10 Days Central Bhutan – Sacred Bumthang
Paro – Thimphu – Phunaka – Wangdue Phodrang – Bumthang
The Land of the Thunder Dragon, one of the most mysterious and unknown of all Himalayan kingdoms, hidden in isolation behind the high peaks of the Himalayas. For centuries forbidden to foreigners, this timeless Buddhist country has succeeded in preserving its enchanting traditions and ancestral way of life. Besides the natural beauty, the valley is bountifully blessed with numerous ancient temples and is the revered birthplace of many saints. It was here that the legendary saint Pema Lingpa was born, to whom the Bhutanese Royalties trace their lineage. Bumthang is also distinguished in history as the first place in Bhutan where Guru Rinpoche introduced Buddhism to the country
- Please note that booking for this itinerary has to adhere to the departure day in the week as advised below due to Druk Air flight schedule.
- For this itinerary, you have to depart on a THURSDAY and return on a SATURDAY.
- There is a 45 minutes in-flight transit in Kolkotta both ways.
Sunday | Singapore – Paro KB 501 | 0630/0945
Thursday | Singapore – Paro KB 501 | 0630/0945
Wednesday | Paro – Singapore KB 500 | 0720/1515
Saturday | Paro – Singapore KB 500 | 0720/1515
All info are act as a guide and are correct as of time of publication.
Please check directly on airline website for latest flight schedules.
Day 1 | L, D | Hotel
Singapore – Paro – Thimpu
Check in at airport Druk Air counter with your air ticket, passport and Bhutan visa. On this flight, you can see breathtaking views of the Great Himalaya as you start approaching Bhutan. Arrive at Paro International Airport. You will be required to show your Bhutan visa again as part of the immigration process. After which your guide will meet and welcome you. We take a two hour scenic drive to Thimphuthe capital city of Bhutan and arrive in time to check in hotel and lunch.
You can see Yak and Takin, the National wild animal of Bhutan.
Thimphu Dzong (only after 4pm)
The main Secretariat Building. This massive structure houses part of the Ministries, the office of the King and the Throne Room. It also houses the State Monastic Body and the living quarters of the Chief Abbot.
Explore Thimphu town at leisure. You can purchase world’s most beautiful postage stamps, collector’s items and postcards at face value from general post office which is right next to Bhutan National Bank.
Evening back to hotel for dinner and rest.
Day 2 | B, L, D | Hotel
The full day program include visiting the following places:
A huge stupa built in memory of the third King of Bhutan who reigned the Kingdom from 1952-1972.
The National Library of Bhutan
The National Archives is responsible for collecting and preserving important past, present and future documents on Bhutan for future generations.
Downtown Thimphu on foot visiting Handicrafts Emporium and other Arts & Crafts stores. Buy stunning kiras which can be used as bed covers or wall decoration, jewelleries and many more.
Pangri Zampa Monastery
The Monastery is situated just beyond Dechencholing (5kms from Thimphu). This Lhakhang was the residence of Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel when he arrived in Bhutan in 1616 A.D. The Monastery was built during the first quarter of the 16th century by Ngawang Chogyel, the great-great- grandfather of the Shabdrung and the 14th hierarchy of the Drukpas.
Evening back to hotel for dinner and rest.
Day 3 | B, L, D | Hotel
Thimphu – Punakha – Wangdue Phodrang
After breakfast, we set off for Punakha (77km, 3.5 hr drive).
Located on the way to Punakha, the pass offers a stunning 360 degree panoramic view of Himalayan mountain range. The view is especially scenic on clear, winter days with snowcapped mountains forming a majestic backdrop to the tranquility of the 108 chortens gracing the mountain pass. Known as the Druk Wangyal Chortens- the construction of these 108 chortens was commissioned by the eldest Queen Mother, Her Majesty Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuk.Arrive in Punakha for lunch.
Built in 1637 AD, the Dzong houses the district administration offices. It is also the winter residence of the State Monastic Body and its Chief Abbot. Punakha was the former capital of Bhutan. The Dzong (fortress) lies between two rivers known as Pochu and Mochu which means “Male River and Female River.”Start short trek (3.5 hrs two ways) to Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten.
Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten
Chorten stands majestically on a strategic ridge above the Punakha valley. Built over a period of 9 years, Bhutanese craftsmen including carpenters, painters, and sculptors consulted holy scriptures rather than engineering manuals, to construct this 4-storey temple. It is a splendid example of Bhutan’s fine architectural and artistic traditions and the only one of its kind in the world. This temple is dedicated for the well-being of the kingdom and the benefit of all sentient beings.
After that transfer to hotel for check in and dinner.
Day 4 | B, L, D | Resort
Wangdiphodrang – Gangtay – Phobjikha (2900 m)
After early breakfast drive to Phobjikha Valley. Visit ChhimiLhakhang and Gangtey Gompa which now houses one of the only Nyingmapa monasteries in Bhutan. After lunch walk around the valley which is also the winter home to the rare black-necked cranes, which migrate, from remote parts of Tibet, China and Siberia during winter to this valley. Drive back to hotel for dinner.
