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EXTRA MILE SERVICES INCLUDED IN THE PACKAGE
This “EAST WEST CULTURAL TOUR ” opens door to the medieval part of Bhutan. The densely populated region of Eastern Bhutan is separated from Central Bhutan by a high mountain barrier range that extends from the Tibet border in the north almost to the Assamese plains in the south. There is less forest cover here, probably on account of the age-old practice of slash-and –burn agriculture and the cultivated land is much more abundant. Eastern Bhutan includes the six districts of Mongar, Lhuntse, Tashigang and Tashi Yangtse.
We select the finest 3 star hotels that we consider to be the most comfortable for our clients which all are approved by the Tourism Council of Bhutan .
Most restaurants selected by us serve assortment of Chinese, Indian and Continental cuisine, as well as spicy Bhutanese dishes.
SERVICES NOT INCLUDED
We use SUVs and 4WD vehicles which includes Santa Fe, Toyota Prado and Land Cruisers. We also provide Toyota Hiace Bus and Coaster Bus for bigger sized groups.
THINGS TO CARRY
Depending on the duration and season, the cultural itinerary can be customized to meet your needs, requirements and interests. While this tour is a 06 day itinerary, the cultural tour can be arranged for any duration ranging from 03 nights to 21 nights.
The applicable refund amount will be processed within 15 business days
The applicable refund amount will be processed within 15 business days
This activity can be availed as a private or group tour. Please Contact Us for more details.
DAY 01- Arrive Paro and Sightseeing.
Flight into Paro with Druk Air, Bhutan’s National Airline is spectacular. The flight takes you over the great Himalayas, offering most beautiful scenery of the world’s highest glacial peaks. You will be received by our representative at the Airport.
After lunch visit to the Ta Dzong or National Museum,The Ta Dzong offers a unique and varied collection of thangkas, handicrafts, stuffed animals, masks, costumes and amour. The visit will give provide you with a good idea of the culture and traditions of Bhutan. Just below the Museum lies the Rinpung Dzong or Paro Dzong at the confluence of Do Chu and Paro Chu. It now houses the administrative offices of Paro District. Then you will be driven to the ruins of Drukgyal Dzong or ‘fortress of the victorious Drukpas’ was built in 1649. In fine weather, the towering peak of Mount Jumolhari, (7,314 m / 24,000 ft) appears as a backdrop. Evening is free to explore town interacting with characteristic Bhutanese people with adjacent to nature. Overnight at Hotel in Paro.
DAY 02- PARO -HIKE TO TAKTSHANG (Tiger’s Nest)(3,200m)
Morning, hike to the most famous Taktshang, popularly known as the Tiger’s Nest, built amazingly on a steep cliff. According to legend, Guru Padmasambhava flew here on a flying Tigress and meditated there for three months in the 8th century. It was from there, he propagated the Vajrayana- Mahayana Buddhism (Larger Wheel) that was prophesied by the Buddha at the time of attaining Nirvana.
The walk uphill takes you a little more than a 1000ft above the Paro valley. It is a great pilgrim site for the Buddhists and also it is one of the most sacred sites in the Himalayan world, a pilgrimage destination for devout Buddhists. The main deity of Taktsang is Dorji Drolo, the wrathful form of Guru Rinpoche, (the precious teacher). There are 13 sacred sites at Taktsang, and several meditation caves in the cliffs above. Many saints are said to have meditated here. The return walking time is approximately one hour. Overnight at Hotel in Paro
DAY 03- PARO TO THIMPHU –BY SURFACE / 65 KM / APPROX. 1:30 HR
Drive to Thimphu, the capital town of Bhutan through idyllic countryside. Thimphu (2,280 mts.) a small, bustling city houses a wealth of museums or places of historical interest.
