Bhutan hides itself between the mountains of Himalayas. The strong storms which often appear on the Himalayas is the reason for the other name of the country – ‘The Land of The Thunder Dragon’. Bhutan culture is the great combination of Buddhism and the Himalayan heritage. It has a uniqueness that tourists can only experience here. That is why tourists visit Bhutan every year because they are curious and attracted by the culture. Bhutan cultural tours are the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for you to come in contact with the cultural heritage of the country.
Coming to Bhutan, you will be able to visit Dzongs (fortresses), monasteries, chortens, old temples. These are the religious destinations, which embrace the Buddhism in their architecture. Some of the famous Dzongs like Thimphu Dzong, Ta Dzong, Punakha Dzong and Trongsa Dzong are hundreds years old, becoming the iconic image of Bhutan culture.
Bhutanese are proud of the diversity and the richness of their culture. People here can be seen practicing Buddhism, twirling praying wheels and fingering praying beads in many places and even at home. They have Tshechus (festivals) during certain time of the year. These festivals are simply charming and fun-filled. And rarely in any nation’s cuisine will you find chilies as the main ingredient of the dish, but that is the distinctive characteristics of Bhutanese food. Keep this in mind when you try some Bhutanese dishes like the traditional dish ema datshi (chili with cheese).
Tour duration – 5days/4nights.
Tour destination – Paro, Thimphu.
Tour overview – The tour will give you an insight into the life in Bhutan, though the destinations are in the western part of Bhutan – Thimphu and Paro. Thimphu is the capital of Bhutan and Paro is one of the most stunning valleys of the kingdom, and both destinations are blessed with beautiful and unspoiled nature. You will first go to Thimphu to explore the local life of Bhutanese, visit museums and Tashichho Dzong, the fortress of The Glorious Religion. In Paro, we will guide you to important religious sites of Bhutan – Paro Rinpung Dzong and Tiger’s Nest, whose tales have been passed on from generations to generations of Bhutanese.
Day 01: Arrival in Paro and move to Thimphu
- Altitude in Paro: 2280m
- Distance: 55km
- Estimated time: 1.30hr
The flight to Bhutan provides the most spectacular view of The Himalayas. As the plane approaches Paro, you will see the beautiful snow peaks of Himalaya range. The first gift from Bhutan will be cool, clean fresh air as you step out of the plane. Our representative will meet you and drive to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan at 2320m, also the only capital in the world that does not use traffic lights. You can stop on the way to take magnificent Tachogang Lhakhang, a temple of the hill of the excellent horse.
On arrival in Thimphu, check in the hotel. After a brief rest we will head to the Jungshi Handmade Paper factory. This small factory produces traditional Bhutanese paper from the bark of two tree species, the Daphne and Dhekap tree. You can observe the entire process of producing handmade paper. It is named Deh sho paper, was originally used by monasteries for woodblock and manuscript books and also for writing prayer books.
In the late afternoon, take a stroll around to explore Thimphu town and soak in the at-mosphere of this charming capital with crowded shops, bazaars and hospitality local in national dress.
Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.
Day 02: Thimphu sightseeing
We will begin our day‘s sightseeing of the following sites:
The National Library of Bhutan, was established in 1967 to preserve the rich cultural and religious heritage of Bhutan and The Himalayas. It holds a vast collection of ancient Buddhist texts and historic manuscripts, some dating back several hundred years, as well as modern academic books mainly on Himalayan culture and religion.
The Folk Heritage Museum, restored three-storey, rammed mud and timber house replicates a rural household and is furnished as it would have been in the mid-19th century to provide an interesting glimpse into rural Bhutanese life.
The National Textile Museum, is the place to learn about Bhutan’s living national art of thagzo (weaving). Weaving is an integral component of the culture and tradition of Bhutan. It displays Royal ghos and Kiras and introduces the major weaving techniques, styles of local dress and type of textiles made by women and men.
If your trip happens to fall on a weekend, we will take a quick visit to the farmer’s market. Farmers come from all over the country to sell their farm products in the market, so we will see all kinds of vegetables, fruits dried stuff, cereal, rice, poultry, meat and even incense.
In the afternoon we will visit the National Institute for Zorig Chusum, commonly known as the Arts And Crafts School or the Painting School, operates four to six- year courses on the thirteen traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan. You will be able to see students doing painting (thangkas- painted religious pictures, walls, and statues to the decorations on furniture and window-frames), embroidery (hangings, boots, clothes) or clay arts (religious statues, pottery), wood carving (masks, statues).
In the late afternoon we head to the Tashichho Dzong, fortress of The Glorious Religion. It has been the seat of the government since 1952, after the Third King, His Majesty Jigme Dorje Wangchuck made this dzong to be a symbol of the new capital of Bhutan. It houses secretariat building, the throne room of His Majesty, the King and various government offices. It is also the summer residence of Chief Abbot and central monk body.
Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.
