10-Day Discover Bhutan Travel Plan

By: Druk Asia - Bhutan Travel Specialist  22/11/2010
Keywords: Bhutan Tours, Bhutan Travel, Bhutan Package Tours

Suitable Months    Year Round

 Day 1 - Arrival in Paro, Bhutan
Elevation 2,280m | Weather in Paro

Welcome to Bhutan, the Land of the Thunder Dragon. Touching down at Paro International Airport, you will be greeted by your guide upon exiting the arrival hall. Today, we will take it easy to acclimatise to the altitude. Drive to Thimphu, check in to the hotel and lets have your first taste of Bhutanese cuisine and some light sight-seeing in Thimphu if possible.

Viewpoints around Thimphu

Takin enclosure - See the national animal of Bhutan, the Takin.

Day 2 - Tour of Thimphu
Elevation 2,320m | Weather in Thimphu

Heritage Museum - Dedicated to connecting people to the Bhutanese rural past though exhibition of artefacts used in rural households.

Textile Museum - witnesses the art of traditional weaving.
Thimphu Dzong - the largest Dzong, is also the seat of the office of the King of Bhutan.
National Memorial Chorten - which was built in honor of the late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk.
Paper making factory - witnesses the art of paper making.
Simtokha Dzong - Five miles from Thimphu, on a lofty ridge, stands Semtokha Dzong the oldest fortress in the Kingdom.

Centenary Farmers' Market - Every Saturday and Sunday most of the Thimphu population congregate on the banks of the river where the weekend market is held. Here villagers from the valley and other nearby places come to sell their agriculture products.

Day 3 - Punakha
Elevation 1,300m | Weather in Punakha

Dochula Pass - the 108 chortens was built by the present Queen Mother of Bhutan Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck to commemorate Bhutan's victory over indian militants and to liberate the souls of the souls lost.

Punakha Dzong - Built in 1637, the dzong continues to be the winter home for the clergy, headed by the Chief Abbott, the Je Khenpo. It is a stunning example of Bhutanese architecture, sitting at the fork of two rivers, portraying the image of a medieval city from a distance. The dzong was destroyed by fire and glacial floods over the years but has been carefully restored and is, today, a fine example of Bhutanese craftsmanship.

Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten - Built by the third Queen Mother Ashi Tshering Yangdon wangchuck this Chorten is a slpendid example of of the Bhutanese architecture and art and is the only one of its kind in the world. It has been built over eight and a half years and its details have been drawan from religious scripture.

Day 4 - Punakha to Bumthang
Elevation 2,600m - 4,000m | Weather in Bumthang

In the morning, we would start our drive to Central Bhutan. Before we start we will pay a visit to Chhimi Lhakhang (left) - A 20 minutes walk across terraced fields through the village of Sopsokha from the roadside to the small temple located on a hillock in the centre of the valley below Metshina. Ngawang Chogyel built the temple in 15th century after the 'Divine Madman' Drukpa Kuenlay built a small chorten there. It is a pilgrim site for barren women.

Passing Wangdue (left), one of the major towns and district capital of Western Bhutan. Located south of Punakha, Wangdue is the last town before central Bhutan. The district is famous for its fine bamboo work and its slate and stone carving.

We will pause to view the Wangdue Phodrang Dzong. Built in 1638, Wangdue Dzong is dramatically perched on the spur of a hill and overlooks the confluence of the Tsang Chu and Dang Chu rivers.

Drive time 7 hours

Day 5 - Bumthang
Elevation 2,600m - 4,000m | Weather in Bumthang

This is one of the most spectacular valleys in Bhutan and also the heartland of Buddhism in Bhutan. It is an area with a wide variety of fauna and flora. The Guru Rinpoche and his lineage of Tertons (treasure finders) making Bumthang his home have led to more than 40 temples being built in this peaceful valley.

In the morning, we will hike to the Tamshing Goemba, built in 1501 by the Buddhist saint Pema Lingpa. We will also visit Kurjey Lhakhang (left-bottom), one of the most sacred monasteries in Bhutan. Built by the Guru Rinpoche in 1652, it houses a rock with his body imprint. Legend has it that Guru Rimpoche manifested as a Garuda to defeat the demon Shelging Karpo who had taken the form of a white lion.

