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Cultural Tour of Bhutan
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* Cultural, historical exploration and scenic excursion of Thimphu, Paro, Wangduephodrang & Punakha

Introduction:
The Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan "known as the peaceful Dragon country" is slowly emerging from centuries of self imposed isolation, this makes Bhutan a truly unique destination to explore its hidden treasure of ancient culture, religion, architecture and its way of life as it was for centuries, so Bhutan's past is still its present and tantric Buddhism is a way of life.

Kingdom of Bhutan in many ways the Last Shangri-la, the geographical isolation has left the country in a time warp - culture, traditions and way of life still a reflection of past centuries than any indication of 21st century. Bhutan is the last bastions of Mahayana Buddhism. Against the backdrop of majestic Himalayas, Buddhist Spirit permeates almost all aspects of Bhutanese culture. Prayer flags flutter on the hills, temples and Dzongs dot the landscape, and religious festivals are celebrated through out the year. Due to Bhutan’s staunch conservation policies, country’s forest and environment are in pristine condition. Bhutan is one of the Biodiversity Hotspots with greater that 200 mammals, 770 birds and more than 5400 plants. Visit Bhutan with HimEX, our experience, extensive contacts within the country and our personalized services would make your visit to Bhutan truly enjoyable and memorable one.

Outline Itinerary:
Day 01: Arrive at Kathmandu 1, 300m via respective airlines.
Day 02: A day in Kathmandu with guided tour.
Day 03: Fly to Paro.
Day 04: Drive to Thimpu, sightseeing tour.
Day 05: Drive to Trongsa (200 Km, 6 hours).
Day 06: Drive to Bumthang (68 Km, 3 Hours )
Day 07: Drive to Punakha (205 Km, 7 Hours )
Day 08: Drive back to Paro (125 Km, 4 Hours )
Day 09: Sightseeing tour in Paro.
Day 10: Fly Paro / Kathmandu
Day 11: In Kathmandu
Day 12: Depart Kathmandu
 Departure Dates  Availability
 18 Mar-29 Mar  Available
 15 Apr-26 Apr  Available
 23 Sep-04 Oct  Available
 21 Oct-01 Nov  Available
 11 Nov-22 Nov  Available
Day 01:
Arrive at Kathmandu.1, 300m via respective airlines.
  On arrival at Kathmandu Tribhuwan International Airport you will be received by our staff and transfer you to respective Hotels, where our staff will give you a brief orientation of the Hotel, Kathmandu, Bhutan, do's and don't and other related information that you might require while in Nepal / Bhutan.
   
Day 02:

A day in Kathmandu with guided tour.

  After your first night in Kathmandu, you will be well informed on arrival about the time for your half day guided sightseeing tour in Kathmandu at places of interest.
   
Day 03:
Arrive Paro & drive to Thimpu
  The flight into Bhutan takes you close to the great Himalayas, offering dazzling scenic views of some of world's highest glacial peaks. As you enter Paro valley, you will sweep past forested hills with the silvery Paro Chu (Paro river) meandering down the valley below. Paro Dzong (fortress) and Ta Dzong (National Museum) on the hills above the town will be a fine sight. Our representative will meet you at Paro airport and drive to Bhutan's capital, Thimphu, an exciting blend of tradition and modernity. Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.
   
Day 04:
Sightseeing tour of Thimphu
  After breakfast, sightseeing in Thimphu valley including visit the following: the National Library, housing an extensive collection of priceless Buddhist manuscripts; the Institute for Zorig Chusum (commonly known as the Painting School) where students undergo a 6-year training course in Bhutan's 13 traditional arts and crafts. Later visit Textile and Folk Heritage Museum, a fascinating testimony of the Bhutanese material culture and living traditions.

After lunch, visit 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. Also visit King's Memorial Chorten continuously circumambulated by people, murmuring mantras and spinning their prayer wheels. Construction of this landmark was the idea of Bhutan's third king, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuk ("the father of modern Bhutan") who has wished to erect monument to world peace and prosperity. Completed in 1974 after his untimely death, it serves both as a memorial to the Late King and as a monument to peace.

Then, visit the government-run Handicrafts Emporium and local crafts shops, to browse through example of Bhutan's fine traditional arts. Here you can buy hand-woven textiles, thangkha paintings, masks, ceramics, slate and wood carvings, jewelry, interesting items made from local materials. Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.
   
Day 05:
Drive to Trongsa (200 Km, 6 hours)
  After early breakfast, drive to Dochula pass (3,080m). If the weather permits, you can see a range of high Himalayan peaks towards the north east. Following peaks can be seen from this pass, on a clear day ; 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.

