6D5N Classical Journey of Bhutan
Discover the mystique of Bhutan with our meticulously curated itinerary. Experience the perfect blend of traditional charm and contemporary luxury. From the iconic Tiger's Nest to the vibrant capital, Thimphu, and the former capital, Punakha, every moment unveils a new facet of this enchanting kingdom. Don't miss the opportunity to be part of this incredible journey.
Day 01: Arrive Paro – Thimphu
Upon arrival at Paro International Airport, and after clearing customs and immigration formalities, you will be met by our representative and guide just outside the arrival hall, you will be greeted by our guide. you will be driven approx. 1 & ½ hours to Bhutan’s capital, Thimphu, an exciting blend of tradition and modernity.
As you enter Paro Valley, you will sweep past forested hills with the silvery Pa Chu (Paro River) meandering down the valley below. Paro Dzong (fortress) and Ta Dzong (watchtower) on the hills above the town will be a fine sight.
On your way to Thimphu (approx. 1hrs 30mins), make a stop at Tachogang Lhakhang Bridge, an iron chain bridge built by Drupthob Thangtong Gyalpo and is the access route to the famous Tachogang Lhakhang Dzong.
Thimphu: Lying at an elevation of 2300 m above sea level the capital of Bhutan is a blend of the traditional and the modern. It is the only capital in the world without streetlights relying instead on the elegant gestures of the traffic policemen. The population of Thimphu stands at around 40,000. Geographically speaking the capital lies in a valley with the Thimphu River running through the valley.
On arrival check in to the hotel. If time permits, you will visit a few sights around the capital city of Thimphu this afternoon/evening.
Take a walk around the Folk Heritage Museum & the weekend market (Fri-Sun) where everyone goes to buy an array of fresh fruits and vegetables and many colourful local items such as yak tail duster, cups of butter tea, turquoise from Tibet, and musical instruments, etc.
Hotel: Hotel Ariya or Similar
Day 02: Thimphu
Today you will explore Thimphu with your private guide.
After breakfast, visit Buddha Point (Kuensel Phodrang). Located at a short drive from Thimphu city centre, visitors can get a good overview of the Thimphu Valley from the Buddha point (Kuensel Phodrang). You can pay your obeisance and offer prayers to the Buddha, the country's giant statue, and then walk around and glimpse the valley.
Later explore Thimphu Town with your guide.
National Memorial Chorten was built in 1974 to honor the late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. A chorten is a hemispherical-shaped memorial stupa. Known as the most visible religious landmark in Bhutan, it is used as a place of meditation.
Jungshi Handmade Paper Factory, you will witness the art of papermaking. Craftsmen demonstrate how Deh-sho paper is made using the bark of two local tree species. Buddhist monks use Deh-sho to write prayers and for woodblock printing.
Visit Simply Bhutan (*Closed on Tuesday), a living museum whose primary aim is to conserve the culture and customs of traditional Bhutanese life. Taste a local rice wine known as Ara and try out archery, the Bhutanese National Sport. Wrap up the day at an authentic Bhutanese crafts bazaar, where you can purchase handicrafts, garments, and accessories at your own expense.
Hotel: Hotel Ariya or Similar
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 03 : Thimphu - Punakha
After breakfast, you will be driven to Punakha - located at an elevation of 1300 m above sea level and the former capital of Bhutan.
On your way to Punakha (approx. 3 drive), stop at Dochu La (pass, 3088 mt) to view 108 Stupas, commissioned by a former Queen as a memorial to those who lost their lives during a low-intensity conflict in late 2002 when Bhutan evicted Indian rebels camped in the jungle on the Bhutan - Indian border. On a clear day, you will witness a breathtaking view of the eastern Himalayas.
En route next, take a light hike through fields of assorted vegetables that will take you to Chimi Lhakhang, a pilgrimage site for childless couples. A walk through the village near the temple will give you rare glimpses into the daily life and lifestyle of the villagers. Followed by a riverside picnic lunch will be arranged.
Later arrive at your hotel and check in. Spend the rest of the time at leisure.
Hotel: Zhingkham Resort or Similar
Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
Day 04: Punakha - Paro
This morning visits the dramatic Punakha Dzong, which formally served as the seat of government and is still the winter residence of the Dratsheng (Central Monk Body). This is Bhutan’s most spectacular Dzong and an excellent example of how a medieval fortress and a center of both monastic and administrative functions, has adapted and evolved for modern-day use.
Later you will be driven to Paro (approx. 4 hrs.) descending back down from Dochu La pass, and follow the way back up the dramatic Wang Chhu and Paro Chhu River valleys, before crossing through Paro town towards the north end of the valley.
On arrival check in at the hotel.
If time permits, you may like to explore Paro town with your guide.
