Bhutan – 8 Day Tour

Glimpse of Bhutan

  • DATES
    8 days, 7 nights
  • LOCATION
    Paro, Bhutan
  • ACCOMODATION
    Standard/Luxury
  • PRICE

    FROM $2784

DISCOVER THE COLORFUL
WORLD OF BHUTAN

Bhutan is one of the world’s undiscovered gems. The country, often considered the happiest in the world, is naturally beautiful, filled with friendly, welcoming people, and a delight for the senses. Take this eight-day trip to Bhutan to get a good sense of what this haven is all about: You can learn about the history of the area, meet real locals, take in stunning natural sites and so much more. On this excursion, which is longer than a week, meet red-wearing monks, dine on the famous red chili and make friends with the citizens, who wear their loyalty to their country like a badge of pride.


  • Paro, Bhutan
  • Private Tour
  • Min. 15*
  • Thimphu, Bhutan
  • Min 1, Max 12
  • Bhutan
  • Beginner

*Restrictions may apply for age. Please let your travel advisor know if you will be traveling with children under the age of 15.


WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS TRIP

  • Tourism in Bhutan is high value and low impact, so your trip will offer you an unforgettable experience exploring the unknown–then help to strengthen the economy of the country, while making very little environmental impact.
  • The country is a delight for the senses: The food is spicy, the colors of the landscape are vivid and exciting, and the local music and art are captivating.
  • Take the time to explore the world’s happiest country, and understand why the people who live there simply love their lives.

ITINERARY

  • DAY 1 - Paro - Thimphu

    The flight to Paro is one of the most spectacular mountain flights in the world, with a constantly changing panorama of some of the highest mountains on earth. Your guide and driver will meet you at the front door of Paro airport.

    After lunch enjoy afternoon sightseeing around Paro, including a visit to the Ta Dzong Museum housing many religious relics, works of art and handicrafts offering a great orientation into Bhutan’s historical, cultural, and religious past. Next, visit the Rimpong Dzong to see the painting of the great saint Milarepa, considered as the master of meditation by the Bhutanese and believed to have attained enlightenment in a lifetime. Dzong’s are large monasteries and district administrative centres, which were once strategic forts. Afterwards, drive to the capital, Thimphu (1.5 hours) following the Pachu River. Before dinner at the hotel there will be an orientation on Bhutanese etiquette by your guide.

    Overnight at your hotel in Thimphu.

    Daily Recap

    • Arrive Paro International Airport
    • Lunch in Paro
    • Ta Dzong museum
    • Rimpong Dzong
    • Drive to Thimphu
    • Check into hotel in Thimphu
    • Evening stroll in the city and dinner
  • DAY 2 - Thimphu - Thimphu

    Once a rustic village sitting in a broad, fertile river valley, Thimphu is today the nation’s bustling capital. Enjoy a full day sightseeing, including a visit to the National Memorial Chorten depicting the Buddhist faith in the form of paintings and statues. This temple was first initiated by the Third King as a protection from the negative elements of modernization, and as a monument to world peace. The Royal Queen Mother completed it as a memorial stupa for the Third King who passed away in 1972. Continue on to 12th century Changangkha Temple and Drubthob monastery housing the Zilukha Nunnery and Buddha point known to be the tallest Buddha in the world in its sitting posture.

    Visit postal museum make your own personal stamp

    If your visit to Thimphu coincides with the weekend, you can walk through the Thimphu Market to see the variety of food of Bhutan, including basket upon basket of fiery chilies, fresh cheese and a variety of fresh greens. In addition, many stalls contain Bhutanese handicrafts and household items. (This market is open only from Friday until mid Sunday).
    Overnight at your hotel in Thimphu.

    Daily Recap

    • National Memorial Chorten
    • Drubthob monastery
    • Buddha point
    • Postal Museum
    • Thimphu Market
    • Dinner in the city
  • DAY 3 - Thimphu

    Continue sightseeing in Thimphu. Visit the School for Arts and Crafts where students are taught the 13 types of Bhutanese art, The National Library housing the collection of Bhutanese scriptures dating back to the 8th century, the Traditional Paper Factory displaying the Bhutanese paper making process, and a fascinating replica of a medieval farmhouse at the Folk Heritage Museum.

    If there is time, you may visit the nursing pen for the Takin, the national animal of Bhutan, and Tashichhodzong, ‘the fortress of the glorious religion’. Initially erected in 1641 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, it was rebuilt in the 1960s during the reign of Bhutan’s third king in the traditional style, without plans or nails. Tashichhodzong houses some ministries, His Majesty’s secretariat, and the central monk body.

