Our Classic Bhutan Tour includes a visit to major cities, including Thimphu and Paro. The trip provides you with a complete exploration of Bhutan's culture, art, handicraft, and architecture. As compared to its similar neighboring country, Nepal, the country has a low population density with most people here following Buddhism and the path of tranquillity. One of the two cities we visit on this tour is Thimphu. Thimphu is the capital city of Bhutan, while Paro is a historic city with lots of holy sites and buildings scattered throughout the town. Paro is also the only city in Bhutan with the International Airport of Bhutan.
Moreover, the trek takes you through the stunning scenery of Wangdue and Punakha valleys. Bhutan is undoubtedly one of the fascinating places to visit. The country has an abundance of natural beauty and cultural heritage. This tiny Himalayan country has lots of beautiful Buddhist shrines that shows peace and prosperity among the people. Even though the country is the exotic Land of high mountains, lush valleys, and fascinating springs, it has remained a mystery to the outer world for a very long time. Now, the country is open to sharing its beauty with the world. So, visit Bhutan to learn about its culture, tradition, and lifestyle, revel in its natural beauty with a variety of wildlife vegetation.
Exploration of beautiful Thimpu city
Unique Bhutanese culture, art, handicraft, and architecture
Historical museums in Thimpu and Punakha
Hike to Taktsang Goempa (The Tiger's Nest Monastery)
Bhutanese farmhouses and handicraft stores
- Accommodation with twin sharing room and breakfast
- Lunch and dinner in local restaurants and hotels
- A highly experienced, supportive, well-informed, pleasant, well-trained Government License holder guide who speaks English fluently with all his salary, food and drinks, accommodation, transport, and insurance paid for
- Private transport within Bhutan (Toyota coach / Tucson / Santafe / Land cruiser / Prado) as per itinerary
- All kinds of entry fees
- All government royalty and taxes
- Bottled water during the tour
- Visa Fee of US$40 per person
- Air ticket (flight fare) both International and Domestic
- Gratuities, bar bills, telephone bills, personal expenses, and laundry
- Travel Insurance
Arrive at Paro, then drive to Thimphu
On your flight to Paro, you will get beautiful views of the world's highest peaks accompanied by the lush green valley of Paro on landing. Bhutan will offer you crisp, clean, fresh air as a gift right after you step out of the plane. The award is a perfect fit to introduce you to the stunning beauty of Bhutan. After you arrive at Paro Airport, our airport representative will welcome you, then transfer you to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. The drive from Paro to Bhutan takes about one and a half-hour. After arriving at Thimphu, check into the hotel. Then, freshen up before we head out to explore Thimphu. After you freshen up, we start our Thimphu sightseeing tour. Firstly, we visit Changankha Lhakhang, one of the oldest temple in Thimphu valley. Lam Phajo Dugom Zhigpo built this temple in the 12th century. The temple stands on a ridge that offers a lovely view of the Thimphu valley. After that, we enjoy exploring other significant sites of Thimphu. We visit places like Memorial Chorten, built by the late Third King of Bhutan His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck in the year 1974. Then, we stop for a short lunch break. After lunch, we visit the renowned weekend vegetable market, Farmers Market, that regularly opens from Thursday to Sunday. Afterward, we visit the National Library, where we can find an extensive collection of Buddhist literature in block-printed format. We can also witness some architecture that dates back to several centuries. Visit the Hospital of Indigenous Medicine, the School of Traditional Arts, and the Folk Heritage Museum. In the late afternoon, we visit Tashichoedzong, 'The Fortress of the Glorious Religion.' The Dzong is now in operation for the Ministries, His Majesty's Secretariat, and the Central Monk Body.We have left evening free for the leisure activities. So, you can explore various Thimphu's handicraft stores and authentic Bhutanese Crafts Bazaar, where you can find intricately woven Bhutanese textiles and exclusive handicrafts. We will have Bhutanese dinner in one of the local restaurants in the town.
After early morning breakfast, we drive towards the Tango Monastery. Tango monastery lies in the distance of around 12 kilometers north of Thimphu district. The route to Tango Monastery is a climb of about 280 meters and takes about an hour. One of the Tibetan saints built the Tango monastery in the 12th century. However, the 4th temporal ruler of Bhutan, Gyalse Tenzin Rabgye, rebuilt the Monastery in its present form in 1688. Now the Monastery is the residence of his young 7th reincarnation. Tango Monastery is the only Buddhist University in Bhutan. After visiting Tango monastery, you can also hike to Cheri Gompa (Monastery), if you want. Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the unifier of Bhutan, initially built Cheri Gompa in 1620. And, this is also the spot where the central monastic body (Dratsang) was initially established. It is one of the most important pilgrim sites of Bhutan, and many significant priests of Drukpa Lineage passed periods here. After the road ends, we have to cross a wooden bridge to climb up towards the hill with pine, moss, fir, and rhododendron trees. The climb takes about an hour. After visiting the Monastery, we return to Thimphu through the road. We will take a break at Thimphu for lunch. After lunch, we visit Kuensel Phodrang, which is famous for the colossal statue of Buddha Dordenma. Buddha Dordenma is a colossal Shakyamuni Buddha's statue under construction in the mountains of Bhutan. The figure houses over one hundred thousand smaller Buddha statues, each of which, like the Buddha Dordenma itself, is made of bronze and covered with gold. The Buddha Dordenma lies in the middle of the ruins of Kuensel Phodrang, the palace of Sherab Wangchuck, the thirteenth Desi Druk, and overlooks the southern part to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. The statue is one of the largest Buddha stupas in the world. The height of the figure measure 169 feet. The evening is free so that you can explore the city of Thimphu.
