Bhutan Best Tour offers you a tour plan where you can feel the aliveness of Gross National Happiness (GNH) concept, which is the mandate of Bhutanese State.
In this tour, we will let you interact with people from all walks of life – from GNH experts, farmers, locals. You may visit schools, monastic institutions which will give you an insight to the idea of why Bhutanese people main goal is pursuing Happiness.
The main goal of this tour is to allow you to understand what happiness is and to allow you to ask yourself what makes you happy.
Duration : 8Nights 9Days .
Destination Covered : Thimphu-Paro-Punakha-Gangtey .
The flight to Paro is one of the most spectacular in the entire Himalayas. Whether flying along the Himalayan range from Kathmandu or over the foothills from Kolkatta, the journey offers fascinating views and an exciting descent into the Kingdom. Bhutan’s first gift as you disembark from the aircraft will be cool, clean fresh mountain air.
After immigration formalities and baggage collection, you will be met by our representative, and afterwards drive to Thimphu, the capital town of Bhutan with en-route stop at Chuzom, the confluence of Paro and Thimphu Rivers. Three different style of stupas ; Tibetan , Nepalese and Bhutanese adorn this confluence. On arrival, in Thimphu check-into the hotel, the capital town of Bhutan with the population of about 100,000 it is perhaps still the world’s only capital without a traffic light. Evening an exploratory walk around Thimphu main street and market area.
Overnight at Hotel in Thimphu
Drive from the hotel to the Gross National Happiness (GNH)Information Center . Meet with the Gross National Happiness Center experts; they will give you talks on Gross National Happiness and its 4 pillars in depth .
After meeting the GNH expert we will explore Thimphu Valley.
Some places of interest would be:
-Indigenous Hospital for Traditional Medicines: where you can meet elderly people who has more faith in traditional medicine system than the modern medical facility. The Institution was established with the goal to improve the welfare of Bhutanese people and to preserve its rich culture and tradition
-13 Arts And Craft School: The student learn 13 arts and craft including Thanka painting, embroidery, metal work, Sculptor and wood work. You can visit here and watch student at work
Memorial Chorten: Located in the heart of town, where you can see people from all walk of life circumambulating or prostrating or feeding pigeons, may give you a glimpse of Bhutan’s rich and happy expression of its ancient Buddhist culture.
You may also like to visit other cultural sightseeing places like Buddha Point , Tashichodzong or Folk Heritage Museum.
Evening we will take a walk along the ancient trail which starts from BBS tower and ends in Wangditse Temple. From this hike you can get a grand view of Thimphu Valley.
Overnight at Hotel in Thimphu
Today we will take a hike to the off beaten path that leads us to the hidden monastery through the Pine forest. If you want to know more about this hike or Dodeydra monastery then you can read our blog https://www.bhutaninbound.com/blog/2020/10/04/hike-to-dodeydrak/
Alongside the temple you will see numerous houses which shelters 175 monks studying at Dodeydra.
They also have a small guest house and we will be holding a night here today. The place is absolutely tranquil and there are many activities that you can engage here
Based on time availability and your interest, we will take part in the above activities. Few of the activities above may not be possible if your night stay is just one night.
Overnight at Dodeydra Monastery.
We will participate in Morning Prayer and after a decent meal we will explore a 1000-year old meditation hermitage where hermits meditate for as long as 12 years. The Hermitage is situated further away from the monastery and may take a day exploring this but this expedition will give you an aura that comes from another time.
Evening Return to monastery
Have a meal with the monks
Overnight at guest house in Dodeydra
We will bid goodbye to our monk friends and hike down to Thimphu valley.
Our driver will be waiting for us at the end of the trail ; we will have a good breakfast and head towards Punakha valley. On the way stop at Dochula Pass ( 3140m) . This pass one of the most photogenic place you will come across on your journey to Punakha. On a clear weather days you can see the whole Eastern Himalayas from this pass. Walk through the 108 Stupas. Spend some time over here at the Cafeteria with some good coffee and really amazing views. Later continue your drive .
