7D6N Bhutan Adventure (Historic Dzongs & Mountain Valleys)

ITINERARY

Bhutan, or the Land of the Thunder Dragon, is the only remaining Buddhist Himalayan kingdom. Often referred as The Last Shangri-La, Bhutan is possibly the last untouched country in the world. The humble agricultural country is rich with ancient culture and traditions and blessed with pristine natural beauty.

This tour includes the key highlights of Bhutan, which we feel every first time visitor should not miss. You will get to visit to the Bhutanese capital – Thimphu, the old capital – Punakha, a day at the green valley of Haa, and finally, Paro – home of the international airport. The tour extends to the Haa valley which, until 2002, was closed to the outside world. Less than 10% of visitors to Bhutan make it to this picturesque valley. The strong-boned and resilient people of Haa inhabit the high valleys above 3000m. Typically yak herders and farmers, they cultivate high altitude crops such as wheat, potatoes, barley and millet.

You will also visit the Dochula pass and Chele La Pass which is the highest motor road in Bhutan where you get a chance for spectacular views of the Himalayan mountains. Schedule your trip during a local Tshechu (Festival) which all Bhutanese try to attend at least once in a lifetime. For many, watching the mystical dances at a Tschechu is essential to gain enlightenment.

Day 01                       

SINGAPORE – PARO (2,280m) – THIMPHU (2,334m)

Touching down at Paro International Airport, you will be greeted by your guide upon exiting the arrival hall. Today, we will take it easy to acclimatise to the altitude. Drive to Thimphu, check in to the hotel and have your first taste of Bhutanese cuisine. After which, you will visit the National Memorial Chorten which is built in honor of the late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk. Thimphu Dzong, the largest Dzong in Bhutan, is also the seat of the office of the King of Bhutan. Every Saturday and Sunday, most of the Thimphu population congregate on the banks of the river where the Weekend Centenary Farmers’ Market is held. Here villagers from the valley and other nearby places come to sell their agriculture products. Thereafter, we will drive up to Kuenselphodrang Nature Park where the 169 feet bronze statue of Buddha Dordenma, Vajra Throne Buddha is located. It one of the largest statue of Buddha in the world. You can enjoy the night walking around Thimphu Town after dinner.

Overnight: Khang Residency or similar

Day 02                       

THIMPHU SIGHTSEEING (2,334m)

Situated at an altitude of 2334m, Thimphu is the centre of government, religion and commerce. The capital has an interesting combination of tradition and modernity, and includes some of the most advanced and remotest parts of the kingdom. It is home to the Kings and the Royal family members, civil servants, expatriates, politicians, business persons and monks. Enjoy this cultural mix based on livelihood. We will take you through temples, dzongs, chortens, museums, handicraft stores, nunneries, parks and many more. Allow yourself to meet both traditional and contemporary artist.

We begin our trip with walk to Cheri Gompa (2850m), was first built in 1620 by Zhabdrung and it was here that the central monastic body (Dratsang) was first established. Many of the important priests of Drukpa Kagyu lineage passed periods here, and so it is an important pilgrim site for Bhutanese. Weaving is considered the national art of Bhutan, so at The National Textile Museum, you will learn all about the brightly colored and beautifully designed fabrics that are worn by the Bhutanese people. Thanks in part to our Queen Jetsun Pema, the fabrics of Bhutan are widely considered high fashion around the world. Due to the importance of this living art form, the Royal Government of Bhutan works to preserve and promote these traditional weaving methods.

Drive above Thimphu city, pass Mothitang area and drop by the Takin Reserve to see our national animal called ‘Drong Gemtse’, an animal supposed to have the body of a cow and head of a goat, believed to have been created by Buddhist Master popularly known as Divine Mad Man. The peace road finishes at Sangay Gang where we have the BBS tower and many prayer flags fluttering. The trail leads up through many hanging prayer flags making the place beautiful and if you look back you will get a goof view of Thimphu city. At first the trail seems to head up into the mountain towards Phajoding. But after 10 minutes of abrupt climbing you will take the side footpath to right and the trail gets gentler and easier. You will find apple orchard and few farm houses above the trail. From here the trail drops down gently through oak, blue pine and rhododendron until you will reach Wangtse monastery. The view of Tashicho Dzong, Thimphu city, and Buddha statue is stunning from here.

