Magical Bhutan Itinerary

Paro - Thimpu - Punakha - Gangtey (Phobjika) - Punakha - Paro

Overview

The landlocked Kingdom of Bhutan is not an ordinary country; rather, it is a place that has preserved its culture, heritage, and traditions in the best manner. Opt for Magical Bhutan, a 6 night/7 day tour by Tourism in Bhutan, if you wish to explore some of the sought-after destinations and attractions of Bhutan. Visit dzongs (forts), Lhakhang (monasteries), national museums and other attractions of Paro, Thimpu, and Punakha. A major highpoint of this itinerary is a hike to the beautiful Gangtey and Phobjika villages.

Trip Highlights
  • Admire the architecture in the National Library of Bhutan
  • Enjoy the enchanting view of the Thimphu from the Buddha View Point
  • Pay homage at Punakha Dzong, Trashi Chhoe Dzong, Drukgyel Dzong, and many Lhakhang
  • Explore the Chele La Pass and Haa Valley
  • Trekking in Phobjika Valley and to the Tiger’s Nest Temple
Tour Map route map
Itinerary Details

As you arrive at the Paro Airport, meet our tour representative who helps you with an assisted transfer to the capital city of the Kingdom of Bhutan, Thimpu. Placed in the western central part of the Kingdom, this beautiful city is an ideal mix of traditional heritage and modern sensibilities. This makes it a unique destination. As you reach Thimpu, complete the check-in formalities at your pre-booked hotel. After resting for some time, leave your hotel for partaking in a city tour including:

National Library of Bhutan: Established in the year 1967, this library was founded with the main aim of preserving as well as promoting religion, culture, and heritage of Bhutan. This 4-story structure has an amazing collection of several Buddhist manuscripts. Admire the beautiful architecture of this library.

Trashi Chhoe Dzong- Standing conveniently on the western bank of Wang Chhu River, Trashi Chhoe Dzong is an amazing structure that is also called the Fortress of the Glorious Religion. The venue of the formal coronation ceremony of the fifth king of Bhutan, this Dzong becomes the host to the annual vibrant Tsechu festivities.

National Institute for Zorig Chusum- Popularly known as 'the Painting School', it is an institute where the students of Bhutan learn and become experts in as many as 13 arts and crafts of the Kingdom. The courses of this institute span from 4 to 6 years.

Dinner and stay overnight in Thimpu.

On the 2nd day of the tour, after you have breakfast, continue with the sightseeing of Thimpu including:

Simtokha Dzong- A relatively smaller Dzong, Simtokha Dzong was constructed in 1629 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. Also a Buddhist monastery in the old times, this Dzong is a prime landmark and a historical museum as well. This structure also consists of the Institute for Language and Cultural Studies.

Buddha View Point- Buddha View Point is one of the most amazing sites in the Thimpu city, offering an enchanting view of the Valley and its surroundings. This point is also home to a mega-size statue of Lord Buddha in a seated posture. Admire the lush scenery of nature, which is spread all around.

Bhutan Textile Museum- One who is interested in knowing about the national indigenous art of weaving of Bhutan, he must visit this museum. Also known as the National Textile Museum, it is also a place where you can have a view at hand-woven textiles, various traditional weaving techniques and the local attires of men and women.

Memorial Chorten- Thimphu Chorten or Memorial Chorten is built in the memory of the 3rd King of Bhutan, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck and is not only a popular attraction but is also a landmark of the city. Standing on the Doe boom Lam, this striking white-colored building consists of golden spires and bells.

Moti Thang Takin Preserve Center/Takin Mini Zoo- A crossbreed of a cow and a goat, Takin is the national animal of Bhutan. Since it is an endangered animal, you can have a look at it in the Takin Mini Zoo, which is also known as Moti Thang Takin Preserve Center. The Fourth King of Bhutan, Jigme Singye Wangchuck gave the orders for the establishment of this zoo.

In the evening, return to the hotel for dinner and overnight stay in Thimphu.

After breakfast on day 3, get an assisted transfer to Punakha, by road. While you drive for around 45 minutes, you arrive at the Dochula Pass, a 3100 meters high pass. Halt at Dochula viewpoint to get some extremely mesmerizing views of the surrounding mighty Himalayan ranges. Thereafter, continue driving to the road that turns left and brings to the low region of the Punakha valley. Check-in at your hotel. Have lunch (on your basis). Leave for sightseeing:

Punakha Dzong- Located proudly at the confluence of river Pho Chhu and river Mo Chhu, Punakha Dzong is also called Pungtang Dechen Phodrang Dzong, which when translated means, the 'Palace of Great Happiness'. Erected by Zhabdrung (Shabdrung) Ngawang Namgyal between the years 1637-38, it is the second oldest Dzong of Bhutan. A wooden bridge connects this structure with the mainland.

