There are many places to see and activities to do in Bhutan, however since this is short tour program we have carefully selected the best of the best tourist spots and activities to explore while you are here on short period tour.

Tour outline

  • Day 1: Arrive at Phuentsholing Gate
  • Day 2: Travel to Thimphu (152Km, 4-5hrs)
  • Day 3: Thimphu sightseeing tours, activities and explorations
  • Day 4: Travel to Paro (54km, 1-2hrs) and Paro sightseeing tours, activities and explorations
  • Day 5: Travel back to Phuentsholing (146Km, 4-5hrs)
  • Day 6: Depart for onward destination

Detailed Itinerary

Day 01: Arrive at Phunetsholing Gate

Depending on the local time of your arrival in Phuntsholing, you will be taken to the Hotel to take some rest and then after that, we will discuss with you the following sightseeing in Phuntsholing as per the time permits;

Visit Zangtho Pelri Lhakhang
Situated in heart of city centre, this small temple represents the heaven of Guru Rinpoche. On the ground floor, there are statues of eight manifestations of Guru Rinpoche and paintings on Buddha’s life while the next floor contains eight Bodhisattavas and statues of Avalokiteshvara and Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. On the top floor, there is a main statue of Amitabha.

Visit Kharbandi Goemba
Karbandi Monastery, or as locals call it, Karbandi Goemba, is located at a height of 400 metres. Founded in 1967, it’s the winter residence of the late Royal Grandmother, Ashi Phuntsho Choedron. The temple compound houses impressive, large statues of Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, Guru Rinpoche and Buddha Shakyamuni. The plush garden located right outside the monastery gives a panoramic view of the Bengal Plain and the Phuentsholing town. Eight different Tibetan Buddhist Stupas can be seen enhancing the aesthetic appeal of the garden.
According to legend, an Indian pilgrim couple visited this place and prayed for a child. The wish was granted, and since then, couples have been visiting this place in hopes of a better future.

Visit Amo Chhu Crocodile Breeding Centre
The Amo Chhu Crocodile Breeding Centre is undisputedly one of the most popular places to visit in Phuntsholing. Get close to these dangerous creatures in real life, and see them snooze or feed. Of course, how close you get depends on the time you visit the breeding centre. With various species of crocodiles and alligators, it’s the place to be if you’re an animal lover.

In the Evening we’ll visit Phuntsholing market and take a stroll through the town’s main street. Dinner and overnight halt at the hotel in Phuntsholing.

Day 02: Travel to Thimphu (152Km, 4-5hrs)

Travelling from Phuntsholing towards Thimphu through the curvy roads with sharp turns is something you must experience. The uphill journey from Phuentsholing to Thimphu follows the first highway in Bhutan, built in 1962 by Dantak, the Indian border-roads organisation. It’s still the most important road in the country and is constantly being widened and improved. Driving on these roads should be on every traveller’s list. The scenery on the roads is so magnificent, you might want to stop in the middle of the road and just observe the beauty and take pictures. Leaving the busy Phuntsholing town, the road climbs up through the teak jungle for about 5km to the Rich ending, where Technical Institute and Polytechnic College are based. Just before it, on the right side of the ridge is Kharbandi Gompa (400m), After crossing Rich ending check-point, the road begins a long climb, first through a series of switchback turns at Sorchen, then through tropical jungles up to Kamji village with a small temple, and gradually through misty areas to Jumja and the large village of Gedu (2,200m). From Gedu the drive is along the ridge with spectacular scenery of landscapes, waterfalls and distant villages. After crossing Takti-chu, the road drops downhill and crosses the bridge over Wangchu at Wangkha, after which the climb begins to Chimakothi township. But now with the recent bypass opened for traffic on 18th July 2018, we do not have to travel all the way through olden route which now saves a lot of time. Bypass itself is a broad and smooth way which looks so stunning that following the river upstream to the Chuzzom (confluence). Chhuzom is the juncture of the Thimphu river (Wang Chu) and Paro river (Pa Chhu). Chuzom is also a major road junction, with southwest road leading to Haa (79km), south road to Phuntsholing (141km) and northeast to Thimphu (30km). From Chuzom, the road follows Wangchu River upstream as you pass through villages and suburbs to the capital, Thimphu. The notable villages you will see along the way are Kharbije, Ramtogto and on the opposite side of the river is Sisina, where you can stop to see the small nunnery institutions, Khasadrapchhu with Hydro plant and shops, Namseling with extensive rice paddies, apple orchards and several old houses. As you approach Thimphu, the suburbs are Simtokha and Lungtenphu. Simtokha Dzong lies en route. Simtokha means the place of profound tantric teaching, this dzong now houses a school for the study of the Dzongkha language.

