Dragon Kingdom Tour 4 (Bhutan 11 Days)
The tour starts from Paro, a picturesque valley dotted with farmhouses and turquoise colored Pachu River meandering through the valley. We then explore Thimphu the capital city of Bhutan, and proceed to Punakha across 3150 meters Dochula pass. While in Punakha, we will visit the Devine Madman Temple and Punakha Dzong, the most beautiful Dzong in Bhutan. On this tour, we also explore well-preserved Bhutanese cultures, old fortresses, temples and hike to a famous Tiger’s Nest Monastery.
Like all our Temples of Nirvana Tours and Treks, they start and end in Kathmandu and include a comprehensive itinerary of sightseeing in the Kathmandu Valley.
Day 1 – Kathmandu Arrival
On your arrival at Kathmandu, Tribhuvan Airport, you will be met by a representative of Temples of Nirvana and taken to your hotel in the Thamel district of Kathmandu.
Day 2 – Swayambhunath Temple – Kathmandu Durbar Square
This will be the first of your sightseeing days in Kathmandu. In the morning we will head for Swayambhunath (Monkey) Temple. Swayambhunath is a UNESCO, World Heritage and one of the must see sights of the Valley. We will walk the 365 steps up to the Stupa. There is much to see, not least the three large Buddha statues of Shakyamuni Buddha, Chenrezig and Guru Rinpoche. in the park to the rear. In the afternoon we visit the Durbar square in Kathmandu
Day 3 – Kopan Monastery – Bouddhanath Stupa – Pashupatinath Temple
Our second sightseeing day in Kathmandu starts at Kopan Monastery perched majestically overlooking the Kathmandu Valley. Kopan is a little haven of serenity amongst the chaos of the Valley. We will then head for Bouddhanath, the Tibetan area of Kathmandu where the mightily impressive Bouddhanath Stupa is situated. The Stupa is the second largest Stupa in the world. In the afternoon we will make our way to Pashupatinath Hindu Temple.
Day 4 – Kathmandu – Paro (2280m)
You will be taken back to Tribhuvan airport where we will take the flight to Paro. This flight is one of the most spectacular flights you could undertake. The route takes you right by Mount Everest and includes four of the five highest Mountains in the world. After Everest (1) we see next to it Lhotse (4), next is Makalu (5) and to the east of Nepal Kangchenjunga. On arrival you will be greeted by our Bhutanese representatives who will transfer you to the hotel. In the evening, you can stroll freely in Paro town. Walking around the market and meeting with the people will be an enjoyable experience. Overnight hotel in Paro.
Day 5 – Paro – Thimphu (2320m)
After breakfast, you will visit the Ta Dzong, once a fortified lookout tower that is now the National Museum. The museum has wide assortment of ancient paintings, armors, philatelic display and “field of Buddhas”, which helps one to visualize while meditating. Then walk down the trail to visit the Rinpung Dzong meaning “fortress of the heap of jewels”. It has a long and fascinating history. Along the wooden galleries lining the courtyard of the Rinpung Dzong are fine wall paintings illustrating Buddhist lore. You will walk downhill till the road point crossing the wooden bridge. From here you will be taken to Kyichu Lhakhang, the oldest and most sacred temple in the country. After lunch, you will drive to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. Check into hotel on arrival. Later in the evening, you can stroll in Thimphu city and absorb the lifestyle of the people. Overnight hotel in Thimphu.
Day 6 – Thimphu
After breakfast, you will visit Memorial Chorten (built in memory of the third King of Bhutan who reigned from 1952-1972), Nunnery temple, National Institute of Traditional Medicine and Folk Heritage Museum. After relaxing lunch, you will visit Kuensel Phodrang overlooking Thimphu valley and where the Giant Buddha Dordenma statue is. This 169 feet statue is reputed to be the largest bronze Buddha statue in the world. You will then visit the majestic Tashichho Dzong, the seat of the national government. Overnight hotel in Thimphu.
Day 7 – Thimphu – Punakha (1250 m)
After breakfast this morning, enjoy the scenic drive to Punakha with a stop for tea at the 108 Stupas of the Dochu La pass (10,170 feet), where on a clear day you can get spectacular views of the Himalayas. From the pass we drive downhill through forests of rhododendron, fir and hemlock. You will arrive in Punakha after traveling through rice fields and along the bank of Punakha River. After lunch, visit the Punakha Dzong, which is stunningly situated in between the male and female rivers like an anchored ship. Overnight hotel in Punakha.
Day 8 – Punakha-Bumthang
After breakfast you will drive to Bumthang, the cultural heartland of the country. The route is along a spectacular winding road, crossing 3,300-meter-high Pele La pass, and at this time of the year it’s possible to see yaks. You will stop in Trongsa for lunch. After lunch you’ll visit Trongsa Dzong, the masterpiece of Bhutanese architecture. Then you’ll proceed to Bumthang with lush valleys and hilly forests. Along the way you will stop at a yathra (textile weaving) factory, where the yathras are designed with patterns unique to Bumthang, and you can even watch some of the weavers at their looms. Check into hotel on arrival. Overnight hotel in Bumthang.
