This in-depth cultural tour offers a rare opportunity to savour the different customs and cultures of the western and central valleys of Bhutan at a leisurely pace.
Highlights include Ta Dzong Museum, Rinpung Dzong and the infamous Tiger’s Nest in the beautiful Paro Valley, The National Memorial Chorten, 12th century Changangkha Temple and the National Library exhibiting ancient scriptures in Bhutan’s capital Thimphu, and after crossing the 3050m Dochula Pass with spectacular Himalayan views we will begin our journey to the old capital Punakha which features the incredible Punakha Dzong and Chimi Lhakhang, temple of fertility founded by the ‘Divine Madman’.
Upon arrival at the Paro International Airport, you will be received by our Guide and Driver who will drive you to Thimphu. You will enjoy the drive from Paro – Thimphu through the valley and beautiful landscapes. Visit National Memorial Chorten, Buddha Dordhenma and Tashichhodzong before you finally retire for the night.
Morning half day excursion to Tango Cheri Monastery. Afternoon visit , Changangkha Lhakhang, Takin Zoo, Royal Textile Museum and General post office.
Morning visit National Library, National Institute of Traditional Medicine, Folk Heritage Museum and finally drive towards Punakha via Dochula Pass.
Drive to Bumthang via Trongsa (8 hrs) over Pele La pass (3,420 m) on the Black Mountain range. En-route visit beautiful Chendebji Chorten, built in the 18th century and enjoy the panoramic view of Trongsa Dzong.
In the morning visit 7th century Jambay Lhakhang and Kurjey Lhakhang. After lunch, visit Jakar Dzong and Tamshing Lhakhang, founded in 1501 by Pemalingpa. Afterwards enjoy exploring the Chamkhar village, Bumthang’s small town.
Enjoy a day exploring some of the many sites in and around Bumthang valley. The 16th century Tang Ugyen Chholing Palace and a nunnery at Bepzur. Continue to visit Mebartso (The burning Lake). It is here that Terton Pemalingpa (founder of the Nyingmapa sect) is said to have found a treasure hidden by Guru Padmasambhava.
Start early today for Gangtey, about 6 hrs from Bumthang. The wide and picturesque Phobjikha valley is one of Bhutan’s few glacial valleys, and chosen winter home of black necked cranes (November – March) migrating from the Tibetan plateau. Visit Gangtey Goempa (Monastery), the only Nyingmapa monastery in western Bhutan and explore Phobjika Valley with time to view the Black-Necked Cranes. Overnight at your hotel in Phobjikha.
Morning visit to view the Black-Necked Cranes center before departing for Paro (approx 7 hrs). From Gangtey the road gradually descends into Wangduephodrang valley before climbing up towards Dochu La Pass.
Morning hike to Tiger’s Nest Monastery. Later afternoon, photo shot wearing traditional Gho and Kira and witness or practice Archery match.
Depart for Haa, the westernmost valley in Bhutan. This is a beautiful drive (3.5 h) that is relatively free of traffic. The road takes us back to Chuzom (river conﬂuence) where we 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, an ancient prison which now houses a monastery. Picturesque and quaint villages dot the hillsides for the rest of our drive to Haa.
After breakfast, depending on your flight timing our Guide and Driver will drive you to Paro Airport for your onward journey.