Spot Lights of the Dragon

This tour basically covers all four important western districts and you have enough time to cover up all the important and historical sites at leisurely pace without having to rush through. Enjoy spectacular views of the snow capped Himalayas, cross pass the gorgeous passes, valleys, rivers and villages, pay visit to historical sites, mingle with locals and enjoy the beauty of unique architectural design of the country as a whole.

  • Trip OverView
  • Itinerary
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Trip OverView

Duration: 8 days and 7 nights
Nature of tour: Cultural sightseeing tour
Departs: Everyday
Places covered: Paro, Thimphu, Punakha and Wangdue Phodrang.
Entry: Paro
Exit: Paro

Itinerary

DAY 01: Arrival at Paro – Thimphu

Arrive at Paro international Airport. The flight will be a breath taking experience as you will be able to see the treasures of the Himalayas, embodied in majestic forms, such as Mount Everest, Kanchenjunga, Jomolhari, Mount Jichu Drake and others. The landing at Paro will be a thrilling moment, too.

Representatives from our company will meet you at the airport, after which you will drive for about an hour to Thimphu, Bhutan’s capital city. After lunch, the rest of the Day will be dedicated to sightseeing. Highlights will include the Memorial Chorten (Stupa), one of the most beautiful ones in Bhutan, built in memory of the Father of Modern Bhutan, Late Third King Jigmi Dorji Wangchuck and world’s largest sitting Buddha statue located at Kuenselphodrang. We will spend some time strolling around Thimphu city and if time permits pay visit to centennial farmers market and call it a day.

DAY 02: Thimphu vicinity visits

Today we begin our day by visiting the Handicrafts Emporium where Bhutanese textiles and other arts and crafts displayed can be purchased and the Hand-made paper factory. We will also witness an archery (Bhutan’s national match) match. Other visits include Changangkha monastery built in the 12th century, Takin zoo, a Nunnery and to Sangaygang, from where you can have a picturesque view of Thimphu valley.

In the evening we will visit Tashichho Dzong, the main secretariat building, which was built in 1642. This massive structure houses the office of the King, the Throne Room and part of the government Ministries. It is also home to the State Monastic Body and the living quarters of the Chief Abbot and senior monks.

DAY 03: Thimphu – Punakha

We will be moving further away from Thimphu to Punakha, which is a three hour drive. 45 minutes from Thimphu is the Dochula pass (3,100m), offering you the first glimpse of the eastern Himalayan Ranges, consisting of snow-capped mountain peaks with heights ranging from 6000m to 7554 m. During the stopover there, you can also see the 108 stupas (chortens) built around a mound. The drive then descends and passes through beautiful forests, comprising rhododendron, fields of dwarf bamboo green meadows, beautiful wildflowers, gushing waterfalls and constantly changing vegetation. Before reaching Punakha, we will visit Chimi Lhakhang, a temple where the Phallus is worshipped and associated with Lam Drukpa Kuenley, the “Divine Madmonk.” It is about 1 hour hike (to and fro) from the road point. We will have our lunch here. As we near our next destination, Punakha, we will witness an awe-inspiring image of the Punakha Fortress, which looks like a giant ship rocked on a still mass of water from far. Built on the confluence of two rivers, the Pho (male) and Mo (female) rivers, the Dzong served as the capital of Bhutan until 1955 and is still home of the Chief Abbot in winter months. It was built in 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and has played a prominent role in the civil and religious history of the Kingdom. Destroyed four times by fire and an earthquake in 1897, the Dzong has been now fully restored in its original splendor. In the afternoon we will drive half an hour and hike to the Khamsum Yulley Namgyal chorten.

DAY 04: Punakha – Gangtey/Phobjikha valley

After breakfast, we begin the 105 km drive to Gangtey via Wangduephodrang. It will take us about 4 hours with the road gradually ascending till Lawala pass (1100 feet). Passing through Nobding village, the vegetation consists of high altitude dwarf bamboo, rhododendrons, magnolia, fir and pine. We will reach Phobjikha valley at 3,000m, in the Black Mountain Ranges. 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). We will be visiting Gangtey Gompa, one of the oldest Nyingmapa monasteries that look like a small Dzong. Overnight at Farm house or hotel.

DAY 05: Gangtey/ Phobjikha valley hike

In what will be a spectacular Day, you can hike around the beautiful Phobjikha valley. This 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. Overnight at Farm house or hotel.

Day 06: Gangtey – Paro

We will be driving for six hours to Paro. At Paro we will pay visit to Kyichu Monastery, one of Bhutan’s oldest, built in 659 A.D. by the Tibetan King Songsten Goembo and RimpungDzong (Fortress), which was built in 1646.

DAY 07: Paro – Taktshang monastery hike

After breakfast, we drive for half an hour and start the hike, which is about 5 hours (round trip.) The trail is along an ancient path marked by river powered prayer wheels. As you reach Taktshang you will be struck by the architectural wonder of this most pious Buddhist shrine in Bhutan. Perched some 1000m, 3000ft on a cliff overlooking the valley, it would justifiably qualify as one of Bhutan’s wonders. Tragically wrecked in a fire early in 1998, it has been rebuilt to its original glory. 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. Hence the name, Taktshang, or the “Tiger’s Lair”. On our way back, we will visit another symbolic structure, which is now in ruins, the Drugyel Dzong, or “Castle of the Victorious Drukpa,” which was also built by the Zhabdrung to commemorate Bhutan’s victory over the Tibetans in the 16th and 17th centuries. From here, the Jomolhari Peak (“Mountain of the Goddess”) can be seen on a clear Day (Alt. 7,329m/24,029ft.).

DAY 08: Depart from Paro

After breakfast, you will be driven to Paro international Airport for your journey out of Bhutan.

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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