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TripCompanion / Bhutan: Kingdom of Dragons

Bhutan: Kingdom of Dragons

$5860

per person

This once forgotten destination has recently been rediscovered and Bhutan’s centuries of old traditions are far from forgotten. Its traditional Buddhist culture carefully embraces modern global developments while preserving its cultural identity. Bhutan is now a highly regard destination for tourists from all around the world.

Discover the breathtaking beauty of the Buddhist culture and amazing Himalayan scenery. Bhutan is filled with sacred temples and impressive architecture. Visiting the unbelievable “Tiger’s Nest” Monastery is found to be one of life’s rare pleasures. The gentle treks in the valley await you, as well as a visit to the national park which is home to over 300 species of birds, wildlife and replete with natural wonders.

Join us to visit Bhutan, the Land of the Thunder Dragon!

11 Days, 10 Nights: Thimphu, Punakha, Gangtey, Bumthang, Paro

WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS TOUR

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Bhutan’s Sacred Tiger’s Nest

No visitor leaves Bhutan without making the trek to the Taktsang Palphug, aka the Tiger’s Nest. Situated on the edge of a cliff, some 1,700 feet above the rice fields of Paro, this 325-year-old monastery is the kingdom’s most sacred religious site. To get here takes about 5 hours round-trip hike, but simply walking these revered slopes is enough to induce a meditative mood.

High Value, Low Impact Tourism

Bhutan practices a policy of “high value, low impact” tourism. This is designed to protect the country’s unique cultural heritage and minimize the negative effects of mass tourism. The quality of meals and services are usually very good and travelers are typically treated like VIP guests.

MOUNT EVEREST
According to the lineage texts on prayer wheels, prayer wheels are used to accumulate wisdom and merit (good karma) and to purify negativities (bad karma). ...
Phibsoo-Wildlife-Sanctuary-og

The Untouched Landscape & Wilderness

The environment is an important thing to the Bhutan people. So much so that half of their country is a national park. The forest, animals, and environment are strictly protected and the country announced not long ago that 60% of their country would be safe from things like deforestation permanently. Caring that much for the planet makes people feel happy.

 


THE JOURNEY


Tour Plan

Hotels
Dates & Prices

    1

    Meet Up at Paro (PBH) - Thimphu | City Tour

    You will be met upon arrival at Paro (PBH) International Airport for a transfer to Thimphu. Paro is a valley town west of the capital, Thimphu. It is the site of the country’s only international airport with elevation of 7,200 ft.  Later this afternoon we visit Changangkha Lhakhang, a 12th century temple perched like a fortress on a ridge above central Thimphu. We also visit Bhutan National Bank; a local arts and crafts school, Traditional Medicine Institute where Bhutanese still practice the ancient art of healing, and Motithang Takin Preserve which is the wildlife preserve of national animal of Bhutan.
    Have fun on one of our travel tours with everything include lunches that are prepared and convenient for you. We take the stress away from our guests and allow your more time to really enjoy themselves.   Lunch    Enjoy local authentic cuisine during your dinner at one of our travel tours. Develop new friendships with other members along the way.  Dinner

    THIMPHU CITY
    The capital and largest city in Bhutan with a population of around 80,000.

    CITY TRAFFIC CULTURE
    City of Thimphu is the world’s only capital city that eschews traffic lights. 

    MOTITHANG TAKIN PRESERVE
    A wildlife reserve area for takin, the national animal of Bhutan.

    2

    Thimphu | Cheri Monastery, National Memorial Chorten, Handicrafts

    Today, we enjoy discovering more of the serene and beautiful city of Thimphu while exploring deep within their culture.
    The day begins with sightseeing at Thimphu weekend market (Thursday – Sunday only). Vendors fill the market with local produce and pink cubes of camphor and saffron. Followed by 1 hour hike to Cheri Monastery (Chagri Monastery). Visit a Handicraft Bazaar. Take a look into their artistic techniques and local handicrafts like traditional paper making.
    The National Memorial Chorten is a stupa built in memory of Bhutan's third King who is popularly regarded as Father of modern Bhutan. The paintings and statues inside this monument provide a deep insight into Buddhist philosophy.

