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Highlights of Bhutan

Uncover the mysteries and myths of the ancient “Dragon Kingdom”  deep in the mountains of the Himalayas 

Tucked away from the world, lying between the dominant countries of China and India, lies a mountain kingdom of such cultural contrast and diversity, travellers who have ventured into its mountainous depths come back spell-bound. Boasting lush valleys of rhododendron blossoms, unique art & architecture, pristine forests  and misty snow-capped peaks which secret ancient fortified monasteries and their guardians, devout traditional buddhists and monks.We begin our journey in the capital of Paro, exploring its sights and sounds on a guided city tour before visiting Jangtsa Dumtseg Lhakhang, one of the most important and rarest of Buddhist Temples in the land.

We continue to the cultural capital of Thimphu, which, through its local textiles, museums, memorials and National Library provides us great insight into the intricacies of Bhutanese way of life.  Venturing further into the mountain passes via the Dochula, we set out to explore the holy temples of  Changangkha and Chimi Lhakhang before marvelling at the Gangtey Gompa Buddhist complex and Jakar Dzong, castle of the white bird in Bumtang. In Wangdue, we find ourselves taking time out at leisure to relax and unwind before hiking to to the fabled Taktsang Monastery(Tiger’s Nest) perched on a cliff edge 800m above the valley floor. We returning to the bustling capital of Paro for our final night.

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Trip Duration: 12 days
Grade Adventure touring: light adventure
Summary:
 11 nights in tourist class hotels

On arrival in Paro,our local representative will meet you at the airport and be your guide throughout your tour. Check into hotel. Visit the Rinpung Dzong, built in 1645 to defend the valley against Tibetan invaders. Visit the National Museum, which is a repository of not only precious work of art but also costumes, armor and other hand crafted objects of daily life that provide a good snapshot of the rich cultural traditions of the country. Overnight Paro.
Today we visit Dungtse Lhakhang, located just outside of the town centre, across the river. Visit Drugyel Dzong which now lies in in ruins. It was built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel to commemorate his victory over the Tibetan invaders led by Mongolian Warlord Gushri Khan. The glory of the Dzong still remains after it was destroyed by fire in 1951. Visit Kyichu Lhakhang. Overnight in Paro.
Drive to Thimphu. En route visit Tachogang Temple. Check into hotel. Visit the Textile Museum to get an understanding of the beautiful hand woven Bhutanese textiles. Visit the National Library, a treasure trove of priceless Buddhist manuscripts. Then move to the National Folk Heritage Museum to get an insight into the typical Bhutanese way of life. See the Institute for Zorig Chusum commonly known as the painting school. Visit the Traditional Medicine Institute. Drive to Kuensel Phodrang and walk to the Memorial Chorten built in the memorary of our Third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck.
Morning visit Changangkha Temple. Drive to Punakha via the Dochula Pass(3140m). On a clear day some of the highest peaks in Bhutan can be seen from here. Visit Duk Wangyel Chorten built by the Queen Mother for the peace and stability of the country. Visit Chimi Lhakhang. This temple is believed to bless couples with fertility issues. Many people from around the world visit this holy site to seek its blessing. Check into hotel. Overnight Punakha.
Visit the impressive Punakha Dzong, the second of Bhutan’s dzongs. Hike to Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten. This chorten was built by the Queen Mother Ashi Tshering Yangden Wangchuck in 1999 for the protection of the country. Visit Bhutan Souvenir Production Training Center (BSPTC). This center trains  disadvantage girls to produce souvenir handicrafts. Overnight Punakha.
Drive to Gangtey. On route visit the ruins of Wangdue Dzong. In Gangtey visit Khewang Lhakhang. Overnight Gangtey.
Enjoy Gangtey valley. Visit Gangtey Goemba and take a short walk down hill from Gangtey Goemba. Gangtey Gompa is a Buddhist complex which includes monks’ quarters, a meditation centre, schools and a small hotel – all overlooking the Phobjikha Valley, a designated conservation area which borders Black Mountain National Park Overnight Gangtey.
Drive to Bumtang. Check in Hotel. Visit Jakar Dzong, castle of the white bird. Visit Wangdichholing Palace built in 1857. Overnight Bumtang.
Today, visit URA Valley. On route visit the Mebar Tsho(burning lake). Drive back to Bumtang and if time permits, visit Jambay Lhakhang, Chaskar Lhakhang and Kurjey Lhakhang. Overnight Bumtang.
This morning we travel to Wangdue where you have remainder of the afternoon at leisure.
From Wangdue, we take to teh road once more moving towards the capital of Paro. Just outside we will make a stop to hike to Taktsang Monastery(Tiger’s Nest). Afterwards we return to Paro where you have free time to explore.
Early this morning your guide will escort you to the airport for your flight onwards.

 

Featured Accommodation or highlight

BHUTAN 5

 JANGSTA DUMTSEG LHAKHANG

Buddhist Temple in Western Bhutan 

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 BHUTAN’S MASKED DANCERS

Intricate and colourful, Bhutan’s mask dances play an integral part in the countries fascinating cultural customs and religious traditions.

The Next Step…

If you would like to discuss this itinerary or something similar in more detail, please contact the Thor Travel Team.

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or call 1800 801 119