9 Nights / 10 Days Bhutan Tour

This is one of the most popular tours to Bhutan with the sightseeing combination of Western and Central Bhutan. Besides the sightseeing high lights of western Bhutan, you will visit Trongsa Dzong, the most impressive dzong of Bhutan and other ancient monuments in Bumthang.

Tamchog-MonasteryDay 01. Arrive Paro – Thimphu:

Your Guide from Yak Holidays will receive you at the Airport and drive to Thimphu. 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, 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). Dinner and overnight in Hotel.

Day 02. Thimphu sightseeing:

After breakfast, visit to the National Memorial Chorten (1974) built in honour of our 3rd King, late His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuk (The Father of Modern Bhutan) and the Tallest Statue of Buddha. We then visit to the Folk Heritage Museum and Painting School.

After lunch, Post office where you can make your own stamps. Visit to the Changangkha Lhakhang, Takin Preserve center, Sangaygang view point, and the Dupthop Lhakhang one of the few surviving nunneries in Bhutan. In the evening, visit Craft Bazaar and free to stroll in the town for shopping and photography. Dinner and overnight in Hotel.

Day 03. Thimphu – Punakha:

After breakfast, drive to Punakha via Dochula pass. 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. 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.

Chimi-LhakhangDrive further to Punakha. On the way, view Chimi Lhakhang, which was built by Lama Drukpa Kuenley (Popularly known as “The Divine Madman”, in the year 1499. He subdued the demons with his “Magical Thunder bolt” and built the temple on top of a hillock. The Temple is also known as “the Temple of Fertility”.

  • Lama Drukpa Kuenley (1455 – 1529) was one of the Bhutan’s Favourite Saints who was born in Tibet, trained at Ralung Monastery and was a contemporary and a disciple of Pema Lingpa. He Travelled throughout Bhutan and Tibet as a “Neljorpa” (Yogi) using songs, humour and outrageous behavior to dramatise his teachings of Salvation through sex.

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. Punakha is the winter residence of Je-Khenpo and King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk convened the First National Assembly here in 1952.  In the evening, visit to PUNAKHA SUSPENSION BRIDGE.

About the Bridge: You will get a great view of the river, valley, temple, and a good boost of adrenaline as well! It may surprise many of us to see how an old handmade bridge can handle a group of tourists and barely shake and swing. The Punakha Suspension Bridge is considered the longest of its kind in Bhutan. It is located in the Punakha district, and it connects the two sides of the Po Chhu river. In the early years, the bridge was made for the Lamas of Punakha Dzong (temple) who crossed the river very often to visit nearby villages. Today it serves both for locals and tourists who want to visit the temple. Dinner and overnight in Hotel.

Day 04. Punakha – Gangtey (Altitude 3120 m) (66 km, 3 hrs): HIKE TO KHAMSUNG YULLEY MONASTERY:

After breakfast, hike to the Beautiful Khamsung Yulley Namgyal Choling Monastery. Drive to Yabesa village and hike to through rice fields and up to Khamsum Yueley Namgyal Chorten, built by her majesty the queen Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuk. Perched high on a hill on the bank of the river, the Chorten houses paintings belonging to Nyingmapa Traditions and drive to Gangtey (Upper part of the valley is called Gangtey and Lower part is called Phobjikha valley.

9 Nights 10 Days Bhutan TourEnroute sightseeing in the valley of Wangdiphodrang includes visit to the Wangdiphodrang Dzong built in 1638 (razed by fire in 2012), and is under construction now. 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 Buddhist 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. Lunch will be served at Nobding.

In the evening, visit the Crane Information centre and explore Phobjikha valley, the roosting ground of the Rare Black necked Cranes in winter. Dinner and overnight in Guest house.

Day 05: Gangtey – Trongsa – Bumthang (165 kms):

After EARLY breakfast, visit to Gangtey 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.

We drive to Bumthang. On the way, visit Trongsa Dzong, the most impressive Dzong in Bhutan, built in its present form in 1644 by Chogyal Minjur Tempa, the official who was sent by Shabdrung to unify eastern Bhutan and enlarged at the end of the 17th century by Desi Tenzin Rabgay. Trongsa Dzong is the ancestral home of the present Royal Family and first two hereditary kings ruled Bhutan from this Dzong.

