Bhutan Fast Track Expedition

Destination: Bumthang, Paro, Punakha, Thimphu, Trongsa, Wangdue Phodrang

Duration: 9 days

Your introduction to our enchanting kingdom begins on a flight over the Himalayas into the lush green valley of Paro. You will view the world’s highest, most majestic peaks and enjoy the view of the approaching valley with its alpine forest, monasteries, temples and farmhouse nestled in splendid valleys.

You will be welcomed and greeted in a Bhutanese style with Tashi Khada (white scarf) by our representative & your guide at the airport.

We will set on a journey to explore cultural heritage sites as far as Bumthang and Trongsa in this itinerary. We are sure you will enjoy crossing some high passes and getting into deep valleys with villages and farmlands

DAY 1- Arrival in Paro. Briefly explore Paro and drive to Thimphu.

Drive on the river bank of Paro to the wooden bridge below the Paro Dzong. This is the bridge where the popular Hollywood movie “Little Buddha was shot. You hike up from this point to the Rinpung Dzong. A flagstone path rises gradually from a beautiful wooden bridge with shingle roofing and abutted by two guard houses to the Dzong. Read more Today, this massive fortress built in 1645 AD is the seat of the district administration as well as the home for the monastic school. The central tower( Utse) of the Dzong, with its superb woodwork, is one of the most beautiful in the nation.
Visit the oldest temple of the kingdom, Kichu lhakhang. This temple was built in 629 AD by a Tibetan king to pin down a giant demon. After tea, take a walk around the peaceful town of Paro and head to Thimphu via the winding river of Pachu & Wangchu (53km/ 105hr).
Thimphu is a small, charming capital city nestled in the heart of the Himalayas. It is nothing like what a capital city is imagined to be. Most of the houses and buildings are painted and constructed in traditional Bhutanese style.
After check in Hotel; take a walk around the streets of Thimphu and interact with the locals. Overnight Thimphu. (Alt; 2320m)

DAY 2- Thimphu Lifestyle & Cultural Sightseeing

Morning, drive to the animal sanctuary where the national animal of Bhutan, the Takin, is found in captivity. Walk around the BBS tower which is also known as the “romantic point” and lovers often come here to look at the panoramic view of the Thimphu valley. Take a 45mins hike down to the Zilukha Nunnery. You get a nice photo opportunity from this point for Tashichhoedzong & SAARC building.Read more…

Visit the National Library where ancient manuscripts are preserved. They also have on display the largest Picture Book on Bhutan in the world.

Visit the Zorig Chusum, “School for Thirteen Traditional Arts and Crafts” followed by a visit to some handicraft shops for souvenir.

Take a drive to Buddha Gang for City view and on the way down circumambulate around the Memorial stupa, built in memory of the third King of Bhutan. This is the favorite place for the locals to practice their religious devotion.

Visit the Farmer’s Weekend Market, and try some fresh organic fruits & nuts.

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.

Take a walk to the National Stadium, archery ground and witness an archery match played by the locals with lots of hue & cry! Archery is the national game of Bhutan and one of the best ways of expanding your public relation is by participating in it. Evening, free to walk around the town. Overnight Thimphu.

DAY 3- Explore Trongsa

The journey will take you across Dochu La pass (3150m) where you can enjoy the spectacular views of the Eastern Himalayan Mountain ranges. Take a walk around the 108 stupas which decorates the pass. Also visit the Drukwangyel lhakhang built by the four Queens as a tribute to the fourth king of Bhutan.

After lunch the journey will further take you across Pele La pass (3,300m), which is marked by a chorten and an array of prayer flags. On a clear day, you can get spectacular views of the highest peaks of the kingdom and its quite common to spot some yaks and yak herders on this pass. This point marks the boundary between western and central Bhutan as well as the western border of Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park. You will spot few animals & birds along the journey. Stop as and when you want to take pictures.

