TOUR OF PARO
When you first arrive at Paro International Airport, you will be met by one of our delightful tour guides just outside the arrival hall. At 7,333 feet above sea level, the first thing you will likely notice is the effect of the high altitudes, so we will give you time to acclimate as we take a short drive to Thimphu and check into your hotel.
Thimphu is the capital of Bhutan and the perfect location to transition from your familiar lifestyle to our unique country that is like no other place on earth. Here you will begin to appreciate our local customs as you get your first glimpse of monks dressed in traditional red robes, men in striped ghos, and women in brightly colored kiras. Once you settle into your hotel, we will begin to unlock the mysteries of Bhutan by touring Thimphu’s most important sites. The National Memorial Chorten was built in 1974 to memorialize Jigme Dorji Wangchuk, the third king of Bhutan (1928-1972). A chorten is a stupa, or hemispherical structure, that is used as a place of meditation. The whitewashed building with a golden finial on top is a popular location for prayer as it represents the strength and kindness of our beloved third king.
The Thimphu Tashichho Dzong is a fortress and Buddhist monastery with a distinctive Bhutanese architectural design. Sitting aside the Wang Chhu (river), it is the current seat of the Druk Desi, the head of the civil government, and houses the offices of the current king.
On the weekends, Centenary Farmers’ Market is where farmers come to sell their vegetables, cheeses, grains, and the occasional yak leg. Across the street is the Kundeyling Baazam where you can bargain for local handicrafts, such as mala beads and prayer wheels. We will then take a scenic drive up to Buddha Point in the Kuenselphodrang Nature Park to see the 169-foot-tall bronze statue of the seated Buddha Dordenma. One of the largest sitting Buddha statues in the world, it sits atop a hill where you will see sweeping views of the valley and surrounding mountains. After returning to town for dinner, you can wander through the shops, bars, and cafes of Thimphu.
TOUR OF THIMPHU
Sangaygang (BBS Tower)- Drive about 15 minutes from the main city to a hillock where the Bhutan Broad Casting Tower is stationed. From there you can relish the beautiful scene of the whole of Thimphu City. On the way up or down from the hillock, you can also see Takin the national animal of Bhutan. It is also possible to request for the early morning walk up to this viewpoint.
Dechen Phodrang - we will drive towards Dechenphodrang. At the end of Gaden Lam is Dechen Phodrang, the site of Thimphu's original Trashi Chhoe Dzong. Since 1971 it has housed the state monastic school, and a long procession of monks often travels between here and the dzong. A team of 15 teachers provides an eight-year course to more than 450 students.
Simply Bhutan - A living museum and a photo studio with a mission to engage and empower youth entrepreneurs through preservation, promotion and showcasing of Bhutanese tradition and cultural diversity.
[Opening hour Summer 09.00 AM - 17.00 PM, Winter 10.00 AM - 16.00 PM]
Simtokha Dzong - Five miles from Thimphu, on a lofty ridge, stroll through the very first dzong, built in 1627 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. The Institute for Language and Cultural Studies is located here now. Enthral yourself with
the most noteworthy artistic feature in from of over 300 finely worked slate carvings behind the prayer wheels in the courtyard
THIMPHU TO PUNAKHA
Today we travel to Punakha, the former capital of Bhutan until 1955, and will stop off at Dochula Pass along the way. This popular tourist spot provides stunning 360-degree views of the Himalayas. It is also home to the 108 Druk Wangyal Chortens that were built on a small hill to memorialize the Bhutanese soldiers killed in a 2003 battle with Assamese insurgents from India.
The Druk Wangyal Lhakhang temple was completed in 2008, built to commemorate 100 years of monarchy and His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck, the fourth king, and leader of the raid that removed the Indian rebels. We will tour what is considered one of the most beautiful site in Bhutan, Punakha Dzong. Sitting at the fork of two rivers, it is a stunning example of Bhutanese architecture.
Punakha Dzong - Placed strategically at the junction of the Pho Chu and Mo Chu rivers, the Dzong was built in 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to serve as the religious and administrative seat of the region.
Pho Chhu Suspension Bridge - The 160 metres Pho Chhu Suspension Bridge is known for the longest suspension bridge in Bhutan, which gives you spectacular views of Punakha Dzong and the Pho Chhu Valley.
