Bhutan Incentive Tour
Day 01: Arrive Paro by Flight & transfer to Thimphu (55km, approx. 1.1/2-hour drive)
After immigration formalities you will be welcomed by our representative with a ‘tashi khaddar’ (white scarf offering to the guest which is an auspicious way to welcome) and then transfer to Thimphu, the capital town of Bhutan. The road leads through the Paro valley to the confluence of Paro and Thimphu rivers at Chuzom (confluence).
On arrival in Thimphu at the hotel, Chibdral ceremony (traditional welcome ceremony), followed by check-into the hotel.
The capital town of Bhutan and the centre of government, religion and commerce, Thimphu is a unique city with unusual mixture of modern development alongside ancient traditions.
Afternoon take a short drive to the north of town to Buddha Dordenma, located atop a hill in Kuenselphodrang Nature Park. The statue fulfils an ancient prophecy dating back to the 8th century A.D that was discovered by Terton Pema Lingpa (Religious Treasure Discoverer) and is said to emanate an aura of peace and happiness to the entire world. This massive statue of Shakyamuni made of bronze and is gilded in gold, measures 51.5 meters in height, making it one of the largest statues, in Bhutan. 125,000 smaller Buddha statues have been placed within the Buddha Dordenma statue, each of these also have been cast in bronze and gilded.
Here at Buddha Point, you have an option to perform meditation at a designated area. Meditation is followed by hot cup of tea / coffee at a suitable site admiring the grand view of Thimphu valley and beyond.
Evening traditional cultural performance at the hotel, followed by dinner.
All Bhutanese art, dance, drama and music has its roots in the Buddhist religion. The music of Bhutan is an integral part of its culture and plays a leading role in transmitting social values. While Dances are performed wearing ornate costumes and masks and each aspect of dance has a symbolic meaning.
The program sequenced as follows:
Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu (altitude 2,320m)
Day 02: Thimphu
Later after breakfast at the hotel, drive to visit Textile Museum. Bhutanese textiles are an integral part of its cultural and heritage and are unique for their diversity and sophistication. Textile Museum at Thimphu has given a new platform to the nation’s textiles and Bhutanese weavers and boasts of an invaluable collection of antique textile artifacts of Bhutan.
Then visit to Folk Heritage Museum, dedicated to connecting people with the rich Bhutanese Folk heritage and rural history through exhibits, demonstrations, educational programs and documentation of Bhutanese rural life. The museum strives to disseminate the rich cultural heritage across generations by preserving it in different forms. Visit to the Folk Heritage Museum is a unique experience because the principal exhibit of the museum itself is a restored three –storied, traditional rammed mud and the timber house dating back to the mid-19th century.
Afterwards walk around National Memorial Chorten, a large white structure crowned with a golden spire. It is located close to the center of Thimphu city and is one of its most iconic monuments. This is the most ideal spot to interact with locals who throng in large numbers to circumambulate the chorten, whirl the large red prayer wheels and pray at a small shrine inside the gate. The paintings and statues inside the monument provide a deep insight into Buddhist philosophy.
Picnic lunch by riverside.
After lunch, cycle to Sangaygang viewpoint.
Conclude the day’s sightseeing with visit of Trashichhoedzong, ‘fortress of the glorious religion’. This is the center of government and religion, site of monarch’s throne room and seat of Je Khenpo or Chief Abbot. Built in 1641 by the political and religious unifier of Bhutan, Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, it was reconstructed in 1960s in traditional Bhutanese manner, without nails or architectural plans.
Before return to the hotel, take a leisurely walk to Authentic Bhutanese Craft Bazaar. Located at the centre of the town below Norzin Lam, this handicrafts market of Thimphu consists of about hundred shops crafted from eco-friendly bamboo and lined neatly in a row, selling colourful and beautiful authentic handicrafts of Bhutan. With aim to preserve the Bhutanese culture and promote local traditions and handicrafts, the shops in the market possess wide assortment of authentic souvenirs.
Evening a presentation on Gross National Happiness (GNH), the phrase as the guiding philosophy of Bhutan’s development process, is coined by His Majesty the
Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu. (Altitude 2,320m)
Day 03: Thimphu – Punakha – Thimphu (150km, approx. 5-hour, round trip journey)
At Dochula Pass, 108 chortens or stupas known as Druk Wangyal Chortens have been built by Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuk, the eldest Queen Mother. These chortens are built in three layers, the first lowest level layer has forty-five chortens, the second has thirty-six and the top layer has twenty-seven, built around the main chorten.
