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Our ‘Bhutan Tour with Archery’ is unlike any cultural tour we offer in Bhutan. This journey includes the usual sightseeing places along with something new- Tachogang Lhakhang temple, traditional paper factory, the giant Buddha statue, weekend market, handicraft shops and most importantly Changlingmethang Archery Range. On our 8-day Bhutan Tour with Archery we tour Bhutanese townships of Paro, Thimphu and Punakha. We also take a day excursion to the beautiful Gangtey region and hike to the famous Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) Monastery.
Please note: Thimphu weekend market is held from Friday to Sunday. So, your Bhutan flight has to be scheduled for either Wednesday Thursday or Friday.
|Day 01 Arrival and sightseeing in Paro||2,250m/7,382ft|
|Day 02 Paro to Thimphu||2,320m/7,612ft|
|Day 03 Thimphu: Tour of the weekend market, Changlingmethang Archery Range and handicraft shops||2,320m/7,612ft|
|Day 04 Thimphu to Punakha||3,100m/10,171ft|
|Day 05 Excursion to Gangtey||2,900m/9,515ft|
|Day 06 Punakha to Paro||2,250m/7,382ft|
|Day 07 Hike to Tigers Nest Monastery||3,180m/10,434ft||4-5 hrs|
|Day 08 Final departure||-|
As our flight nears Bhutan, we can enjoy amazing views of the Himalayas including the sacred Jumolhari and Jichu Drake peaks. At the airport, we will be greeted by a representative from Himalayan Glacier who will take us to our hotel. Today, we will visit Rinpung Dzong which was built in 1646 and now houses the district Monastic Body and government administrative offices of Paro Dzongkhag. We will also visit Kichu Lhakhang, the oldest temple in the country and Drugyal Dzong, built in 1646 to commemorate Bhutan’s victory over Tibetan invaders during the 1600s. Overnight in Paro.
After breakfast, we drive to Thimphu on a road that leads through the Paro Valley to the confluence of Paro and Thimphu rivers. Three different styles of Chortens adorn the confluence. A short way beyond, on the left is the Tachogang Lhakhang built in the 15th century by Thangthong Gyelpo, a trader who first introduced Iron Bridges in Bhutan. We check-in to our hotel in Thimphu before touring several landmarks of the city including Memorial Chorten, Changangkha Monastery, mini zoo (to see Takin, the national animal of Bhutan), painting school and nunnery temple. Later we also visit Folk Heritage Museum, traditional paper factory, Tashichhodzong and the giant Buddha statue. Overnight in Thimphu.
In the morning, we visit the busy Weekend Market at the bank of the Thimphu River where people from nearby villages come to sell their farm products. While strolling in the busy market, we get to see a variety of food of the country, including basket upon basket of fiery chilies, fresh cheese, and mangoes. In addition, many stalls contain Bhutanese handicrafts and household items. It’s fun to wander the aisle, taking in the bustling atmosphere of the market. Perhaps this market scene offers wonderful opportunity for photographs and to mingle with local people. A few minutes’ walk towards south of Weekend Market is the Changlingmethang Archery Range. Perhaps you will come across people playing archery. Afternoon will be spent visiting different handicraft shops and shopping. In the evening, you can stroll through Thimphu town and absorb the lifestyle of the people. Overnight in Thimphu.
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.
In the morning, we explore Wangduephodrang. The nearby villages are known for their slate and stone carvings. We then drive through dense oak and rhododendron forests to Gangtey, a beautiful village surrounded by amazing snow-capped mountains. From here, we enjoy views of the picturesque Black Mountain ranges as well as the beautiful Phobjikha valley, the winter habitat of the black-necked cranes. At this time of the year, we can see cranes that migrate from Tibetan plateaus to escape harsh winter conditions. Gangtey Monastery is perched atop a small hill that rises from the valley floor. We explore Phobjikha villages before driving back to Punakha for an overnight stay.
Today, we return to Paro. Upon reaching Dochula, we visit the new Druk Wangyal Monastery, which is the only one of its kind in the country with elaborate paintings depicting the lineage of the present monarchy and their visionary works. Overnight in Paro.
After breakfast, we hike for 4 to 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 the 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. Overnight in Paro.
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. Therefore, after breakfast, we will be taken to the airport in the morning for final departure.
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Himalayan Glacier did all the arrangements for us and were outstanding in their services. A friend had recommended this company and we are more than happy that we chose them as our travel partner. Hiking to Tiger’s monastery was truly an amazing experience. Several monasteries, Phobjikha valley, the high pass and the fortresses were as good as the local people. We were simply amazed by the way things happened around us in such a beautiful country. The trip will always be in our memories and we can’t stop ourselves from recommending this company for all Himalayan tours. They are very good and the guides were smart, intelligent and spoke very good English. Thank you all there at Himalayan Glacier and we hope to be back someday soon!Show more
We are so much happy to have changed our initial trip to India and diverted towards Bhutan. It was an out of the world experience for me and my family. Lots of monasteries, temples and Buddhist statues and the hike to Tiger’s Nest is what fascinated us the most. The people of Bhutan seem to be so friendly and helpful. Our amazing guide did the best he could for us and we had one of the best times of our lives. Highly recommend Himalayan Glacier as the best tour operator in the Himalayas!Show more
Over a week in the dragon kingdom was a fabulous experience for me and my wife. Himalayan Glacier proved to be the professionals in organizing our trip so well. Right from the moment we landed in Paro until our final departure, everything was so well organized and we were taken care of up to our expectations and beyond. Archery was something new to both of us but we enjoyed it a lot. Hiking up to the Tiger’s Nest was simply marvelous although my wife had initial walking problem. Thanks to our guide Wangdi and all at HG. We look forward to doing our next tour with them and highly recommend it to all travelers.Show more
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