Himalayan Tour of Bhutan

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14 Days
Apr-May, Sep-Nov
Moderate
Overview

A soft adventure in the heartland of Bhutan Himalayas

Introduction:
The Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan “known as the peaceful Dragon country” is slowly emerging from centuries of self imposed isolation, this makes Bhutan a truly unique destination to explore its hidden treasure of ancient culture, religion, architecture and its way of life as it was for centuries, so Bhutan’s past is still its present and tantric Buddhism is a way of life.

Kingdom of Bhutan in many ways the Last Shangri-la, the geographical isolation has left the country in a time warp – culture, traditions and way of life still a reflection of past centuries than any indication of 21st century. Bhutan is the last bastions of Mahayana Buddhism. Against the backdrop of majestic Himalayas, Buddhist Spirit permeates almost all aspects of Bhutanese culture. Prayer flags flutter on the hills, temples and Dzongs dot the landscape, and religious festivals are celebrated through out the year. Due to Bhutan’s staunch conservation policies, country’s forest and environment are in pristine condition. Bhutan is one of the Biodiversity Hotspots with greater that 200 mammals, 770 birds and more than 5400 plants. Visit Bhutan with HimEX, our experience, extensive contacts within the country and our personalized services would make your visit to Bhutan truly enjoyable and memorable one.

Outline Itinerary:

Day 01:

Arrive at Kathmandu.1, 300m via respective airlines.

Day 02:

A day in Kathmandu with guided tour.

Day 03:

Fly Kathmandu / Paro. Drive to Thimpu.

Day 04:

Sightseeing tour of Thimphu

Day 05:

Drive to Trongsa (200 Km, 6 hours drive)

Day 06:

Drive to Bumthang (68 Km, 3 hours drive )

Day 07:

At Bumthang

Day 08:

Drive to Gangtey / Phobjikha (190 km, 7 hours drive)

Day 09:

Drive to Punakha (70 km, 3 hours drive)

Day 10:

Drive back to Paro (125 km, 4.1/2 hours drive)

Day 11:

Sightseeing tour of Paro

Day 12:

Fly Paro / Kathmandu.

Day 13:

Free day at leisure in Kathmandu.

Day 14:

Transfer to Airport for the International departure.

 

Itinerary

Day 01: 

Arrive at Kathmandu.1, 300m via respective airlines. 

 

On arrival at Kathmandu Tribhuwan International Airport you will be received by our staff and transfer you to respective Hotels, where our staff will give you a brief orientation of the Hotel, Kathmandu, Bhutan, do’s and don’t and other related information that you might require while in Nepal / Bhutan.

   

Day 02:

A day in Kathmandu with guided tour.

 

After your first night in Kathmandu, you will be well informed on arrival about the time for your half day guided sightseeing tour in Kathmandu at places of interest.

   

Day 03: 

Fly Kathmandu / Paro. Drive to Thimpu. 

 

The flight into Bhutan takes you close to the great Himalayas, offering dazzling scenic views of some world’s highest glacial peaks. As you enter Paro valley, you will sweep past forested hills with the silvery Pa Chu (Paro river) meandering down the valley below. Paro Dzong (fortress) and Ta Dzong (watchtower) on the hills above the town will be a fine sight. Our representative will meet you at Paro airport, and after completion of arrival formalities you will be transferred to Bhutan’s capital, Thimphu, an exciting blend of tradition and modernity. Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.

   

Day 04: 

Sightseeing tour of Thimphu

 

Today’s full day of sightseeing in Thimphu valley includes: National Library, which holds a vast collection of ancient Buddhist texts and manuscripts, some dating back several hundred years, as well as modern academic books mainly on Himalayan culture and religion;

Institute for Zorig Chusum (commonly known as Painting School) where students undertake a six-year course on the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan;

Textile and Folk Heritage Museum: These museums, both of which opened in 2001, provide fascinating insights into Bhutanese material culture and way of life.

