Glimpses of the Himalayan Kingdom is a tour around western Bhutan. Western Bhutan is the most developed part of the country and you will be amazed to experience the perfect blend of modern lifestyle & ancient tradition, covering places like Paro, Wangdue Phodrang, Punakha and Thimphu “the capital of Bhutan.” Each district has something different to offer. This cultural tour is design for travelers with time constrain and if you are visiting other countries, it can be a stopover or extension.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE GLIMPSE OF BHUTAN TOUR
The ‘Glimpse of Bhutan’ cultural tour explores all of the highlights of Bhutan’s western valleys, and is ideal for those with a limited time frame.
- Discover some of the most sacred Buddhist monasteries and temples in the Himalaya.
- Visit many cultural attractions including medieval fortresses (Dzongs), markets and museums.
- Hike up to the famous Taktsang Monastery, perched on a cliff 900m above the valley floor.
- Marvel at the elaborate and ancient wall paintings and carvings in Dzongs and temples.
- Traverse beautiful landscapes from lush valleys to dense forests.
- Incorporate a Value-Added Option such as a cooking lesson or meditation session with a monk.
Day 1 : Arrival – Paro International Airport by Drukair
Welcome greeting at the airport by your guide & driver. You will be escorted to hotel for refreshment and briefing on your tour program. (Please note; your itinerary shall be flexible and your guide shall give you options based on your interest)
Paro Sights & Acclimatization Day!
- Visit the National Museum to get the glimpses of the Bhutanese culture & history.
- Rinpung Dzong meaning “fortress of the heap of jewels.”
- After lunch, a leisurely drive to Drugyel dzong (a ruined victory fortress located 16km from Paro town. Walk in the ruins and feel the ancient Bhutan.
- On the way back, get blessing at the oldest temple of the kingdom – Kichu lhakhang. Overnight Paro. (Alt; 2280m)
Day 2 : Paro – Punakha & Wangdue Phodrang (128km/ 4.5hr)
- En route stop by Dochula pass ( 3150m) to enjoy spectacular views of the eastern Himalayan mountain range.
- Stroll around 108 stupas and enter Drukwangyel (Royal temple).
- After lunch, visit Punakha Dzong, “Palace of the Great Happiness”. This beautiful fortress lies between two rivers, the Pochu and Mochu, male and female river.
- In evening, hike to Chimi lhakhang, a solitary “fertility temple” where a childless couple who comes to pray is usually blessed with a child. Overnight Punakha/ Wangdue. (Alt; 1240m)
Day 3 : Punakha/ Wangdue – Thimphu (78km/ 3hr)
- Morning walk on the river bank of Punatsangchu, enjoy tea & the fresh breeze. After breakfast, drive to Thimph, a charming capital city nestled in the heart of the Himalayas.
- Drive to Buddha Gang, which offers the best city-view of Thimphu. This giant Buddha-statue overlooking Thimphu is one of the biggest in the world.
- Circumambulate around Memorial chorten (huge stupa). This is the favorite spot for the locals of all age to chant mantras, prostrate, pray and practice their devotion.
- Witness/ participate in an archery match played by the locals with lots of hue & cry.
- In evening, explore the bustling city on foot; Hongkong market, Norzin lam, Main traffic area, Wogzin lam, Clock tower etc. Overnight Thimphu (Alt; 2320m)
Day 4 : Thimphu Cultural Sightseeing
- On rise, drive to Sangay-gang where the national animal of Bhutan, the Takin, is found in captivity. This hilltop is also called the “romantic point” as lovers often come here to enjoy the panoramic view of the Thimphu valley. En route interact with the nuns at Zilukha Nunnery
- National Library where ancient manuscripts are preserved. They also have on display the largest Picture Book on Bhutan in the world.
- Folk Heritage Museum to embrace the cultural lifestyle of the ancient Bhutan.
- Traditional Medicine Centre which includes indigenous hospital and herbal medicine manufacturing unit.
- Zorig Chusum “School for Thirteen Traditional Arts and Crafts” followed by a visit to Textile Museum & Handicraft Emporium.
- Farmer’s weekend market. All vegetables & fruits in Bhutan are grown organically.
- The Tashichhoe Dzong, the main secretariat building, the office of the King and Throne room and also the house of the State Monastic Body.
- After dinner, night club and Drayang (traditional Bhutanese pub with live singers), Optional. Overnight Thimphu.
Day 5 : Excursion to Taktsang
- After a wholesome breakfast, drive to Paro (53km/ 1.5hr). Check-in resort and prepare for the excursion.
- Hike up the forested path to Taktsang Monastery, also known as Tiger’s Nest, Bhutan’s most famous and scenic icon. Tiger’s Nest clings to sheer cliffs of 900m above Paro valley. The climb is steep and takes about 4-5hrs round trip. (Ponies & horses optional; fees not included)
- Picnic lunch at the hillside cafe with close Tiger’s Nest view.
- In evening, Bhutanese style farewell dinner at a typical village home with local liquor called “Ara.” Hot stone bath, optional. River rocks are heated and dunked into a large wooden tub with herbs. This type of bath is considered to have medicinal properties of healing. Overnight Paro.
Day 6 : Departure
Our representative will bid you farewell at the airport. Tashi Delek!
- Bhutan Tourist Tariff Royalty & Visa fees.
- All private excursions and transfers in superior air-conditioned vehicle.
- Local English speaking guide/tour leader.
- Experienced driver.
- Accommodation in carefully selected, highest standard goverment approved hotels & guesthouses.
- All meals in Bhutan.
- All entrance fees and permits.
- All personal expenses such as bars, beverages, laundry, telephone and tips.
- Medical / Travel Insurance.