    Other options for the day include a hike to Tango and Cheri Monasteries (45 mins), two of the most ancient monasteries in the Thimphu region or a hike to Phajoding Monastery providing a splendid view of Thimphu valley.

    Overnight at your hotel in Thimphu.

    Daily Recap

    • School of the Arts and Crafts
    • National Library
    • Traditional Paper Factory
    • Folk Heritage Museum
    • Takin nursing pen
    • Hike to Tango and Cheri monasteries or to Phajoding Monastery
    • Dinner in the city
  • DAY 4 - Thimphu - Punakha

    Drive over the Dochu-La pass (3,100 meters), which on a clear day offers an incredible view of Himalayan peaks before descending into balmy Punakha valley (about 3 hrs total driving time). The drive through the countryside affords a glimpse of everyday life in this most remote Himalayan kingdom. In the Dochu-La area there are vast Rhododendron forests that grow to tree size and bloom in late April/early May covering the mountains in a riot of glorious spring colour.

    Punakha was the ancient capital of Bhutan. On arrival, visit Punakha Dzong, the “Palace of Great Happiness” built in 1637 by the Shabdrung, the ‘Unifier of Bhutan’ as predicted by the great Guru Rimpoche (Padmasambhava). It is situated at the confluence of the Mo Chu and Pho Chu (Mother and Father Rivers) and is the winter headquarters of the Je Khenpo and hundreds of monks who move en masse from Thimphu to this warmer location. The three story main temple of the Punakha Dzong is a breathtaking example of traditional architecture with four intricately embossed entrance pillars crafted from cypress and decorated in gold and silver. It was here on 17th December 1907, Bhutan’s first king was crowned

    Overnight at your hotel in Punakha/ Wangduephodrang.

    Daily Recap

    • Dochu-La pass
    • Rhododendron forests
    • Punakha Dzong
    • Dinner
  • DAY 5 - Punakha

    In the morning drive to Yabesa village and hike through rice fields and up to Khamsum Yueley Namgyal Chorten, built by her majesty the queen Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuk. Perched high on a hill on the bank of the mochu river, the Chorten houses various paintings belonging to Nyingmapa Traditions.

    Take a picnic lunch on a picturesque riverside before exploring Wangduephodrang Dzong. Built in 1639, the strategically located Dzong is perched on a spur at the confluence of two rivers. In the 17th century Wangduephodrang played a critical role in unifying the western, central and southern regions of the country.

    Afterwards drive back into the Punakha valley for a short walk to Chimi Lhakhang, temple of the Drukpa Kuenly who is also known as the Divine Madman. He inherited the Divine Madman title since he revolted against the orthodox Buddhism in his time. He taught the people that religion is an inner feeling and it’s not necessary that one should be an ordained monk. He is also considered a symbol of fertility and most childless couples go to his temple for blessing.

    Overnight at your hotel in Punakha/ Wangduephodrang.

    Daily Recap

    • Hike to Khamsum Yueley Namgyal Chorten
    • Riverside picnic
    • Wangduephodrang Dzong
    • Chimi Lhakjang temple
  • DAY 6 - Punahka - Thimphu - Paro

    Drive back to Thimphu where you will have an opportunity to visit handicraft and souvenir stores. Afterwards proceed to Paro, visiting Semtokha Dzong en route. The Dzong, built in 1627, is the oldest in Bhutan. It now houses the Institute for Language and Culture studies. On arrival in Paro, check into the hotel.

    Overnight at your hotel in Paro.

    Daily Recap

    • Shopping in Thimphu
    • Semtokha Dzong
  • Day 7 - Paro

    After breakfast hike to Taktsang Monastery. The trail is broad and the walk of approximately 1.5 to 2 hours uphill takes you almost a kilometre above the Paro valley floor (for those who cannot hike we will arrange a horse for transfer up to cafeteria). The view of Taktsang Monastery built on a sheer cliff face 900 metres above the valley floor is a spectacular sight. The Monastery is also an important pilgrim site for the Buddhists. The great Guru Rimpoche is said to have flown here on the back of a tigress when he brought the teachings of the Buddhist Dharma to Bhutan in the 8th Century. He then mediated in a cave there for three months where the monastery was later built. The cave is said to be the origin of Buddhism in Bhutan. Nearby there is a tea house where you can stop for refreshments before returning to Paro for lunch.

