The spiritual heartland of Bhutan, Bumthang, has the highest concentration of sacred sites and some of the country's oldest temples and monasteries. The valley is further divided into four regions: Chokor, Chumey, Tang and Ura.
Thimphu – Tachog Lhakang, Post Office, Takin, Tashichoe Dzong
Upon arrival in Paro, we take a 45 min drive to the capital, Thimphu. En route, we stop at Tachog Lhakang and cross a traditional iron bridge, over the Paro Chhu or Paro river.
After lunch see the world's most beautiful stamps at the Post office and even better - personalize some with your portrait.
Visit the weekend market, see the national animal the Takin, and see if you catch the King walking home after work at Tashichho Dzong.
Gangtey – Dochula Pass, Phobjikha Valley, Lawala Pass
With an early start, we leave the city of Thimphu and travel eastwards. We move on to the high mountain pass of Dochula and as we ascend the mountain of pine forests, we will reach 3050m above sea level. After our descent, our journey takes us to Wangdue.
As we approach Phobjikha Valley, and cross Lawala Pass, we see the road wind gradually down to this glacial valley on theslopes of Black Mountains. This area is also referred to as Gangtey, after the Goemba here.
If time permits, we will hike from the pass, through a yak herder's camp, farmland, and into the valley.
Gangtey – Gangtey Goemba, Nature Trail
Our day starts with a visit to Gangtey Goemba, much of the goemba was restored recently. We walk through the village next to the goemba into the valley passing farms and pine forest. We will hike the Nature Trail along the perimeter of this glacial valley. After our walk,our car will be waiting for us and we can return to the hotel for lunch.
Dinner will be in your hotel.
Bumthang – Pele La Pass, Trongsa Dzong, Yotong La Pass, Chume Valley, Kiki La, Chokor Valley, Jakar Town
From here we ascend again, eastwards to Pele La Pass, 3240m above sea level on clear day, Jomolhari will be visible, if we are lucky! Pele La signals the start of central Bhutan. We eventually reach a point where we get an impressive view of Trongsa.
The magnificent Trongsa Dzong, the largest dzong in Bhutan, is the ancestral home of Bhutan's royal family. We visit Trongsa Dzong after lunch.
After Trongsa, we ascend to the Yotong La Pass at 3425m. When we descend from this pass, it is through pine forests and we will eventually enter Chume Valley. We then climb to Kiki La Pass at only 2860m and enter the Chokor Valley and the town of Jakar. You would have crossed a total of 4 mountain passes today!
Bumthang – Bumthang Valley, Jakar Dzong
Bumthang Valley has a number of important goembas, all closely located to each other. So it is a relatively easy walk between each of them. Your guide will be able to discuss with you how to schedule the day to your preference. Most notable is to commence with the Jakar Dzong with its commanding view ofthe valley.
Lunch is in a typical Bhutanese farmhouse, where the cook has prepared many meals for the Royal Family.
After lunch, you can choose one of the following activities.
Punakha – Chendebji
After an early breakfast, we drive to Punakha, which takes us about 5 hours. The drive will take most of the day with a stop near Chendebji for lunch. There will be stops in between to stretch your legs, view waterfalls, and admire the deep valleys of central Bhutan.
Punakha – Punakha Dzong, Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Nunnery
After breakfast, we visit the 17th Century Punakha Dzong, where the king was married in October 2011. It lies at the confluenceof two rivers and is the most beautiful Dzong in Bhutan. We then have picnic lunch on a mountains side.
After lunch, we visit a nunnery, Sangchen Dorji Lhuendrup Nunnery built by the Queen Mothers' parents.
Paro – Paro Valley, Paro Dzong
This morning, we make our way back to the valley of Paro, the prettiest in our opinion, with its willow lined river and apple orchards. It also boasts the most charming town which is adjacent to the famous Paro Dzong (also known as Rinpung Dzong), where some scenes of the film, Little Buddha, were shot.
Lunch may be in Thimphu, or Paro if we start early.
Paro – Taktsang Goemba
With an early start, we climb to Bhutan's most famous monastery Taktsang Goemba, Tiger's Nest monastery, where we visit 1 or 2 of its many temples.
If there is time after lunch, we can do some last minute souvenir shopping.
Dinner will be in your hotel.
After breakfast this morning, we depart for the airport for your return flight to Bangkok/Singapore.
Tashi Delek - May all good things happen to you!
All visitors to Bhutan apart from Indian, Bangladeshi and Maldivian citizens will require a visa (USD$40 processing fee). Amala Destinations will handle this on your behalf – all we need is a scan of your passport. A visa clearance letter will have to be presented at the point of entry.
The Bhutanese love their food spicy. Chillies feature prominently and the locals are usually not satisfied unless a meal packs a lot of heat. Rice is their main staple, with chicken, beef and pork the typical choice of protein, accompanied by one or two side dishes of vegetables. The country’s favourite dish is Ema Datshi, a simple dish consisting of chilli and cheese.
The kingdom’s state religion, Mahayana Buddhism is central to the Bhutanese lifestyle. At the heart of Mahayana Buddhism is a deep compassion for all sentient beings, and as a mark of respect it is advised that visitors engage in the same mindfulness, even if it means refraining from swatting flies or crushing ants.
A distinguishing element of Bhutan’s cultural heritage, the kingdom’s traditional dress has evolved over thousands of years. The Gho is worn by men only, and is a knee-length robe, which looks similar to a kimono, that is tied at the waist by a traditional belt called a Kera. The women wear the Kira, a long, ankle-length dress, with a light outer jacket known as a Tego, and an inner layer known as a Wonju.
All trips to Bhutan have to be booked via an authorized agent. With most other agencies, that usually entails selecting an existing package that does not allow for much flexibility.
At Amala Destinations, we believe in creating your ideal trip with you. After meeting with one of our knowledgeable destination planners, we take your requirements into consideration before coming up with a specially designed itinerary and handling all the necessary travel logistics. All you need to do is pack your bags and set off on your journey.
Please fill up our online planner form and our travel planner will be in touch within 24 hours to plan your journey.
You may prefer to speak to one of our destination planners in person, please call us either directly to our office number, or via Skype, or on our chatline during office hours .
Once you have discussed with our destination planner your journey preferences, we will be able to get back to you within 3 working days or less with your journey options. After confirming your final itinerary, we will need another 2 -3 working days to confirm all your flight bookings and hotel reservations. When all bookings are confirmed we will then require from you a 50% deposit payment, with the balance payment due 50 days prior to your departure date. For bookings made within 50 days, full payment is required.
As visa applications take approximately 4 weeks to process, we highly recommend all enquiries to be made at least 2 months in advance. We will then arrange a date for us to meet you in person to hand over all your travel documents once your visa is approved.
During low season months, it may be possible to process your booking within 3 - 4 weeks.
After receiving all your travel documents about 2-3 weeks before your departure date, you are now ready for your Journey to Bhutan! Do remember to follow our recommended packing list for the different seasons in Bhutan!
Amala Destinations takes the hassle of travel planning off the traveller. With our customizable packages and bespoke travel service, we endeavour to cater to any desire.Plan Your Itinerary