On arrival in Thimphu, check into the hotel. Evening, time for an exploratory walk before dinner.

Day 03: Thimphu Tour

After breakfast, sightseeing of Thimphu valley includes the following;

Visit Tashichho Dzong; the Dzong has been the seat for Bhutan’s government since 1968. It presently houses the throne room and offices for the king, the cabinet secretariat and the Ministry for home & cultural affairs. It also houses the Central Monastic Body and the living quarters of the Chief Abbot and the senior monks.

Visit Textile Museum. You will see the Royal Collection, of Bhutanese antique textile artefacts, warp pattern weaves, and weft pattern weaves including crowns of Bhutan’s kings, Namzas (dresses) and other accessories are worn by the Royal Family, The ground floor of the Textile Museum has displays demonstrating the skills of spinning, colouring fibres, preparing a loom, and manipulating two sets of yarns. Decorative fabrics and textile arts and crafts are categorically displayed in the galleries situated on the first floor of the Textile Museum. There are displays showing the traditional regional garments produced by women and men in Bhutan, and those garments used for special religious occasions.

Visit Folk Heritage Museum. This museum lets you experience the traditional way of lifestyle at Bhutanese home. The museum also displays an impressive collection of typical household objects, tools and equipment. The Folk Heritage Museum is set inside a three-storied, 19th-century traditional house. The museum also organizes regular demonstrations of rural traditions, skills, habits and customs as well as hosting educational programs for children.

Visit The National Library; was established in 1967 for the purpose of preservation and promotion of the rich cultural and religious heritage of Bhutan. It holds a vast collection of ancient Buddhist manuscripts and contains arguably the best collection of religious and historical literature in the Himalayas.

Visit National Institute for Zorig Chusum. Zorig Chusum refers to the thirteen traditional visual arts and crafts that Bhutanese have practised for generations. The thirteen arts and crafts include; painting, carving, sculpture, calligraphy, carpentry, gold- silversmithing, bamboo work, wood turning, weaving and embroidery, pottery, blacksmithing, masonry and incense-stick making. You can have an interview or conversations with the students and instructors to know more. The showroom sells good-value pieces made by students.

Visit Simtokha Dzong; Built-in 1627 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, (the founder of Bhutan), the Dzong is the oldest fortress in Bhutan. The site is said to guard a demon that had vanished into the rock nearby, hence the name Simtokha, from simmo (demoness) and do (stone). The site was also a vitally strategic location from which to protect the Thimphu valley and entryway to the Dochu La and eastern Bhutan.

Visit Centenary Farmer Market is a must, The Centenary Farmer’s Market in Thimphu is an explosion of colours and scents. Thimphu residents throng the market on the weekends, to buy the freshest local produce (pure organic) from across the country, as well as a wide variety of vegetables, fruits and other products imported from India. You’ll see the variety of food in the country, including basket fiery chillies, fresh cheese, and fruits and the seasonal vegetables are eaten by the Bhutanese, including various types of Orchids and Ferns.  In addition, many stalls contain Bhutanese handicrafts and household items. It’s fun to meander the aisles, taking in the lively atmosphere of the market.

Visit The TAKIN Preserve: Located in Motithang about 3km away from the heart of Thimphu city is a wildlife reserve area for Takin, the national animal of Bhutan. The reason for declaring takin as a national animal of Bhutan on 25 November 2005 is attributed to a legend of the animal’s creation in Bhutan in the 15th century by Lama Drukpa Kuenley. When a small number of Takin were confined in a “mini-zoo” in Thimphu, the Fourth King of Bhutan felt that it was improper for a Buddhist country to confine animals for religious and environmental reasons. He, therefore, ordered the release of the animals and the closure of the mini-zoo. To everyone’s surprise, the takin, known for their docile behaviour, refused to leave the immediate area and stayed in the streets of Thimphu in search of food for weeks.

