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Discover Bhutan

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Phone
1-800-688-1804 info@civilizedadv.com

Date: You pick!
Host: Locally Guided
Cost: Varies by experience
Trip Type: Custom Civilized Adventures
 

Example Itinerary

The following is an outline of a trip itinerary that can be customized to your specifications. Take only parts of this trip, modify, add, whatever suits you!

Click on a day below to view details:

Day 1 - Arrive Phuentsholing

Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to your carefully chosen hotel.

Depending on your arrival time, we will visit Zangtho Pelri: Situated in city centre, this small temple represents the heaven of Guru Rinpoche.

Later in the evening explore the local market. Overnight at the hotel in Phuentsholing

Day 2 –Thimphu

After breakfast drive to Thimphu. En route stop at Kharbandi Gompa, the beautiful monastery situated in garden of tropical plants and flowers. The monastery contains paintings depicting scenes from the life of Buddha and statues of Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and Guru Rimpoche. From the monastery garden there is a splendid view of Phuentsholing and plains of West Bengal and their tea gardens in the distance. This entire drive is very pleasant with numerous scenic spots en route.

On arrival, we will check into our beautiful hotel. Set in Thimphu Valley, our hotel has stunning views and it's design is traditional yet modern allowing for all the essentials plus a little more. The capital town of Bhutan and the centre of government, religion and commerce, Thimphu is a unique city with unusual mixture of modern development alongside ancient traditions. With the population of about 90,000 it is perhaps still the world’s only capital city without a traffic light.

Evening to explore around Thimphu main street and market area in hopes to take part in traditional festivals and scenic mountain passes that surround you.

Day 3 – Thimphu

This morning we will head out to the Thimphu Valley to explore the National Library. Here we will see an extensive collection of priceless Buddhist manuscripts, the Institute for Zorig Chusum (commonly known as the traditional Bhutanese Painting School), the Textile and Folk Heritage Museum, a fascinating testimony of the Bhutanese material culture and living traditions.

Continue on to ‘Simply Bhutan’, a living museum, the unique project that observes conservation of Bhutanese culture and tradition.  The infrastructure portrays ancient Bhutanese architecture which is being lost to modernization. The uniqueness of the structure is in its composition of the materials used. The structure is built reusing old timber, window and door frames and other items from traditional and old demolished houses.  The best part is the portrayal of the age-old life styles of the Bhutanese people.

After lunch, visit King's Memorial Chorten continuously circumambulated by locals, murmuring mantras and spinning their prayer wheels. Construction of this landmark was the idea of Bhutan’s third king,  who had wished to construct a monument dedicated to world peace and prosperity.

We will then drive to Trashichhoedzong, “fortress of the glorious religion”. This is the center of government and religion. Built in 1641 by the political and religious unifier of Bhutan, it was reconstructed in 1960s in traditional Bhutanese manner, without nails or architectural plans.

Later we will  head to Buddha Point for a panoramic overview of the Thimphu Valley and if you like you can pay your obeisance and offer prayers to the Buddha, the largest statue in the country.

Evening time can be spent strolling through the government-run Handicrafts Emporium and local crafts bazaar, to browse through example of Bhutan's fine traditional arts. Here you can buy hand-woven textiles, thangkha paintings, masks, ceramics, slate and wood carvings, jewelry, interesting items made from local materials.

Day 4 – Thimphu to Trongsa

After an early breakfast, drive to the Dochula pass (3,050m). If the weather permits, you can see a range of high Himalayan peaks towards the north east. Arrive in Wangduephodrang town for a traditional Bhutanese lunch.

Proceed to Tongsa across Pelela pass (3,300 m ), the traditional boundary between east and west. The pass is marked by a large prayer flag and the ground is covered with high altitude dwarf bamboo. Stop enroute at Chendbji Chorten, which was built in 18th century by a Lama named Shida, it is Nepalese in style with eyes painted at four cardinal points.

Arrive at our small resort in Trongsa. Enjoy the views of Dzong across the Valley and well groomed flower beds.

Day 5 – Thimphu to Bumthang

After breakfast we will proceed to visit Trongsa Dzong, built in 1648 it was the seat of power over central and eastern Bhutan. Both the first and second Kings of Bhutan ruled the country from this ancient seat. The Ta Dzong, a cylindrical stone structure rising five stories, was built in 1652 by Chogyal Minjur Tempa, After more than 350 years, it has been resurrected into a classy museum, that represents a tasteful blend of tradition and modernity. After sightseeing at Tronga, continue on to Bumthang. The road winds steeply up to the pass from Trongsa, then runs down through coniferous forest into a wide, open cultivated valley known as the Chumey Valley.

