Western & Central Bhutan Tour

Starting From $.00 per person

Bhutan often revered as the ‘Land of the Peaceful Dragon’ is still regarded as one of the last ‘Shangri las” in the Himalayan region because of its remoteness, it’s spectacular mountain terrain, varied flora and fauna and its unique ancient Buddhist monasteries.

It is in the relatively unexplored pockets of Asia which allows only limited number of discerning travelers to enter the country in order to protect its fragile environment and culture.

As you approach Paro, the view from the left side of our plane will be unforgettable. You will see many of the major peaks of the Himalaya, including Everest, Makalu and Kangchendzonga, three of the world’s highest mountains.

After arriving in Paro, you will have the rest of the day to relax or to check out the sights with our guides. The next morning we drive to Thimpu, the capital of Bhutan.

Thimpu, situated at an elevation of 8,000 feet, is the least known and most exclusive of the Himalayan capitals. It also has one of the richest Buddhist histories in all the Himalaya. Its unique architecture echoes a mix of Nepali and Central Tibetan styles.

Sites around town include the Late King\’s Memorial Chorten, the silversmith and pottery workshops, the Buddhist thangkha painting school, and the National Library. We have allotted a day here for shopping in Thimpu\’s wonderful markets, where some of Asia\’s finest textiles can be found. For the non-shoppers, there is no shortage of sightseeing opportunities.

On the morning of day four we drive to drive to Punakha and Wangdiphodrang via Dochula Pass. As one progresses along the route, there is a discernible change in the flora and temperature when one gradually descends from the alpine heights into the temperate regions of Punakha and Wangdiphodrang. All along the route the interruption by picturesque and almost medieval villages and towns rich in cultural spots make a fascinating sight.

After visiting a fortress called Punakha Dzong, we drive on to drive to Trongsa. This region forms the central hub of the nation and is historically the place from where attempts at unifying the country were lunched. The Royal family has strong linkswith Trongsa.

Day 1: Traditional welcome at on arrival & airport transfers.

Day 2: Paro – Thimphu.
This 2 hour drive snakes along the Paro and Thimphu rivers offering fabolous views at every turn. On the way we stop to see the Simtokha Dzong.

On arrival: Visit the Memorial Chorten (a huge stupa) built in memory of the third King of Bhutan, visit the Handicrafts Emporium where Bhutanese textiles and other arts and crafts are displayed and can be purchased and finally, the all-important Tashichho Dzong – the main Secretariat Building. This massive structure houses part of the Ministries, the office of the King and the Throne Room. Visit Pangri Zampa Monastery.

Day 3: Visit the National Library where ancient manuscripts are preserved.
Visit the Painting School where traditional art is still kept alive through instructions in the art of painting Thankas (sacred Buddhist scrolls).

In the afternoon we drive to Dechencholing for a view of the fabulous Palace of the Queen Mother. You may also visit a small beautiful monastery on top of a hill located nearby.

Day 4: Thimphu – Punakha/Wangdiphodrang (77 km).
After an early breakfast, drive to Punakha and Wangdi. On the way halt at Dochula for a hot cup of tea/coffee and witness a most spectacular view of the Eastern Himalayan mountain ranges. Hotel arrangements at Zangtoe Pelri in Punakha/Government Guest House in Wangdi.

After lunch, visit the Punakha Dzong which houses the district administration offices. It is also the winter residence of the State Monastic Body and its Chief Abbot. Punakha was the former capital of Bhutan. The Dzong (fortress) lies between two rivers known as Pochu and Mochu which means “Male River and Female River.\” It was built in 1637 AD. We also visit Wangdiphodrang Dzong and its small town perched on a hill between two rivers.

Day 5: Punakha – Trongsa.
After an early breakfast, drive to Trongsa a six hour journey.

Day 6: Morning: Visit the Trongsa Dzong and the Watch Tower.
The Trongsa Dzong was the ancestral home of the ruling dynasty. Built in 1648 AD, it is also the district administration office this district. The view from the Dzong extends for many kilometers and in earlier days nothing could escape the vigilance of its guardians. This helped to augment its importance as it gained complete control over the east-west traffic. The Ta-Dzong, an ancient Watch Tower of the Trongsa Dzong is located on top of a steep hill about 1 km beyond the Trongsa Dzong. The watch tower displays many interesting armors used by the Bhutanese soldiers during the days gone by.

After lunch we leave for Bumthang. The Journey takes about 3 hrs (68kms.) and is passes through one of the most beautiful routes in Bhutan.

