BHUTAN ODYSSEY (12 DAYS)
Bhutan Odyssey is basically extension of the Kingdom in Sky but the tours will give overview of Bhutan with in the short time period focusing on western cities with more history, architecture, culture and nature. The itinerary will take you through four major cities of Bhutan, the most developed cites in the hidden kingdom. At the end of the trip, you will realize how Bhutan could balance its cultural and tradition with modern development and pursuit “Gross National Happiness”
Day 1: Arrive Paro by Druk Air
During the flight to Paro, one will experience breathtaking views of Mount. Everest, Kanchenjunga and other Himalayan peaks including sacred Chomolhari and Mount. Jichu Drake in Bhutan. On arrival and after visa formalities you will be received by our representative and transfer to the hotel.
Evening take a stroll around town’s main street. Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
Day 2: Paro
Early morning visit Ta Dzong (National Museum) and then walk down the trail to visit Rinpung Dzong which has a long and fascinating history.
After lunch, visit the ruined fortress of Drugyel dzong which still attracts visitors due to the strategic location of the fort. Then visit a traditional farm house which offers good insight into lifestyle of local people.
In the evening, visit Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest and most sacred shrines of the Kingdom. Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
Day 3: Paro – Thimphu, 60 km, 2 hours
After breakfast drive from Paro to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. Enroute stop at Chuzom (confluence) where Paro river joins Thimphu river. Nearby Thimphu, visit to Simtokha Dzong, the oldest fortress of the Kingdom which now houses the School for Buddhist studies.
Afternoon, in Thimphu, visit King’s Memorial Chhorten and Trashichhodzong, beautiful medieval fortress/monastery. Then, visit Handicrafts Emporium, Textile and Folk Heritage Museum followed by visit to local market.
Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.
Day 4: Thimphu – Punakha
After breakfast, visit National Library, Painting School and Traditional Medicine Institute.
After lunch, drive to Punakha by crossing the Dochula pass 3100 meters. On fine weather you will see the eastern Himalayan ranges including the highest mountain in Bhutan, Mt.Gangar Punsum 7520 meters.
On arrival, check into the hotel. Evening visit Punakha Dzong, the fortress of 17th century and later visit to Khamsm Yulley Namgyal Chhorten. Overnight at the hotel in Punakha.
Day 5: Punakha – Wangduephodrang – Gangtey, 70 km, 3 hours
After breakfast drive to Gangtey via Wangduephodrang. Visit remarkable Wangdi Dzong and a local village house offering good insight into lifestyle of people. Further ahead pass through dense forests and oak, rhododendron tress, reaching at Gangtey (Phobjikha).
Evening take a walk around Gangtey village and visit Gangtey Gompa, the only Nyingmapa monastery in this region. Overnight at Camp / Guest House.
Day 6: Gangtey – Trongsa, 120 km, 4.1/2 hours
After breakfast, explore Phobjikha valley, which is famous for Black Necked Cranes. These cranes migrate from Tibetan Plateau to escape its harsh winters.
After lunch drive to Trongsa crossing 3,300m high Pele la pass. Evening visit to Trongsa market. Overnight at the lodge in Trongsa.
Day 7: Trongsa – Bumthang, 68 km, 3 hours
Morning sightseeing in Trongsa include visiting Trongsa Dzong, the master piece of Bhutanese architecture and Ta Dzong, the watch tower, built to defend this Dzong and surrounding region.
After lunch, proceed to Bumthang, the most spectacular valleys in Bhutan and the heartland of Buddhism. Evening at leisure. Dinner and overnight at the lodge in Bumthang.
Day 8: Bumthang
After breakfast, visit Tamshing Lhakhang, the treasure house of interesting religious Buddhist paintings. Then visit, Jakar Dzong, the administrative centre of the valley.
Afternoon visit Kurje Lhakhang, one of the most sacred places. Later visit Jambay Lhakhang, the ancient monastery dating from the introduction of Buddhism in the country.
In the evening visit local shops. Overnight at the lodge in Bumthang.
Day 9: Bumthang – Wangduephodrang, 205 km, 7 hours
After breakfast drive to Wangdue. Lunch would be served enroute at one of the famous restaurant in Trongsa town.
In the evening take a stroll around Wangdue town, visiting shops, local market and mingling with people. Overnight at the hotel in Wangduephodrang.
Day 10: Wangduephodrang – Paro, 77 km, 3 hours
After breakfast, visit Chimi Lhakhang. It is situated on a hillock in the centre of the valley, and is dedicated to Lama Drukpa Kuenley, who in the late 15th century used humour, songs and outrageous behaviour to dramatise his teachings and his is commonly known as ‘Divine Madman’. This temple is also known as the temple of fertility. It is widely believed that couples who do not have children and wanting one, if they pray at this temple, they are usually blessed with a child. It is about 20-25 minute walk across field from the road head to the temple. The trail leads across rice fields to the tiny settlement of Pana, meaning ‘field’. It then follows a tiny stream downhill to Yoaka and across more fields before making a short climb to Chimi Lhakhang.
Afteroon drive to Paro. Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
Day 11: Paro (Excursion to Haa valley)
After early breakfast, drive to Haa via Chele-la pass. At Chele-la pass, one can have a superb views of Mount. Chomolhari & Jichu Drakey. This is a very good place to walk around for few minutes enjoying the view.
The Haa Dzong is presently occupied by military, but the view from outside is stunning. After picnic lunch visit to the famous Monastery Lhakhang Karpo (White Temple) followed by visit to Lhakhang Nagpo (Black Temple). The central shrine in Lhakhang Nagpo is said to have no difference with that of Lhasa JOWO in Tibet. The construction of the Lakhang Karpo is believed to have been assisted by the locality.
The three giant hills looming over the fringes of Haa valley were called “Me Rig Puen Sum” especially after the incidence of the Lhakhang Karpo construction. Today the three hills are popularly known as “Rig Sum Goenpa” signifying three deities-Jambayang Chana Dorji and Chenrizig. Later, other Buddhist saints like Guru Rinpoche and “Machi Labdorn” came to the Jungney Drag in Haa and blessed the locality. The principal religion followed is Drukpa Kagyud.
After the arrival of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel, the chief guardian deity of Haa became Ap Chundu.
After lunch, drive back to Paro. The drive will be appromixatly 3 hours. Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
Day 12: Depart Paro
After early breakfast in the hotel and drive to the airport for flight to onward destination
Private guided tour
Visas for Bhutan
Daily 3 meals
3 star accommodation
A qualified & licensed English-speaking guide
An experienced driver
A tour vehicle
Entry fess & road permits
Taxes & surcharges
Set of traditional costume (to be return at the end of your stay)
Flight into Bhutan via Drukair (can be arranged with us)
Flight on other airline to catch Drukair Flight
Meals at 4-5 stars restaurants
Hotel stay outside of Bhutan
Expenditure of personal nature
Travel Insurance (can be arranged with us)
Tips for the guide and driver