National Memorial Chorten: The building of this landmark was envisaged by the third king, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, as a monument to world peace and prosperity. Completed in 1974 after his untimely death, it is both a memorial to the Late King (“the Father of modern Bhutan”) and a monument to world peace. The paintings and statues inside the monument provide a deep insight into Buddhist philosophy.

Trashichhodzong: This impressive fortress/monastery houses Secretariat building, the throne room of His Majesty, the King and various government offices. It is also the summer residence of Chief Abbot and central monk body.

Handicrafts Emporium: This government-run enterprise displays a wide range of beautifully hand-woven textiles and craft products. It also carries a small collection of books on Bhutan, Buddhism and Himalayan culture. Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.

   

Day 05:

Drive to Trongsa (200 Km, 6 hours drive)

 

After early breakfast, drive up to Dochu-la pass (3,088m/ 10,130 ft) stopping briefly here to take in the view and admire the chorten, mani wall, and prayer flags which decorate the highest point on the road. If skies are clear, the following peaks can be seen from this pass (left to right): Masagang (7,158m), Tsendagang (6,960m), Terigang (7,060m ), Jejegangphugang (7,158 m ), Kangphugang (7,170 m ), Zongphugang (7, 060 m ), a table mountain that dominates the isolated region of Lunana – finally Gangkar puensum, the highest peak in Bhutan at 7,497m.

Then continue onwards, reaching Wangduephodrang town in time for lunch. From Dochu-la pass, it is a long, winding descent into the Wangduephodrang valley, which is about 1,700m below the pass. Take lunch at Wangduephodrang town, then continue on to Trongsa across Pele-la pass (3,300m/10,830 ft), the traditional boundary between east and west. The pass is marked by a large white chorten prayer flags. There is an abrupt change in vegetation at this point, with mountain forest replaced by high altitude dwarf bamboo.

Stop en route at Chendbji Chorten, patterned on Kathmandu’s Swayambhunath Stupa, with eyes panted at four cardinal points. It was built in the 18th century by Lama Shida from Tibet, to cover the remains of an evil spirit that was subdued at this spot.

Arrive at Trongsa late afternoon and check into the lodge for the night.

   

Day 06: 

Drive to Bumthang (68 Km, 3 hours drive )

 

After breakfast, visit Trongsa Dzong. Built in 1648 it was the seat of power over central and eastern Bhutan. Both the first and second Kings of Bhutan ruled the country from this ancient seat. All four Kings were invested as Trongsa Penlop (‘governer’) prior to ascending the throne, and the present Crown Prince now holds the post. The Dzong is a massive structure with many levels, sloping down the contours of the ridge on which it is built.

Then drive to Bumthang, 68 km from Trongsa, a journey of about 3 hours, over the Yutong-la pass (3,400m/ 11,155 ft). The road winds steeply up to the pass, 28 km from Trongsa, then runs down through coniferous forest into a wide, open cultivated valley known as the Chumey valley. On arrival in Bumthang, check in at your lodge.

   

Day 07: 

At Bumthang

 

Bumthang is the general name given to combination of four valleys – Chumey, Choekhor, Tang and Ura with altitude varying from 2,600m to 4,000m. It is home to many of prominent Buddhist temples and monasteries.

Visit Kurje Lhakhang, where the saint Padmasambhava subdued a local demon and left his body imprint on a rock., the Jambey Lhakhang (7th century temple), Tamshing Lhakhang (housing some of the oldest wall paintings in Bhutan) and Jakar Dzong (administrative center of the region). Stroll in the village, visit the little handicrafts shop at the entrance to the town, and perhaps take refreshments at a local restaurant. 
Overnight at the lodge in Bumthang.