After Lunch, visit the Ta Dzong, an ancient watch tower. The chapel inside the Ta Dzong is dedicated to the Trongsa Penlop Jigme Namgyal. Drive further to Bumthang. Dinner and overnight in Hotel.

Day 06. Bumthang Sightseeing (Altitude 2800 m):

After breakfast, visit Kurjey Lhakhang where you can see the body print of Guru Rimpoche on a Rock. Then Jakar Dzong, which literally means “The Castle of White Bird”. The current structure was built in 1667. Visit Jambay Lhakhang said to have been built by King Srongsen Gampo of Tibet in the year 659 on the same day as Kichu Lhakhang in Paro.  The temple was visited by Guru Rimpoche during his visit to Bumthang and was renovated by Sindhu Raja after Guru Rimpoche restored his life force. Under the temple is said to be a lake in which Guru Rimpoche hid several Terma. In October one of the most spectacular festival, “Jambay Lhakhang Drup” is staged here.

Tamshing-lhakhangAfter lunch, visit Tamshing Lhakhang (Temple of the good message), established in 1501 by Pema Lingpa and is the most important Nyingmapa temple in the kingdom.

In the evening, visit Membarstho, which literally means, “The Burning Lake”. It was here that the Terton Pema Lingpa discovered the treasures hidden by Guru Rimpoche in the 14th century.

Hot stone bath: One of the best ways to unwind after a long day in Bhutan is the hot stone bath. It is not only practiced as a comforting soak but also to treat various alignments.  Soaking in Menchu with (Water with medicinal properties) is one of the favorite activities for Bhutanese, especially during the winters. The cost for one bath is US$30 in Local Farm house.

Dinner and overnight in Hotel.

Day 07. Bumthang (Excursion to Ura valley) (51 kms):

After breakfast, drive to the beautiful Ura valley. Explore the valley and visit to the Ura Temple.

After lunch, drive back to Bumthang. In the evening, visit Kencho Sum Lhakhang and Cheese factory. In the evening, free to stroll in the town for shopping and photography. Dinner and overnight in Hotel.

Day 08: Bumthang – Paro sightseeing:

After breakfast, drive to Badbalathnag airport and fly to Paro (Domestic flight).

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.

In the evening, free to stroll in the town for shopping and photography. Dinner and overnight in Hotel.

6-Days-Bhutan-tourDay 09. Paro Sightseeing (Hike to the Tiger’s Nest): (Altitude 2280 m, 56 kms – 1 hour drive).

After breakfast, drive to the base of the monastery and hike to Taktsang Monastery for 2 hour walk till the monastery. The primary Temple was built around Guru Rimpoche’s meditation cave in the 1684 by 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.

NB: You can hoist prayer flags near the Tiger’s Nest, and offer prayers inside the monastery.  You can also request lama to pray for you.

After lunch, visit 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.

  • Srongsen Gampo was a Tibetan king who married a Chinese princess, Wenchen in 641, as a part of her dowry was a statue called “Jowo” which was an Indian image of Buddha, Sakyamuni as a small boy. In 659, He decided to build 108 Temples in a single day to pin the Ogress to the earth forever and, at the same time, convert the Tibetan people to Buddhism. 6 of these Temples lie in Bhutan, most prominent of them are Jambay Lhakhang in Bumthang and Kichu Lhakhang in Paro. Kichu Lhakhang is said to hold the left foot of the Ogress and Jambay Lhakhang pins the left knee.

Hot stone bath: One of the best ways to unwind after a long day in Bhutan is the hot stone bath. It is not only practiced as a comforting soak but also to treat various alignments.  Soaking in Menchu with (Water with medicinal properties) is one of the favorite activities for Bhutanese, especially during the winters. The cost for one bath is US$30 in Local Farm house.

Dinner and overnight in Hotel.

Day 10. Departure:

After breakfast, drive to the airport and farewell.