This was founded in 15 century by Lama Dukpa Kinley also known as divine mad man. It is a half hour walk across a local village and rice field. Everyone in this kingdom believes that the Lama’s blessings will help a woman conceive.
The valley of Gangtey is one of the most beautiful spots in Bhutan. The surprise of finding such a wide, flat valley without any trees. Gangtey village lies on the valley of Phobjikha. This place is the winter home of black necked cranes that migrate from the arid plains in the north to pass winter in milder and lower climate. Phobjikha, at an altitude of 2900 m, falls under the district of Wangduephodrang and lies on the periphery of the Black Mountain National Park. The valley boasts two beautiful meandering rivers, NakayChhu (ChhuNaap-black water) and Gay Chhu (Chhu Karp-white water).
Perched on a small hill that rises from the valley floor, the Gangtey Monastery is the only Nyingmapa monastery on the western side of the Black Mountain’s Gangtey valley, Bhutan and also the biggest Nyingmapa monastery in Bhutan. The Monastery is surrounded by a large village inhabited mainly by the families of the 140 Gomchens who take care of the Monastery.
Day 5 | B, L, D | Resort
Gangtay – Trongsa – Bhumthang (2950 m)
Black Necked Crane Information Centre
The Centre is situated on the edge of the forest and wetland along the main road of Phobjikha valley, the black-necked crane information Centre has an observation room equipped with high power telescope and spotting scopes for catching the best view of the cranes. The centre also offers display information that outline the natural and cultural history of the area.After that five hours drive to Bhumthang via Trongsa. On the way visit Trongsa Dzong.
The ancestral home of the royal family. An architectural wonder built by Chogyel MinjurTempa, the Third Desi, in 1648 it is presently the administrative seat of the district and home of the monastic school. Built at split-levels on a narrow spur, the Dzong is an architectural wonder. Views from here are extensive creating strategic location of this Dzong.
Day 6 | B, L, D | Hotel
Bumthang – Tang Valley Excursion – Bumthang
After breakfast drive to Tang Valley for an enjoyable excursion, which is the most remote valley in Bumthang. While at the Tang, you will visit 16th century Ugyenchholing Palace or the country manor, which is now turned into a museum. The well-captioned exhibits offer insights into lifestyle of a Bhutanese noble family.You will also explore nearby villages.
On the way back to town, you will see MebarTsho (Burning Lake), where some of Guru Rinpoche’s treasures were found in the 15th century by the famous treasure discoverer PemaLingpa. Overnight hotel in Bumthang.
Day 7 | B, L, D | Hotel
Bhumthang – Wangduephodrang
After an early breakfast drive back to Wangduephodrang for 6 hours. Lunch will be on the way. Upon arrival check in hotel, after noon rest and relax. Evening dinner.
Day 8 | B, L, D | Hotel
Wangduephodrang – Paro
After an early breakfast visit continue drive back to Paro for 5 hours. Lunch will be on the way. Upon arrival check in Resort and have some rest. Evening Dinner.
Day 9 | B, L, D | Hotel
After breakfast drive (2 hrs) to the hiking start point of Taktsang.
Taktsang Monastery (4 hours round hike)
The name Taktsang means “Tiger’s Nest”. The monastery is perched on a rocky ledge with a sheer drop of nearly 800m. and overlooks the Paro Valley and river. It is believed during the second half of the 8th century Guru Padma Sambhava known as the second Buddha in Bhutan, meditated at the spot where the monastery is situated having alighted there on the back of a flying tigress. A round trip hike takes about 4 hrs. You have the option of hiring a horse or do a partial hike if you feel not up to a full hike.
Paro Rinchen Pong Dzong
This massive fortress is located in the Paro valley and is approached by a gently sloping flagstone road and a beautiful covered wooden bridge and guard houses. Today, the Dzong is the Administrative seat of the district of Paro and it also contains a state monastic community of about 200 monks. The central tower (Utse) of the Dzong, is one of the most beautiful in Bhutan with its superb woodwork. The Dzong was built in 1645 A.D.
Paro market is a well-preserved traditional outdoor market located in the center of Paro town. Sellers sit on the ground displaying all their goods while buyers squat to choose what they want and make bargains. It is also a collection of Bhutan’s unique local products such as dried yak cheese, exotic-looking ferns, powdered juniper incense, squares of dried jellied cow skin and slabs of datse, the cheese used in almost every Bhutanese dish.
The charming small town of Paro lies on the banks of the Paro Chhu, just a short distance northwest of the imposing Paro Dzong. The main street is lined with colorfully painted wooden shop fronts and restaurants. It is nice to explore this quaint Bhutanese town leisurely at the end of a day of sightseeing.
Evening back to Resort, have dinner and rest.
Day 10 | B
Paro – Singapore
After breakfast transfer to Paro Airport for departure.
• Return Druk Air airfare with taxes
• Bhutan visa
• Private A/C transportation including airport transfer by Toyota Hiace or car
• Personal English speaking tour guide
• Hotel accommodation
• Meals as per itinerary
• Entrance fees
• Travel insurance
• Alcoholic and other beverages
• Personal expenses