Consider packing your bag with daily essentials.
Bhutan Textile Tour
There are only a few better windows into a culture than its costumes, fabrics that make us wonder about the glory of an ancient civilization.
Reviews 5 Reviews5/5
Vacation Style Adult Group
Activity Level Moderate Leisure
Group Size Minimum
There are only a few better windows into a culture than its costumes, fabrics that make us wonder about the glory of an ancient civilization. It is for this one reason that our experts have woven this journey through Bhutan. The other: Bhutan’s culture, while homogenous on the surface, is diverse, exhilarating, and varied.
This journey packs a well-rounded blow of familiarity, both textile-focused and cultural, that treats the full variety of our senses and offers insight into a long-preserved land that’s now opening to the world. Starting in Paro, you’ll explore all that this land offers historically and culturally. And at Thimphu, you may pick up a few strings to bring home along with your rich understanding of Bhutan’s traditional textile, the art of weaving and the art of wearing.
- Bhutan visa
- All transfers including airport collections in Paro
- Twin share or double rooms at all places on the itinerary
- All meals and mineral water included while in Bhutan
- All tour arrangements including Bhutanese guide (English speaking trained and licensed by the Department of Tourism).
- Private vehicle and driver
- All entry fees to museums and sites where applicable
- Financial protection insurance with International Passenger Protection
- Pre departure support and advice from Bhutan Dragon Adventure by email, phone or face to face meetings in Paro. After booking with us we will send our comprehensive “Bhutan Pre Trip Information” notes
- International flight to/from Paro.
- Travel insurance
- Use of bar and beverages in hotel, laundry, telephone calls or internet and personal shopping
- Tips to your guide and driver
- Other items not listed in “What is included”.
After you arrive at Paro airport, you will be driven to your hotel. In the afternoon, visit Drukgyel Dzong, a fortress built in 1649 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel. This is located about 14 km away from Paro town. Most of it is in ruins but still attracts a lot of tourists because of its glorious history. We will also visit the Kyichu Lhakhang temple which was built in the 7th century by King Songtsen Gampo of Tibet. It is considered one of the holiest places in Bhutan as it marks the advent of Buddhism in the country. In the evening you can stroll around Paro town. Overnight halt at Paro.
After breakfast hike to Taktsang Monastery. The walk of approximately 1.5 to 2 hours uphill takes you almost a kilometre above the Paro valley floor (for those who cannot hike we will arrange a horse for transfer up to cafeteria). The view of Taktsang Monastery built on a sheer cliff face 900 metres above the valley floor is a spectacular sight. The Monastery is also an important pilgrim site for the Buddhists. The great Guru Rimpoche is said to have flown here on the back of a tigress when he brought the teachings of the Buddhist Dharma to Bhutan in the 8th Century. Nearby there is a teahouse where you can stop for refreshments before returning to Paro. Overnight halt at Paro.
PARO TO THIMPHU
Drive to the capital, Thimphu (1.5 hours). En route, visit Simtokha Dzong, first fortress built by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel in 1627 A.D, which is one among the series of fortresses built by him in 17th century in Bhutan.
Once a rustic village sitting in a broad river valley, Thimphu is today the nation's capital. Enjoy a full day of sightseeing, including a visit to the National Memorial Chorten, completed by the Royal Queen Mother as a memorial stupa for the Third King. Continue on to 12th century Changangkha Temple and the Zilukha Nunnery. If your visit coincides with the weekend, you can walk through the Thimphu Market. Overnight at your hotel in Thimphu.
Continue sightseeing in Thimphu. Visit the School for Arts and Crafts, The National Library housing the collection of Bhutanese scriptures dating back to the 8th century, the Traditional Paper Factory and a fascinating replica of a medieval farmhouse at the Folk Heritage Museum. If there is time, you may visit the nursing pen for the Takin, the national animal of Bhutan, and Tashichhodzong, 'the fortress of the glorious religion' housing some ministries, His Majesty's secretariat, and the central monk body. After that you can stop to visit Textile Museum and Handicrafts Emporium, where various products of Bhutanese arts and crafts are displayed and can be purchased as well. Also visit local weaving centres where you will see women weaving traditional dresses. Overnight at your hotel in Thimphu.