Visit National Memorial Chorten (Stupa): This stupa one of the most visible religious structures in heart of Thimphu city, The building of this landmark was originally envisaged by Bhutan’s third king, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuk (“the father of modern Bhutan”) who has wished to erect monument to world peace and prosperity. Completed in 1974 after his untimely death, it serves both as a memorial to the Late King and as a monument to peace. Visitors will find elderly
Bhutanese people circumambulating the Chorten throughout the day. Chorten literally means ‘Seat of Faith’ and Buddhists often call such monuments, the ‘Mind of Buddha’.

Visit Buddha Dordenma Statue: This massive statue of Shakyamuni measures at a height of 51.5m, making it one of the largest statues of Buddha in the world. The statue is made of bronze and is gilded in gold. 125,000 smaller Buddha statues have been placed within the Buddha Dordenma statue; 100,000 statues of which are 8-inches-tall and 25,000 statues of which are 12 inches tall. Each of these thousands of Buddhas has also been cast in bronze and gilded. The throne that the Buddha Dordenma sits upon is a large meditation hall.

If the time permits, there are many other attractions in and around Thimphu Valley to explore, including, archery fields, restaurants, handicraft shops, a traditional paper factory, Local farmer market, a radio tower (which will give you a spectacular bird’s eye view of Thimphu valley) and the National Institute of Traditional Medicine where centuries old healing arts such as acupuncture and herbal remedies are still practised.

Day 04: Travel to Paro (54km, 1-2hrs) and Sightseeing in Paro

After breakfast drive to Paro, en route visit Simtokha Dzong, the oldest fortress of the Kingdom built in 1627, it now houses the School for Buddhist studies.

Visit Tamchog Lhakhang: On the way to Paro, we will take an opportunity to visit Tamchog Lhakhang. This temple en route to Paro, so anyone can visit this temple which is situated on a small hill overlooking the Paro river. One has to cross an ancient bridge and this bridge is the main attraction as the irons on this bridge are ancient and legend has it that these irons were pounded into Chain links by the Treasure Hunter of Bhutan in the 16th Century. The pounding was done by beating the iron on his thighs.

On reaching Paro we will take a rest for while in one of coffee/tea shop where we will discuss the following sightseeing area to visit in Paro. We are much certain that we cannot cover all the sightseeing itinerary listed below with the remaining time we are left with, because Paro is one of a district that has largest tourist attraction site in Bhutan, however your tour guide will be kind enough to discuss with you and prioritise the most attraction sightseeing to visit first.

Visit Paro Rinpung Dzong: One of the main attractions in Paro is the Paro Rinpung Dzong (fortress), which was built in 1646. The Dzong now houses for the office of the district Administration and district monastic body of Bhutan. On the way to Dzong, you can able to see Bhutanese traditional wooden bridge built in ancient style. Along the wooden galleries lining the courtyard of the Rinpung Dzong are fine wall paintings illustrating Buddhist lore such as four friends, the old man of long life, the wheel of life, scenes from the life of Milarepa, Mount. Sumeru and other cosmic Mandala.

Visit The National Museum (Ta-Dzong) is located just above the Paro Rinpung Dzong, which was built to be used as the watchtower for the Dzong during inter-valley wars of the 17th century. The Ta Dzong is now serving as National Museum. The Museum has got a collection of all kinds of traditional Masks, extinct wildlife animals skin cover, Stamps, Photos, Statues, Pottery, Arms and Ammunition, ancient costumes, relics, religious paintings, handicrafts, and hangs the Biggest mask in Bhutan. The collection at the National Museum preserves a snap-shot of the rich cultural traditions of the country.

Visit Drugyal Dzong (Victorious Fortress), Another site worth visiting in Paro is Drugyel Dzong or The Fortress of the Victorious Bhutanese. It was constructed by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1646 to commemorate his victory over marauding Tibetan armies. On a clear day, one can get a spectacular view of Mountain Jhomolhari, the third -highest mountain in Bhutan at 7,326 meters. The fortress was destroyed by fire in 1951 but the ruins remain an impressive and imposing sight.