   

Day 08: 

Drive to Gangtey / Phobjikha (190 km, 7 hours drive)

 

After breakfast drive to Gangtey / Phobjikha. In the mountains east of Wangduephodrang lies the beautiful Phobjikha valley, on the slopes of which is situated the great monastery of Gangtey, established in the 17th century. The village of Phobjikha lies a few km, down from the monastery, on the valley floor. This quite, remote valley is the winter home of black necked cranes, which migrate from the arid plains of Tibet in the north, to pass the winter months in a milder climate. Explore Gangtey village and Phobjikha valley. Overnight at the lodge in Gangtey / Phobjikha.

   

Day 09:

Drive to Punakha (70 km, 3 hours drive)

 

After breakfast drive to Punakha. Afternoon visit Punakha Dzong, a massive structure built at the junction of two rivers. Punakha was Bhutan’s capital until 1955, and Punakha Dzong still serves as the winter residence of the central monk body. Bhutan’s first King, Ugyen Wangchuck, was crowned here in 1907. The fortress has withstood several damages from fire, earthquake and flood over the centuries. The latest flood, in October, 1994, caused great damages to the fortress but miraculously spared its most holy statue. Also visit Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten, the newly built stupa. Overnight at the hotel in Punakha / Wangduephodrang.

   

Day 10:

Drive back to Paro (125 km, 4.1/2 hours drive)

 

After breakfast, drive to Paro en route visit Simtokha Dzong. This dzong, built in 1627 is the oldest in Bhutan. It now houses the Institute for Language and Culture Studies.

Afternoon visit Ta Dzong, which in the past served as watchtower for Paro Dzong (Rinpung Dzong) and now houses the National Museum. Then walk down the trail to visit Rinpung Dzong, built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal , the first spiritual and temporal ruler of Bhutan, the Dzong houses the monastic body of Paro, the office of the Dzongda (district administrative head) and Thrimpon (judge) of Paro district. The approach to the Dzong is through a traditional covered bridge called Nemi Zam. A walk through the bridge, over a stone inlaid path, offers a good view of the architectural wonder of the Dzong as well as life around it. It is also the venue of Paro Tshechu, held once a year in the spring. Overnight at the hotel in Paro.

   

Day 11: 

Sightseeing tour of Paro

 

After breakfast, drive up the valley to Drukgyel Dzong, built in 1647 by the Shabdrung to commemorate the Bhutanese victory over the Tibetans in war of 1644.

Then take an excursion to Taktsang Monastery view point. It is one of the most famous of Bhutan’s monasteries, perched on the side of a cliff 900m above the Paro valley floor. It is said that Guru Rinpoche arrived here on the back of a tigress and meditated at this monastery and hence it is called “Tiger’s Nest”. This site has been recognised as a most sacred place and visited by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1646 and now visited by all Bhutanese at least once in their lifetime. While returning to hotel visit en route, Kyichu Lhakhang, built in the 7th century by the Tibetan king, Songtsen Gampo. Overnight at the hotel in Paro.

   

Day 12:

Fly Paro / Kathmandu.

 

After early breakfast in the hotel, drive to the airport for flight to Kathmandu. Upon arrival transfer to Hotel. Rest of day free for independent activities.

   

Day 13:

Free day at leisure in Kathmandu.

 

A free day in Kathmandu, please inform our staff if you would like to go on another short tour in and around Kathmandu Valley or for a scenic mountain flight.

   

Day 14: 

Transfer to Airport for the International departure.

 

Today as per your international flight time, keep your air ticket and your passport handy. Our staff will take you to the airport for your final departure from this amazing country, Nepal.

 

Includes / Excludes

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Extensions

If you are not tied up with time limitations, or have more time before or after your main trip with us, you can join / take following extension trips to make your holiday even interesting. According to extra time you have, you can choose a visit to National Parks for jungle safari viewing rare animals, migrant birds and exotic reptiles or enjoy the whitewater rafting or take a cultural tour of Kathmandu, Pokhara, Nagarkot or even make a quick visit to neighboring countries of Tibet – Roof of the world, India – The country of wonders, Bhutan – The Dragon Kingdom.

