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Bhutan Tour -10 days (includes 2 days trek)


This is a 2 days trek starting from Sangchoekor Buddhist collage in Paro and ends at the base of Taktsang Monastery, Paro.

Day 1
Arrive Paro (Altitude 2280 m) (By Druk Air flight): You will be received by our Representative from Bhutan at the airport and drive to the Hotel
After lunch, visit Ta Dzong (built in1656 and renovated in 1968), an ancient watchtower, which now houses the National Museum. Below the museum is the Paro Rimpung Dzong (literally meaning "Heap of Jewels", built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the centre of civil and religious authority in this valley. A short walk takes you to the base of the dzong and across a traditional cantilevered, covered bridge. Dinner and over night in Tashi Namgay Resort and Spa or similar.

Day 2
Paro - Excursion to Taktsang Monastery: (Altitude 2280 m) A very special day, with an excursion to view the spectacular Taktsang (Tiger's Nest) monastery - After breakfast a short drive takes us to Satsam Chorten, from there a 2 hours walk till the viewpoint of the monastery. The trail climbs through beautiful pine forest, many of the trees festooned with Spanish moss, and an occasional grove of fluttering prayer flags. We stop for a rest and light refreshments at the Taktsang Jakhang (cafeteria) and then walk a short distance until we see, clearly and seemingly within reach, Taktsang monastery. The primary Lhakhang was built around Guru Rimpoche' meditation cave in the 1684by the Penlop of Paro Gyaltse Tenzin Rabgay, this incredible monastery clings to the edge of a sheer rock cliff that plunges 900 meters into the valley below. Legend has it that Guru Padmasambhava, the tantric mystic who brought Buddhism to Bhutan, flew here on the back of a flying tiger, Dorji Drolo, said to be his favourite consort.
After Lunch, drive to the ruins of the Drukgyal Dzong 16 km up the valley built in 1647 by the great Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, father and unifier of medieval Bhutan, the dzong was destroyed by accidental fire and left in ruins as an evocative reminder of the great victories it was built to commemorate. Explore the ramparts and on a clear day experience an unforgettable view of Mt. Jhomolhari (7,314 m). On the way back, visit Kichu Lhakhang, built in 659 A.D by the Tibetan king Srongsen Gampo. Dinner and over night in Tashi Namgay Resort and Spa or similar

Day 3
Trek to Bumdra Monastery: Hike from Sang Choekor Buddhist College in the Paro valley (2,800 m) to Yak pasture where we camp below Bumdra Monastery (3,800 m): After breakfast, drive to Sangchoekor Buddhist College. We walk up hill for 2 hours. We walk past Chhoe Tse Lhakhang and we camp near the Bumdra Monastery (Cave of Thousand Prayers).
After lunch, we can visit the monastery or climb a peak nearby at around 4000 meter. We return to the camp. Dinner and overnight in camp.
Duration: 3-4 hours to camp, optional 2-3 hours return trek to peak,
Difficulty: Moderate

Day 4
Return hike from Bumdra Monastery camp via Zangto Pelri Monastery: After breakfast, we return from Bumdra via the gate of Taktsang Monastery. We descend down and reach the base of the hill where our vehicles will pick us up and drive to Thimphu. Dinner and overnight in Hotel Migmar or similar.
Duration: 5 - 7 hours.
Difficulty: Moderate.

Day 5
Thimphu Sightseeing: (Altitude 2320 m) The day begins with a visit to the National Memorial Chorten (1974) built in honour of our late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk and the Dupthop Lhakhang one of the few surviving nunneries in Bhutan. We then visit the National Library, stocked with ancient Buddhist manuscripts, and the Painting School where traditional art is still kept alive through instructions in the art of painting Thangkas (sacred Buddhist religious scrolls).
After lunch, hike to Cheri Monastery. Other highlights include a visit to the Tashichho Dzong, seat of the national government and the Central Monastic Body, including the summer residence of the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot of Bhutan) and finally visit the Handicrafts Emporium followed by shopping for souvenirs in the shops of Thimphu. Overnight in Hotel Migmar or similar.

