Bhutan Cultural Tour with Three days Bumthang Trek

Duration: 12 Days

Bhutan Cultural Tour with Three days  Bumthang Trek combines sightseeing and trekking effortlessly in one package. Bhutan often called the Land of Happiness is a small landlocked country bordered by India and China. The unexploited ancient culture and traditions including the practice of strict Buddhism make this country so unique. The country's extreme measure to protect nature has resulted in making it one of the few countries in the world with the most protected areas in the world and the only carbon-negative nation in the world. This 12 day Bhutan trip starts at an altitude of 2,195m and reaches up to 3,360m.

The trip starts at Paro where we visit KichuLhakhang, Ta Dzong, and RinpungDzong. Also, we hike to one of the most famous landmarks of the country, Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest). While in the capital Thimphu, we’ll visit Memorial Chorten, National Institute of Traditional Medicine and Tashichho Dzong where we will get to know more about Bhutanese history. Next, we drive to Punakha where Punakha Dzong sits in all its glory; it is the oldest and second-largest Dzong in Bhutan.

Our trek begins from Bimthang; we get familiar with the rural Bhutanese culture in the trek. Climbing high passes, passing through picturesque forested valleys, camping at beautiful places and many other wonders make this three-day-long trek a truly fascinating ride. Interested in visiting Bhutan but this 12-day-long itinerary is not for you? Well, Adventure Club Trek has shorter Bhutan travel packages like Glimpses of Bhutan Tour- 4 Days, and Journey to Druk Yul Tour- 5 Days.

Trip Highlights:

  • Exploring the colorful town of Paro.
  • Hiking up to Taktsang Monastery.
  • Visiting KichuLhakhang, the oldest temple in Bhutan.
  • Exploring the capital city of Thimphu.
  • Visit the PunakhaDzong, the oldest and second-largest Dzong in Bhutan 
  • Visiting TrongsaDzong, it is a masterpiece of Bhutanese architecture.
  • Exploring the mystic Buddhist monastery called gang Lhakhang.
  • Delving deep into Bhutan’s culture and traditions.
  • Experience three days hiking in the beautiful Gangtey Valley.
  • Explore Bumthang- the religious heartland home to oldest monasteries & temples.
  • Visit Kurje Lhakhang, Jambey Lhakhang & Tamshing Lhakhang in Bumthang.

 

Outline Itinerary:

  • Day 01: Arrival and sightseeing in Paro (2250m)
  • Day 02: Paro to Thimphu (2,320m/7,610ft): 54 km, 1 hour, hike to Taktsang Monastery
  • Day 03: Sightseeing in Thimphu
  • Day 04: Thimphu to Punakha (1,250m): 76 km, 2 -3 hours
  • Day 05: Punakha to Bumthang (2,850m): 214 km, 7 hours
  • Day 06: Trek Bumthang to Ngang Lhakhang (2,895m):10Km, 2 - 3 hour
  • Day 07: Trek Ngang Lhakhang to Ugyen Choling (2,895m)-18Km, 6 -7 hours
  • Day 08: Trek Ugyen Choling to Jakar /Bumthang (2,745m)-2Km, 1.5 hours
  • Day 09: Sightseeing in Jakar /Bumthang
  • Day 10: Bumthang to Wangdue (1,240m) -197 km, 6 hours
  • Day 11: Wangdue to Paro (2,320m) -124 km, 3 - 4 hours
  • Day 12: Final Departure
  • Day 01: Arrival and sightseeing in Paro (2250m)

    The air route to Paro offers spectacular views of the Himalayan ranges like Chomolhari (7,326 m) and Jichu Drake (6,662 m). Upon your arrival at Paro, you will be received by our representative from Adventure Club Trek who will take us to our hotel. We start the day after lunch, visiting the National Museum, Ta Dzong which was once a fortified lookout tower. We descend from the museum to Rinpung Dzong which means fortress of the heap of jewels. Our next stop is Kichu Lhakhang, the oldest temple in Bhutan followed by a visit to Drugyel Dzong, the fort built to signify the victory of Bhutan over Tibetan invaders.
    Overnight at hotel. Lunch and Dinner Included

  • Day 02: Paro to Thimphu (2,320m/7,610ft): 54 km, 1 hour, hike to Taktsang Monastery

    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. This afternoon, we will drive to Thimphu, and spend the night.
    Overnight at hotel. Bireakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