    In the afternoon drive to the ruins of the 17th Century Drukgyel Dzong, a historic monument built by the Shabdrung to commemorate his victory against invading Tibetans in 1644. In fine weather the towering peak of the sacred Mount Jomolhari (7314m) appears as a stunning backdrop. On the return drive to Paro, visit 7th Century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples constructed by the Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo. Kyichu is built in a manner similar to the Jokhang in Lhasa. Inside there is a great golden image of Buddha Shakyamuni.

    Alternatively, day 7 could be spent on a day trip to the Haa Valley, one of the most picturesque districts in Bhutan. Reached via the beautiful Chelila Pass, Haa Valley is characterized by its surrounding rugged and mountainous terrain.

    In the evening enjoy a hot stone bath, dinner with a local family and overnight at your hotel.

    Daily Recap

    • Hike to Takstang Monastery – Tiger’s Nest
    • Drukgyel Dzong
    • Kyichu Lhakhang
    • Stone bath
    • Dinner with local family
  • Day 8 - DEPART PARO

    After breakfast in the hotel, drive to airport for onward flight to your destination.

    Daily Recap

    • Breakfast
    • Drop off at airport

What Is Included

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    Meals

    7 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 7 dinners

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    Accommodation

    Hotel (7 nights)

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    All Entrance Fees

    All entrance fees are included

What Is NOT Included

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    What Is Not Included?

    Tips for the guide and driver are not included and they are expected

    Any incidentals (snacks, any additional food you would like to purchase, gifts, etc

    Any additional excursions (White water rafting in Punakha)

TOUR MAP

IMPORTANT NOTES

  1. A single supplement is available on this trip and is valid for all nights of your tour.
  2. Please provide FS Travel with a scanned color copy of the personal details page from your passport at time of booking. Failure to do this delays the group visa.
  3. Please advise all international flight details at least 60 days prior to departure.
  4. Please be aware that Bhutan’s airlines are renowned for last minute changes to flight timetables into and out of Bhutan. Please allow a min of 6-8 hours transit time between your international flight and flight into Bhutan. Timetables are available on the Druk Airlines and Air Bhutan websites.
  5. All travellers depart Bhutan on the final day of the tour to be eligible for a group visa.

VISA INFORMATION

All visitors to Bhutan require a visa. Your FS Advisors will facilitate this for you.

All tourists must obtain a visa prior to arrival in Bhutan. FS Travel Advisors will facilitate the visa process through our representative in Bhutan.

You are required to send us your photo-page of your passport in addition to your permanent address, occupation and whether this is your first time to Bhutan. (If this is not your first time to Bhutan please inform us of the date(s) that you have previously visited Bhutan). We will then apply for your visa. The Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) will process the visa once the full payment of your tour (including a USD $65 visa fee) has been forward by us and received in the TCB bank account.

You will be emailed a visa clearance letter. Please print this out, as you will be required to show your visa clearance letter at your point of entry into Bhutan. Once you enter Bhutan an official visa will then be stamped into your passport.

 

Please email us the following on: info@fstraveladvisors.com

– The photo page of your passport

– Your permanent address

– Your occupation

– Whether you have visited Bhutan before. If so, please provide dates of your previous visits.

* Please ensure that all your details are correct. Supplying incorrect details will only slow down the process.

WHAT CLIENTS SAY

Breathtaking landscapes and incredible culture! Just flying into Bhutan you can tell that you're going to a very special place. Once you are there you'll be captivated by the natural beauty and the architecture of the incredible buildings and temples. Tshering and his team make you feel welcome and comfortable right from the start and are great at communicating and explaining things every step of the way. You will enjoy watching/experiencing how the people of today still fully embrace their ancient culture and heritage. We watched archery matches, climbed to the Tiger's Nest, went river rafting, got a hot stone bath, visited many temples, and much more. It was all amazing and this was a trip that I will talk about the rest of my life. I will return at some point.” Tim Tipton, McKinney, TX
“Bhutan! How can I say enough good things? We had such an incredible time during our first visit to this wonderful and beautiful country that is surrounded by China, India, Nepal and Bangladesh. From the stunning Himalayan mountains to the beautiful forests to the flowing rivers, the landscape is absolutely breathtaking! We loved all the hiking we go to do and it was difficult to choose from so many of the outdoor adventures that the country has to offer. We also were able to experience firsthand many of the many of the country’s numerous historical and cultural sites, including the world famous “Tiger’s Nest”, a not to miss visit while in Bhutan! The best part was the beauty and warmth and hospitality of the Bhutanese people that we were able to get to know and spend time with during our trip – so wonderful! I am already planning my return trip!” Mark Zeigler, Dallas, TX

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