Phobjikha valley

HIGHLIGHTS

This cultural tour explores the wonderfully diverse environment of Bhutan's western valleys as well as their cultural heritage. Drive over high mountain passes and through rapidly changing vegetation from pine forests to hills covered in rhododendrons, magnolias and dwarf bamboo - abundant with birds and wildlife. The centrepiece to this tour is time spent exploring the beautiful Phobjikha Valley, winter home to the rare Black-Necked Crane. This tour also visits ancient fortresses, temples, monasteries, markets, farm houses and museums in Paro, Thimphu and Punakha. Highlights include the Ta Dzong Museum, Rimpong Dzong, the infamous Taktsang Monastery (Tiger's Nest), The National Memorial Chorten, 12th century Changangkha Temple, the National Library exhibiting ancient scriptures, Phobjikha Sanctuary and Punakha Dzong.

TOUR ITINERARY

Day 1: Paro-Thimphu. 54km/1hr drive
Day 2: Thimphu
Day 3: Thimphu-Gangtey. 154km/ 5.5hrs drive
Day 4: Gangtey
Day 5: Gangtey-Punakh. 83km/ 3.5 hrs drive
Day 6: Punakha-Paro. 130km/ 4hrs drive
Day 7: Paro,round trip hike 4hrs
Day 8: Paro
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Day 1: Paro-Thimphu
On arrival at Paro International Airport, you will be received by our guide. Drive to Thimphu. After refreshment, visit the National Library where ancient manuscripts are preserved and Art school of the Wood Craft and Painting where traditional arts and crafts are still kept alive. In the evening, we visit the Memorial Chorten (a huge stupa) built in memory of the third King of Bhutan who reigned the Kingdom from 1952-1972.

Day 2: Thimphu
In the morning, we visit Buddha point where is the biggest sitting Buddha located, Changangkha lhakhang and Takin zoo. After lunch, we visit main Bazaar where you can see all kinds of local productions. In the evening, we visit Tashichoe Dzong. Rest time shopping or at leisure.

Day 3: Thimphu-Gangtey
We drive to Gangtey en route to Dochula pass where you can see 108 stupa which were built by the Queen Mother of Bhutan. After lunch, we make a walking excursion around the Gangtey village and visit a local family for tea and talk with them just to experience a village life.

Day 4: Gangtey
Day excursion to the Gangtey Gompa valley at an altitude of 2800 meters. The 15th century Nyingma monastery in western Bhutan is located here. This beautiful valley is also home to the rare Black Necked Cranes migrating from the Tibetan plateau to escape the harsh winter. Currently there are 200 to 300 cranes residing in this valley and the Royal Society for Protection of Nature (RSPN) is taking every measures to ensure the safety of the Cranes. While the cranes reside in the winter valley for 4/5 months the village folks are not allowed to make load noises or fish in the river that runs through the valley. Explore the fascinating Phobjekha valley and return to the Resort.

Day 5: Gangtey-Punakha
We drive to Punakha en route to Wangdu. On the way, we visit Chimi Lhakhang monastery which was blessed by divine made man known as Drukpa Kinlay in 15th century. This monastery is dedicated to fertility. Hundreds of people from all over Bhutan visit this monastery to pray for children and in the temple; a monk holding a symbolic phallus blesses them make wishes to conceive. Picnic lunch at the back side of monastery. We visit the Punakha Dzong which was built in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to serve as the religious and administrative centre of the region. Punakha Dzong has played an important role in Bhutan's history.

Day 6: Punakha-Paro
We drive to Paro en route to Semtokha Dzong which is one of the oldest fortresses in Bhutan. It was built in 1629 A.D. It houses the largest monastic schools in the country. After lunch, excursion to The National Museum (Ta-Dzong). This was actually the Watch Tower of the Paro RimPong Dzong. It was converted to the National Museum in l968. Visit the RimPong Dzong which was built in 1645 AD. Also visit 7th century Kichu lhakhang and Dungtse lhakhang. Evening at leisure or shopping.

Day 7: Paro
We start to hike to Taktsang Monastery. The name Taktsang means "Tiger's Nest". The Monastery is perched on a rocky ledge with a sheer drop of nearly 4000 ft. and offers an excellent view of Paro valley. It is said that in the second half of the 8th century, Guru Padma Sambhava meditated in the spot where the Monastery is situated, having alighted there on the back of a flying tigress. lunch at the Taktsang cafeteria. All evening for relax after tiring hike or optional village excursion. Farewell party at hotel with live traditional songs and dances.

Day 8: Paro
After breakfast, transfer to the airport and see you off.
 

Tour date

by request
(8 days / 7 nights)

Group size & price

from 3-12 pax:
1440 USD (low season) per person
1790 USD (high season) per person

Price includes

  • accommodation in standard hotels (certified by TCB). DBL occupancy.
  • 3 meals per day
  • transfers and transportation
  • road permit fees
  • all taxes
  • entrance fees to all monuments
  • English speaking Bhutanese guide (other languages upon request)
  • visa fee

Not included

  • airfares (as listed separately)
  • personal expenses such as beverages, spa or message
  • travel & medical Insurance
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