Overnight: Khang Residency or similar

Day 03                       

THIMPHU (2,334m) – PUNAKHA (1,300m)

We will set off early from Thimphu after breakfast, perhaps with a visit to the weekend market first. Then proceed to Punakha, the ancient capital of Bhutan, about 2.5 hours drive from Thimphu across Dochu-la pass. Once you cross the pass, you wind down into a warm fertile valley and meander along a gently flowing aquamarine river that leads you to the Punakha Dzong, the second dzong to be built in Bhutan.

On your way to Punakha, stop at Dochula Pass to have a coffee break and admire the grand 108 stupas. If in good weather, take in the enchanting views of Mt. Himalaya. You can also do a Dochula Natural trail hike(1.5 hours). Upon arrival in Punakha, visit Punakha Dzong, the beautiful Bhutanese architecture armed by the Pho Chu and Mo Chu rivers, serving as the religious and administrative center of Bhutan until the mid 1950s.

Head for a suspension bridge and start hiking up to Khamsum Yuelley Chorten, passing by nice rice terraces and pine forests en route. When reaching the stupa atop, take in the superb views. Later drive to Lobesa and continue another 20 minutes’ hiking to Chimi Lhakhang, a temple dedicated to the Devine Madman and now a sacred place where women pray for children.

Overnight: Lobesa Hotel or similar

Day 04                       

PUNAKHA (1,300m) – PARO (2,280m)

The beautiful valley of Paro is home to many of Bhutan’s old monasteries and temples. The country’s only Airport is in Paro. The valley is also home to mount Chomolhari (7,300 meters) situated at the northern end of the valley whose glacier water forms the Pachu flowing through the valley.

Paro Valley – The beautiful valley is home to many of Bhutan’s old monasteries and temples. The country’s only Airport is in Paro. The valley is also home to mount Chomolhari (7,300 meters) situated at the northern end of the valley whose glacier water forms the Pachu flowing through the valley. The following are some of the prominent places to visit in Paro. Paro Dzong also known as Rinpung Dzong, this 15th century massive fortress/monastery, is also the administrative center of the dzonkhag. A morning drive, north of Paro valley brings us to the ruins of Drukgyal Dzong. Built in 1647 by the great Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, father and unifier of medieval Bhutan, the Dzong was destroyed by an accidental fire and left in ruins as an evocative reminder of the great victories it was built to commemorate.Explore the ramparts and relive the memories of a glorious past.

Overnight: Metta Resort & Spa or similar

Day 05                       

PARO (2,280m) – HAA (3,056m) – PARO (2,280m)

Drive to Haa through Chele La (3,988 m). From the pass, you can see Paro valley on one side and then Haa valley on the other. You can also have a picnic at Chele La if you like to. In Haa, some sightseeing and then going to katsho village and visiting the Katso Lhakhang. The valley of Haa was only opened to Tourist in 2002 and Haa is the least visited valley in Bhutan due to the lack of Tourist infrastructure. This has helped in keeping Haa the way it has always been, with Bhutanese families living their traditional and simple life. There are no tourist standard hotels in Haa valley, so we return to Paro for the night.

Overnight: Metta Resort & Spa or similar

Day 06                       

PARO (2,280m)

Are you ready? We will be making the hike up to one of the key highlights in Bhutan today! Tiger’s Nest aka Taktsang Monastery. A one hour hike to the cafeteria is also a vantage view whereby you can enjoy the stunning view of Taktsang Monastery. Prayer flags adorn the cliffs and this is also where Guru Padmasambhava landed on the back of a tigress in the 8th century. After a sumptuous local lunch, we will retrace our steps to visit Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest temples in Bhutan.