Day 7: Bumthang sight seeing:
Visit the historical Jakar Dzong built by Minjur Tenpa, the third Druk Desi (Temporal ruler) in 1646 A.D. It was later repaired and expanded by Gyalse Tenzin Rabgay, the fourth Desi of Bhutan in 1683 A.D. It is probably one of the biggest Dzongs in Bhutan. We also visit several ancient and important monasteries such as, Jambay Lhakhang, Kurjey Lhakhang, Kencho Sum Lhakhang, Tamshing and Pema Samba Lhakhangs. There is also a Bumthang Swiss farm and the Meber Tso ” The flaming Lake ” which is considered one of the most important pilgrimage spots.

Day 8: A full day excursion to Ura Valley:
Visitors can drive up to Ura and take a leisure stroll in the clustered village of Ura. Ura has a beautiful Buddhist Monastery surrounded by typical Bhutanese farm houses which is worth seeing. You will also see yaks grazing in the rich pasture land of the Ura valley. We return to Bumthang in the evening.

Day 9: After an early breakfast, drive to Gangtey.
Gangtey is a beautiful place situated at an altitude of 3000m. Gangtey offers the best views of the picturesque black mountain ranges as well as the beautiful Phobjikha valley which is one of the biggest and the most beautiful valleys in Bhutan. During winter this place is frequented by the famous Black Necked Cranes.

Day 10: After breakfast drive back to Paro.
You have the entire evening free in Paro.

Day 11: Sight seeing in Paro:
After an early breakfast, drive up to Satsam Chorten (10kms) for a short trek to Taktsang Monastery. The name Taktsang means “Tiger’s Nest.” The monastery is perched on a rocky ledge with a sheer drop of nearly 800m. and overlooks the Paro valley and the river. Picnic lunch at the Taktsang cafeteria. The round trip hike takes about 4 hrs.

Afternoon : Visit the National museum (“Ta-Dzong”). This was actually the Watch Tower of the Paro Rinchen Pong Dzong. It was converted into the National Museum in 1968. Visit the massive fortress of Rinchen Pong Dzong. This fortress houses the Administrative seat of the district. Built in 1645 A.D., the central tower (“Utse”) of the Dzong is one of the most beautiful in Bhutan.

Day 12: Farewell and airport transfer for your flight back home.

Includes

  • Bhutan permit, entrance fees.
  • Airport transfers.
  • Daily guided sightseeing tours.
  • Privately guided tours & transfers as per given itinerary.
  • Twin sharing accommodation.
  • All meals.
  • Complete camping, cooking gears & camping staffs.
  • Pony/porters for transporting luggage during camping.

Excludes

  • Anything not mentioned under Services Included.

Visa/Entry Permit

With the exception of visitors from India, Bangladesh and Maldives, all other visitors travelling to Bhutan need a visa. 

Indian, Bangladeshis and Maldivian nationals can obtain a permit at the port of entry on producing a valid passport with a minimum of 6 months validity (Indian nationals may also use their Voters Identity Card (VIC).

All other tourists must obtain a visa clearance prior the travel to Bhutan.  Visas are processed through an online system by your licensed Bhutanese tour operator directly or through a foreign travel agent.

You are required to send the photo-page of your passport to your tour operator who will then apply for your visa.  The visa will be processed by the Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) once the full payment of your holiday (including a USD $40 visa fee) has been wire transferred and received in the TCB bank account.  Once received, the visa clearance will be processed within 72 working hours.

At your point of entry you will be required to show your visa clearance letter, the visa will then be stamped into your passport.

Online Regional Permit System

In order to streamline and facilitate smooth visitation by tourists from Bangladesh, India and Maldives, the Department of Immigration, Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs and the Tourism Council of Bhutan have launched the Online Permit System. The system facilitates the online processing of permits for regional tourists through registered Bhutanese tour operators and TCB certified hotels. The facility is offered as an optional channel to process permits for visitors from the region and is applicable for entry from Paro and Phuntsholing. Visitors who use this facility will be able to obtain their permit clearances and route permits ahead of their arrival in Bhutan similar to international tourists.

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Happy Holidays Treks and Expedition

Worthy time spent around the Nepal with Us.