Khamsum Yuley Temple - There is no temple in Bhutan built elaborately as this. This fascinating temple was built by the Queen Mother of the 5th King to bring universal peace in this world. The best of the spiritual art works are painted on the inner walls. There are also paintings of Buddhist teachers and tutelary deities of the country. This is a great temple to study the symbolic meanings from frescoes and sculptures.
Picnic along river side
Home Visit - Visit a Bhutanese family at their home and share dinner over conversations. Take a peek into their lives and experience dining in a traditional Bhutanese home embraced by the warm hospitality of the family.
PUNAKHA TO PARO
The beautiful valley of Paro is home to many of Bhutan's old monasteries and temples. The country's only airport is in Paro. The valley is also home to Mount Jomolhari (7, 300m) situated at the northern end of the valley whose glacier water forms the Pa Chhu flowing through the valley.
Kyichu Lhakhang - Also known as Kyerchu temple or Lho Kyerchu, it is the oldest temple in Bhutan. Just like Jambhay Lhakhang in Bumthang, it is one of the 108 temples built by the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo to subdue and pin down an ogress that was obstructing the spread of Buddhism. According to legend, all 108 temples were built in a single night.
Go back in time and history and visit the seventh century Kyichu temple. As the name suggests, the temple is a reservoir of peace, and you will feel at peace here. Next to the temple is a house that was turned into a museum dedicated to the late Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. One can come across photographs and other artifacts belonging to Rinpoche.
Dumtse Lhakhang - Built in 1433 by the iron bridge builder Thangton Gyalpo, the temple was built to subdue a demoness and so was chained firmly to the ground. It's three floors represents hell, earth and heaven. To enter Dumtse Lhakhang, you will require a special permit.
Are you ready? We will be making the hike up to one of the key highlights in Bhutan today! Tiger's Nest aka Taktsang Monastery.
Taktsang Monastery - Often called the Tiger’s Nest, perched on the cliffs, has awestruck many a visitor. “Trip to Bhutan is never complete without climbing to Taktsang”, says one tourist. Indeed, it’s true as the journey there fills you with spiritual bliss. For those not choosing the spiritual side, it is the dramatic, artistically built monument that becomes a hiker’s delight. Take a trip to this dramatically set Buddhist relic hanging from a cliff. Experience the uphill climb as you ascend more than two thousand feet from the valley floor.
A prominent Himalayan Buddhist sacred site and temple complex located on the cliff side of Paro Valley. According to legends, it is believed that Guru Rinpoche flew to this location from Tibet on the back of a Tigress (his consort Yeshey Tshogyal) and meditated in one of the caves. Guru Rinpoche performed meditation and emerged in eight manifestations, and the place became holy, thus gaining the name Tiger's Nest.
Today we will bid fond farewell to this beautiful Himalayan country. 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!
What is included in the tour
- Private guided tour
- Visas for Bhutan
- Airport transfers
- Daily 3 meals (B/L/D) at designated restaurants or hotels
- Accommodation at 3 star hotel
- A qualified & licensed English-speaking guide
- An experienced driver
- A tour vehicle
- Entry fees & road permits
- Government fee, royalty, taxes & surcharges
- Mineral bottled water
- Set of traditional costume (to be return at the end of your stay)
- Full service & assistance before, during and after your Bhutan trip
- Free Local Sim
- Excited Trip Gift exclusively from Arisedev Tours and Treks
What is NOT included in the tour
- Flight into Bhutan via Drukair (can be arranged with us)
- Flight on other airline to catch Drukair Flight
- Meals at 4-5 stars restaurants
- Hotel stay outside of Bhutan
- Expenditure of personal nature
- Travel Insurance (can be arranged with us)
- Tips for the guide and driver
- Alcoholic drink
- Guaranteed Visa approval. We have yet to disappoint a single of our travellers in term of Visa issuance.
- Your choice of hotels will be confirmed for your inspection before your arrival. We only book you on hotels which we love and would love again.
- We will be happy to change your guide, driver or vehicle on the first two days of arrival in Thimphu if you are not satisfied with our selection. Drop us a note and our hospitality team be on the spot to assist you.
- We’re here to help. Our world-class member services team is available by phone or email — there's no automated system or call center; you'll communicate with a real person.