Visit Kyichu Lhakhang, (Lhakhang means temple) is the oldest temple in the country, built in the 659 AD, by the King Songtsen Gampo of Tibet. It is believed that king had built 108 temples in the various place he visited on earth to spread Buddhism and Kyichu Lhakhang is included as one. The Lhakhang is located in between Paro Town and Drugyal Dzong. In Bhutan, people believe that the place where Lhakhang is built is considered one of the holiest place in the country, as it marks the advent of Buddhism in the country.

Visit Taktshang Monastery. (Taktshang means tiger nest) The Monastery’ is one of the Himalaya’s most incredible sites, miraculously perched on the side of a sheer cliff 900m above the floor of Paro valley. The Monastery clings to a vertical granite cliff drop of nearly 4000 ft and overlooks the Paro valley and the river. It’s the goal of every visitor to Bhutan and while getting there involves a bit of uphill legwork, it’s well worth the effort. It is said that in the second half of the 8th century, Guru Padma Sambhava known as the second Buddha in Bhutan meditated on this spot where the Monastery is situated having alighted there on the back of a flying tigress and now this site is a sacred shrine for Bhutanese pilgrims.

Visit Kila Goenpa: This nunnery perched on a vertical hill is great to go for hiking because the place is well known for its serenity and beauty of looking down at the Bonday Valley. It’s only a half day hike, which we recommend you to take chance.

Visit Chelela Pass – Located at 3810m (13,000ft), between the valley of Paro and Haa, Chele La pass is the highest road pass in the country.  It is popular for short excursion for maybe two and half hours. You will see many tourists visiting this vantage point. Some prefer driving, some hiking and many wheels down either to Haa or Paro valley in their mountain bikes. The drive to Chele La is through dense spruce and larch forests. Depending on the season you will encounter various sights such as a frozen river, waterfall, Rhododendron forest and yaks grazing peacefully.  On a clear day, you can view Mt. Jumolhari (the third -highest mountain in Bhutan at 7,326 meters) along with other sacred mountains Jichu Drake and adjoining peaks to the North West, as well as the view of both the valley (Paro and Haa).

In the Evening we’ll visit Paro market and take a stroll through the town’s main street. And this successfully concludes your trip to a Western part of Bhutan with serving you traditionally eve farewell Dinner in the hotel.

Day 5: Travel back to Phuentsholing (146Km, 4-5hrs)

After breakfast, en route to Phuntsholing, we will visit a great Paro international Airport viewpoint, which is fully opened to the area, there is no restriction wall built making viewers enjoy the full view.

After then we proceed driving back to Phuntsholing.

Depending on the arrival time we’ll still visit Phuntsholing market and take a stroll through the town’s main street. This concludes the whole trip with serving you traditionally farewell dinner.

Day 6: Depart from Jaigon India, for onward destination

Our sincere service doesn’t end here. While you and tour guide exchange thanksgiving and bids farewell, our good-humoured drivers will gently pack your valuable luggage on your taxi
We only part to meet again. ~John Gay

Package Inclusion:

  • Stay in 2-3 star rated hotels
  • All three meals, tea and coffee
  • A dedicated vehicle with a driver and
  • English and Hindi Speaking Guide throughout the Trip
  • Short hikes, Packed lunches and snacks wherever required

Package Does Not Include:

  • International Airfare
  • Refreshments and bottled drinks and alcoholics/gratuities
  • Cost arising out of Flight Cancellation/road blockades/ landslides and events beyond our control
  • Expenses of personal nature and any other expenses not mentioned in the above cost
Tashichodzong, Thimpgu+Tashichodzong, Thimpgu
Taktsang, Paro+Taktsang, Paro
View to the Himalayas+View to the Himalayas
Memorial Chorten+Memorial Chorten

Contact us

Tel: +975 7779 3477
Email: info@absolutehappinessbhutan.com

Address
Dazhi Lam road, Kabisa
Thimphu, Bhutan

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