Day 01 Bangkok – Paro- Thimphu (1 hour) Day 02 Thimphu- Punakha (Drive takes about 3 hours) Day 03 Punakha- Trongsa (5hours including the photo stops and scenery) Day 04 Trongsa – Bumthang (3hours) Day 05 Bumthang – Monger (8hours). Day 06 Monger - Jamkhar (4 hours/ night halt at farm house) Day 07 Festival Day 08 Excursion to 15th century Temple, where Gandhi started as Lay Monk (40min. hike) Day 09 Jamkhar- Trashi Gang (1hour) Day 10 Trashigang – Monger (3hours) Day 11 Mongar – Bumthang (8 hours) Day 12 Bumthang – sightseeing Day 13 Bumthang – Phobjikha/ Wangdue (6 hours) Day 14 Phobjikha/Wangdue – Paro (6 hours) Day 15 Paro -Taktshang Monastery Hike (5 hours) Day 16 Paro to Bangkok)
Day 01. Bangkok – Paro- Thimphu (1 hour)
Gandhi who is going to be your guide throughout your trip in Bhutan will be at the airport in Paro to receive you in traditional Bhutanese manner. Thereafter, drive to Paro town for hot tea and scroll in the main town. Transfer to Thimphu, 1hour drive from Paro.
Day 02. Thimphu- Punakha (Drive takes about 3 hours)
After your breakfast, visit the memorial chorten which was built in 1974 in memory of His Majesty late king Jigme Dorji Wangchuck by his Mother, visit thirteen traditional art and craft, where you will see the young students trained to promote our tradition and culture, drive to Punakha crossing 3050m Do Chula pass, if the weather is clear, you will see all the Himalaya from this beautiful pass. Lunch will be serving on the cafeteria. After lunch, descend down to sub- tropical valley of Punakha. Visit one of the most impressive dzong of Punakha, which is located in between Male River (Pho Chu) and Female River (Mo Chu). Make sure you recharge your camera battery for the photos. Check in the hotel.
Day 3. Punakha- Trongsa (5hours including the photo stops and scenery)
Drive starts after early breakfast through the beautiful scenery; you will soon pass Wangdue main down town, where many people from different villages come for the shopping. Soon after you will ascend to Pelela pass, 3100m. Crossing the Black Mountain National Park you will reach to chendeji chorten, a Nepali style stupa. After lunch continue to Trongsa. Soon after the beautiful drive, you will see Trongsa Dzong located in the trunk of the valley. It is largest Dzong in Bhutan. Check in hotel.
Day 4. Trongsa – Bumthang (3hours) Trongsa Dzong:
Built in 1648, it was the seat of power over central and eastern Bhutan. Both the first and second Kings of Bhutan ruled the country from this ancient seat. All four kings were invested as Trongsa Penlope (“governor”) prior to ascending the throne, and the present Crown Prince now holds the post. The dzong is a massive structure with many levels, sloping down the contours of the ridge on which it is built. Because of the dzong’s highly strategic position, on the only connecting route between east and west, the Trongsa Penlop was able to control effectively the whole of the central and regions of the country from here.
This watchtower, which once guarded Trongsa Dzong from internal rebellion, stands on a steep slope above the town, coinciding with the centenary coronation in 2008, Ta Dzong is converted into Museum. Drive to Bumthang crossing Yotongla pass, 3,500m. You will reached to Chummey valley, stop for yak hair weaving centre. Half hour drive from Chummey will get to Bumthang valley. Check in the hotel.
Day 5. Bumthang – Monger (8hours)
Today you will have longer drive, crossing the URA valley 3100m; they are semi- nomadic farmers. After 2hours drive from URA valley will come across the highest pass Thromshing la 3800m. Descend to Monger 1100m. Check in the hotel.
Day 6. Monger - Jamkhar (4 hours/ night halt at farm house)
At the end of the road point, you will be received by many local people; they will serve us butter tea and local brew locally known as Ara in traditional way. Today because of the farm road, you have to walk about 45 minute to Gandhi’s house through the farm houses, you will be welcomed by Gandhi’s relatives and neighbor, enjoy yourself with authentic Bhutanese people.
Early dinner and join yearly religious fire ceremony in the Temple. Lama or high priest will bless and purify us. The fire blessing will go from the Temple to all the farm houses in the village to purify and drive out evils sprits, local people strongly believed in fire ceremony. (Night halt at Farm house).
Day 7. Festival
The next day, you will witness a festival procession where local people will be carrying the religious text at their each back following the monks and lay monks with beautiful sound of religious trumpet and holding the Buddhist victory banner.
