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This tours covers the western and central region of Bhutan. As the road takes you deeper into Bhutan, you shall get a deeper understanding of the Bhutanese way of life. Take short walks, make stops for pictures of the beautiful landscape and her people. Visit fortresses, museums and some of the holiest sites in the country.

12 Nights 13 Days

Tentative Itinerary

Day 01                                                       Place: From Paro to Thimphu

Arrive at the Paro Airport where your guide will be there to welcome you. Drive to Thimphu, which would take about an hour. Make a stop on the way at the confluence of the two rivers. There are three different Buddhist stupas down below at the confluence of the two rivers. The Tibetan styled stupa, the Nepali styled and the Bhutanese styled stupa. Check in at hotel at Thimphu. Have your lunch after a brief rest at the hotel. In the afternoon, visit the Memorial Chorten(temple) which was built in 1974 in memory of the Late Third King of Bhutan.  On any given day, you shall find people circumambulating this temple in order to gain merits for all sentient beings.  Go to Kuenselphodrang, popularly known as the “Buddha Point” where a statue of the Buddha measuring 54 meters tall sits above the Thimphu valley. Visit the Changgangkha Lhakhang(temple) which is one of most popular temples for the people living in Thimphu. Couples with newborns come to this temple to seek a name for their child as well as get the blessings from the temple. The Takin Reserve is a must visit place if you have never seen a Takin before. Takin, the national animal of Bhutan is a very unique animal and according to the beliefs of the Bhutanese people, there is a story behind how this magnificent animal was first created. Visit the School of Traditional Arts &Crafts where you shall be able to observe students wood carving, metal crafting, painting, sculpturing etc. Visit the Tashichhoe Dzong the “Fortress of Auspicious Religion” where today like most of the other fortresses in Bhutan serves as the Administrative and Religious Center. Evening at leisure in Thimphu town. Dinner and overnight shall be at the hotel.

Day 02                                                            Place: Thimphu

On this day, we shall hike to the Tango Monastery, which is also the University for Buddhist Studies. Interact with monks, catch them attending their classes or performing religious ceremonies. After this, hike to the Chari Monastery. This is day’s event, so packed lunch will be served amidst the woods in the pristine environment. Dinner and overnight shall be at the hotel.

Day 03                                                      Place: Thimphu to Punakha

After breakfast, drive to Punakha, a place with subtropical vegetation and about 3 hours drive from Thimphu. On your way stop at the mountain pass called Dochula where a 108 stupas were built by the Queen Mother of Bhutan, and enjoy the breathtaking view of a chain of some of the tallest mountains in Bhutan on a day with clear skies. Have your lunch on your way and then visit theChimi Lhakang (temple) also known popularly as the “fertility temple”. This temple is reputed for granting children to couples who come to seek blessings for a child. People who come to this temple are blessed with a wooden phallus with a silver handle and the bow and arrows of the famous 15th century Buddhist saint called “Drukpa Kuenley” to whom this temple is dedicated. Check in at your hotel at Punakha, evening at leisure. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

Day 04                                                     Place: Punakha to Gangtey

Having had your breakfast, we drive to Punakha Dzong(Fortress) which is perhaps the most Important and beautiful Dzong in Bhutan. Built in the 17th century, at the confluence of the two rivers, the Pho Chu and the Mo Chu which literally translates as the “male river” and the “female river”, this is the place where the First King of Bhutan was crowned in 1907 and it is also the winter residence of the 70thChief Abbot of Bhutan. Later we shall hike to temple called Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal which lies at about 45 minutes climb from the road end point. After crossing the suspension bridge, the path to the temple passes through fields of mustards and paddy and then gradually starts climbing. This temple is renowned for housing some of the most intricate sculpturing and paintings done in Bhutan. After lunch, visit the nunnery and then proceed onwards to Gangtey. Dinner and overnight at the guest house in Gangtey.

Day 05                                                            Place: Gangtey

Gangtey also called “Phobjikha” is one of the most famous marsh lands in Bhutan. It is usually a very quiet place. This valley is famous for the Black Necked Cranes that come here from Tibet to roost during the cold winter months. Visit the Gangtey Goenpa, which is a very old temple on top of a hill. Later hike from the temple downwards into the valley through villages for about an hour where your car will be there to pick you up. Have your lunch and spend the other half of the day visiting the Black Necked Craned Information Center and walking through the valley back to the hotel. Dinner and overnight shall be at the guest house.

Day 06                                        Place: Gangtey to Bumthang via Trongsa

On this day, you will travel to Bumthang valley. On your way, visit the Trongsa Dzongand the Museum above the Dzong after lunch. The TrongsaDzong is considered to be the biggest Dzong in Bhutan with its complex design of courtyards, staircases and massive doors. In the olden days, it used to be the gateway for people travelling between Eastern and Western Bhutan. The museum above the Dzongused to be a watch tower hence the name “TaaDzong” but now it exhibits some of the most important artifacts in the country. After arrival in Bumthang, check in hotel. Dinner and overnight shall beat the hotel.

