Early morning flight into Paro on Bhutan’s national carrier, Druk Air, is a befitting introduction to the spectacular beauty of the country. In clear [weather, magnificent views of the world’s highest peaks (Kan Cheng Junga, Mount Jumolhar and Jitchu Drake) give way to the lush green Paro valley as you land. The first gift from Bhutan will be the cool, clean fresh air as you step out of the plane. Upon arrival, go thru immigration and custom clearance and our tour representative will greet you dressed in their traditional costume, Gho (for male) and Kira (for female). They will welcome you with the traditional ceremonial Khadhar (White scarf for good luck). Transfer to visit Ta Dzong, the National Museum of Bhutan which showcases the country’s historical and cultural artifacts. After the tour in Paro, take an hour’s drive to Thimphu, the capital. Along the way we will halt at Tachhogang bridge – a traditional Bhutanese bridge which is 800 yrs old. It’s a very scenic spot for photographs. Before dinner, take a stroll along Norzin Lam. Overnight in Thimphu.
Thimphu – The capital town of Bhutan and the centre of government, religion and commerce, is a unique city with unusual mixture of modern development alongside ancient traditions. Home to civil servants, expatriates and monk body, Thimphu maintains a strong national character in its architectural style. Breakfast at the hotel and today’s highlight in Thimphu are :
* The Motithang Takin Preserve, a wildlife reserve area which houses the national animal, Takin, found only in Bhutan.
* The Memorial Chorten, built in honor of the third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk, “The Father of Modern Bhutan”. The Chorten is also a center of worship for the people living in Thimphu.
* The Buddha Dordenma Statue (Buddha View Point) where the Buddha Dordenma statue sits. One of the largest statues in the world depicting a seated Buddha.
* The National Folk Heritage Museum, dedicated to connecting Bhutan to its past with exhibitions, demonstrations, and artifacts. Designed to resemble a rural home, this 19th-century building houses three stories of art, culture, and relics.
* We will then visit the Changangkha Temple built in the 12th Century. From temple courtyard, there is fascinating view of Thimphu valley.
* Thimphu Tashichho Dzong, a traditional fortress and Buddhist Monastery, is the largest in the city. Featuring distinctive Bhutanese architecture, using neither nails nor written plans, the structure serves as the current seat of the King of Bhutan.
* Visit the Zilukha Nunnery is the biggest nunnery yet never consider it huge by any standards. It has the best location, perched on a promontory overlooking the Tashichhoedzong or Thimphu Dzong. You may interact here with some of the nuns who have devoted their life to spirituality and Buddhism.
* Visit to the Craft Bazaar. This market offers genuine Bhutanese arts & crafts thus contributing in promotion, protection and preservation of traditional arts. One can look for genuine Bhutanese souvenirs here
Lunch and dinner at local restaurants. Overnight in Thimphu.
Transfer to Punakha, the former capital of Bhutan. Along the way, stop by at Dochula Pass (3,100m). Providing a stunning 360-degree views of the Himalayan Mountains. The beauty of this place is further enhanced by the Druk Wangyal Chortens with 108 stupas built by the present Queen Mother of Bhutan in memorial to commemorate Bhutan’s victory over Indian militants and to liberate the souls of those who died. Lunch at Dochula Pass Café. After lunch, descend along a series of hairpin bends to the fertile valley of Punakha. Upon arrival, take a short hike thru beautiful farm houses and vast plains of rice fields to Chimi Lhakhang (Temple). The monastery is dedicated to the Divine Madman who is popularly known as Drukpa Kuenley. He inherited the divine madman title since he revolted against the orthodox Buddhism in his time. The temple is regarded as a sanctum of fertility and most childless couples usually makea visit to this temple to seek the fertility blessings. We will then take a short walk across the Suspension bridge that connects the 2 villages. The Punakha Dzong – sitting at the fork of two rivers (Phu Chhu – male nd Mo Chhu – Female), Punakha Dzong is considered one of the most beautiful spots in Bhutan. With spectacular displays of Bhutanese architecture, it stands like a medieval city surrounded by lavender Jacaranda trees. It still serves as the winter home of the Je Khenpo, Chief Abbott of the clergy. In 2011, it hosted the royal wedding of King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Queen Jetsun Pema. Dinner at local restaurant and then check into hotel. Overnight at Punakha.
After breakfast drive to Gantey Valley via Wangdue – situated in Phobjikha Valley, which is the winter home of the endangered Black Necked Cranes that migrate to this valley from Tibet in winter. Gangtey is situated in Phobjeykha Valley at 3,000m above sea-level is a wide almost flat beautiful alpine valley. As you enter you will notice the Gangtey Goenpa or Monastery, one of the oldest and largest Nyingma Buddhist centre in Bhutan. Overnight in Gangtey.
This morning, transfer by coach / car to Paro. Upon arrival, visit Rinpung Dzong, built in 1645 to defend the valley against Tibetan invaders. A fine example of Bhutanese historic architecture. The Dzong is now used as an administration center and school for monks. After Rinpung Dzong, take a slow walk down to Rinpung Dzong Bridge, one of the oldest bridges in Bhutan. Overnight in Paro.
In the morning drive beyond Satsam Chorten to hike up to the Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest), one of today’s sacred pilgrimage site where Guru Padmasambhava (also known as Guru Rinpoche) landed on the back of a tigress in the 8th century. The hike up the monastery takes up to 3-4 hours. The monastery is perched on the side of the cliff at the height of 900 meters above the Paro Valley. In the afternoon, visit a local farm house to experience the life style of the locals. – Overnight in Paro.
After breakfast, transfer to Paro International Airport for your flight back to Singapore.
Important things to take note:-
• Visa is required for travelling to Bhutan and it is processed through our local land operator
• Applicant passport color copy should be forwarded to us at least 2 months prior to date of travel for visa processing
• Actual visa is stamped only upon arrival with support of visa clearance, which will be sent to you in advance
• All tour will be conducted in English only
• Bhutan visa fee SGD 80 per passenger
• Tipping to guide and driver at USD 6 per day per passenger
• Airport taxes SGD 130 subject to changes
• A minimum 2 person to departure. Group of 15 passengers will have a tour leader to accompany the tour throughout.
• The sequence of the itinerary, flight schedules and hotels are subject to change without prior notice in the event of unforeseen circumstances.
• During major events, accommodation may be re-located to another city without prior notice.
• In the event that a place of visit is fully booked or closed due to public engagement, it will be replaced with an alternative.
• All guides are English speaking, if a Chinese guide is required, additional charges may applies
• Should there be any discrepancies over the English and Chinese Version of the Itinerary, we shall follow accordingly to the English Version.
• We, as a Travel Agent shall not be held responsible in the event of a flight delay which can lead to disruptions in the itinerary.
• Tour Fare does not Include All Airport Taxes, Fuel Surcharges, Visa Application Fees, Tipping, Porterage and all expenses of a Personal Nature