10D9N Bhutan's Hidden Gems ~ Cultural Tour
- Duration: 9 Days (approx.)
- Location: Bhutan
- Product code: 9NBHUHGCT
10D9N Bhutan's Hidden Gems ~ Cultural Tour
The Kingdom of Bhutan is a tranquil country where you can explore the ancient cultures, beautiful landscapes and magnificent architecture. Bhutan, called Druk Yul by its people, is known as the “Land of the Thunder Dragon”. It is one of the world’s most beautiful, yet mysterious places and located in the southern foothills of the the Himalayan Mountain Range.
• Daily accommodation at the recommended hotels
• Full Board inclusive (breakfast at hotel / lunch at a local restaurant / dinner at the hotel)
• A Tour Vehicle
• Services of an English Speaking Guide
• All transfer and sightseeing as per the itinerary including admission fees
• Mineral water per day per person
• Complimentary use of Bhutan traditional costume (Gho & Kira) during the trip
• Sustainable Development Fee (SDF)
·Flight tickets and airport taxes
·Travel / Covid Insurance
·Tipping for guide and driver
·Personal expenses such as international call charges,minibar, laundry
·Any other items that is not mentioned in the inclusions above
VISA Application process and information
· Please note VISA application processing time is approximately 7 working days. Please submit the following
documents at time of booking:
o A clear photocopy of your passport
o Passport Size Photo
o Travel insurance
·VISA application approval is at the discretion of the authorized authority. Please ensure documents it is a clear copy of the original to avoid delay in application.
Add on Air Fare : ( Flight Schedule for the some fixed departure dates )
Depart every Thursday. KB541 / 1230 / 1645 hrs
Return every Saturday KB540 / 0805 / 1610 hrs
Y Class from SGD 1,688.00 per person including taxes
J Class from SGD 2,818.00 per person including taxes
- In Thimphu, Bhutan Peaceful Residency & Spa or Druk Hotel or similar category (4 star)
- In Punakha, RKPO or similar category (4 star)
- In Bumthang, Dekyil Guest House or similar category
- In Gangtey, ABC Lodge or similar category
- In Paro, Tashi Namgay Resort or Resort Thim-Dorji @ Paro Riverfront or similar category (4 star)
Itinerary Summary :
Day 1 - Thimphu View of Trashi Chhoe Dzong at Night, Walk Around Thimphu Town
Day 2 - Thimphu - Takin Enclosure, Buddha Point, Folk Heritage Museum, National Memorial Chorten, Tashichhodzong (Thimphu Dzong)
Day 3 - Punakha Chimi Lhakhang, Dochula Pass, Pho Chhu Suspension Bridge, Punakha Dzong
Day 4 - Bumthang Chendebji Chorten, Trongsa Dzong, Trongsa Museum (Taa Dzong), Rest In Bumthang
Day 5 - Bumthang Jakar Dzong, Jambay Lhakhang, Kurjey Lhakhang, Tamshing Goemba
Day 6 - Bumthang Me-Bar Tsho (Burning Lake), Ura Valley, Kenchosum Lhakhang
Day 7 - Gangtey Black-Necked Crane Information Centre, Gangtey Goempa, Home Visit
Day 8 - Paro Kyichu Lhakhang, Paro Town, Paro Valley, Paro Dzong (aka Rinpung Dzong)
Day 9 - Paro Taktsang Monastery, Hot Stone Bath
Day 10 - Departure
Travel Itinerary ( Sequence subject to change ) :
Day 1 - Arrival in Paro, head to Thimphu
Elevation: 2334m | Drive Time ~1.5 hour
Welcome to Bhutan, the Land of the Thunder Dragon. Touching down at Paro International Airport, you will be greeted by your guide upon exiting the arrival hall. Today, we will take it easy to acclimatise to the altitude. Drive to Thimphu, check in to the hotel and lets have your first taste of Bhutanese cuisine. View of T rashi Chhoe D zong at Night [1 hours] - ‘Fortress of the Glorious Religion’ was initially erected in 1641 and rebuilt by King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck in the 1960s. Tashi Chhoe Dzong houses some ministries, His Majesty’s secretariat, and the central monk body. Entrance may be granted to guests only after 5 pm but the nine-hole golf course alongside makes for a quirky photo opportunity.
