Eleven Days Cultural Trip to the Safest Destination in the World

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Traveling to Bhutan is a once in life-time opportunity you should take. (PC: @tandinphubz)

The Land of the Thunder Dragon is the perfect place to plan your next holiday with mesmerizing mountains, beautiful valleys, and happy people. With our eleven-day cultural trip, travel to Bhutan to have a heaven-like experience that you will cherish for the rest of your life. This comprehensive, simple, and classic itinerary incorporate everything to live the Bhutanese ways and change your life forever.

Day 01 – Kuzu Zangpo la!

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Land at the Paro International Airport for a calmingly exhilarating feeling (PC: @gyatso.btn)

Welcome to the safest destination in the world! After a scintillating flight zigzagging through mountains, you land at the Paro International Airport. Your guide will welcome you with a tashi khadar (silk scarf of good fortune), a bright smile, and the warmest greeting. You will be for lunch as you get accustomed to the Paro valley’s beautiful views and clean air.

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The Tachog Lhakhang is an enchanting monastery you will visit en route to Thimphu.

After lunch, you will head to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. As you leave the beautiful valley of Paro, leaving behind all the pretty paddy fields, you will see Tachog Monastery. A sacred monastery was established by Thangthong Gyalpo (who is also known as the Iron Bridge Builder, who built 108 bridges from Tibet and Bhutan with 8 in Bhutan) in the 15th century.

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Tashicho Dzong the center of all administrative activities of the nation (PC: @gyatso.btn)

In less than two hours, you’ll arrive in Thimphu. An evening visit to the nation’s executive and monastic seat, the Tashichho Dzong, will close the first day of your fascinating cultural trip to Bhutan.

Day 02 – The Captivating Capital

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Memorial Chhorten is a buzzing place for countless senior citizens.

Your Bhutan holiday officially kicks off after breakfast with a visit to the National Memorial Chhorten nation’s 1974 in honor of the third King, late His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck (The Father of Modern Bhutan). You will then proceed to the Takin Preserve Center at Motithang (housing the bizarre takin), the Dupthop Lhakhang at Zilukha (one of Bhutan’s few nunneries in existence), and meet the monks of the Dechenphodrang Monastic School before lunch.

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Simtokha Dzong is Bhutan’s oldest Dzong, established by Zhadrung.

After lunch, you will drive around Thimphu valley, first to Simtokha Dzong (Bhutan’s oldest Dzong), then to one of the largest Buddha Dordenma rupas in the world at Kuensel Phodrang, and finally to Chubachu at the Post Office (where you can get personalized stamps), the Textile on display).

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The streets of Thimphu have numerous stories to tell (PC: @tandinphubz)

End the day with a walk through Thimphu’s streets and be on the lookout for the world’s only human traffic sign.

Day 03 – From the New to the Old

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Dochula pass houses the Druk Wangyel Chhorten that includes 108 stupas built by Dorji Wangmo Wangchuk.

You will head to Punakha, the old capital of the nation, after breakfast. You will stop at Dochula to enjoy the mesmerizing sights of the beautiful Himalayan Mountains. Dropping into the Rhododendron Garden in the Royal Botanical Park at Lamperi that houses 46 species will make your Bhutan travel even more unique and intriguing.

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Chimi Lhakhang is a renowned monastery that blessed many with offsprings.

On route, you will visit Chimi Lhakhang, known as the Temple of Fertility, built by Lama Drukpa Kuenley (a celebrated Yogi also called The Divine Madman) in 1499 on the hilltop where he subdued the demons with his magical thunderbolt. A visit to this eccentric temple and its’ locality will add will make the cultural trip exciting. You will enter Punakha and have a haul for lunch.

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Punakha Dzong is also known as the palace of great happiness or bliss.

After lunch, your guide will take you to see the Punakha Dzong, a majestic fort sitting between the Pho Chu (Male River) and the Mo Chu (Female River) established in 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. You will check out the Punakha Suspension Bridge, one of the country’s longest suspension bridges, in the evening.

Day 04 – The Gangtey Goenpa Getaway

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Khangsung Yulley Namgyal Choling Monastery will make your trip.

In the morning, you will hike to the alluring Khamsung Yulley Namgyal Choling Monastery built by her majesty the queen, Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuck, through the rice fields. The Khamsung Yulley Namgyal Choling Chhorten holds paintings of Nyingmapa roots will make your Bhutan holiday a mesmerizing one.

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Phobjikha is the beautiful winter roosting place for the fascinating black-necked crane.

Then you will head to Gangtey Goenpa; on the route, you will stop at Phobjikha (the lower part of the Gangtey valley) and visit the Crane Information center and take a close look around the beautiful Phobjikha valley. Your guide would have made all arrangements for a wholesome Bhutanese experience at a local homestay.

Day 05 – Enter the Center of the Nation

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The Gangtey Gompa is a must-see place you will always remember.

