Consider packing your bag with daily essentials.
Historic Bhutan Tour
The Bumthang region packs in a tremendous variety of scenery, flora, and fauna, and this epic journey takes you to Bhutan’s core; Phobjikha, Trongsa and Bumthang.
Reviews 5 Reviews5/5
Vacation Style Adult Group
Activity Level Easy Leisure
Group Size Minimum
The Bumthang region packs in a tremendous variety of scenery, flora, and fauna, and this epic journey takes you to Bhutan’s core; Phobjikha, Trongsa and Bumthang. You’ll begin in Paro, a beautiful valley that bears witness to Bhutan’s rich cultural heritage.
You can travel around its historic roads catching evidence of Bhutan’s cultural history. Then take the road to Thimphu, stopping at the lovely Handicrafts emporium, beloved for its arts and crafts. Crossing into Punakha and Wangduephodrang, famous for its scenic and serene beauty, continue to Gangtey, for a day of meandering around the exquisite Phobjikha valley.
Then we move to Trongsa and finally to Bumthang, an entire world on its own, where both sunrise and sunset shine upon its famous vales and hills.
- 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”.
On a clear day, the flight to Paro is breathtaking, with views of major Himalayan peaks such as Everest, Kanchenjunga and Makalu, and on the final approach Bhutan's own snowy peaks, the sacred Chomolhari, Jichu Drake and Tserimgang.
You will be met by your representative from Bhutan Dragon Adventures and after completion of arrival formalities you will be taken to your hotel. Evening visit to Paro market and town. Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
After breakfast, visit Ta Dzong (National Museum) and then walk down a hillside trail to Rinpung Dzong. Afternoon visits to Drukgyel Dzong and Kyichu Lhakhang. Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
Paro – Thimphu
After breakfast, set off for Thimphu, the modern capital town of Bhutan. Stop en route at Chuzom (Confluence) at the entrance to the Paro valley, where the Paro and Thimphu rivers meet. Three chorten on the riverbank at this place, each in a different style, mark the confluence of the two rivers. Visit Semtokha Dzong, the oldest fortress of the kingdom, shortly before reaching Thimphu.
Afternoon sightseeing in Thimphu, visiting the National Memorial Chorten, majestic Tashichhodzong, the Handicrafts Emporium and the main shopping area. Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.
Thimphu – Punakha
Morning sightseeing in Thimphu includes visits to the National Library, the Institute for Zorig Chusum (where students learn the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan), the National Institute of Traditional Medicine (outside only), and the National Textile Museum, as time permits.
After lunch drive to Bhutan's former capital Punakha, stopping en route at Dochu-la pass (3,088m/10,130ft) for refreshments. On a clear day you will enjoy breathtaking mountain views from this spot. On arrival at Punakha, check into the hotel. In the evening visit Punakha Dzong, a 17th century fortress. Afterwards take a stroll around the market area. Overnight at the hotel in Punakha.
Punakha – Wangduephodrang – Gangtey (Phobjikha)
After breakfast drive to Gangtey via Wangduephodrang, where we will stop to visit the remarkable Wangduephodrang Dzong, stretched along a spur at the confluence of two rivers. We will also visit a local village house, to gain insight into the lifestyle of the people.
Then drive up a winding mountain road through oak and rhododendron forest, and over a high pass down into the Phobjikha valley.
In the evening, take a stroll around Gangtey village and visit Gangtey Gompa, the only Nyingmapa monastery in the kingdom. Overnight at guest house, or camp under the stars.
Gangtey – Trongsa
In the morning, explore Phobjikha valley, chosen winter home of black-necked cranes, migrating from the Tibetan Plateau.
After lunch drive to Trongsa, crossing Pele-la pass (3,300m/10,830ft). Evening visit to Trongsa market. Overnight at the lodge in Trongsa.
Trongsa – Bumthang
Morning visit to Trongsa Dzong, a masterpiece of Bhutanese architecture. Built in 1647, it is the most impressive Dzong in Bhutan. Also see Ta Dzong, the watchtower built to defend this Dzong.
After lunch, proceed to Bumthang, the religious heartland of the nation. Evening at leisure. Dinner and overnight at the lodge in Bumthang.
Bumthang is the general name given to a group of four valleys – Chumey, Choekhor, Tang and Ura, with altitudes varying from 2,600 to 4,000m (8,530-13,125ft). This area is home to many ancient Buddhist temples and monasteries.
We will visit Tamshing Lhakhang, founded in 1501 by Pema Lingpa, which contains interesting and ancient Buddhist wall paintings. Later on we will visit Jakar Dzong, "the castle of the white bird", the administrative center of the region.
In the afternoon, we will visit Kurje Lhakhang, one of the most sacred places in Bhutan as Guru Rinpoche meditated here, and later on Jambey Lhakhang which was erected in the 7th century, when Buddhism was first introduced into Bhutan. Evening visit to local shops. Overnight at the lodge in Bumthang.
Bumthang – Thimphu
After an early morning visit to Bumthang's market, we will set off on the 7 hour drive back to Thimphu, taking lunch en route at a famous restaurant in Trongsa town. We will then drive on through the mountains and down to Wangduephodrang, where we will take a short break for tea/coffee before proceeding on the final stage of our journey to Thimphu. On arrival at Thimphu, check in at the hotel. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Thimphu – Paro
Free morning in Thimphu for shopping and leisure, then after lunch drive to Paro for an overnight stay.
Early breakfast in the hotel, and then drive to the airport for flight to onward destination
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).