Dragon Kingdom Journey

09 Days 08 Nights
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Bhutan remained isolated from the rest of the world and no tourism existed until 1974 preserving the rich natural environment and lively Buddhist culture.

Today Bhutan has become one of the most exotic destinations for many international travelers. Every traveler has a lot to anticipate as each minute is exciting to discover a kingdom with incredibly unique and treasured tradition, culture, religion and natural environment which Bhutanese people still strives to preserve in the face of modernity.Journey to the dragon kingdom brings you to Thimpu,a capital city of bhutan.Visit to Tango Monastery,Punakha to see himalayan range.Visit to Gangtey,a typical rural town for barter trdae.Bumthang will be equally important for seeing yaks on the high passes.This place is centre for meditation.

Highlights

- Textile Museum
- Traditional Paper making Factory
- Post office
- Sangyang
- Motithang Mini Zoo
- Zilukha Nunnery
- Tango Monastery
- The Heritage Museum
- National Painting School
- Gangtey
- Bumthang
- Tiger’s Nest
- Ta Dzong (an ancient watchtower)
- Rinpung Dzong.

Accomodations

Thimpu
Hotel Phuntso Pelri or Wangchuk or similar

Punakha
Hotel Meri Puensum

Gyangte
Hotel Dewachen

Bumthang
Hotel Rinchenling Lodge

Paro
Silver Pine

Itinerary - Dragon Kingdom Journey
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Day 1
Paro - Thimphu
(Dinner)

A spectacular descent through mountainous valleys brings you into the Kingdom of Bhutan. The beautiful airport is your first glimpse of what's ahead. After clearing customs and visa control you are met by your driver and guide. A short drive along the valley brings you to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. This very picturesque drive past rural homes, hillside monasteries and chortens only takes 1.5 hours. Settle into your hotel and after lunch at a local restaurant start your sightseeing, visiting the Textile Museum, a traditional paper making factory and the Post office to see Bhutan's beautiful stamps which also depicts about country’s myths, traditions etc. Alternatively you can do less formal sightseeing and walk around the town with your guide. Dinner at a local Bhutanese restaurant.

Overnight at Hotel Phuntsho Pelri or Hotel Wangchuk.

Day 2
Thimphu valley sightseeing and hike to Tango Monastery
(Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner)

After breakfast drive at Sangaygang, a field of Bhutanese prayer flags perched high above the city. Colored flags send prayers to the heavens and white flags honor the dead. Visit the Motithang Mini Zoo where you can see the National animal Takin research centre where these odd animals graze peacefully in a small protected park. Walk to the Zilukha Nunnery and then drive to the Tango Monastery for a picnic lunch. The hike to the monastery takes about 45 minutes. It is a 13th Century structure and today is home to about 150 monks studying Buddhist Philosophy and meditation. Thimphu sightseeing continues with the Folk Heritage Museum (a beautifully restored Bhutanse farmhouse from the last century) and the National Painting School. In the evening visit the National Memorial Chorten built in honor of our 3rd king Jigme Dorji Wangchuck (a wonderful opportunity to mix with the local population). All the buildings in Bhutan conform to national building principals and are beautifully carved and decorated. Dinner at Royal Golf Club.

Overnight at hotel Phuntsho Pelri or Hotel Wangchuk.

Day 3
Thimphu - Punakha
(Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner)

Depart Thimpu and drive over the Docchu-La pass to Punakha. The teahouse at the pass offers beautiful views of the Himalayan range in the distance. This is a 3 hour drive with stops en route. Overnight at hotel Zangto-Pelri. Afternoon visit the magnificent Dzong spanning the . This is the winter residence of the monastic body and the Je Khenpo (chief Abbott).

Dinner and overnight at hotel Meri Puensum.

Day 4
Punakha - Gangtey
(Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner)

This morning we travel to the Probjikha Valley stopping at Wangdue en route, a typical rural town, where locals buy and sell all manner of produce! We turn off the main road for the Probjhika Valley, arguably the most beautiful in Bhutan. The scenery changes dramatically and your will see dwarf bamboo and possibly grazing yaks. Continue to the bottom of the valley and see the Black Crane Institute and Research Centre. The migratory crane arrives in the valley in late October each year.