Day 6
Thimphu - Punakha: (Altitude 1310 m) (72 Km, 3 hours drive). After breakfast, drive to Punakha via Dochula pass. If the weather is clear, we stop for a while at Dochula pass to view Higher Himalayas. Drive further down and visit the Royal Botanical Garden at Lamperi.
The Royal Botanical park, also known as the Rhododendron Garden at Lamperi is about half and hour drive towards Punakha/Wangdue. With your spirits still high from the visit to the awesome sites of Dochula Pass with its 108 stupas and the beautifully arranged Himalayan mountain ranges, you will descend down to Rhododendron Botanical Garden, a nature reserve rich in flora and fauna and beautiful in itself. The recorded species are the monal pheasants, blood pheasants, musk deer, tiger, leopard, red panda and the leopard cat. A Rhododendron garden with 46 species of the plant is the theme of the botanical garden. Located 30 KMS from capital, the park has numerous view points, a lake and a canteen. At this park, you can indulge yourself amongst these rich biodiversity.
Drive further to Punakha. After lunch, visit Punakha Dzong built in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and is situated between Pho Chu (Male river) and Mo Chu (Female river). For many years until the time of the second king, it served as the seat of the Government. The construction of the Dzong was foretold by Guru Rimpoche, who predicted, "..a person named Namgyal will arrive at a hill that looks like an elephant". There was a smaller building here called Dzong Chu (Small Dzong) that housed a statue of Buddha. It is said that Shabdrung ordered the architect, Zowe Palep, to sleep in front of the statue, while Palep was sleeping; the Shabdrung took him in his dreams to Zangtopelri and showed him the palace of Guru Rimpoche. From his vision, the architect conceived the design for the new Dzong, which in keeping with the tradition, was never committed to paper. The Dzong was named Druk Pungthang Dechen Phodrang (Palace of Great Happiness). The war materials captured during the battle with Tibetans are preserved here. Punakha is still the winter residence of Je-Khenpo and King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk convened the new national Assembly here in 1952. Dinner and overnight in Punatshangchhu Cottages or similar.

Day 7
Punakha - Gangtey (Altitude 3120 m) (Distance: 67 km one way, 3 hrs). After breakfast drive to the beautiful valley of Gangtey. Enroute sightseeing in the valley of Wangdiphodrang includes: visit to Wangdiphodrang Dzong built in 1638. Legend relates that as the people were searching for the site of the Dzong; four ravens were seen flying away in four directions. This was considered auspicious sign, representing the spread of religion to the four points of the compass. The Dzong is situated at the confluence of Mo Chu and Tang Chu rivers. Drive further to Gangtey. Visit Gangtey Gompa Monastery, from outside. Gyaltse Pema Thinley, the grandson and mind reincarnation of Pema Lingpa founded the Temple in 1613, and Tenzin Legpai Dhendup, the second re-incarnation, built the temple. The present Abbot, Kunzang Pema Namgyal is the ninth re-incarnation. It is a Nyingmapa monastery and is affiliated to other Nyingmapa monasteries including Tamshing in Bumthang. Explore Phobjikha valley, famous for the Black Necked Cranes during winter. Dinner and overnight at Theckchen Phodrang Guest House or similar.

Day 8
Gangtey - Thimphu (2320 m) (Distance: 139km, 6 hrs): After breakfast, drive to Thimphu. On the way, visit Chime Lhakhang, which was built by Lama Drukpa Kuenley. He subdued the demons with his "Magical Thunder bolt". The Temple is also known as "the Temple of Fertility".
After lunch, drive to Thimphu. Free to stroll in the town. Dinner and overnight in Hotel Migmar or similar.

Day 9
Thimphu - Paro (Altitude: 2280 m) (Distance: 54 km, 1 hr): After a hearty breakfast, visit the tallest and the largest statue of sitting Buddha in the world, Takin Preserve Centre, Folk Heritage and Royal Textile Museum.
After lunch, drive to Paro. On the way, view Tamchog Monastery built by Thangthong Gyalpo (Popularly known as Lama Chazampa, which literally means, the Iron Bridge builder) in the 15th century.
Thang Thong Gyalpo (1385 - 1464) was a wonder working saint from Tibet who came to Bhutan in 1433 looking for Iron Ore. He built 108 bridges across Tibet and Bhutan, out of which 8 were built in Bhutan. His only surviving bridge is in Duksum (Tashi Yangtse in Eastern Bhutan).
In the evening, free to stroll in the town for shopping/ rest in the hotel. Dinner and overnight in Tashi Namgay Resort or similar.

Day 10
Paro (Departure) -: After breakfast, drive to the airport and farewell.

Distance and Driving time:
Paro to Thimphu - 54 Km - 1 Hr.
Thimphu to Punakha - 76 Km - 3 Hrs
Punakha to Wangdue - 17 Km - 40 Min
Wangdue to Gangtey - 67 Km - 3 Hrs

Tour Cost:
US$ 395 x 9 nights = US$ 3555
US$55 x 9 nights =495 (FIT Surcharge)
US$ 40 (One time visa fee)
Total: US$ 4090 per person.

The Tour Cost Includes:
a. All Meals [Breakfast /Lunch/Dinner]
b. Accommodation [Sgl]
c. All transportation within the country including airport transfers.
d. Royalty and Govt. Taxes.
e. Entrance fees for Museums and Monuments.
f. Visa Fee.
g. English speaking Local guide.
h. Sightseeing.

The Tour Cost Does Not Include:
* Air fares.
* Insurance Premiums
* Payments for service provided on a personal basis
* Cost for any services not mentioned in the "Cost Include head"
* Cost incurred due to mishaps, strikes, political unrest etc.
* Personal expense in items such as laundry, soft drinks, Camera Charges, Bottle water, Incidentals, Portage, Bellboy charges tips or any other services
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