Himalaya Holiday Service
Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan & India Tours and Travel Operator
- Bhutan Highlights with Ura Yakchoe Festival
- A Cultural Exploration of Western Bhutan
- Bhutan West to East Traverse
- Cultural and Walking Tour of Thimphu and Paro
- Glimpse of the Dragon Kingdom
- Grandeur of Western Bhutan
- Paro Festival Tours 2013/2014
- Punakha Festival Tour
- The cultural exploration and walking tours of Western Bhutan
- The Cultural Heart of Bhutan
- Thimphu Festival Tour
- Western and Central Bhutan Highlights
- Druk Air Schedule
- Druk Airline Information
- 31st March 2013 - 14 May 2013
- 15th May 2013 - 26 October 2013
- Winter 27 Oct 13 - 31 Jan 2014
- Winter 01 Feb 14 - 28 Feb 2014
- Winter 01 Mar 14 - 31 Mar 2014
- Singapore - Paro (Bhutan) - Singapore
- Domestic Flight (31 Mar - 27 Oct 2013)
This Bhutan tour package comprises the highlights of Western and Central Bhutan, which are separated by the Black Mountain range. This mountain range extends roughly north-south and has virgin forests that provide a natural habitat for much wildlife such as Himalayan black bears, leopards, red pandas and about 450 species of birds.
Western Bhutan the heartland of the Drukpa people is comprised of the Haa Valley, Paro Valley, Thimphu, Punakha Valley, Wangdue Phodrang and Phobjika Valley. It is known for its stunning scenery with rice paddies and orchards, magnificent mountains, and pristine rivers that flow through the main towns of Paro, Thimphu and Punakha, with their unique two-story houses with brightly painted window designs. Your Bhutan tour will take you across the high passes of Dochu La (3050m/10007ft) Pele La (3300m/10825ft) and Yotang La (3400m/11155ft.) from where you will enjoy the superb views of the mountains and the valleys.
In Central Bhutan, you will visit Trongsa and the rich broad valleys of Bumthang. Central Bhutan is known for its buckwheat and apple production its sturdy stone houses and its plethora of monasteries. It's the ideal place for walking due to its broad valleys and sloping mountains. During your Bhutan tour you will visit the Trongsa Dzong, one of the most picturesque examples of Bhutanese architecture and explore Bumthang, the cultural heartland of Bhutan and home to the some of the kingdom's most precious and ancient Buddhist sites.
Day 01: Flight to Paro
Fly to Paro, Bhutan from Bangkok or Delhi or Kathmandu. Meet your local Tour Guide at Paro airport and transfer to hotel. After lunch, visit the National museum, Paro Rinphung Dzong and a typical Bhutanese farm house. In the evening, stroll around the township of Paro and browse through it markets.
Day 2: Paro Valley
Take 4 hours out and back, Takstang Monastery Hike, a holy pilgrimage site with spectacular views. On return, visit the ruins of Drugyal Dzong. If you are not into hiking, we will arrange you alternative tour to the Dungtse Temple, Kyichu Temple and easy village walks.
Day 03: Paro Punakha.
After breakfast, drive two hours to Thimphu and visit sights such as traditional painting school, handmade paper factory, gold and silver smiths and few others depending on available time. After lunch at Thimphu, drive to Punakha & Wangdiphodrang valley, with a short stop at Dochula passes for panoramic views of the eastern Himalayas.
Day 04: Punakha and Wangdiphondrang valley sightseeing
n the morning, drive to the idyllic countryside, north of Punakha and those who wish can do any easy 1 hour walk back following the river for possible sighting of birds and diverse flora. Visit the Punakha Dzong that served as the winter capital of Bhutan until 1958 and the old and new township of Punakha. After lunch, drive to road head from where you can take a pleasant 20 minutes walk through the paddy fields and farm houses to visit Chimi Lhakhang temple dedicated to Bhutan's popular saint Drukpa Kuenley, also known as the divine madman (1455-1529).
Day 05: Punakha to Jakar (Bumthang valley)
Drive down the valley to the town of Wangdiphodrang, where there is a very large fortress and an interesting town. Continue on the road to east, we cross Pele La Pass at 11,152ft and enjoy the views of the valleys and mountains, including Mt. Chomolhari. After lunch at the picturesque town of Trongsa, we continue across Yotong La (11,234ft) and descend into the valley of Chumey, the first of four Bumthang valleys. Here we will visit the Weavers and see the weaving of Bhutan's colorful and textiles. In another half an hour, we reach Jakar-the center of Bumthang valleys.
Day 06: Jakar (Bumthang Valley sightseeing).
We will visit some ancient temples, farm houses, traditional hospital, wood craft center and small villages, weavers, forts and palaces by short walks and driving to them. Tonight sample some local food such as buck wheat pan cakes and noodles.
