Cultural Tour in Bhutan in the Land of the Dragon, 13 Days
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Cultural Tour in Bhutan in the Land of the Dragon, 13 Days

Days: 13 / Difficulty: 2 of 5 (Moderate)
Min Group Size: 1 / Max Group Size: 16

Bhutan's isolation has resulted in its culture and traditional remaining much the same for many hundreds of years. Our introductory Western Bhutan Culture tour will be through the stunning beautiful alpine valleys flanked by steep slopes and terraced pastures dotted with temple. The highlight of tour will be visits to Simtokha Dzong within the tiny capital township of Thimpu and the Taktsang Monastery that clings to a sheer 3,000 foot rock face cliffs. Festival (Tscechus) is held in Bhutan throughout the year at different locations. These festivals are celebration of faith, legends, myths and history of Bhutanese in ancient rituals of colorful dance and music. To co-inside a visit to Bhutan during the festive season would be an added bonus and even better way to observe the unique culture.


Itinerary
Day 1: Arrive at Paro International Airport 
Paro is situated in a beautiful valley at 2280 metres and is a fitting introduction to this charming kingdom. Your guide will meet you and take you on a short one-hour drive along the Paro and Thimphu river valleys to Thimphu, Bhutan’s capital, at 2320 metres. You can stop on the way to take in the magnificent Tamchhog Lhakhang, the hereditary place of worship for Bhutan’s iron bridge builder. Take a late afternoon walk around town and soak in the atmosphere of this magical capital with its busy shops and bazaars and photogenic citizens in national dress. Overnight at a 3* hotel in Thimphu.

Day 2: Thimphu Sightseeing
We will visit the weekly market, the revered Memorial Chorten, the National Library and the School of Traditional Arts. You could visit Changangkha temple, perched on the hilltop overlooking the town. Devotees flock throughout the day to circumambulate and turn the prayer wheels. The temple also contains beautiful wall paintings and hundreds of religious scriptures written in gold.  In the afternoon you can take in more of the sights and culture of the capital, with the option of a trip to Simtokha Dzong (one of the oldest fortresses in Bhutan, dating from 1629 AD). If you prefer to stay closer to town you could drive up to the Radio Tower (offering splendid views of the city from a hilltop festooned with prayer flags), visit the Takin Reserve showcasing the unique national animal, the Takin, browse the striking collection of intricate textiles at the National Textile Museum or visit the Folk Heritage Museum. If you would like to view or buy Bhutanese handicrafts you may like to visit the new market opposite Taj Tashi hotel which has an array of stalls run by local handicraft shops selling purely home made articles with no imports. Tell your guide what takes your interest. Overnight at a 3* hotel in Thimphu.

Day 3: In Thimphu - day hike to Tango and Cheri monasteries
You will drive 12km north of Thimphu to hike to Tango and Cheri monasteries and Cheri monastery. It will take almost half day including the time we spend in both the Monastary. Tango Monastery is a Buddhist college, and it's the residence of the Desi Tenzin Rabgye, a young boy who is the reincarnation of the 16th-century monk who built Tango. You will then hike to Afterward, we will return to Thimphu in the afternoon for some further sightseeing and we can further go to visit  the National Institute of Traditional Medicine and Tashichodzong. Overnight at a 3* hotel in Thimphu.

Day 4: Thimphu to Punakha
You will drive to Punakha. The drive takes you across the Dochula Pass (10,230 ft) which is marked by a large Bhutanese chorten (Buddhist monument) and prayer flags. You will stop on the pass if the weather is clear, you will take in beautiful views of the high peaks of the eastern Himalayas. The road to Punakha winds down from the pass, meandering through magnificent pine and rhododendron forests, giving you a glimpse of some of the most picturesque countryside in Bhutan. Overnight at a 3* hotel in Punakha.

Day 5: Punakha to Trongsa
This morning, we can go to hike to Khamsum Yuelley Namgyel Chorten before continuing to Trongsa.You will begin the day by driving to Trongsa, the ancestral home of the royal family. You'll pass through dense forests of oak trees and rhododendrons. The route is along a spectacular winding road, crossing 3,300-meter-high Pele La, and at certain times of year it's possible to see yaks. In the afternoon you can browse through the Trongsa shops. Overnight at a lodge/resort/guesthouse hotel in Trongsa.

Day 6: Trongsa to Bumthang
In the morning you'll visit Trongsa Dzong, the masterpiece of Bhutanese architecture, and you'll also see Ta Dzong, the watchtower built to defend this dzong. You can spend the afternoon exploring the town. In the afternoon, you'll drive to Bumthang. Along the way you will stop at a yethra (textile weaving) factory, where the yethras are designed with patterns unique to Bumthang, and you can even watch some of the weavers at their looms. You can spend the evening exploring through Bumthang town on your own. Overnight at a lodge/resort/guesthouse/farmhouse in Bumthang.

Day 7: Bumthang sightseeing
You will be spent the day sightseeing in the area, including Jakar Dzong, the administrative center of the valley; the Udee woodcarving factory in Jakar; Jambey Lhakhang, one of the oldest monasteries in Bhutan, dating from the introduction of Buddhism in Bhutan; and Kurjey Lhakhang, one of the most sacred places, because Guru Rinpoche left his body imprint on the cave when he was meditating and Tamshing Lakhang where you will see oldest paintings in Bhutan. You can spend the evening strolling through Bumthang town. Overnight at a lodge/resort/guesthouse/farmhouse in Bumthang.