  • Day 03: Sightseeing in Thimphu

    We start our day off by visiting the King’s Memorial Chorten, built in the memory of Jigme Dorji Wang chuck, third King of Bhutan. We enjoy the view of Thimphu valley from the Radio Tower and then will
    see Bhutan’s national animal, takin. We then explore the history of Thimbu by going to nunnery temples, schools of arts and crafts and the National Library (contains ancient manuscripts). After lunch, we head out to see other landmarks of the city including the traditional paper factory, the National Institute of Traditional Medicine and Tashichho Dzong meaning The Fortress of the Glorious Religion. If you like to know more about the lifestyle of the people in Bhutan, you can take a walk in the evening.
    Overnight at hotel. Bireakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

  • Day 04: Thimphu to Punakha (1,250m): 76 km, 2 -3 hours

    Leaving the capital city of Thimbu behind, we head towards Punakha today. We make a stop at Dochula Pass (3,100m) for tea, and if the weather permits, you can see the fantastic views Mt. Masanggang (7,158 meters/23,484 ft.), it is the highest peak in Bhutan. Driving past the forest of fir, rhododendron, and hemlock, we head downhill crossing the rice field to reach our destination. We relax and have lunch, then explore the Punakha Dzong which is located at the confluence of rivers, Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu. It is the second-largest and second oldest Dzong of Bhutan.
    Overnight at hotel. Bireakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

  • Day 05: Punakha to Bumthang (2,850m): 214 km, 7 hours

    Today, we start with a ride! Making our way through twisty roads and crossing the Pele La Pass (3,300m), we drive to Bimthang, a place known as the cultural heartland of Bhutan. If it's the right season, you may even see yaks along the road. We follow the lunch at Trongsa by a short visit to Trongsa Dzong, an excellent example of Bhutanese architecture. We’ll then see how yathra (textile weaving) is made by visiting the yathra factory where we can even watch weavers working in their looms. We pass through hills and green valleys before reaching Bumthang for the overnight stay.
    Overnight at hotel. Bireakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

  • Day 06: Trek Bumthang to Ngang Lhakhang (2,895m):10Km, 2 - 3 hour

    We begin our hike from Thangbi (Thankabi) Goemba and take a route that follows Chamkhar Chu, a river where trout fish is found in abundance. (After an hour, we will pass the ZanglingLhakhang on the hill to the right) Lunch at Thangbi Lhakhang. We resume our journey and will enter NyangYul(Land of the Swan), the name given as the valley was a habitat for swans in the past. At the center of it lies the Ngang Lhakhang(Swan Temple).
    Overnight at tented camp . Bireakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

  • Day 07: Trek Ngang Lhakhang to Ugyen Choling (2,895m)-18Km, 6 -7 hours

    To get to Phephe La Pass(3360m), the highest point in our trek, we have to trek through forests and hills while enjoying some outstanding sceneries. Along the way, we can stop and enjoy picturesque natural views. After reaching the top, we’ll come down to Tang valley before we get to Ugyen Choling VIllage where we’ll camp for the night by the riverside at an altitude of 2760m.
    Overnight at tented camp. Bireakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

  • Day 08: Trek Ugyen Choling to Jakar /Bumthang (2,745m)-2Km, 1.5 hours

    Today, we explore the Ugyen Choling Palace where all the artifacts of ancient nobilities are safely stored. We then head downwards to Kizam where we’ll be picked up. We drive 25 km to reach Mebar Tsho where we will explore the Mebar the Lake(The Burning Lake), a sacred site and the name refers to an episode in the 15th century when Terton Pemalingpa dived into the lake with a burning lamp and discovered holy relics hidden here by Guru Rinpoche.
    Overnight at hotel. Bireakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

  • Day 09: Sightseeing in Jakar /Bumthang

    Today, we explore most of the religious landmarks in Bumthang. We’ll visit the Jakar Dzong, the administrative center of the valley followed by one of the oldest monasteries in Bhutan, JambayLhakhang, built when Buddhism was first introduced in the country. Next, we’ll pay a visit to one of Bhutan’s most historically significant and sacred monastery, Kurjey Lhakhang. According to history, 8th-century Buddhist master Guru Rinpoche’s body imprint lies in one of the three oldest buildings in the Kurjey Lhakhang complex; it also holds the remains of the first three kings of Bhutan.
    We’ll also stop at Tamshing Lhakhang where a collection of religious Buddhist paintings is stored.
    Overnight at hotel. Bireakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

