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11 Day Enchanting Realm
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Highlights Itinerary / Inclusions Select Lodging

This Visit gives you some of the best highlights of Bhutan.

Highlights
Ta Dzong
Trashichhoedzong
Punakha Dzong
Trongsa Dzong
Rinpung Dzong
     
 

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Itinerary Highlights Lodging Close

11 Day Enchanting Realm

Scroll down for Inclusions or click here.

 
Day 1: Arrive at Paro. Our Services begin here. You will be greeted at the airport by our travel facilitator or your Tour Director. You will then be ushered to a chauffeur driven vehicle and driven to your hotel, where you will be assisted with your check in. The next day’s plans are briefly reviewed and the travel facilitator or Tour Director hands over travel documents such as your air tickets and hotel vouchers to you. 



Day 2: Paro. Start your exploration of Bhutan with a city tour of Paro, which contains a wealth of attractions. Visit Ta Dzong (fortress), once a watchtower, built to defend Rinpung Dzong during the inter-valley wars of the 17th century. Ta Dzong was inaugurated as Bhutan’s National Museum in 1968. From here, walk-down a hillside trail to visit ‘Rinpung Dzong’ (fortress that sits on a heap of jewels). It has a long and fascinating history and is a fine example of Bhutanese architecture. The wooden galleries lining the inner courtyard of the dzong have fine wall paintings illustrating Buddhist lore. 
There is a break for lunch. 
Afternoon – Drive to Drukgyel Dzong, a ruined fortress where Bhutanese warriors fought Tibetan invaders centuries ago. The snowy dome of the sacred Mount Chomolhari (mountain of the goddess) can be seen in all glory from the approach road to the dzong. Also, visit the 7th century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples built in the Himalayas by the Tibetan King, Songtse Gampo. 



Day 3: Paro – Thimphu. Check out from your hotel after breakfast and proceed on a drive to Thimphu, the modern capital town of Bhutan. En-route stop at Chuzom to see the confluence of Paro & Thimphu River. 
Arrive at Thimphu and check in to your hotel.
There is a break for lunch.
Afternoon – Enjoy the visit to ‘Trashichhoedzong’ (fortress of the glorious religion). This is the centre of government and religion, site of monarch’s throne room and seat of Je Khenpo or Chief Abbot. Built in 1641 by the political and religious unifier of Bhutan, Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, it was reconstructed in 1960 in traditional Bhutanese manner, without nails or architectural plans. Also visit King's Memorial Chorten (Buddhist funeral monument) which is continuously circled by people, murmuring mantras and spinning prayer wheels. Construction of this landmark was the idea of Bhutan’s third king, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuk (“the father of modern Bhutan”). His aim was to dedicate this monument to world peace and prosperity. Completed in 1974 after his untimely death, it today serves both as a memorial to the Late King and as a monument to peace. Then, visit the government-run Handicrafts Emporium and local crafts shops, to browse through example of Bhutan's fine traditional arts. Here you can buy hand-woven textiles, thangka (religious banner) paintings, masks, ceramics, slate and wood carvings, jewellery, interesting items made from local materials. 



Day 4: Thimphu – Punakha. Check out of your hotel after breakfast and drive to Punakha. The scenic drive will take you via the Dochu-la (a pass at 3,088m/ 10,130 ft). Stop here and admire the view of the chorten and prayer flags which decorate the highest point on the road. If skies are clear, the following peaks can be seen from this pass (left to right) - Masagang (7,158 m), Tsendagang (6,960 m), Terigang (7,060 m ), Jejegangphugang (7,158 m ), Kangphugang (7,170 m ), Zongphugang (7, 060 m ), a table mountain that dominates the isolated region of Lunana - finally Gangkar Puensum, the highest peak in Bhutan at 7,497m.
Arrive at Punakha and check in to hotel.
Afternoon – You can take a stroll in the main market of Punakha.



Day 5: Punakha – Gangtey. Visit Punakha’s claim to fame, the ‘Punakha Dzong’. It was known in ancient times as the ‘Pungthang Dechhen Phrodang’ (the palace of great happiness). It dates back to 1637. It is the second dzong to be built in Bhutan and resembles a gigantic ship and is located at the confluence of the rivers Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu. The dzong was the coronation site of Ugyen Wangchuck, the first king of Bhutan in 1907. It was also here the historic treaty was signed with the British 1910, wherein they agreed not to interfere in the internal affairs of Bhutan. Although four catastrophic fires and an earthquake in recent past destroyed many historic documents, Punakha Dzong still houses many sacred and historic artefacts and also the embalmed body of Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. 
Arrive at Gangtey and check in to your hotel.
The valley of Gangtey is one of the most beautiful spots in Bhutan. It is surprising to find such a wide, flat valley without any trees after a climb through dense forests. This is an extremely rare experience in Bhutan, where most of the valleys are tightly enclosed.
Evening – Walk around Gangtey village and visit Gangtey Gompa, the only Nyingmapa monastery in this region. 



