Explore and experience the difference of the main extractions of western, Eastern and Southern Bhutanese cultures and traditions that start from the capital city. Its quite unusual to other tour packages, in this package although your entrance through Jaigaon – Phuentsholing border is similar, however the exit is different, in this package you are exiting from Bongaigaon – Gelephu border. Hence, we will discuss with you in organising of pickup and drop off location.

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: Continue with Thimphu sightseeing tours, activities and explorations and travel to Paro (54km, 1-2hrs) in the evening
  • Day 5: Paro sightseeing tours, activities and explorations
  • Day 6: Travel to Punakha (125 Km, 4-5hrs)
  • Day 7: Sight seeing of Punakha and Wangdi
  • Day 8: Drive to Tsirang (103 Km, 4-5hrs) and Tsirang tour
  • Day 9: Drive to Gelephu (93Km, 2-3hrs) and Gelephu tour
  • Day 10: 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. After diner we will sit back and discuss with your of the next day sightseeing areas in Thimphu. We are much certain that we cannot cover all the sightseeing itinerary listed in this package because Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan has the 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.

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.

Visit Tarayana Rural Products

Bhutan’s Queen Mother Dorje Wangmo (the fourth king’s wife) established this NGO to support rural communities across Bhutan through the marketing and sale of traditional crafts. Crafts here include paper products from Samtse, handwoven scarves, bags and nettle place mats, and the quality is generally high.

Visit Voluntary Artists Studio Thimphu

This studio and art gallery is the capital’s main centre for local artists. The goal of the studio is to promote both traditional and contemporary works of Bhutanese art, to provide vocational training for young artists and to act as a creative meeting venue for artists. It’s a great place to plug into the Thimphu art scene, check out the latest exhibit and chat with artists. Some art is displayed in the public park outside.

Visit Changlimithang Archery Ground

On weekends it’s worth checking to see if there’s an archery tournament going on at this ground near the Changlimithang Stadium: whether it’s traditional bamboo or high-tech carbon-fibre bows, the skill, camaraderie and good-humoured ribbing are always entertaining. Traditional songs and victory dances are all part of the fun. Archers often practise here in the mornings.

By the evening when the times comes to conclude the day program, you can visit some of the most famous restraints, club and pubs for relaxation and jam-session. There are heaps of both international and local fine restaurant in the town

Day 04: Continue with Thimphu sightseeing tours, activities and explorations and travel to Paro (54km, 1-2hrs) in the evening

After Breakfast we will continue with the sightseeing tour of the following spots:

Visit Changangkha Lhakhang: This popular temple, perched like a fortress on a ridge above central Thimphu, hums with pilgrim activity. It was established in the 12th century on a site chosen by Lama Phajo Drukgom Shigpo, who came from Ralung in Tibet. Parents traditionally come here to get auspicious names for their newborns or blessings for their young children from the protector deity Tamdrin (to the left in the grilled inner sanctum). Children are blessed by a phurba (ritual dagger) and given a sacred thread. The interior murals are particularly fine. Give the resident astrologer your birth date and he will consult divination charts to decide which kind of protective prayer flags will benefit you (Nu 150 for the flags). Don’t leave without checking out the shrine to the tshomen (mermaid) in the central courtyard and then taking in the excellent view from the back kora (pilgrim path), with its lovely black-and-gold prayer wheels.

Visit National Handicrafts Emporium

This government-run souvenir emporium has fixed prices and takes credit cards. There are a wide range of products under one roof, including traditional boots, bamboo baskets and festival masks.

Visit BBS Tower

There’s a wonderful view of Thimphu valley from the hillside below the Bhutan Broadcasting Service (BBS) tower (2685m), high above the town at the end of a road that branches off from the approach to the youth centre. Don’t photograph the telecommunications installation, but the valley is worth a few snaps particularly in the afternoon. The area is known as Sangaygang and the access road attracts fitness fanatics after work and becomes a lover’s lane after dark.

Visit Zilukha Nunnery

Just above Gadem Lam in the north of Thimphu is this modern nunnery, which is also called Drubthob Goemba. The site has links to Thangtong Gyelpo, and there’s an interesting enclosed chorten in the main courtyard. It’s best visited after the BBS tower, by taking Gaden Lam for great views of Thimphu and Trashi Chhoe Dzong.