Chimi Lhakhang (Fertility Temple) – Also known as the Fertility Temple, Chimi Lhakhang is a monastery that is perched high in a top of a hill. This sacred site was built in 1499 by 14th Drukpa hierarch, Ngawang Choegyel. The locals believe that if a childless woman visits this temple to seek the blessings of Saint Lama Drukpa Kunley, she would bear a child soon.

In the evening, return to your hotel and a comfortable overnight stay in Punakha.

Start your day early today. Post breakfast hit the road to Gangtey or Phobjika for an exciting excursion. Around 13 km from Punakha, you halt to visit the very popular ruins of Wangduephodrang Dzong. This Dzong, constructed in the year 1638, is of great importance to the history of Bhutan. After exploring this structure, continue driving to Phobjika valley. By taking the highway, you cross Nobding (40 km) and then after crossing an unpaved road for 13 km, you drive past the Gangtey Pass, 3140 meters. Take a drop at Phobjika Valley and get all set for Phobjika Nature Hike.

The trek starts from below Gangtey Goemba, with the first half of the walk taking you downhill. A 30 – minute walk along the Khewa Chu stream takes you through the valley. When you walk past the Khewa village, the walk takes you to an open meadow and finally to Khewa Lhakhang that was erected by the decedents of Saints Khuenkhen Longchen Rabjampa, way back in the 13th century. This monastery at present is home to around 30 young monks. You might get a chance to meet the temple's Khenpo head and have a cup of tea with him. A short hike brings to you Gomphu village where you visit a typical Bhutanese farmhouse. You can enjoy an authentic Bhutanese lunch here (at your own expense). The hike ends at a village school, just before Phobjika village. You can spend the afternoon exploring the Phobjika village or Gomphu village.

Back to Punakha in the evening, have dinner and an overnight stay in Punakha.

On 5th-day post breakfast, check-out of your hotel and get by road transferred to Paro. After reaching, check-in and have lunch (lunch on a direct payment basis). Once you settle down, leave the hotel for sightseeing:

Ruins of Drukgyel Dzong- Located in the upper part of the Paro Valley, this ruined yet interesting Dzong was formerly a fortress and a Buddhist monastery. Commissioned by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, this structure was built in 1649 by Tenzin Drukdra in the memory of a victory over a Tibetan invasion. A fire broke out during the 1950s in which the fort was completely damaged.

Kyichu Lhakhang- Also known as Kyerchu Temple, this Lhakhang was erected by the Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo in 659. One of Bhutan's oldest temples, it is said that this is one of 108 temples which was erected when a demoness in the Himalayan region was subdued. Apart from locals, this temple has also by several saints including Guru Rinpoche in the 8th century.

National Museum of Paro- Basically a cultural museum, National Museum of Paro was founded in the year 1968 and is placed in the renovated Ta-Dzong. This building has a collection of several specimens of Bhutanese art in the form of statues, paintings and more.

Rinpung Dzong- A huge Drukpa Kagyu Buddhist monastery, this fortress also acts as a monastic home for a monk community as well as Paro's civil administrative center. This Dzong was commissioned by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in the year 1644 as the depiction of a united Bhutan.

Back to the hotel in the evening for dinner and staying overnight in Paro.

After breakfast, you have an option to choose from- a tour to Chele La Pass and Haa valley or a hike up to the well-known Tiger's nest temple.

Chele La Pass and Haa Valley: Towards the western side of the Paro valley, around 13000 feet above is the highest pass of Bhutan, offering some mesmerizing views of the Himalayas, most importantly of the magical Jomolhari Peak, Bhutan's most sacred, 23,966 feet. A drive of around one and a half hours from Paro's valley floor takes you to the Chele La pass (12,402 feet). Enjoy the amazing views or get yourself clicked here. Later, continue for Haa Valley, spread in an area of 1706 sq. meters. Take a walk here and absorb the culturally-rich ambiance of the place. You may also explore some of the attractions such as the White Temple, Black temple, Dumchog Dzong and more.

Taktsang Monastery/Tiger's Nest Temple: This most popular monastery of Bhutan is accessible either through an up-hill hike of around 2 hours or through a horse ride. Built-in the year 1692 on a Cliffside, this temple complex is built around the meditation cave of Guru Padmasambhava. A visit to the temple, unofficially a Symbol of Bhutan, is a delightful sight. After hiking for around an hour, you arrive at a wooden cafeteria, offering a view of the monastery where you can have some refreshments. Enjoy exploring this amazing architecture.

In the evening, you can visit the local market to collect souvenirs and interact with the locals. Thereafter, back to the hotel for dinner and overnight stay in Paro.

After breakfast on the last day of the tour, get transferred to the Paro Airport to board your flight for an onward journey.

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