7 DAY CULTURAL PACKAGE
Read below for a full description of this experience
Land in Paro, and drive to Thimphu with a stop at Tamchog Temple
Enjoy the sights of Punakha Valley and Dochula Pass, hoist wind prayer flags, visit Soposhka Village, and head to the Temple of Fertility
Drive to Phobjikha reserve to see the Black Necked Cranes, visit Ningmapa monastery, and hike through the valley
Hike along the Gangtey Nature Walk and visit Punakha district
Visit the Palace of Great Bliss, and return to Paro to see the National Museum of Bhutan, and then Fortress of Jewels
Hike to the Tiger’s Nest, return to Paro Town
Enjoy one last breakfast before departing from Bhutan
Paro – Thimphu
55 Km, 1 hour drive
Arrival in Bhutan is an event in itself, with the plane sweeping into the country’s only international airport within the Paro Valley, offering a splendid view of the Himalayan mountainsides dotted with traditional Bhutanese houses perched high atop the rocky peaks.
Once you’ve landed, our representative will meet you with a white silk scarf embossed with eight lucky symbols, in accordance with Bhutan’s reverence for symbolism to ensure an auspicious start of your journey.
The road to Thimphu, the royal capital, takes about fifty minutes amidst the villages and rice fields of the Paro Valley, including the six hundred years old Tamchog Temple.
Once in Thimphu, there is no lack of fascinating places to visit, starting with the Dordenma Statue – the largest seated Buddha statue in the world, over 50 meters tall and made of bronze and gilded gold, as well as the Memorial Chorten at the center of the city, dedicated to His Majesty the Third King of Bhutan, or even the Tashichodzong, the Fortress of Auspicious Doctrine, where the royal government houses the throne room and offices of the King.
A mix of cultural and spiritual activities
Visit popular sites throughout Paro, Punakha, and Thimphu districts
Hike to the famous Tiger’s Nest and natural reserves
Hoist wish-fulfilling prayer flags at Dochu-la Pass
Visit various historical and sacred religious temples
Visit several museums about the art and cultural of Bhutan
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE TRIP
Thimphu – Punakha
55 Km, 1 hour drive
The second day begins with a delicious breakfast to boost us for our journey to Punakha Valley. About forty minutes into the drive, we will make a stop at Dochula Pass, where you will have the opportunity to admire the Himalayan Mountain Range in all its natural splendor, even to the point of seeing as far as the Jumolhari, Kula Gangri, and Jichu Drakey peaks bordering China if blessed by a sunny day and clear skies. There, one can also see the Druk Wangyal Khangzang Chortens; 108 stupas offered as tribute to His Majesty the Fourth King of Bhutan for his services to his people.
At the pass, you will be able to offer a wind prayer flag, as per Bhutanese custom, in which the winds blowing the prayer flags gather spiritual energies and then disseminate them to all living beings as prayers are carried upwards to the gods.
We will make a stop at the small village of Sopsokha in Punakha District for a lunch buffet, in a traditional Bhutanese house to give you a firsthand experience of village life.
Following our lunch, we will proceed to Chimmi Lhakang, the Temple of Fertility, built in 1499 by the saint Drukpa Kinley, more commonly known as The Divine Madman. The temple is renowned for its tradition of blessing pilgrims with a wooden phallus, in order to drive away the evil eye and for those seeking to be blessed with children.
After the visit, you will be escorted back to your hotel for a buffet dinner.
Punakha – Phobjikha (Gangtey)
150 Km, 3 hour drive
Following an early breakfast, you will be driven to the isolated valley of Phobjikha; a protected reserve, home to the endangered Black Necked Cranes migrating through Bhutan every winter (early November to late February).
Upon arrival, the Gangtey Gompa, the only Ningmapa monastery, is the largest monastery in western Bhutan and well worth the visit. Later in the afternoon, you will go on a short walk through picturesque and paradisiac Phobijkha Valley.
Phobjikha - Punakha
150 Km, 3 hour drive
After an early breakfast, we will enjoy the beautiful Gangtey Nature Trail walk in the morning hours, and stop for lunch at Gangtey before our return to Punakha to relax or explore the town in the evening.
Punakha – Paro
160 Km, 3.5 hour drive
In the morning we will visit the beautiful Puna Dewa Chen Gi Phodrang, the Palace of Great Bliss, within the Punakha Dzong, a fortress constructed at the confluence of two rivers, and which stands as the winter home of Bhutan’s clergy, as well as the place where all Kings of Bhutan are traditionally crowned.
We will then make our way back to Paro, where you will enjoy a lunch buffet before being taken to the National Museum of Bhutan, built in 1648, showcases over three thousand works of Bhutan’s artistic and cultural heritage, including Buddhist scrolls known as Thangkha Paintings, some dating all the way to the 12th century.
Following our visit, will take a stroll down to the Ringpung Paro Dzong, the Fortress of Jewels, which houses the district’s monastic body and is believed to provide extended longevity to anyone who prays within.
On the third day, we will drive to Taktsang Monastery, locally known as the Tiger’s Nest; a sacred temple built on the cliffside. Legend has it that Guru Padmasambhava flew into the caves around which the temple was built on the back of a tigress while on his search for a calm and secluded place to peacefully meditate. We however, will not be flying on the back of tigers, but taking a small mule track on the cliffside which usually takes about five hours amidst beautiful scenery unique to the peaks of the Himalayas.
Upon our return to Paro Town in the evening, you will have plenty of time to explore and stroll around the streets.
It is also possible to ride a pony up the trail, but only on the way up. It is too dangerous to ride a pony downhill.
After breakfast, we will head to Paro International Airport for your return flight to Bangkok, after what we can only hope was the trip of a lifetime!
Round-trip flight from Bangkok
Airport Transfer - Pick up from and drop off at the hotel and the airport
Full-board meals - breakfast, lunch, dinner
Dedicated vehicle with a driver
24x7 English Speaking Guide
All Sight Seeing and Monument entrance fees
1 mineral water bottle every day
Welcome white silk scarf in Paro
One-time 40$ visa fee
Expenses of personal nature, such as laundry and alcoholic drinks.
Tips for tour guides, driver, hotel lobby and in restaurants.