Along the Western Belt Tour

Perfect for limited time and budget tour, this short yet memorable tour to three of the most prominent districts of Bhutan will give you and your family a perfect taste of authentic Bhutan. The highlight of the tour includes hiking to magnificent Tiger’s nest monastery.

  • Trip OverView
  • Itinerary
  • More Info
  • Enquire about this Trip

Trip OverView

Duration: 5 days and 4 nights
Nature of tour: Cultural sightseeing tour
Departs: Everyday
Places covered: Paro, Thimphu and Punakha.
Entry: Paro
Exit: Paro

Itinerary

Day 01: Arrive at Paro – Thimphu

Described as one of the most captivating experiences, the flight to Paro offers you views of the Himalayan treasures, such as Mt. Everest, Kanchenjunga, Makalu and other peaks in Bhutan such as the Jomolhari, Jitchu Drake and Tsrim Gang. As the flight descends to land at Paro airport, you will have a bird’s eye view of Paro and the adjoining valleys, an experience beyond expression. The landing at the airport is also thrilling.

Our guide will meet you there and after a brief stopover at a hotel, escort you for your first experience that awaits you. Today we will drive straight away to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. Depending on the availability of time we will be visiting places of historical importance and landmarks of the capital, such as Memorial Chorten (a huge stupa) built in memory of the third king of Bhutan Jigmi Dorji Wangchuck and statue of the world’s largest Buddha

Day 02: Thimphu to Punakha/Wangdue

After breakfast we proceed to Punakha, which is about three hours drive from Thimphu. However, after a 45 minute drive, we will stop at Dochula Pass, (3,100m), which offers visitors the first spectacular glimpse of the snow-capped eastern Himalayan Ranges, consisting of peaks averaging heights of 6000m to 7554m. The pass is beautified by 108 stupas (chortens) built around a mound. From the pass, the journey descends through outgrowths of rhododendron, dwarf bamboo, green meadows, beautiful wildflowers, gushing waterfalls and constantly changing vegetation. We enter the low lying sub tropical valleys of Wangduephodrang and Punakha. En-route to Punakha, we will visit the ruins of Wangdue Dzong (Fortress), which was tragically razed to the ground by a fire in 2012. Originally built in 1638 by the Zhabdrung, it has played a significant role in medieval Bhutan’s history. We then proceed to Chimi Lhakhang. About half an hour hike from the road point, it is associated with the great Buddhist master, Drukpa Kuenley, popularly known as the “Divine Madmonk,” and was constructed in the 15th century. After lunch, we move to Punakha, which served as the capital of Bhutan until 1955. Punakha Dzong (Fortress) is an architectural masterpiece, which from far looks like a large ship rocked on a still mass of water. Built at the confluence of two rivers, called the Pho (male) and Mo (female) chus (rivers) in 1637 by Bhutan’s unifier, Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, it has played a very significant role in Bhutan’s history. Home to some of Bhutan’s most prized religious artifacts, it was destroyed four times by fire and an earthquake in 1897. However, it has now been restored to its original splendor, and is the home of the country’s Chief Abbot and religious body during the winter months. There will also be a visit to Khamsumyulay Namgyal chorten.

Day 03: Punakha – Paro & the Taktsang Experience

We will drive back the same road towards Paro from Punakha and visit Thimphu city once again for the lunch. After lunch continue towards Paro and pay visit to historical sites such as Paro Rinpung dzong and National museum (Ta Dzong).

Day 04: Hike to Taktsang monastery

After breakfast, we drive to Taktsang view point and begin the hike up to Taktsang Monastery – “The Tiger’s Nest.” We follow an ancient path marked by river powered prayer wheels to the holiest Buddhist Shrine in Bhutan and the ultimate point of pilgrimage. A blend of the spiritual and architectural wonder, the monastery is perched on a 1000m cliff overlooking the valley. Legend has it that the great Indian saint, Guru Padma Sambhava, flew from Tibet to Taktsang on the back of a tigress to tame five demons, who were opposing the spread of Buddhism in Bhutan in 746 A.D. On the way back, we visit Drugyel Dzong, ” ”Castle of the Victorious Drukpa,” located 16 kilometers from Paro town. In ruins now, this Dzong was built to commemorate Bhutan’s victory over the invading Tibetan forces in the 16th and 17th centuries. On a clear day, one can see the Jhomolhari Peak, “Mountain of the Goddess” from here.