Day 07: Ura Valley Excursion
We drive up to Ura and take a leisure stroll in the clustered village. Ura has a beautiful Buddhist Monastery surrounded by typical Bhutanese farm houses which is worth seeing. We will also see yaks grazing in the rich pasture land of the Ura valley. Pack lunch in Ura and return to Bumthang in the evening.
Day 08: Jakar -Trongsa.
Retrace your drive back across Yotongla pass and descend into Trongsa, which takes about 3 hours. In the afternoon visit huge and historical Trongsa Dzong (fortress), site of emergence of present Royal family of Bhutan. Also visit Ta Dzong (watch tower) which now houses the temple dedicated to Jigme Namgyel, father of the first King of Bhutan.
Day 09: Trongsa- Thimphu.
Leaving Trongsa, we return west, stopping to visit the Chendebji Chorten, a large white monument said to conceal the remnants of an evil spirit vanquished here. Continuing across the spectacular Pelela pass (3,300m), we descend into the valleys of Punakha and Wangdi. Further drive through blossoming hills and pine forests, we arrive at Dochula pass (3,100m) for another opportunity to get the panoramic views of the eastern Himalayan range, including Bhutan ’s highest peak Gangkar Phuensum.
Day 09: Thimphu Sightseeing
After breakfast, begin our sightseeing with a visit to the colorful weekend market, where people from near and far come to sell or buy the fresh produce. It is where the village folks jostle with the well heeled resident of Thimphu for the best and cheapest vegetables and other food stuffs. Weekend also provides opportunity to see the traditional game of archery played in the nearby grounds. Other visit includes a nunnery, Textile Museum, the Heritage Museum, mini Zoo to see Takin, the national animal and a temple or so. Late afternoon, drive to Paro.
Day 10: Paro Departure (B)
After early breakfast, you will transfer for your final departure.
• Paro Rinphung Dzong
• National Museum
• Takstang Monastery
• Drugyal Dzong
• Punakha and Wangdue Phodrang Dzongs
• Chimi Lakhang-the The Temple of Divine Madman
• Bumthang Valleys
• Trongsa Dzong
• Week-end market and archery competition of Thimpu
• Textile Museum, the Heritage Museum, mini Zoo etc in Thimphu.
Start and End dates - Flexible
Land Cost Per Person
US$ 2460 Single Traveler
US$ 2320(2 persons)
US$ 2020(3 persons)
US$ 250 Single Room Supplement.
US$ 380 (O/W) and US$ 780 (R/T) ( Bangkok/Paro)
US$ 214 (O/W)
Trip Cost Includes
• Accommodation on twin sharing.
• All transfers and sightseeing as on itinerary
• Three meals a day
• English speaking local Tour Guide.
• Sightseeing admission fee.
• Bhutan visa fee
Trip Cost Does Not Includes
• Airfare to and out of Bhutan
• Expenses of personal nature such as drinks, tip, laundry, phone etc.
• Extra expenses due to nature and unforeseen events
• Travel Insurance
The following basic equipments check lists should help you with your packing. Please remember that you should always try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum. At the start of the trek your packed trek bag should not weigh more than 33 pounds or 15 kg.
- Sun hat or scarf
- Light balaclava or warm fleece hat
- Sunglasses with UV protection
- Under Garments
- Hiking shorts
- Lightweight cotton long pants
- Light and expedition weight thermal bottoms
- Fleece or wool pants
- Waterproof (preferably breathable fabric) shell pants
- Thin, lightweight inner socks
- Thick, warm wool hiking socks
- Hiking boots with spare laces
- Camp shoes (sneakers and/or sandals) Gaiters for hiking in winter to the base camp
- Light and expedition weight thermal tops
- Fleece jacket or pullover
- Fleece Wind-Stopper jacket (optional)
- Waterproof (preferably breathable fabric) shell jacket
- Down vest and/or jacket *
- Lightweight gloves
- Heavyweight gloves or mittens with a waterproof shell outer
- Sleeping bag rated to zero degrees F *
- Headlamp (e.g. Petzl Zoom) with spare bulbs and batteries
- Small pad or combination lock-to-lock
- Trekking Bags *
- Basic First Aid Kit *
- Large plastic bags - for keeping items dry insidetrekbag
- Daypack (approximately 2500 to 3000 cubic inches)
- Thermarest sleeping pad
- Water bottles
- Toiletries (Small wash towel, Toilet papers etc)
- 1 medium sized quick drying towel
- Tooth brush/paste (preferably biodegradable)
- Multipurpose soap (preferably biodegradable)
- Nail clippers
- Face and body moisturizer
- Feminine hygiene products
- Small mirror
- Wet wipes (baby wipes)
- Tissue /toilet roll
- Reading book
- Trail Map/Guide book
- Journal & Pen
- Pencils and small notebooks
- Travel game i.e. chess, backgammon, scrabble
Bhutan, "The Land of Thunder Dragon" as it is known to foreign countries, is perhaps the last Shangri-La in the earth. Sandwiched by India and China (Tibet) the kingdom is spread over 18000 sq. miles with variety of climate in different region. The people here are mostly Buddhist and Hindu.
