tibet Discovery (We only accept reviews from confirmed travelers who took our tours / activities, so you can surely rely on the reviews)

      Dear Mr.Leo Li,

      Please find below some comments regarding our experience in Tibet-Nepal.

      All the guides, in Chengdu (Mrs. Gila), Tibet (Mr. Po Ta) and Nepal (Mr. Bishnu) provided us an excellent service, they were very informative, forbearing and helpful about every matter along our stay (check in/out in the hotels, tickets for the attractions, rides, queues etc etc), also the drivers were very skilled and safe in driving us to the many visited spots.

      The vehicles were in good condition of maintenance, we always found bottles of water on board for us (provided by the assistant driver)

      The daily organization of the visits in China and Nepal was mostly done in the perfect timing, respecting the schedule (some more consideration about Nepal will follow).

      The included lunches and dinners, were very welcome. 

      Almost all the hotels were very good, high standard, comfortable, clean and the their staff very helpful.   The only exception was the hotel in Gyirong, of very low level (one star ? maybe less) and very old.  Furthermore the morning after we slept there, we found out that there was no water in the bathroom and it was really a bad situation for us and at our request to do something the staff was not helpful at all.  It seems that the missing of water in that hotel (maybe in all the city) is recurrent , but in this case would have been very simply to provide some spare water in the rooms.

      A note about the "road" on the border from China to Nepal.... from the information provided in the program/itinerary we supposed to find a bumpy and muddy one ....but in reality it was much worst than that, the journey by car was stressful, very long and extremely dangerous (no guardrail at all and the overhanging on the river in the valley !!!).

      The drivers were very skilled and they drove in the safest possible way, but at end for the time needed to get in Kathmandu would have been better to return from the Everest Camp Base to Lhasa and take a flight.

      The itinerary in Nepal should be balanced a bit better considering the huge time needed for the transfers, of course not because of the schedules provided by the guide or the driver but because of the incredible traffic jam and the very poor conditions of the "roads", for example both Patan and Bhaktapur visits would have been deserved more time. 

      Same consideration for the time needed to go and to come back to Nagarkot, where, beyond that, the view is also too variable because of the weather.

      In Chitwan park, the possible options to chose from, should have been provided (and booked) before (as we requested many times by email)  because not everyone can enjoy what scheduled by default. Some of the group didn't like to ride the elephant because this causes him/her pain, and for the same very poor conditions in which the animals were kept (chained and with no space), they didn't like the "elephant breeding center".

      To conclude, the suggestion is to include in the itinerary/program all the possible information and details (even the sensitive ones, as  the mentioned bad treatment of the animals), so that the clients have the right to decide what to see and what to skip.

      Dear Mr.Leo Li, hope what above gives you a better feedback about the great adventure we lived thanks to your agency services. 

      And please share our special thank also to the representatives of the local nepalese agency, they were very welcoming and helpful.

       

      We'll be happy to be back to you, with further details in future if requested.

      Best Regards

      Alfonso & friends

       September 4, 2019
      Good morning Mr.Leo Li,

      Thanks for your email, we're at home safe and very happy for the great experience we lived.

      It was our pleasure to meet you in Chengdu, we appreciated very much your gifts and all the efforts you made to make our travel memorable.

      It was already our intention to share with you our thoughts about the travel, as soon we have some time we'll let you have a more detailed feedback about the whole tour.

      Have a nice day!

      Alfonso & friends

       August 29, 2019
      Dear Johnson, 

      We are back from our wonderful trip to China and wanted to thank you for the effort you put in to make it smooth and comfortable for us. As we didn’t speak the language, we appreciated being helped through all the airports which made things much easier for us. 

      Your country is beautiful, so vast and with so much to see. All the meals we had were super delicious, the best one being in Xi’an at the spa resort. Truly, there was never a bad meal in China anywhere. 

      We loved Beijing - Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City were impressive, the Temple of Heaven, and walking through the Summer Palace and tombs of the Ming Dynasty, very lovely. The highlight though, was our climb to the Great Wall - amazing! Kevin, our guide in Beijing, was outstanding and went out of his way to cover it all while making sure we avoided the crowds.

