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The Bhutan Cultural Tour

The Bhutan Cultural Tour

Overview And Highlights

The Bhutan Cultural Tour is a journey through the heart of the beautiful Himalayan Kingdom, which is renowned for its unique cultural heritage and stunning natural beauty. Visitors on this tour will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the rich and vibrant cultural traditions of Bhutan, exploring the country's ancient temples and monasteries, and learning about the unique Bhutanese way of life.

During your Bhutan Cultural Tour, you'll visit some of the country's most iconic and historic landmarks, such as the Paro Dzong and the Tiger's Nest Monastery. You'll also have the chance to experience the country's vibrant traditional dances and music, as well as witness firsthand the art and craftsmanship of Bhutan's local communities. 

You'll also get to interact with local Bhutanese people and learn about their way of life, customs, and traditions. A highlight of this tour is the opportunity to learn about Bhutan's unique cultural heritage, which is based on Buddhist teachings and values. 
In addition to cultural and historical experiences, you'll also have the opportunity to experience the stunning natural beauty of Bhutan, including the lush forests, majestic mountains, and rolling hills. 

Whether you're a seasoned traveler or just starting out, a Bhutan Cultural Tour is an unforgettable experience that you'll never forget. So why wait? Book your Bhutan Cultural Tour today and immerse yourself in the rich culture and history of this beautiful country.

Major Highlights

Visit to the Paro Taksang Monastery: This iconic monastery is also known as Tiger's Nest and is a must-visit on any Bhutan cultural tour. The trek to the monastery offers stunning views of the Paro Valley and provides an insight into the spiritual and cultural heritage of Bhutan. 

Thimphu City Tour: Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan, is a vibrant hub of traditional Bhutanese culture and modern-day life. A visit to this city includes exploring the Tashichho Dzong, the National Memorial Chorten, and other significant cultural landmarks. 

Punakha Dzong Tour: Punakha Dzong is one of the largest and most magnificent fortresses in Bhutan and is a must-visit for anyone interested in Bhutanese architecture and history. 

Bumthang Cultural Trek: This trek takes visitors through the Bumthang Valley and provides a glimpse into the traditional way of life of the Bhutanese people. Visitors can see traditional homes, temples, and monasteries along the way. 

Visit to Local Villages: Bhutan is a land of friendly and welcoming people, and a visit to local villages is an excellent opportunity to experience Bhutanese hospitality and learn about the local culture. 

Traditional Dance Performances: Bhutan is famous for its traditional dances, and visitors can enjoy a performance of these dances during their cultural tour. 

Visit to Museums and Monuments: Bhutan has several museums and monuments that provide insight into the country's rich history and cultural heritage. These include the National Museum of Bhutan, the Textile Museum, and the Zorig Chusum School of Traditional Arts. 

Religious Festivals: Bhutan is a land of festivals and celebrations, and visitors can witness these events and learn about the spiritual beliefs and customs of the Bhutanese people.
 

Itinerary Expand All Close All

The flight to Paro is one of the most spectacular in entire Himalayas. Flying along the Himalayan range from Kathmandu, the journey offers fascinating views and an exciting descent into the Kingdom. Bhutan’s first gift, as you disembark from the aircraft will be cool, clean fresh mountain air.

After immigration formalities and baggage collection, you will be met by our representative, and afterwards drive to Thimphu, the capital town of Bhutan with enroute stop at Chuzom, the confluence of Thimphu and Paro rivers. Three different style of stupas; Tibetan, Nepalese and Bhutanese adorn this confluence. Shortly before reaching Chuzom, you will see on your left TschogangLhakhang, “the temple of the excellent horse”. It is a private temple, built in 15th century, as the result of visitation from Balaha, the excellent horse, a manifestation of Chenrezig, the compassionate Buddha.

On arrival in Thimphu, check into the hotel. The capital town of Bhutan and the centre of Government, religion and commerce, Thimphu is a unique city with unusual mixture of modern development alongside ancient traditions. With the population of about 90,000 it is perhaps still the world’s only capital city without a traffic light.