We can add these extensions before or after your holiday according to the flights that you have booked / can book. Beside these, if you even want just stay in Kathmandu for relax or any independent activities, we can book extra nights at the Hotel. You can book these extensions together with your main trip booking.

 

Chitwan National Park

It is one of the oldest and popular National Parks in Nepal recognized by UNESCO as a World Natural Site. More than 500 Asian one-horned rhinoceros and some 100 nocturnal Royal Bengal Tigers have made their home in this dense forest. There are an estimated 50 species of mammals, over 526 species of birds, 49 amphibians and reptiles and 150 species of butterflies.

The park is spread over an area of 932 sq kms and located in the lowlands of Nepal. The forest cover is predominantly Sal, interspersed with tall grasslands, small hills, ox-bow lakes and flood plains.

Standard Packages are of 2 nights and 3 nights. Chitwan can be reached both by surface and air.

 

Bardia National Park

The park provides excellent habitat for endangered animals like the rhinoceros, wild elephant, tiger, fresh water Dolphin and many other species of mammals along with over 200 species of birds.

Standard Packages are of 2 nights and 3 nights. Bardia can be reached both by surface and air but since it will be too far to drive from Kathmandu, we offer the packages by air only.

 

Kathmandu

It is a treasure trove of ancient art and architecture that lie hidden in the labyrinth of manmade structures. The ancient pagoda temples and Buddhist stupas stand majestically above the rest of the landmarks. The Palace squares fascinate visitors with its exquisite woodwork and carving. You can extend your holiday from 1-3 days visiting these sites.

 

Pokhara

Pokhara is most popular tourist destination after Kathmandu, not because of its easy accessibility but because of its scenic beauty and proximity to many Himalayas. Rarely does a tourist miss a trip to this beautiful valley of lakes and mountain views. Ekai Kawaguchi who was the earliest visitor of this district, was awed by its beauty. The Annapurna range of the Himalayas dominates the landscape around Pokhara and many of treks and expeditions start from here. Around Pokhara one can go boating on lakes, bird watching, paragliding, fishing, ultralight flying or even pony trek besides regular treks. Pokhara can be reached by air as well as surface.

 

Nagarkot

Nagarkot is one of the most popular hill resorts on the fringe of the Kathmandu valley. With an elevation of 2,195m, is 32 kms away from Kathmandu offers a panoramic view of the valley and is described by the visitors as a place whose beauty endures year round. The extraordinary view of the Himalayan peaks from Dhaulagiri to Kanchenjunga is stupendous. Sunrise view from here is truly magnificent. An array of luxury resorts has made this place enjoyable for all kinds of tourists.

 

Tibet

Tour in Tibet offers a fabulous journey with awesome beautiful picturesque landscape and its colorful people and their culture, tranquil lakes, numerous high passes with stunning views of the mountains. Enriched by the ancient most lavishly decorated monasteries and temples with chanting saffron colored monks, ever smiling faces of people and their typical lifestyle all contributes to this trip a memory of your lifetime. A land so rich in culture, tradition and steeped in religion with its unique landscape, casts an enchanted spell that holds you in thrill and excitement. A journey of a life time, at the roof of the world with exciting adventure on route, and breathe-taking views of range of snow capped mountains. This is truly a stunning trip starting with a panoramic drive or flight over the gigantic Himalayas, a tour of great historical cities of Lhasa, Gyantse and Shigatse in the comfort of the spacious land cruiser and standard Hotels that Tibet has to offer.

 

India

The country of wonders, the lively bazaars, ornate architecture and the something puzzling customs of Indians make any visit a refreshing from the western life. Endowed with a backdrop of that can be anything from snow capped mountain to palm-lined beach, Indian rarely fails to delight adventurous travelers. India is considered to be the rich cultural melting pot with its colorful festivals of all the religion and people, blending well with magnificent landscape of historical cities, jungle, valleys, arid desert to high beautiful Himalayan peaks which makes it a traveler’s destination from sand, sea to snow.

