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Tour Name

Enter the Dragon

Activities

Exciting countryside drive with heritage wonder and day hikes

Best time

All year round

Tour type

Easy cultural Tour with exciting day hikes

Duration

6 Nights/7 days

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This trip is transect from western through central to eastern Bhutan, by the end of which one will have seen Bhutan’s geographical, cultural and social diversity.

Cross 5 landmark mountain passes, 5 major perennial glacier fed rivers and 7 valleys of Bhutan in this transect from western to eastern Bhutan, driving across roads that have hair-pin bends cutting across hair-raising vertical cliffs at some points, to see the diverse culture and nature of Bhutan. Aside western Bhutan, eastern Bhutan is another beautiful part. Most of the steep mountains are dotted with villages all the way to the top. You will be amazed to see how they live their daily life up and down these steep mountains without any road or basic dirt roads. Here you would find people besides being very backward have rich custom and tradition with great politeness, respect and love for others. Having been to Bhutan if you don’t see Eastern Bhutan it would be shame.

If you are doing west to east you can exit Bhutan via south east town Samdrupjonkhar and take flight from Guawhati Indian town about 3 hours drive. On the other hand you can consider our domestic flight and avoid the strenuous drive back. The flight back to Paro offers great view of our tallest mountain , Gangker Pensum, 7, 514 meters, the world’s only unclimbed mountain. You can also enter Bhutan via Samdrupjonkhar and transect Bhutan from east to west and exit via Paro.

TOUR OUTLINE

Day 01: Arrive Bhutan (Phuntsholing) from Sikkim/Darjeeling/Kalimpong    
Day 02:
Phuentsholing to Thimphu
Day 03:
Thimphu Full Day Sightseeing
Day 04:
Drive from Thimphu to Punakha with Lojurtse Hike
Day 05:
Morning Punakha Sightseeing, afternoon drive to Paro
Day 06:
Hike to Tiger Nest
Day 07:
Depart Paro

DETAIL ITINERARY


Day 01: Arrive Bhutan (Phuntsholing) from Sikkim/Darjeeling/Kalimpong.
Our Lonely Bhutan Tours and Travels guide will take over from your Indian agent from here on. If you had come by air to Paro and exiting by road via Phuntsholing, we would be the one to hand you over to the Indian agent here. Phuntsholing is also known as ‘The Gateway of Bhutan’ and you will see why it is so called. Phuntsholing in local term means ‘The land of prosperity’.

Day 02: Phuentsholing to Thimphu
Drive from Phuntsholing to Thimphu along the road that transformed Bhutan after its construction in the 1960s. Notice the changing vegetation along with temperature. As you accent up in to the mountains you will come across several village settlements and vast forest covered areas with deep gorge and several water fall. Finally as you reach Thimphu at about 2300 meters you are already in inner Himalaya.

Day 03: Thimphu Full Day Sightseeing
You will begin your sightseeing with Memorial Chorten, a monument built in memory of our 3rd king. You will continue to visit a giant Buddha statue, 165 feet tall claimed as the tallest Buddha statute in the world.  Next you will visit a 12th century Changangkha monastery, popularly known as children’s monastery for all the childrens born in Thimphu region are considered to have received protection by the guardian of this monastry. You can see our National animal, Takin at motithang Zoo. You can visit Art school where you will see students at work in different field of arts such as painting, sculpturing, woodcarving, weaving etc. All together in Bhutan we practice 13 different arts. You must also visit Folk heritage museum which exhibits the life style of an old Bhutanese family before Thimphu was overtaken by urban life style. Indeed if you visit farmhouse in the village you will see the same style of live and activities still followed. If you are interested you can also visit traditional medicine centre which showcases samples of various medicinal plants and its treatment. You can also visit textile museum which brings out the fascinating old time charm of traditional weaving. Visit Tashichhodzong, “the fortress of the glorious religion”. This is the center of government and religion, site of the monarch’s throne room and seat of the Je Khenpo or Chief Abbot. Built in 1641 by Shabdrung, it was reconstructed in the 1960s in traditional Bhutanese manner, without nails or architectural plans

Day 04: Drive from Thimphu to Punakha with Lojurtse Hike:
Take 30 minutes drive to Dochula pass at 3088 meters adorned with 108 chortens and colorful prayer flags. If the weather is clear you will see series of snow covered Himalayan mountain ranges.  Hike to lojurtse takes you on right side of Dochula pass and leads through thick forest of rhododendron, birch, hemlock, spruce and fir for about 2 hours. As you finally reach the monastery on the top the view is exceptionally beautiful. Many tall dark blue mountain ridges seem to meet here and as you walk back you desire to visit the place again. The drive downhill from the pass is fascinating as you drive through thick green vegetation and occasional farm settlements along the mountain slopes. You can take stops for pictures or short walk along the road side. You would find farmers selling fresh vegetables and roasted corn. 

Day 05: Morning Punakha Sightseeing, afternoon drive to Paro Punakha served as the capital of Bhutan until 1955, when the seat of government moved to Thimphu. Originally situated on the riverbank and dominated by the towering walls of Punakha Dzong, the township was relocated to a safer site a few kilometers down the valley, consequent upon extensive flooding in the early 1990s. At the same time, extensive renovation work was undertaken on Punakha Dzong itself, which is now a breathtaking and glorious sight as you first glimpse it from the road. The original Dzong was built in 1637 by shabdrung. Although four catastrophic fires and an earthquake in past times destroyed many historic documents, Punakha Dzong still houses many sacred and historic artifacts and also the embalmed body of Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal.

Next you will take a short hike to Chemi Lakhang monastery which stands on the hill top founded by divine madman, a profound Buddhist master who visited Bhutan in 12th century. If you like you can receive blessing from the wooden phallus which represents divine mad man himself. The philosophy of the power of the phallus painted on the wall of people’s house to scare evil spirit and keep away bad lucks come from dive mad man.   After lunch drive to Paro. Overnight at the hotel in Paro.

Day 06:Hike to Tiger Nest:
Today you will have the most extraordinary day in your life. Tiger nest monastery is one of the most sacred for all Himalayan Buddhist countries. It is also the main icon of Bhutan for the outside world and you wouldn’t believe as you take the picture with your own hand. ‘Every step you take is worth’ is the expression made by all the people who make to Tiger Nest. For many spiritual people, it is a mind’s journey. So come and take part to experience the worth. After hearing some true legendary stories from Tiger Nest and also having felt the presence of strong energy you will be a different person as you walk back .

In the evening, visit a traditional farmhouse for an opportunity to interact with a local family and learn something of their lifestyle. For instance, to wrap up your visit to Bhutan with one last memorable experience, how about this – after checking into your hotel, we drive to the village of Damchena, the home of Lonely Bhutan Tours and Travels operators which is about 30 minutes drive, where upon prior notice, a wine and dine with a Bhutanese family can be arranged. Hot stone baths, ara/bangchang drinking, folk dance performance by village ladies and dinner cooked on traditional Bhutanese oven using firewood can also be arranged.
Overnight at the hotel in Paro.

Day 07: Depart Paro:
After breakfast in the hotel, you will be driven to the airport for your journey to onward destination.

ACCOMMODATION


Hotel /Resort