Overnight: Metta Resort & Spa or similar

Day 07                       

PARO (2,280m) – SINGAPORE

Today we will bid farewell to this beautiful Himalayan country and take an early flight back to Singapore. We hope by now you would have made some friends and also kept many photos and beautiful memories of Bhutan! And we look forward to seeing you again in this beautiful land of endless Enchantments! Tashi Delek!

Package includes:

  • Return international air ticket (Druk Air – Flag Carrier of Bhutan)
  • Bhutan Visa (USD 40)
  • Private guided tour with Licensed English Speaking Guide and separate driver
  • All accommodations in Bhutan (3 stars or similar)
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
  • Drinks (water, tea, coffee) during meals
  • Mineral bottled water
  • Government fee, royalty, taxes & surcharges
  • Set of traditional costumes (Gho or Kira) throughout the stay (to be returned at end of trip)
  • All entrance fees to places of interest

Package excludes:

  • Travel insurance
  • Additional dishes or drinks other than water, tea, coffee during meal times
  • Mineral water and drinks outside meal times
  • Tips for guide and driver
  • Activities not mentioned in itinerary

HIKING GRADE

We consider hiking up to Tiger’s Nest tough for a beginner so good fitness is essential for a comfortable experience. However, reaching the temple is not mandatory and we can always adjust the itinerary according to your preference.

FAQ

Need more information on Bhutan? Read through our Bhutan Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and get them answered!

TESTIMONIALS

Thoroughly enjoyed the Poon Hill trek! Beautiful scenery and Puskar was a patient and responsible guide. He made our trip possible and hassle-free. We also found the hotel in Pokhara in an extremely good location with many restaurants in the vicinity.

– Peiying & Photon (Group of 2 on a 12D11N Kathmandu, Pokhara & Poon Hill trip in Nov 2017)

The whole trip was nicely planned from the start till the end. Our guide Puskar was generally very kind and helpful. The food was relatively good through out as well. Overall, it was a lovely trip. Will definitely come back to do this trek again.

– Mus & Sandija (Group of 2 on a 18D17N Kathmandu & EBC trip in Oct 2017)

We had a fabulous time at Mt. Panti, thanks to 'I Wanna Travel'. The organisation was smooth from the beginning. My support, HS, was attentive to details and always available at my beck and call. The guide was friendly and encouraging. The last stretch of the climb before reaching the summit was thrilling. We absolutely loved it! We were treated to a large spread of delicious vegetarian Chinese food at the end of the trip. The highlight of the trip was the Firefly Cruise. What a mesmerising experience! Thank you for a great trip. We'll be coming back for more.

Arathi (Group of 5 on a Mt Panti trip in Nov 2018)

IWT handled the pre-trip administration very well and the itinerary was swiftly and properly communicated to us. The itinerary was clear and useful as it gave us a rough gauge of what to expect and what to prepare for the trip. Our tour guide Mr Dimas, along with our driver, possess welcoming and friendly personalities and they always ensured that our welfare is well taken care of. During the trip, they were always providing us with insights into Surabaya to tell us more about their country and even provided excellent recommendations for activities and their local cuisine. All in all, a very good and trip and would certainly recommend.

Zhen Siang (Group of 2 on an 4D3N Ijen, Bromo & Surabaya trip in Dec 2018)

Organisation of the trip was good as communication with iwannatravel was smooth and fast, and the itinerary planning was well suited for my group needs and wants. The driver, Mr Thina, was very accommodating towards our schedule and took care of our needs, example needing to buy rubber shoes, where he drove us to the shop. Our guides were well experienced and could pace and entertain us well with their knowledge and fun-loving nature. Mount Panti had more leeches than what we imagined though and the difficulty level of the treks was as what iwannatravel said, not to be estimated as it had moderate difficulty. Overall we had a good experience with our activities and accommodations! And would definitely recommend this trip for the more adventurous people.

John (Group of 9 on a 2D1N Mt Panti & Pelepah Falls trip in Dec 2018)

The guide, Mr Azhar was very experienced. He was able to pace us accordingly and guide us throughout our entire trek to the peak and the Big Tree. The trek was not easy, considering it started to rain halfway thru the journey, making the route slippery but Mr Azhar was willing to guide us and pace us accordingly throughout so that we wont overexert ourselves.

