Historical and cultural significance of Central Bhutan
Journey to Druk-Yul is a 5-day tour that revolves around the historical and cultural highlights of central Bhutan.
Paro beckons you with promises of breathtaking natural sights, cultural richness and good accommodation; you can view Mount Chomolhari from Drugyel dzong, capture Paro’s incredible landscapes from Ta-Dzong and visit indigenous hospital art & craft school, National library, Royal goldsmith workshop and handicraft centers.
Thimpu remains synonymous to its colorful festivals, legendary monasteries and coveted cultural sites. You can stroll around the local markets and see for yourself the everyday lives of Bhutanese people and their craftsmanship.
You can either walk or ride on a horse to Taktsang monastery which epitomizes the religious belief of Bhutanese people.At the end of the journey, you will be left with a feeling that you have truly seen the real Bhutan up close.
Day 1 Flight to Paro and transfer to Thimphu
Day 2 Sightseeing of Thimphu.
Day 3 Drive to Paro and sightseeing of Paro.
Day 4 Excursion to Taktsang Monastery (5 hrs walk).
Day 5 Transfer to airport for departure.
Arrive Paro by Druk Air, transfer to Thimphu (55 Km, 1:30 Hours)
The flight to Paro on a clear day is one of the most spectacular of all mountain flights. One can see Mt. Everest, Kanchenjunga, Makalu and other peaks in Bhutan such as Chomolhari, Jichu Drake and Tsering ghang.
The first gift from Bhutan will be cool, clean fresh air as you step out of the aircraft. On arrival at Paro airport, received by our representative and transfer to Thimphu, the capital town of Bhutan, the road leads through the Paro valley to the confluence of Paro and Thimphu rivers at Chuzom (confluence). Later in the day take an exploratory walk getting acquainted with the local environment.
Also visit National Memorial Chorten: a monument for world peace and prosperity. The paintings and statues inside the monument provide a deep insight into Buddhist philosophy. Overnight at hotel in Thimphu.
After leisurely breakfast at hotel proceed to a guided tour of Thimphu. Proceed to visit National Library (sat sun, govt holiday closed), which holds a vast collection of ancient Buddhist texts and manuscripts, some dating back several hundred years, as well as modern academic books mainly on Himalayan culture and religion.
Thereafter, visit nearby Institute for Zorig Chusum (Sat afternoon, Sun & Govt holiday closed). Commonly known as Arts & Crafts School or Painting School, the Institute offers a six-year course on the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan. On a visit, one can see students learning the various skills taught at the school.
Drive towards city centre to visit Textile (Sat afternoon, Sun & Govt holiday closed)and Folk Heritage Museum: These museums, both of which opened in 2001, provide fascinating insights into Bhutanese material culture and way of life.
Conclude sightseeing with a visit of Trashichhodzong: This impressive fortress/monastery houses Secretariat building, the throne room of His Majesty, the King and various government offices. It is also the summer residence of Chief Abbot and central monk body. Overnight at hotel in Thimphu.
Paro (55 km, 1:30 hrs)
After breakfast drive to Paro. En route visit Simtokha Dzong, the place of profound tantric teaching, this dzong now houses a school for the study of the Dzongkha language.
After checking into hotel, proceed to visit Ta Dzong (Sun, Mon & Govt holiday closed), originally built as Watch Tower, it now houses National Museum of the Kingdom and boasts antique thangkha paintings, textiles, weapons & armour, household objects and a rich assortment of natural and historic artifacts.Walk down the trail to visit Rinpung Dzong, meaning 'fortress of the heap of jewels' which has a long and fascinating history. Along the wooden galleries lining the courtyard of the Rinpung Dzong are fine wall paintings illustrating Buddhist lore. Before you enter the dzong you cross a picturesque traditional covered cantilever bridge, locally known as Nemi Zam..
Morning take an excursion to Taktsang Monastery (5 hrs walk), the most famous of Bhutanese monasteries. It is said that Guru Rinpoche arrived here on the back of a tigress and meditated at this monastery hence called “Tiger’s Nest”. The excursion to monastery takes about 5 hours for round trip.
While returning to Paro, stop at Drukgyel Dzong, a ruined fortress from where Bhutanese warriors fought Tibetan invaders centuries ago. The snowy dome of sacred Chomolhari, "Mountain of Goddess'' looms directly over the Dzong.
On the way back to hotel, visit 7th century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples built in the Himalayas by Tibetan King, Songtsen Gembo. One of the most sacred shrines in the country, it reflects the introduction of Buddhism in Bhutan. Overnight at hotel in Paro.
After leisurely breakfast transfer to the airport for flight to onward destination..
We offer 3 tasty meals while on trek, on a mountain biking tour in Bhutan or on a cultural tour (break-fast, lunch and dinner).
All the hotels we use are comfortable, clean and offer all the amenities required. We have carefully selected the best hotel in Paro, Tiumphu and major cities of Bhutan for you and your group. If you would like to select your hotel, please let us know and we'll book everything for you.
We use comfortable and well-maintained 4WD Toyota land cruiser. We ensure before leaving on a trip that our vehicule are double-checked properly. Your security is our main concern and you can be sure to have a safe trip with us.
Bhutan is accessible by air and by road.
All visitors must hold passport and valid visa. Visa can be obtained at the Bhutanese diplomatic missions and consulates abroad. Visa is also issued at the entry points. Don't forget to bring 4 ID pictures and USD20 (payable in hard currency) for a tourist visa. It will allow you to stay 14 days in Bhutan.
As vaccination requirements change frequently, we suggest you consult your doctor at least 2 months prior to the commencement of your trip. We recommend protection against malaria, tetanus, typhoid, hepatitis and polio.
Before joining the tour we recommend you take out travel insurance. This should include adequate cover for baggage, medical expenses, cancellation, helicopter evacuation and emergency repatriation. If you do not have travel insurance you must have a credit card with at least a US$5000 limit.
We don’t pay for your personal expenses and recommend you to bring extra money to cover meals not included in the tour, extra activities, souvenirs, tips etc.
Bhutan currency: Ngultrum (Nu)
there is no ATM machines in Bhutan and credit cards are usually not accepted.
Wonderful environment of the Himalayas is also an extremely fragile one. Increasing population density and number of travelers threatens to destroy the very beauty which attracts us in the first place. At Explore Himalaya, we are extremely environmentally conscious and aim to minimize our impact as much as possible. Our staff members are well motivated towards Eco-friendly practices. Our aim is to help protect and preserve this beautiful environment for future generations of travelers to enjoy.
Good & hearty meals each day, more than what we expected! In Mustang the lodges were fairly good. Good price/ quality ratio. Good accommodation even in remote areas.