Day 9 – Bumthang
Today’s sightseeing in Bumthang includes Jakar Dzong, the administrative center of the valley; Jambey Lhakhang, one of the oldest monasteries in Bhutan, dating from the introduction of Buddhism in Bhutan; and Kurje Lhakhang, one of the most sacred places, because Guru Rinpoche left his body imprint on the cave when he was meditating. You can also meditate for few hours here. After lunch, you will also have a chance to tour Tamshing Lhakhang, a treasure house of interesting religious Buddhist paintings. Overnight hotel in Bumthang.
Day 10 – Excursion to Tang Valley
Today, you will make an enjoyable excursion to the Tang valley, which is the most remote valley in Bumthang. After driving for around 6 miles, you will leave the highway and drive through unpaved track for 17km to the village of Tang. Visit the 16th century Ugyen Chholing Palace or the country manor, which is now turned into a museum. The well-captioned exhibits offer insights into lifestyle of a Bhutanese noble family. You will then explore Tang village. On the way back, you will see Mebar Tsho (Burning Lake), where some of Guru Rimpoche’s treasurers were found in the 15th century by famous treasure discoverer Pema Lingpa. Overnight hotel in Bumthang.
Day 11 – Bumthang-Wangdue
You’ll begin the day at the Bumthang market, and then drive to Wangdue. Stop at Chendebji Chorten for your lunch. Chendebji Chorten was built in 18th century by a lama named Shida which is a Nepalese style with eyes painted at four cardinal points. After long exhilarating drive passing through two spectacular high passes, you will arrive Wangdue. The nearby villages of Wangdue are known for their slate and stone carvings. Overnight hotel in Wangdue.
Day 12 – Wangdue-Paro
Today you will return to Paro via Dochula Pass. On the way, you will stop at Metshina Village and take a 20-minute walk through the rice fields to Chimi Lhakhang, which is a fertility temple dedicated to the Devine Madman or Lama Drukpa Kuenley. If you wish, receive the blessing from the Lama’s wooden phallus! You can also explore nearby villages and meet Bhutanese farmers. All cops grow and thrive well here and they attribute this to the blessing of Lam Drukpa Kuenley. You will stop at Dochula for lunch. After lunch, you will drive to Paro. Check into hotel on arrival. In the evening, you can stroll freely of your own in Paro town. Walking around the market and meeting with the people will be an enjoyable experience. Overnight hotel in Paro.
Day 13 – Hike to Tiger’s Nest Monastery (3180m)
Today you will hike to Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) Monastery, which is Bhutan’s most famous monastery situated at 3180 meters. Guru Rinpoche (spiritual master) is said to have flown on the back of a tigress to meditate in a cave where Taktsang Monastery now stands. Lunch will be served in the Cafeteria Restaurant, located about halfway up on the mountain. The monastery is perched on the edge of a steep cliff, about 900 meters above Paro Valley. After having explored the monastery, you will hike down to Paro. This is a fantastic conclusion to your stay in Bhutan! Overnight hotel in Paro.
Day 14 Paro – Kathmandu
After breakfast we will drive you to the airport for your departure, where our Bhutanese representatives will bid you farewell. You will take the spectacular flight back to Kathmandu. The rest of your day can be spent at leisure. In the evening we will take you for a farewell Dinner, to an excellent traditional Nepalese restaurant where we will enjoy a Nepalese cultural program as well as a fine meal.
Day 15 – Depart Kathmandu
Depending on the time of your flight departure, you may have time for a lttle more sightseeing or shopping in Kathmandu. We will then take you to Tibhuvan airport 3 hours before the departure time of your flight home and see you to your departure terminal where we will say goodbye and hope very much, that you will have enjoyed your time with Temples of Nirvana.
Cost of the Trip
The exact price of your trip depends on the date of travel and the number of travellers. The above price is based on two people traveling together and sharing a twin/double room at a standard hotel in Kathmandu and 3/4 Star Hotels in Bhutan. If you require a single room or superior or deluxe accommodation please let us know. All prices quotes are starting from and ending in Kathmandu. The cost we quote includes Paro – Kathmandu flight(s) and for your Bhutan Visa. Please see our pages on Visas and Flights. If you travel in a group of less than three people, you are liable for a surcharge – US $40 per night for one traveller, US $30 for 2 travellers. There is no surcharge for three travellers and above.
Airport pick up to hotel, hotel accommodation in Kathmandu, including breakfast, but excluding lunch and dinner, Farewell Dinner and Nepalese cultural program, all entry fees to Kathmandu places of interest, all transportation to places of interest.
The cost include meals, government taxes, hotels, tour or trekking guide, driver, land transport within Bhutan, necessary entrance fees and sightseeing
What’s not Included
does not include your personal expenses such as drinks and beverages, bottled water, phone calls, laundry, tips and insurance of any kind.
Create your own Itinerary
If the trip or itinerary you are looking for is not here, you would like to make modifications, or you have your own itinerary please let us know and we will quote you a price based on your own personalised specifications.