Bhutan is Asia’s best-kept secret. Overshadowed and nestled between China and India, it is a relatively new travel spot, with many undiscovered secrets in its natural scenery and quiet townships. The land is dotted with red-clothed monks, ancient Buddhist temples, and friendly smiles. Embark in this journey with us to truly discover & experience Bhutan.
Day1: Arrival in Paro
Upon arrival at Paro International Airport, just outside the arrival hall, you will be greeted by one of our guides. At more than 7,300 feet above sea level, you will need to acclimate to the high altitude. So, we will take it easy with a short drive to your hotel, enjoy a Bhutanese lunch, and then visit a few sights around the capital city of Thimphu.
Day2: Tour Thimphu
We will give you a tour of whole Thimphu exploring the most famous tourist spots around, most famous of all being The Memorial Chorten, Buddha point, Farmers’ Market, Folk Heritage Museum, Thimphu Tashichho Dzong and more.
Day3: Trip to Punakha
On our way to Punakha, the former capital of Bhutan, we will stop at Dochula Pass. Providing stunning 360-degree views of the Himalayan Mountains. Sitting at the fork of two rivers, Punakha Dzong is considered one of the most beautiful spots in Bhutan. With spectacular displays of Bhutanese architecture, it stands like a medieval city surrounded by lavender Jacaranda trees.
Day4: Punakha to Bumthang via Trongsa
About eight hours’ drive from Punakha to Bumthang, we enter the central district of Trongsa, the ancestral home of Bhutan’s royal family. We get to see the resplendent Trongsa Dzong in the valley center. Its labyrinth of temples, corridors, offices and living quarters for the monks add up to a masterpiece in Bhutanese architecture. We also get to visit the Chendebji Chorten. This large white chorten is patterned after Swayambhunath temple in Kathmandu. It sits at a lovely spot by a river confluence.
In Bumthang we will visit the most scared temples and monasteries of Bhutan like Kurjey Lhakhang, Jambay Lhakhang, Tamshing Goemba and Kenchosum Lhakhang. We will also visit the Jakar Dzong (known as the Castle of White Bired in the medieval times). There is also a place to behold – The Swiss Farm – owned by a local Swiss Bhutanese Fritz Maurer. This is where a variety of Swiss cheese and Bhutan’s only native beer, Red Panda are produced.
Day6: Bumthang to Gangtey
On our way to Gangtey, up the mountain sits the Trongsa Museum Taa Dzong, a watchtower built in 1652 to ward off attacks of the town below. It now serves as home to the Royal Heritage Museum, highlighting the history of the area and the Wangchuck dynasty. Featuring Buddhist art, royal memorabilia, a 500-year-old jacket of Ngagi Wangchuck, and Padma Kathang’s personal copy of the handwritten biography of Guru Rinpoche.
Today we travel to Phobjikha (Gangtey) Valley. Known as the winter home of the black-necked cranes (Grus nigricollis), you can see 600 of these elegant, shy birds that migrate here from Tibet between November and March. This bowl-shaped valley is also a wildlife preserve, so you might also see the other native animals to Bhutan, including muntjac, sambar, serow, or yak. We will also visit the Gangtey Goemba – which is a 17th-century monastery that sits on a hill, overlooking the entire Gangtey valley.
Day8: Gangtey to Paro
We head back to scenic Paro Valley, home to many of Bhutan’s oldest monasteries and the country’s only airport. This mixture of old and new makes Paro an important part of Bhutan’s past, present, and future. We will visit Paro Dzong, The Taa Dzong and take a look around the main town of Paro.
Day9: Hike to The Tiger’s Nest (Paro Taktsang Monastery)
We will take a two-hour hike to Taktsang Monastery, arguably one of the most photographed monasteries in Bhutan. Accessible only by foot, this sacred site was built precariously on the cliff’s edge, more than 10,000 feet above sea level. This is where Guru (Rinpoche) Padmasambhava, the father of Bhutan Buddhism, is said to have flown on the back of a flying tiger to meditate there. Hence the name “The Tiger’s Nest”.
After breakfast, we drive you to airport for your departure. We hope by now you would have made some friends and also kept many photos and beautiful memories of Bhutan! We look forward to seeing you again.
The Royal Government of Bhutan sets minimum selling prices for packages to Bhutan. These must be paid in US dollars prior to arrival in Bhutan.
The minimum daily package applicable per tourist per night halt in Bhutan for tourists travelling in a group of 3 people or more is as follows:
• USD $200 per person per night for the months of January, February, June, July, August, and December.
