Visit the mystical country Bhutan where Happiness is given utmost importance. It is the country which emphasizes Gross National Happiness than Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country. During Bhutan Tour with Haa Valley, you will be visiting the popular places of Bhutan like Paro, Thimphu, and Punakha. Visit the lesser-known but stunning Haa Valley. It is yet to become famous as tourism in this valley was opened in 2002 only. It has a rustic charm to it than those other popular places of Bhutan. The breathtaking scenery, beautiful farmland filled with crops, and peaceful environment attract many tourists.
Bhutan is also known as ‘The Last Shangrila’ and is recognized for the rich culture and traditions that hold its people together. In this unique country, Buddhism is more a way of life than merely a religion. It is an exceptional country where education and health care are free for its people. You will observe a strong sense of community here. Get an insight into the local culture and experience warm hospitality.
|Day 1||Arrival in Paro|
|Day 2||Drive from Paro to Haa Valley (65 km/drive 1 to 2 hours approx.)|
|Day 3||Drive from Haa to Thimphu (108 km/ drive 3-4 hours approx.)|
|Day 4||Drive from Thimphu to Punakha (77 km/ drive 3 hours approx.)|
|Day 5||Explore Punakha and drive to Wangdue (13 km/ drive of approx. 45 minutes)|
|Day 6||Drive from Wangdue to Paro via Punakha (146 km/ drive 4 to 5 hours)|
|Day 7||Hike up to Tiger’s Nest Monastery (around 5-6 hours)|
|Day 8||Departure from Paro|
Bhutan Tour with Haa Valley starts with a scenic flight to Paro, Bhutan also famous as the Land of Thunder Dragons. In the 8 days tour, you will get to enjoy the architectural marvel of Bhutan. You will be visiting popular touristy places including monasteries, dzongs, temples, and others.
The tour begins and ends in Paro, Bhutan. Your journey starts with a visit to Ringpung Dzong, a huge fortress dating back to the 15th century. The next stop will be Kichu Lhakang, one of the most sacred shrines in Bhutan. Moreover, a drive-through dense forest visiting Chelela Pass festooned with Buddhist Prayer flags. Visit a remote Haa Valley which is also known as Hidden-Land Rice Valley. Savor the stunning views of green valleys and soak in the natural beauty. Experience the warm local hospitality and interact with the locals to know about their daily lives.
Pay a visit to the beautiful mountain pass, Dochula Pass which offers a panoramic view of the Himalayas. You will be walking through rice fields on your way to Chimi Lhakhang also known as the Temple of Fertility. Moreover, you will be visiting the model villages of Punakha and Wangdue. A visit to Bhutan is incomplete without a hike to Tiger’s Nest Monastery perched on a cliff. The wonderful hike on a trail lined with trees to one of the holiest places of Bhutan, Tiger’s Nest will be etched in your memory forever.
Take a scenic flight to Paro and enjoy the stunning view of the Himalayas from your window. Upon your arrival in Paro, Bhutan a representative from Third Rock Adventures will come to welcome you at the airport and take you to your hotel. You will get a briefing on your schedule. In the afternoon you will be visiting the Rinpung Dzong also known as Paro Dzong. The dzong built in traditional Bhutanese style is one of the fine examples of Bhutanese architecture. The complex of the dzong features temples, courtyards, and offices. It features government offices as well as a monastic body and is also the religious, social, administrative, and military center of the region.
Further, you will be visiting one of the oldest and holy shrines of Bhutan, Kichu Lhakhang. The temple is an important place for historians and also houses the 7th-century statue of Jowo Sakyamuni. As per legends, Padmasambhava visited the temple and the temple conceals many spiritual treasures. Later in the evening take a stroll in the town of Paro.
Overnight in Paro.
Today you will be driving to Haa Valley, the valley of Guardian Spirit. En route, you will be crossing the Chele La Pass which is the highest motorable high pass of Bhutan. The pass is situated at the height of 3,988 meters or 13,083 feet in between Paro and Haa valleys. On a clear day, you can enjoy the astounding views of snow-capped mountains including Mount Jumolhari and Jichu Drake. The pass, which is filled with colorful Buddhist Prayer flags, also offers an unparalleled view of the verdant valleys.
Further, you will be driving downhill from the pass and driving through a dense forest filled with fir, pine, and oak trees. In the afternoon, you will be exploring the local villages. Moreover, you will be visiting the local families and interacting with them. A stay at the remote Haa Valley will give an insight into the daily lifestyle in rural Bhutan and also experience the warm local hospitality.
Overnight in Haa Valley.
You will be taking a scenic drive past beautiful villages and jungle with pine trees on your way to the capital city of Bhutan, Thimphu. You can take optional stops along the road and click pictures as well. You will see Dobji Dzong which is known as the first model dzong in Bhutan and was built in 1531 by Ngawang Chogyal. After crossing Dobji Dzong, you will reach Chhuzom where you will see local farmers selling fresh fruits and vegetables. In the evening you can stroll in Thimphu City which is filled with restaurants, shopping centers, internet cafes and others.