Day 6: Gangtey – Trongsa. Explore Phobjikha valley in the morning and view the rare black necked cranes, if you are there at the right time of year. Phobjikha is one of the few glacial valleys in Bhutan and is the winter home of the rare black necked cranes which migrate from the Tibetan plateau.
There is a break for lunch.
Afternoon – Proceed on the drive to Trongsa via the Pele-la pass (3,300 m / 10,830 ft), the traditional boundary between east and west. The pass is marked by a large white chorten prayer flags. There is an abrupt change in vegetation at this point. The mountain forest is replaced by high altitude dwarf bamboo. Stop en-route at Chendbji Chorten, patterned on Kathmandu’s Swayambhunath Stupa, with eyes panted at four cardinal points. It was built in the 18th century by Lama Shida from Tibet, to cover the remains of an evil spirit that was subdued at this very spot. 



Day 7: Trongsa – Bumthang. Exploration of Trongsa begins with a visit to the Trongsa Dzong. Like almost all towns in the Kingdom, this dzong architecture dominates the entire Trongsa horizon dwarfing the surrounding buildings. Built in 1648, it was the seat of power of central and eastern Bhutan. Both the first and second King ruled the country from this ancient seat.
There is a break for lunch.
Afternoon – Proceed on a drive to Bumthang, 68 km from Tongsa. This journey is of about 3 hours, over the Yutong-la pass (3,400m/ 11,155 ft). The road winds steeply up to the pass which is 28 kilometres from Trongsa. From the pass the road drops down steeply through dense coniferous forests into a wide, open cultivated valley known as the Chumey valley.
Arrive at Bumthang and check in to your hotel. 



Day 8: Bumthang. Bumthang is the general name given to combination of four valleys – Chumey, Choekhor, Tang and Ura with altitude varying from 2,600m to 4,000m. It is home to many of prominent Buddhist temples and monasteries. Visit Kurje Lhakhang, where the saint Padmasambhava subdued a local demon and left his body’s imprint on a rock. Also visit the Jambey Lhakhang (7th century temple), Tamshing Lhakhang (housing some of the oldest wall paintings in Bhutan) and Jakar Dzong (administrative center of the region). Stroll through the village, visit the little handicrafts shop at the entrance to the town, and have refreshments at a local restaurant. 



Day 9: Bumthang – Wangdi Phodrang. Visit the local Bumthang market in the morning. Check out from your hotel and proceed on a drive to Wangdi Phodrang. 
There is a break for lunch.
Continue your journey after lunch. Wangdi Phodrang is the last town on the highway before entering Central Bhutan. Situated on a ridge, overlooking the river junction is the formidable Wangdi Phodrang Dzong, the town’s most visible feature. In the 17th century, Wangdi played a critical role in unifying the western, central and southern regions of the country. Also visit the local market. The district of Wangdi Phodrang is also famous for its bamboo products, slate and stone carvings. Visit majestic Wangdue Dzong and interesting local market. Stop en-route to visit village houses. 
Arrive at Wangdi Phodrang and check in to your hotel. 



Day 10: Wangdi Phodrang – Paro. Check out from your hotel in the morning after breakfast and proceed on a drive to Paro. Arrive at Paro and check in to your hotel. 
There is a break for lunch.
Afternoon – Visit Rinpung Dzong. Built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the first spiritual and temporal ruler of Bhutan, the Dzong houses the monastic body of Paro, the office of the Dzongda (district administrative head) and Thrimpon (judge) of Paro district. The approach to the Dzong is through a traditional covered bridge called Nemi Zam. 



Day 11: Depart Paro. Check out of your hotel and board the flight to your onwards destination. 
Your vehicle and driver stay with you until your assisted check in at the airport. 
Our services end at Paro airport.




 
Inclusions:
* Daily Breakfast at all the hotels
* All other meals as specified
* Hotel check-in is at 2 pm & check-out is at noon for almost all the hotels
* All transfers and sightseeing by your personal Luxury vehicle
* Services of the best English speaking local guides at all destinations as per the itinerary.
* Representative for assistance on all arrival and departure transfers.
* Govt. royalty & taxes
* Tourism Development fee
* Bhutan visa fee
* Bottled water during sightseeing/excursions and long drives.
All currently applicable taxes. 

Not included:

* International Travel
* Any expenses of a personal nature like tips, laundry, telephone calls, drinks etc.
* Meals other than those specified above
* Travel insurance
* Camera fees – still & video
Itinerary Highlights Lodging Close



 

 
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