 

Bhutan

The Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan, commonly known as ‘Land of the Thunder Dragon’ is regarded as the last paradise on earth is slowly emerging from centuries of self-imposed isolation. Closed for the outside world until early seventies, Bhutan has adopted the regulated tourism policy for its visitors in this tiny Himalayan Kingdom by allowing to enter limited numbers of tourists every year. Bhutan has retained its religious and cultural values despite of encroachment of modern civilization in the every nook and corner of the world. Unspoiled majestic virgin peaks, unique cultural heritage preserved for many centuries, an architectural style like no others, a land of full of warm hearted and friendly people have made Bhutan a truly unique destination. You will still find its past in present.

 

ACTIVITIES

River Rafting

Rafting is undoubtedly the best way to explore the Arcadian Nepal. It involves excitement, scenic views and challenge. Nepal has numerous fine rivers for rafting, kayaking or canoeing. The most prominent white water rafting regions are the eastern, the mid and the western rivers. Of all these regions, river Trisuli and the Bhotekoshi are the main popular rafting rivers for short trips. The rivers sometimes offer hair raising roller coaster rides. The float down stream is exhilarating and the scenery of the valley gorges between Himalaya and min Himalayan range is equally captivating. So whatever duration or level of excitement you need we have it.

 

Mount Everest Flight

Mountain flight is truly a memorable experience that one should not miss out in Nepal. If you feel you have not seen enough mountains, the mountain flight is the right choice to rejoice with spectacular panoramic mountains’ views. The bird’s eye view of the 6 mighty mountains above 8,000m out of the 14 from a close range is simply unbelievable. The one hour magic flight will make it possible for you to view uninterruptedly all the enchanting beauty of lofty and snowcapped mountains beyond your imagination. Above all is towering figure of Mount Everest amidst cluster of mountains spread all over Nepal and Tibet will mesmerize the onlookers with its astounding charm and grandeur. It is a great personal pride for you to hover above the clouds closer to the highest peak of the world-a-feat to be achieved only through mountain flight.

 

Bungy Jumping

Just imagination of jumping down from a bridge of 160m above a tropical gorge with the Bhote Koshi, one of the Nepal’s wildest rivers raging below is enough to make your heartbeat run faster. It is the thrill of Bungy jumping as it there is no fun for real adventure lover if challenge is not so hard and difficult. It is located within a reach of 4 hours outside Kathmandu and just 19 kms away from the Tibet Border.

The Bungy bridge happens to be the only privately owned bridge in Nepal. It has been specially designed for Bungy Jumping with a 4X safety factors and has a loading factor of 41,500kg or 4.5 tons according to Swiss measurement.

 

Paragliding

Paragliding is relatively new adventure sports in Nepal. Paragliding in this Himalayan country can be a truly wonderful and fulfilling experience for the adventure seekers. You can experience unparalleled scenic grandeur as you share airspace with Himalayan griffin vultures, eagles, kites while floating over the villages, monasteries, temples, lakes and the jungle with a fantastic view of the majestic Himalayas.

The main area for flying in Nepal is the Annapurna region, more specifically the Pokhara valley. This lakeside town is Nepal’s second city, nestled at the foot of the Annapurna Himal. The views commanded from here of 3 of the world’s 8000m peaks, are unsurpassed. At an altitude of 800m ASL the subtropical climate means that year round, it is short and T shirt weather. The micro climate of the valley makes it an ideal area for flying, with far more constant conditions.

 

Ultralight Flight

Ultralight aircraft is being operated from Pokhara. It has an unique blend of both mountain and plateau area. While flying over the Pokhara valley, you will not miss the scenic beauty of both the Himalayas and the most famous lake of Nepal, Phewa Tal. The flight will be a journey through nature. Don’t miss this truly unique experience.

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