       

      In retrospect, we might have spent less time in Xi’an, where we traveled back to 221 BC to see the Terra-cotta Warriors and browse through the Muslim Quarters. Our guide, Timo was very professional. Perhaps though it might have been better to spend a few days in Sichuan where the pandas live. We also loved going to Lhasa and our guide, Zhou Ma, was extremely knowledgeable and personable. Shanghai was not to be because of the typhoon, so going back to Beijing for the Lama Temple, Confucius Park, Imperial College and zoo was the right thing to do. We also appreciated upgrading to a suite at the Dong Fang. Our guide, Sally, and pick up person, Cherry, were very good. 

      On the whole, it was a fabulous tour. Once again, thanks for all your help in making it happen. 

      Manju, Bob and Chetan

       August 16, 2019
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      Useful Trip Notes

      • How to Plan a Bhutan Tour 
        Usually, it takes about 5~15 days. Since most travelers will arrive at Paro International Airport by flights, you are suggested to start your tour from Paro. After visiting the landmarks in Paro, drive to Thimphu for accommodation. Spend one or two days in Thimphu and explore the local cultural sites, and then transfer to Punakha to enjoy the beautiful Punakha Dzong. If your time is limited, drive back to Paro and trek to Taktsang Monastery before leaving. If you have more time, extend your tour to central Bhutan. Moreover, it is a good idea to take an overland tour to Nepal and Tibet.
      • How to Apply Bhutan Visa 
        Traveling to Bhutan, you have to prepare a Bhutan visa. It can only be applied by an authorized travel agency like Tibet Discovery. You just need to send us a clear scanned photocopy of your valid passport, and we will apply the visa for you. If your visa application is approved, a visa clearance letter will be processed. Then, we will send the photocopy of the visa to you by Email, and then you are able to board the plane with the photocopy. When you arrive in Bhutan, you’ll get the original visa.
      • How to Get to Bhutan 
        Bhutan is connected with Nepal, India, Thailand, Singapore and Bangladesh directly by international flights, so you could get to these countries and make a transfer to Bhutan. Among these countries, Nepal is the mostly-chosen gateway country to Bhutan in that Kathmandu offers most frequent flights. India is a good choice as well, because more cities (including Kolkata, New Delhi, Guwahati, Siliguri, Mumbai and Bangalore) provide nonstop flights to Paro. It is also available to have an overland driving from India to Bhutan.
      • Best Time to Visit Bhutan 
        Bhutan has a mixed climate of cold alpine climate, temperate climate and subtropical climate from north to south. The major tourist destinations located in lower area are suitable to travel all the year around. However, the best time for whole Bhutan is spring (March to June) and autumn (September to October) when the weather is most mild and pleasant. In the spring, your eyes will feast on lots of colored flowers. When the autumn comes, you are going to get a good possibility to enjoy the amazing Himalayan views.
      • Where to Accommodate in Bhutan 
        Since Bhutan is a great travel destination among the world, it is developed with different hotels to supply the needs of different international tourists. The accommodation in Bhutan ranges from 5-star luxury hotels to budget hostels. Most luxury hotels center on Paro, Thimphu and Punakha, and provide fully-equipped facilities and amazing service. In addition, the splendid view of Himalaya can be seen from some rooms. Some areas in central and eastern Bhutan just offer simple and basic accommodation. If you have trekking tour, you can only accommodate in lodge or guesthouses.

      Other Recommended Tour Packages

      Tibet has too much to offer and our aim is to bring you the best experience in Tibet. Following are some other recommended Tibet tour packages that you may be interested in. All of our Tibet tour packages are customizable to meet your personal requirements. You can also contact us to customize a trip if you want.

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      Price notes:

      • 1. based on double occupancy
      • 2. 3 star accommodation level in low season
      • 3. international airfare is not included
      • 4. price is subjected to change according to group size and payment methods