DAY 1 DEPART FOR PARO, BHUTAN / THIMPHU (L/D)
Early morning check-out from hotel and transfer to airport for flight to Paro, Bhutan.
Upon arrival in Paro, reception by local guide. Start your tour by visiting Paro Ta Dzong, one of the best museums overlooking Paro valley. Get the first glimpse of Bhutanese art and ancient history Visit Rinpung Dzong “fortress of the heap of jewels.” This massive fortress built in 1645 AD is the seat of the district administration as well as the home for the monastic school. Lunch at local restaurant after lunch, witness an Archery match, played by locals with lots of hue & cry! Archery is the national game of Bhutan. Interact with locals.
After enjoying an evening tea (traditional tea, optional), drive via river Pachu & Wangchu to Thimphu (55km/1.5hr) a charming capital city nestled in the heart of the Himalayas. En route take a quick stop to see the three different Himalayan style stupas; Bhutanese, Nepalese and Tibetan.
After Check-in the hotel, you can stroll around the town and mingle with locals at your leisure.
Dinner at local restaurant Overnight in Thimphu.
DAY 2 THIMPHU / GATEWAY TO PUNAKHA (B/L/D)
Breakfast at hotel and transfer to Punakha (78km/2.5hr)
En route stop by Dochula pass (3150m) to enjoy spectacular views of the eastern Himalayan Mountain range and stroll around 108 stupas. Visit the Royal Botanical Garden at Lamperi, situated at an altitude range of 2100m to 3800m. The park features a variety of forest types, spectacular scenery, natural rhododendron groves, endangered wildlife and a lake. (Watch the 10 min documentary before exploration for better understanding) Visit the Thinleygang School; Meet the teachers, students and the faculty members. Sit in the class for observation and share some of your valuable life lessons to the students. Donate books & stationeries.
Lunch at local restaurant Short walk along the Metshina village to Chimi lhakhang, a solitary “fertility temple” where a childless couple who comes to pray is usually blessed with a child.
Late visit Punakha Dzong, "Palace of the Great Happiness". This beautiful fortress lies between two rivers, the Pochu and Mochu, male and Female River. Walk on the beautiful 150 meters suspension bridge above the Pochu River to Gidagom village. You would be able to see the farmers, their farmland, livestock and their homes.
Overnight in Punakha
DAY 3 PUNAKHA / THIMPHU CULTURAL TOUR / HALF DAY CSR ACTIVITIES (B/L/D)
Drive to Thimphu (78km/2.5hr). En route enjoy coffee at Druk wangyel restaurant with snowcapped mountain-view.
Upon arrival in Thimphu, visit Zorig Chusum “School for Thirteen Traditional Arts and Crafts. Interact and try the traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan like painting, embroidery, wood curving, sculpting, weaving and etc. Souvenir are available at the craft showroom.
Proceed to General Post Office where you can create personalized postage stamps with your own photo for souvenir or sent home on a postcard. Lunch at local restaurant. After lunch drive to Sangay-gang and see the Takin, national animal of Bhutan. This hill is also called the “romantic point” as lovers often come here to enjoy the panoramic view of the Thimphu valley.
Pangri Zampa Astrological School – Before the donation, a religious Buddhist ceremony presided by a Lama will be arranged to bring good luck and gain merit for the group as a gratitude from the school. Interact and play with the under privileged children studying in that school. Optional - A game of Dego (a traditional game of Dego played with stones will be arranged between groups).
Visit Tarayana Foundation www.tarayanafoundation.org – This local NGO encourages rural communities by assisting initiatives to implement holistic community developmental. It also initiates in the introduction and adaption of green technologies to improve the lives of rural communities and enhance their livelihood. Meet the workers and donate clothes to Tarayana foundation.
Later visit the Farmer’s weekend market. All vegetables & fruits in Bhutan are grown organically (only on Friday, Sat and Sunday).
Visit the Tashichhoe Dzong, the main secretariat building, the office of the King and Throne room and also the house of the State Monastic Body.
An open Social-Gathering consisting of quick Happiness Workshop (GNH) will be arranged with the locals from one of the best know GNH experts in evening for about an hour session. The phrase Gross National Happiness (GNH); is coined in 1972 by Bhutan's fourth Dragon King. It represents a commitment to building an economy that would serve Bhutan's culture based on spiritual values instead of western material development gauged by Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The GNH concept has inspired a modern political happiness movement. Through the contribution of several western and eastern scholars, economists and politicians, the concept evolved into a socioeconomic development model. In July 2011, the United Nations passed Resolution 65/309, which was adopted unanimously by the General Assembly in July 2011, placing "happiness" on the global development agenda.
The representative speaker will elaborate on the 4 pillars of GNH philosophy (questions will be allowed during the free session)
- Sustainable Development
- Preservation and promotion of Cultural Values
- Conservation of the Natural Environment
- Establishment of Good Governance.
The session will be followed by socializing, interaction with the participants, tea and local snacks.
Dinner in gho & kira (national dress) / private cultural, mask dances and performance & modern theme-based rock concert alongside bon fire.
Visit Drayang (traditional Bhutanese pub with live singers) - Optional.
Overnight in Thimphu.
DAY 4 THIMPHU / PARO (B/L/D)
After a wholesome breakfast early morning at hotel, drive to Paro (55km/1.5hr)
Check-in to resort and prepare for the excursion Hike up the forested path to Taktsang Monastery, also known as Tiger’s Nest, Bhutan’s most famous and scenic icon. Tiger’s Nest clings to sheer cliffs of 900m above Paro valley. The climb is steep and takes about 4-5hrs round trip. (Ponies & horses optional)
Lunch at the hillside cafe with close Tiger’s Nest view.
We will assist you in putting the wind-horse flags on the trees & cliff. Wind-horse flag brings blessing and protection to sentient beings. It’s believed this will bring you safety & happiness on your return trip to homeland.
In evening, enjoy an authentic Bhutanese farewell dinner at a typical village home with local liquor called “Ara.” Enjoy Hot stone bath. River rocks are heated and dunked into a large wooden tub with herbs. This type of bath is considered to have medicinal properties of healing.
Overnight at Paro.
DAY 5 DEPART PARO (B)
Breakfast at hotel and depart for airport for homeward.
- All meals
- Tours and admission charges as per itinerary
- Guide Service and Tour Managers
- Two bottles of mineral water along the tour per head
- Royalty Fees of US$ 65, Visa, taxes and permits.
- All transfers and transportation.
- Accommodation in twin sharing basis.
- All activities as noted in the itinerary;
- Tourism Development Fund charges;
- Lunch and evening tea at local restaurants;
- Traditional Dress;
- GNH Session.
- Flights in and out of Bhutan
- Ponies and horses
- Hot Stone Bath
- Travel/Medical Insurance – optional
- Personal expenses such as Tips and gratuities (optional), bar/beverages, laundry, telephone and others not listed in the included section
- Airfare to Bhutan
- Bicycle ride per day is US$ 20- 30 – you can opt to take a bicycle on any of the journey
- Kayak per trip is US$ 90
- Rafting is US$ 50 per head per trip but min person required is 5
- Besides the hotels we offer, you may also upgrade to 4- 5 star recommended hotels
- Single supplement is US$ 40