Day 03: Thimphu to Paro
In the early morning we will drive up to Motithang, a north-western suburb of Thimphu to have Wangditse Gomeba hike, it will take 2 hours. Wangdiste Gomeba is a monastery lies on the hill. On the way, we will visit the Motithang Takin Reserve to see the national animal of Bhutan, the Takin, this animal have the body of a cow and head of a goat. The legend says that attribute the creation of these animals in Bhutan by a 15th century saint name Drukpa Kunley, popularly known as the Divine Madman.
On the trail hike to Wangditse Gomeba are yellow, green, red, white and blue prayer flags that are draped from trees, fluttering in wind. In our physical world these manifest as earth, water, fire, air or wind and space. Wind houses together the garuda, the dragon, the tiger, the snow lion and various mantras or a short sutras text in prayer flags contact with the natural energy of the wind impartially increase the life, fortune, health and wealth among all living beings. When you reach Wangditse Gomeba, overlook from here is view of Tashicho Dzong, Buddha statue and Thimphu valley.
After the hike, we drive down to visit the Buddha Point: The massive statue of Shakyamuni Buddha measures at a height of 51,5 meters is located atop a hill in Kuenselphodrang Nature Park. You can pay your obeisance and offer prayers to the Buddha, the largest statue in Bhutan and then walk around to enjoy the great view of Thimphu valley.
On the way we will visit the Simtokha Dzong, one of the oldest fortresses in Bhutan, built in 1629 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel. The dzong houses statues and paintings of various Buddhas, deities and religious figures including The Eight Manifestations of Guru Rinpoche, Jampelyang the Bodhisattava of Wisdom, Shakya Gyalpo the Buddha of Compassion and others.
Before returning to Paro, we will visit the National Memorial Chorten, which was the idea of Bhutan’s Third King, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuk who had wished to erect monument to world peace and prosperity. Completed in 1974 after his Majesty’s untimely death, it serves both as a memorial to the Late King and as a monument to peace. You will see a lot of Bhutanese people circumambulating, reading mantras in murmuring and spinning their prayer wheels the chorten throughout the day.
Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
Day 04: Paro sightseeing
In the morning we take a hike to the Taktsang Monastery, also known as Tiger’s Nest. It is one of the most holy sites in Bhutan, clings to a cliff more than 3000 metres above sea level and 900 metres above The Paro valley floor. The legend says that Guru Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche) arrived here on the back of a tigress in the 8th century. Subsequently, he meditated here for three months. Every Bhutanese person is expected to complete the pilgrimage at least once in their lifetime. You will have lunch at Taktshang cafeteria from where you get a spectacular view of the monastery.
In the afternoon we will visit the National Museum of Bhutan (Ta Dzong), originally built as watchtower around 1649. It is on top of the hill above Rinpung Dzong to defend Paro Rinpung Dzong and Paro valley during times of war, in an unusual circular construction resembling a conch shell. This dzong was converted into the National museum of Bhutan in 1968. The extensive collection includes antique thangkha paintings, textiles, weapons and armour, household objects and a rich assortment of natural and historic artifacts.
Then we head to the Paro Rinpung Dzong, meaning the fortress of The Heap of Jewels, is one of the finest examples of Bhutanese architecture. It was built by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal between 1642 and 1646. This dzong now houses monk body and administrative offices of Paro and is symbolic as the religious and secular center of all affairs of the valley. 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.
Then we visit the Sangay Handmade Bowl and Cup Factory, nearby Paro Rinpung Dzong. You will see demonstration of traditional wood turning skills by local artisans who make traditional wooden bowls and cups. It calls Shagzo – the art of wood turning, one of thirteen traditional Bhutanese arts. You can try your hand as well if you wish.
Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
Day 05: Depart Paro
After early breakfast at the hotel, your guide will accompany you to the airport for flight to your onward destination. Tashi Delek (goodbye and good luck) and hope to see you again.
- Single traveler: US$ 1,200 per person
- Group of 2 people: US$ 1,160 per person
- Group of 3 people: US$ 1,040 per person
OFF PEAK SEASON
- Single traveler: US$ 1,000 per person
- Group of 2 people: US$ 960 per person
- Group of 3 people: US$ 840 per person
- If you are planning to travel Bhutan with a group of 4 people and more, please feel free to contact us to get the cost for your group.
|The cost includes||The cost excludes|
|Bhutan visa fee.||Laundry/beverages/telephone calls and any personal expenses.|
|3 star categories hotel/resort twin sharing room.||Travel insurance.|
|Accommodation in the best 3 star hotels/resorts in Bhutan.||Airfares.|
|All meals in day.||Airport taxes if any.|
|Bottled water on the trip.||Excess baggage charge.|
|A sustainable development fee.||Tips to guides and drivers.|
|Museum fees and other special entry fees.||Services not mentioned.|
|Internal transportation with experienced driver throughout the trip.|
|Sightseeing as per itinerary with English speaking guide.|