Paro lies at an altitude of 2280 m above sea level. Before the construction of roads, most of Bhutan's trade came through Paro either from Tibet via Tremo la or from the south via Haa. Paro valley extends from Jumolhari on the Tibetan border to Chuzom which is the confluence of the Thimphu and Punakha rivers.
On arrival in Paro, check into the hotel.
Post lunch, proceed to visit Ta Dzong, originally built as Watchtower, which now houses the National Museum. The extensive collection includes antique Thangkha paintings, textiles, weapons &armor, household objects and a rich assortment of natural and historic artefacts.
Followed by a short walk down the trail to visit Rinpung Dzong (Paro Dzong), meaning (“fortress of the heap of jewels”), which has a long and fascinating history. 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, and scenes from the life of Milarepa, Mount. Sumeru and other cosmic mandalas.
Evening you may visit Paro town’s charming main streets that are lined with shops selling handicrafts and local restaurants or some last-minute shopping before flying back home.
Hotel: Tashi Namgay Resort or similar
Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
Day 05: Paro
Today you will be taken for the excursion/hike to Tiger’s Nest.
Taktsang or 'Tiger's Nest' as it is often referred to for Taktshang Pelphung monastery, is one of the most venerated and famous of Bhutan's monasteries. It is located on the face of a 900m sheer cliff. It is an impressive and unmissable site, accessible only by foot, you will follow a trail decorated with colorful prayer flags along the way to protect travelers from evil spirits. Built over the caves that Guru Padmasambhava meditated in for three years, this eighth-century father of Bhutan Buddhism is said to have been brought there on the back of a tigress. One of the most sacred sites in Bhutan it offers breathtaking views to those energetic enough to make it to the top.
From the trailhead at Rumtokto (2600m), the hike to the cafeteria is a steep one-hour uphill (about 350m ascent). From the Cafeteria (2940m), one can get a good close-up view of Taktshang. Savor views of the monastery over a well-deserved cup of tea and biscuits at the cafeteria and continue uphill for another 45 minutes to a high observation point (3140m) where there is a Chorten. From this vantage point, the lookout to the monastery is very spectacular and seems almost close enough to touch. It is now on the other side of a deep chasm, only around 150m away as the bird flies, but takes a half hour or even more to reach. Continue down the flight of cliff-hanging steps on the narrow trail to a beautiful waterfall that plunges down the deep chasm and alongside is a retreat hermitage, jammed dramatically into a rock crevice. Then climb up the flight of steep steps to the monastery. At any point on this walk, you can always return if you find it too difficult. Once inside the monastery, there are several shrines or temples with few monks in residence. After visiting Taktshang monastery's many shrines.
After the visit, enjoy a simple yet hearty and hot Lunch with a picture-perfect view of the monastery perched on the cliff on one side and the valley on the other side.
After lunch, retrace back to the roadhead where you started in the morning. The return is all downhill and takes just over half an hour. Meet your driver at the parking area and return to the hotel. On the way back, if you are interested, make a quick stop to visit Kyichu Lakhang on the way to the hotel.
Kyichu Lakhang; The temple dates back to the 7th century. According to the Bhutanese legend, Songtsen Gempo, the first Buddhist King of Tibet, established a temple here on the left knee of an ogress in order to subdue her. The temple was restored in the 19th century and a similar one was added in 1968 by Ashi Kesang, the grand Queen Mother of Bhutan.
Come back to the hotel and relax for the rest of the day as you will be tired after the hike to the Tiger’s Nest or make a Spa appointment.
Hotel: Tashi Namgay Resort or similar
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 06: Paro – Fly home
Today you will be transferred to the Paro airport to board a flight for onward destination.
- Hotel accommodations as specified in the itinerary
- Meals and beverages as specified in the itinerary
- English-speaking guide in Bhutan
- Bhutan tourist visa.
- Luxury air-conditioned tour vehicles.
- One bottle of mineral water per person daily.
- First entry tickets to specified attractions as per the itinerary (tickets during free time are at your own expense).
- Local government taxes.
- Air tickets from Singapore-Paro-Singapore
- Tips: Recommended tips of $8 per person per day for 2 people, $5 per person per day for 3-9 people, $4 per person per day for 10 or more people. This is for paying guides, drivers, and laborers. Other tips, such as room cleaning, baggage handlers, meals, etc., are to be paid by guests.
- Christmas & New Year's Eve supplements
- Items of personal nature like tips, laundry, telephone calls, drinks, etc.
- Any other meals than those mentioned above
- Airport fee or taxes (if any)
- Camera charges at monuments
- Travel Insurance or any loss or extra cost arising due to unforeseen circumstances such as flight delays, accidents, cost of emergency evacuation, etc.
- Any other item not specifically mentioned above as INCLUDE.
All fares are subject to change.