Begin your cultural tour in Phuentsholing and journey into Bhutanese townships appreciating the country's rich culture
If you wish to explore Bhutan by road via Nepal or from North East India's Sikkim and Darjeeling, Phuentsholing to Paro Tour will surely be a highly rewarding experience. The 7-day tour begins from Phuentsholing which is a main commercial hub in south-west Bhutan, popularly known as the 'Gateway to Bhutan'. Next we visit Thimpu and tour its many cultural landmarks like King's Memorial, nunnery temple, Tashichho Dzong and others. Our next stop is Punakha via the incredible Dochula pass. While there we tour a number of historical sites some of which inlcude the Punakha Dzong and Chimi Lhakhang, a fertility temple. One of the highlights of Phuentsholing to Paro Tour is the hike to the breathtaking Tiger's Nest Monastery situated at 10,400 feet and perched on the edge of a steep cliff about 3,000 feet above the Paro Valley.
Day to Day Itinerary
Day 1: Arrival in Phuentsholing (300m/985ft)
Our representative will meet you at the India-Bhutan border check point in Phuentsholing. He or she will assist you with the visa formalities and drop you off at your hotel. Phuentsholing is the administrative seat of Chukha District of Bhutan. The town lies opposite the Indian town of Jaigaon, and cross-border trade has resulted in a thriving local economy. Overnight in Phuentsholing.
Day 2: Phuentsholing to Thimphu (2350m/7710ft): 175 Km, 6 hours
We leave the border down for Bhutan’s capital city, Thimpu after breakfast. On the way we enjoy the amazing landscape that Bhutan has to offer. We also encounter a few waterfalls which provide a photo opportunity for nature lovers. Overnight in Thimpu.
Day 3: Sightseeing in Thimphu
In the morning, we visit Memorial Chorten (built in memory of the third King of Bhutan who reigned from 1952-1972), nunnery temple, mini zoo to see Takin, the national animal of Bhutan. Today, we also visit other landmarks of Thimphu including the National Institute of Traditional Medicine, Bhutanese traditional painting school, folk heritage museum, the majestic Tashichho Dzong and the traditional paper factory. However, some of the landmarks are closed in the weekends (Saturdays and Sundays). Therefore, if we are in Thimphu during the weekends, we explore the Weekend Market instead. Overnight in Thimphu.
Day 4: Thimphu to Punakha (1,250m/4,100ft): 76 km, 2 - 3 hours
After breakfast, we drive to Punakha via Dochu La Pass (3,100m), where on a clear day we get spectacular views of the Himalayas. Next, we drive downhill through rhododendron, fir and hemlock forests. On the way, we visit Chimi Lhakhang, a fertility temple dedicated to the Divine Madman or Lama Drukpa Kuenley. After reaching Punakha, we also visit Punakha Dzong which was built between 1637-1638 and is the second oldest and the second largest dzong in Bhutan. Overnight in Punakha.
Day 5: Punakha to Paro: 130 km, 4 hours
After breakfast, we drive to Paro via Dochu La pass. There, we visit the new Druk Wangyal Monastery. With elaborate paintings depicting the lineage of the present monarchy and their visionary works, the Druk Wangyal Monastery is the only one of its kind in the country. After the tour of the monastery, we continue our drive with a stop in Thimphu for lunch. Overnight in Paro.
Day 6: Hike to Tiger Nest Monastery (3180m/10,430 ft)
After breakfast, we hike for 4 -5 hours to Taktsang (Tiger's Nest) Monastery, which is Bhutan's most famous monastery situated at 3,180 meters. Guru Rinpoche (spiritual master) is said to have flown on the back of a tigress to meditate in a cave where Taktsang Monastery now stands. Lunch will be served in the Cafeteria Restaurant, located about halfway up the mountain. After having explored the monastery, we hike down to the valley floor and return back to Paro for an overnight stay.
Day 7: Final departure
Today we bid farewell to the tiny Himalayan Kingdom and her friendly people. Druk Air generally departs in the early morning to avoid adverse weather conditions. So, if we are flying, we will be dropped off at the airport after breakfast. If not, we will be dropped off at the Phuentsholing border for final departure.