After an early breakfast, you will visit the Gantey Gyaltse Pema Thinley, the grandson and mind reincarnation of Pema Lingpa (who instituted the temple in 1613), and Tenzin Legpai Dhendup, the second reincarnation (who built the temple).

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Trongsa Dzong is an architectural masterpiece that will bless your eyes.

Then your ride to Bumthang begins; you will stop at Trongsa to look around the magnificent Trongsa Dzong. Built in 1644 by Chogyal Minjur Tempa, the Trongsa Dzong is the Royal Family’s ancestral home and the first two Kings ruled from here.

After lunch, you will check out the Ta Dzong, an ancient watchtower. A chapel dedicated to the Trongsa Penlop Jigme Namgyal has been installed inside the Ta Dzong. 

You will reach the destination in the evening.

Day 06 – Behold the Beautiful Bumthang Valley!

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Overlooking the valley of Bumthang, the Jakar Dzong is a magnificent work of art.

The heartland of Bhutan, Bumthang valley, is guaranteed to be the highlight of your cultural trip. You will begin with a visit to the Kurjey Lhakhang (where the body print of Guru Rinpoche on a rock can be seen) after breakfast. Then see the Jakar Dzong (The Castle of White Bird) that was built in 1667. 

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The Jambay Lhakhang Drup is one of the most anticipated events in the valley.

You will then proceed to Jamba Lhakhang, built by King Songtsen Geompo of Tibet in 659 on the same day as Kichu Lhakhang in Paro. The sacred temple was visited by Guru Rinpoche when he visited Bumthang on Sindhu Raja’s plea and renovated by Sindhu Raja. The purpose of Guru Rinpoche’s visit was to save Sindhu Raja’s life by restoring his life force. It is said that there is a lake under the temple in which Guru hid several Terma (treasures). The temple stages one of the most spectacular and auspicious festivals in the valley, “Jambay Lhakhang Drup,” in October. 

After lunch, you will be escorted to Tamshing Lhakhang (The Temple of Good Message), established in 1501 by Terton Pema Lingpa. 

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The burning lake is a sacred site of great reverence.

In the evening, you will visit Membartsho (The Burning Lake), where Terton Pema Lingpa in the 14th Century discovered the hidden treasure of Guru Rinpoche. 

Our representatives can arrange a hot stone bath to rest and unwind after a long tiring day. Hot stone bath is a traditional Bhutanese way to relax that comforts and treats various ailments.

Day 07 – Ura Valley Expedition

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The beautiful village of Ura is a perfect example of a harmonious clustered settlement.

After breakfast, you will head to explore Ura’s unrivaled scenic valley and visit the Ura Lhakhang. 

After lunch, you will return to Bumthang and go to the Kencho Sum Lhakhang and the Cheese Factory. Afterward, you can go for an evening walk around Bumthang town for shopping and photography.

Day 08 – The Ride Back to Thimphu.

After breakfast, you will return to where you started, Thimphu. 

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A scenic view of Thimphu, one of the world’s most peaceful capital cities (PC: @gyatso.btn)

By nighttime, you will reach Thimpu.

Day 09 – The Peaceful Paro

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Paro Taksang is the most popular location for foreigners (PC: @gyatso.btn)

After an early breakfast, your journey to Paro Taktsang will commence with a drive towards the monastery’s base. The hike to the Taktsang Monastery built around Guru Rinpoche’s meditation cave in 1684 by Gyaltse Tenzin Rabgay, will take about 2 hours. The moment you see the monastery perched on a 900m high rock cliff will give you an extreme sense of solace. You will hike down for lunch. 

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Kichu Lhakhang is one-half of the significant pair temples built by Songtsen Goempo

After lunch, you will visit the Kichu Lhakhang on your way back. Kichu Lhakang is among the six temples (along with Jambay Lhakhang in Bumthang) built by Tibetan King Songtsen Goempo in 659 AD to pin a giant Ogress the earth. It is believed that Kichu Lhakhang holds the left foot of the Ogress, and Jambay Lhakhang pins the left knee.

Day 10 – The Chelela Escapade

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The chilly air at Chelela, along with the scenic view, will charm you.

After breakfast, you will take off for the highest motor-able road in Bhutan (at 3982 masl) towards Chelala. Chelala pass separates Paro and Haa valley, and you can see the beautiful Himalayan Mountains and  Mount Jomolhari.

After lunch, you will visit the Kila Gompa Monastery.

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Paro town is unique with both traditional and contemporary blend (PC: @manfrom_east)

In the evening, you will walk around the Paro town for shopping and photography.

Day 11: Farewell my Friend

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With the blessing and warm wishes from everyone in Bhutan, we wish you a safe journey

On the eleventh day, your tourist visa to the safest destination in the world runs out, ending your wonderful cultural trip to Bhutan. We hope you had the time of your life on your Bhutan travel with everything Bhutan offered. 

Click the link to read about What Bhutan is known for.

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