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Bhutan Fixed Departure Tour 2019 / 2020.
Bhutan Tourism : Bhutan Fixed Departure Tour 2019 / 2020

Bhutan Fixed Departure Tour 2019 / 2020

View from Dochu La


GUARANTEED DEPARTURES

ROUTE

: Thimphu – Gangtey - Punakha – Paro

TYPE OF TOUR

: Mix of Nature, Historical and Cultural excursion  

VALIDITY

: Until 31 Dec, 2020

DEPARTURE DATES IN 2019 & 2020

JANUARY

FEBRUARY

MARCH

APRIL

MAY

JUNE

16th Jan, 2020

20th Feb 2020

 19th Mar 2020

16th April 2020

 14th May 2020

18th June 2020

JULY

AUGUST

SEPTEMBER

OCTOBER

NOVEMBER

DECEMBER

16th July 2020

20th Aug 2020

26th Sept 2020
17th Sept 2020

10th Oct 2019
15th Oct 2020

28th Nov 2019
19th Nov 2020

27th Dec 2020
31st Dec 2020

TOUR OVERVIEW

A trip that gives you an opportunity to explore ancient monasteries and shrines of historical and archaeological interests in the heartland of four major towns of the Dragon Kingdom, Bhutan.

High in the mysterious and majestic eastern Himalayas, nestled between Tibetan autonomous region of China and India, lies the small Kingdom of Bhutan, increasingly renowned as one of the Earth’s precious unspoiled spots. This magical place speaks Buddhist culture in the daily lives of its people and spectacular mountain scenery provides a backdrop to pristine forests and picturesque valleys. The breath-taking landscape is dotted with fluttering prayer flags, colorful farmhouses amidst terraced fields and impressive monasteries clinging to impossible cliffs. A memorable trip that stays with you for a lifetime.

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

Thimphu: Unique city with unusual mixture of modern development alongside ancient traditions. The Kingdom’s capital city is the main center of commerce, religion and government in the country.

fixeddeparturePunakha: Blessed with temperate climate Punakha has been inextricably linked with momentous occasions in Bhutanese history. One of the most majestic structures in the country is located here.

Paro: Wide and verdant Paro valley is one of the most beautiful valleys in Bhutan with many sacred sites and historical buildings scattered through the area

Gangtey (Phobjikha Valley): The valley of Gangtey is one of the most beautiful spots in Bhutan. At 3000 metres, Phobjikha is one of Bhutan’s few glacial valleys and a unique conservation area in the Black Mountians National Park.

Dochula pass (3,080m) that heralds the most enchanting views of the eastern Himalayas range.

Taktshang Lhakhang (Tiger’s Nest): The most famous of Bhutan’s monasteries, perched on the side of a cliff 900m above the Paro valley floor.

DON’T MISS WHILE YOU ARE IN BHUTAN!!

THIMPHU:
* Taste Ema Datshi - the fiery concoction of green peppers and cheese, the most famous dishes in Bhutanese cuisine.
*Try Bhutan’s National dress; Gho (for men) & Kiara (for ladies). The National dress of Bhutan is one of the most distinctive and visible aspects of Dragon Kingdom’s unique character.
*Visit Thimphu’s Weekend Market. A visit to the market provides great photo opportunities, as well as the chance to mingle with local people and perhaps buy souvenirs.

GANGTEY:
*Visit a typical farmhouse for insight into Bhutanese village culture, traditions and way of life

PUNAKHA:
*Walk to Chimi Lhakhang, the temple of divine madman or temple of fertility.

* Stop at Dochula on the way to Punakha for a perfect photography of the Himalayas.

PARO:
*Try traditional Hot stone bath - Unique and a very natural experience this Bhutanese Traditional Hot Stone Bath uses river rocks that therapists place in water where they crack and steam, releasing key minerals and relieving deep-set aches.

*Try your hand at traditional archery, the national sport of Bhutan and integral part of all festivities. 

