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7 Days Classic Bhutan Mountains and Valleys Tour

7 Days Classic Bhutan Mountains and Valleys Tour

(BT006) Paro - Thimphu - Punakha & Wangdue - Phobjikha - Thimphu - Paro

Overview

Looking from a birds-eye view provided on the google map, you may surprisingly find most cities and towns in Bhutan are surrounded by an astonishing large mountainous area of lush green plants. No damage of vegetation even on the border of the city or at the junction of the nearby towns.

Benefiting from the “High Value and Low Impact” tourism policy, the Bhutanese enjoys a peaceful and serene way of living and integrates perfectly into the mountains and valleys. You may hardly believe that in almost all the towns in Bhutan, you can still feel the marvelous inner peace.

The classic Bhutan Mountain and Valley tour takes you to experience the primitive lush forest-covered mountains and the most gorgeous rhododendron clustered valleys, and ascends you high at the altitude of approximately 3,750 m to the world eminent Taktsang Ghoempa (The Tiger’s Nest Monastery).

Day to Day Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Paro (2,200 m) & Paro - Thimphu (2,334 m)

Distance: 54 km
Driving Time: 1 hour

Paro arrival by the royal Bhutan airline, the Drukair flight. Your tour guide is ready to wait for you before picking you up and driving you from Paro airport to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan.

On the way, the route will first take you to Chunzom, the confluence of Pachu and Wangchu Rivers. Both of the two rivers are the cradle of Bhutan’s civilizations and flow through Paro and Thimphu valley respectively.

Enjoy the primitive way of walking over the river to Tachog Lhakhang (Tachog Temple) by a suspended 15th century iron chain bridge. After the well-prepared Bhutanese meal which is ritualistically served in a Bhutan way, you will be go sightseeing the following sites:

1) Archery Match
Traditionally, the archery match is due to be held on each weekend and public holidays at Changlimithang National Stadium. For rest of the days, you may find Bhutanese men practicing the archery at this stadium. Strike up a conversation with the locals and talk about the Bhutanese archery.

2) Centenary Farmer’s Market (Open from Thu. to Sun.)
Held by the side of Wangchu River, the market bustling with commerce is a trade center for city residents and valley dwellers to do their businesses. A wide range of foodstuffs and local arts and crafts can be found on the market. It begins from Fri. afternoon till Sun. evening. Try bargaining with the locals and enjoy the lively atmosphere.

3) Tashichhoe Dzong
A once glorious religious fortress built in 1641 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel and was reconstructed into present structure by the late king and the central monk body.

4) Craft Bazaar
A unique shopping site to get an in-depth knowledge of Bhutan cultures and buy the handcrafts with Bhutan characteristics that you are interested in. At this Bazaar, crafts man and artists from the country display and sell their handicrafts in some handicrafts store you can choose to visit.

Dinner and stay over at hotel in Thimphu

Day 2: Thimphu (2,334 m) - Punakha (1,242 m) and Wangdue

Distance: 71 km
Driving time: 2 hrs

After breakfast, travel from Thimphu to Punakha and Wangdue through the Dochula Pass (3,140 m). At Dochula Pass, enjoy the draw-dropping panoramic view of the majestic Himalaya Range and overlook the gorgeous flower-clustered valley below.

The bus will make a temporary stop at the amazing 108 chortens built by Her Majesty Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck (The Queen mother of Bhutan) for the safety and wellbeing of His Majesty (The king of Bhutan).

After the lunch served at the Dochula Pass, the bus will drive you onto Punakha, a place regarded as one of the most beautiful and significant regions in Bhutan culture and had once been the capital of Bhutan from 1637 to 1955 during which the 1st National Assembly was held there.

The bus also takes you to Metsina Village and makes a temporary stop to have the Devine Madman’s Monastery - Chhimi Lhakhang being sighted. The monastery has always been regarded as the fertility shrine by locals for a long time and you can receive an efficacious fertility blessing there.

Then visit the Punakha Dzong on the island of Pho Chu (Male River) and Mo Chu (Female River) and appreciate the highest state of the wood crafts.

Never miss the stunning evening views of Punakha and Wangdue valley after you have visited the Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendup Lhakhang Nunnery in the evening.

Both Dinner and overnight at hotel in Punakha

Day 3: Punakha (1,242 m) Short Nature Hike & Sightseeing; Punakha Phobikha Valley

Distance: 68 km
Driving Time: 3 hrs

Visit the beautiful Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Lhakhang after hiking to the upper Punakha valley and crossing the hanging bridge through large tracts of paddy fields. It takes you about 1 hour to reach the temple and the view sighted from the temple is also stunning.

After lunch, take a tour to Phobjikha valley which is one part of the beautiful Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park. During the winter, a large flock of black-necked cranes, the endangered species, gather there to escape from the chilly weather and the forest covered mountains around the valley has been the home of the rarely seen nomadic shepherds and yak herders for ancient time.

