Taste of Bhutan Cultural Tour

$2065

Rating Rating Rating Rating Rating

Tour Summary

Bhutan is known all over the world for its distinct culture and tradition. And Bhutanese gloats about their unique culture that still remain intact at the jaw of Cultural Revolution worldwide. Ghos and Kiras that Bhutanese wear, Ema Datshi and Suja that Bhutanese eat and drink, and multi-coloured short houses in which Bhutanese live in, everything is so different and unique. It is very true that Bhutan survived and could remain as the sovereign nation only because they could preserve their culture very well. In this 10 days tour, we will take you through the Bhutanese way of living and try to dwell in Bhutanese minds and thoughts.


No of Persons
No of Days

Categories: Culture Tours

Share With Friends:

  • Gallery
  • Gallery
  • Gallery
  • Gallery
DAY 1: ARRIVE AT PARO 
Visit to National Museum and Drugyel Dzong—to see the ruins of old dzong and construction of new structure. Have orientation walk along the street of Paro and do some shopping.

Meals Included: Lunch and Dinner
Accommodations: Bhutan Mandala Resort (or similar)

 
DAY 02: PROMINENT PARO DZONG
Visit the majestic Paro Dzong, the administrative seat of the district of Paro. Hike to Zuri  Dzong which is about 30 minutes hike from the national museum.

Meal Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Accommodations: Bhutan Mandala Resort (or similar)


DAY03: PARO /THIMPHU 
Travel to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan.Visit the school of Traditional Arts and Crafts, the Institute of Traditional Medicine, the National Memorial Chorten, the tall Buddha Dordenma Statue, the Handicrafts Emporium, the National Library (housing a rare collection of Buddhist scriptures) and the lively weekend market.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and dinner
Accomodations: Hotel Tara Phendeyling (or similar)


DAY 04: THIMPHU

Vicinity visits in the bustling little city!Visit to National Postal Museum, Motithang Takin Preserve, Traditional Handmade Paper Factory, Tango Busshist University and ramble around the Clock-tower Square in the evening.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Accomodations: Hotel Tara Phendeyling (or similar)

 
DAY 05: THIMPHU /PUNAKHA 

Travel to Punakha.Visit to Druk Wangyel Stupa at Dochula Pass and Chimi Lhakhang, the temple of fertility, en route to Punakha.
After lunch, visit to the Punakha Dzong.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Accommodation: Zhingkham Resorts (or similar)

 
DAY 06: PUNAKHA 

Visit to Galem’s House. Galem is considered as the Juliet of Bhutanese version of Romeo-Juliet story that has been go through last 700 years or so.
Then visit to Khamsum Yulley Namgyel Chorten, the longest Suspension Bridge, and the Sangchen Dorji Nunnery.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Accommodation: Zhingkham Resort (or similar)

 
DAY 07: PUNAKHA /GANGTEY

Travel to the beautiful Phobjikha valley (2900m) which is under Wangduephodrang district. The valley is the home to rare Blacl-necked Cranes.
Visit the Wangduephodrang Dzong which is being re-constructed after it was razed by fire in 2014.Go for a short hike along the Gangtey Nature Trail.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Accommodation: Village Homestay

 
DAY 08: GANGTEY / PARO
En-route, visit to Simtokha Dzong, the oldest Dzong in Bhutan. Upon arrival in Paro, visit Dzongdrakha village. It is a small village built in a middle of a cliff overlooking the carpeted rice fields of Paro.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Accommodation: Bhutan Mandala Resort

 
DAY 09: HIKE TO TIGER'S NEST MONASTERY 
 
Hike to Taksang monastery which is also known as the Tiger’s Nest.
 
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Accommodation: Bhutan Mandala Resort (or similar)

 
DAY 10: DEPART FROM THE PARO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT 
 
DAY01: PARO  VISIT!

Paro (2,250m), the site of Bhutan’s only airport, is set amongst the beauty of Paro Valley. This picturesque region is one of the widest valleys in the kingdom and covered in fertile rice fields and has a beautiful, crystalline river meandering down the valley. Visitors often spend several days in Paro as there are over 155 temples and monasteries in this area, some dating as far back as 14th century.
Well worth visiting to the National Museum featuring a fascinating collection of arts, relics, religious thangkha paintings and Bhutan’s exquisite postage stamps. Other nearby visits the ruins of Drugyel Dzong (fortress of the victorious drukpas) is with its magnificent views of Mount Jomolhari (7314m) and the 07th century Kyichu temple.

Overnight at hotel Amankora: Paro

DAY 02: PROMINENT PARO DZONG

Paro Dzong is the administrative seat of the district of Paro. The Paro Dzong was built in 1644 under the order of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel. Paro Dzong full name is Rinpung Dzong, which means the fortress of the heap of jewel.