Further drive onwards Wangduephodrang arriving town for lunch. The descent from Dochula into Wangduephodrang valley is quite long as the altitude difference is 1700 meters.

Proceed onward to Trongsa across Pelela pass (3,300 m ), the traditional boundary between east and west. The pass is marked by a large prayer flag and the ground is covered with high altitude dwarf bamboo. Stop en route at Chendbji Chorten, which was built in 18th century by a Lama named Shida, it is Nepalese in style with eyes painted at four cardinal points. Arrive Trongsa and check into the lodge.
   
Day 06:
Drive to Bumthang (68 Km, 3 Hours )
  After breakfast visit Trongsa Dzong. Like almost all towns in the Kingdom, this Dzong architecture dominates the entire Trongsa horizon dwarfing the surrounding buildings. Built in 1648, it was the seat of power over central and eastern Bhutan. Both the first and second King ruled the country from this ancient seat.

Then drive to Bumthang which is about 3 hours. 29 km from Trongsa road reaches the Yutong La pass (3,400m). Further 13 km ahead, the road enters into a wide open cultivated valley known as Chumey valley.

On arrival in Bumthang, check into the lodge. After lunch, visit Kurje Lhakhang where the saint Padmasambhava subdued a local demon and left his body imprint on a rock., the Jambey Lhakhang (7th century temple), Tamshing Monastery (one of the oldest monastic school), the Jakar Dzong (administrative centre of the region) and Swiss Farm House. Overnight at the lodge in Bumthang.
   
Day 07: Drive to Punakha (205 Km, 7 Hours )
  After breakfast explore fascinating valley of Bumthang. Then proceed to Trongsa where lunch would be served in local restaurant, famous for its traditional cuisine.
Before arriving Punakha visit Wangduephodrang Dzong and town en route. Evening at leisure.  Overnight at the hotel in Punakha.
   
Day 08: Drive back to Paro (125 Km, 4 Hours )
  Morning visit Punakha Dzong, a massive structure built at the junction of two rivers. It was the capital of Bhutan until 1955, and still serves as the winter residence of the monk body. The first King, Ugyen Wangchuck was crowned here in 1907. The fortress has withstood several damages from fire, earthquake and flood. The latest flood of Oct' 1994 caused great damages to the fortress but miraculously spared the statue of Buddha Jojampa.

Then drive to Paro en route visit traditional Bhutanese farm house which offers good insight into lifestyle of local people and their culture. Afternoon visit Ta Dzong, inaugurated as National Museum in 1968, and holding a fascinating collection of art, relics, religious thangkha paintings, Bhutan's exquisite postage stamps, coins and handicrafts, together with a small natural history collection. After that walk down the trail to visit Rinpung Dzong, also known as "fortress of the heap of jewels". Built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal , the first spiritual and temporal ruler of Bhutan, the Dzong houses the monastic body of Paro, the office of the Dzongda (district administrative head) and Thrimpon (judge) of Paro district. Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
   
Day 09: Sightseeing tour of Paro
  After breakfast excursion to Taktsang Monastery, 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 place, hence the monastery is also called "Tiger's Nest". This site, which has long been recognized as a most sacred place, was visited by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1646. It is a place of pilgrimage which Bhutanese try to visit at least once in a lifetime.

After lunch drive to Drukgyel Dzong. This dzong, with a picturesque village nestling below its ramparts, was built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to  commemorate his victory over the Tibetan invaders. Though largely destroyed by fire in 1951, the towering outer walls and central keep remain an imposing sight. On a clear day, there is a splendid view of Mt. Chomolhari from the approach road to Drukgyel Dzong.

Evening visit Kyichu Lhakhang, built in 7th century, is one of the two oldest and most sacred shrines in Bhutan (ther other being Jambay Lhakahng in Bumthang). Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
   
Day 10: Fly Paro to Kathmandu.
  After breakfast drive to the airport for flight to Kathmandu. Transfer to Hotel.
   
Day 11:

Free day at leisure in Kathmandu.

  A free day in Kathmandu, please inform our staff if you would like to go on another short tour in and around Kathmandu Valley or for a scenic mountain flight.
   
Day 12:

Transfer to Airport for the International departure.

  Today as per your international flight time, keep your air ticket and your passport handy. Our staff will take you to the airport for your final departure from this amazing country, Nepal.