Check in the hotel after your arrival at Phobjikha. Visit the local farmhouse and experience the life of Phobjikha valley.

Enjoy the Bhutanese dinner and stay overnight at hotel in Phobjikha

Day 4: Phobjikha Sightseeing and Phibjikha - Thimphu

Distance: 135 km
Driving time: 5 hrs

One day to explore the spectacular Phibjikha valley by following the Gangtey Nature Trail to some characteristic villages. Enjoy the natural views and get in-depth exploration to the local farm houses.

Stay overnight in Thimphu

Day 5: Thimphu Sightseeing; Thimphu - Paro; Paro Sightseeing Tour

After breakfast, start the Thimphu sightseeing tour and visit the following sites:

1) National Memorial Chorten (Stupa)
National Memorial Chortan was constructed in memorial of the third King of Bhutan, King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, in 1974. The King was generally regarded as the father of modern Bhutan and widely esteemed by the Bhutanese. “Chorten” in Bhutan literally refers to the “seat of faith” and Buddhists often call such monuments the “Mind of Buddha”.

2) Kuensel Phodrang (Commonly known as Buddha Point)
Kuensel Phodrang is widely known as the Palace ruins where the largest Buddha Dordenma in the country is sited on the hillock overlooking the Thimphu Valley. It is recommended to take a 20-30 minutes’ walk through Kuensel Phodrang Nature Park and enjoy the magnificent view of the Valley as well as the distant mountains.

3) Changzamtok Waving Center
Just as its name implies, Changzamtok Waving Center is an interesting place where you can observe the women waving the colorful dyeing silk and cotton textile into intricate shawls, scarves, and traditional Bhutanese dresses.

4) Traditional Arts and Crafts Painting School
Visiting the painting school where students receive a six-year course on the 13 different traditional arts and crafts.

5) Traditional Paper Making Factory
Originating from the old tradition in the 8th century, Bhutan papermaking has been well preserved and listed as the valuable national heritage of Bhutanese culture.

After lunch, travel to Paro and continue your Bhutan tour by visiting the following sites:

6) Paro Rinpung Dzong (Fortress)
Paro Rinpung Dzong is built to defend the valley against Tibetan invaders. However, it now serves as an administration center and school for monks.

7) National Museum
The national museum in Ta Dzong (The Watch Tower) houses a large number of valuable collections which will broaden your eyes with wonderful and rich Bhutanese culture and heritages.

In the evening, take a stroll in Paro.

Stay overnight at hotel in Paro

Day 6: Thimphu - Paro; One Day Hike to Taktsang Ghoempa (Tiger’s Nest Monastery, 3,750 m)

Distance: 54 km
Driving Time: 1 hour

Drive to the base of Taktsang Ghoempa in the early morning after breakfast, and then embark on the hike to Taktsang Ghoempa.

Climb up to the viewpoint (1.5 hr) to enjoy the stunning view of the monastery clinging to the side of the sheer vertical cliff.

After a temporary refreshment stop at the view point (3,140 m), you continue to ascend higher to the Tiger’s Nest Monastery (1 hr) and get a closer look of this miraculous monastery. Take an overlook to find amazing sceneries underneath.

The principal Lhakhang (monastery) of the present monastic complex dates from 1692. Taktsang was damaged severely by fire in 1998 but has now been fully restored to its former glory.

After seeing the Monastery, you begin your return downward trip and drive back to Paro. On the way back, pay a special visit to Kyichu Temple, one of the beautiful 108 temples built by the Tibetan King Songsten Gampo in the 7th century.

Visit a farm house in Paro valley and experience the lifestyle of a farmer in Bhutan. Try a traditional Bhutan hot stone bathing and have dinner in Paro

Stay overnight in Paro

Day 7: Paro Departure

Today, our tour guide will transfer you to Paro International Airport for your next destination. Tour service end.

Service Guide

Service Included:

  • A minimum of 3 star accommodation (4 & 5 star may require an premium payment);
  • All meals specified in the itinerary;
  • Airport transfer, private transport for sightseeing in Bhutan;
  • Experienced driver;
  • An English-speaking and licensed Bhutanese tour guide for the extent of your stay;
  • Entry fee and road permits;
  • Government fee, royalty, taxes;
  • Bottled mineral water throughout the journey.

Service Excluded:

  • Bhutan Visa Fee;
  • International flight to and out of Bhutan;
  • Personal expenses such as drinks, postage, and laundry, etc.;
  • Travel insurance in Bhutan;
  • Emergency evacuation;
  • Tips and gratuities;
  • Costs arising from unforeseen events;
  • Extra activities like cultural show, kayaking, etc.

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