THIMPHU TO PUNAKHA
Drive over the Dochu-La pass (3,100 meters), which on a clear day offers an incredible view of Himalayan peaks before descending into the Punakha valley (3 hrs). In the Dochu-La area there are vast Rhododendron forests that grow to tree size and bloom in late April/early May covering the mountains in a riot of glorious spring colour. Punakha was the ancient capital of Bhutan. On arrival, visit Punakha Dzong, built in 1637 by the Shabdrung, the 'Unifier of Bhutan'. The three story main temple of the Punakha Dzong is a breathtaking example of traditional architecture with four intricately embossed entrance pillars crafted from cypress and decorated in gold and silver. After lunch, enjoy a walk to Chimi Lhakhang, temple of Drukpa Kuenly. He inherited the Divine Madman title since he revolted against the orthodox Buddhism in his time. Overnight at your hotel in Punakha.
PUNAKHA - PARO
Drive to Wangduephodrang, the last town on the highway before entering central Bhutan. Situated on a ridge overlooking a river junction, the formidable Wangduephodrang Dzong is the town most visible feature. In the 17th century, Wangdue played a critical role in unifying the western, central and southern regions of the country. Also visit the local market. After lunch drive to Paro and check into the hotel. Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
At Paro, visit the Ta Dzong Museum housing many religious relics, works of art and handicrafts offering a great orientation into Bhutan's historical, cultural, and religious past. Next, visit the Rimpong Dzong to see the painting of the great saint Milarepa, considered as the master of meditation by the Bhutanese and believed to have attained enlightenment in a lifetime. Dzong's are large monasteries and district administrative centres, which were once strategic forts. Overnight at Paro.
After breakfast you will be dropped to the airport for departure.
Consider packing your bag with daily essentials.
Tourist hotels tend to provide meals buffet-style which gives you the opportunity to try a variety of Bhutanese dishes. In the larger hotels a la carte service is also available, although they do not always have everything on the menu. Thimphu has a pizza restaurant (the Seasons) and there is a good café in the centre of Thimphu (near the Swiss bakery) called the Art Café which serves sandwiches, cake and filter coffee.
Please note that there is currently a shortage of hotel accommodation in Bhutan especially during festivals or the peak trekking season of October. We reserve rooms at all hotels in advance but the bookings are never certain until the group check in on the day. Bearing this in mind we will reserve rooms in the following hotels:
Thimphu: Peaceful Resort, Hotel Pedling or Hotel Wangchuk.
Punakha: Meriphuensum Resort or Damchen Resort
Bumthang: Swiss Guesthouse, Hotel Mipham, Garden Hotel or River Lodge
Phobjikha: Dewachen Hotel.
Comfortable shoes i.e trail shoes or trainers.
Flip flops or sandals.
Travel clothes. You will need clothing as follows:
Lightweight waterproof jacket.
Casual long sleeved shirt with collar (for visits to Dzongs).
Socks and underwear etc.
Please carefully read Ethics and Etiquette paragraph for dress code when visiting Dzongs.
Bandana or face mask
Toiletry bag include toilet paper, soap, towel, toothbrush, etc.
Headtorch. Useful during power cuts.
Backpack for day trips. Recommended size is 15 to 20 litres.
DRESS CODE AND CULTURAL CONSIDERATIONS FOR ENTERING DZONGS & MONASTERIES
Depending on whom you talk to the exact dress code for dzongs, monasteries and lhakhangs can differ. Use the details below to assist with your planning and we recommend you discuss each days visits with your guide to reconfirm appropriate attire.
Go for smart casual look such as long sleeved shirt with collar i.e no T shirts or short sleeved shirts.
Full length trousers or long skirts (ankles must be covered) i.e no shorts, ¾ length trousers or short skirts.
Shoes with socks covering ankles i.e no sandals or slippers.
No hats and umbrellas allowed.
Photographs are only allowed to be taken in the courtyard of most monasteries.
Walking around Buddhist temples or stupas is traditionally done clockwise.
Turn off your mobile/ cell phone and talk in a quiet tone.
It is customary to give a small donation when visiting a monastery.
The Royal Government of Bhutan has a strict policy to preserve its cultural and traditional values.
All lakes in Bhutan are believed to be inhabited by spirits therefore no fishing, swimming or throwing stones is permitted.
Do not disturb or feed wildlife or do anything to destroy their natural habitat.
Do not use detergent in or near rivers, for personal washing use biodegradable soap at least 50m from any watercourse.
Do not give sweets, pens or gifts to children or distribute medicine to villagers (there is a network of Basic Health Units operated by Bhutan Government throughout the country).
Do not purchase local household items or religious artefacts from villagers, please note that antiques may not be taken out of the country.
Please respect the culture and traditions of local people (trek crew, villagers or pack animal owners).