Exotic Bhutan Tours and Treks

Trongsa Festival Tour  

Masked festival dancer

Day 1: Bangkok to Paro
You depart in the early morning for your Bhutan adventure; approximately a 4-hour flight to Paro from Bangkok. Your flight path finally descends over the high Himalayan ridge bringing you to Paro International Airport, elevation 7,500 ft. Your Druk Air experience has been highlighted with breathtaking views of Himalayan peaks, including the sacred Mount Jumolhari and Jitchu Drake in Bhutan. Your excitement mounts and you are received by your tour representative; visas are processed. Drive to the Dechen Hill Resort for lunch in your small van and get acquainted with your expert driver and English speaking Bhutanese guide. Welcome to Bhutan! After lunch we will continue our drive (2 hour) towards Thimphu, capitol of Bhutan. Along the route we visit Semtokha Dzong; oldest fortress in the kingdom and is now a monastic school. Overnight Thimphu Hotel.

Day 2: Thimphu sightseeing
Enjoy breakfast at our charming hotel and we then depart to visit Bhutan’s national bank for currency exchange, as well as a stop at Bhutan’s post office; elaborate and collector item stamps of gorgeous detail are here for purchase or to admire. We will drive to view National Memorial Chorten, built in 1974 in memory of the third king of Bhutan, and a visit to see the Tarkin, the National animal of Bhutan, will prove to be most interesting. Lunch at our hotel. This afternoon we tour the delightful and educational Textile Museum, which displays elaborate and historical textile artwork and royal family attire. Textile weaving in Bhutan is an art form of the ages, utilized and taught in every Bhutanese household. Tonight enjoy a reception dinner with your host in Bhutan, Sonam. Overnight Hotel.

Day 3: Thimphu (Tango Hike) to Wangdue
This morning you will go over your itinerary with your guide at breakfast and then prepare for our drive to the path to embark on a vigorous hike up the mountain to Tango Goemba Monastery. 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 twelve-year-old reincarnate Lama, Gyaltse Tenzin Rabgye. Meet with senior monks for discussions. Return to Thimphu for lunch and check out of your hotel and depart for Wangdue. Leaving Thimphu we drive towards Wangdue across Dochula pass (10,500ft) to Wangduephodrang. On a clear day you can enjoy a spectacular view of the Eastern Himalayan mountain range. Prayer flags flutter their message of peace and serenity. Tea and snack stop at the pass. Overnight Resort; enjoy spectacular views of the quaint village river and Wangdi Dzong.

Day 4: Wangdue sightseeing
Breakfast and then we will visit the beautiful Punakha Dzong; “Palace of Great Happiness”; the former winter capital and present administrative seat of the district; also the winter residence of the central monastic body and its Chief Abbot. The Dzong lies between two rivers, the Pochu and Mochu, male and female rivers. It was built in 1637 AD. Lunch and we visit Wangdue Dzong as well as a visit to Chimi Lhakhang; a Fertility Monastery. Overnight Resort.

Day 5: Wangdue (via Gangtey) to Trongsa
Transfer to Trongsa via Gangtey Valley to visit the habitat of the black-neck cranes which migrate from Tibet and Siberia. Phobjikha is a glacial valley on the western slopes of Black Mountain national park. The valley is a designated conservation area and borders the Black Mountain National Park. Because of the large flock of black-necked cranes that winter here (from late October to late March), it is one of the most important wildlife preserves in the country.

Phobjikha Valley is circled by beautiful pine covered mountains. Along the way, look for nocturnal red pandas that sleep in the trees during the day. At the valley’s centre, rising dramatically from a small ridge, stands Gantey Gompa, one of the oldest Nyingma Buddhist monasteries in Bhutan. Gantey Tulku Rimpoche, the head lama of Gantey Gompa, is the ninth incarnation of Terton Pemalingpa, the famous 14th-century Treasure Revealer from Bumthang, one of Bhutan’s famous Buddhist saints and an ancestor of the ruling Wangchuck dynasty. Visit the Gangtey monastery overlooks the large green expanse of Phobjikha Valley. The extensive complex consists of the gomba itself, the monks’ quarters, meditation centres, and schools.Visit the Black-necked cranes roost in the swampy marshland from the Observatory overlooking the fields. Continue on to Trongsa for your overnight Hotel.

