Visit Bhutan 2017

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BICYCLE TOUR IN PHOBJIKHA VALLEY (10 days/9 nights)

BICYCLE TOUR IN PHOBJIKHA VALLEY

See the scenic side of this beautiful last Shangri-La in the world with our unique and fascinating tour package with a combination of nature, trekking, festival, cultural and spiritual activities. Bhutan is a flora and fauna lover’s paradise with rich biological diversity and the intact forest cover for about 72% of the country’s total land area. The itinerary offers you to experience Chelela Nature Trek and then to Paro Taktshang (also known as Tiger’s Nest) for spiritual, Tango Buddhist College/ Monastery for meditation, Thimphu (the young capital of Bhutan) still without traffic light in this 21st century, Talo Tshechu in Punakha for photography, Chimi Lhakhang (Fertility Temple), the Punakha-Wangdue Phodrang valleys and a newly introduced Bicycle Tour in Phobjikha Valley.

Day 1: Arrive at Paro

On arrival, you will be met by our representative and transferred to your hotel in Paro for two nights. The rest of the day is at leisure to relax – so why not stroll in the Paro town?

Day 2: Chelela Nature Trek

Today start the day your way - drive to Chelela pass at an altitude of 4,000 m and take an uphill hike over the ridge for about 1.5 to 2 hours, which is a beautiful place to get a spectacular view of the Himalayan mountains and flowers. Chelela pass is located between Ha valley and Paro valley from where you can see both these valleys on either sides of the mountain you are standing on. This trek is for nature lovers esp. during spring being the rhododendrons season. The trail takes you through forest filled with many species of Primula and shades of red and orange rhododendrons. In the evening drive back to Paro for overnight.

Day 3: Hike to Paro Taktshang

Today you’ll take a hike to Paro Taktshang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest). No visit to Bhutan would be complete without a trip to Taktshang. The monastery is perched on the edge of a steep cliff, about 900 m above the Paro valley and takes about a 2-hour climb on a well-maintained trail through beautiful pine forest, trees festooned with Spanish Moss and fluttering prayer flags. Legend has it that Guru Rinpoche flew to Paro Taktshang cliff in the form of Guru Dorji Drolo, mounted on a flaming tigress in the 8th century. In the evening, we will drive a distance of 65-km for about one hour journey to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. Overnight in Thimphu.

Day 4: Hike to Tango Monastery, Thimphu

This morning drive to the end of the road before climbing into the beautiful pine forest, where an incredible Tango Monastery/Tango Buddhist College stands to the farthest north of Thimphu, which is about 14-km away. The Buddhist College is an institution for the higher studies of Buddhist philosophy, metaphysics, poetry and mathematics. The present day monastery was built in 1689 by Lama Gyalwa Lhanampa and was later renovated in 1977 by Her Majesty the Queen Mother Kesang Choden Wangchuck. Enjoy the spectacular views of the valleys and mountains from this spot. If time permits, visit the Tashichhodzong, which houses some ministries, the office and throne room of His Majesty the King and the Central Monk Body. Overnight in Thimphu.

Day 5: Thimphu – Punakha

After breakfast, you’ll travel to Punakha for a distance of 77-km for about 3 hours journey. Punakha, at an altitude of 1,300m, was once the old capital of Bhutan and the seat of government until 1955. En route stop off at the Chimi Lhakhang, which is dedicated to the legendary Lama Drukpa Kinley (known as the Divine Madman). The monastery is also revered as a sanctum of fertility. Legend has it that the couples wishing to have a baby from across Bhutan and occasionally from overseas are blessed with a child after visiting the temple – Japanese and several American couples visited this temple and were blessed miraculously with children. Later, visit the Punakha Dzong (also known as the Pungthang Dechen Phodrang Dzong) built in 1637, which is strategically located at the confluence of the Phochhu (male) and Mochhu (female) Rivers. Overnight in Punakha.