On arrival visit to the School of Arts and Crafts (National Institute of Zorig Chusum) where students undergo training course in Bhutan’s 13 traditional arts and crafts; visit the Folk Heritage Museum which will provide an insight into traditional Bhutanese farm house and rural past through exhibits and documentation of rural life followed by visit to the Textile Museum to see a range of beautiful Bhutanese textile and Takin Preserve to see the rare national animal of Bhutan. This animal is chosen as the national animal of Bhutan for its uniqueness and its association with the country’s religious history and mythology. A further drive towards the BBS Tower will provide a bird eye view of the capital. Also visit a small family-run enterprise which manufactures paper and paper products using traditional methods.(Special in-depth tour inside the handmade paper factory)
After lunch visit to the National Institute of Traditional Medicine where Bhutan’s famed traditional medicines are compounded and dispensed where we can also seek consultation form local Amchy. The traditional medical service functions as an integral part of the national healthcare delivery system. The traditional medication can help overcome Paralysis, insanity, stiffness of hands and legs, trembling, hypertension, akinetic mutism and ailments of rlung-mkhrag.
After the visit drive to Changangkha Lhakhang, a fortress like temple which lies perched on a ridge above Thimphu; followed by visit to Tashichhodzong or the “fortress of the glorious religion” which is Bhutan’s administrative and religious centre and houses the throne room of His Majesty the King of Bhutan, other Government offices. It is also the summer residence of Je Khenpo or Chief Abbot. Over night at Hotel in Thimphu
DAY 04-THIMPHU TO PUNAKHA –BY SURFACE / 77 KM / APPROX. 3:30 HR
After breakfast, drive to Punakha, the ancient capital of Bhutan via Dochula Pass at an altitude of 10,000ft/3,080m. This pass offers the most spectacular view over the high peaks of Eastern Himalayas, including Bhutan’s highest mountain, Gangkar Punsum, 24,770ft/7,550m (provided the day is clear). However skies are mostly clear during the month of October till mid February. Also of interest is the Druk Wangyal Lhakhang. After some refreshments, continue driving to Punakha through temperate of rhododendron and magnolia (which bloom in mid March and last till May), then a semi-tropical zone where orange, banana trees and cactuses are found in abundance.
On arrival at Punakha, visit Punakha Dzong known as the Palace of Happiness. Built in 1637, it is strategically placed at the confluence of two rivers, the Po Chu (male river) and Mo Chu (female river).
After lunch, take a pleasant hike to Chimi Lhakhang (Temple of Fertility) built in the 1499 by the Divine Madman” (Lama Drukpa Kuenley). It is a 45 minute leisurely walk across a local village and terraced rice. After the visit, you will be driven to your hotel. Over night at Resort in Punakha.
DAY 05- PUNAKHA TO TRONGSA –BY SURFACE / 142 KM / APPROX. 5:30 HR
After breakfast, drive to Trongsa, the ancestral home of the Royal Family. On the way, you will get a good glimpse of Ruin Wangduephodrang Dzong (fortress) built in 1638 which is situated on a ridge overlooking a river junction. You can make a short stop for photography. A fabulous drive from Wangdue to Trongsa will take you through Pele-la Pass (10,830ft/3,300m) adorned with fluttering prayer flags. Stop en route at Chendebji Chorten built in early 19th Century by Lama Shida and patterned on Kathmandu’s Swayambhunath Stupa, with eyes painted at the four cardinal points. Programme as convenient on arrival. Overnight at Hotel in Trongsa.
DAY 06- TRONGSA TO BUMTHANG -BY SURFACE / 68 KM / APPROX. 2:30 HR
Morning visit Trongsa Dzong, a massive structure with many levels which slope down the contours of the hill on which it is perched. Also visit the Trongsa Ta Dzong Museum, dedicated to the monarchs of the Kingdom housing rare and precious artifacts of the Kingdom. It has a total of 11 galleries with one gallery solely dedicated to the history of Kings of the Wangchuck Dynasty. After the visit, drive to Bumthang from Trongsa the road climbs quickly to Yutong-la Pass (11,155ft/3425m) where the scenery changes to fir-covered slopes, reminiscent of the Swiss Alps and then enters the wide Chumey valley of Bumthang. As Bumthang is famed for its rich woollen fabrics with the most intricate patterns and designs, we will stop for while at Chumey to witness the skilled weavers at work. Then continue drive to Jakar, the center of Bumthang valley. Programme as convenient on arrival. Overnight at Hotel in Bumthang.