Evening an exploratory walk around Thimphu Main Street and market area. Also visit theLocal Crafts Bazaar, to browse through example of Bhutan's fine traditional arts. Here you can buy hand-woven textiles, Thangkha paintings, masks, ceramics, slate and wood carvings, jewellery, interesting items made from local materials. Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu (Altitude 2400m).

Food
Dinner
Accomodation
Hotel
Elevation
2400

After breakfast, sightseeing in Thimphu valley including visit to the following: The Institute for Zorig Chusum (commonly known as the Painting School) where students undergo a 6-year training course in Bhutan’s 13 traditional arts and crafts. Later visit Textile Museum, which provides insight into Bhutan’s one of the most distinct art form.

Also visit Simply Bhutan, a living museum and studio encapsulating the cultural heritage of the Bhutanese people. After lunch take a short drive (15 km) to Pangri Zampa, 16th century one of the oldest monasteries in Bhutan located just north of Thimphu. Here is a monastic school where Buddhist student’s monks learn Lamaism and astrology based on Buddhist philosophy. Afterwards visit to Buddha Point (Kuensel Phodrang).

Located at a short drive from Thimphu city centre, visitors can get a good overview of the Thimphu valley from the Buddha point (KuenselPhodrang). You can pay your obeisance and offer prayers to the Buddha, the largest statue in the country and then walk around and take a glimpse of the valley. 3rd King Memorial Chorten continuously circumambulated by people, murmuring mantras and spinning their prayer wheels.

 

Construction of this landmark was the idea of 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 3rd King and as a monument to peace.

Later visit to Trashichhoedzong: This impressive fortress/monastery houses Secretariat building, the throne room of His Majesty, the King and various government offices. It is also the summer residence of Chief Abbot and central monk body. Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.

 

Food
BLD
Accomodation
Hotel
Elevation
2400

After breakfast, check-out from the hotel & drive Gangtey (Phobjikha) enroute visiting Dochula Pass (Altitude 3080m). In Bhutan, the passes are marked by a large Bhutanese Chorten and prayer flag.

Dochula pass offers the most spectacular view over the high peaks of the eastern Himalayas on a clear day. And also via Wangdue Phodrang, where you can visit the local market and explore newly developed town. The district of Wangdue Phodrang is also famous for its bamboo products, slate and stone carvings. Further ahead pass through dense forests and oak, rhododendron tress, reaching at Gangtey (Phobjikha). The valley of Gangtey is one of the most beautiful spots in Bhutan.

The surprise of finding such a wide, flat valley without any trees after the hard climb through dense forests is augmented by an impression of vast space, and extremely rare experience in Bhutan where most of the valleys are tightly enclosed. Afternoon take a walk around Gangtey village and visit Gangtey Goempa, the only Nyingmapa monastery in this region. Overnight at the hotel in Gangtey

Food
BLD
Accomodation
Hotel
Elevation
3080

After breakfast drive to Bumthang crossing Pele-la pass (3300m/10830 ft) via Trongsa. The Pela La (pass) is marked by a large white Chorten prayer flags. There is an abrupt change in vegetation at this point, with mountain forest replaced by high altitude dwarf bamboo. Stop enroute at Chendbji Chorten, patterned on Kathmandu’s Swayambhunath Stupa, with eyes panted at four cardinal points.

After lunch at Trongsa visit Trongsa Dzong, built in 1648 it was the seat of power over central and eastern Bhutan. Also visit Ta Dzong, recently opened fort in Trongsa. The Ta Dzong, a cylindrical stone structure rising five stories, was built in 1652 by Chogyal Minjur Tempa, after more than 350 years, it has been resurrected into a classy museum, that represents a tasteful blend of tradition and modernity.

