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Rural Bhutan

9 Nights 10 Days

Tentative Itinerary

Includes Farm Stay at Damji, Gasa (2 Nights)

Suitable time for visit: Between November and late March. Other farm stays are also available all year round.

Day 01                                                                Place: Paro to Thimphu

Upon arrival at the Paro International airport, your guide will be there to welcome you. Drive to Thimphu, which would take about an hour’s time. Once you are at Thimphu, check in at your hotel and after a brief rest, have your lunch. Sightseeing begins after lunch, and first visit the Memorial Chorten (temple) which was built in 1974 in memory of the Late Third King of Bhutan, who is also revered as the “Father of Modern Bhutan” by the Bhutanese people. You shall always find people circumambulating this temple, for it is believed that by doing so one gains good merits that would benefit one as well as all the sentient beings of the six realms. Next visit Kuenselphodrang popularly known as “The Buddha point”, where a statue of the Buddhacasted in bronze, measuring 54 meters sits overlooking the Thimphu valley. Visit the School of Traditional Arts & Crafts, where a total of thirteen different arts and crafts are taught. Some of it are wood carving, sculpturing, embroidery and painting. The Takin Reserve in Thimphu, has the National Animal of Bhutan on display for everyone to see. In the late afternoon, visit the Tashichhoe Dzong, a fortress that is now used as an administrative and religious center for Thimphu. Dinner and overnight shall be at the hotel.

Day 02                                                            Place:Thimphu

Hike to the Tango University of Buddhist Studies, and catch the monks during one of their daily activities, and interact with them during their free time.  Next, visit the Chari monastery. Since this is day’s activity, packed food will be served for lunch. In the evening, take a walk down the Thimphu town.  Dinner and overnight shall be at the hotel.

Day 03                                               Place: Thimphu to Punakha

After breakfast, drive to Punakha, which would normally take about three hours to there from Thimphu. On your way to Punakha, stop at the mountain pass called Dochula. On a day with clear skies, the view of the mountain range is so unreal and yet at the same time beautiful.  Some of the tallest mountains in Bhutan lie amongst these mountains.  Just by the highway, there are a 108 stupas built by the Queen mother of Bhutan and every year a festival is held here at Dochula. From this point on, you shall be descending into the valleys below, with the change in vegetation from temperate to sub alpine to subtropical, it is hard not to feel the variations in temperature. Have your lunch at Lobesa, and visit the Chimi Lhakhang(temple). This temple is known for granting children to couples who have problems conceiving a child. Couples who have succeeded in having a child after seeking blessings from this temple come back to this temple to seek a name for their newborn and also seek blessings for their child. Also pay a visit to the nunnery before you get to the hotel. Dinner and overnight shall be at the hotel.

Day 04                                              Place:Punakha to Damji, Gasa

Farmstay: 1st Night

Visit the PunakhaDzong(Fortress), considered by many, to be the most beautiful Dzong in Bhutan. This Dzong was built in the first half of the 17th century and like most Dzongs in Bhutan in those days, it was built without the use of neither a single nail nor a single line drawn on paper.  This Dzong was built right at the confluence of the two rivers. Some of the most important historic events in Bhutan took place inside this very Dzong. Inside, you will find some of the most beautiful paintings done on the walls of this great Dzong. Huge courtyards with patiently crafted pillars windows and verandahs are some of key    features that makes this Dzong beautiful on the inside. In the throne room, you shall find a large statue of the Buddha, the wall paintings in this room depicts the major life events of the Buddha from the left side of the wall facing the Buddha’s statue to the right.  After lunch, drive to Damji, Gasa. It takes about 3 hours from Punakha, depending on the condition of the road.

There are 20 districts in Bhutan and Gasa is the least populated district. Upon your arrival at Damji village, your host family will be there to welcome you.  Have your dinner that has been cooked for you by your host family.  Night halt at host family’s house.

Day 05                                                     Place: Gasa

Farmstay: 2nd Night

Daily lives in villages start early.  You will be able to hear people go about with their own work at the break of dawn. After breakfast, drive to the Gasa Dzong. It takes about another hour to get there.  People from all over Gasa gather in this fortress for their annual mask dance which usually falls around early spring. Visit the shops and restaurants located just below the Dzong. Have lunch at the restaurant and then drive back to Damji village. On your way, stop at the most popular hot spring in Bhutan, this is about 20 minutes’ walk downhill. Dinner and overnight at farmhouse.

Day 06                                        Place: Damji, Gasa to Punakha

After an early breakfast, drive back to Punakha. On your way, visit the Khamsum Yuelley Namgyaltemple. It is just a short hike to this temple and at first the path will take you through fields of mustards and paddy. The path gradually starts climbing up. This temple has some of the most complex and detailed sculpturing done on statues. The temple is divided into several floors and from the top floor; the view is something that is unforgettable. One can say that the temple is brilliantly located; the view overlooks the fields and fades away beyond the river. After late lunch, drive to Phobjikha/Gangteyvalley. Dinner and night halt at the Guest house.

Day 07                                                      Place: Gangtey to Paro

This valley is one of the most popular marsh lands in Bhutan. Home to the Endangered Black Necked Cranes that migrate here from Tibet during winter, the local people here have immense respect for these majestic birds. After breakfast, visit the Black Necked Crane Information Center. This Center also provides guests with equipments to watch the birds. Walking along the road in this valley is a good idea, as there aren’t many vehicles plying this road. Visit the Gantey Goenpa temple that is located on a hill top before you leave this valley. Have lunch on your way to Paro. At Paro, check in at your hotel. Dinner and overnight shall be at your hotel.

Day 08                                                            Place: Paro

Visit the Dungtse Lhakhang which is just a short walk from Paro town.  Then visit the National Museum, and then visit 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 09                                                                       Place: Paro

After a good breakfast, drive to the base of the Taktshang (it literally translates as the Tiger’s Nest) temple. One of the most important temples in Bhutan, also voted internationally as one of the top ten holiest places in the world, your visit to Bhutan lies void without a paying a visit to this temple. This temple lies built on a cliff, and the effort made to get to this temple is really worth it once you reach the temple. Horseback riding uphill can also be arranged to get to this temple and for this you must inform your guide a fortnight earlier so that proper arrangements can be made.  On your way up, almost halfway through, have tea and snacks at the restaurant that sits facing the temple. Visit the temple, and on your way back have lunch at the restaurant. Your car will be waiting for you at the base. In the later afternoon, take a walk through the Paro town. Dinner and overnight shall be at the hotel.

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

Day 10                                                             Place: Paro

After breakfast, drive to the Airport and depart.

 

Ama Tours & Treks,

Thimphu , Bhutan

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

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