– Salmiah (Group of 4 on a Mt Lambak day trip in Nov 2018)

Personalised pickup and attention to our well being. Focused to help us to have good experiences. Guide Udin is very professional. Dependable, attention to details, providing good advices. Porters are friendly and helpful. We are very happy with the service level, professionalism of the whole team to bringing good experiences to hikers like us.

– YT (Group of 3 on a 2D1N Mt Merbabu Camping trip in Nov 2018)

Honorable mention to the guide, whom was the driver too. Her energy and dedication throughout the trek makes the trip very worthwhile, even though the view at the summit was spoiled by the poor foggy weather. Our team would gladly scale another mountain in taiwan with her as the guide again, if we had the chance.

– Jonathan (Group of 5 on a 2D2N Yushan trip in Mar 2018)

Thoroughly enjoyed the Poon Hill trek! Beautiful scenery and Puskar was a patient and responsible guide. He made our trip possible and hassle-free. We also found the hotel in Pokhara in an extremely good location with many restaurants in the vicinity.

– Peiying & Photon (Group of 2 on a 12D11N Kathmandu, Pokhara & Poon Hill trip in Nov 2017)

The whole organisation was prepared smoothly prior to the trip. The ample of times attending to the enquiries and the notes given had definitely been useful. For transport, guide (and driver), food, activities, accommodation - they were pleasant. The van provided was spacious especially the legroom, and even had enough room to store our bag packs. The guide and driver were very accommodative, for an instance, stopping the van to allow us take some photos before proceeding to the trail head. Additionally, both tried their best to attempt to make conversations in English. As per food and activities, it was great. The food complimented the next activity well, an example, we were provided rice instead of noodles on the day before our summit push and back to the trail head. It was essential since we had to have plenty carbohydrates for the long trek ahead.

– SR (Group of 5 on a 2D2N Xueshan trip in Oct 2017)

First, we would like to thank hs for coming up with the itinerary of the places that we wanted to visit and always being prompt and patient in answering our queries. This trip turned out to be one of the best trips ever! Our guide, Bayu, was simply wonderful. He speaks good English and we enjoyed our conversations with him. During the hike, he frequently stopped to ask if we were okay and if we needed a rest. He would also ask if we had any other places in mind that we would like to visit around the vicinity. In all, we felt very well-taken of throughout the entire trip. Our fondest memory was the day when we had cup noodles around a campfire together with him during the early hours of dawn at King Kong Hill. It was truly unforgettable. Bayu also offered to help us take photos during the trip and we were really thankful for that. Our driver, Bayu (same name as our guide) had superb driving skills. We were really amazed at how he was able to navigate and drive through narrow and winding roads under foggy weather conditions. Throughout the trip, both of them made us feel very safe and comfortable. We did not have to worry about anything. It was really such an enjoyable trip. A big thank you to our guide, Bayu, and our driver, Bayu! 🙂

– Eunice (Group of 2 on an 5D4N Ijen, Mt Bromo, Batu in June 2017)

We always have a wish that to have a wonderful trip with a lot of fun and laugh, and so we stop dreaming and start planning. No doubt IWT is our best choice with no regretted. First of all, we wanna thank you to our tour guide Ms Vinda, a young lady with always have a cute smiling. She is very friendly, knowledgeable, understanding and patience lady. She care a lot of us, and make sure we are not injure while hiking, but manage to reach to the top. Due to some of my friends is lack of exercise and felt exhausted, especially Ijen and Mt Bromo, she keep accompanied us and make sure 4 of us are in good condition to continue. She keep reminding us some sleepy area, and hold our hand if needed to ensure we are not fell down. She also giving us a lot of info about some interest places were going and we'll communication. She always standby to be our photographer, even some time our pose is funny. She willing to share her photos and videos with us. Thanks ya. And most importantly that she notice 1 of my friend didn't wear a suitable shoe to waterfall, she immediately take off her shoe and let my friend to wear, and help to carry my friend shoe and walk with no shoe herself...so embarrassing. She treat us ginger tea while we feel cold, Indomee after hiking and dragon fruit along the way to Surabaya. Bring us to minimart to buy our secret stuff. Lastly, we should say that~Ms Vinda, thank you so much. We are enjoyable the trip and this is really amazing. We highly recommend her as a tour guide and wish her all the best. Thumb up 👍