Further 68 km drive across the Yutong-la pass (3,400m/ 11,155 ft) finally brings you to wide open cultivated Bumthang valley. Upon arrival; check into the hotel. Bumthang is the general name given to combination of four valleys – Chumey, Choekhor, Tang and Ura with altitude varying from 2,600m to 4,000m. It is home to many of prominent Buddhist temples and monasteries. Overnight at hotel in Bumthang.

Food
BLD
Accomodation
Hotel
Elevation
2800

After breakfast proceed for the tour of Bumthang valley: Visit Kurje Lhakhang, where the saint Padma sambhava subdued a local demon and left his body imprint on a rock, the Jambey Lhakhang (7th century temple), Tamshing Lhakhang (housing some of the oldest wall paintings in Bhutan) and Jakar Dzong (administrative center of the region).

Stroll in the village, visit the little handicrafts shop at the entrance to the town, and perhaps take refreshments at a local restaurant. Afternoon take a short hike to Lhodrak Kharchhu Monastery: Located above the main town, about 3 km from Chamkhar town, the monastery was founded by Namkhai Nyingpo Rinpoche in 1984 who was recognized at a very young age by H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama and H.H. 16th Karmapa as the reincarnation of a Tibetan lama.

The monastery has become part of an extensive effort to preserve and revitalize Tibetan culture. The monk regular curriculum includes reading, memorizing the daily prayers, learning dharma dances, drawing mandalas, learning the melodies of sacred rituals, learning the use of ceremonial instruments and the art of making sacrificial objects, grammer, poerty, karika along with the basics of contemplation and instruction on the different stages of tantra. Overnight at Hotel in Bumthang

Food
BLD
Accomodation
Hotel
Elevation
2800

After breakfast, check-out from the hotel and drive to Punakha, the old capital town of Bhutan. After checking into hotel, proceed to visit Punakha Dzong, a massive structure built at the junction of two rivers.

It was the capital of Bhutan until 1955, and still serves as the winter residence of the monk body. Evening can be spent exploring Punakha village located right on the bank of river. Overnight at the hotel in Punakha.

Food
BLD
Accomodation
Hotel
Elevation
1500

After breakfast, take a short excursion to Chimi Lhakhang (from hotel it is about 15 minutes’ drive till motorable road and then walk starts through paddy fields and villages. This is total about 1½ hour walk, including both way). 

The Chimi Lhakhang, situated on a hillock in the centre of the valley, also known as the temple of fertility. It is widely believed that couples who do not have children and wanting one, if they pray at this temple, they are usually blessed with a child very soon. The trail leads across rice fields to the tiny settlement of Pana, meaning ‘field’. 

A walk through the village near the temple will give you rare glimpses into the daily life and lifestyle of the villagers. Later continue drive to Paro along scenic highway, enroute visit SimtokhaDzong, the oldest fortress of the country built in 1627 which now houses the School for Buddhist studies. On arrival in Paro, check into the hotel. 

After lunch, proceed to visit Ta Dzong, originally built as Watchtower, which now houses National Museum. The extensive collection includes antique Thangkha paintings, textiles, weapons &armour, household objects and a rich assortment of natural and historic artifacts. Ta Dzong visit immediately followed by a short walk down the trail to visit Rinpung Dzong (ParoDzong), meaning (“fortress of the heap of jewels”), which has a long and fascinating history. 

Along the wooden galleries lining the inner courtyard 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. Overnight at the hotel in Paro. 
 

Food
BLD
Accomodation
Hotel
Elevation
2200

After breakfast excursion to Taktshang Monastery or Tiger’s Nest (approx. 5 hours walk):  It is one of the most famous of Bhutan’s monasteries, perched on the side of a cliff 900m above the Paro valley floor. It is said that Guru Rinpoche arrived here on the back of a tigress and meditated at this monastery and hence it is called ‘Tiger’s Nest’. Now visited by all Bhutanese at least once in their lifetime. 