Walk Around Thimphu Town [1 hours] - Shop and walk around Thimphu town.Thimphu is the most modern city in Bhutan with an abundance of restaurants, cafes, shops and nightclubs. However, it still retains its cultural identity and values amidst the signs of modernization. Kuzuzangpo La – a warm welcome from The Land of Thunder Dragron – Bhutan known as The Last Shangri La. On your arrival, you will be greeted by our professional Tour Manager in a Khadar Welcome. It will be an easy day today so we can acclimatized to the attitude (2334m) on arrival at Paro International airport. We will then take a leisure drive to Thimphu and visit the Clock Tower. After that, we shall check-in at the hotel and dinner in the hotel and rest for the evening.
Day 2 Thimphu
Elevation: 2334m | Drive Time ~N/A - Thimphu Day 2.
Takin Enclosure [2 hours] - On the way to the viewpoint over Thimphu is the home of Bhutan’s national animal, the Takin, a strange looking beast some say looks like a bee-stung moose.
Buddha Point [1 hours] - Located at Kuenselphodrang Nature Park, the 51.5-metre-tall bronze statue of Buddha Dordenma, Vajra Throne Buddha is one of the largest statues of Buddha in the world. The Buddha Dordenma symbolises indestructibility, and is said to emanate peace and happiness to the world.
Folk Heritage Museum [1 hours] - If there is still time, we may visit this replica of a traditional Bhutanese house as it would have looked 100 years ago, and as many Bhutanese families still live to this day. Please note museum, monastery, temple and dzong opening days and times can and do vary with national holidays and events such a visit by a member of the Royal Family or auspicious ceremonies. [Opening hour weekday 10:00 AM – 04:30 PM, Saturday 10.30 AM – 01:00 PM, Sunday 11.30 AM – 03:30 PM]
National Memorial Chorten [1 hours] - Meet the elderly generation in circumambulation at the National Memorial Chorten. Chorten means ‘Seat of Faith’ and Buddhists often call such monuments, the ‘Mind of Buddha’. Treat yourself with the fantastic depiction of Buddhist teachings in the form of paintings and sculptures at this temple. As the name denotes this National Memorial Chorten was consecrated on July 28, 1974, in memory of the Third King.
Tashichhodzong (Thimphu Dzong) [1 hours] - The “fortress of the glorious religion” was first constructed in 1641 and restored by the Third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck in the 1960s. Tashichhodzong houses the offices of some ministries, His Majesty’s secretariat, and the central monastic body. Opening hour: Weekday 05:00 PM - 06:00 PM Weekend 09:00 AM - 06:00 PM Winter 04:00 PM - 06:00 PM
DAY 3 – Thimphu to Punakha
Elevation: 1242m | Drive Time ~2.5 hours
We will set off early from Thimphu after breakfast. Then proceed to Punakha, the ancient capital of Bhutan, about 2 1/2 hours drive from Thimphu across Dochu-la pass. Once you cross the pass, you wind down into a warm fertile valley and meander along a gently flowing aquamarine river that leads you to the Punakha Dzong, the second dzong to be built in Bhutan. wind down into a warm fertile valley and meander along a gently flowing aquamarine river that leads you to the Punakha Dzong, the second dzong to be built in Bhutan.
Chimi Lhakhang [1 hours] - Also known as the Fertility Temple, this monastery is located in the beautiful village of Sopsokha. It stands on a small hill close to the village of Lobesa and was constructed in 1499 by Ngawang Choegyel, the 14th Drukpaheirarch. This monastery is dedicated to Lama Drukpa Kunley, the 'Divine Madman', known for his risqué behavior. The footpath to Chimi Lhakhang meanders through beautiful terraces of paddy fields. The walk across the fields takes about 30 minutes. Many have been blessed with children after praying at the temple. Visiting Window 9:00 A.M to 12:00 NOON 2:00 P.M to 4:00 P.M
Dochula Pass [1 hours] - At 3,100 metres, this beautiful pass located on the way to Punakha from Thimphu offers stunning 360-degree panoramas of the Himalayas mountain range. Here you will also see 108 chortens built by Her Majesty The Queen Mother Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck. The pass is a popular spiritual destination for both locals and tourists. Pho Chhu Suspension Bridge [1 hours] - At 160 metres, this is known as the longest suspension bridge in Bhutan. From here, you will get spectacular views of Punakha Dzong and the Pho Chhu Valley.