Visit National Institute of Traditional Medicine where centuries old healing arts such as acupuncture and herbal remedies are still practised. Established in 1978, this institute collects medicinal plants from remote corners of the Bhutanese Himalaya, such as Lingzhi, Laya and Lunana, and then distributes pills, tablets, ointments and medicinal teas to regional health-care units around the country. The small museum details some of the 300 herbs, minerals and animal parts that Bhutanese doctors have to choose from.Of particular interest is yartsa goenbub (cordyceps) – the high-altitude cure-all ‘Himalayan Viagra’, which is actually a caterpillar that has been mummified by a fungus. The curious ‘worm-root’ sells for up to US$25,000 per kilogram in China.

Visit Nehru-Wangchuck Cultural Centre

This Indian cultural centre in front of the Taj Tashi hotel runs performance programs, documentaries and lectures on South Asian, particularly Indian, culture. There’s also a library covering the religion and culture of South Asia and Tibet, plus a yoga room.

Visit Royal Botanical Garden

A road leads uphill from Babesa to the Royal Botanical Garden, which might be of interest to horticultural enthusiasts. The centre was inaugurated in 1999 and has a weedy collection of 500 species of plants. It’s a favourite weekend picnic spot of Thimphu residents.

After late lunch 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.

By the time we reach Paro it will be already late evening, so we will take you directly to hotel, serve you dinner and usher you to room for rest.

Day 05: Paro sightseeing tour

Before breakfast your tour guide will discuss the following sightseeing area to visit in Paro. We are much certain that we cannot cover all the sightseeing itinerary listed below in one single day, 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.

Day 06: Travel to Punakha

The drive from Paro to Punakha takes approximately 4 hrs, covering total of 124 km. The drive to Punakha via Thimphu is smooth following Paro chu river till Chuzom and follow Wang chu upstream untill the little town of Simtokha and then turn right towards east climbing up to Dochula pass (3,080m), where you have opportunity to view the peaks of the eastern Himalayas. Dochula pass is a popular location among tourists as it offers a stunning 360-degree panoramic view of the Himalayan mountain range. 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. Bhutanese families enjoy visiting the pass during holidays and weekends to picnic and simply enjoy the scenery. It is common to see families and groups of friends seated amongst the chortens, enjoying a packed lunch and hot tea. For tourists, this is an ideal location to capture beautiful pictures of the Himalayan mountain range during clear, warm days. By the time we reach Punakha, it would be already late evening, so we will take you directly to the hotel, serve you dinner and we’ll let you take rest after long day.

Descend into Wangdi and Punakha Valley at around 1400m. After passing through the junction at Lobesa towards north of Punakha overcoming beautiful village and farm lands.

Day 07: Punakha tour and travel to Wangduephofrang.

After breakfast, sightseeing of Punakha and Wangdue includes the following;

Visit Chime Lhakhang, located on a hillock among the green and lush paddy field stands a pilgrimage site for a childless couple. Chimi Lhakhang is known as the “Temple Of Fertility”. The temple was built over half a millennium ago by Ngawang Choegyel, the 14th Drukpa hierarch. The monastery is renowned throughout Bhutan as a fertility inducing magnet, pledging that all who wish to conceive will find guidance at the temple. Thousands of pilgrimage within and across the country visit the Fertility Temple in the hopes of having a child, as well as receiving a wang, blessing, from the saint with the ‘magic thunderbolt of wisdom. Couples with new-borns often visit the temple so that a local lama, Buddhist teacher, can bestow a resounding forename on the child, whilst eager travellers can approach lamas for their unique Bhutanese name and special meaning. Myth and folklore cloak Chimi Lhakhang and its maverick saint, Drukpa Kunley. He preached Buddhism is an unconventional manner, by way of song, comedy, and shocking sensual connotations. Legend has it that the Yogi buried a dog-like demoness under the rotund earth, shaped in the female form, that now stands under the Stupa floor.  He actively encouraged phallus symbols to be used throughout the design of the temple in paintings and carvings. To this day, the monastery safeguards the original wooden phallus symbol, embedded with a silver handle, from Tibet, that is used to bless visitors and pilgrims. You will be also given a wooden phallus symbol locket or wristband.