• USD $250 per person per night for the months of March, April, May, September, October, and November.
The minimum daily package covers the following services;
• A minimum of 3 star accommodation (4 & 5 star may require an premium payment).
• All meals
• A licensed Bhutanese tour guide for the extent of your stay
• All internal ground transport
• Camping equipment and haulage for trekking tours
• USD 65 Sustainable Development Fee (SDF)
Tourists travelling in a group of two (2) persons or less shall be subject to a surcharge, in addition to the minimum daily package rates. These are as follows;
• Single individual – US$ 40 per night
• Group of 2 persons only – US$ 30 per person per night
The surcharge will not be applicable to representatives of foreign travel agents on business study or promotional visit duly approved and cleared by TCB.
There is no charge for delays in arrival and departure because of weather conditions disrupting flights or road blocks. The tourist must however bear the cost of food, accommodation, transportation, and other services required. It is highly recommended that you purchase travel insurance prior to travel.
Individual tour operators has their own cancellation policy. Please discuss with your own service provider (tour operator) on the cancellation policy.
Prior to your trip to Bhutan, you will be asked to wire the full payment for your holiday to the Tourism Council of Bhutan.
You must wire the tour payment calculated by your tour operator as well as USD 40 (one time visa fee) to the Bhutan National Bank through one of their certified international partners with the Bhutanese tour operator specified as the ultimate beneficiary.
With the exception of visitors from India, Bangladesh and Maldives, all other visitors travelling to Bhutan need a visa.
Indian, Bangladeshis and Maldivian nationals can obtain a permit at the port of entry on producing a valid passport with a minimum of 6 months validity (Indian nationals may also use their Voters Identity Card (VIC)).
All other tourists must obtain a visa clearance prior the travel to Bhutan. Visas are processed through an online system by your licensed Bhutanese tour operator directly or through a foreign travel agent.
You are required to send the photo-page of your passport to your tour operator who will then apply for your visa. The visa will be processed by the Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) once the full payment of your holiday (including a USD $40 visa fee) has been wire transferred and received in the TCB bank account. Once received, the visa clearance will be processed within 72 working hours.
At your point of entry you will be required to show your visa clearance letter, the visa will then be stamped into your passport.
Online Regional Permit System
In order to streamline and facilitate smooth visitation by tourists from Bangladesh, India and Maldives, the Department of Immigration, Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs and the Tourism Council of Bhutan have launched the Online Permit System. The system facilitates the online processing of permits for regional tourists through registered Bhutanese tour operators and TCB certified hotels. The facility is offered as an optional channel to process permits for visitors from the region and is applicable for entry from Paro and Phuntsholing. Visitors who use this facility will be able to obtain their permit clearances and route permits ahead of their arrival in Bhutan similar to international tourists.
Payment System in Bhutan
Bhutan’s currency is the Ngultrum (Nu.) It is at par with the Indian rupee which is widely accepted in the country. ATMs are located within all main towns throughout Bhutan, where money can be withdrawn using a Visa or MasterCard. In addition, POS (Point of Sale) services are available nationwide, meaning visitors can pay by credit card at most hotels and handicrafts stores.
How to make the payment?
All payments shall be made in US dollars via bank wire transfer to the Tourism Council of Bhutan’s bank account at the Bhutan National Bank, with your tour operator shown as the ultimate beneficiary of the funds. Please note that it is not possible to make the payment by credit card as the payment has to be routed through the government account in order for your visa to be authorized and is not paid directly to us.
Wire Transfer: In order to make your payment, please request your bank to remit money to the bank as follows via wire transfer only. It takes 3 – 7 working days to get your money in Bhutan.
Standard Chartered Bank Ltd, New York, USA Standard Chartered Bank Ltd., One Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10010-3603 SWIFT Code: SCBLUS33 CHIPS ABA: 0256 FED ABA: 026002561 Beneficiary Bank Account : 358-202-171-9001 (USD A/C) Beneficiary Bank : Bhutan National Bank P.O Box 439, GPO Building, Chang Lam, Thimphu Bhutan SWIFT Code: BNBTBTBT Ultimate Beneficiary:
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Minimum of 3 star rated accommodation
All meals (excluding alcoholic beverages)
All internal transportation (excluding domestic flights if any)
Professional English-Speaking guide and driver
All road permits and entry fees
Government fee, royalty and surcharges
All services and assistance before, during and after the trip
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