Bhutan

The Dragon Kingdom

Level

Moderate

Duration

8 days

Best time to travel

March, April, May, September , October and November

Route

Arrival Paro- Bhum Drag  -Paro- Haa-  Thimphu —Paro- Departure Paro

Bhutan, also known as “land of the thunder dragon”, is a country of mountains, monasteries and mysteries, tucked away in the folds of the Himalayas. It is famed across for its untouched culture, its pristine ecology and wildlife, and the unparalleled scenic beauty of its majestic peaks and lush valleys. It is still, in many ways, a magical kingdom of the past.

The country’s extremely rich flora and fauna boasts hundreds of plant and animals species, including a wide list of endangered species. It’s always a heart-warming carnival for the lovers of the natural world.

Overview:

This trip is a fascinating introduction to this magical Himalayan kingdom. You will explore both Bhutanese rich culture and abundant nature. You will enjoy Bhum Drag Trek and camp at the Spiritual Site, hike to the Tiger Nest and enjoy the stunning views. You will proceed your journey by bicycle to Haa Valley via the Chelela pass;and then to  Thimphu. You will explore Dzongs, administrative centers, museums, libraries and textile emporiums which will give you an insight to the Bhutanese culture and tradition. You will also have the opportunity to experience in Haa Valley a traditional homestay: the farmhouses of Ugyen and Chimi are located in the beautiful traditional village of Dumchoe in the heart of the Haa Valley  and will will provide you  a truly memorable Bhutanese experience.

Facts

Activities: trekking, cycling, camping,  culture sightseeing, nature/bird watching

 

Our operation:

All Rahhalah’s ground handlers are locally employed ensuring more authentic experience for travelers, as well as sensitivity to local customs and cultures.

  • Our trip gives you the opportunity to explore the best of one of the world’s most extraordinary landscapes and cultures.

Sustainability:

  • We run a low impact operation and we leave no traces behind, contributing to the efforts of protection of the local land, its people and culture.
  • All our local guides and staff are properly employed and adequately equipped. In addition we emphasize on making extensive use of local products and enhance maximum economic benefits to the local communities.

Activity: trekking, cycling, camping,  culture sightseeing, nature/bird watching

  • As you all know 1% of our revenue go back to a local cause and Rahhalah directly takes care of that. This is our pay back promise.

Brief Itinerary

Day 1 : Arrival Paro, Paro Sightseeing (D)

The flight to Paro crosses the Himalayan Mountains, affording spectacular views of the awesome peaks, including the scared Jumolhari and Jichu Drake peaks in Bhutan. Upon in Paro, you will be greeted by our tour representative and transfer to the hotel. In the afternoon you can visit Paro Dzong. It was built in 1646 and now houses government offices and religious institutions, as do all the dzongs (forts) currently. You can then tour the National Museum, formerly the watchtower for the Dzong. It now houses a collection of fine arts, paintings, thankas, statues, and antiques. Afterward you can visit Kyichu Lhakhang, the oldest temple in the country. In the evening you can stroll through Paro town. Overnight hotel in Paro.

Day 02 : Bumdra Trek starts (B, L, D)

Hike from Sang Choekor Buddhist College in the Paro valley (2,800 m) to Yak pasture where we camp below Bumdra Monastery (3,800 m)

The adventure begins with an early morning drive up to the Sang Choekor to meet our ponies; while they are being loaded we may pay our respects at the college. The initial one to two-hour ascent of a shady, forested ridge brings us to a clearing with prayer flags and views down into both the Paro and Do Chhu Valleys.

Above and ahead the Chhoe Tse Lhakhang (temple) nestles on the mountainside a further one to two hour’s walk away. The trail undulates for a while before the last steep section up to the pretty temple which offers commanding views south over Paro and northwards to the snowcapped Himalayas.

After a final 20-minute climb through ruins and fluttering prayer flags, we plunge back into ancient forest, and, after traversing for about 40 minutes, we come out onto a high wide meadow dotted with sacred chortens and prayer flags.

Camp: Our home for the night is tucked away just under Bumdra Monastery (Cave of a Thousand Prayers) and offers unimpeded views of the Himalayan range.  The camp is pre set comfortable permanent camp .

Duration: 3–4 hours to camp. Optional 2–3 hours return trek to peak

Difficulty: Moderate

Overnight: Comfortable camping at Bumdra Trek

Day 3 : Bumdra trek ends/ Hike to Tiger Nest (Taktshang) (B, L, D)

Return hike from Bumdra Monastery camp via Zangto Pelri Monastery to Taktshang Monastery.

After a hearty breakfast, it is time to either head straight back into the valley or spend a little extra time soaking up the view. Eventually we have to drop back into the ancient pine and rhododendron forest on the zig-zagging trail.

After one to two hours of descent we catch glimpses of the golden roofs of temples below. The path snakes across the mountain side between these monasteries before reaching the gardens of Zangto Pelri (Heaven on Earth) from which you can, if you are brave, peer over the edge, straight down onto the ornate rooftops of Taktshang Monastery perched against the cliff-face far below.

An hour later and we are at the gates of Taktshang looking across the gorge; a steep descent to a waterfall then up some steps and you’ll reach the Tiger’s Nest itself. This monastic retreat is built into a sheer cliff face high above the Paro valley. Legend has it that the Tibetan Buddhist saint Padmasambhava flew across the Himalayas on the back of a tiger and landed here, bringing Buddhism to Bhutan. The trail to the monastery climbs through beautiful pine forest and an occasional grove of fluttering prayer flags.Retracing our steps we begin the final descent of about 45 minutes to reach our vehicle. After Lunch, visit drive to Drukgyel Dzong which is built by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1646 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 clear day you can see the splendid view of Mt. Jhomolhari (Alt.7321).