Day 6: Festival of Talo Tsechu

Immerse yourself today by attending Talo Tshechu for a full day. The tshechu is a religious festival in honour of Guru Padmasambhava, one who was born from a lotus flower, popularly known as Guru Rimpoche, who brought Buddhism in Bhutan in the 8th century. By attending such festivals, it is believed that one gains merits. Enjoy the mask and historical folk dances in colourful costumes performed by monks as well as by laymen including the Atsaras (jesters or playful clowns), who amuse the audience with their antics. It is believed that it is very important to know the name of the dances and its significance. Tshechu is also considered as an occasion for praying and receive blessings and also for social gatherings; to get together with families and kith & kin dressed in their finest traditional clothes and jewellery. Overnight in Punakha.

Day 7: Punakha – Gangtey via Wangdue Phodrang

After breakfast, drive a distance of 78-km for about 3 hours to Gangtey via Wangdue Phodrang in the beautiful glacial valley of Phobjikha at an altitude of 3,000m. Visit the picturesque Gangtey Gonpa (monastery), the picturesque views of the remote Phobjikha glacial valley and the black mountain ranges. Phobjikha valley is one of the winter roosting grounds of the rare Black-necked Cranes, where they come in hundreds after spending their summer in Tibet and then migrates to the Himalayas of Bhutan to spend their winter – they arrive in the months of September and October and fly back to Tibet between February and March. Along the highway to Gangtey, you’ll photo stops as there are loads of breathtaking views during the journey. Tonight you will stay in Gangtey.

Day 8: Bicycle Tour in Phobjikha Valley

Today is dedicated for you to enjoy your full day biking adventures! Under the Association of Bhutanese Tour Operators (ABTO) in collaboration with Royal Society for Protection of Nature (RSPN) through financial support from Austrian Cooperation Office (Bhutan) has recently implemented the project on bicycle tourism in Phobjikha. The project aims to develop and implement a local bicycle rental service in Phobjikha, owned and managed by the local communities involving local bicycle guides as the key players. In total, there are 7 treks 4300 series bicycle available for rental at reasonable charges inclusive of bicycle guide fee for tourism purposes from US$ 10 for 2 hrs, US$ 15 - 25 per day with a discount of 10%. A local bicycle guide will welcome and guide you in and around Phobjikha valley for exploring the country’s largest and most significant wetland and natural winter habitat of the worldwide endangered Black Necked Crane. Your contribution will immensely help in improving rural livelihood and recognising the conservation of the natural habitat. Overnight in Gangtey.

Day 9: Phobjikha – Thimphu

Today is a day-long journey heading back to Thimphu via Wangdue Phodrang. The journey passes through the awe-inspiring mountains and lush vegetation along the highway and will photo stops during the journey. Afterwards, there may also be time to visit the Centenary Farmer’s Market on the banks of the Wangchhu River selling farm produces, local arts and crafts, etc. The evening is at leisure to relax or go for shopping to buy souvenir items for your loved ones back home.

Day 10: Depart Paro

Early morning transfer to Paro Airport. Your guide from Bhutan Green Travel will accompany you to bid farewell for your onward flight. Goodbye and Good luck!

Services Included

  • Transfers to and from the airport
  • Twin-sharing accommodation in 3-star hotels
  • Upgrades to 5-star luxury accommodation available on request
  • Camping equipment and haulage for trekking tours
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
  • Baggage handling at all hotels and camps
  • Licensed Bhutanese English-speaking guided tours
  • All entrance fees to museums and other attractions
  • Comfortable transport within Bhutan
  • All applicable internal taxes and service fees (including royalty)
  • Mineral water
  • Visa fees

Services Not Included

  • International airfare (round-trip from hometown departure gateway to destination)
  • Travel insurance
  • Discretionary gratuities to guides and driver (we provide suggested guidelines)
  • Single room supplement
  • Other personal expenses such as drinks, laundry, telephone calls, etc.

Prices and Dates

ON REQUEST

Pricing Policy

Prices are quoted and payable only in (US$ dollars). All prices published on our websites, brochures and marketing materials are set as low as possible. The guide prices may vary at any time subject to government actions, changes in exchange rates, increase in transportation costs or fuel prices before we have accepted your booking, however, we guarantee our prices who have already signed up for your tour.

Festival Dates

[4th - 6th April 2017: Talo Tshechu]

[It’s always advisable to contact us 3 or 4 months in advance. You decide dates depending on your plan of travel, however, plan your trekking tour during the best months indicated above]

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