Embracing the Dragon

This tour covers three most prominent districts of western Bhutan namely Paro, Thimphu and Punakha. Highlight of the tour includes cultural extravaganza of western Bhutan, historical sites, off the beaten track hikes and journey to majestic Tiger’s nest monastery.

  • Trip OverView
  • Itinerary
  • More Info
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Trip OverView

Duration: 6 days and 5 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

You will land at Paro international airport, after having experienced one of your most memorable flights with the airline taking you through skies offering spectacular glimpses of the Himalayan Ranges, including Mt Everest, Kanchenjunga and other Bhutanese peaks. The landing, supposed to be at one of the most challenging airports is also thrilling. Our company’s representative will meet you and escort you to a local hotel, after which begins your adventure of Bhutan. It will start with sightseeing or glances into Paro’s most historic and significant landmarks, such as the National museum and Paro Rimpong Dzong (Fortress). After lunch at a hotel in Paro town, we will drive for an hour to the capital of Bhutan, Thimphu. Overnight at hotel.

Day 02: Thimphu sightseeing

In the morning, we will visit the Memorial Chorten (a huge stupa), one of the most beautiful stupas of the Nygmapa sect of Buddhism, built in memory of the Father of Modern Bhutan, the late Third King, Jigmi Dorji Wangchuck. The next stop will be Changangkha monastery built in the 12th century, after which we will move to the Takin Zoo. A brief drive from the Zoo takes us to Sangaygang, from where one can see the entire Thimphu Valley and beyond. We will also visit a Nunnery. After lunch at a local restaurant, we will visit the arts and crafts school, where you can see Bhutanese art in the making. A visit will also be made to the Post Office. If time permits, we will watch an archery match. In the evening will be the hallmark of your visit, as we go to Tashichho Dzong, the center of Bhutanese governance. Majestic and an icon of Bhutanese architecture, it houses the office of the King, the Throne Room and some ministries. It is also the summer residence of the Chief Abbot, the Je Khenpo and senior clergy. The day will end with a visit to Buddha point, where the largest statue of the futuristic Buddha, Maitreya is under construction. From there you can get an overview of Thimphu valley, yet again. Overnight at a hotel.

Day 03: Thimphu – Punakha/ Wangduephodrang

We begin our journey to Punakha. After about 45 minutes, we reach Dochula pass (3,100m), from where we get the first spectacular view of the eastern Himalayan ranges, consisting of snow-capped mountains, with heights ranging from 6000m to 7554m.The beauty of the pass is augmented by the spectacular 108 stupas (chortens), build around a mound. From the pass, it is a gradual descend along outgrowths of rhododendron, short bamboo and other tress to the subtropical valley of Punakha and Wangduephodrang. At Wangdue, we will visit the ruins of Wangduephodrang Dzong (Fortress), which was gutted by a tragic fire in 2012. It was originally build by the Shabdrung in 1638. We then move to Chimey Lhakhang, built in the 15th century and associated with Lam Drukpa Kuenley, the “Divine Madmonk.” It is just an hour walk (back and forth) from the road point. After lunch at the Lhakhang, we move to Punakha. As we reach Punakha, we can see the Dzong (Fortress), resembling a giant ship bed rocked on a mass of still water from far. Built by the Shabdrung in 1637, it is an architectural icon, located at the confluence of two rivers – the Pho (male) and the Mo (female) chus (rivers). The winter residence of the Chief Abbot and the clergy, it houses most of Bhutan’s sacred relics and treasures. A visit will also be made to Khamsumyulley Namgyal chorten. Overnight at a hotel.

Day 04: Punakha – Paro

We begin our journey back to to Paro, which would take about four hours. After lunch, we will visit Kyichu Monastery, one of Bhutan’s oldest, built in 659 A.D. by the Buddhist Tibetan King Songsten Goembo. A short drive from there will take us to the ruins of Drugyel Dzong (”Castle of the Victorious Drukpa”), which was built to commemorate the victory of Bhutanese forces over the Tibetans in the 16th and 17th centuries. You will then be taken to visit a farmhouse, after which you can call it a day.

Day 05: Paro – Taktsang monastery hike

This is going to be one of your most memorable experiences as we visit Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s Lair), a work of art, blending the spiritual with architectural splendor. One of the holiest shrines in Bhutan, the Monastery is perched on a hill (1000m) overlooking the valley. It is said that the great Indian Saint and Tantric Buddhism’s Master, Guru Padma Sambhava came to Taktsang riding a tigress, in one of his most fearful forms, to subdue demons that were obstructing the spread of Buddhism. Several Buddhist masters have meditated at the site. The trek, in total takes five hours and it is a gradual climb along an old trail. After the trek, you can stroll through Paro town, before you rest for the day.

Day 06: Paro – Delhi/Bangkok/ Katmandu

After breakfast, you will be driven to Paro international Airport for your flight out of the country.

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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