Duration: 15 Days, 14 Nights
Location: Paro, Thimphu, Trongsa, Bumthang, Lhuntse
Bhutan has the finest textile with its intricate patterns, designs, skills and creations, which are unmatchable anywhere in the world. Weaving is the only dominated art of the women in Bhutan – they mostly weave the traditional dress called kira for woman and gho for man, however, new fashion trends are emerging rapidly. In this textile touring, witness the best-known Kishuthara weaving (multicoloured silk patterning on a kira) in Khoma village in Lhuentse (Eastern Bhutan) and the famous Yathra weaving in Bumthang (Central Bhutan). No textile tour would be complete without experiencing the visit to the Bhutan Textile Museum and Handicraft Emporium of this little known Himalayan country.
Day 1: Arrive Paro
Fly to Paro Airport where you will be met by our representative and transferred to your hotel in Paro for two nights. The rest of the day is at leisure – so why not make a visit in the Paro town?
Day 2: Sightseeing in Paro
Your guided sightseeing tour today include with a visit to the Ta Dzong (ancient watch tower), which now houses the National Museum of Bhutan. Next, we walk down a hillside trail to visit the Paro Dzong (also known as the Rinpung Dzong), built in 1644 that today serves as the civil administrative centre and the local monastic body of Paro Dzongkhag (district). This afternoon, we will head to the ruined Drukgyel Dzong, a fortress where the Bhutanese repelled invasions by the Tibetan. On a clear day, enjoy a splendid view of Bhutan’s sacred mountain, Mt Jomolhari. On your way visit Kichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest temples built in the 7thcentury. Overnight in Paro.
Day 3: Paro – Thimphu
After breakfast, begin the day with a hike to Paro Taktshang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest). No visit to Bhutan would be complete without a trip to Taktshang. The monastery is perched on the edge of a steep cliff, about 900m above the Paro valley and takes about a 2-hour climb on a well-maintained trail through beautiful pine forest, trees festooned with Spanish Moss and fluttering prayer flags. Legend has it that Guru Rinpoche flew to Paro Taktshang cliff in the form of Guru Dorji Drolo, mounted on a flaming tigress in the 8th century. In the evening, we will drive a distance of 65-km for about one hour journey to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. Overnight in Thimphu.
Day 4: Sightseeing in Thimphu
Today you’ll explore a fascinating full day tour to see the best of Thimphu city at an altitude of 2,300m. First stop is at the National Memorial Chorten, built in memory of the third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk. Next, drive up to the Kuensel Phodrang (Buddha Point) offering a panoramic view overlooking the Thimphu valley and then visit the Mini Zoo for Takin (national animal of Bhutan). After lunch, visit the Folk Heritage Museum, a showcase of the Bhutanese artefacts used in rural households and the Painting School to discover a glimpse of novices learning 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan. Continue to the Tashichhodzong, which houses some ministries, the office and throne room of His Majesty the King and the Central Monk Body. Overnight in Thimphu.
Day 5: Hike to Cheri Monastery, Thimphu
After breakfast, drive to Dodeyna at an altitude of 2,600m. Walk about an hour to Cheri Monastery. Afterwards, we head back to Thimphu and visit the Centenary Farmer’s Market on the banks of the Wangchhu River selling farm produces, local arts and crafts, etc. Overnight in Thimphu.
Day 6: Thimphu – Trongsa via Wangdue Phodrang
After breakfast we travel a scenic drive to Trongsa through Dochu La Pass at an altitude of 3,050m. This is a beautiful and breathtaking place for photo stops, and if the weather is clear you will enjoy a panoramic view of the snow capped eastern Himalayas. The magnificence of this place is the Druk Wangyal Chorten (108 stupas) built by the eldest Queen, Her Majesty Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck. Follow the route to Trongsa crossing the Black Mountains via Pele La Pass at an altitude of 3,300m and en route stop off at Chendebji Chorten (stupa) located just below the road. Spend the night in Trongsa.
Day 7: Trongsa – Bumthang
Today morning you’ll visit the Trongsa Dzong, the ancestral home of the present Royal Family where the first two Kings ruled from this Dzong and also visit the Ta Dzong (ancient watch tower). After lunch, continue the journey to Bumthang, the most beautiful valley and cultural heartland of Bhutan. En route we will stop at the Yathra Weaving Factory at Chumey, where they use yak and sheep wools for yathra products with patterns unique to Bumthang and enjoy the scene of the weavers on their looms in action. Overnight in Bumthang.