Day 07                                                            Place: Bumthang

Bumthang is said to have the highest number temples and religious sites in Bhutan. In the morning visit the Jakar Dzong in Bumthang and the Jamba Lhakhang(temple) originally built in the 7th century by a Tibetan king SongtsenGyembo who built a  108 temples all over Tibet some of which fell into Bhutan in order to subdue a giant demoness. The name to this temple “Jamba” is one of the many names of the Buddha of the future and to whom this temple is also dedicated to.  In the afternoon, visit the Kuje Lhakhang, which is famous for the impression left behind on a rock by a great Buddhist Saint called “Guru Rinpoche” during his meditaions. Walk to the next temple Tamzhing Lhakhang following a farm road. This temple still has the original paintings from when it was first built. Renovation works are being done to maintain these precious arts. The builder of this temple from the 15th century, “Pema Lingpa” a great Buddhist saint known as the “The Treasure reveler” used to be a blacksmith so today inside this temple, you shall find a vest, armored with metal rings woven together. People believe that wearing this on one’s back and going around the inner chapel three times cleanses one of all the negative merits accumulated.  Dinner and overnight shall beat the hotel.

Day 08                                                            Place:Bumthang

Visit the Ogyen Chholing Palace which used to be a palace is now a place that exhibits the lifestyle in those early days. The whole palace is on display everything from the large courtyards to the storage rooms, attires, weapons, utensils etc... After this tour of the palace, and on your way back do not miss out on your visit to the Mebartsho, “the burning lake”, where in the 15th century, the great treasure reveler “Terton Pema Lingpa” emerged out of this lake with a burning lamp and other important relics in the presence of skeptics who accused him of fraudulence. Have your packed lunch at a convenient spot on your way and then move to the town.  Afternoon at leisure. Dinner and overnight shall be at the hotel.

Day 09                                        Place: Bumthang to Wangdiphodrang

Activity for this day will be limited to mostly travelling by car. After breakfast drive to Wangdiphodrang, and on your way visit the Chendebji Chorten, which lies just next to the road, a large stupa built with eyes painted on it. It is more common to see this kind of art on stupas in Nepal. Since we have a long journey ahead, occasional stops on the way, and taking walks along the highway is a very good idea to stretch your legs. Lunch will be arranged at a restaurant located along this highway. After your arrival in Wangdiphodrang, check in to your hotel. Dinner and overnight will be at the hotel.

Day 10                                         Place: Wangdiphodrang to Paro via Thimphu

After breakfast, drive to Thimphu, and have your lunch. Visit the Centenary Farmer’s Market to where organic vegetables, fruits, dairy products, incense sticks, rice, flour are sold. A five minute walk from this market will get you to a temple called Zangtopelri Lhakhang .The temple has been architecturally designed to replicate the Copper Paradise of “Guru Rinpoche”. It was built in the early 1990s by Late DashoAkuTongmi, a man who is also accredited for composing the National Anthem of Bhutan.  Leave for Paro after having your lunch at Thimphu. Check in at hotel in Paro. Later visit Kichu Lhakhang, a temple built at the same time to that of Jamba Lhakhang in Bumthang. This is the other temple originally built in the 7th century by the Tibetan King SongtsenGyembo as one of the 108 stupas. Dinner and overnight shall be at the hotel.

Day 11                                                               Place: Paro

Visit the Dungtse Lhakhang which is just a short walk from Paro town.  Then visit the National Museum, and the Paro Dzong. Walk downwards from the Dzong, cross the cantilever bridge, where your car waits for you. In the afternoon, visit the Drukgyel Dzong, which is now in ruins after it caught fire.  Far to the north of this Dzong, you will be able to see the snowcapped mountain peak, Jomolhari, given that the sky is clear.  Dinner and overnight shall be at the hotel.

Day 12                                                              Place: Paro

After a good breakfast, the day starts by driving to the base of Taktshang (Tiger’s Nest). From here on, the walk uphill begins. Taktshang is a highly recommended place to visit for guests. The walk uphill offers clean and pristine air for breathing while you enjoy the occasional view of the valley below.  Almost halfway through your way up, have some tea and snacks at the restaurant with the stunning view of the temple suspended on a cliff.  Proceed to the temple, visit the many shrines in the temple and on your way back, have your lunch at the restaurant.  Get back to the base where your car will be waiting for you. The rest of the day is leisure where you can relax and take a walk in the Paro town. Dinner and overnight will be at the hotel in Paro.

Note: We would like to suggest you wear comfortable shoes for your hike to the Taktshang temple.

Day 13                                                            Place: Paro

After breakfast, depart from Paro Airport. Your guide will be there to see you off on behalf of the company.

Ama Tours & Treks,

Thimphu , Bhutan

Phone Number: +975-77108828/ +975-77110828

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