Bhutan is an unforgettable destination for those who have the chance to visit it. The country has such a rich culture, which presents a great combination of Buddhism, and the Himalayan heritage. They embrace their culture and traditions in the everyday life, from arts, rituals to their national clothes.
Bhutanese culture is one of the main reasons why travelers are in love with the country. Once you are here, you will see and visit the most remarkable dzongs (fortresses), stunning monasteries and chortens, and the oldest temples of the country. Religious destinations are the finest examples of Bhutanese architecture with the presence of Buddhism in every corner.
Bhutan culture tours are great opportunity for you to genuinely learn about the rich heritage of this country, and one of the most popular choices with our customers is the ‘Glimpse of Bhutan’ tour. Places that you will visit such as Punakha Dzong and Paro Rinpung Dzong are the iconic image in Bhutanese culture. Moreover, you will often catch the sight of Bhutanese practicing Buddhism, twirling praying wheels and fingering praying beads while you are on the way.
Tour duration – 5 days.
Tour destination– Thimphu, Punakha, and Paro
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, Punakha, and Paro. Thimphu is the capital of Bhutan, Punakha is the old capital of Bhutan, and Paro is one of the most stunning valleys of the kingdom. The destinations are blessed with beautiful and unspoiled nature. You will first go to Thimphu to explore the local life of Bhutanese, and Tashichho Dzong, the fortress of The Glorious Religion. Next stop is Punakha Dzong, the Palace of Great Happiness. 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: Thimphu sightseeing
The flight to Bhutan gives you the most spectacular view of the Himalayas from above. Approaching Paro, you will be welcome with the stunning white snow peaks of the Himalaya range. You will land in Paro (altitude: 2,280m) to travel to Thimphu. The estimated travel time to Thimphu is about 1.30hr (55km) to get to the capital of Bhutan.
On the way from Paro to Thimphu, we could stop at ‘Tachogang Lhakhang’ – The Temple of the hill of the excellent horse. This ancient temple was built by Thangtong Gyalpo, Bhutanese legendary iron bridge builder. The story says that Thangtong Gyalpo was inspired by the vision of the spiritual horse Balaha (an emanation of Chenrizig Avalokiteshvara) when he was meditating at the very same spot of the temple.
After reaching Thimphu, we will visit the renowned National Memorial Chorten – one of Bhutan’s most prominent buildings. The chorten is the monument of world peace and prosperity. For Bhutanese, the site also serves as the memorial to their Third King, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck (1928-72), as it was his idea to build the beautiful iconic site.
On the way, we can also visit the General Post Office. The office is loved by travelers since you can make your own stamp – the unique Bhutanese souvenir to send to your family and friends.
Our next stop, Buddha Point (Buddha Dordenma) is not to be missed for any Bhutan visit. At a height of 51,5m, placed on top of a hill in Kuenselphodrang Nature Park, the sight of the enormous statue of Shakyamuni Buddha is stunning and unforgettable. This giant statue is one of the largest in the world, and is said to emanate an aura of peace and happiness. As we enter the statue, we will see the 125,000 smaller Buddha statues placed inside.
Next stop is Tashichho Dzong (The Fortress of The Glorious Religion). This place has been the seat of the Bhutan government since 1952 until now. After going through expansions and renovation, it was made to be the symbol of Thimphu by the Third King, His Majesty Jigme Dorje Wangchuck. The dzong is next to the bank of Wang Chhu River, surrounded with verdant lawns and lovely gardens.
The rest of your first day is for exploring the lively Thimphu. This charming city is bustled with shops, bazaars, and hospitality locals in their Bhutanese traditional dress. The nightlife here is perfect for those who want to refresh with tasty local dishes, good music, and cool bars. You will stay at hotel in Thimphu for the first night.
Day 02: Thimphu to Punakha
- Altitude in Punakha: 1,300m
- Distance: 75 km
- Estimated travel time: 3 hours
In the morning, we will travel to Punakha, the old capital of Bhutan. On the way, we will visit Dochula Pass to enjoy the breathtaking panoramic views of the Eastern Himalaya ranges. Looking out from the pass, there is nothing more beautiful than the spectacular scene of 108 chortens gracing the mountain pass and a majestic background of snowcapped mountains.
