Discovery of Bhutan

13 Days, from AU $5,735

Tiger's Nest Monastery, Paro

Rinpung Dzong, Paro

Traditional Bhutanese Houses, Paro Valley

Chimi Lhakhang, Gangtey

Haa Valley

The ideal trip if you want to experience the natural beauty, history and mystique of Bhutan in style. Explore The Land of the Thunder Dragon on this 13 day adventure which includes wildness trekking, comfortable 4x4 road transport and deluxe mountain accommodation.

Starting in Paro, hike through pine forest up to the startling Taktsang Monastery. Soar above Chomolhari Base Camp in a helicopter, and enjoy a day of golf on the most remote course in the world, watched over by the forest-clad slopes of the Himalayas. Discover the beauty of the Punakha Dzong, spot rare birds from a remote hillside monastery, and get a snapshot of rural life in the lesser-explored Haa Valley.

Our Trek itineraries offer adventurous travellers a rewarding experience to create lifelong memories in some of the world's most amazing destinations . Trek itineraries can be extended or customised to suit your interests and fitness. Discuss itinerary options and extensions with our Asia Travel Experts.

Suggested Itinerary

Day 1: Paro

Fly from Bangkok to Bhutan (included). Meet your guide at the airport and travel together to your hotel for check-in. During the journey your guide will provide an introduction to Paro, answer your questions and discuss plans for the following day. Enjoy free time for the remainder of the day.

Situated on the banks of the Paro Chhu River in the verdant Paro Valley, this small, charming town is scattered with elegant temples and historic architecture. The lively Main Street is lined with brightly coloured wooden shopfronts and a number of excellent restaurants that specialise in traditional Bhutanese cuisine, ask your guide for recommendations.

Day 2: Paro

Embark on the trek up to Taktsang or 'Tiger's Nest' Monastery, hiking through pine forest decorated with fluttering prayer flags. Perched precariously on a 1,200 metre high ridge and often swathed in mist, this striking 8th century landmark was an important place of meditation for the Guru Rimpoche and has become the unofficial 'symbol' of Bhutan. Explore the monastery and take in stunning views of the forest-clad mountains before making a steady descent.

In the afternoon, pay a visit to the impressive Rinpung Dzong, the 'fortress on a heap of jewels', then venture to The National Museum of Bhutan to explore a fascinating collection of art, artefacts and Bhutanese flora and fauna.

Day 3: Thimphu

 

Once a scattering of hillside hamlets, Thimphu became Bhutan's capital in 1961 when the King transferred the country's administrative centre here from Punakha. Despite undergoing significant development since, cars have only existed on Thimphu's streets since the early 60s and it remains the only capital city in the world with no traffic lights!

Day 4: Thimphu

Spend a whole day exploring the city, taking time to admire the magnificent fortress of Tashichho Dzong and the beautifully ornate Changangkha Lhakhang Temple. Enjoy an overview of the traditional Bhutanese rural lifestyle at the Folk and Heritage Museum, glimpse the rare, priceless Buddhist manuscripts in the National Library and pay a visit to the gleaming golden spire of the Memorial Chorten, where locals gather nightly for evening prayer.

Day 5: Royal Thimphu Golf Club, Thimphu

Unwind with a day of golf at the renowned Royal Thimphu Golf Club. Tucked in a gentle fold of the Himalayas in the shadow of the magnificent Taschicho Dzong, this 9-hole, 33 par course is the only place you can play in Bhutan and one of the most remote and spectacular golf destinations in the world.

The narrow fairways, strategically placed water obstacles and stunning backdrop of towering peaks ensure a challenging game with views beyond compare.

Day 6: Punakha

Enjoy a scenic drive past forests of fir, rhododendron and hemlock to Punakha, stopping en route at the spectacular Dochula Pass to admire the 108 chortens erected here in memory of Bhutanese soldiers who lost their lives during the 2003 conflict with India. On a clear day, you'll also be able to take in incredible 360 degree panoramic views of the snow-capped Himalayas.

In the afternoon, pay a visit to the Punakha Dzong at the confluence of the Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu rivers. With its grand, pagoda roofed towers and idyllic location surrounded by purple blossomed Jacaranda Trees and mountains, the dzong is considered one of the finest pieces of architecture in Bhutan.

