The Great Bhutan RoadTrip

This summer go on an epic road trip to Bhutan, a country where happiness is currency. Travelling to this Himalayan land is an adventure in itself. Long winding drives with magnificent sights that surround you, hikes to the Himalayan hamlets, visit the stoic monasteries, wondrous mountainous pastures that you pass by and really warm, cheerful, happy people that you meet along the way and share a cup of tea with. But Bhutan had us at happiness being their GDP measure. Come away to spend the summer on a road trip to this Himalayan land. Start from Bagdogra, entering Bhutan via Phuntsholing and covering the beautiful cities of Thimpu and Paro and the far-off valleys of Punakha.

Trip essence: Road journey | Culture | Hikes | Architecture | Photography

deals applicable for the trip
INR

Highlights of the trip

  1. Road trip. Road trip. Road trip. Start from Bagdogra, go to the beautiful towns of Paro and Thimphu and the valleys of Punakha and come back to Bagdogra, all of this in 8 days.
  2. The architecture of the Dzongs is bedazzling. The local stays of western Paro, two-storeyed colourful houses, or the sturdy stone houses of central Bhutan. Those with an eye for architecture or beautiful picture frames will find this alluring.
  3. Food. Local food of momos, red rice of red panda beer will be a food lover delight. Also, the spicy Bhutanese food at local eats should be a whole lot of fun!
  4. The local way of life. The Bhutanese live in simple homes with very less access to technology or modern infrastructure even till date. The smaller town of Paro will bear witness to that. So going back to the simple kind of life is a must do for all going to Bhutan. The Bhutanese teach us that happiness truly lies in simplicity.

Day 1: Bagdogra to Phuntsholing (4.5 hours)

Get a pick up from Bagdogra and set out on the journey of a lifetime. Welcome to Bhutan. Phuntsholing is the entry to this beautiful country. Complete immigration formalities at Phuentsholing & transfer to hotel. After reaching the stay push your bags and get out on foot to see the city. The climate is pleasant for a beautiful evening stroll. Phuntsholing is a fascinating place where different ethnic groups mingle prominently Indian, Bhutanese and Nepalese. Meet some locals and exchange few thoughts. Click a happy travel picture with them.

Experience: Crossing the border to another country fuss-free, local walk around town

 

Day 2: Phuntsholing to Thimphu (6-7 hours)

After breakfast head out to Thimphu, the Capital of Bhutan. Watch out for numerous small towns of Gedu, Chukha and Chunzom, the confluence of Pa Chu and Thin Chu as you drive to Thimphu. Bask in the scenic beauty of the tiny villages which will pass your way too. Once you reach the beautiful city of Thimphu, relax at your hotel after the long drive. Take a short walk to familiarize yourself with the area.

Visit the Memorial Chorten and visit the Buddha Point where a giant statue of Buddha looks over the entire city of Thimphu. Rest of the day is at leisure.

Experiences: Visit Memorial Chorten and Buddha Point

 

Day 3: Thimphu

After breakfast, proceed for half day trek to Tango Monastery. Need 40-50 min uphill walk to reach to these monasteries. The Monastery was built in 15th century by the great saint Drukpa Kunley (‘The Divine Madman’). This three storied building is the highest learning centre of Buddhism in Bhutan. After lunch visit Trashichho Dzong (Fortress). It is home of the National Assembly and the summer residence of the Monastic body. You have the evening at leisure.

Experiences: Tango monastery trek, Trashichho Dzong

 

Day 4: Thimphu to Punakha/Wangdue (4 hours)

After breakfast, proceed toward Punakha (Total 3 hours driving time). Enroute, halt at Dochu La - A mountain pass leading further into the Punakha Valley. It offers a stunning 360-degree panoramic view of Eastern Himalayan mountain ranges. The view is especially scenic on clear, winter days with snowcapped mountains forming a majestic backdrop to the tranquillity of the 108 chortens gracing the mountain pass. Enjoy lunch at the restaurant Druk Wangyel Cafe and visit Punakha Dzong and Chimi Lakhang on your way to Punakha. Punakha Dzong is a must see! It is an old capital which still serves as the winter residence of the monk body. Sit next to the monastery and breath in the air around, it’s as fresh as the first raindrop. Hike down the moderate slope to the cantilever bridge, one of the finest specimens in Bhutan with its shingle roof and two guard-houses at each end. A perfect way to end the day!

