The Happy country, according to Gross National Happiness, Bhutan is a beautiful mountainous nation that lies between China and India. Besides breathtaking views of mountains, hills, monasteries, fortresses (or dzongs) and dramatic landscapes, Bhutan is a culturally rich country where people live in peace and harmony. Because of its beauty and pristine environment, Bhutan is also known as ‘The Last Shangrila’. Despite being sandwiched between two giant nations; India and China, this country offers a unique flavour to travellers around the world. Swotah Travel presents you the best of Bhutan tour with a short visit to Nepal. This 12 days Bhutan and Nepal tour is a cultural extravaganza in South Asia that you can enjoy in a brief period.
Why this trip
Because the right time to see 'The Last Shangrila' before it gets crowded is now.
- The Kingdom of Bhutan is also known as "The Land of the Thunder Dragon".
- The country has currently no UNESCO World Heritage Sites but it has eight declared tentative sites for UNESCO inclusion since 2012.
- Bhutan has been referred to as The Last Shangri-La because of the unspoiled natural environment and cultural heritage.
- Scenic walk through paddy fields and traditional villages and enjoy views of the magnificent mountains.
- Discover Buddhist monasteries, dzongs (fortresses and castles) and sacred shrines.
- Day 1 ARRIVAL IN KATHMANDU
Namaste! Our representative will be waiting for you at the airport. You then will be escorted to the hotel. At the evening, we meet for a traditional Nepali dinner at a local restaurant with a cultural dance program.
- Day 2 KATHMANDU SIGHTSEEING
We take you for sightseeing inside the Kathmandu Valley. A cultural awakening around the city of 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. We choose some of the sites to visit.
- Day 3 DEPART FOR PARO
According to the flight schedule, we will transfer you to the airport to depart for Paro. On arrival, you will be received by our guide and transferred to the hotel by private car. Later in the evening, we visit the National Museum, housed in the Ta Dzong (watchtower). Here, an intriguing collection of artefacts provide a wonderful introduction to the rich culture and heritage of the Kingdom. Just a short walk downhill lays the dominating Paro Dzong, a fine example of Bhutanese historic architecture.
- Day 4 PARO – JELELA DZONG (DRUK PATH TREKKING)
Although today’s trekking day is short, we keep a slow and steady pace as altitude gain is significant. After breakfast, we drive to the road head at the National Museum (2,487m) above Paro from where we start the trek. We walk from the Museum heading uphill through apple orchards, smallholdings of Damchena Village and pine forests. Visit JeleDzong (3,490m), perched on a whaleback ridge. Jele Dzong is mostly in ruins and there is a Lhakhang with the statue of Buddha Sakyamuni. On a clear day, the views of Paro town far below and of mount Jomolhari (7,314m) are breathtaking. Overnight camp at 3,480m.
- Day 5 JELELA DZONG TO TSHOKAM
Begin with gradual ascent and then descend below the ridgeline to walk through the trail of thick alpine forests and rhododendrons. You may see yak herders in the area. There are fascinating views of Jhomolhari and other snow-capped mountains and you can also hear some monal peasants during the day. We continue our uphill walk to reach a yak herders’ pasture at Jangchulakha (3,780m) with outstanding views of the Himalayan range, pass Jangchulakha to today’s campsite called Tshokam.
- Day 6 TSHOKAM TO SIMKOTA
The trail follows the ridge and at times through juniper trees and dwarf rhododendrons. The views of the mountain valleys are sensational. After making an ascent and then a steep descent, we arrive at Jimilangtsho Lake (3,880m). The lake is famous for their giant sized trouts. Near the camp, you can have great views of 6,989m Jichu Drake, the peak representing the protective deity of Paro and pass we will reach our campsite for the day. Overnight camp at Simkota 3880M
- Day 7 SIMKOTA TO THIMPHU
The trail takes you through dwarf rhododendron trees and bypasses the lake of Janetsho. You may come across some yak herder’s camp and get an idea how these people live. Trail winds and undulates with magnificent view of the Himalaya across deep valleys. Simkotatsho Lake (4,110m) can be seen below after crossing one final spur. We continue our trek until we reach Phajoding. From here, you will enjoy great view of Thimphu city far below. The trail slowly descends through junipers trees to a community hall near Phajodhing (3,870m). Walk way downhill to Thimphu through forests of blue pine and juniper until you arrive the road head of Sangaygang on the outskirts of Thimphu valley. Overnight in Thimphu | Altitude 2400m.
- Day 8 THIMPHU SIGHTSEEING TO PUNAKHA
After breakfast, We visit KuenselPhodrang (Buddha Statue) world largest sitting Buddha statue which gives awesome views of Thimphu valley, National Memorial Chorten (Stupas) which remembers the father of modern Bhutan. Later visit Changangkha Monastery the oldest temple in the valley, Sangaygang View Point often known as BBS tower and lovers point. Later, we will prepare to drive to warm valley of Punakha over the most beautiful pass in the country called Dochula pass at 3150 m. 108 DrukWangyalChortens built over the pass by queen mother in 2003 marks the pass more important and beautiful thus the pass is one the must visit passes in Bhutan. If the weather permits, we can enjoy a spectacular view of the highest mountains of Bhutan at a sight that stretches almost 180 degrees. After a photo break, we will continue our drive downhill from the pass. Afternoon, we will visit the most beautiful PunakhaDzong, which houses the most elaborated temple in the country. The Dzong, showcase the finest example of the arts and crafts of Bhutan. Overnight in Punakha, altitude 1350m.
- Day 9 PUNAKHA TO PARO
After the breakfast, we will check out from the hotel and retrace the drive to Paro. On arrival in Paro, will hike to Taktsang Monastery or often called Tiger Nest Temple which is built around a cave in which Guru Rimpoche (also known as Guru Padmasambhava) meditated. The eighth century old monastery is perched on a rock overlooking a sheer drop and clings seemingly impossible to a cliff of rock at 900m above the valley floor. Overnight in Paro.
- Day 10 ARRIVAL IN KATHMANDU
Our representative from Bhutan will drop you to the airport, after few hours of flight you will arrive at Kathmandu. You'll be immediately transferred to hotel for rest. Today you can enjoy complimentary service of Trekkers' massage and spa treatment for relax your tired body from constant moving.
- Day 11 BHAKTAPUR SIGHTSEEING
Today we take you the ancient city of Bhaktapur also known as 'City of Devotees'. This historical city of Bhaktapur is filled with artistic culture, architecture, traditions that have been preserved from hundreds of years. Return back to Kathmandu
- Day 12 DEPARTURE
On this day, we’ll probably have energy left for shopping around in the city. We’ll have breakfast together and leave to the Airport for a flight back home.
Hotel: 8 Night(s)
Camping(Tent): 3 Night(s)
Authorised English speaking guide
- Airport Transfers
Like mentioned in the itinerary
- International Flights
- Farewell/Welcome Dinner
Welcome dinner in Kathmandu
- Guide Insurance
- Domestic Airport Transfers
- Public Liability Insurance
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