Visit Punakha Dzong: The journey continues through varying scenes of greenery all the way to Punakha Dzong. The Punakha Dzong lies between two great rivers with their local names as the Phochu (Male River) and the Mochu (Female River). Presently, this Dzong serves as the winter residence for the Je Khenpo, Chief Abbot of the Central Monastic Body and also the office of the District Administration. Punakha Dzong was built in 1637 by the founder of Bhutan, Shabdrung Rimpoche. Shabdrung Rimpoche went into meditation in 1651 at the age of 58, for 12 long years in the Punakha Dzong, after he had established the DUAL system of Governance in Bhutan. Shabdrung Rimpoche’s death was announced only 25 years after his death, as it was believed that even after his physical death, he remained in a meditational form which all the great Buddhist Lamas can only perform. The Dzong houses many sacred, holy ancient relics, the most sacred being the RANGJUNG KHARSAPANI. This relic is a self-created image of Avalokiteswara that miraculously emerged from the vertebrae of Tsangpa Gyarey, the founder of the Drukpa School when he was cremated. The first national assembly was hosted here in 1953. Punakha Dzong is not only the second oldest and second largest dzong but it also has one of the most majestic structures in the country.

Visit Khamsum Yueley Namgyal Chorten: The magnificent chorine sits high above Punakha Valley, affording panoramic views of the verdant hillsides below. The four-storey temple remains a worthy example of the country’s traditional architecture and artistic techniques. This chorten, however, is unique. It is not designed for community worship or for a monastic retreat or education like other Buddhist Institute and Colleges. It is designed as a magical tool. This is a temple situated on a hilltop and built by the Queen Mother of Bhutan for the fifth and reigning King of Bhutan. The temple is a mark of Bhutanese architecture and paintings. Its a half day hike round trip.

Experience river rafting in Phochu and Mochu: This river facing experience will surely offer you the best opportunity to briefly break away from the tour itinerary. The Pho Chu, with its approx 16 km course with about 15 rapids of class 2-4 is the most popular for rafting in Bhutan followed by Mo Chu river with 10 Km course comprising around 10 rapids with 2 –  2+ rapids. you are not only enjoying the rafting but can also watch world’s rarest bird, the white belled Heron in its natural habitat and Kingfishers frolicking on the riverbank – all these topped off with the spectacular sight of serene lush green alpine valleys,  are the most amazing experience you would love to treasure. Rafting in Bhutan is a superb experience in its own right. No special experience is required as long as you do not mind doing a bit of paddling and getting a bit wet – or quite possibly very wet! – then you will have an exciting time riding the white waters of the Himalayan rivers. Rivers in Bhutan also offer great potential for Kayaking. If you are looking for more adventure, we will be happy to customize a suitable Kayaking adventure in Bhutan.

Travel to Wangdue Phodrang Dzong (23 km, 40min): The Dzong overlooks the convergence of the Dangchhu and Punatsangchhu clearly chosen for its commanding view of the valleys below. The ridge where the dzong was built resembles a sleeping elephant. Wangdi region itself was considered as important in the history of Bhutan because in the early days it was the country’s second capital. There are also a few popular short-easy and long-hard hike trail.   The district of Wangdi Phodrang is also famous for its bamboo products, slate and stone carvings.

Depending on time we will stroll through Bajo town and farmers market in Bajo. If you are interested we may go and experience a local jam session. There are few cool clubs in Bajo town.

Day 8: Travel to Tsirang (103 Km, 4-5hrs) and Tsirang tour

The route from Wangdue Phodrang to Tsirang is quite scenic; one will see one of the largest hydro power projects in the country being constructed. The project is powered by the Puna Tsang Chhu, the river that flows from Punakha. As you are heading from East to South of Bhutan, you would see lots of changing including; vegetation, tree line, houses structures, peoples language, temperature. It would be still early afternoon by the time you reach Tsirang, so you have plenty of time to explore Tsirang district.