    Breakfast the most important meal of the day. We select fabulous hotels with both local authentic and western breakfast so you are well prepared to enjoy your travel tours.Breakfast     Have fun on one of our travel tours with everything include lunches that are prepared and convenient for you. We take the stress away from our guests and allow your more time to really enjoy themselves.   Lunch    Enjoy local authentic cuisine during your dinner at one of our travel tours. Develop new friendships with other members along the way.  Dinner

    NATIONAL MEMORIAL CHORTEN
    In Thimphu, it is the focus of their daily worship for many Bhutanese.

    ART, CRAFTS, AND TEXTILES
    See artisans at work producing traditional, intricate designs on cloth.

    MASKS OF MAHAKALA 
    Find your own colorful painted mask to ward off negative influences!

    3

    Thimphu - Punakha | Dochu-la Pass, Chimi Lhakhang

    This morning embark on a short drive to Punakha, the erstwhile winter capital of Bhutan. Enjoy the scenic drive through Dochu-la pass (10,000 ft or 3,080 m) that heralds the most enchanting views of Bhutan.
    Hike up to Chimi Lhakhang (Temple of the Divine Madman) situated on a hillock in the center of the valley. It is dedicated to Lama Drukpa Kenley who in the late 15th century used his unorthodox ways of humor, songs, outrageous behavior and sexual overtones to dramatize his teachings and hence came to be known as ‘The Divine Madman’. This temple is also known as the ‘Temple of Fertility’ and is popular amongst couples wanting a child. It takes about 30 minutes to walk across the field to reach the temple. Refresh yourself with tea at a local farmhouse.

    Breakfast the most important meal of the day. We select fabulous hotels with both local authentic and western breakfast so you are well prepared to enjoy your travel tours.Breakfast     Have fun on one of our travel tours with everything include lunches that are prepared and convenient for you. We take the stress away from our guests and allow your more time to really enjoy themselves.   Lunch    Enjoy local authentic cuisine during your dinner at one of our travel tours. Develop new friendships with other members along the way.  Dinner

    DOCHU-LA PASS 
    Where 108 memorial chortens have been built by the eldest Queen Mother.

    RICE TERRACE FIELDS
    Enjoy serene scenery and fresh air amongst the rice fields in unspoiled rural villages.

    Spin Bhutanese Buddhist pray wheels at Chimi Lhakang Monastery to recite prayers on your Bhutan holiday tours.

    BUDDHIST PRAYER WHEELS
    Spin the prayer wheels at Chimi Lhakang Monastery to recite your meditative prayer.

    4

    Punakha | Khamsum Yulley Namgyel Chorten

    After breakfast, take an hour hike through fields of chilies, cabbages and rice along river banks to Khamsum Yulley Namgyel Chorten from where you will see beautiful views of Mo-Chhu River and the villages below.
    Drive towards Khuruthang, passing Punthsho Pelri Palace. In the evening, take a relaxing stroll around town.

    Breakfast the most important meal of the day. We select fabulous hotels with both local authentic and western breakfast so you are well prepared to enjoy your travel tours.Breakfast     Have fun on one of our travel tours with everything include lunches that are prepared and convenient for you. We take the stress away from our guests and allow your more time to really enjoy themselves.   Lunch    Enjoy local authentic cuisine during your dinner at one of our travel tours. Develop new friendships with other members along the way.  Dinner

    KHAMSUM YULLEY NAMGYEL 
    Built in 2004 by HM the Queen Mother, Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuck.

    THE PERSPECTIVE OF LOCALS
    Locals here manage their spiritual and material happiness equally.

    5

    Punakha – Gangtey

    Today, we drive to Gangtey. En route visit Phobjikha valley, which is a vast U-shaped glacial valley bordering the Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park

    Breakfast the most important meal of the day. We select fabulous hotels with both local authentic and western breakfast so you are well prepared to enjoy your travel tours.Breakfast     Have fun on one of our travel tours with everything include lunches that are prepared and convenient for you. We take the stress away from our guests and allow your more time to really enjoy themselves.   Lunch    Enjoy local authentic cuisine during your dinner at one of our travel tours. Develop new friendships with other members along the way.  Dinner

    6

    Punakha – Gangtey | Phobjikha Valley, Gangtey Monastery, Black Neck Crane Center

    Explore the broad Phobjikha Valley that has the best-known marshland in Bhutan. It is popular for its scenic splendor and cultural uniqueness.  Visit the Gangtey Monastery, an important monastery temple associated with the Nyingmapa school of Buddhism. Black Neck Crane Center showcases the black necked cranes that migrate from Siberia to this valley in the winter.