Beyond Pele La is Longte Valley where people raise sheep and yaks. You’ll come to the village of Rukubji Valley, with its big school and Gompa. The houses here are clustered amid extensive fields of mustard, potatoes, barley, and wheat. As you drive down through rhododendron trees and ferns, you’ll reach Chendebji village. This was a night halt for mule caravans traveling from Trongsa during the reign of the 2nd King of Bhutan. Just below Chendebji village is the Chendebji chorten, a large white structure beside a stream. This chorten is modeled after Swayambhunath in Kathmandu.

The last village before you reach Trongsa is Tangsibji, which provides full view of Trongsa Dzong and its distinctive roof. Trongsa Dzong, built in 1645, is a vast, white fortress that appears to grow directly up from the narrow green ridge on which it is constructed. It is one of the most powerful Dzongs and even today the crown prince of Bhutan must first become its Trongsa Penlop (governor) before he can become Bhutan’s King. On arrival visit Trongsa Dzong and the ancient Watch Tower which now has been turned into a historical museum. The tower offers a lovely view of the surrounding village. In evening, walk around the sloppy town of Trongsa. Overnight Trongsa. (Alt; 2180m)

DAY 4- Explore Thimphu valley

In morning, drive to the animal sanctuary where the national animal of Bhutan, the Takin, is found in captivity. Walk around the BBS tower which is also known as the “romantic point” and lovers often come here to look at the panoramic view of the Thimphu valley. En route visit Nunnery temple. You can show your devotion here by praying with the Buddhist nuns.

Visit the National Library where ancient manuscripts are preserved. They also have on display the largest Picture Book on Bhutan in the world.

Visit the Folk Heritage Museum where the cultural lifestyle of the ancient Bhutan has been preserved.

Visit the Traditional Medicine Centre which includes hospital and herbal medicine manufacturing unit based on the Tibetan system of medicine. The centre also trains indigenous medicine doctors known as “Dungtso”.

Visit the Zorig Chuksum “School for Thirteen Traditional Arts and Crafts” followed by a visit to Textile Museum, Handicraft Emporium and some local shops for antiques.

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.

Visit the Bhutanese Paper Factory, This traditional handmade paper is still being widely used around the country.

After evening tea, witness an archery match played by the locals with lots of hue & cry! Archery is the national game of Bhutan and one of the best ways of expanding your public relation is by participating in it. Overnight Thimphu.

DAY 5- Quest for Mystical Taktsang

After breakfast, drive to Paro (53km/ 1.5hr). Check in your resort and prepare for the excursion. Drive to Satsam Chorten and spend the day hiking up the forested path to Taktsang Monastery, also known as Tiger’s Nest, Bhutan’s most famous and scenic icon.

The climb is steep and takes about 4 hours round trip. An important place of pilgrimage and refuge for more than 1200 years, Taktsang Monastery clings to sheer cliffs two-thousand feet above Paro Valley, and from your closest vantage point on a rocky ledge directly across from it, you will still need 200-300 mm lenses and a steady tripod to get tight photographs.

This sacred place got its name when Guru Rinpoche rode there on the back of a flying tiger and meditated in a cave behind the present-day monastery. Sadly, in 1998, the central temple was destroyed by fire, leaving the country in mourning for their holiest of spiritual places. But religious leaders and the King quickly developed a plan to rebuild Taktsang and donations started pouring in from Buddhist centers all over the world, and today, the magnificently rebuilt exterior is complete. Tiger’s Nest is once again the subject of cloud-shrouded posters that say, “Bhutan, Land of the Thunder Dragon.” Picnic lunch on the hillside cafeteria.

Special permit will be arranged for you to enter the Tiger’s Nest monastery but you will not be allowed to take pictures of the inside shrines.

Evening, visit a typical village home for a traditional Bhutanese style dinner accompanied by the local liquor called “Ara” (tastes somewhat like the Japanese Sake) & yak meat. Then luxuriate in the Bhutanese equivalent of a Jacuzzi called a “Chu Tse.” 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 Paro.

DAY 6- Departure

Our representative will see you off from Paro International Airport. Tashi Delek!