Bhutan Cultural Tour

  • Trip Destination: Bhutan
  • Total Duration: 09 Day(s)
  • Difficulty: Easy
Bhutan Cultural Tour

Bhutan Culture Tour
Bhutan Cultural tour takes you into the heart of the country and lets you experience the rich culture of the Bhutanese people thoroughly in a short duration of time. Global Adventure Trekking has prepared the following itinerary for the Bhutan Cultural tour.
Climate: The climate of Bhutan is very unpredictable. The weather is very dramatic from one place to others. in the winter day, time temperature in average from 16 degree and drop down below zero degree at the night time. During the summer time temperature will be about 25 degree Celsius.

Clothing: In May September, cotton clothes are sufficient, woolen sweaters and light jackets are more than fine. From November to April, very warm jackets, comfortable tennis shoes are recommended.

Food: Bhutan is rich in variety of spicy food but it depends on the hotel you are staying. Most Hotel/Resort and restaurant offer you the Indian, Chinese, Continental and Vegetarian food. However pure vegetarian meals are served on request and prior inform.

Currency: The currency is called Ngeltrum (Nu.) and is same like Indian Rupee. American Express, Master Cards, Credit cards are accepted only in few places but there is no ATM in Bhutan and Indian 500 bills and 1000 bills are not acceptable in Bhutan.

Security: The country Bhutan is very safe with lowest crime rate in the world. In general Bhutanese people are very warm, hospitable and friendly.

Electricity: The electricity voltage in Bhutan is 220 volts AC, Standard Indian pin sockets are normally used at all places.

Trip Highlights

  • Experience the culture and tradition of Bhutan
  • Practice your own religion as it is secular state
  • Visit the monastery Dzong and Temple
  • Visit National Museum, Textile industry, Mountain views

Day to Day Itinerary

Day 01 : Arrive Paro (Altitude 2280 m) (By Druk Air flight):

Day 02 : Paro - Thimphu, Excursion to Taktsang Monastery: (Altitude 2320 m, 54 kms)

Day 03 : Thimphu Sightseeing: (Altitude 2320 m)

Day 04 : Thimphu - Punakha: (Altitude 1310 m) (72 Kms, 3 hours drive).

Day 05 : Punakha – Gangtey – Trongsa: (Altitude 2800 m, 157 kms):

Day 06 : Trongsa - Bumthang: (Altitude 2800 m, 68 kms):

Day 07 : Bumthang Sightseeing (Altitude 2800 m):

Day 08 : Bumthang – Thimphu (Altitude 2320 m)

Day 09 : Thimphu – Paro Airport: (Altitude 2320 m, 54 kms)

Cost Include

    • Accommodation: Standard government-approved accommodation (in twin sharing rooms) for the duration of the tour
    • Guide: Licensed English-speaking Bhutanese tour guides
    • Meals: Full-board meals - breakfast, lunch, dinner and tea & snacks - for the duration of your stay
    • This tour offers Vegetarian, Vegan, Halal and Kosher food options on request
    • Transport: Private transportation and a designated driver within Bhutan
    • Toyota 4WD luggage vans and light trucks for group travel
    • Additional Services
    • Pick up from and drop off at the hotel and the airport on a tourist vehicle/van /minibus
    • Drinking water for the duration of the tour
    • Country presentation and tour Briefing on the evening of Day 01 with welcome drinks
    • Monument and museums entrance fees at all sightseeing locations detailed in the itinerary
    • Bhutan visa fees and processing assistance
    • Government royalty fees
    • All route access and monument entry permits and fees.
    • All government taxes, official expenses and tourist service charges

Cost Exclude

    • International airfare and airport departure tax.
    • Your travel insurance
    • Expenses of personal nature, such as laundry, shopping
    • Alcoholic and cold drinks
    • Personal clothing and equipment
    • Tips for tour guides, driver, and in restaurants. (Tipping is expected)
    • Other expenses not mentioned in the Price Includes section

Detail Itinerary

Day 01Arrive Paro (Altitude 2280 m) (By Druk Air flight): Your expertise/Guide from GAT will receive you at the airport and drive you the short distance to the Hotel. After lunch, drive to the ruins of the Drukgyal Dzong 16 km up the valley built in 1647 by the great Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, father and unifier of medieval Bhutan, the Dzong was destroyed by accidental fire and left in ruins as an evocative reminder of the great victories it was built to commemorate. Explore the ramparts and on a clear day experience an unforgettable view of Mt. Jhomolhari (7,314 m). On the way back, visit Kichu Lhakhang, built in 659 A.D by the Tibetan king Srongsen Gampo. Dinner and overnight in Tashi Namgay Resort or similar.

