November Trip to Bumthang

Day 1 Arrival in Paro                     

Welcome to the land of happiness, also known as Druk Yul (country of the Drukpa Lineage, the Dragon People, or the Land of the Thunder Dragon.) Upon arrival at the Paro International Airport, you will be greeted in our traditional style by our guide and driver, who will be accompany you throughout the tour.

After that, you will be checked in your hotel, get freshen up, rest for awhile and later have your first Bhutanese cuisine.

Later you can relax and stroll around the town or the village side.

Day 2 Paro

Have a good set of breakfast and then you can gradually start with the tour at National museum / Ta Dzong / Watch tower. (Ta Dzong actually means a watch tower to look after the province of Paro valley and served as a regional administrator as well as a store house which would ensure supplies in the event of warfare.)

Paro Dzong / Rinpung Dzong (It was built by Gyalchog (brother of Gyalzom) the family of lama Pha Dung Dung in 15 centuries. He surrendered himself to the local deity Jawang Nep and built a 5 storied building and named as Hungrel Gampo.)

Dungtsey Lhakhang (The temple is notable as it is in the form of a chorten, very rare in Bhutan, super old and still erected for people to visit. It is located on the edge of a hill between the Paro valley and the Dopchari valley, across the bridge from Paro.)

You will then go have lunch at a local restaurant to experience the traditional style Bhutanese cuisine.

Kichu lhakhang (Kichu it actually means the peaceful palace. There are three temples built by a very renowned person with different dates. The first temple was built by a 1st Dharma king of Tibet Songtsen Gampo in 7th century. He has built a 108 structure in a Himalayan region to ogress the evil spirits and out of those two temples was now in Bhutan and they are Kichu lhakhang in Paro and Jambay lhakhang in Bumthang.) You will also get to see the museum of Dilgo Khyentse Rimpoche’s home.

Farm House is optional to experience the real Bhutanese lifestyle.

Then you can relax the rest of the evening for tomorrow’s flight to Bumthang.

Day 3 Bumthang

In the morning, have a good set of breakfast, after that you can then drive to Paro airport and then fly to Bumthang. After landing in Paro, drive to your hotel and check in, after that, you can slowly start your tour. First visit,

Jakar Dzong (Ngagi Wangchuk continued his journey towards Bumthang after completing Trongsa dzong and as he wanted to built a suddenly he saw a white bird flying from this place and later he knew it was a Pelden Lhamo and built a Dzong and named as Jakar Dzong in 1549.

Jambay lhakhang (The 2nd oldest Jowo temple was built by Songtsen Gampo the first dharma king of Tibet. He has built 108 temples in a day to subdue the evils/ ogress in the Himalayan region for the free flourishing of Buddhism and this temple is one of them. It was renovated by Sindhu Raja as he has promised guru to protect the Buddhism.)

Kurjey lhakhang (Kurjey the name has been derived from the body print of Guru Padmasambhava that has been left after the subjugation of the Shelzen Karpo.)

Then you can rest and stroll around the town.

Day 4 Tang valley

Mebartsho/Burning lake (It was prophesied by a Terton Dorji Lingpa that one day the boy will come from this village and discover a treasure from this river. So as prophesied a Terton Pema Lingpa is born to a father Dondrup Zangpo and mother Pema Dolma and he was born with many miraculous birth sign. Later he gathered all the people in the village and discovered a treasure from the river. The legend says that he went into a lake with a burning butter lamp and came out without putting off the light and came out with a text and treasure so it was named as a burning lake.)

Ugyenchholing Palace in Tang vally is another attraction. Restored in 19th century, it is now housing the family museum, a place that will transport visitors to another world and time. The visitors will view permanent exhibits recreated to capture the ambience of the lifestyle of the Trongsa Penlop (Governor) Tshokey Dorji and his household. It also serves as retreat for those engaged in religious history. Bhutan’s history truly unfolds here.

Tang Rimchen Lhakhang in the valley is a sacred place of Guru Rimpoche. A rock in front of temple bears a body print of the Guru and two Khandroms (female celestial being). The site is named after the tiger stripe markings on the cliff. Footprints of the Guru and his consorts Mandarava and Yeshey Chogyal are found below the lhakhang. Two large boulders nearby are said to be male and female jachungs (garudas).

After that you will drive back to hotel and rest.

Day 5 Trongsa

In the morning, have a good set of breakfast for the journey to Trongsa. Before going there, you will first visit Tharpaling monastery, located at 3,600m is composed of a series of buildings overlooking the Chumey valley. Tharpaling was, it seems, first established by Lorepa (1187–1250), a Drukpa Kagyupa lama from Tibet. The temple that he is said to have founded is a small building, lower than the main complex. A rough road starting from the Gyetsa village on the Trongsa-Jakar highway leads to the monastery in half an hour but it is often cut in summer. Otherwise Tharpaling can be reached on a 3 hour walk from Gyetsa village or on a 3 hour steep walk from Lamey Gonpa in Choekhor, crossing a pass above Choedrak monastery.