En route we will make a stop at Chumey, a wide fertile valley where wheat, barley, potatoes and buckwheat are cultivated. Chumey is particurly know for its famous wool weaving called "Bumthang Yathra".

Overnight at our hotel in Bumthang.

Day 6 – Bumthang

Bumthang is the general name given to combination of four valleys – Chumey, Choekhor, Tang and Ura with altitude varying from 2,600m to 4,000m. It is home to many of prominent Buddhist temples and monasteries.

After leisurely breakfast at hotel, visit Kurje Lhakhang, where the saint Padmasambhava subdued a local demon and left his body imprint on a rock., the Jambey Lhakhang (7th century temple), Tamshing Lhakhang (housing some of the oldest wall paintings in Bhutan) and Jakar Dzong (administrative center of the region). Stroll in the village, chat with locals and visit the little handicrafts shop.

Afternoon take a short hike to Lhodrak Kharchhu Monastery: Located above the main town, about 3 km from Chamkhar town, the monastery has become part of an extensive effort to preserve and revitalize Tibetan culture. The monks regular curriculum include reading, memorizing the daily prayers, learning dharma dances, drawing mandalas, learning the melodies of sacred rituals, learning the use of ceremonial instruments and the art of making sacrificial objects, grammer, poerty, karika along with the basics of contemplation and instruction on the different stages of tantra.

Overnight at our hotel in Bumthang.

Day 7 – Punakha

This morning we will drive to Punakha across Yutong-la pass (3,400m) & Pelela pass (3,300 m). Mountain passes offer the most spectacular view over the high peaks of the eastern Himalayas on a clear day.

Evening can be spent exploring Punakha village located right on the bank of river.

Overnight at the hotel in Punakha.

Day 8 – Paro

After breakfast, we will proceed to visit Punakha Dzong, a massive structure built at the junction of two rivers. It was the capital of Bhutan until 1955, and still serves as the winter residence of the monk body.

Punakha dzong visit shortly followed by a short and easy walk to Chimi Lakhang walking through paddy fields and villages. The Chimi Lhakhang, situated on a hillock in the centre of the valley, also known as the temple of fertility. The trail leads across rice fields to the tiny settlement of Pana, meaning ‘field’. A walk through the village near the temple will give you rare glimpses into the daily life and lifestyle of the villagers

Later in the day after checking into our hotel, we will proceed to visit Ta Dzong, originally built as Watchtower, which now houses National Museum. The extensive collection includes antique thangkha paintings, textiles, weapons & armour, household objects and a rich assortment of natural and historic artifacts.

Ta Dzong visit immediately followed by short walk down the trail to visit Rinpung Dzong, meaning (“fortress of the heap of jewels”), which has a long and fascinating history. Along the wooden galleries lining the inner courtyard are fine wall paintings illustrating Buddhist lore such as four friends, the old man of long life, the wheel of life, scenes from the life of Milarepa, Mount. Sumeru and other cosmic Mandala.

Overnight at our hotel in Paro.

Day 9 – Paro

Today we will take an excursion to Taktshang Monastery (5hrs hike):  It is one of the most famous of Bhutan’s monasteries, perched on the side of a cliff 900m above the Paro valley floor. It is said that Guru Rinpoche arrived here on the back of a tigress and meditated at this monastery and hence it is called ‘Tiger’s Nest’. This site has been recognised as a most sacred place and visited by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1646 and now visited by all Bhutanese at least once in their lifetime.

On the way back into town stop at Drukgyel Dzong, a ruined fortress where Bhutanese warriors fought Tibetan invaders centuries ago. The snowy dome of sacred Chomolhari, "mountain of goddess'' can be seen in all her glory from the approach road to the Dzong.   Along the way, visit the 7th century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples built in the Himalayas by Tibetan King, Songtsen Gampo. The building of this temple marks the introduction of Buddhism in Bhutan.

This evening take exploratory walk around main street and market area.

Overnight at our hotel in Paro.

Day 10 – Paro

After breakfast we will transfer you to the airport for your flight to your onward destination. Our representative will help you with exit formalities and then bid you farewell.

Ask us for more ideas on continuing your adventure. Please call for YOUR Custom program & quote

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Cost

The price of this trip will vary based on the time of year and level of experience you are looking for. We have a variety of options available and can tailor this trip to your needs. Please contact us for more information.


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