Overnight hotel in Paro

Duration: 5 – 7 hours depending on time taken in monasteries

Difficulty: Moderate

Day 4 : Paro-Haa Valley via the Chelela Pass (3700m) (we collect our bicycle and continue our journey on two wheels) (70 Km-1.5hrs-2hrs) (B, L, D)

After breakfast, drive over the Chelela pass (3899 m). From the pass, good view of the Himalayan Ranges and the valley beyond can be spotted. Then continue the drive towards Haa. Haa is made up of five counties and was closed to outside world until 2002. There is a military camp by the Indian Army. In Haa valley, visit Wangchucklo Dzong dating back to 1915 and Lhakhang Nakpo (Black temple) is said to have been built by pigeon emanation of King Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century and Lhakhang Karpo (white temple) and other sightseeing.

Haa Valley Homestay: The farmhouses of Ugyen and Chimi are located in the beautiful traditional village of Dumchoe in the heart of the Haa Valley, at the base of 3 sacred hills known as ‘Miri Punsum’. Ugyen and Chimi’s family have their ancestral roots in the Haa valley and are known as Haaps amongst the Bhutanese. Staying at either of these farmhouses will provide one with a truly memorable Bhutanese experience.

Overnight Haa valley home stay.

Day 05: Haa-Thimphu (B, L, D) (115Km- 3-4hours)

Takin Preserve, which houses the national animal the Takin that is only found in Bhutan. This is an extremely rare member of the goat family. Found in herds in the very high altitudes (13,125ft and over). They live on a diet of grass and bamboo. It can weigh as much as 550 pounds.

Kuenselphodrang (commonly known as Buddha Point) where the largest Buddha statue in the country is perched on the hillock overlooking the Thimphu Valley and enjoy the magnificent few of Thimphu Valley and mountain peaks.

National Memorial Chorten (stupa) which was constructed in 1974 as a memorial for the third King of Bhutan, King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, who is widely regarded as the father of modern Bhutan. The term ‘chorten’ literally means ‘ seat of faith’ and Buddhists often call such monuments the ‘Mind of Buddha’. Meet the elderly generation in circumambulation.

Craft Bazaar -A one stop place to witness Bhutanese culture and buy Bhutan made art and craft product. The Bazaar in its 80 stalls covers all aspects of the traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan. At this Bazaar craftsmen and artisans from across the country display and sell their handicrafts. In the evening walk around Thimphu town and you may visit local handicraft stores.

Overnight   hotel in Thimphu

Day 06: Thimphu sightseeing (visit to the Dochula Pass) (B, L, D)

After breakfast go Changankha Lhakhang (temple): This temple situated atop a small hound overlooking the Thimphu valley was built in the 13th century by the illustrious Lam Phajo Dugom Zhigpo. The temple is considered the spiritual home of children born in the Chang valley

Drive towards Dochula pass elevation of 3100mt – it is located on the way to punakha from thimphu, it is popular among the tourist it provides stunning 360 degree panoramic view of Himalayan mountain range. The view is especially scenic on clear winter days with snow-capped  mountains forming a majestic backdrop to the 108 chortens gracing the mountain pass.The place is also known as Druk Wangyal, the construction of this stupa was commissioned by the eldest queen Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck, this place is spiritual destination for both tourist and the locals.

Early evening drive back to Thimphu

Traditional Bhutanese paper making factory. The handmade paper making in Bhutan stemmed from the age old tradition originated in 8th century of Bhutanese history. The handmade paper constitutes as valuable National heritage of Bhutanese cultural identity and is preserved through all the ages. The Traditional paper is recognized and held high esteem both in home and outside world. Jungshi Paper Factory was established in November 1990 as an undertaking of the Royal Government of Bhutan. The unit now boasts as a major and sole dealer in handmade paper and its products.

Overnight hotel in Thimphu

Day 07: Thimphu-Paro (65Km-1hr) ( B, L, D)

Drive to Paro.Evening stroll old Paro town and peep into some local handicrafts stores. One can also venture to try a local restaurant for dinner.


Overnight hotel in Paro

Day 08: Departure Paro ( B)

In the morning after breakfast transfer to the airport for departure flight.

1,800 USD

per person in a group of minimum 4 pax. Based on Double Occupancy

Trip Dates

13 April 2018

Notes:

The above cost is based on Double Occupancy. Single supplement is subject to availability and extra cost.

Full payment should be made upon booking in order to proceed with the visa process.

All services stipulated above are subject to availability at the time of booking / reservation. All prices are subject to change.

This Includes:

Arrival and departure airport transfers 

Accommodation  3 *Hotels,  camping and home stay

Camping equipment

Meals as described ( B, L, D)

Government trained local guide

Sightseeing and entrance fees for museums and monuments only

Transportation as per the itinerary

 Visa fees

Government taxes and  Royalty

1 day Cycling fees

This Excludes:

 International airfare

Travel and medical insurance

Single supplement

 Personal expenses such as laundry, telephone, beverages, travel insurance, gratuities / tips 

 Meals not mentioned in the above itinerary 

 International departure tax

Important: The itinerary and schedule are subject to change due to weather, road condition and operating conditions. In any case the guide has the RIGHT to change the program for the safety and convenience of the travelers.

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