 

 Price includes following services:
 1.  Accommodation sharing twin at Hotel in Kathmandu for 4 nights on Bed & Breakfast basis.
 2.  Accommodation sharing twin at Hotels in Bhutan for 7 nights on full board basis.
 3.  Airport transfers in Kathmandu & Paro.
 4.  Guided sightseeing tours of Kathmandu with applicable entrance fees.
 5.  Guided sightseeing tour as per itinerary in Bhutan with accompanying Guide and applicable entrance fees.
 6.  Transportation by private vehicle.
 7.  Flight Kathmandu / Paro / Kathmandu.
 8.  Bhutan Entry Visa fees.
 
 Our price does not include followings:
 1.  International flights to / from Kathmandu.
 2.  Nepal entry visa fees.
 3.  Lunch and dinner while in Kathmandu Hotel.
 4.  Travel, Medical and Personal insurance.
 5.  Expenses of personal nature, i.e. tipping, laundry, bottled drinks, bar bills etc.
 6.  Any expense for early returning member due sickness, injury or any other reason. No refund will be entertained for any unused service.
 7.  Extra expense occurred due to unexpected circumstances like cancellation of internal flights, floods, strike etc.
Extensions

If you are not tied up with time limitations, or have more time before or after your main trip with us, you can join / take following extension trips to make your holiday even interesting. According to extra time you have, you can choose a visit to National Parks for jungle safari viewing rare animals, migrant birds and exotic reptiles or enjoy the whitewater rafting or take a cultural tour of Kathmandu, Pokhara, Nagarkot or even make a quick visit to neighboring countries of Tibet – Roof of the world, India – The country of wonders, Bhutan – The Dragon Kingdom. We can add these extensions before or after your holiday according to the flights that you have booked / can book. Beside these, if you even want just stay in Kathmandu for relax or any independent activities, we can book extra nights at the Hotel. You can book these extensions together with your main trip booking.


Chitwan National Park:

It is one of the oldest and popular National Parks in Nepal recognized by UNESCO as a World Natural Site. More than 500 Asian one-horned rhinoceros and some 100 nocturnal Royal Bengal Tigers have made their home in this dense forest. There are an estimated 50 species of mammals, over 526 species of birds, 49 amphibians and reptiles and 150 species of butterflies. ...(More)

 

Bardia National Park:

The far west Nepal is one of the least explored regions of the Himalayas. Within this region is a seldom visited National Park, which still offers challenging adventure. Bardia National Park is the largest park in the lowland Terai covering an area of 968 sq kms and remains a very much untouched wilderness which appeals to the nature lovers. The park situated in Nepal’s Western Terai was established to protect representative ecosystems ...(More)

 

Kathmandu:

It is a treasure trove of ancient art and architecture that lie hidden in the labyrinth of manmade structures. The ancient pagoda temples and Buddhist stupas stand majestically above the rest of the landmarks. The Palace squares fascinate visitors with its exquisite woodwork and carving. You can extend your holiday from 1-3 days visiting these sites. ...(More)

 

Pokhara:
Pokhara is most popular tourist destination after Kathmandu, not because of its easy accessibility but because of its scenic beauty and proximity to many Himalayas. Rarely does a tourist miss a trip to this beautiful valley of lakes and mountain views. Ekai Kawaguchi who was the earliest visitor of this district, was awed by its beauty. The Annapurna range of the Himalayas dominates the landscape around Pokhara and many of treks and ...(More)

 

Nagarkot:

Nagarkot is one of the most popular hill resorts on the fringe of the Kathmandu valley. With an elevation of 2,195m, is 32 kms away from Kathmandu offers a panoramic view of the valley and is described by the visitors as a place whose beauty endures year round. The extraordinary view of the Himalayan peaks from Dhaulagiri to Kanchenjunga is stupendous. Sunrise view from here is truly magnificent. ...(More)

 

Tibet:

Encircled within Himalayan fortress, the image of Tibet has portrayed as “Shangr-la” in the western world. A ‘Land of Snows’ and the ‘Roof of the World’ is mysterious in a way that few other places are. Following virtual closure after the Chinese annexation of the Buddhist Kingdom, Tibet was opened to foreign tourism in 1984. Tibet has become dream adventure destination for the people living in the most sophisticated silicon cities. ...(More)

 

India:
The country of wonders, the lively bazaars, ornate architecture and the something puzzling customs of Indians make any visit a refreshing from the western life. Endowed with a backdrop of that can be anything from snow capped mountain to palm-lined beach, Indian rarely fails to delight adventurous travelers. India is considered to be the rich cultural melting pot with its colorful festivals of all the religion and people, blending well with magnificent landscape  ...(More)

 

Bhutan:

The Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan, commonly known as ‘Land of the Thunder Dragon’ is regarded as the last paradise on earth is slowly emerging from centuries of self-imposed isolation. Closed for the outside world until early seventies, Bhutan has adopted the regulated tourism policy for its visitors in this tiny Himalayan Kingdom by allowing to enter limited numbers of tourists every year. Bhutan has retained its religious and cultural values ...(More)

 

River Rafting:

Rafting is undoubtedly the best way to explore the Arcadian Nepal. It involves excitement, scenic views and challenge. Nepal has numerous fine rivers for rafting, kayaking or canoeing. The most prominent white water rafting regions are the eastern, the mid and the western rivers. Of all these regions, river Trisuli and the Bhotekoshi are the main popular rafting rivers for short trips. The rivers sometimes offer hair raising roller coaster rides. ...(More)

 

Mount Everest Flight:
Mountain flight is truly a memorable experience that one should not miss out in Nepal. If you feel you have not seen enough mountains, the mountain flight is the right choice to rejoice with spectacular panoramic mountains’ views. The bird’s eye view of the 6 mighty mountains above 8,000m out of the 14 from a close range is simply unbelievable. The one hour magic flight will make it possible for you to view uninterruptedly all the enchanting beauty ...(More)

 

Bungy Jumping:

(Jumping beyond imagination): Just imagination of jumping down from a bridge of 160m above a tropical gorge with the Bhote Koshi, one of the Nepal’s wildest rivers raging below is enough to make your heartbeat run faster. It is the thrill of Bungy jumping as it there is no fun for real adventure lover if challenge is not so hard and difficult. It is located within a reach of 4 hours outside Kathmandu and just 19 kms away from the Tibet Border. ...(More)

 

Paragliding:

(Flying like a bird): Paragliding is relatively new adventure sports in Nepal. Paragliding in this Himalayan country can be a truly wonderful and fulfilling experience for the adventure seekers. You can experience unparalleled scenic grandeur as you share airspace with Himalayan griffin vultures, eagles, kites while floating over the villages, monasteries, temples, lakes and the jungle with a fantastic view of the majestic Himalayas. ...(More)

 

Ultralight Flight:

Ultralight aircraft is being operated from Pokhara. It has an unique blend of both mountain and plateau area. While flying over the Pokhara valley, you will not miss the scenic beauty of both the Himalayas and the most famous lake of Nepal, Phewa Tal. The flight will be a journey through nature. Don’t miss this truly unique experience. ...(More)

 

Hotels:

We have allowed our packages with just right number of nights of hotel accommodations which enables you to spend nights with quick visits of local market or monuments in the area. However if you have some extra days before or after your main package holiday, you can spend extra nights in Kathmandu or nearby destinations so that you can cover the interesting sights or just relax while you are here. ...(More)

 

Hotel Yak & Yeti:

The Hotel Yak & Yeti with the historic character, suitable for both short or long stay, is fashioned as the fusion of modern design and the noblesse of original heritage interiors. This exceptional city centre hotel is located minutes away from both domestic and international airport. It continues to be the city's leading luxury hotel for business and leisure. ...(More)

 

Hotel Shanker:

Shanker Hotel is housed in a palace built at the turn of the 19th century by a Rana Maharajah with a penchant for French architecture, international cuisine and Eastern hospitality. It was converted into a hotel in 1964. The façade and traditions were kept intact but the interior was redesigned to give travelers the kind of comfort they would expect of a world class hotel. You will live in palace when you live at Hotel Shanker. ...(More)

 

Hotel Malla:
Superbly located between the Royal Palace and Kathmandu's fashionable tourist district, Thamel, in the heart of the city. The Malla Hotel is only a 20 minutes drive from Kathmandu's International airport. Besides excellent accommodation and Central location the Malla Hotel is Offering a well equipped business center, extensive meeting and conference facilities, a health club with the latest work out equipment, sauna, massage, steambath and jacuzzi. ...(More)

 

Hotel Marshyangdi:

Hotel Marshyangdi situated in the heart of Thamel is the best choice for those who want to be in the main tourist hub of Kathmandu. Because of its friendly & professional staff, home like atmosphere, Marshyangdi has been a popular name and home away from home for most of the repeated visitors. The hotel now has 50 deluxe and 5 mini suite rooms besides the regular standard rooms. ...(More)

Trip Facts
  • Trip Name : Cultural Tour of Bhutan
  • Trip Duration : 12 Days
  • Trip Grade : Moderate
  • Trip Date :
  • Activity : Cultural Tour
  • Highest Altitude : m
  • Month : Apr-May, Sep-Nov

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