Day 6: Today we attend a full day at the Trongsa Festival. What an exciting and exhilarating way to celebrate the day! The Trongsa Dzong was built by Chogyel Minjur Tempa, theThird Desi, in 1648 A.D. It is presently the administrative seat of the district and home of the monastic school. Built at split-levels on a narrow spur, the Dzong is an architectural wonder. Views from here are extensive creating strategic location of this Dzong. Over the Dzong is the medieval Watchtower. This ancient structure gives unobstructed views of the valley and its Winding River and roads. The watchtower is located strategically above the Trongsa Dzong. LOAD your camera to capture the intensity of this festival, while your gain merit and religious purification; be immersed into medieval Bhutan and the enchanting Bhutanese culture. Here one can truly appreciate the essence of Bhutanese people and a preserved steadfast culture. Arrays of colourful brocades whirl through the air as the dancers spin and dance the "thunderbolt step". Masks of glorious demonic demons and animals arouse your senses as purification takes place. The intensity goes on; your spirit will fly. Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight hotel.

Day 7: Trongsa
This morning we return to the Trongsa festival; today watch for the Atsara (clown) this dancer, unique in his own style, mimics dancers and entertains onlookers. Festival deities are invoked through benediction and luck is increased and misfortunate gone. Tashi Delek. After lunch visit Kuenga Rabten Palace, Home of the 2nd King, 25 Km from Trongsa Overnight: Hotel

Day 8: Trongsa to Bumthang
Today we continue eastward towards central Bhutan; Bumthang. En route visit Yatha Textile Centre; watch for yaks along the route. Overnight: River Lodge Hotel

Day 9: Bumthang
Enjoy breakfast and get ready to explore Bumthang village. Meet with textile weavers at looms as they weave their Bhutanese fabric and textile on toe strap looms with hand spun and dyed threads. Here is the best place for purchase of textile. Tour historical Jakar Dzong, “Palace of the White Bird”, as well as Jambay and Kurjey Lhakhang. A short walk to Flamming Lake to visit this religious and holy pilgrimage spot. Visit a Stone flour grist water mill and a beer and cheese factory, Tamshing Monastery and Wangdichholing Palace. In the evening visit a farmhouse for local hospitality. Return to lodge for relaxation and dinner.

Day 10: Bumthang to Wangdue
Departing Bumthang we drive westward to Wangdue. Photo and rest stops along our way; perhaps an interesting archer’s match in Trongsa. Overnight: Resort

Day 11: Wangdue to Thimphu
We arrive in Thimphu today; check into our hotel and enjoy an afternoon and exploration in Thimphu. Perhaps you have a special interest item to purchase; ask you expert Bhutanese guide to assist you.

Day 12: Thimphu to Paro
After breakfast we depart Thimphu towards Paro village as we drive to a path to hike to Tiger’s Nest Monastery. The monastery is perched on a rocky ledge with a sheer drop of nearly 800 m. It is said that in the second half of the 8th century, Guru Padma Sambbava alighted here upon the back of a tigress. We enjoy lunch at Tigers Nest cafeteria and will have the option to hike up the mountain close to the Tigers Nest Monastery; spirituality and peace is within. We then depart down the mountain to our vehicle and return to Paro to our hotel for rest and relaxation and enjoy dinner in town.

Day 13. This morning you have free time for leisure. After an early lunch we tour Ta National Dzong Museum. Once the watchtower for the Rinpung Dzong, it was converted into the National Museum in 1968. The museum stands on a promontory overlooking the Paro valley in all its glory. On the way back visit the Paro Rinpung Dzong. A flagstone path rises gradually from a beautiful wooden bridge with shingle roofing and abutted by two guardhouses, to the Dzong. Today the Dzong is the seat of the district administration as well as the home for the monastic school. The central tower (Utse) of the Dzong, with its superb woodwork. Tonight enjoy a farewell dinner at local restaurant in Paro.

Day 14: Paro to your next destination..-Transfer to airport for departure!   Tashi Delek!