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9 Days Bhutan In-depth Natural and Cultural Tour Request

Deep Exploration to Central Bhutan

If you are thinking about exploring Bhutan more deeply, consider this tour involving highlights of central Bhutan. It allows you to step into the geographical and historical heartland of Bhutan, and delight you with the forested mountains, fertile valleys and most significant monasteries. The peaceful villages will bring you back to the life centuries ago and you must immerse yourself in the peaceful land far from the madding crowd. Aside the discovery in central Bhutan which has fewer visitors, you won’t miss the popular landmarks of Bhutan concentrating on Thimphu, Paro and Punakha as well.

Highlights of this tour:

  • Soak up the amazing architectural splendor by visiting various dzongs, including Paro Dzong, Punakha Dzong, Trongsa Dzong and Wangdue Phordang Dzong, etc.;
  • Visit Bhutan National Museum, Bhutan Post Office Headquarters and Royal Heritage Museum to discover cultural aesthetic heritages of Bhutan through the informative displays;
  • Enjoy the charming valleys in western and central Bhutan, feast your eyes on the lovely flora and fauna and experience the rural life in the small villages ;
  • 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: Request

    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, 2021.

    4. Reference exchange rate of USD 1= RMB 6.95. The final quotation will be adjusted accoring to the latest real-time exchange rate.

  • Tour code: TD-BT-09
  • Tour type: Private Customizable Tour Package
  • Destination: Paro / Thimphu / Punakha / Phobjikha / Trongsa / Bumthang / Wangue Phodrang / Paro
  • Duration: 9 Days and 8 Nights
  • Departure: Flexible
  • Travel Theme: CultureTrekkingPhotographyMountainArchitecture
  • Best Time: SpringSummerAutumnWinter
  • Physical Level
  • Tour Pace
    Leisure
  • Max Altitude
    3,420 m

Itinerary Details - Day by Day

  Expand all

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

Today's Highlights: National Museum, Rinpung Dzong

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

You will firstly visit Rinpung Dzong, also known as Paro Dzong, is reputed as the finest example of Bhutanese dzong. Dzong, always served as the religious, military, administrative and social centers, is a distinctive Bhutan architecture in style with a complex of courtyards, temples, offices and monks’ accommodation surrounded by towering walls. According to Bhutanese tradition, dzong is always built on a hill top with the purpose of observing the attackers. Perching on the side of Paro Valley Wall, Rinpung Dzong was an important bastion for the Kingdom of Bhutan against invasion from the north. At present, it houses the Monastic Body and government offices, and serves as the religious, military, administrative, and social centers of their district.

After appreciating these charming architectures in Rinpung Dzong, visit Bhutan National Museum which is housed in Rinpung Dzong’s watchtower, keeping the rich culture and history of Bhutan. There are many impressive collections displayed in its five galleries, including traditional thangkas, festival masks, religious statues, interesting carvings, etc. Nextly, take a leisure walk through the cantilever bridge to Paro Town to attend an archery game which is Bhutan's official national game, played almost every day on the ground. Lastly, 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.

  • Seeing Rimpung Dzong from National Museum Seeing Rimpung Dzong from National Museum
  • Bhutan National Museum in Paro Bhutan National Museum in Paro

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

Today's Highlights: National Memorial Chorten, Post Office Headquarters, Buddha Dordenma, Duochula Pass

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 National Institute for Zorig Chusum, 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 Bhutan Post Office Headquarters, an informative and indulging museum with excellent exhibition of the evolution of Post & Telegraph in Bhutan as well as good details on historical and symbolic interpretation behind stamps. Afterward, drive to Buddha View Point where a massive bronze statue of Buddha Dordenma sits. The statue is placed on a lotus and below it is a meditation hall housed with 125,000 small statues of Buddha. This Buddha dominates over the valley of Thimphu, and you can hardly tell whether the view from Buddha Dordenma or the view of Buddha Dordenma is more spectacular.

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.

Tip: there are many other interesting museums where you can probe into Bhutan's culture, history and local people's daily life, including Simply Bhutan Museum, National Textile Museum, National Library and Archives of Bhutan, etc. Feel free to tell your travel consultant if you are interested in visiting any one of them.

  • Wood-carving in Traditional Painting School Wood-carving in Traditional Painting School
  • Pilgrimages make kora around Bhutan National Memorial Chorten Bhutan National Memorial Chorten
  • Exhibitions in Bhutan Post Office Headquaters Exhibitions in Bhutan Post Office Headquaters

Day 3 Punakha to Phobjikha / 80km, about 3 hours (B, L, D)

Today's Highlights: Punakha Dzong,Gangtey Goempa,Black-Necked Crane Information Center

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). With white-brilliant walls, red roofs and the surrounding charming nature, Punakha Dzong is praised by as the most beautiful one in Bhutan’s 21 Dzong. When the spring comes, the surrounding lilac jacaranda trees in blossom make Punakha Dzong more impressive.

Next, you will drive toward Phobjikha Valley. In route, you will get amazed by the beauty and serenity of the rich flora and fauna. When you reach Lawala Pass, you may spot some Yaks grazing in high altitude bamboo shrub along the road. Crossing the pass, you will descend to Gangtey Goempaan important monastery of Nyingmapa school of Buddhism located on a forested hill overlooking the entire Phobjikha Valley. The whole complex of Gangtey Goempa is made up of central monastery, monks’ quarters, guesthouse and meditation centers.

Then you will pay a visit to Black-Necked Crane Information Center where you can learn much knowledge of the cranes and their living environment from the informative displays. If you visit Phobjikha Valley in November ~ January, you are able to see many black-necked cranes as well.

Accommodate in Phobjikha.