Day 7: Gangtey, Phubjikha Valley

Embark on a short, scenic hike through rice fields and tiny villages to the Chimi Lhakhang or "temple of the divine madman," built in honour of eccentric poet and Buddhist luminary Drukpa Kunley.

Perched on a grassy hillock and surrounded by ornate prayer wheels and slate carvings, this unique monastery is a place of pilgrimage for childless women, who pray to the fertility goddess and pick out their future child's name from a pile of bamboo slips.

Continue to the beautiful Phubjikha Valley by car, stopping overnight in the village of Gangtey.

Day 8: Gangtey, Phubjikha Valley

This morning, travel with your guide to the Gangtey Gompa Monastery.

Perched on a small hill in the Gangtey Valley, this glorious, 450 year old building is the most remote Buddhist complex in Bhutan. Enjoy a scenic trek through the tranquil, glacial-carved valley, keeping an eye out for the graceful Black Necked Cranes that make this beautiful spot their winter home each year.

The Information Centre, located on the edge of the wetlands, offers a rare opportunity to see these protected birds close up with high-power telescopes.

Day 9: Thimphu

Return to Thimphu, and spend the rest of the day exploring the city at your leisure, perhaps wandering between the many traditional handicraft shops, haggling with the friendly shopkeepers and browsing the beautiful fabrics, wood carvings and woven goods on offer.

Day 10: Paro

Today there's time for some more sightseeing in Thimphu before leaving for Paro in the afternoon. Rise early to catch feeding time of the takins (Bhutan's national animal) at the Motithang Takin Preserve, drop by the National Textile Museum for a fascinating insight into the country's ancient, and still thriving weaving industry or explore the fortress-like temple of Changangkha Lhakhang that overlooks the heart of the city.

Drive to Paro in the afternoon and enjoy free time exploring, perhaps visiting the peaceful Druk Choeding Temple in the heart of the city, or venturing into the secluded woodland that surrounds Ugyen Pelri Thang to admire another beautiful example of Bhutanese architecture.

Day 11: Haa

The road to Haa Valley winds through blue pine and rhododendron forest up to the Chelela Pass. At an altitude of 3,980 metres, this popular viewing spot on the main trade route between Bhutan and China is officially the highest road in the country and is spectacularly beautiful. Enjoy a stroll and take in views of the misty, snow-swept peaks of Mount Chomolhari and Jichu Drakey on the horizon.

After descending into the Haa Valley, we pay a visit to the Lhakhang Nagpo (Black Temple) and Lhakhang Karpo (White Temple) before travelling to the hotel for check-in.

Sometimes referred to as the 'Hidden-Land Rice Valley', the Haa Valley was only opened up to tourism in 2001. Tranquil, unspoilt and scattered with interesting villages, monasteries and temples, it is one of the most picturesque, but least explored regions of Bhutan.

Day 12: Paro

Explore the village of Haa, paying a visit to several small farmhouses to meet the friendly local people and get a glimpse of everyday rural life in the valley.

In the afternoon, travel back to Paro with your guide, and enjoy free time for the rest of the day.

Day 13: Paro

On your last day, enjoy free time until your departure transfer to Bangkok.

Personalise Your Trip

Phone now to discuss options to personalise your itinerary.

Travel Styles

All Get About Asia trips have been designed to make sure you have an unforgettable travel experience. We have developed several trip styles to cater for our diverse range of travellers. Read what your ideal Get About Asia experience might look like here.

Standard:from AU $5,735

All GetAboutAsia prices are based on twin share and depend on availability and season. All our itineraries can be customised including international flights and extra nights. For questions or further information, Enquire Now!

Important Information

Accommodation:

Boutique hotels, Luxury lodges each night of the itinerary (excluding your departure day).

Inclusions:
  • All transportation including flights to/from Bangkok.
  • English speaking guide.
  • All permits.
  • All meals (some drinks extra)
Notes:
  • Mixed group for trek, up to 12 trekkers per group.
  • Highest altitude is Chelela Pass at 3,980 metres.
  • Trekking time of approximately 5 to 6 hours each day (light trekking).
  • Compulsory to have insurance that covers helicopter evacuation (speak to us).

Visas for Bhutan

All nationalities require a visa and a Letter of Invitation for Bhutan. Please contact GetAboutAsia in order to apply.

Flights

Please ask us for a quote for flights in and out of Paro (limited airlines from Kathmandu, Bangkok, India and Singapore)

Price Dependent:

Availability of accommodation and season.

Trip Information

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