Thimphu to Punakha
After having breakfast, we start our drive towards Punakha, a distance of about 72 kilometers. The road moves to Dochu La Pass, located 3,050 meters (10,000 feet) above sea level and marked by a vast collection of prayer flags and 108 Chortens. On a clear day, we can get a panoramic view of the Bhutan Himalayas from this pass. The best sight you get in the early morning is in the months between October to February. After lunch, we visit Chimi Lhakhang. Chimi Lhakhang is about a twenty minutes' walk from the road at Sopsokha. Ama Drukpa Kunley, 'The Divine Madman,' built the temple in 1499. He controlled the demon of Dochu La with his 'magic thunderbolt of wisdom.' This place also has a wooden model of the lama's thunderbolt. After arriving at Punakha, we check into the hotel to freshen up and keep our belongings. After you freshen up, we visit the Punakha Dzong. Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel, the unifier of Bhutan, built the Punakha Dzong in 1651. Central Monastic Body, which Je Khenpo controlsuse Punakha Dzong as the winter headquarters. The Central Monastic Body moves to Punakha for the winter and returns Thimphu during summer. The main temple (three-storied) of the Dzong is an excellent example of Bhutan's traditional architecture with four intricately engraved entrance pillars made from cypress and adorned in gold and silver. The crowning ceremony of the First King of Bhutan, Ugyen Wangchuck, took place at Punakha Dzong in 1907.
Punakha and Wangdue to Paro
At Punakha, we go for a morning visit to Khamsum Yuelley Namgyel Chorten, located high on a hill overlooking the bank of the Mo Chhu (Female River). The Queen Mother Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuck, made this three-story chorten for the protection of the country. The Chorten is within a half an hour walking distance from the road in the middle of a tranquil rural farming area. The Chorten is famous for its lovely paintings that feature incredibly complex iconography. We will also visit Devine Madman's Monastery, Chhimi Lhakhang. Chhimi Lhakhang is the fertility shrine where one can receive effective fertility blessings. Afterward, we visit Wangdue, which shares its name with Punakha Dzong. Punakha Dzong is an island of Pho Chu (Male River) and Mo Chu (Female River) to escalate the highest state of wood crafts. On the way, we will have mouthwatering lunch is one of the local restaurants. After lunch, we drive towards Paro.
After breakfast, we visit one of the most sacred temples of Bhutan, Dungtse Lhakhang. Tibetan Lama, Thangton Gyelpo, built the Dungtse Lhakhang in the year 1421. Thangton Gyelpo was also famous by the name of Chagzampa, 'the builder of iron bridges' or Drubthob, 'the realized One.' Dungtse Lhakhang is a three-storied temple that represents hell, earth, and heaven. The paintings of the temple are some of the best in Bhutan. After that, we visit the Rinpung Dzong, also known as 'fortress of a heap of jewels.' Built during the year 1646, the dzong set on a hill above Paro features some delightful architectures and age-old paintings. Afterward, we visit Kyichu Lhakhang. King Songtsen Gampo of Tibet built this temple in 659 AD. Bhutanese believe that the temple is holding down the left foot of a demon whose body is so enormous that it covers whole Bhutan and most of Eastern Tibet. This temple has a 5-meter-high statue of Guru Rinpoche and also of Tara, one of the wives of King Songtsen Gampo. It is one of the most sacred sites in Bhutan. After, we return to Paro for lunch. Then, we move towards Drukgyel Dzong. The great "Unifier of Bhutan," Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel, built this Dzong in 1647 to commemorate his victory over the Tibetans in 1644. US National Geographic magazine featured Drukgyel Dzong when John Claude White published an article about Bhutan in 1914. This glamorous Dzong got destroyed in a terrible fire in 1951. At present, the Dzong is in ruins, and its central courtyard is in a restriction to visitors.
Hike to Taktsang Gompa
Today, we drive to the base of the Taktsang Monastery. There are a couple of options available to reach Taktsang Monastery. You can either choose to ride a horse or hike. We recommend hiking as you can enjoy the natural beauty and experience the joy of walking in beautiful Bhutan. It takes around 1.5hours uphill to reach the Taktsang cafeteria that overlooks the famous Monastery rested on the side of a cliff 900 meters above the floor of the Paro valley. It takes about one hour from the canteen to a lookout point beside the Monastery. Taktsang means 'tiger's lair/nest.' There is a legend of Guru Rinpoche flying to the site of the current Monastery on the back of a tiger. Guru Rinpoche then meditated in a cave for three months and converted the Paro valley to Buddhism. According to Bhutanese tradition, the tiger was a form of Guru Rinpoche's consorts used for the occasion. We will stop a short lunch break at Taktsang cafeteria, or we set up a picnic before hiking downhill. The evening is free for your leisure. So, you can roam around the city of Paro, go shopping, or enjoy your time relaxing in the hotel.
Our seven day's classic Bhutan tour has finally come to an end. After bidding goodbyes, our airport representative will transfer you to the Paro International Airport from where you can take a flight to your further destination. We will transport you about three hours before your scheduled flight.