DAY BY DAY ITINERARY

Day 01: Arrive Paro (Bhutan) by Flight & transfer to Thimphu (55km, approx. 1.1/2-hour drive)
The flight to Paro is one of the most spectacular in entire Himalayas. Whether flying along the Himalayan range from Kathmandu or over the foothills from Kolkatta, the journey offers fascinating views and an exciting descent into the Kingdom. Bhutan’s first gift to you as you disembark from the aircraft will be cool, clean fresh mountain air. After immigration formalities and baggage collection, you will be met by our representative, and afterwards drive to Thimphu, the capital town of Bhutan with en-route stop at Chuzom, the confluence of Thimphu and Paro rivers. Three different style of stupas; Tibetan, Nepalese and Bhutanese adorn this confluence.

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. Home to civil servants, expatriates and monk body, Thimphu maintains a strong national character in its architectural style.

On arrival in Thimphu, check into the hotel.bhutan fixed departure

Later drive to visit Buddha Point (Kuensel Phodrang). Located at a short drive from Thimphu city centre, visitors can get a good overview of the Thimphu valley from the Buddha point (Kuensel Phodrang). You can pay your obeisance and offer prayers to the Buddha, the largest statue in the country and then walk around and take a glimpse of the valley.

Afterwards an exploratory walk around Thimphu main street and market area.

Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu. (Altitude 2320m)

Day 02: Thimphu
After breakfast, take a short drive (15 km) to Pangri Zampa, the 16th century monastery, located just north of Thimphu. It has a monastic school where Buddhist monks learn Lamaism and astrology based on Buddhist philosophy.

Then proceed for a tour of some of city’s highlights:

Textile Museum: is worth a visit to experience the living national art of weaving. Exhibitions introduce the major weaving techniques, styles of local dress and textiles made by women and men.

National Library: The history of Bhutan lies imprinted in archaic texts, which are preserved at the National Library. Besides thousands of manuscripts and ancient texts, the library also has modern academic books and printing blocks for prayer flags.

Institute for Zorig Chusum: Commonly known as Arts & Crafts School or Painting School, the Institute offers a six-year course on the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan. On a visit, one can see students learning the various skills taught at the school.
Folk Heritage Museum: The Museum is dedicated to connecting people with the rich Bhutanese Folk heritage and rural history through exhibits, demonstrations, educational programs and documentation of Bhutanese rural life.

Lunch is followed by a city tour that includes:

Memorial Chorten: The stupa built in the memory of Bhutan's third King, His Late Majesty, King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk, who is popularly regarded as Father of modern Bhutan.  The paintings and statues inside the monument provide a deep insight into Buddhist philosophy.
Changangkha Lhakhang: It is a fortress like temple and monastic school perched on a ridge above Thimphu, south of Motithang. The temple was established in 12th century on a site chosen by Lama Phajo Drugom Shigpo, who came from Tibet. The central statue here is Chenrezig in a manifestation with 11 heads. From temple courtyard, there is fascinating view of Thimphu valley. fixed departure Bhutan
Conclude the tour of the day with a visit of Trashichhoe Dzong, “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.

Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu. (Altitude 2320m)

Day 03: Thimphu – Gangtey (150km, approx. 5-hour drive)
After breakfast, drive up to Dochu-la pass (3,088m/ 10,130 ft) stopping briefly here to take in the view and admire the chorten, mani wall, and prayer flags which decorate the highest point on the road. If skies are clear, the following peaks can be seen from this pass (left to right): Masagang (7,158m), Tsendagang (6,960m), Terigang (7,060m), Jejegangphugang (7,158 m ), Kangphugang (7,170 m ), Zongphugang (7, 060 m ), a table mountain that dominates the isolated region of Lunana - finally Gangkar puensum, the highest peak in Bhutan at 7,497m.

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.

Then drive onto Gangtey, passing through dense forests of oak and rhododendron tress.

The valley of Gangtey is one of the most beautiful and unspoiled places in Bhutan. The surprise of finding such a wide, flat valley without any trees after the hard climb through dense forests is augmented by an impression of vast space and is an extremely rare experience in Bhutan where most of the valleys are tightly enclosed. A few kilometers beyond the Gangtey Monastery, on the valley floor lies the village of Phobjikha.