  • Punakha Dzong - Most Beautiful Dzong in Bhutan Punakha Dzong - Most Beautiful Dzong in Bhutan
  • Gangtey Goempa Magnificent Gangtey Goempa

Day 4 Phobjikha to Trongsa / 84km, about 3hrs and 20mins' driving (B, L, D)

Today's Highlights: Trongsa Dzong, Royal Heritage Museum

Today, you will continue driving to your next destination – Trongsa – the center of Bhutan historically and geographically. Enjoying a typical alpine environment, Trongsa is grown with various bush rhododendron trees and dwarf bamboos. In the valley, your eyes will be caught by the huge fortress of Trongsa Dzong. The first two kings both ruled Bhutan from Trongsa Dzong, so it becomes a tradition that the crown prince serve as Trongsa Penlop before acceding to the throne. In the dzong, there are 23 independent lhakhangs. You will visit some of them to enjoy the fine design and exquisite decoration.

After that, you will turn to the old tower of Trongsa, present Royal Heritage Museum with five floors exhibiting the precious Buddhist arts and royal collections. Like a copy of Padma Kathang (a biography of Guru Rinpoche written by his consort Yeshe Tshoyel), 500-year-old jacket of Ngagi Wangchuk and the football boots of fourth king.

Stay overnight in Trongsa.

  • Royal Heritage Museum Royal Heritage Museum in Trongsa
  • Magnificent Trongsa Dzong Magnificent Trongsa Dzong
  • Pass the beautiful Valley on your road to Trongsa Pass the beautiful Valley on your road to Trongsa

Day 5 Trongsa to Bumthang / 56km, about 2 hrs and 40mins’ driving (B, L, D)

Today's Highlights: Yotong La Pass, Jambay Lhakhang

You will go on with your journey to Bumthang today. The road zigazags rapidly above Trongsa but the surrounding scenery is great. As you reach Yotong La Pass (3,425m), you can see a Buddhist Stupa in Tibetan style and many colorful fluttering prayer flags. Driving downhill, you will arrive in the Chumey Valley. At Tsugney Village, witness traditional Yathra weaving.

Next, drive to Jakhar, the main town in Bumthang. Upon arrival, visit Jambay Lhakhang, a monastery built by the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo in 659. It is said that Guru Rinpoche once visited this temple, so the Sindhu Raja renovated it after Guru Rinpoche saved his life. In the inside hall is housed the statue of Jamba, the future Buddha, with his feet on the elephant. You can also admire the elegant murals in this temple.

Accommodate in Jakar, the main town in Bumthang Valley.

  • Jambay Lhakhang Jambay Lhakhang in Peaceful Valley

Day 6 Bumthang to Wangdue Phodrang / 190km, about 7hrs’ driving (B, L, D)

Today's Highlight: Pele La Pass

Today, you will have a long drive from Bumthang to Wangdue Phodrang via Pele La Pass. The picturesque views can be seen as well. When you reach Pele La Pass (3420m), a brilliant stupa with colored prayer flags will come into your eyes. Passing through the pass, you will get to a viewing deck which offers an amazing view of Mt. Jomolhari and Jiuchu Drakye.

Accommodate in Wangdue Phodrang.

  • Splendid Scenery of  Wangdu Podrang Splendid Scenery of Wangdu Podrang

Day 7 Wangdue Phodrang to Paro/ 115km, about 3hrs’ driving (B, L, D)

Today's Highlight: Wangdu Phodrang Dzong

Start today’s journey in the early morning with a visit to Wangdu Phodrang Dzong, where you can get a commanding view of the below valleys. In fact, Wangdu Phodrang Dzong enjoys an important status in the history as well, and it was the second capital city in the early days. Since Wangdu Phodrang is situated on the ridge, you can walk down to the bridge and have a short hiking to the village of Rinchangang. After the wonderful sightseeing, you will drive to Paro via Dochula Pass again.

Accommodate in Paro.

  • Wangdu Phodrang Dzong Wangdu Phodrang Dzong resembles a sleeping elephant

Day 8 Paro - Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) / About 20mins' driving Plus 2~3hrs' Trekking (B, L, D)

Today's Highlight: Taktsang Hiking

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
  • Trekking Trail to Tiger’s Nest Trekking Trail to Tiger’s Nest

Day 9 Paro Departure (B)

Paro Airport Dropped Off

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.

Price & Service Guide

The quotation for this trip is Request 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, 2021.

4. Reference exchange rate of USD 1= RMB 6.95. 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.

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)

Hi Wenday,

So cool, so happy y’all could add it to the itinerary, very unique and amazing museum/archaeology site. It's a wonderful opportunity to see evidence of the Xia Dynasty's existence. Even for folks who aren't history teachers.

Thank you all so much. So great thanks!

David

Below are some photos taken during our trip:

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White Horse Temple and Erlitou Site Museum Of the Xia Capital in Luoyang

China Luoyang Zhengzhou Tour

Shaolin Temple, Henan Museum and Yellow River Scenic Area in Zhengzhou

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Longmen Grottoes and Ancient Town in Luoyang

 October 8, 2020
Hi Rita,

Good morning! Yes we are in the train to Kunming.

Thank you for all the great support!

Nora

China Yunnan Tour

Nora and Her Husband Enjoyed China Yunan Tour to Shangrila Lijiang Dali Kunming

 October 3, 2020
Dear Zeva,

I want to thank you for your truly exceptional customer service. You have been very helpful through this entire process.

If we should be able to reschedule a visit to China in the future, I will certainly use your services, and I would happily refer my friends and associates.

Sincerely,

Laurie

 April 2, 2020
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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 May) and autumn (September to November) 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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  • TD-BT-09
  • 9 Days Bhutan In-depth Natural and Cultural Tour
  • Paro / Thimphu / Punakha / Phobjikha / Trongsa / Bumthang / Wangue Phodrang / Paro
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