Day 02Paro - Thimphu, Excursion to Taktsang Monastery: (Altitude 2320 m, 54 kms) A very special day, with an excursion to view the spectacular Taktsang (Tiger's Nest) monastery - After breakfast a short drive takes us to Satsam Chorten, from there a 2 hours walk till the viewpoint of the monastery. The trail climbs through beautiful pine forest, many of the trees festooned with Spanish moss, and an occasional grove of fluttering prayer flags. We stop for a rest and light refreshments at the Taktsang Jakhang (cafeteria) and then walk a short distance until we see, clearly and seemingly within reach, Taktsang monastery. The primary Lhakhang was built around Guru Rimpoche’s meditation cave in the 1684by the Penlop of Paro Gyaltse Tenzin Rabgay, this incredible monastery clings to the edge of a sheer rock cliff that plunges 900 meters into the valley below. Legend has it that Guru Padmasambhava, the tantric mystic who brought Buddhism to Bhutan, flew here on the back of a flying tiger, Dorji Drolo, said to be his favourite consort. After Lunch, visit Ta Dzong (built in1656 and renovated in 1968), an ancient watchtower, which now houses the National Museum. Below the museum is the Paro Rimpung Dzong (literally meaning “Heap of Jewels”, built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the centre of civil and religious authority in this valley. A short walk takes you to the base of the Dzong and across a traditional cantilevered, covered bridge. On the way, visit Tamchog Monastery built by Thangthong Gyalpo (Popularly known as Lama Chazampa, which literally means, the Iron Bridge builder) in the 15th century. Thang Thong Gyalpo (1385 – 1464) was a wonder working saint from Tibet who came to Bhutan in 1433 looking for Iron Ore. He built 108 bridges across Tibet and Bhutan, out of which 8 were built in Bhutan. His only surviving bridge is in Duksum-eastern Bhutan. Drive to Thimphu. Dinner and overnight in Hotel Migmar or similar.

Day 03 Thimphu Sightseeing: (Altitude 2320 m) The day begins with a visit to the National Memorial Chorten (1974) built in honor of their late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk and the Dupthop Lhakhang one of the few surviving nunneries in Bhutan. We then visit the National Library, stocked with ancient Buddhist manuscripts, and the Painting School where traditional art is still kept alive through instructions in the art of painting . After lunch we drive to the Traditional Medicine Institute where medicines are prepared according to ancient practices and to Lungtenzampa to observe the Royal silver smiths and Bhutanese paper factory at work. Other highlights include a visit to the Tashichho Dzong, seat of the national government and the Central Monastic Body, including the summer residence of the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot of Bhutan) and finally visit the Handicrafts Emporium followed by shopping for souvenirs in the shops of Thimphu. Dinner and overnight in Hotel Migmar or similar.

Day 04 Thimphu - Punakha: (Altitude 1310 m) (72 Kms, 3 hours drive). After breakfast, drive to Punakha via Dochula pass. If the weather is clear, we stop for a while at Dochula pass to view Higher Himalayas. On the way, visit Chime Lhakhang, which was built by Lama Drukpa Kuenley. He subdued the demons with his “Magical Thunder bolt”. The Temple is also known as “the Temple of Fertility”. Lama Drukpa Kuenley (1455 – 1529) was one of the Bhutan’s Favourite Saints who was born in Tibet, trained at Ralung Monastery and was a contemporary and a disciple of Pema Lingpa. He Travelled throughout Bhutan and Tibet as a “Neljorpa” (Yogi) using songs, humour and outrageous behavior to dramatise his teachings of Salvation through sex. After lunch, visit Punakha Dzong built in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and is situated between Pho Chu (Male river) and Mo Chu (Female river). For many years until the time of the second king, it served as the seat of the Government. The construction of the Dzong was foretold by Guru Rimpoche, who predicted, “…a person named Namgyal will arrive at a hill that looks like an elephant”. There was a smaller building here called Dzong Chu (Small Dzong) that housed a statue of Buddha. It is said that Shabdrung ordered the architect, Zowe Palep, to sleep in front of the statue, while Palep was sleeping, the Shabdrung took him in his dreams to Zangtopelri and showed him the palace of Guru Rimpoche. From his vision, the architect conceived the design for the new Dzong, which in keeping with the tradition, was never committed to paper. The Dzong was named Druk Pungthang Dechen Phodrang (Palace of Great Happiness). The war materials captured during the battle with Tibetans are preserved here. Punakha is still the winter residence of Je-Khenpo and King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk convened the new national Assembly here in 1952. Dinner and overnight in Punatsangchhu Cottages or similar.