Overnight in Thimphu.
On this day you will be taking a scenic drive to Punakha and en route, you will be stopping at Dorchula Pass. It is located at an altitude of 3,100 meters and overlooks panoramic views of snowcapped mountains. On a clear day, you can enjoy the view of mountains over 7,000 meters including Jejegangphugang (7,158m), Kangphugang (7,170m), and Masaganang (7,200m). One of the most beautiful mountain passes, Dorchula Pass is dotted with 108 small chortens built in the memory of Bhutanese soldiers martyred in the war of 2003 against Indian insurgents.
Your next stop will be Chimi Lhakhang also known as the Temple of Fertility. A walk of around 20 minutes from Metshina Village will take you to the temple. The temple is dedicated to saint Drupak Kunley also known as ‘Divine Madman’ who had unorthodox ways of teaching Buddhism by singing, humor and sexual overtones. Phallus imaginary is a common sight in the village which is known to ward off the evil eye. The monastery houses an original wooden phallus with a silver handle and is used to bless people especially childless women seeking blessings.
Also, couples with newborns visit the temple to get the blessing from the monk as well. Further, you will be visiting Punakha Dzong which is located on the confluence of two rives Mo Chu and Po Chu rivers. Punakha Dzong represents the fine Bhutanese architecture and is the second oldest and second-largest dzong of Bhutan.
Overnight in Punakha.
Today you will be exploring the popular villages of Punakha. The journey starts with a drive up on a hilly road to villages namely Talo village and Nobgang village, the home of the Queen mothers. You will see villages dotted along the hilly slopes in Talo which as famous for their hygiene and cleanliness among other villages of Punakha. The village features traditional Bhutanese houses.
Moreover, you will be visiting Nobgang village which literally translates as “gem hill.” The hilltop village of Nobgang is dotted with traditional houses. You will see a variety of tropical fruit trees along with beautiful farmlands. The visit gives you a chance to get an insight into their daily lifestyle and interact with them. Further, you will be driving to Wangdue and visiting the quaint village of Rinchengang village. The village is popular for its artfully stone houses on a tiny hill lock overlooking the Wangdi Phodrang Dzong. Rinchengang village is regarded as one of the oldest villages in Bhutan. As per legends, skilled laborers from Nepal and Bhutan who were brought to build the Wangdue Phodrang Dzong settled in the village.
Overnight in Wangdue.
On this day you will be driving back to Paro from Wangdue. You will be crossing Dorchula Pass on your way which overlooks the stunning view of the Himalayas. It is also a famous place of Bhutan among locals for picnics. In the spring season, the pass is filled with colorful flowers along with rhododendron blooms while it gets covered in snow during winter. You will be stopping at Thimphu for lunch and continuing your drive to Paro. In Bhutan, locals playing archery is a common sight and is often played to socialize. You will see men, women and children playing this sport. Archery is called Dha is Bhutanese and is also the national sport of Bhutan.
Overnight in Punakha.
Today you will be hiking to Taktsang Monastery or Tiger’s Nest Monastery which has become a landmark of Bhutan. Taktsang Monastery is one of the revered places of Bhutan. As per legends, Guru Rinpoche flew on a Tigress to meditate in one of the caves here. Tiger’s Nest is dramatically perched on a cliff and resides at the height of 3,180 meters. It takes around 5 to 6 hours to do the hike. However, the duration of the hike may differ depending upon your physical fitness and pace. The trail is beautiful and is filled with pine and rhododendron trees. You will be having lunch at Cafeteria Restaurant located halfway up on the mountains enjoy the stunning view. Exploring the wonderful monastery and bask in its beauty before heading down.
Overnight in Paro.
You will be returning with beautiful memories of the trip. A representative from Third Rock Adventures will drop you at the international airport of Paro. You can take an international flight to New Delhi, Kathmandu, Bagdogra, Dhaka, Singapore and others from Paro.
If you wish to extend your trip to Bhutan or countries like Nepal, Tibet and India then you can do it for yourself.
You need to apply for a Bhutan visa via an authorized travel agent because apply for a visa personally by a tourist is restricted by Bhutan. Moreover, you won’t be able to get a visa unless you book a tour package with a tour company.
Traveling in Bhutan attracts a daily tariff but if you are citizens of India, Bangladesh and Maldives then the daily tariff is waived.
In order to get a Bhutan visa, you need to send a digital copy of your passport to your tour operator. Also, you need to send USD 40 along with the price of the tour package to your tour operator to process your visa. After the payment, the Tourism Council of Bhutan will process your visa and will notify Durk Air and Bhutan Airlines. Now, you will be able to book your air tickets to and from Bhutan.
You will require a passport with a validity of 6 months or more from your arrival in Bhutan.
A hike to Tiger’s Nest is a physically demanding activity of your entire Bhutan Tour with Haa Valley. You will be hiking for around 5 to 6 hours and it will be more enjoyable if you are in a good shape. Moreover, you can hire ponies halfway off the trail at an extra cost.