Day 8: Day trip to Ura valley
Day excursion to Ura Valley. The road to Ura Valley is off the main road, and this enjoyable excursion will provide a nice view of the Jakar Dzong. You'll make a stop in Ura village for lunch and will have a chance to visit the main temple and explore the village. Ura Village has a medieval look to it because of the cobblestone streets, and the typical clothing of the women includes a sheepskin shawl. On the way back from Ura you can stop to see Mebar Tsho (Burning Lake). In the evening you can visit local shops. Overnight at a lodge/resort/guesthouse/farmhouse in Bumthang.

Day 9: In Bumthang - day hike to Shukdrag Gompa
You will hike up the Thangbi Valley to Shukdrag Gompa, a meditation monastery built around a sacred cave in which Guru Rinpoche, founder of Tantric Buddhism, meditated in the 8th century.As you hike through Thangbi village, you will see beautiful traditional farm houses, smiling children, and hard-working farmers. On the way to the Gompa, you will pass a small hut with a stone grinding wheel, turned by water and used by the local people to grind buckwheat. Also depending on the special  time of the year specially to observe the festival, we can walk or drive to Tang valley, including Ugyenchholing Palace. Overnight at a lodge/resort/guesthouse/farmhouse in Bumthang.

Day 10: Bumthang to Phobjikha valley
You'll drive to Phobjikha valley, the winter habitat of the black-necked cranes. The drive is through dense forests of oak trees and rhododendrons. You arrive at Gantey Goempa, the only Nyingmapa monastery in western Bhutan. In the afternoon you will visit Gantey Rinpoche's monastery and you can explore Phobjikha valley, the winter habitat of the black-necked cranes. Overnight at a lodge/resort/guesthouse in Phobjikha.

Day 11: Phobjikha to Paro via Thimphu
You'll drive from Phobjikha valley to Paro via Thimphu. In the afternoon you can explore Paro town and do last minute shopping. Overnight at a 3* hotel in Paro. 

Day 12: Day hike to Tiger's nest monastery
After breakfast, you will hike to Taktsang (Tiger's Nest) Monastery, which is Bhutan's most famous monastery. It is perched on the edge of a steep cliff, about 900 meters above Paro Valley. The hike to reach the viewpoint to the monastery makes for a nice half-day excursion. You can also visit some interesting handicraft shops. In the evening you can stroll through the Paro town. Overnight at a 3* hotel in Paro.

Day 13: Fly from Paro to your further destination
Early in the morning your guide will accompany you to the airport to see you off onto your flight and wish you Tashi Delek (goodbye and good luck).

Bhutan Trip Cost based on group size basis:
01Pax - USD 4020
02Pax - USD 3240 Per Person
03-08Pax - USD 3060 Per Person 
09-16Pax - USD 3000 Per Person
Single Supplement - USD 45 Per Night 

Additional Cost for Bhutan Visa Fee - USD 50.


Customize Your Bhutan Tour: This is a general itinerary, which can always individually be “tailormade”. The trek package can be redesigned or redeveloped as per your taste, For more information please e-mail us at snftnepal@yahoo.de

Note: In case of emergency during the trip, Helicopter will be arranged by Swiss  Family Treks  & Expedition GmbH. The charges must be paid by the clients themselves.

Price starts from/Adult Status *
USD 3,000
EUR 2.796
SFr 2.776
GBP 2.340
AUD 4.470
CAD 3.990
Trip is available
* Dates can be flexible, please contact us for individual dates.

Our Bhutan Tour Package Cost includes:
* Airport/Hotel/Airport pick up and transfer by private car/van.
* Guide - English speaking local Bhutanese guide throughout the tour from arrival to departure.
* Sightseeing - all sightseeing and entrance fees including any festival visits.
* Transport - meet on arrival, airport transfers on arrival and departure and all overland transport within Bhutan.
* Accommodation - deluxe accommodation in single/double/twin bed sharing basis room at 3* hotel in Bhutan trip.
* Meals - breakfast, lunch and dinner during the Bhutan tour.
* Agency Service charge.


Our Bhutan Tour Package Cost doesn't include:
* Travel insurance.
* International air fare to and from Bhutan.
* Bhutan Visa Fee and Fees for Tourism development Fund (USD 50).
* Items and expenses of personal nature.
* Any kind of alcoholic drinks, cold drinks, laundry, phone call, internet.
* Personal Trekking Equipment.
* Emergency Evacuation (Helicopter Rescue).
* Any costs which arise due to a change of the itinerary, because of landslides, political disturbance, and strikes etc.
* Any other costs whatsoever, that is not mentioned in the cost included.
* Tips for guide, porters, driver...

Cultural Tour in Bhutan in the Land of the Dragon, 13 Days


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Swiss Family Treks & Expedition GmbH, Switzerland
Swiss Himalayan Family Treks & Expedition P. Ltd

Address
Ganeshtan-6, Pharping Kathmandu, Nepal

Phone +977 4710390
Cell +977 9803200543 Stephan
Cell +977 9849193453 Ashta
Email snftnepal@yahoo.de