DAY 07- BUMTHANG SIGHTSEEING
Bumthang is the Spiritual heartland of Bhutan.
This region that spans from 2,600-4,500m is the religious heartland of the nation and home to some of its oldest Buddhist temples and monasteries. Tales of Guru Padmasambhava and the tertons (“religious treasure-discoverers”) still linger in this sacred region. The district is sub-divided into the four blocks of Chokhor, Chumey, Tang and Ura. The valleys are broad and gentle carved by the ancient glaciers with wide and scenic valleys.
After breakfast, spent the day on photography and exploring the fascinating valley of Bumthang with the visit to sacred places, shrine and monuments. The religious heartland of the nation and home to some of the oldest Buddhist temples. The visit to sacred places and monuments will include Jambay Lhakhang, one of the oldest temples built in 7th century by the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo followed by Kurjey Lhakhang which consists of three main separately built temples surrounded by 108 chortens (stupa) symbolic of each joint of the human body. A short hike across the suspension bridge will lead you to Tamshing Lhakhang built in 1501 said to have been built with the help of the celestial bodies. It is known for its ancient religious paintings of One Thousand Buddhas and Twenty One Taras (female form of Bodhisattvas). After lunch visit Jakar Dzong, known as the ‘Castle of the White Bird’. Evening is free to take a stroll through town to interact with the locals or shopping. Overnight at Hotel in Bumthang.
DAY 08- BUMTHANG TO MONGAR- BY SURFACE / 193 KM / APPROX. 7:00 HR
As you drive further eastwards, you pass through the Ura Valley, the last and the highest of Bumthang valleys. To get there the road climbs through amazingly open countryside, running into dense forests and then descending into Ura valley by long loops across the fields and pastures.
On arriving at Thrumshingla the highest pass about 4000m you can see the valley of Mongar and Lhuntse. The road then descends downwards to Sengor with a fascinating view of Namning Brak. Later, one can also get a glimpse of the ruined Zhongar Dzong before arriving at Lingmithang. Overnight at Hotel in Mongar.
DAY 09-MONGAR TO TRASHIGANG- BY SURFACE / 91 KM / APPROX. 3:30 HR
After breakfast, visit Mongar Dzong which is the administrative centre and houses the region’s monastic community centre. Continue your drive further eastwards towards Trashigang. On the way visit the Lemon Grass Project after crossing Yadi. As soon as the road crosses the new bridge in Trashigang, “Trashigang Dzong” comes into view at the top of a spur overlooking the river. Trashigang Dzong ‘fortress of the auspicious mountain’ and was built in 1649. The Dzong stands at the extreme end of the spur; overhanging the Gamri River by more than 400 meters. It commands a remarkable view over the surrounding countryside. Unlike most other Dzongs, it has only one courtyard and it serves as the administrative seat for Trashigang district. Overnight at Hotel in Trashigang.
DAY 10-TRASHIGANG TO BUMTHANG- BY SURFACE / 284 KM / APPROX. 9:00 HR
Drive back towards Bumthang in the morning. Program as convenient in the evening. Overnight at Hotel in Bumthang.
DAY 11- BUMTHANG TO WANGDUE -BY SURFACE / 284 KM / APPROX. 9:00 HR
After breakfast drive to Wangduephodrang which will take us 6 hours. Overnight at Resort in Wangdue.
DAY 12- WANGDUE TO PARO -BY SURFACE / 197 KM / APPROX. 6:30 HR
Today we will drive back to Paro over Dochula Pass and on this route you will come across many farmers selling farm produces like, apples, peach, plum, pears, asparagus, cucumber, wild mushrooms at numerous spots. Just stop at few places and try some fresh fruits, or wild Chanterelle or Mustake mushroom. We will stop to visit at Tachogang Monastery (15th Century), and a village farm house in Shaba, just before reaching Paro. Overnight at Hotel in Paro.
DAY 12: Departure from Paro
Today we will bid fond farewell to this beautiful Himalayan country and take flight back to your onward Destination .We hope by now you would have made some friends and also kept many photos and beautiful memories of Bhutan! And we look forward to seeing you again in this beautiful land of endless Enchantments! Tashi Delek!