Rest in the hotel and enjoy the view of Trongsa valley.

Day 6 Phobjikha

After breakfast, you will then start off with visiting the Trongsa Dzong (Considered to be the biggest fortress in Bhutan). The imposing Trongsa Dzong can be viewed across a deep canyon to signal your approach to the town around a curving road. Trongsa is the ancestral home of Bhutan’s ruling dynasty.

The view from the Dzong is spectacular and one can see across the landscape for many miles. Also visit the Ta Dzong museum housing an incredible collection of historical artifacts of the Royal Family.

Then drive to Phobjikha, by visiting the beautiful Chendebji Chorten on the road side, erected in the 18th century.

Then later after reaching there, you can rest in the hotel at Phobjikha.

Day 7 Phobjikha

In the morning, visit Gangtey and its monastery. (It’s a beautiful vast U-shape valley which is a winter residence of the famous endangered bird called “The Black Necked Crane”. They come down from the Tibetan Plateau to Phobjikha valley during winter season and fly back during summer season.)

Gangtey Goenpo. Generally known as Gangtey Gonpa or Gangtey Monastery, is an important monastery of Nyingmapa school of Buddhism built in 17th century.)

Nature Trail, walk around the Phobjikha valley.

Visit the black necked crane center for more information about the cranes.

Afterwards, you will then drive to Punakha to halt the night there.

Day 8 Punakha

In the morning, you will first visit Talo Monastery (is a Buddhist monastery located in the hills above Punakha)

Visit Punakha Dzong (fortress of glorious religion. It’s also known as Punthang Dechenphodrang, Legend says that Zhabdrung made the carpenter trulpizow balep made to sleep in chamber and he had been taken to paradise /zangtopelri of Guru Rinpoche and he got at the sketch and the model of the dzong)

Visit to the long suspension bridge in Punakha. (Approximately 160m wide)

Later stroll around the town or relax.

Day 9 Thimphu

In the morning, before driving to Thimphu. Visit Chimi Lhakhang (Temple of the famous saint mad man Drukpa Kinley)

While going to Thimphu, you will need to go across the Dochula Pass (3100m).  Over there you will stop for a short sightseeing and tea break, while having tea, you can also see the beautiful Himalayas across.

Then you will rest or stroll around Thimphu city to buy souvenirs.

Day 10 Thimphu

In the morning, first visit the Memorial Chorten (built in memory of Third Druk Gyalpo and is dedicated to World Peace.)

Visit the Buddha Point (one of the largest Buddha rupas in the world, at 54 meters/177ft)

Royal Textile Academy of Bhutan (is a national textiles museum)

Tashichho Dzong (Tashichho Dzong has been the seat of the government since 1952) And

Centenary Farmers’ Market Is where most of the locals gather on the banks of the river every weekend. Villagers from the nearby valley come here to sell agricultural products and handmade crafts to the locals.

Day 11 Haa

After breakfast, you will drive to Haa. It takes around 3 to 4 hrs to reach there. The road takes us back to Chuzom (river confluence) where at the right side, you can catch a glimpse of the three shrines in Nepali, Tibetan and Bhutanese style which were built to ward off evil spirits, and then traverses left past Dobje Dzong (Fortress), an ancient prison which now houses a monastery. Picturesque and quaint villages dot the hillsides for the rest of our drive to Haa.  Check in hotel (Lechuna Heritage Lodge) and eat lunch there or at a local restaurant.

Afterwards, go sightseeing at Wangchulo Dzong, Lhakhang Karpo and then later you can stroll around the town and also see the beautiful Haa Valley.

Day 12 Paro

In the morning, you will drive to Paro from a different route, this time you will have to cross the Cheli La Pass (3988m), overlooking the Paro valley. Then you will descend towards Paro. It will take around 2hrs to reach Paro from Haa.

Check-in your hotel. Afternoon, you can relax and do some shopping and take souvenirs back home.

Day 13 Tiger’s nest

Today you will be visiting the most iconic structure in the valley of Paro, the Tiger’s Nest. The cave on the rock was there before 750 million years ago during the formation of the earth. It was only known after the arrival of Guru Padmasambhava in 746 A.D.

Later visit Kichu lhakhang (Kichu it actually means the peaceful palace. The first temple was built by a 1st Dharma king of Tibet Songtsen Gampo in 7th century). Then you can also visit the Late Dilgo Khyentse Rimpoche’s Museum next to Kichu Lhakhang.

Day 14 Departure from Bhutan

Our guide and driver will bid farewell to you all and have a pleasant flight back home. We will be looking forward to seeing you again in future for another place to tour around.