Today we will have a lunch by the river side.
After your lunch we will head towards Sopsokha Village. A tiny village located in the midst of paddy field. It is believe that Lam Drukpa Kinley the divine madman was followed by demoness till Sopsokha village. It is here where he has subdued the evil spirits.He used the phallus as a medium to subdue and discipline the malevolent Spirits. And to celebrate the victory , on the exact spot Chimi Lhakhang was constructed later on by Lama Ngawang Chogyal. We can also visit chimmi Lhakhang and get the blessing from divine phallus.
So maybe that’s why you may see the phallus painting at almost all the houses of Sopsokha Village.
We will be holding a night in one of the homes here.
Enjoy the typical Bhutanese meal in Bhutanese style with your host family at Sopsokha Village. If you like you can cook your dinner along with your host and chat with them as you cook.
Overnight at Sopsokha village in Punakha.
After a morning breakfast, we will visit Punakha Dzong & enjoy its architectural grandeur and then head towards Phobjikha Valley
Phobjikha is a wide glacial valley with a central stream meandering through the open grassland and home to the magnificent Black-necked Cranes. It is known for its breathtaking scenary.
On arrival at Gangtey you will be driven to Kunzang Chholing college for Buddhist studies. We will offer some butter lamp , hoist prayer flags, take some pictures with little monk and head for a farm house lunch
Later in late afternoon explore the Phobjikha valley.
Must Do Activities Here:
Hike the Gangtey nature trail: This trail is the best way to explore the Gangtey Valley. It leads you through the pine forests and into the villages of Phobjikha. The total distance to be covered is four kilometers and the level of the hike is easy. It also offers the best view of the valley.
Visit the Black Necked Crane Centre: As the valley is home to one of the endangered species called as the Black Necked Crane, this place offers a perfect opportunity to understand the bird and its nature, and you will understand how it lives in harmony with farmers of the valley
Overnight at hotel in Gangtey.
After your morning breakfast at your hotel drive back to Paro. En route stop for a good coffee at Dochula Pass (3148 mts). Continue to drive further to Paro via Thimphu. On reaching Paro before driving directly to your hotel, stop at the View Point to see the Paro International Airport. It is really amazing to see the Planes landing from this bird eye view point . later check-in at hotel and head for a farm house dinner . Here you will be visiting a local family house where you will be demonstrated on how to prepare Bhutanese butter tea called as Suja. Get yourself involved and interact with the family and know their idea of what happiness means to them and how do they value it. Try the National dress called Gho for men and Kira for women at the farm house and try a hand on archery game( the national game of Bhutan)
Overnight at hotel in Paro
Today we will hike the famous Tiger Nest, may take about 4hours or so.
After a tiring hike rejuvenate with herbal and hot stone bath
Later in the evening you can take a stroll in Paro streets and if interested you can pick up some Bhutanese Souvenir.
Overnight at hotel in Paro
Depart Bhutan to your onward destination
Paro is situated in a beautiful valley and is a fitting introduction to this charming kingdom. Our guide will meet us and take you on a short one-hour drive along the Paro and Thimphu river valleys to Thimphu. We can stop on the way to take in the magnificent Tamchhog Lhakhang, the hereditary place of worship for Bhutan’s iron bridge builder.
When we are ready to start our sightseeing we can visit the weekly market, the revered Memorial Chorten and then you may like to drive up to the Radio Tower (offering splendid views of the city from a hilltop festooned with prayer flags) and take a short one hour forest hike through ancient trails. 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 hotel in Thimphu
We will 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. Then we can visit the School of Traditional Arts, browse the striking collection of intricate textiles at the National Textile Museum or visit the Folk Heritage Museum.
After lunch drive approximately 2.5 hours to the old capital, Punakha, via Dochu La pass at 3050 metres, where we will stop for a hot drink and enjoy spectacular panoramic views of the Eastern Himalaya ranges. You will notice the change of climate and vegetation as we approach low-lying Punakha at 1250 metres.
Overnight at hotel in Punakha