Prayer flags hoisting ceremony at Dochula pass. Prayer flags are an integral part of Bhutanese landscape and also the cultural and religious heritage of the country especially the textile and weaving craft. They are ubiquitous in Bhutan; in and around monasteries, chortens or stupas, dzongs, lhakhangs, homes, on the railing of bridges and mountain roads, and invariably on or near the summit of the mighty peaks that preside over the country. Red, blue, green, yellow and white, they add a splash of rainbow colours to the rugged landscape. Deeply religious, the people of Bhutan believe that with each flutter, a flag releases the prayer printed on it into the air which in turn carries it to the heavens. The more the flag flaps, the greater is its divine value.
Breakfast at Dochula cafeteria enjoying fascination views all around.
Then drive onward to Punakha.
Visit Punakha Dzong or (‘Palace of Great Happiness’), built at the junction of the Pho chhu and Mo chhu rivers in 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. This majestic dzong served as both the religious and the administrative center of Bhutan in the past. It measures some 600 by 240 feet and has a six-story, gold-domed tower. Inside are courtyards and religious statuary that hint at the depth of history and spiritual tradition embodied here.
Picnic lunch by riverside in enchanting Punakha valley.
Then embark on a rafting expedition to Pho Chu river. Pho Chu, with its approx. 16 km course with about 15 rapids of class 2 – 4 is the most popular for rafting in Bhutan. During this meticulously organized river rafting trip, you journey through the most scenic and secluded miles featuring incredibly blue water, breath-taking alpine scenery, sighting world’s rarest birds and amazing rapids on the backdrop of striking 17th century Punakha Dzong.
Evening tea & refreshment at the end of rafting expedition and later drive back to Thimphu.
Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu. (Altitude 2,320m)
Day 04: Thimphu – Paro (55km, approx. 1.1/2-hour drive)
The beautiful valley of Paro encapsulates within itself a rich culture, scenic beauty and hundreds of myths and legends. It is home to many of Bhutan's oldest temples and monasteries, National Museum and the country's only international airport. Mount. Chomolhari (7,314m) reigns in white glory at the northern end of the valley and its glacial water plunge through deep gorges to form Pa Chhu (Paro river). Paro is also one of the most fertile valleys in the Kingdom producing a bulk of the locally famous red rice from its terraced fields.
On arrival in Paro, check-into the hotel followed by an outdoor lunch in hotel premises.
Then participate in an Archery & Khuru session.
Khuru (dart game) is other popular outdoor team sport often played during festivals and archery tournaments. The heavy wooden darts, pointed with 10 centimeters nail, are thrown at a paperback-sized target 10 to 20 meters away.
After this fun-filled activity visit to Ta Dzong, originally built as Watchtower, now houses National Museum. The extensive collection includes antique thangkha paintings, textiles, weapons & armour, household objects and a rich assortment of natural and historic artifacts.
Ta Dzong visit is followed by a short walk down to visit Rinpung Dzong, meaning (‘fortress of the heap of jewels’), which has a long and fascinating history. Along the wooden galleries lining the inner courtyard are fine wall paintings illustrating Buddhist lore such as four friends, the old man of long life, the wheel of life, scenes from the life of Milarepa, Mount. Sumeru and other cosmic Mandala.
Evening at leisure in Paro city centre or to enjoy the hotel facilities.
Overnight at the hotel in Paro. (Altitude 2,280m)
Day 05: Paro
Later in the afternoon Bhutanese dress wearing session.
The National dress of Bhutan is one of the most distinctive and visible aspects of Dragon Kingdom’s unique character. Men wear Gho, a long robe similar to Tibetan Chhuba, that is raised till knee, folded backwards and then tied around the waist by Kera (belt). While women wear, ankle length robe called Kira. The traditional Bhutanese textile is made from fine, hand-woven or milled fabric, with the colorful distinctive patterns.
A gala evening awaits you at hotel premises with bonfire and Bhutanese Theme dinner. The grand way to end your Bhutan sojourn, an experience you'll cherish the rest of your life.
Overnight at hotel in Paro. (Altitude 2,280m)
Day 06: Depart Paro