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Our Bhutan Luxury Tour: Amankora Luxury Escape offers comprehensive itineraries that include a range of guided hikes, essential cultural sightseeing and excursions by SUV, on foot or even on horseback. Let join our Bhutan tours to discover Bhutan and its rich culture, incredible sights and irresistible charm. The program also takes you to visit lands of charming farmers, fascinating weavers, enchanting monks and charismatic leaders. Amankora chain will offer you its own luxury accommodation and services throughout all of the 5 most important valleys being Paro, Thimphu and Punakha in western Bhutan and Phobjikha and Bumthang in central Bhutan.
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Day 01: Paro Arrival - Thimphu
Upon arrival in Paro International Airport, you will be welcomed by our Asia Senses guide and driver then transferred to Thimphu capital, the main center of commerce, religion and government of Bhutan. Begin the Bhutan Luxury Tour: Amankora Luxury Escape with a 1.5 hour drive to Thimphu, on route, enjoy the beautiful scenes of Thimphu valley. Upon arrival, check in to your hotel and take a short break for lunch.
Following lunch, we will take a visit to National Memorial Chorten, one of Thimphu's most iconic monuments. It was built in 1974 as a memorial to the third king, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck who reigned from 1952-1972.
Continue on to Royal Textile Academy to witness the traditional art of weaving and Folk Heritage Museum Kawajangsa which is providing a detailed insight of the entire folk history and heritage of Bhutan.
After that, visit the National Library which kept Bhutan traditional books and historic manuscripts. At the end of the day tour, our driver will provide a transfer to your hotel Amankora Thimphu, one of the best Bhutan luxury hotels in Thimphu.
After breakfast, we will visit Tashichho Dzong which is located at the north end of the valley. Today, Tashichho Dzong houses the secretariat, throne room, and offices of the King of Bhutan.
After that, head north to visit Pangrizampa Monastery which was built in the early 16th century. This two 16th-century buildings complex is a college for traditional astrology. Then we head to Chagri Dorjeden Monastery, a Buddhist monastery in Bhutan established in 1620 by Ngawang Namgyal, the first Zhabdrung Rinpoche, the founder of the Bhutanese state. It was built on the riverside with the river flowing with crystal clear water. After that we drive back to Thimphu for the lunch.
After lunch, we will take a visit to Changangkha Lhakhang Monastery which was built in the 12th century and is the oldest temple in Thimphu. Then visit Thimphu Institute of Zorig Chusum where you can catch a glimpse of apprentices honing their skills and knowledge in 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan.
Afterwards, we visit Motithang Takin Preserve to see takins, the national animal of Bhutan. In the late afternoon, we take visit to Buddha Dordenma statue to enjoy the beautiful view of Thimphu valley. Evening is free at leisure and you can stroll in the town, visit local handicraft shops, do shopping as you like.
Overnight in Thimphu.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 03: Thimphu – Gangtey Valley
This morning, our guide will come to pick up you at hotel then take you to visit Simtokha Dzong, one of oldest Dzong in Thimphu that was built in the year 1629 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, who unified Bhutan.
Afterwards, we depart Thimphu for Gangtey Valley, one of the most beautiful spots in Bhutan and the winter home of the endangered black necked crane. On the way, we will stop to visit Hongtsho Goemba Monastery and its ancient wall paintings. The journey continues over Dochula Pass where on a clear day, you could see the most spectacular view over the high peaks of the Eastern Himalayas while enjoying a hot cup of coffee/tea at the Dochula café.
After that, we continue driving to Gangtey, passing through beautiful and tranquil roads surrounded by lush forests of bamboo and oak. Just before crossing the Pele La Pass, a small side road splinters off to the hidden Phobjikha Valley. On arrival valley, we will take a visit to Gangtey Goemba, an important monastery of Nyingma school of Buddhism. From this monastery, enjoy the valley's prime real estate, on a forested hill overlooking the green expanse of the entire Phobjikha valley.