Day 8: Sightseeing in Bumthang
After breakfast, we set out for a full day sightseeing to experience more of this spiritual heartland of Bhutan. You will visit the following legendary monasteries, temples and dzong: the Jakar Dzong, the Jambay Lhakhang, built in the 7th century by the King Songsen Gampo of Tibet, the Kurjey Lhakhang, built in 1652 and named after the body imprint of Guru Rimpoche who introduced the Buddhism in Bhutan, the Tamshing Lhakhang, built in 1501 which is the most important Nyingma temple in Bhutan. Overnight in Bumthang.
Day 9: Bumthang – Mongar
This morning takes you through a scenic journey for a distance of 198-km for about 7-8 hours to Mongar at an altitude of 2,600m. En route you’ll visit the Mebar Tsho (flaming lake) located along the way to Tang village, where the renowned treasure reveller, Terton Pema Lingpa, discovered treasures from the lake in the late 15th century. Along the route you will cross two villages called Ura and Sengor passing through the highest point on Bhutan’s motorable road network via Thrumsing La Pass at an altitude of 4,000m. En route stop off at the Ura Shelthang La, where you will enjoy a magnificent view of the Bhutan’s highest peak, Mt Gangkar Puensum at 7,500m. Later, stop at Sengor village and Namling where you can view the breathtaking landscapes of the cascading waterfalls and admire the diverse flora and fauna in these places. Descending down the road will reach to Lingmithang at an altitude of 700m and cross the Kurichhu River, where the largest hydroelectric power in the eastern region is commissioned over the river. Spend the night in Mongar.
Day 10: Mongar – Lhuentse
Today, travel a distance of 76-km for about 3 hours to Lhuentse at an altitude of 1,700m, which is one of the most rural and isolated districts in the Kingdom of Bhutan. The Kurtoe region of Lhuentse is the ancestral home of the Royal Family of Bhutan. Visit the Lhuentse Dzong, built in the 17th century before having lunch. Next, drive back to Tsazam Bridge and then begin a hike into the countryside visit to Khoma village crossing Kurichu River for about one and a half hours. Overnight in camp.
Day 11: Weaving Tour in Khoma Village
Today enjoy the tour of the best-known weaving Khoma village in Bhutan. Khoma is famed for its terrific weavers and special textiles. Enjoy and observe the women folks weaving different types of textiles, and if you like you can also buy textiles at a reasonable price. Walk through the village and explore some of the interesting small villages and ancient temples. We then drive back to Lhuentse for lunch and continue the journey to Mongar for overnight.
Day 12: Mongar –Trongsa via Bumthang
After breakfast, we set out a long return journey to Trongsa via Bumthang. Your overnight is in Trongsa.
Day 13: Trongsa– Punakha
Today we head to Punakha via Wangdue Phodrang. The journey passes through the awe-inspiring mountains and lush vegetation along the highway and will photo stops during the journey. En route visit the ruined site of Wangdue Phodrang Dzong by fire in late June 2012, which is perched on a ridge overlooking the Punatshangchhu and Dangchhu Rivers. Enjoy some leisure time either in Khuruthang town or in Bajo town. Overnight in Punakha.
Day 14: Punakha – Paro
Punakha, at an altitude of 1,300m, was once the old capital of Bhutan and the seat of government until 1955. After breakfast,visit the Punakha Dzong (also known as the Pungthang Dechen Phodrang Dzong) built in 1637, which is strategically located at the confluence of the Phochhu (male) and Mochhu (female) Rivers, then continue to the Chimi Lhakhang en route, which is dedicated to the legendary Lama Drukpa Kinley (known as the Divine Madman). The monastery is also revered as a sanctum of fertility. Legend has it that the couples wishing to have a baby from across Bhutan and occasionally from overseas are blessed with a child after visiting the temple – Japanese and several American couples visited this temple and were blessed miraculously with children. After the tour, you’ll travel to Paro for overnight. The evening is at leisure to relax or go for shopping to buy souvenir items for your loved ones back home.
Day 15: End of Tour
Your tour ends in Bhutan with a departure transfer to the Paro Airport for your onward journey. Our guide will see you off. Tashi Delek (Goodbye and Good Luck)!