Experiences: Punakha Dzong| Chimi Lakhang

 

Day 5: Punakha-Paro (3-4 hours)

The Paro valley extends from the confluence of the Paro Chhu and the Wang Chhu rivers at Chuzom upto Mt. Jomolhari at the Tibetan border to the North. This picturesque region is one of the widest valleys in the kingdom and is covered in fertile rice fields and has a beautiful, crystalline river meandering down the valley.

After checking into your hotel, you would proceed for a sightseeing tour of Paro which would include the following places:

  • Kyichu Lhakhang –Famous Monastery in Paro
  • Ta Dzong – National Museum of Bhutan
  • Rinpung Dzong Overnight stay in Paro

Experiences: Visit Rinpung Dzong, Ta Dzong and Kyichu Monastery

 

Day 6: Paro (Taktsang trek OR Chele La)

After breakfast, hike to the Taktsang Monastery – a UNESCO World Heritage Site - It requires 2 hours trek to reach the viewpoint of the monastery. You can enjoy tea, coffee and lunch in a cafeteria over there.

Note that this trek is a high difficulty level and takes 2-3 hours one way. Ponies are available for hire till the viewpoint on the way up but will not go to the monastery doorstep since you need to climb 700 steps. Ponies are not available for the return trip.

Experiences: Taktsang trek

Day 7: Paro to Phuntsholing (5-6 hours)

Make your way back to Phuntsholing as you near the end of your journey. Spend your evening at one of the lively cafes in town.

Day 8: Phuntsholing to Bagdogara (4.5 hours)

With a bag full of memories and a memory card full of pictures, head back to the Bagdogra airport to catch your flight back home.

WHAT: Road Trip to Bhutan

WHERE: Bagdogra-Phuntsholing-Thimpu- Punakha-Paro-Phuntsholing-Bagdogra

WHEN: 23rd Apr – 30th Apr 2018 (8D/7N)

HOW MUCH: Rs. 43,800 + 5% GST (per adult)

Terms and Conditions & Cancellation Policy for Group Trips

By signing up for the trip, you agree to our terms and conditions which can be accessed at http://www.theblueberrytrails.com/index.php/component/content/article?id=71

Includes:

  • Accommodation on double occupancy basis at the 3-star hotels set out below:
    Phuntsholing:                  Park Hotel or Similar (2 nights)
    Thimphu:                          Gyelsa Boutique or Similar (2 nights)
    Punakha / Wangdue:       Pema Karpo or Similar (1 night)
    Paro:                                 Drukchen Hotel or Similar (2 nights)
  • Transportation and sightseeing within Bhutan in a Hiace bus/tempo traveller Non AC bus as per itinerary (Vehicle NOT at disposal)
  • Bagdogara-Phuentsholing-Bagdogara airport transfers in Innovas/Xylos with a carrier (Non AC- maximum 6 pax per Innova)
  • Meals – Breakfast and dinner (starting from dinner on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 9)
  • 01 Bottle of 500 ml packaged drinking water during sightseeing per person per day
  • A local guide (ex-Phuentsholing)

 

Excludes:

  • Flights to and from Bagdogra
  • Additional activities you may undertake at the location
  • Meals not mentioned
  • Entrance fees to museums, monuments specified on the itinerary
  • Local transport within the city beyond what is specified in the itinerary
  • Personal expenses such as beverages, tips etc.
  • Any costs arising from flight delays, change in weather conditions, strikes etc. which are beyond our control
  • What is not mentioned in “Includes”


NOTE:

  • All activities are subject to availability
  • Indian nationals travelling to Bhutan require a passport (valid for at least 6 months from the date of travel) or Voter ID card only.

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