This morning, we will hike through the beautiful nature trail which goes through lush forest of blue pine, oaks and rhododendron. Visit the remote villages in Gangtey valley, pass through meadows and fields, forests of juniper, magnolia and rhododendrons in full bloom in April. On the hike, we may spot long-tailed minivet, streak-breasted scimitar-babbler, yellow-bellied bush-warbler, great barbet…
In the afternoon, visit the Black Neck Crane Information Centre which has informative displays about the black-necked cranes and the valley environment. Depending on the season, you will have the chance to watch rare black-necked cranes which migrate from the high plains of the Tibetan plateau in winter to the milder climate of Phobjikha valley.
Overnight in Gangtey.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 05: Phobjikha Valley – Bumthang
Today, we will take a transfer to Jakar valley (Bumthang). This journey will be filled with dramatic landscapes taking in terraced fields, deep river valleys and small hill villages viewed from the highway.
Along the way, we stop to visit Chendebji Chorten which was built in the early 18th century in the style of the great Swayambhunath Stupa of Nepal. It was built by Lama Zhida, to cover the remains of an evil spirit of a gigantic snake that was subdued at this spot.
Arrive at Trongsa, located near the center of Bhutan and was considered crucial to controlling the kingdom in earlier years due to its strategic position. Visit Trongsa Dzong, an important administrative building, providing the headquarters of the government of Trongsa District. It is considered one of the most spectacularly sited Dzong in Bhutan, with a sheer drop to the south that often just disappears into cloud and mist.
After that, we continue driving to Bumthang. The drive takes you over the picturesque Yotong La Pass and down into Chhume Valley home to Bhutan’s famous Yathra weaving. Visit a village of Zungney in Chumey, observe ladies weaving yathras. You may be able to see the dyeing of wool using natural dyes and other processes.
Begin the day by exploring Wangdicholing Palace which is located near Amankora’s Bumthang lodge. It was built during the times of the first king’s father, Jigme Namgyel and was used by the first King Ugyen Wangchuk as his main residence.
Next, we visit Jakar Dzong, literally meaning “castle of the white bird” is located on picturesque location overlooking the Chokhor valley. Its official name is Yuelay Namgyal Dzong, in honour of the victory over the troops of Tibetan ruler Phuntsho Namgyal.
Continue to Jambay Lhakhang which is said to be one of the 108 temples built by the Tibetan King Songtsen Goenpo in 659 AD. Then we take a visit to the grand Kurjey Lhakhang, considered one of Bhutan’s most auspicious monuments. This temple built around a cave with a body print of Guru Rinpoche imbedded in the wall. The great Guru also created a holy water hole beside the temple which people frequent either for religious or medical purposes.
We than pay a visit to Tamshing Monastery before heading back into town and exploring the valley’s unique cottage industries: Red Panda Brewery, Bumthang Cheese/Dairy Facility and Bumthang Distillery, brewers of numerous distinctive spirits. If you are a cheese and honey lover, it would be a great memorial for you to try the Bumthang cheese which is available and honey produced in Bumthang.
Overnight in Bumthang.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 07: Bumthang – Excursion To Tang Valley
Today, we will explore further afield with an excursion to the beautiful Tang Valley. This beautiful valley offers several off-the-beaten path lhakhangs and monasteries, along the way.
We will stop to visit Mebar Tsho (the Burning Lake) which is one of holiest lakes in the country and is believed to be a wish fulfilling lake. Next, we visit Tang Rimochen Lhakhang, a Buddhist monastery in Bhutan belonging to the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism. According to legend, the great Guru Rinpoche meditated on a giant rock, and together with his two consorts Mandarava and Yeshe Tsogyal, left footprints here.
We will also see some picturesque villages and temples along the way. After that, we drive up the hill on the farm road to Tang valley and visit the mystical Ugyen Choling Palace which is now a museum and gives an interesting insight into life in an aristocratic family in the last century.
Return to Bumthang for the night.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 08: Bumthang – Punakha
After early breakfast, we will have an early departure for the lengthy drive to Punakha, was the capital of Bhutan until the 1960's, and still retains the serene atmosphere of a place with a regal past.
Before reaching Punakha, we will stop at Sopsokha village roadside and take a stroll (about 20 minutes) through the rice fields to Chimi Lhakhang, a pilgrimage site for childless couples. It is believed that childless couples will have children if they get blessing from the lhakhang's wooden phallus.