Punakha Dzong [1-2 hours] - Located strategically at the junction of the Pho Chu and Mo Chu rivers, the Dzong was built in 1637 by the Great Unifer of Bhutan as the religious and administrative seat of the region.
Day 4 – Punakha to Bumthang
Elevation: 2800m | Drive Time ~6 hours
Bumthang is known as the spiritual heartland of the kingdom. Bumthang is one of the most historic districts in Bhutan with many sacred sites and monasteries. It was here that Guru Rinpoche cured a local king from a spirit induced ailment in the 8th century CE. This resulted in the king, and finally the whole country, embraced Buddhism. The Buddhist saint Pema Lingpa was born in Bumthang,and many other famous Buddhist yogis lived and practiced here. Consequently, Bumthang is a repository of sacred artifacts and monasteries.
Chendebji Chorten [1 hours] - 2 kilometres beyond Chendebji village is Chendebji Chorten, at a lovel0y spot by a river confluence. The large white chorten is patterned after Swayambhunath in Kathmandu and was built in the 19th century by Lama Shida, to cover the remains of an evil spirit that were killed. Trongsa D zong [1 hours] - It was laid in the 16th century by Pema Lingpa and flourished during the 17th century under Shabdrung Ngwang Namgyal. The impressive fortress is a massive structure, its wall looming high above the winding Mangde Chu Valley, commanding the east-west road.
Trongsa Museum (Taa Dzong) [1 hours] - Sits high above the valley at a strategic vantage point over Trongsa Dzong. The "Tower of Trongsa" tells the stories of the dzong and the valley that it has watched over for centuries. His Majesty the King inaugurates the Taa Dzong as a museum dedicated to the Wangchuk dynasty, land marking yet another significant event as the nation celebrates 100 years of the monarchy.
Day 5 – Bumthang
Elevation: 2800m | Drive Time ~N/A Bumthang travel.
Jakar Dzong [1 hours] - Pitched on a high ground overlooking the town junction, the Dzong was first constructed in 1549 by the great-grandfather of the first Shabdrung, the Dzong was initially built as a monastery. It was upgraded in 1646 after the Shabdrung had firmly established his power. Jakar Dzong is now used as the administrative centre for Bumthang valley, and also houses the regional monk body.
Jambay Lhakhang [1 hours] - This 7th-century monastery was one of 108 monasteries built in 659 by Tibetan King Sontsen Gampo to subdue evil spirits in the Himalayan region and who was obstructing the spread of Buddhism. Its present architectural appearance dates from the early 20th century. However, the inner shrine with the Future Buddha is believed to be there some 1400 years ago. Jambay festival (Jambay Lhakhang Drup in the late autumn) is famous for the Tercham.
Kurjey Lhakhang [1 hours] - One of the most sacred monasteries in Bhutan. Built by the Guru Rinpoche in 1652, it houses a rock with his body imprint. Legend has it that Guru Rimpoche manifested as a Garuda to defeat the demon Shelging Karpo who had taken the form of a white lion.
Tamshing Goemba [1 hours] - Built by 1501 by Buddhist saint Pema Lingpa then hikes up to Thangbi Valley and cross a suspension bridge to visit Thangbi Lhakhang built in the 14th century via unpaved road.
DAY 6 – Bumthang, visit Ura Valley
Elevation: 2800m | Drive Time ~N/A
One of the most tranquil and beautiful valley, Ura is a must visit valley in Bumthang. While in Ura visit the Ura Monastery and simply enjoy the meadows and the beautiful landscapes, the buck wheat and barley fields.
Me-Bar Tsho (Burning Lake) [1 hours] - One of the most sacred sites in Bhutan, the holy lake, is said to be one of the holiest lakes in Bhutan. A long time ago, Terton Pema Lingpa (Buddhist saint and treasure discoverer) dived into the lake while holding a burning butter lamp on one hand. Several hours later when he came out of the lake, he was holding some relics one hand and the butter lamp on his other hand was still burning.Thus,the lake was called Me-Bar Tsho (Mebar= Burning Tsho=Lake)
Ura Valley [1 hours] - Enjoy an excursion to Ura valley that will be around four hours driving back and forth. The drive is exciting as it passes through some sheep rearing farms. Serthang-La pass at 3600m above sea level offers a great view of Gangkar Puensum (the highest unclimbed mountain in the Himalayas).