Day 05 Punakha – Gangtey – Trongsa: (Altitude 2800 m, 157 kms): We start early today. After breakfast, drive to Trongsa via. Gangtey. Enroute sightseeing in the valley of Wangdiphodrang, it includes: visit to Wangdiphodrang Dzong (from outside) built in 1638. Legend relates that as the people were searching for the site of the Dzong, four ravens were seen flying away in four directions. This was considered auspicious sign, representing the spread of Buddhist religion to the four points of the compass. The Dzong is situated at the confluence of Mo Chu and Tang Chu rivers. Drive further to Gangtey. Visit Gangtey Gompa. Gyaltse Pema Thinley, the grandson and mind reincarnation of Pema Lingpa founded the Temple in 1613, and Tenzin Legpai Dhendup, the second re-incarnation, built the temple. The present Abbot, Kunzang Pema Namgyal is the ninth re-incarnation. It is a Nyingmapa monastery and is affiliated to other Nyingmapa monasteries including Tamshing in Bumthang. Explore Phobjikha valley, famous for the Black Necked Cranes during winter. Packed lunch will be served at Gangtey. After Lunch, drive to Trongsa. Visit Trongsa Dzong, the most impressive Dzong in Bhutan, built in its present form in 1644 by Chogyal Minjur Tempa, the official who was sent by Shabdrung to unify eastern Bhutan and enlarged at the end of the 17th century by Desi Tenzin Rabgay. Trongsa Dzong is the ancestral home of the present Royal Family and first two hereditary kings ruled Bhutan from this Dzong. Then Visit Ta Dzong, an ancient watch tower. The chapel inside the Ta Dzong is dedicated to the Trongsa Penlop Jigme Namgyal. Dinner and overnight in Yangkhil Resort or similar.

Day 06 Trongsa - Bumthang: (Altitude 2800 m, 68 kms): After breakfast, drive to Bumthang. Lunch at Bumthang. After lunch, visit Jakar Dzong, which literally means “The Castle of White Bird”. The current structure was built in 1667. Visit Jambay Lhakhang said to have been built by King Srongsen Gampo of Tibet in the year 659 on the same day as Kichu Lhakhang in Paro. The temple was visited by Guru Rimpoche during his visit to Bumthang and was renovated by Sindhu Raja after Guru Rimpoche restored his life force. Under the temple is said to be a lake in which Guru Rimpoche hid several Terma. In October one of the most spectacular festival, “Jambay Lhakhang Drup” is staged here. Dinner and overnight in Swiss Guest House or similar.

Day 07 Bumthang Sightseeing (Altitude 2800 m): After breakfast, visit Kurjey Lhakhang that is named after body print of Guru Rimpoche, built in 1652 by Minjur Tempa. Then visit Tamshing Lhakhang (Temple of the good message), established in 1501 by Pema Lingpa and is the most important Nyingmapa temple in the kingdom. After lunch, visit Membartsho (Literally means “The Burning Lake”), a short distance up the road leading to Tang valley. The Terton Pema Lingpa discovered several of Guru Rimpoche’s hidden Terma / relics here and visit Mathra factory & Cheese Factory. In the evening, visit to a Bhutanese Farm House. Dinner and overnight in Swiss Guest House or similar.

Day 08Bumthang – Thimphu (Altitude 2320 m) Early breakfast, drive to Thimphu. Packed lunch will be served on the way. Dinner and overnight in Hotel Migmar or similar.

Day 09Thimphu – Paro Airport: (Altitude 2320 m, 54 kms) Early Morning, drive to the airport for onward flight.

Map of Bhutan Cultural Tour

View on google map

Trip Note

Flights: International flights to and from Bhutan are not included in the tour price. You can organize your flights separately. Or you may contact your merchant for flight arrangement at additional cost.
Insurance: Travel insurance is not covered in the tour price. You can organize travel insurance with your preferred insurance company.
Valid passport (valid for six months from the date of your trip)
We offer you first 2 nights accommodation and amazing activities in Kathmandu
Air tickets (Make a copy of flight tickets which may be helpful, in case of loss)
Visa Clearance (Make a copy of visa clearance which may be helpful, in case of emergencies)
MasterCard, Visa Credit, and Debit Cards are accepted in Bhutan. However, some cash is highly recommended.
Distance Driving time:
Paro to Thimphu 54 Km 1 Hr.
Thimphu to Punakha 76 Km 3 Hrs
Punakha to Wangdue 17 Km 40 Min.
Wangdue to Gangtey - 66 Km 2.5 Hrs
Wangdue to Trongsa - 129 Km 5 Hrs
Trongsa to Bumthang - 68 Km - 3 Hrs
Highest altitude: Yotong La Pass- (3425m)

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Facts of Trip

Special Category: Bhutan Cultural tour

Tour costumizable: Yes

Accommodation: Hotels and Resort

Mode of transport: Private transport

Permit and fees: All Inclusive

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