There are a number of exciting things to do in Tsirang Dzongkhag, from historical sites to cultural attractions, explore the exhaustive list of all other local attractions in Tsirang Dzongkhag. Discover new places to see and unique things to do nearby Tsirang Dzongkhag. One of the main attractions in Tsirang is Namgay Choling Dratshang that spans over 9 acres. This beautiful complex housing 3 Lhakhang’s and many religious treasures and antiquities was established in the year 1984. Don’t miss out on these amazing sights at Tsirang Dzongkhag, especially a place called Dajaygang, this area will really resembles to Darjeeling, one of the most popular for tourist attraction sight in India. Highlights of Tsirang Dzongkhag includes – Best things to do in Tsirang Dzongkhag and nearby areas, top attractions to visit such as historical monuments, natural attractions, adventurous and entertainment activities to do, places to eat and drink. The beautiful Sankosh River flows through the Tsirang District. Tsirang is noted for its gentle slopes and mild climates. The dzongkhag is also noted for its rich biodiversity, however, it is one of the few dzongkhags without a protected areas. One of Bhutan’s longest rivers, the Punatsang Chhu or Sankosh river flows through the district. It is the main district where the Lhotshampas  (Nepali-speaking Bhutanese) reside. The dominant language in Tsirang is Nepali, spoken by the heterogeneous Lhotshampa. In the north of Tsirang, Dzongkha is also spoken. Damphu is the administrative headquarters and capital of Tsirang District. It is located on the north-south highway running from Wangdue Phodrang to Sarpang and Gelephu on the border with India. It is also where the Tsirang Dzong is located. If you happen to visit Tsirang then do buy fresh oranges, apples, raspberries, walnuts, apricots, sweet lime, pears avocado and peaches as they grow in great abundance in Tsirang district.

Halt night at Tshirang.

Day 9: Drive to Gelephu (93Km, 2-3hrs) and Gelephu tour

Gelephu is a region of the district of Sarpang. It is located in Southern Bhutan on the border with India representing another entry point to Bhutan from India and this makes it one of a hub for cross-border trade. The place is warm, fertile region with plenty of rainfall. Gelephu is one of the areas through which visitors can enter Bhutan overland through the Indian state of Assam and it is also a gateway to the Royal Manas National Park, the oldest nature preserve in the Kingdom of Bhutan. It’s incredible biodiversity includes hundreds of rare animal and plant species that cannot be seen anywhere else in the world such as Golden Langurs, Gangetic Dolphins and the Asian One-horned Rhinoceros. The park is the most biologically diverse protected area in the kingdom as well as one of the most outstanding nature preserves worldwide.

Gelephu is popular primarily as a transit point for entry/ exit to Bhutan. However, once you arrive here you will find plenty of attractions to absorb your interest for a day or two. If you are a nature lover then Gelephu will appeal to you as it can serve as a base for travelling to the Royal Manas National Park and Phibjoo Wildlife Sanctuary.

After break fast; drive to Gelephu. It would be still early at the time of reaching Gelephu, so we will take a visit of following sightseeing areas;

Visit to Gelephu Domestic Airport: is the newest domestic airport in Bhutan and the first inaugural flight flew on 25th October 2012. The airport is instrumental in creating and strengthening links between the rural areas of Bhutan. At present, no proper building exists in the Gelephu Airport and a gravel path leads up to it. Incidentally, the term Gelephu means “Sanctuary of Virtue”.

Visit to Royal Manas National Park 

This national park is lovingly called the “conservation showpiece of Kingdom” and it is the oldest natural reserve of the country. In terms of bio-diversity, this park is the richest. The Park has been opened for tourist visits only recently and many of its facets are yet undiscovered. There are exotic mammalian species like clouded leopard, Asiatic elephant, gangetic dolphins, Water Buffaloes and Himalayan Black Bear in the park along with a rich resource of medicinal plants and herbs. 11 different kinds of snakes and 45 different kinds of reptiles reside in the park.

If you do wanna visit the Manas National park then we will arrange to book a room in the Mathanguri Forest Lodge that’s situated by the river which divides Royal Manas National Park (Bhutan) and Manas National Park Assam). There is another option we can organise for you to spend your night at Royal Manas National Park which is; staying in the log huts inside the park that are maintained by the Khengpa’s community. (People from Zhemgang district which is closer to Gelephu are called Khengpa). You will get western toilets, hot water and comfortable beds. It’s a good option for those who want to experience the intricacies of forest life.