Kenchosum Lhakhang [1 hours] - Kenchosum Lhakhang is a rural looking temple which has its roots in the 7th century. The current structure, however, dates back to the 15th century when Pema Lingpa, the Treasure Discoverer, restored it and revealed terma (sacred texts and artefacts) on the hillside behind the temple. The temple has three small Buddha statues representing the past, present and the future, are believed to have flown there, hence the name Kencho meaning divine and Sum meaning three. Legend has it that when the bell inside is rung, it can be heard as far away as Lhasa in Tibet.
DAY 7 Bumthang to Gangtey
Elevation: 3000m | Drive Time ~7 hours
The valley of Phobjikha is well known as the winter home of the Black necked crane (Grus Nigricollis). Bhutan is home to around six hundred black necked cranes with Phobjikha being one of the popular places that the birds migrate to in the winter months from the Tibetan plateau. The elegant and shy birds can be observed from early November to end of March.
Black-Necked Crane Information Centre [1 hours] - The valley of Phobjikha is known as the winter home of the Black-necked Crane (Grus Nigricollis). Bhutan is home to around six hundred black-necked cranes with Phobjikha being one of the popular places that the birds migrate to in the winter months from the Tibetan plateau. The elegant and shy birds can be observed from early November to an end of March.
Gangtey Goempa [1 hours] - Situated on a forested hill overlooking the entire Phobijkha Valley is Gangtey Goemba, a monastery dating back to the 17th century. The largest Nyingma monastery in western Bhutan, it was founded in 1613 by Gyalse Pema Thinlay, the grandson and reincarnate of Pema Thinley, a 15th century “treasure seeker” who had predicted that a goemba named gang-teng (hilltop) would be built on this site and that his teachings would spread from here.
Home Visit [1 hours] - Visit a Bhutanese family at their home and share dinner over conversations. Take a peek into their lives and experience dining in a traditional Bhutanese home embraced by the warm hospitality of the family.
DAY 8 Gangtey to Paro
Elevation: 2200m | Drive Time ~5 hours
The beautiful valley of Paro is home to many of Bhutan's old monasteries and temples. The country's only Airport is in Paro. The valley is also home to mount Chomolhari (7,300 meters) situated at the northern end of the valley whose glacier water forms the Pachu flowing through the valley
Kyichu Lhakhang [1 hours] - At 1,300 years old, this is one of the oldest temples in Bhutan. Like the Jambhay Lhakhang in Bumthang, it is one of 108 temples built by the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo to subdue and vanquish an ogress that was obstructing the spread of Buddhism. Legend has it that all 108 temples were built in a single night. The Kyichhu temple’s name means “reservoir of peace”. Next to the temple is a museum dedicated to the late Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. You will see photographs and other personal artefacts belonging to the Rinpoche.
Paro Town [1 hours] - Explore the main street of Paro town and check out if there's anything you will like to pick up as a souvenir!
Paro Valley [1 hours] - The beautiful valley is home to many of Bhutan's old monasteries and temples. The valley is also home to Mount Chomolhari (7,300 meters) situated at the northern end of the valley whose glacier water forms the Pachu flowing through the valley.
Paro Dzong (aka Rinpung D zong) [1 hours] - Explore Rinpung Dzong, which the locals call the ‘fortress of a heap of jewels’. Built in 1646 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the dzong stands on a hill above Paro Township. It is linked by a traditional cantilever bridge called the Nemi Zam over the Po Chhu. Walk up the stone paved path running alongside imposing outer walls. Once inside the Dzong, you will be welcomed by the monks, architecture and beautiful frescoes. This dzong is a highlight for art and history lovers.
DAY 9 Paro
Elevation: 2200m | Drive Time ~N/A
Are you ready? We will be making the hike up to one of the key highlights in Bhutan today!
Tiger's Nest aka Taktsang Monastery Taktsang Monastery [6 hours] - Also known as the Tiger’s Nest, this monastery set dramatically on the cliffs of Paro Valley, is Bhutan’s most famous landmark
DAY 10 Depart Paro
Enjoy your breakfast or packed breakfast from the hotel restaurant. You will be greeted by your professional guide and be assisted to your departure transfer. We will send you to Paro International Airport for your flight out to next destination. Tashi Delek!