Zuri  Dzong hike. The peak of the Zuri Dzong hike is probably the perfect spot to have a bird-eye view of the entire Paro valley. The Zuri Dzong is the oldest Dzong in Bhutan, and in there lies a cave where Buddha came to meditate in, in the 08th century. The peaceful place allows both Bhutanese and tourists to soak in the tranquil that radiates from the extraordinary view, something one can stare at for hours in wonder and awe. The total journey time to get there will take approximately 30 minutes if one starts from the museum watchtower, and an additional 01 hour to exit out towards Uma.

Overnight at hotel AmanKora: Paro

DAY 03: BHUTAN’S CAPITAL CITY "THIMPHU " 

The kingdom’s capital city (2350m) is home to approximately 100,000 inhabitants including the Royal family. This bustling little city is the main center of commerce, religion and government in the country.  The capital city “Thimphu” is a fascinating blend of the old and the new. Zoning regulations have retained the forms and motifs of Bhutan’s traditional architecture giving the city a wonderful structural harmony amidst the modernity of restaurants, shopping centers, nightclubs and cafes. The Kingdom’s capital city limits, is the kingdom’s oldest Dzong and now used as the Dzongkha languages school of Bhutan.

There are number of places to visit such as arts and crafts school, the Folk Heritage Museum, the institute of Traditional Medicine offers visitors a fantastic insight into Bhutanese culture. Other attractions include the National Memorial Chorten, the 51.5 meter high Buddha Dordenma Statue, the Handicrafts Emporium, the National Library (housing a rare collection of Buddhist scriptures) and the lively weekend market.
Overnight at hotel Amankora: Thimphu

DAY 04: VICINITY VISITS IN THE BUSTLING LITTLE CITY! 

Thimphu is the most modern’s city in Bhutan with an abundance of restaurants, internet cafes and shopping centers. However, it still retains its cultural identity and values amidst the signs of modernization.

There are several attractions in Thimphu such as the National Post Office, where you can have your own personalized stamps, the clock Tower Square, the Motithang Takin Preserve, Semtokha Dzong, Traditional handmade paper factory, Tango Buddhist University to name few.
The culture of Bhutan is fully reflected in Thimphu in respect of religion, customs, national dress code, and the monastic practices of the monasteries, music, dance, literature and the media. Tshechu is an important festival where mask dances, popularly known as Chams, are performed in the courtyards of the Tashichho Dzong in Thimphu. It is a four-day festival held every year during autumn (September/October), on dates corresponding to the Bhutanese calendar. One of the most curious features of Thimphu is that it is the only capital city in the world that does not use traffic lights. Instead, a few major intersections have policemen standing in elaborately decorated booths (small pavilions), directing traffic with exaggerated hand motion.

Overnight at hotel Amankora: Thimphu

Day 05: The Phallus Valley – “Divine Madman”
Dochula Pass is located on the way from Thimphu to Punakha. On a clear day, the location proves a stunning panoramic view of the Himalayan mountain range, with snowcapped mountains forming a majestic backdrop to the tranquility of the 108 Chortens gracing the mountain pass. Known as the Druk Wangyel Chortens, the construction of these 108 Chortens was commissioned by the eldest Queen Mother, Her Majesty Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuk. The pass also features the Druk Wangyel Lhakhang (temple), built in honor of His Majesty Druk Gyalpo Jigme Singye Wangchuk. The Past and future appears merge in the details of the lhakhang and its structure tells the story of a superme warrior figure, whose vision pierces the distant future in a fine blend of history and mythology.

The Punakha has been inextricably linked with momentous occasions in Bhutanese history. It served as the capital of the country from 1637 to 1907 and the first national assembly was hosted here in 1953. The Punakha Dzong is not only the second oldest and second largest dzong but it also has one of the most majestic in the country.

Punakha valley has a pleasant climate with warm winters and hot summers. It is located at an average elevation of 1200 m above sea level. Owing to the favorable climatic conditions, rice has become the main cash crop cultivated in the region.
The Punakha Dzong, built in 1637 by the Shabdrung (the unifier of Bhutan), is situated on a triangular spit of land at the confluence of two rivers. Other highlights includes ChimimLhakhang, dedicated to Bhutan’s popular saint Drukpa Kuenly, otherwise known as the “divine madman” due to his unorthodox methods of religious teaching.

Overnight at hotel Amankora: Punakha

DAY 06: A TESTAMENT TO BHUTAN'S ROMEO JULIET STORY - GALEM'S HOUSE  


Just a Km away from the Punakha Dzong, on the road between Punakha to Gasa lies the 03 storied Galem House. At the first glance, the Galem’s manor will strike you as another of those huge dilapidated Bhutanese homes that are crumbling away due to neglect. But look closer and you’ll see the unobtrusive signboard that reads “Heritage site”.

You’ll also see awe and longing in equal measures in the eyes of young couples who frequently come to visit the Galem’s manor. For this is the site of Bhutan’s greatest love story, one that is almost akin to the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet in its grandeur and pathos…the doomed love story of Gasa Lamai Singye and Changyul Bum Galem.

The 700 years old house has been vacated since the last five years now as it is unfit for use. The floor planks creak loudly and the walls are sooty though the kitchen inside display an impressive array of earthenware. The 46 year old Aum Namgay Zam, one of the present descendants of Changyul Bum Galem lives next door after being forced to vacate the Galem’s manor due to its instability.

