Day 1: Your flight descending over the final Himalayan ridge brings you to Paro International Airport, elevation 7500 feet. Your Druk Air experience has been highlighted with breathtaking views of Himalayan peaks, including the sacred Mount Chomolhari and Jitchu Drake in Bhutan. Your excitement mounts and you are received at Paro Airport by your tour representative, visas are processed and you are escorted to your hotel for lunch and check-in. After lunch visit the National Museum (Ta-Dzong). Once the watchtower for the Rinpung Dzong, it was converted into the National Museum in 1968. The conch shaped museum stands on a promontory overlooking the Paro valley in all its glory. On the way back visit the Paro Rinpung Dzong. "Fortress of the heap of jewels". A flagstone path rises gradually from a beautiful wooden bridge with shingle roofing and abutted by two guardhouses. Today the Dzong is the seat of the district administration as well as the home for the monastic school. Evening we visit Paro town, built in traditional architecture with rows of shops lining the main street. Dinner in cozy local restaurant. Overnight Hotel.
Day 2: Drive to Thimphu
(2-hour drive) capitol of Bhutan. Visit famous weekend market;
fresh produce, rice, chilies, jewelry, local art, handicrafts and
enchanting local shoppers. Check in at our hotel, enjoy lunch,
and drive to embark on a vigorous hike up the mountain to Tango
Goemba Monastery one of my favorite experiences in Bhutan. Tango
is one of Bhutanese' most important Buddhist colleges. Its name,
meaning 'horse's head', is derived from the horse-head shaped rock
at the top. It is a beautiful dzong built in the 18h century by
the 8th Desi, Druk Rabgye. Today Tango is home to the eight-year-old
reincarnate Lama, Gyaltse Tenzin Rabgye. Meet with monks for discussions.
Tonight join Soenam, your Bhutanese host, for reception
dinner at her home. Hotel Druk.
Day 5: BHUMTANG TREK begins: After a hearty breakfast we drive to embark on our wonderful trek to Nganglhakhang. Today we will hike for approximate five hours passing though villages, fields and forests and also crossing over suspension bridges. Our trek will follow the Chamkhar River. Here the trout are plentiful! Fishing anyone? We will visit Thangbi Lhakhang enroute before entering "Swan Land" (Ngang Yul). Here is "Swan Temple" (Nganglhakhang). Swans first inhabited this part of the valley. Overnight camp 9,500 ft (2,800M).
Day 6: Today a gradual climb to Phephela Pass brings us to the highest point of our trek. 12,000 ft. The trail to the pass leads through one of the most beautiful forested areas of this region, with mini bamboo pasture, and forests of rhododendrons and Mixed Conifer. Our seven-hour trek today will allow for many stops to enjoy nature's rare beauty. Overnight camp near Ta Houng village in Tang valley. Enjoy a wholesome delicious Bhutanese gourmet meal.
Day 7: Today we pass Ugyenchholing
in Tang Valley. Beauty again overwhelms our senses. You will visit
the Ugyenchholing Palace, now housing the Family Museum, a place
that will transport you to another world and time. You will view
permanent exhibits recreated to capture the ambience of the lifestyle
of the Trongsa Penelop (Governor) Tshokey Dorji and his household.
Bhutan's history unfolds. Continuing from Ugyenchholing, we reach
the Rimochen Lhakhang, a temple dedicated to Guru Rimpoche, the
Patron Saint of Bhutan. This is the last point in the trek route
from where we drive on through Pangshing village to Jakar, Bumthang,
stopping to visit farmhouse on the way. Overnight at the River
Lodge Guesthouse to unwind from the trek over a sumptuous dinner
and local Ara.
Day 10: Departing Bumthang, stopping once again in Trongsa we will now visit the medieval Watchtower. This ancient structure gives unobstructed views of the valley, and it's winding river and roads. The WatchTower is located strategically above the Trongsa Dzong. It is a treat to climb the ancient ladders to the top, as you view warrior armor and aging altars, immersing yourself in the presence unchanged within its walls. Dragons Nest Resort for dinner and hotel.
Day 11: Return to Thimphu. Visit the exceptional Textile Museum, featuring masterpieces from the Royal Family of Bhutan and splendid fabric and exquisite Thangkas. Visit Takin Zoo to see the National animal of Bhutan. After lunch we depart for our hike to the famous Taktsang Monastery (Tiger's Nest). The monastery is perched on a rocky ledge with a sheer drop of nearly 800 meters. It is said that in the second half of the 8th century, Guru Padma Sambhava, the saint who converted Bhutan to Buddhism, alighted here upon the back of a tigress. Overnight Dechen Hill Resort
Day 12: Breakfast and departure for airport.
We hope you will enjoy the Bumthang Cultural Trek.