  • Day 10: Bumthang to Wangdue (1,240m) -197 km, 6 hours

    Today is our last day in Bumthang. After strolling through the market, we head to Wangdue. Wangdue is a regular Bhutanese town famous for its dramatic Dzong which sits on a ridge at the curve of a river. The villages nearby are known for their stone and slate carvings. It is indeed a cultural experience.
    Overnight at hotel. Bireakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

  • Day 11: Wangdue to Paro (2,320m) -124 km, 3 - 4 hours

    Today, we cross the Dochula Pass, and we head towards Paro. En route, we’ll visit Chimi Lhakhang, a fertility temple dedicated to Divine Madman or Lama Drukpa Kuenley. We’ll lunch at Dochula Pass. Then we’ll explore the Druk Wangyal Monastery, only of its kind in the country showcasing paintings of the lineage of the present monarchy and their visionary works. Then, we’ll resume our journey to Paro where we’ll stay the night. You can explore the town in the evening.
    Overnight at hotel. Bireakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

  • Day 12: Final Departure

    Today we leave the Land of the Thunder Dragon. A representative from Adventure Club Trek for Bhutan will drop you off at the airport according to your flight schedule.
    Breakfast Included

    Tour Departure Note. This tour can be undertaken round the year for any independent travelers according to their chosen traveling dates as private departures. Should you wish the tour can be easily customized as per your interest. Contact us with your requirements.

    Safety Note: Your safety is of the utmost concern whilst you are traveling with Adventure Club Trek. We will make every effort possible to follow the original itinerary but we reserve the right to change that itinerary if a segment of it becomes a safety issue. Certain mountain regions are remote, natural disasters can happen, weather conditions can decline and there can be illness or an injury. To avoid dangerous situations we may occasionally have to make changes to the itinerary to ensure everyone’s safety. That having been said, Adventure Club Trek will strive to provide you with the best possible Tour/Trek experience and to keep your safety our number one priority. We thank you for your understanding.

Cost Includes

  • All arrival and departure transfer in a private tourist vehicle.
  • Full board meals with tea/coffee and snacks - for the duration of your stay.
  • Bhutan visa fees and processing assistance.
  • Safe drinking water will be supplied during the tour
  • Government-approved A and B category hotels on a twin- shared basis.
  • Tented camp during trekking on a twin- shared basis.
  • Transportation in comfortable private vehicle(s).
  • Experienced English speaking guides and local staff.
  • Trekking equipment like sleeping bags, dining tents, kitchen tents, toilet tents, mattresses, etc.
  • Trekking cooks and trek assistant.
  • Porter services for trekking.
  • All city tour with permits, entrance fees for museums and monuments.
  • All applicable Bhutanese government taxes/royalties and Company services charge.

Cost Excludes

  • Nepal Entry Visa fees - at present $30 for 15 days US$ 50 for 30 days.
  • Airfare for international flights to and from Bhutan
  • Items of a personal nature (personal gear, telephone calls, beverages, internet, laundry)
  • Travel and Medical/Evacuation Insurance
  • Tips and gratitude provided to staff.
  • Any services in Kathmandu/Nepal (hotels, transport, etc)

     

Bhutan Travel FAQS

1. When is the best time to visit Bhutan?

Every season has its own charm. But, the most popular time to visit Bhutan are autumn and spring seasons which fall on the month from September -November, and March-May respectively. The weather is warmer and skies are clearer on this season and many of the dramatic festivals fall on this period.

2. Do I need a visa for Bhutan? How can I obtain a visa for Bhutan?

Bhutan Visa is essential for every foreigner who is planning to enter Bhutan. The visa has to be processed by local tour operators, such as our company Adventure Club Trek. No foreign mission or embassy abroad grants a tourist visa. For the visa, a passport is required which must be valid for at least 6 months after you leave Bhutan. The Druk Air allows boarding only if it has got your visa clearance from the Bhutan Government.

3. What documents will you provide that I have to take with me to Bhutan?

Visa confirmation letter: We will organize your visa for Bhutan prior to the start of your trip. For the visa procedure, you have to send us two passport size color photographs and a color copy of your passport.

Itinerary: Please take a copy of your tour itinerary with you.

4. How to enter Bhutan?

There are a number of airports where you can fly into Bhutan from.  At present two carriers operate to Bhutan, Drukair and Bhutan Airlines.

By Air the Entry Points are:

Bangkok to Paro.

Dhaka to Paro.

Katmandu to Paro.

Kolkata to Paro.

Delhi to Paro.