Thereafter, we continually drive to Punakha, check in to your hotel and free at leisure.
In the morning drive to Yabesa village and hike to through rice fields and up to Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten which sits high above Punakha Valley, affording panoramic views of the verdant hillsides below. It was built by Queen Mother and dedicated to the King and for the wellbeing of Bhutanese.
After that, we drive back to the valley, take in the impressive Punakha Dzong, which is arguably the most beautiful dzong in the country. The three story main temple of the Punakha Dzong is a breathtaking example of traditional architecture with four intricately embossed entrance pillars crafted from cypress and decorated in gold and silver. The dzong also serves as the winter residence of the monastic order's leader and his entourage of monks. Enjoy your picnic lunch on the banks of Pho Chhu & Mo Chhu river.
Then take a visit to a traditional village in Punakha valley. Observing the daily life of villagers and watching beautiful scenes surrounding village. Further hikes or valley excursions can be organized.
Overnight in Punakha.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 10: Punakha – Paro
This morning, we will drive back to Paro which takes about three and half hours. Along the way, we will stop to visit Bhutan Royal Botanical Garden which was established in May 1999 to commemorate the Silver Jubilee Celebration of His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo. The main mandate of the garden is to act as an ex situ conservation area for the country’s flora and to educate the public on the value of conservation.
Afterwards proceed to Paro. Upon arrival, we will visit Rinpung Dzong which was consecrated in 1645 by Shabdrung Nawang Namgyal on the site of smaller fort. Its name means “the fortress of the heap of jewels”.
Then head to the National Museum which is located on the hill behind the Rinpung Dzong. In this museum, there are over 3000 artworks and masterpieces that display more than 1500 years of cultural heritage of Bhutan. After that, we drive to the ruins of the 17th Century Drukgyel Dzong which was a fortress and Buddhist monastery, now in ruins, located in the upper part of the Paro District.
At the end of tour, our driver will provide a transfer to your hotel Amankora Paro, one of the best Bhutan luxury hotels in Paro. Evenings at Amankora Paro may include informative lectures on the history, religion, flora and fauna of the region, or a film on the Himalayas.
After an early breakfast we drive up to the starting point and prepare for our Bhutan trekking to the legendary Taktsang (Tiger's Nest) - a magnificent monastery, clinging on a rock cliff 900 meters above the valley floor. It was constructed in 1692, around the cave where Guru Rinpoche first meditated, the event that introduced Buddhism into Bhutan. Legend has it that in 8th century Guru Rinpoche flew to this exact spot from Tibet on a back of a tigress, thus giving it the name “Tiger’s Nest”. All Bhutanese Buddhist desire to come this monastery at least once in their lives. The hiking trails pass through the meadow of pines, rhododendrons and oaks.
***Note: Horse ride to the cafeteria is available and can be arranged at additional cost.
On the way back, stop then have lunch at the cafeteria. After that, if your energy allows, we drive to visit 7th-century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of Bhutan's oldest and most beautiful temples. The temple is popularly believed of the 108 temples constructed by the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo. The rest of day, you could relax at hotel or stroll around Paro town, visit handicraft and souvenir stores ect.
Overnight in Paro.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Amankora Paro Lodge
Day 12: Paro Departure
Our Bhutan Luxury Tour: Amankora Luxury Escape ends today. Free at leisure until our guide and driver then transfer you to Paro airport for your departure flight.
Private Tour Price (2 Pax Up)
Tour Price Includes
11 hotel night accommodation.
Local English speaking guides.
Meals as mentioned.
All sightseeing as specified and entrance fees included.
Bottled drinking water per touring days.
Tour Price Excludes
Surcharge of 30 USD per person per night (if there are 1 or 2 persons in the group).
Horse ride up to the Tiger's Nest.
Other meals not mentioned in the program.
Items of a personal nature such as laundry, drinks, etc.
Tips for your guide and driver (discretionary).
Any camera or video fees at any sites.
When to Go
See estimated monthly temperature and rainfall for this itinerary