Eastern BhutanPema Gatshel Samdrup Jongkhar Lhuentse Mongar Trashi Yangtse Trashigang
Begin your luxury travel tour in Bhutan by arriving at the Paro Airport. Upon your arrival at Paro Airport, you will be met by our representative and greeted with “tashi khadda”, the traditional welcome of Bhutan. After completing the formalities, drive to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan, which is a 90 minutes drive approximately. Thimphu is the biggest city of Bhutan and a good mixture of urbanisation and tradition. Upon arrival at Thimphu, we will be checking in at the hotel.
Stay overnight stay at Hotel Taj Tashi, Thimphu.
After a leisurely breakfast, set off to explore beautiful Thimphu with our experienced tour guide. This will include a visit to Kuensel Phodrang (Buddha Statue), home to a huge statue of Buddha on the top of the Kuensel Phodrang. You will also visit the National Memorial Chorten, a site featuring magnificent Asian architecture, elaborately painted annexes, marvelous mandalas and a shrine to the King & Folk Heritage Museum.
In the afternoon, visit Sangaygang View Point and Changangkha Monastery, one of the most ancient temples of Thimphu valley. This is the home of gigantic prayer wheels, super-sized sacred scriptures, and most importantly, a sculpted figure of thousand-armed Avalokitesvara, a lord/master that looks over the troubles/sadness of life, according to the Buddhist faith.
Takin Preserve Centre, which is home to the national animal of Bhutan, can be visited. In the evening, visit Tashichho Dzong. The Thimphu Dzong is a famous Buddhist fortress and monastery on the northern part of the city. This is the office of the civil government’s head or the Dharma Raja, who shares some powers with the kingship. It is also the country’s official summer capital. As one would expect, this is a magnificent place to behold and visit. You have the entire evening to yourself.
Stay overnight at the Hotel Taj Tashi, Thimphu.
In the morning after breakfast, we will drive to Punakha, once the capital of Bhutan. Drive over Dochula Pass, located at an altitude of 10,200 feet, and visit the memorial for Bhutanse Army personnel. It is known as one of the finest view points of eastern Himalaya. On a clear day, you can see the peaks Masangang, Tsendagang, Terigang and Gangkar Punsum (the highest unclimbed mountain in the world). The journey continues through forests of pine festooned with hanging lichen
Upon arrival at Punakha, hike to Chimi Lhakhang (Temple of the Fertility), through avocado plantations built in 1499 to honour the Lama Drukpa Kunley. Adorned with fertility symbols, the monastery is a long-established pilgrimage destination, particularly for women and couples seeking blessings for successful childbearing. Stroll through the temple grounds, and later proceed to your hotel, where you will enjoy lunch followed by time at leisure. This evening, dine at your amazing resort, overlooking a verdant terraced valley, as you sit around a warming fire.
Stay at Hotel Como Uma Punakha.
In the morning, visit the majestic Punakha Dzong, also known as “the palace of great happiness.” Constructed in 1673, it is the second oldest and second largest dzong in Bhutan. This is an impressive building, and is located at the confluence of the Pho Chhu (father) and Mo Chhu (mother) rivers in the Punakha valley. It was constructed by Ngawang Namgyal, 1st Zhabdrung Rinpoche, in 1637-38, so it is also the second oldest. You can opt for river rafting right after visiting the dzong. Later in the day, you can opt for any of the below activities, or stay at the hotel.
Other Optional Activities:
Dinner and overnight stay at hotel Como Uma, Punakha.
In the morning after breakfast, drive for 5 hours to the beautiful Phobjikha valley. This place is home to the endangered blacknecked cranes that migrate every year to this valley in winter. Phobjikha Valley is accessible by road, and after crossing Lawala Pass, situated at 3,360 meters, the road descends to Phobjikha valley, which is located at an altitude of 2,900m. Phobjikha is often called Gangtey, after the name of the monastery in this valley.
Upon arrival at Phobjikha, walk along the Gangtey Nature Trail, which offers views onto the wetlands, where you will hopefully see black-necked cranes in their roosting grounds. At the end of the nature trail, you will meet up with your transport for the drive up to the black-necked cranes visitor centre.
Overnight stay at the hotel Gangtey Lodge.
In the morning, visit the Gangtey Monastery, which is very near to the hotel. Later, you can go for a short hike, as Gangtey valley is a good place for day hikes as it offers numerous places to walk through villages. Or, you can opt to relax in the hotel.
Stay overnight stay at hotel Gangtey Lodge.
After breakfast, continue your luxury tour to Bhutan by driving to Bumthang. It would be a 7 hours drive. We will drive via Trongsa over two passes and the small town of Wangdue. From Nobding, the road ascends sharply to Pele La pass at 3,300m before descending through pastureland at Sephu, where we reach the historical Chendebji Chorten. The road has lots of bends, beautiful waterfalls and thick forest cover on the way, and this part of the ride offers amazing views of the south Trongsa Valley, and stunning views of the Trongsa Dzong. We will visit the Trongsa Dzong, and the museum. After lunch, drive onto Bumthang, and en route, pass villages and cross the Yutong La Pass at 3,400 meters before descending into the beautiful Bumthang Valley. Bumthang is known as the Switzerland of Bhutan.
Upon arrival at Bumthang, check in at your hotel. You have the rest of the day to yourself. Overnight stay at the hotel Aman Bumthang.
Bumthang has lots of places for you to explore. You can visit the Swiss farm, Jambay Lhakhang monastery, Tamshing Monastery and the Kurgan Monastery, one of the most holy sites for Buddhists. Many royal family and high ranking lamas have their funeral in this monastery premises. There are several walking trails around the valley, or you can also be driven to the main sites if you wish.
Stay overnight at the hotel Aman Bumthang.
After breakfast, you will be transferred to Bumthang Airport to catch a flight to Paro. Upon arrival, you will be met at the Paro Airport and transferred to the hotel. Later in the day, visit the National Museum housed in the Ta Dzong (watchtower), where an intriguing collection of artefacts provide a wonderful introduction to the rich culture and heritage of the Kingdom. Just a short walk downhill lays the dominating Paro Dzong, a fine example of Bhutanese historic architecture. From the Dzong, the tour takes you to Nyamai Zampa, a traditional cantilever bridge, and guests are then driven to the town temple built in 1525, to view ancient wall paintings.
Dinner and overnight stay at hotel Como Uma Paro.
You can either spend this day any way you like, or go on a small hike. The hiking route will take you past Drukgyel Dzong, along the Paro Chhu, then across a suspension bridge, up through terraced farmland and forests, before looping back down the river to a second bridge, and across the river, returning to the lodge. Or you can relax at the hotel and enjoy the hotel amenities.
Dinner and overnight stay at hotel.
In the morning, we will go on a challenging hike to one of Bhutan’s most popular icons, Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest), which clings to a cliff at 3,000 feet above the valley, or around 10,000 feet above sea level. Upon arrival, take in the views at this sacred site, where the great tantric mystic Guru Rinpoche (also known as Padmasambhava) is believed to have flown on the back of the tiger to bring the teachings of the Buddhist Dharma to Bhutan. Enjoy your lunch at the hotel. Spend the rest of the day at your own leisure.
Dinner and overnight stay at the hotel Como Uma Paro.
After breakfast, you will be transferred back to Paro Airport in time to catch a flight for yourn onward destination.
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