    Breakfast the most important meal of the day. We select fabulous hotels with both local authentic and western breakfast so you are well prepared to enjoy your travel tours.Breakfast     Have fun on one of our travel tours with everything include lunches that are prepared and convenient for you. We take the stress away from our guests and allow your more time to really enjoy themselves.   Lunch    Enjoy local authentic cuisine during your dinner at one of our travel tours. Develop new friendships with other members along the way.  Dinner

    GANGTEY GOMPA
    The important monastery which situates the main seating of the Pema Lingpa tradition.

    PHOBJIKHA VALLEY 
    Named after the black-necked cranes visiting the valley during the winter season to roost. 

    7

    Gangtey – Bhumthang | Trongsa Dzong, Yutong-la pass, Chhume Valley

    Drive to Jakar near Bhumthang. We will drive through many key attractions and Bhutanese villages for some great photos. En-route to Trongsa, visit Trongsa Dzong, one of the most impressive Dzong (fortress) in Bhutan. Built in the 17th century this was once the seat of power over central and eastern Bhutan. Both the first and second kings of Bhutan ruled the country from this ancient seat.The last stretch of your drive across the Yutong-la pass (11,269 ft – the highest pass on your journey) finally brings you to wide open cultivated Bhumthang valley. Stop at Chhume Valley for Yatra weaving (colorful wool weaving with intricate patterns).

    Breakfast the most important meal of the day. We select fabulous hotels with both local authentic and western breakfast so you are well prepared to enjoy your travel tours.Breakfast     Have fun on one of our travel tours with everything include lunches that are prepared and convenient for you. We take the stress away from our guests and allow your more time to really enjoy themselves.   Lunch    Enjoy local authentic cuisine during your dinner at one of our travel tours. Develop new friendships with other members along the way.  Dinner

    TRONGSA DZONG
    One of the most impressive Dzong (fortress) in Bhutan built in the 17th century. 

    8

    Bumthang | Wangdicholing Palace, Kurjey Lhakhang, Tamshing Lhakhang, Jakar Dzong

    Spend the day exploring Bhumthang. Bumthang is the general name given to a group of four valleys: Chumey, Choekhor, Tang and Ura.
    Visit Choekhor valley. Explore the Wangdicholing Palace, known for its five giant water-driven prayer wheels. Visit Kurjey Lhakhang, the sacred site of 3 temples surrounded by 108 stupas, considered to be one of Bhutan’s most auspicious places. Then the nearby temple of Tamshing Lhakhang to appreciate some of the oldest wall paintings in Bhutan. Jakar Dzong, “the castle of the white bird”.
    Also stroll through Bumthang’s market.

    Breakfast the most important meal of the day. We select fabulous hotels with both local authentic and western breakfast so you are well prepared to enjoy your travel tours.Breakfast     Have fun on one of our travel tours with everything include lunches that are prepared and convenient for you. We take the stress away from our guests and allow your more time to really enjoy themselves.   Lunch    Enjoy local authentic cuisine during your dinner at one of our travel tours. Develop new friendships with other members along the way.  Dinner

    WANGDICHOLING PALACE
    Was the birthplace of the first King and the Wangchuck dynasty, now a museum.

    KURJEY LHAKHANG 
    This is the final resting place of the first three Kings of Bhutan.

    TAMSHING LHAKHANG
    Famous for its collections of paintings which exemplify the region's style. 

    9

    Bumthang – Paro | National Museum, Paro Dzong, Mount Sumeru

    This morning, a short flight to Paro.
    This afternoon, we visit the National Museum (Ta Dzong) which houses an interesting assortment of costumes, artifacts, thangka paintings and world-renowned collection of stamps, bringing alive the history of Bhutan.  Then we will end the day with a visit to Paro Dzong (Rinpung Dzong) the political and religious center of Paro district, built in the 17th century. View Mount Sumeru, a sacred five-peak mountain of Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist cosmology.