Local people will be wearing fine dress, best ornaments and jewelleries which are held annually once a year. Also get married during the festival because they believed it is a good Oman to married in such occasion. The festival will last for three days, since they visit each houses and will serve local brew or Tea. Finally the festival will end back to Temple on 3rd day. Evening witness the Bhutanese folk dance at the farm house.
Day 8. Day Excursion to 15th century Temple, where Gandhi started as Lay Monk (40min. hike)
Today you will have easy and relaxing day, after the breakfast hike to shing khar a pretty village. visit a 15th century Temple built by a Tibetan saint called Thang Thong Gyelpo, popularly known as Chazampa (Iron chain bridge builder) this is a Temple where Pelden Gandhi started as lay a monk before he attended the school. Lunch will be serving at Gandhi’s sister house. This evening many locals will come to say good bye and farewell us, you will be having last dinner with localities and dancing with locals. Day 9. Jamkhar- Trashi Gang (1hour)
Many locals will come and say goodbye to you, some will cry for our departure, many locals will follow us till the road point. Gandhi will trip them at the end say goodbye. Visit the Gomkora Temple, which date back to 8th century, then drive to hotel for good shower.
Day 10. Trashigang – Monger (3hours)
In the morning visit Trashi Gang Dzong, it is located on the hill top, half of the Dzong is covered by administration of the district and half is covered by monastic body. After scrolling in the town you will drive to monger leaving Trashi gang. In the evening walk around the Monger Town.
Day 11. Mongar – Bumthang (8 hours)
Drive back to Bumthang, make couple of stop and walk in the broad leaves forest, chances of seeing golden languor and great horn bill. Dinner at the hotel.
Day 12. Bumthang – sightseeing Jambay lhakhang:
This monastery was built in the 7th century by the Tibetan King, Songsten Gempo. It is one of 108 monasteries which he built to subdue evil spirits in the Himalayan region. Its present architectural appearance dates from the early 20th century.
Located further along the valley, Kurje Lhakhang comprises three temples. The one on the right was built in 1652 against the rock where Guru Padmasambhava medicated in the 8th century. The middle temple is built on the site of a cave containing a rock with the imprint of Guru’s body, and is therefore considered to be the most holy. The temple on the left was built in the 1990s by H.M. Ashi Keasang, the Queen mother. These three temples are surrounded by a 108 chorten walls.
Located across the river from Kurje Lhakhang. This temple was founded in 1501 by Terton Pema Lingpa, a re-incarnation of Guru Padmasambhava. There are very old religious paintings around the inner walls of the temple, which was restored at the end of the 19th century.
Day 13. Bumthang – Phobjikha/ Wangdue (6 hours)
After early breakfast drive to Phobjikha valley via Trongsa, stop at chendeji for your lunch. Phobjikha is one of the most beautiful valley, during winter more then 400 endangered species of Black Necked Crane comes to these valley crossing the Tibetan plateau, we have a Black Necked Crane Festival on 11, 12 and 13th November every year Coinciding with the birth anniversary of 4th Druk Gyelpo(king). According to old folk, it was believed to be the glacier valley. People of the valley cultivate main cash crop as potatoes. There is no electricity in the valley instead they have solar power. Dinner at hotel.
Day 14. Phobjikha/Wangdue – Paro (6 hours)
Drive to Paro re crossing Dochu la pass, it is one of the most beautiful pass among all the passes in Bhutan, once again to see the Himalaya. Drive via Thimphu to Paro. If time permits visit National museum and Rimpung Dzong.
Day 15. Paro -Taktshang Monastery Hike (5 hours)
Taktshang monastery is the most famous monastery in Bhutan, perched on the side of a cliff 900m above the floor of Paro valley, where the only sounds are murmurs of wind and water and the chanting of Monks. The name Taktshang means Tiger’s Nest; the Guru is said to have flown to the site of the monastery on the back of tigress. He then mediated here in the cave for 3 months to flourished Buddhism all over the Bhutan. Here you will visit two main Temple where Guru mediated in the cave and the Guru’s image miraculously un touched by the fire in 1998. Lunch will be serving in the café way back to car park. After visit Drugyel Dzong which was built in 17th century to commemorate the victory over the Tibetan invaders. Visit the oldest Temple Kychu Lhakhang built in 7th century before the Buddhism come to Bhutan. Check in the hotel.
Day 16. Paro to Bangkok
Thanks for visiting my village, hope you enjoyed the true Bhutanese hospitality, visit us again, Gandhi will farewell you at the airport.