Khamsum Yulley Namgyel Chorten, it is 30 minutes drive from Punakha town. It is not very old (built in 1990) but it’s amazing beauty and location makes it a worthwhile visit. This chorten took ten years to be built and was erected by the orders of Queen Mother for protecting the king and the people of Bhutan. The walk to the Chorten is as memorable as the Chorten itself which is a nice example of colorful Bhutanese architecture. Ponies are available till a certain point in the hike after which you still must climb 45 minutes to reach the Chorten.
 
Punakha Suspension Bridge, The Punakha Suspension Bridge is known to be the second largest suspension bridge in Bhutan. This spot is perfect for photographers and nature lovers as there are stunning views all around. This suspension bridge connects the town of Punakha with the dzong and nearby village settlements. Walking on this bridge is a nice experience.

Visit to the Sangchen Dorji nunnery which is situated on a hilltop overlooking the town of Punakha. The Nunnery is beautiful with classic Bhutanese paintings adorning its ceilings and walls. Incidentally this place is a monastery which is entirely managed by nuns (hence the name nunnery). Try reaching this place around sunset so you can watch the beauty of the setting sun.

Overnight at hotel Amankora: Punakha

DAY 07: THE GLACIAL VALLEY 


Phobjikha valley (2900m) is often described as “the most beautiful valley in the country”. It is located in the Black Mountains, the highest of Bhutan’s north-south ridges about 2 and a half hours drive from Wangduephodrang on a spectular route. Every winter, the rare and beautiful Black-necked Cranes return from Tibet to the safety of this quiet and remote valley. Every November the Black-Necked cranes Festival are held in honor of these majestic birds.

Gangtey, located a few kilometers above the valley has a very interesting 17th century Nyingmapa monastery, the only one of its kind west of the Black Mountain range. Known for its lovely paintings and statues, it is ringed with family houses of gomchen, the religious laymen who worship the work at the monastery.

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 central 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.

Aside from enjoying the tranquility of the valley, you can engage in day hikes. There are multiple trails with easy to moderate difficulty, leading through the pine forest.  One such you can enjoy the easy Gangtey Nature trail hike (4.3 km) for about 01 hours, where you will come across temples and small village where they can engage with the locals if they choose to. One can spot different birds making it ideal for photography.

Overnight at hotel Amankora: Phobjikha

DAY 08: THE OLDEST DZONG "SEMTOKHA DZONG"

En-route, we'll head to Simtokha Dzong. Built in 1629, it is the oldest Dzong in Bhutan! Upon arrival in Paro, visit Dzongdrakha village. It is a small village built in a middle of a cliff overlooking the carpeted rice fields of Paro. You can also visit one of the village temples. In the evening visit a local farmhouse for dinner and for culture experience.

Overnight at a hotel Amankora: Paro

DAY 09: TIGER'S NEST MONASTERY 

The Tiger’s Nest Monastery hangs on a cliff and stands above an enchanting forests of blue pines and rhododendrons. As this beautiful and very exceptional monastery is a sheer climb the hill (900 meters), a pony can be arranged for the ride up, but only until the cafeteria. From then on, it is another steep walk and some narrow stairs towards the monastery itself. The trail crosses a chapel of butter lamps and descends to a waterfall by the Snow lion Cave. The view of the Paro valley from here on is breathtaking, and the atmosphere very holy, a place where every Bhutanese will want to come at least once in his/her life. The place where Guru Rinpochhe brought Buddhisim to Bhutan, arriving on the back of a Tigress. 
 
Overnight at hotel Amankora: Paro

DAY 10: DEPART FROM THE PARO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT! 
 

GROUP SIZE: Any group Size                                                           
MEALS : Full Board
TRIP ACCOMMODATION : Tourist Standard Hotel,
generally 3 to 4 star category.
ROUTE: Paro, Thimphu,Punakha and Wangdue
TRIP TYPE :Cultural Tour 

TRIP SEASONS: Throughout year                                   
BEST MONTHS:Throughout year
TOUR  MONTHS: Throughout year
LEAN SEASON : USD 200  Per person
PEAK SEASON:
USD 225 Pes person 
SINGAL INDIVIDUAL: USD 40 per night
GROUP OF 2 PERSONS:USD 30 per person per night
VISA FEE: USD 40 (One time)

 







 


INCLUDED
  • Bhutan Royalties, tourists fees, Visa fees and taxes.
  • Accommodations in listed or similar hotels (pleasant hotels 3-4 star type) during the tour and in tents during the trek.
  • All meals, including evening tea/coffee etc through-out the trip.
  • All land transfers, sightseeing with entrance fees.
  • Experienced Culture Tour Guide.
  • Bottled water in the vehicle and other camp serivce.

NOT INCLUDED
  • Flights in and out of Bhutan.
  • Travel insurance, Drink, Visa fees, Laundry 

Related Tour