Afternoon explore fascinating Phobjikha valley. This place is the winter home of black necked cranes that migrate from the arid plains in the north to pass winter in milder and lower climate. The valley boasts two beautiful meandering rivers, Nakay Chhu (Chhu Naap-black water) and Gay Chhu (Chhu Karp-white water).
Also visit Black Neck Crane Information Centre. Situated on the edge of the forest and wetland along the main road of Phobjikha valley, the black-necked crane information Centre has an observation room equipped with high power telescope and spotting scopes for catching the best view of the cranes. The centre also offers display information that outline the natural and cultural history of the area. There is a small gift shop, which sells handicrafts produced by the local people.
Later in the evening see a typical farmhouse. Bhutanese farmhouses are very colorful, decorative and traditionally built without the use of single nail. The majority of the population of Bhutan continues to live as it has for centuries – in small isolated farms and hamlets, surrounded by terraced fields of rice, maize and buckwheat.
Overnight at the hotel in Gangtey. (Altitude 3,000m)

Day 04: Gangtey - Punakha (85km, approx. 3-hour drive)

After breakfast, drive onward to Punakha. fixed departure Bhutan
Punakha served as the capital of Bhutan and seat of government until 1955 and still it is the winter seat of Je Khenpo (the chief abbot). Blessed with temperate climate and owing to its natural drainage from Pho Chhu (male) and Mo Chhu (female) rivers, the fertile Punakha valley produces abundant crops and fruits. Located at an elevation of 1300m above sea level, Punakha enjoys mild winters and is popular year-round destination.

Later, visit Punakha Dzong or (Palace of Great Happiness), built at the junction of the Phochu and Mochu rivers in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. This majestic dzong served as both the religious and the administrative centre 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. Your guide will illuminate your understanding of this intricate culture that is exotic to us, though long established here.

Then a short excursion to Chimi Lhakhang.
The Chimi Lhakhang, situated on a hillock in the centre of the valley, also known as the temple of fertility. It is widely believed that couples who do not have children and wanting one, if they pray at this temple, they are usually blessed with a child very soon. The trail leads across rice fields to the tiny settlement of Pana, meaning ‘field’. A walk through the village near the temple will give you rare glimpses into the daily life and lifestyle of the villagers.

Evening explore newly developed Wangdue town and its local market.

Overnight at the hotel in Punakha. (Altitude 1,300m)

Day 05: Punakha - Paro (125 km, approx. 4-hour drive)
After breakfast, drive to Paro along scenic highway. En route visit Simtokha Dzong, the oldest fortress of the country built in 1627 which now houses the School for Buddhist studies.

On arrival in Paro, check into the hotel.

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 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.

Post lunch, proceed to visit Ta Dzong, originally built as Watchtower, which 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 immediately followed by a short walk down the trail to visit Rinpung Dzong (Paro 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 cosmic Mandala.

Evening explore Paro city centre and market area.

Overnight at the hotel in Paro. (Altitude 2,280m)

Day 06: Paro
After breakfast, embark on a fascinating excursion to Taktshang Monastery or Tiger’s Nest (approx. 5 hours round trip walk):  It is one of the most famous of Bhutan’s monasteries, perched on the side of a cliff 900m above the Paro valley floor. It is said that Guru Rinpoche arrived here on the back of a tigress and meditated at this fixed departure Bhutanmonastery and hence it is called ‘Tiger’s Nest’. This site has been recognised as a most sacred place and visited by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1646 and now visited by all Bhutanese at least once in their lifetime.

Late afternoon, drive end of the Valley to the base of Drukgyel Dzong, a 17th century fortress burned down in the early 50s. On a clear day, there is fascinating view of Mount. Chomolhari (7,314m) from the base of Drukgyel Dzong.

While driving to Paro town, stop en route at the 7th century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples built in the Himalayas by Tibetan King, Songtsen Gampo. The building of this temple marks the introduction of Buddhism in Bhutan.

Overnight at the hotel in Paro. (Altitude 2,280m)

Day 07: Depart Paro by Flight
After breakfast at the hotel, drive to the airport for the flight to your onward destination. Our representative will help you with exit formalities and then bid you farewell.






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