– May (Group of 4 on a 4D3N Ijen Crater, Mount Bromo & Batu in May 2017)

Guide Syami was amazing! Very patient and extremely helpful towards my parents (55 and 50 year old folks) . His guidance really helped my parents with their hike. Shared his knowledge on the mountain and the wildlife there. Perfect.

– Farhana (Group of 6 on an 2D1N Mt Ophir Camping Trip in Apr 2017)

Very nice group, glad I made some good friends. Thanks to the organisers who took us for dinner near a vegetarian friendly place.

– Rajan (Group of 12 on an Open Mt Ophir Trip in Mar 2017)

Coordination with IWT was a breeze. Ying was quick in responding to queries and very helpful, giving tips according to her own experience climbing Pelapah Falls. Prasanth, the driver, was on-time, friendly and skillful. Despite the hours of driving and waiting for us, he always wore a smile on his face. Nan, our guide, was very experienced. He was like a fatherly figure who knew exactly what he was doing and that brought a lot of assurance to us. Pelapah Falls has its challenges but it was such a good experience for my friends and I. We had to tread through cooling rivers, climb using ropes, avoid giant ants and manage a few leeches but the amazing and therapeutic waterfalls made it all worth it. All of us were counted as beginner hikers and we all made it. So don't worry. Just do it!

– Xiuqing (Group of 5 on a Pelepah Falls & Kota Tinggi Trip in Feb 2017)

Everything was great! From planning til the end of the trip, everything was organised. The activities were fun and itinerary was well planned. We did not feel that we were rushed at all and we get to enjoy Borobudur and Mount Bromo in our own pace. Our guide, Bayu, was very friendly and helped us a lot especially when it comes to ordering food :). This is the most relaxing, hassle-free trip I've ever had! Thanks Iwannatravel 🙂

– Sunshine (Group of 7 on a 4D3N trip to Bromo & Borobudur in Aug 2016)

I really enjoy the whole travel experience. The driver is always contactable and prompt, and transport it’s quite comfortable. The mountain guide is friendly, and is knowledgeable and ensures that the last person is not left behind, and there are 2 guides provided to us for a group of 10 which I think is quite good. The accommodation at Melaka is quite clean and it’s within the tourist attraction; Jonker Street and there’s also some free and easy time to explore with driver provided.

– Xian Ying (Group of 10 on a 2D1N trip to Mt Ophir in May 2016)

I liked how fast HS was able to plan the itinerary for our group, making it flexible to suit our preferences and how he was very prompt to answer our questions and give suggestions on things that we can do. We only ask assistance for bookings on our Vietnam trip (Mt. Fansipan trek, Lao Cai- Hanoi train tickets and Halong Bay Day Cruise). However, upon knowing that we are also traveling to Laos, HS has gone an extra mile and help us map out our Laos itinerary too. Transport provided both for Fansipan trek and Halong Bay Day Cruise were awesome as they picked us up from our hostel right on time. Our Fansipan guide was very helpful and patient and ensured everyone's safety during the trek. While our Halong Bay Cruise guide was quite informative and very entertaining as she makes us laugh without even trying. Our group was very much satisfied with the food served to us both during the Fansipan trek and Halong Bay cruise. And of course, we definitely enjoyed all the activities we did: trekking up to the summit of Fansipan, riding a sleeper train from Lao Cai to Hanoi and kayaking in Halong Bay. Organization of our trip is superb knowing that we were IWT's first customers to book for their Fansipan trek and Halong Bay Cruise trip. *^_^*

– Michelle (Group of 3 on a 4D3N trip to Mt Fansipan & Halong Bay in Apr 2016)

Read more at testimonials!

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