What our guest are saying

Clients Experience

#In December 2011, my husband and I did a 3 trek in the Annapurna region of Nepal followed by 3 days at Chitwan National Park with Happy Holidays (Kuman Gurung).  We’re in our mid-sixties and began to question our decision when various friends and family members said that it’d be way too cold and difficult at that time of the year.  Actually November and December are excellent months to trek in Nepal as it is normally dry and sunny.  Kuman is an excellent choice as he did all the planning, gaining of licenses, arranging for lodging and planning of the length of our trekking days.  We liked that he not only planned, but accompanied our group of 6, along with two other wonderful assistants (porter and guide).  One needs to understand that Nepal is a third world country, and electricity and warm water become an issue all over the country.  Our days were very warm---how I wished I’d brought a short sleeved shirt---and the nights are cold.  We hadn’t anticipated that we’d spend much of our time climbing up or down----but Nepal translates to the Himalayas so that’s what you do. (much is rock steps which can be difficult for some)  The vistas make stopping often to rest a treasure,----it is beautiful---so beautiful.  You are remote and everything is packed into the area---your meals come mainly from the gardens and are delicious!  Kuman is willing to tailor the trip’s destination and length to your ability and time frame.  He provides one with a most memorable experience, and you come away with a true appreciation of the country and people.  He also arranged our stays in Katmandu and 3 days in the Chitwan National Park.  You begin and end your trek in Pokhara and we recommend the Temple Tree Resort and the Moon Dance restaurant as a great way to end your trek.  Thank you Kuman for making our adventure in Nepal so perfect!

Charlie and Patty SeeUSA

#Namaste to Kuman and Lokenra, I write as the expedition leader of a team of 6 (3 Canadians and 3 Americans) who recently traveled for 1 month in Nepal and Bhutan using the guiding and coordinating services of Happy Holidays Treks and Expeditions, in particular Kuman and Lokendra.  This was the second expedition which these gentlemen looked after us, the first being in 2010, another month long expedition which featured trekking through the Everest region, a jungle adventure in Chitwan and an extended whitewater rafting trip on the reverred Sun Kosiriver. Our October- November2013 trip featured trekking the Annapurna region, trekking for a week in Bhutan and whitewater rafting 2 rivers - the Kali Gandaki and the BhotoKosi rivers. Needless to say, the care and expert attention provided by Kuman and Lokendra was exceptional.  Every aspect of our trip was handled flawlessly and with good humor and insight of the Nepalese culture and traditions.  Over the last 15 years, I have lead many trekking and rafting expeditions around the world and without any qualification I give the highest marks to both Kuman and Lokendra. Not only did we get full value for our money, but it was done with genuine TLC by both these wonderful gentlemen.  Even when things went off track ( which in the 3rd world - in truly remote environments -  can happen in technicolor - in this case a National Strike of workers) alternate arrangements were undertaken with ease and care - maintaining our schedule and achieving our expedition objectives. I obviously think highly of Kuman and Lokendra and strongly recommend Happy Holidays as 'the go to' trekking/expedition/rafting company in Nepal. In this regard, if you require further amplification of my comments I would be pleased to endorse this recommendation via email or telephone. Clearly, if Nepal offers a Tourism Award for best guides/guiding companies,  Happy Holidays would be a first prize winner!

Temple W. HarrisToronto, Canada

#Dear Kuman, Happy New Year and Namaste.  It has been more than a month since the Team Tim returned home from the experience of a lifetime—organized by you and your company.  It was such an amazing trip with so many different aspects to it.   We started our adventure in Nepal where you and I first met, then quickly off to Bhutan, and eventually back to Nepal and home.  The trip you organized for us contained so many different elements--- hiking, rafting and learning about the cultural aspects of the two countries.  It was an organizational nightmare, but everything ran so smoothly under your direction.  Tim, Viv and I commented about how smooth the transition was between each activity and country.  It really was one of our best adventures. I was so impressed with the way in which the guides took such very good care of us. They were all so happy to teach us about Buddhism, their country and their politics.  I thought it very special how you joined us on the trekking part of the trip. You also went that extra mile when we rafted in Nepal.  You followed our route and met us at each stop along the way to feed us, take pictures, carry our “stuff”, or whatever else our team of 6 needed.  We all became family ----Lakendra, you, and the 3 Canadian and 3 American travellers. I know that you and Tim had thousands of emails between you as you planned this extensive trip.  Tim you knew from his last trip.  He was thrilled that you had opened your own office and that he was able to have you and Lakenda organize and guide the trip respectively. I would be privileged to serve as a reference for you if a potential client requests it. You receive a five start rating from me. Thanks again,

Marlene FogeToronto, Canada