Dinner and overnight at hotel Dewachen.

Day 5
Gangtey - Trongsa - Bumthang
(Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner)

Today our drive is spectacular and passes over many valleys. We stop at the Chendibji Chorten at the top of a highest pass of the Black mountains and then continue into Central Bhutan. The golden roofed Trongsa Dzong spans the valley that divides east and west Bhutan and is another architectural feat, which can be seen for 20 tantalising and winding miles before it is finally reached. Afternoon visit the impressive Trongsa Dzong and then drive to Bumthang via Yotongla pass (3,400 metres). Enroute visit the joint Australian/Bhutanese wool project at Chumey valley. Watch the single loom weaving process and buy yak wool rugs or scarves if you wish. There is also a wonderful selection of textiles from all over Bhutan on display and for sale at this roadside stop. You will probably see Yaks on the high passes on the way to Bumthang. Eventually the road winds down into the beautiful Bumthang valley, the cultural heart of Bhutan. Rice paddies give way to fields of barley and potatoes as the climate is too cold for rice.

Dinner and overnight at Hotel Rinchenling Lodge.

Day 6
Bumthang
(Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner)

Bumthang is said to be one of the most spectacular valleys in Bhutan and also the heartland of Buddhism. Here many great teachers meditated and left in their wake many sacred grounds. The Guru and his lineage of Tertons (treasure finders), have led to the sprouting of many temples in the valley. In the morning we hike to visit Tamshing Monastery (one of the oldest monastic schools built by Terton Pema Lingpa) and Kurjey Lhakhang (where the Guru Rinpoche subdued a local demon and left his body imprint on a rock). We also visit Jambay Lhakhang (one of the oldest temple in Bhutan built in 7th century) and Jakar Dzong (seat of the district administration). In the afternoon hike to Thangbi valley across the suspension bridge and visit the Thangbi Lhakhang built in the 14th century.

Dinner and overnight at hotel Rinchenling lodge.

Day 7
Bumthang - Wangdue - Punakha
(Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner)

Depart the Bumthang valley and retrace our route back out of the valley and back to Wangdue. This is a long day's drive - a necessary evil in order to see the Festival.

Dinner and overnight at hotel Hotel Meri Puensum.

Day 8
Punakha - Thimphu - Paro
(Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner)

An early departure from Wangdue to Paro via Thimphu for a break and a chance to buy any textiles or artifacts that you may not have picked up elsewhere on your travels. Afternoon drive or hike if time allows to Takstang (Tiger's Nest) Monastery, the most photographed in Bhutan. The monastery has been rebuilt after a disastrous fire destroyed it some years ago. The monastery can only be viewed from afar as it is not open to the public. The view is however worth the steep 1 hour walk up a wide mountain path. Wildflowers will still be in bloom. Later, visit Ta Dzong (an ancient watchtower) which now houses the National Museum. This dzong was converted into the National Museum in 1968. The museum boasts antique thangka, textiles, weapons and armour, household objects and rich assortment of natural and historic artifacts.

We also visit the Rinpung Dzong, built in 17th century to defend the valley against Tibetan invaders. The dzong is now used as an administration centre and school for monks. Later evening take a walk around the main street of Paro’s main shopping district.

Dinner and overnight at hotel Silver pine.

Day 9
Paro - Departure
(Breakfast)

In the morning our agent escort will bid you farewell at Paro airport. Good-bye and happy journey back home.

Additional Remarks
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Cost includes

- Kathmandu - Paro- Kathmandu flight ticket by Druk Air or Bhutan Air
- Hotel including Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast
- English speaking guide
- Monastery entry fee
- A/C car or A/C van
- Visa Fee


Cost excludes

- Travel in Insurance (must cover all risk undertaken)
- Nepal re- entry visa fee
- Liquor beverages (hard and soft drinks)
- Gratuity for staff
- Expenses of personal nature (Phone call, laundry etc.)

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