GETTING IN & OUT
Bhutan is least air connected country in the world. Only Druk Air, the national flag carrier of Bhutan links Bhutan with other country. Those, who wish to enter by air, Paro is linked to Kathmandu, Calcutta, Delhi, Bangkok and Dhaka. There are flights to these destinations at least twice a week. For schedule and other information please write to us.
The other option of traveling to Bhutan is by land and the entry point is Phuntsholing (Indo- Bhutan Border). Phuntsholing is 08 hours drive from Kakarvitta (Indo - Nepal Border) and THIMPU is 6 hours from Phuntsholing. Please note, if you wish to enter by land you will need Indian visa as you will be traveling in India for a day (From Nepal Border to Phuntsholing). Indian Visa fee is not included in the trip cost and can be obtained in Kathmandu or in your home country.
VISA & FORMALITIES
All foreigners are required to have a valid passport for a minimum of 6 months and must send in the following details of passport at least 30 days in advance of the trip : Name - as in Passport, Nationality, Passport No. Date of expire, Profession, 3 Photograph (P.P. Size) and date of birth. Visa fee is US$ 20 per person for first two weeks and extension will be US$ 20 for each two weeks.
Visa is not provided abroad but stamped upon arrival in Paro airport or Phuntsholing. Please note without the visa clearance no from THIMPU, Druk air does not issue your ticket to Paro. Therefore, confirmation of any trip as early as possible will make it easier for you to get the flight tickets. We handle all the visa process once we receive confirmation from your side.
ACCOMMODATION AND TRANSPORT
Accommodation is always in hotel while you are in town like Paro, THIMPU, WANGDI PHODRANG, PUNAKHA etc. All the hotels and guest houses are regularly monitored by the government and are all tourist class. It is not possible to have the budget rates and budget class hotels in Bhutan as in other countries as the rates are all fixed by the government. While in off season you will have the choice of staying in the hotels you wish but during the peak season you will have to settle on whichever is available. But till now there has not been any kind of dissatisfaction as all the hotels are tourist class.
While in trek the organizer of your trip arranges all the required equipment with horse or yaks for trekking to carry the equipment and food. An expert guide will escort you and a helper will arrange all the necessities necessities.
Latest brand or the deluxe vehicles are used for tourist transfers and is usually included in the prices so it is not possible to have the separate rate for separate sectors. Mostly Japanese vehicles are used in Bhutan for transfers.
MEDICAL AND HEALTH
Except for some treks, any one who is physically fit can join our tours and treks. Treks, which include altitude of 4000 m or higher are more difficult because of high altitude and therefore requires a certificate of fitness. There are modern hospitals in Paro and in THIMPU for emergency purpose but your precaution is the only way to be healthy if you are traveling to remote areas of the country. It is therefore advised to have through check up with your doctor before heading to Bhutan.
WEATHER AND CLIMATE
The best time to visit Bhutan is March, April, May, September & October since this period provides clear blue sky, and plenty of greenery. Winter (Dec, January, February) will be too cold since the temperature will be well below zero degree. Summer (June, July, August) is pleasant but wet due to the monsoon. Autumn (September, October, November) is similar to spring but a bit warmer and also the best time to visit. However please see the tours and treks sections for specific time to visit the specific areas.
Light warm clothing are always recommended since it is a hilly country (even in summer). A pair of comfortable shoes for walking, some spare T-shirts, trousers, sun glass, sun hats, pullovers are always necessary. During winter warm clothing are a must.
Bhutanese currency is called NGULTRUM and the rate is US$ 1= NG 46 approx. Only few hotels and outlets accept credit cards in Bhutan. So it is best to have some CASH US$ for your expenses and even better to have it on small bills.
Bhutan is 6 hours ahead (+) of GMT, 30 Minutes ahead of India and 15 Minutes ahead of Nepal.
|Frequently Ask Questions|
Here you will find answers to some of our most frequently asked questions. If you still have any doubts or queries do not hesitate to contact us.
1. Where is Bhutan located?
2. Who is Bhutan Himalayas Guide?
3. Is Himalayas Guide, a secure site?
4. Why should I choose Himalayas Guide?
5. How much will my package cost?
Peak season months: March, April, and May, September, October & November.
6. How does the booking process work?
7. How do I contact Himalayas Guide?
8. Do you offer discounts for children & students?
9. What is included in my trip package?
10. Tell me more about the tour & trek itinerary?
11. How do I pay for bookings with Himalayas Guide?
12. When will I get my trip confirmation?
13. What airline will I fly on and from where?
14. What if I need to cancel my trip at the last moment?