Many Khengpa families live inside the park and visitors will have a unique opportunity to experience their culture. Reports of rhino, langur and hornbill sightings are common during forest elephant safaris. Boating expeditions are arranged in the river that divides Royal Manas Park from Manas National Park.

Visit to Phibsoo Wildlife Sanctuary 

Covering only 269 sq km Phibsoo is one of the smallest wildlife sanctuaries of Bhutan. The sanctuary borders India from the Sunkosh river in the west and the Sanathang river in the east. In the southern side PWS is joined to protected areas like the Buxa Tiger Reserve, Dhaneshi Ridge, Petu Reserve Forest and Chirang Reserve Forest. This is one of the only sanctuaries in Bhutan which has a large reserve of spotted deer’s apart from golden langurs, gaurs and elephants.

Phibsoo Sanctuary is connected to Royal Manas National Park and Jigme Wangchuk National Park through biological corridors so you can actually trek to this sanctuary during the famous Sakteng Trek. Alternatively, we can arrange for a visit to this rather remote and unexplored sanctuary.

Visit to Gelephu Army Distillery 

The AWP (Army Welfare Project) was set up in 1976 and represents the commencement of the organised liquor industry in Bhutan. A visit to AWP Gelephu will be a nice experience, you can check how whiskey, rum and gin are packaged and bottled at the 30 KLPD Plant at Gelephu. Products of the AWP like Bhutan Mist Malt Whiskey, Apsoo XXX Rum, Coronation Silver Jubilee Whiskey and Dragon Rum etc. are exported to international markets. There is a large manufacturing plant and a water treatment plant inside the AWP Compound.

Visit to Thursday Market at Dathgari (3 km away from Gelephu)

If you happen to be in Gelephu on a Thursday then do check the Thursday open market at Dathgari. You will be stunned to see the sheer number of vehicles parked around the open market and farmers from at least 7 different districts come here to sell their produce. This is probably one of the cheapest places in Bhutan to buy organic produce. Apart from indigenous vegetables, spices, Juma (sausages) and cheese, you will also find incense powder, dried and packaged fruits and sweets.

Visit to Sunday Market 

A smaller version of the Thursday market, this one is open only on Sundays and is inside Gelephu Town. Browse through the colorful array of fruits and vegetables that mostly come in from Tsirang (the vegetable bowl of Bhutan). This is a good place to shop for cheese, berries, meat sausages and local vegetables. Also, a great opportunity for people watching and photography.

Visit to Tali Dratshang (10 minutes’ ride from Gelephu Town)

This Lhakhang (Temple) was established in 1971 by the Lam Therchung. The Lhakhang saw a series of renovations and many large statues of Zhabdrung, Tempa and Guru Rinpoche were added to the ground floor of the Lhakhang.

The Tali Dratshang is the winter home for the official monastic body of Sarpang. Every year in late January a Tsechu is held and thousands visit the Lhakhang for witnessing the festivities.

Visit to Gyenyen Lhakhang 

The Gyenyan Lhakhang is about 1km away from the Tali Lhakhang and it’s a relatively new construction (established in 2003). The Gyenyen Lhakhang is known as a Goenkhang or a seat of the protective deity.

Visit to Threma Lhakhang 

This beautiful temple is 20 minutes away from Gelephu Town and was established in 2002 under the orders of Garab Rinpoche. There is a grand statue of the Threma Lathog inside the Lhakhang. You can also check out the Tharpaling Drashtang and Nimalung Drashtang in Gelephu

Depending on the time we’ll take a stroll through the Gelephu town’s main street. This concludes the whole trip with serving you traditionally farewell dinner at hotel

Day 10: Depart from Bongaigaon 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

Click here to Book this package

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
Taktsang, Paro+Taktsang, Paro
Dochula pass+Dochula pass
Buddha point, Thimphu+Buddha point, Thimphu
Paro International Airport+Paro International Airport

Contact us

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

Dazhi Lam road, Kabisa
Thimphu, Bhutan

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