    Breakfast the most important meal of the day. We select fabulous hotels with both local authentic and western breakfast so you are well prepared to enjoy your travel tours.Breakfast     Have fun on one of our travel tours with everything include lunches that are prepared and convenient for you. We take the stress away from our guests and allow your more time to really enjoy themselves.   Lunch    Enjoy local authentic cuisine during your dinner at one of our travel tours. Develop new friendships with other members along the way.  Dinner

    NATIONAL MUSEUM (TA DZONG) 
    Perched as a watchtower, built in 1649 and renovated in 1968 to house the National Museum.

    Paro Dzong
    Under the snow-capped peaks, this stunning Buddhist monastery is known as 'Fortress on a Heap of Jewels'.

    10

    Paro | Taktshang Monastery, Archery Demonstration

    We save the best for last as today we hike to Tiger's Nest. This monastery is the most sacred place of Bhutan, visited by all Buddhists at least once in their lifetime. The climb is steep, so en-route you may stop for refreshments at a local cafeteria located halfway up the trail overlooking Tiger’s Nest. Once we reach the Tiger’s Nest, enjoy the beautiful views and waterfall along with a visit to the monastery.
    Return trip hike takes approx. 5 hours; alternatively, if you don’t wish to hike, you may ride a pony part of the way.
    The national sport of Bhutan is archery so your trip wouldn't be complete without observing an archery demonstration.

    Breakfast the most important meal of the day. We select fabulous hotels with both local authentic and western breakfast so you are well prepared to enjoy your travel tours.Breakfast     Have fun on one of our travel tours with everything include lunches that are prepared and convenient for you. We take the stress away from our guests and allow your more time to really enjoy themselves.   Lunch    Enjoy local authentic cuisine during your dinner at one of our travel tours. Develop new friendships with other members along the way.  Dinner

    TIGER'S NEST MONASTERY
    Once in a lifetime experience. One of the most spiritual places in the world. 

    PRAYER WHEEL AT PARO
    Send a wish while spinning the giant prayer wheel on your way to the Tiger's Nest.

    11

    Depart Paro (PBH)

    After breakfast, the tour ends. Hotel check-out and transfer to Paro International Airport.  Please provide details of your flight home so we can schedule your airport transfer.

    Breakfast the most important meal of the day. We select fabulous hotels with both local authentic and western breakfast so you are well prepared to enjoy your travel tours.Breakfast


    Overview
    Hotels
    Dates & Prices

    Hotel Information

    DestinationComfort Class Premium Class Luxury Class 
    ParoCallCall
    ThimphuCallCall
    PunakhaCallCall
    BumthangCallCall
    GangteyCallCall
    Hotels mentioned are subject to availability at the time of reservation. 

    Accommodation Classification

    • COMFORT ⭐⭐⭐- 3-Star Hotels or Equivalent Accommodations
    • PREMIUM ⭐⭐⭐⭐- 4-Star Hotels or Equivalent Accommodations
    • LUXURY ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐- 5-Star Hotels or Equivalent Accommodations
     
    Overview
    Tour Plan
    Dates & Prices

    Dates & Pricing 

    Private Tour, Daily Departure
    YearTour DatesComfort Premium Luxury
    2019Jan 11 – Dec 19Please Call$5,860Please Call
    2020Jan 11 – Sept 30Please Call$5,860Please Call
     

    Price Details

    • ‣ Prices are in USD and are inclusive of all applicable taxes but do not include airfare.
    • ‣ Prices are per person based on double occupancy. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply during applicable major holidays. Special rates for single travelers or larger groups are available on request - please inquire.
    • ‣ Note that tour prices vary according to season. If your tour straddles two seasons then each portion will be priced according to that season.
     
    Deposit
    • A deposit of $500 per person is required upon booking and full payment to be made 70 days prior to departure date.

    Flight Add-On
    • ‣ We work with all major airlines for the best routes and competitive pricing.
    • ‣ The nearest airport is PBH (Paro International).
    • ‣ Contact us for more detail and pricing.

    Inclusions
    • ‣ Airport Transfers, Meet and Greet
    • ‣ Hotel Accommodations
    • ‣ Daily Breakfast and All Meals
    • ‣ English-speaking Local Guide
    • ‣ Entrance Fees to Monuments & Attractions per Itinerary
    • Visa Fee

    Exclusions
    • ‣ Air Fare
    • ‣ Travel Insurance
    • ‣ Medical Expenses
    • ‣ Gratuity
    • ‣ Personal Expenses

    Overview
    Tour Plan
    Hotels