On 19 April, 1998, a fire severely damaged the main structure of building but now this Bhutanese jewel has been restored to its original splendour. Afternoon drive to Drukgyel Dzong, a ruined fortress where Bhutanese warriors fought Tibetan invaders centuries ago. The snowy dome of sacred Chomolhari, "mountain of goddess'' can be seen in all her glory from the approach road to the Dzong. 

Evening, visit the 7th century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples built in the Himalayas by Tibetan King, Songtsen Gampo. The building of this temple marks the introduction of Buddhism in Bhutan. Overnight at the hotel in Paro. 
 

Food
BLD
Accomodation
Hotel
Elevation
2200

After early breakfast at the hotel, drive to the airport for flight to your onward destination. Our representative will help you with exit formalities and then bid you farewell.

Food
Breakfast

The Bhutan Cultural Tour Altitude Profile

FAQs

What is included in the Bhutan Cultural Tour?

The Bhutan Cultural Tour usually includes accommodation, meals, transportation, guide, and entrance fees for the cultural and historical sites.

How long is the Bhutan Cultural Tour?

The length of the Bhutan Cultural Tour can vary from 8 days to 2 weeks, depending on the itinerary and interests of the travelers.

What are the must-visit cultural sites in Bhutan?

The must-visit cultural sites in Bhutan include the Paro Taktsang (Tiger's Nest), Punakha Dzong, Rinpung Dzong, Tashichho Dzong, and the Bumthang Valley.

What is the best time to visit Bhutan for a cultural tour?

The best time to visit Bhutan for a cultural tour is from March to May and September to November when the weather is pleasant and dry.

What are the cultural and religious customs to keep in mind during the Bhutan Cultural Tour?

The travelers should show respect for the local culture and religion by removing their shoes before entering temples and dzongs, not wearing revealing clothing, and avoiding loud or disrespectful behavior.

What is the dress code for the Bhutan Cultural Tour?

The dress code for the Bhutan Cultural Tour is conservative, and travelers are advised to wear modest and comfortable clothing, especially while visiting cultural and religious sites.

Is it possible to customize the Bhutan Cultural Tour itinerary?

Yes, it is possible to customize the Bhutan Cultural Tour itinerary according to the interests and preferences of the travelers.

Is travel insurance mandatory for the Bhutan Cultural Tour?

Yes, it is advisable to have travel insurance for the Bhutan Cultural Tour as it covers medical expenses and other unexpected situations.

Traveller Useful Information

The best time for a Bhutan Cultural Tour is generally considered to be during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) seasons. During these times, the weather is pleasant, and the skies are clear, making it ideal for outdoor activities and sightseeing.

Additionally, spring is the time when the country is in full bloom with vibrant colors, and autumn is when the local harvest festival, Thimphu Tsechu, is celebrated, offering visitors a unique cultural experience.

Respect local customs and traditions: Bhutan is a deeply traditional and spiritual country, so it’s important to respect the local customs and traditions. This means dressing modestly and avoiding actions that could be considered disrespectful, such as touching someone’s head or pointing feet at a temple.

Learn about Bhutanese culture: Before your trip, do some research on Bhutanese culture and history. This will give you a deeper understanding of the people and their way of life. 

Be mindful of photography: Some religious sites and areas of Bhutan are considered sacred and should not be photographed. Always ask for permission before taking photos and be respectful of local customs. 

Dress appropriately: When visiting temples, dzongs (fortresses), and other religious sites, dress modestly and cover your legs and shoulders. Bright colors and flashy clothing should be avoided. 

Respect the environment: Bhutan is known for its pristine and unspoiled natural beauty. Be mindful of littering and avoid disturbing the local flora and fauna. 

Be open-minded: Bhutan has a unique and fascinating culture that may be different from what you are used to. Be open-minded and embrace the experience. 

Practice eco-tourism: Bhutan has embraced eco-tourism as a way of preserving its natural environment and maintaining its traditional way of life. Support local businesses and eco-friendly initiatives during your trip.
 

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