Into The Heartland

This 10-days itinerary will take you to central region of Trongsa and Bumthang district. A highlight of the tour includes exploring Bumthang valley, the cultural heartland of Bhutan and hike to Taktsang monastery. While touring Bhutan, you will be driven across gorgeous mountain passes, lush green valleys, ever winding glacial fed rivers and beautiful villages.

If you want to avoid long drive back on the same road after touring Bumthang, you can opt to take a domestic flight back from Bumthang to Paro or directly fly from Paro to Bumthang and continue your journey on the road from Bumthang till Paro.

  • Trip OverView
  • Itinerary
  • More Info
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Trip OverView

Duration: 10 days and 9 nights
Nature of tour: Cultural sightseeing tour
Departs: Everyday
Places covered: Paro, Thimphu, Punakha, Wangdue Phodrang, Trongsa and Bumthang.
Entry: Paro
Exit: Paro

Itinerary

Day 01: Arrival at Paro – Thimphu

After an unforgettable flight into Paro International Airport, wherein you would have feasted on some of the wonders of the Himalayas, such as views of Mount Everest, Kanchenjunga and other famous Himalayan peaks, including Bhutan’s Jomolhari and Mount Jichu Drake, you will have a thrilling landing. At the airport, you will be received by representatives of our Company, who will escort you to a Hotel. After lunch at the hotel, you will be driven to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. . It is also the hub of commerce and culture. Paro to Thimphu is just under an hour. There are great many places to see in Bhutan’s capital. Evening will be dedicated in strolling through the town. Overnight at hotel in Thimphu

Day 02: Explore Thimphu valley

The morning will be dedicated to sightseeing. You will visit the weaving centre, Memorial Chorten (a huge stupa) built in memory of the third King of Bhutan, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, Changangkha monastery, built in the 12th century, Takin zoo, Buddha Point, where the statue of the world’s largest Buddha is being constructed; a Nunnery and the Arts and Craft school. You will also be taken to Sangaygang, a place from where you can have a bird’s eye view of Thimphu town and the surroundings. After lunch, visit National Library where ancient manuscripts are preserved, the Folk Heritage museum and the Tashichho Dzong, the main secretariat building. This massive structure houses part of the government Ministries, the office of the King and the Throne Room. It also houses the State Monastic Body and the living quarters of the Chief Abbot and the senior monks. Overnight at the hotel

Day 03: Thimphu – Punakha

The drive to Punakha traverses thorough a constantly changing landscape of vegetation, waterfalls, flowers, mountains and meadows. After a 45 minutes drive, we will stop at the popular Dochula pass (3,100m), from where on a clear day, we can see the entire eastern Himalayan range, comprising snow-capped mountains with heights ranging from 6000m to 7554m. Apart from its wealth of extremely beautiful flowers, the 108 Buddhist stupas exquisitely built around a mound adds to the grandeur of the place. The journey forward from the pass descends to the sub-tropical valley of Punakha, which served as Bhutan’s capital in the past and holds some of the country’s most priceless treasures, especially Buddhist relics. The Punakha Fortress is an architectural masterpiece and resembles a gigantic ship on an ocean floor from afar, and girdled by two (Male and Female) rivers. It was the capital of Bhutan until 1955 and is still home of the Chief Abbot in winter months. On the way to Punakha, we will hike for about 1 hour round trip to Chimi Lhakhang, the monastery of Drupa Kuenley, “Divine Madmonk,” which was built in the 15th century. Punakha Dzong, built in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal has played prominent role in civil and religious life of the Kingdom. Destroyed four times by fire and an earthquake in 1897, the Dzong has been now fully restored in its original splendour. After Lunch at a local restaurant, we will visit Punakha Dzong and then drive for half an hour and hike to the Khamsum yully namgyel chorten. Overnight at the hotel

Day 04: Punakha – Trongsa

Early morning, we will drive to Trongsa via Wangduephodrang across the Pelela pass (alt. 3,300m), the traditional boundary between east and west. Large prayer flags mark the place. En-route, we will stop at Chendbji Chorten (Stupa), which was built in the 18th century by a lama named Shida. The stupa is Nepalese in style with eyes painted at four cardinal points. Towards evening, you will stroll through the town calling it a day. Overnight at hotel in Trongsa.

Day 05: Trongsa – Bumthang

After breakfast walk to Tongsa Dzong, built by Shabdrung in 1647. Another majestic architectural masterpiece and once ancient Bhutan’s capital, it is very historic and every King, before ascending the Throne must, as the Crown Prince serve as the Penlop (Governor) of Trongsa. We will also visit the Ta Dzong (watch tower) and then drive to Bumthang which is about 3 hours. 29 Kms from Tongsa we will reach the Yutong La pass (alt. 3,400 m) and after a further 13 kms drive, the road enters into a wide, open and cultivated valley known as Chumey valley. On arrival in Bumthang, check into a hotel. Evening, you can stroll through the Chamkhar town. Overnight at hotel.

Day 06: Bumthang sightseeing

One of the most sacred regions in the Kingdom, Bumthang valley is a blend of the abstract and concrete with innumerable legends surrounding the area. You will be visiting Kurje Lhakhang where the Great Indian Saint Guru Padsambhava subdued a local demon and left his body imprint on a rock. The other is Jamphel lhakhang, which was built in the 7th century by Songsten Goembo, the Tibetan Buddhist King. Jakar Dzong (the fortress of white bird) built in the 17th century by Tenzin Rabgay (the fourth Desi) is another famous landmark. You will also be visiting, Tamshing lhakhang built in 1501 by Terton Pema Lingpa (the founder of religious treasures). Kunchosum lhakhang and Membertsho (the flaming lake) are other places. Legend has it that Pema Lingpa discovered several religious texts from the lake. Overnight at the hotel

Day 07: Bumthang – Phobjikha

After breakfast we proceed to Gantey/Phobjikha via Trongsa. The approach to Phobjikha valley is through a forest of Oak and Rhododendron. Phobjikha is one of the few glacial valleys in Bhutan and chosen home of black necked cranes which migrate from the central Asiatic Plateau to escape its harsh winters. Overnight at hotel.

Day 08: Phobjikha – Paro

After breakfast, explore Phojikha valley and also visit Gangtey Monastery. Phobjikha is one of the most beautiful valleys in Bhutan and home to the very rare black necked crane. The birds migrate from Tibet to Bhutan in winter (from October -March). Gangtey Gompa is one of the oldest Nyingmapa monasteries that look like a small Dzong. Phobjikha valley is mostly covered with high altitude dwarf bamboo and pine trees. There are impressive carvings of art and wood on farm house. You could interact with the people and get to know more about their way of life. Then we drive to Paro via Wangduephodrang. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 09: Taktsang hike

Takstang monastery is one of Bhutan’s holiest shrines and an amazing structure that crosses all boundaries of architectural masterpiece, Taktsang (Tiger’s Lair) monastery is perched some 1000m/3000ft on a cliff overlooking a valley. It is said that the legendary Indian saint, Guru Padma Sambhava, flew from Tibet on the back of a tigress to tame five demons, who were opposing the spread of Buddhism in Bhutan in 746 A.D. Taktshang monastery is the ultimate pilgrim site for all Buddhist, especially in Bhutan. The hike to the monastery takes about 5 hours (up and down), and follows an ancient path marked by river powered prayer wheels. 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 also visit the National Museum and Paro Rimpong Dzong. You can take a stroll of the town after which you can call it a day. Overnight at hotel in Paro

Day 10: Departure

After early breakfast, we drive to the airport for flight to onward destination.

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.

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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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