Singapore to Paro.

By Land, the Entry Points are:

Also, there are three land border crossings in which you can travel into the kingdom overland.  All crossings are along the Indian border only - Phuentsholing, Gelephu and Samdrup Jongkhar.

Bagdogra to Phuntsholing.

Bagdogra to Gelephu.

Guwahati to Samdrup Jongkhar.

Note: Exit can also be done through the same Entry Points.

5. Can I have a private tour?

Sure. We can arrange a private tour. We also organize private tours as per the demand. We have been flexible as per the wish of our customer and will be in the coming days also.

6. How much does the visa cost?

The visa fee for foreign travelers is US$ 40. The fee can be paid in advance to your tour operator or travel agent. For Indian Passport (or VIC) holders, Bangladeshi nationals and people from the Maldives, there is no cost incurred.

7. Is it safe to drink tap water in Bhutan?

Tap water is not considered safe for drinking and also ice cubes should be avoided. Mineral water is easily available throughout the country (but make sure that seal is not broken). At the same time, it is better to go with a trusted brand rather than picking the local brands.

8. Do I have to worry about altitude sickness in Bhutan?

The altitude in Bhutan is higher than many people are habituated to. Although many people might not have any problem adjusting, altitude sickness may be a problem for a few ones. If visitors do some simple preparations before leaving for Bhutan, most of the symptoms of altitude sickness can be avoided. Being healthy and in good shape, before you arrive in Bhutan will help greatly. It is also recommended that you talk to your local doctor about AMS and medicines in case of an emergency.

9. Can I use my credit cards in Bhutan?

Credit cards are not accepted in Bhutan generally. But, there is some handicraft shop that accepts credit cards while purchasing goods.

10. Are there ATM s counter in Bhutan?

ATM facility has recently been opened in Bhutan, but it is available for the local people only for the time being.

11. What’s the food like in Bhutan?

The most unique feature of Bhutanese cuisine is its sharp taste. Chillis are an important ingredient of nearly every plate and are considered so essential that most Bhutanese people would not enjoy a meal that was not spicy. Rice forms the main body of most Bhutanese meals. It comes with one or two side dishes consisting of meat or vegetables. Beef, Pork, and Chicken are the meats that are taken most frequently. A wide range of western and Indian cuisine is also accessible in many of the restaurants across the country.

12. What are the accommodations like?

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 located throughout the globe. Western Bhutan (Thimpu, Paro, Wangdue and Punakha)has the best hotels but as you head to eastern and central regions, the quality decreases a little bit. All the hotels/lodges/guest houses in western Bhutan have pretty good electrical heating systems. While the hotels in the central and eastern part of Bhutan have wood-stoves for heating.

13. What is the electricity supply in Bhutan and what plugs are used?

240 volts AC – Flat round 2-pin plugs are most common and a universal adapter is an important travel item. Power cuts are quite frequent in central and eastern Bhutan while western Bhutan has a stable power supply.

14. Are there internet facilities for foreign travelers?

Bhutan's main and only Internet Service Provider (ISP) is Druknet, owned by Bhutan Telecom. It provides a dial-up service, at a reasonable cost. There are several internet cafes and communication centers in the Thimphu and other various parts of the country. Tourists only need to find a place they are most comfortable with to use the facilities to keep in touch with home. E-mail and Internet services are also offered by hotels.

15. Can we smoke in Bhutan?

The sale of tobacco products is banned throughout the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan. However, smoking in Bhutan is not banned but acting without an import receipt issued by the Department of Revenue and Customs is banned. Therefore, if you wish to smoke in Bhutan you can carry cigarettes up to 200 pieces with you but duty has to be paid for them and also can smoke only on private zones like room or residence. It is recommended to smoke only on claimed zone otherwise it will be considered a crime if you smoke on prohibited areas like public places and offices and may even have to go jail for 3months also.

16. What currency shall I carry?

Bhutanese currency is known as the Ngultrum. Most currencies are exchanged by banks here. The most commonly accepted currencies are Ngultrum, US dollars, and Indian rupees. However Indian notes in 500 and 1000 denominations are not acceptable. Most handicraft shops accept the US dollar. You can even exchange currencies in some local shops. They give you a better exchange rate than the banks.

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Trip Facts

  • Trip Code ACTE-29
  • Trip Duration 12 Days
  • Destination Bhutan
  • Trip Difficulty Moderate
  • Trip Style Hotel and Tented camp
  • Accomodation Standard hotels and camps
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