Day 05: Paro – Bangkok

After breakfast, you will be driven to Paro international Airport for your flight out of the country. We look forward to see you in future.

More Info

Meals during the tour

Some may find food in Bhutan monotonous with the same menu being offered in every restaurants and hotels but these foods are true to Bhutan, unique in its own way, different from anywhere else in the world.

Bhutanese people are very fond of spicy foods and chili lies in the center of every cuisine as its main ingredient. A proper meal from the Bhutanese point of view is a plate full of rice with curry prepared either of vegetable or meat items.



Different types of curry that one can enjoy along with a plate full of rice (red or white) while in Bhutan are as follows:
  • Jasha Maru (chicken curry)
  • Phaksha (pork curry)
  • Sikam (dried pork)
  • Beef curry
  • Ema Datshi (Hot chili and cheese); refer to as Bhutan’s national dish.
  • Kewa Datshi (Potato and cheese)
  • Fish curry
  • Mix vegetables

Bhutan being cultural destination rather than a culinary, there are not much to choose from but whatever that are offered are authentic and native.

Other than rice and curry, Momo is a popular snack that one will enjoy in Bhutan. Momo is a Tibetan originated dumpling stuffed with cabbages and onions along with beef, pork or cheese.

Other than Bhutanese cuisine, restaurants in Bhutan also serves Chinese and Indian dish such as noodles and Roti. Popular drink one must try while at Bhutan are Suja, the salted butter tea, Ara the locally brewed wine from rice, maize or millet and Bangchang the rice, millet or maize beer. It will be quite a task to get Ara and Bangchang at western parts of Bhutan but are easily available if you are visiting some of the far away villages in eastern parts of Bhutan; they will even offer to you for free as a gesture of hospitability.

Refrain from drinking water directly from tap or streams. Bottled water will be provided everyday by the tour operators.

Tour Vehicle

Tour vehicles are prearranged by your respective tour operators and its costs are covered by the minimum daily packages that are paid prior to your arrival in Bhutan. Depending on the size of travelers tour vehicles are arranged as follows:

  • 1-2 travelers – SUV cars
  • 3-8 travelers – Mini Bus
  • 8 and above – Coaster Bus
Tour Guide

Tourists to Bhutan are not allowed to travel on their own and it is mandatory to use the service of a professional guide trained and certified by Tourism council of Bhutan. Guides in general speak English but language speaking guides are also available for few languages such as French, German, Chinese and Japanese. Your guide and driver along with tour vehicle will be waiting for you at the port of entry.

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You can also call us at following numbers:

Mobile number: +975 77374799 (24/7)

Office Number: +975 2 339170 (9am – 5 pm Bhutan Standard Time)

We organize Cultural sightseeing tour, Trekking, Mountain biking tour, Festival tour, Luxury tour and White water rafting tour within Bhutan.

Get in Touch

info@seebhutantravels.com (975)17514347

What's Included

All three meals (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner)
Accommodations in 3 star rated hotels in twin sharing basis. (4 Stars and 5 Star available on paying extra premium)
Licensed English speaking guide
Transportation in a comfortable SUV cars, Mini Bus and Medium size Buses depending on the number of travelers.
Experienced driver.
Government royalty of $65 per person, per night stay in Bhutan, which goes to infrastructure development, free education and free medical services for Bhutanese people.
All government taxes
Bhutan visa fee
Entry fee to all the tourist visiting sites and museums.
Tea and snacks.
Bottled water during the day.

what's Not Included

Flight tickets (both international & domestic)
Beverages & personal shopping
Travel insurances
Laundry
Tips and gratuity for guide and driver.
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