Your safety is of paramount concern while traveling with Himalayan Glacier. Please note that your leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Every effort will be made to keep to the above itinerary; however, since this adventure entails travelling in remote mountainous regions, we cannot guarantee that we will not deviate from it. Weather conditions, health condition of a group member, unexpected natural disasters, etc., can all contribute to changes in the itinerary. The leader will try to ensure that the trip runs according to plan, but please be prepared to be flexible if required.
Included in the Cost
- Bhutanese visa fee
- Pickups and drops from hotels and airports
- Government approved A and B category hotels on twin- shared basis
- All meals, tea and snacks
- Transportation in comfortable private vehicle(s)
- English speaking, trained and experienced local guide and staff
- All entrance and permit fees for visits to monuments and museums
- Company services and all required Bhutanese government taxes/royalties
Not Included in the Cost
- Airfare for international flights to and from Bhutan
- Items of a personal nature (personal gear, telephone calls, beverages, internet, laundry, etc.)
- Trip cancellation and medical/evacuation insurance
- Tips for staff (guide and driver)
- Travel insurance
It is a condition upon joining any of Himalayan Glacier's trips that all clients be insured for comprehensive expenses that might incur due to medical issues or accidents (this includes air ambulance, helicopter rescue, and treatment costs). Please note that we don't arrange or sell insurance.
Hotels in Bhutan are approved and classified by the government as grade A, B and C. These government approved hotels are equivalent to 3-4 star hotels elsewhere. Based on availability at the time of booking, we will be accommodated in A grade hotels in Paro Thimpu and Phuentsholing and B grade hotel in Punakha. We use Druk Hotel in Phuentsholing, Hotel Migmar in Thimpu, Meri Puensum Resort in Punakha and Tashi Namgay Resort in Paro. All accommodations are on a twin-shared basis. Single supplement will be served on request and will cost USD 420.
All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) are included during your stay in Bhutan. A variety of meals are available in most hotels the most popular being Indian, Chinese, and the more common continental food. Non-vegetarian dishes are generally available in most parts of Bhutan - pork, beef, chicken, and fish. The best advice is to ask the hotel and restaurant to recommend what is fresh and in season.
Best Time to Travel
Spring (March to May) and autumn (September and October) are the best time to visit Bhutan. The months of April and May offer the natural grandeur of rhododendron blooms whereas Bhutan observes its biggest festivals during spring. Bhutan can also be visited during summer and winter if one wishes to avoid crowd. However, the summers are wet and winters are cold which might not sit well with everybody.
Equipments & Packing List
The packing list has been created with the objective of getting maximum comfort with minimum possible weight. Please bring only what is necessary, as this will be helpful to you and the field staff.
Luggage Weight Restrictions
Packing List for Cultural /City Tours
- Druk Air has a 44 pound (20 kg) weight limit for checked luggage and another 11 pound weight limit for carry-on luggage on their flights. Your carry-on bags are restricted to one piece, and the size should not exceed 17" x 13" x 8".
- Official Papers
- Passport with minimum validity of 6 months
- Copy of the first page of your passport
- Airline tickets
- Visa approval for Bhutan (to be brought with you)
- 2 pairs of lightweight long pants
- 2 pairs of dress pants / dresses for evening
- 2 pairs of shorts
- 4 short-sleeved shirts/blouses
- 1 long-sleeved shirt for sun protection (also while visiting dzongs, temples and monasteries).
- Warm jackets (if trip falls in Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan & Feb)
- 1 sweater or light weight jacket
- 1 pair of comfortable walking shoes
- Insect repellent
- Spare nylon duffel bag for purchase
- Sunscreen rated 20 SPF or higher
- Lip balm
- Sunglasses, prescription glasses
- 1 visor/sun hat
- Daypack/Hip pack for day trips
- Prescription medications
- Essential drugs such as diarrhea, headache pills and also pills for cold and cough
- Anti bacterial wipes or lotion (for face and hands)
Our website contains as much information as possible about this trip. However, if you wish to discuss any aspect of this trip or your suitability for it please contact us by email
. If you want to talk to us directly feel free to call us at: 00977-98510-55684