We will also visit Jambay Lhakhang, built in 659 by Tibetan King Sontsen Gampo to pin down a demoness who was obstructing the spread of Buddhism. Come October, the Jambay Lhakhang Drup is one of the most colourful festivals in Bhutan.

Jakar Dzong - pitched on a high ground overlooking the town junction, it was built as monastery in 1549 by the great grandfather of the Zhabdrung. It is now used as the administrative center for Bumthang district

In the afternoon, we will hike up to Thangbi Valley, crossing a suspension bridge to visit the Thangbi Lhakhang built in the 14th century via an unpaved road.

Day 6 - Bumthang to Gangtey
Elevation 3,000m | Weather in Gangtey

On route to Gangtey is Trongsa, the ancestral home of the ruling dynasty.

Trongsa, literally "New Town" in the Dzongkha language, is where the current monarchy had its origin in Bhutan. Each King in the line of succession has held the post of Trongsa Penlop or Governor before donning the Raven Crown.

Trongsa Dzong - The foundations of Trongsa Dzong were laid in the 16th century by by Pema Lingpa. The Dzong flourished during the 17th century under Shabdrung Ngwang Namgyal. With its massive structure, its wall looming high above the winding Mangde Chu Valley, the Dzong commands the east-west road.

Taa Dzong - Built as a watch tower the Taa Dzong has since been turned into a Heritage Museum. A book on this prominent Dzong is written by Christian Schicklgruber entitled The Tower of Trongsa, Religion and Power in Bhutan.

Drive time 5 hours

Day 7 - Gangtey
Elevation 3,000m | Weather in Gangtey

The valley of Phobjikha is well known as the winter home of the Black necked crane (Grus Nigricollis). Bhutan is home to around six hundred black necked cranes with Phobjikha being one of the popular places that the birds migrate to in the winter months from the Tibetan plateau. The elegant and shy birds can be observed from early November to end of March.

Another significant landmark in Phobjikha is the famous Gangtey Gompa monastery. This is an old monastery that dates back to 17th century.

Today we will do some short hikes around the valley of Phobjikha.

Day 8 - Gangtey to Paro
Elevation 2,280m | Weather in Paro

Paro Valley - The beautiful valley is home to many of Bhutan's old monasteries and temples. The country's only Airport is in Paro. The valley is also home to mount Chomolhari (7,300 meters) situated at the northern end of the valley whose glacier water forms the Pachu flowing through the valley. The following are some of the prominent places to visit in Paro.

Paro Dzong - also known as Rinpung Dzong, this 15th century massive fortress/monastery, is also the administrative center of the dzonkhag.

Ta Dzong - Built as a watch tower the Ta Dzong, it was converted into the National Museum in 1968. The museum boasts antique Thangka, textiles, weapons and armour, household objects and rich assortment of natural and historic artifacts.

Drive time 4 hours

Day 9 - Paro
Elevation 2,280m | Weather in Paro

Drukgyal Dzong - A morning drive, north of Paro valley brings us to the ruins of Drukgyal Dzong. Built in 1647 by the great Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, father and unifier of medieval Bhutan, the Dzong was destroyed by an accidental fire and left in ruins as an evocative reminder of the great victories it was built to commemorate.Explore the ramparts and relive the memories of a glorious past.

Taktsang Monastery - A one hour hike to the cafeteria is also a vantage view whereby you can enjoy the stunning view of the monastery. Prayer flags adorn the clifts and this is also where Guru Padmasambhava landed on the back of a tigress in the 8th century.

Kyichu Lhakhang - After a sumptuous local lunch, we will retrace our steps to visit Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest temples in Bhutan.

Day 10 - Depart Paro
After breakfast, we will transfer to Paro airport for our flight and we bid a fond farewell to the Kingdom of Bhutan.

*Due to the shortages of quality hotels in many townships in Bhutan, Druk Asia will not be able to guarantee the reservation of choice local hotels. This is especially true during all festival periods. Druk Asia is however able to guarantee the reservations of all 5-stars accommodations.


Keywords: Bhutan Package Tours, Bhutan Tours, Bhutan Travel,

Contact Druk Asia - Bhutan Travel Specialist


Print this page