Our first destination in Punakha is Punakha Dzong (Palace of Great Happiness). Built in 1637, it is said to be the most spectacular dzong in Bhutan. The imposing site is located at the confluence of two rivers, the Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu. Until mid-1950s, it still served as Bhutan’s capital and the seat of the government. Moreover, all of Bhutan’s kings have been crowned here, and it has witnessed the memorable wedding of the King of Bhutan, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck to Jetsun Pema in 2011.
Later, we will pass one of the longest suspension bridges in Bhutan – Pho Chhu Suspension Bridge, then it is time for an easy hike to Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten (altitude: 1,500m). After crossing a suspension bridge, it is a pleasant hike through beautiful fields of rice and pine trees. It takes about an hour from the road point to hike up to the temple, and 30-minutes downhill. We will stay overnight at hotel in Punakha before heading for Paro the next day.
Day 03: Punakha to Paro
- Distance: 125 km
- Estimated travel time: 4 hours
After driving back to Paro, we will hike across hillock fields to the Chimi Lhakhang, the Temple of Fertility (altitude: 1,500m). This is an easy hike, taking about 30 minutes through the rice paddy fields and small and uniquely decorated houses of Lobasa Village. If you prefer, the hike could be done in the late afternoon, so that by the time we reach the monastery, we can witness the monks doing evening prayer.
In the afternoon, we will see two different imposing dzongs of Bhutan. Paro Rinpung Dzong – Fortress on A Heap of Jewels, our next stop, is one the finest icons of Bhutanese architecture. The massive buttressed walls that tower over the town can be seen throughout the valley. The wooden galleries inside are lined with remarkable wall-paintings, illustrating Buddhist lore such as the wheel of life and the old man of long life.
Then we will visit the National Museum of Bhutan – Ta Dzong. Originally built as a watchtower in 1649, it is on top of the hill above Rinpung Dzong, overlooking the whole picturesque Paro valley. The dzong has an unusual circular construction resembling a conch shell. Converted into a museum in 1968, its extensive collection includes astonishing antique thangka paintings, weapons and armor, and a rich diversity of natural and historic artifacts. We will spend our night at a hotel in Paro.
Day 04: Paro sightseeing
Today, we will hike to Taktsang Monastery, or the Tiger’s Nest (highest altitude: 3,120m). The trail is about 4.5km, so we will be ascending approximately 600m to reach the monastery. Because of Bhutan’s mountainous landscape, we will spend 5-6 hours hiking. We will immerse totally with Bhutan pristine nature, passing through verdant forests and spectacular mountain scenery along the trail. After all, the clean air and splendid landscape are what make Bhutan a hotspot for hiking. There is no better way to truly enjoy the beauty of Bhutan scenery than hiking, the experience is once in a lifetime!
Then we will visit Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples built in the Himalayas by the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century. This temple marks the introduction of Buddhism in Bhutan. It is a uniquely charming spot in Paro for travelers since we can witness elderly pilgrims shuffling around the temple to spin numerous prayer wheels here.
Late afternoon is time to learn more about Bhutanese daily life, as you will enjoy a traditional meal at a farmhouse. Chatting with the locals while tasting delicious authentic Bhutanese is undeniably the coolest way to get to know Bhutan genuinely.
Asides from food, sport is also very important in the life of Bhutanese. Your guide and driver can teach you the basics of archery and darts – Bhutan’s most popular sports.
Or else, they can also show you around the town, strolling through streets and local pubs to see the evening of Paro. Hot stone bath is as well loved by Bhutanese, that is another option for your evening.
Day 05: Depart Paro
The final day of your Bhutan trip. After 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 (US$ 40 per person).||Laundry/beverages/telephone calls and any personal expenses.|
|3 star categories hotel twin sharing room or double sharing room.||Travel insurance.|
|Accommodation in the best 3 star hotels in Bhutan.||Airfares.|
|All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) in day.||Airport taxes if any.|
|Bottled water, tea, and coffee on the trip.||Excess baggage charge.|
|A sustainable development fee of $65 per night.||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 qualified and licensed English speaking guide.|
|Gho or Kira (traditional and national dress of Bhutan) for your use during your stay in Bhutan.|
|Bhutanese sim cards.|
|Archery and Darts.|