Western and Central Bhutan Tour

Trip Facts

  • Destination: Bhutan
  • Trip Grade: Moderate
  • Activities Cultural Tours, Sightseeing
  • Total Duration: 12 days

Western and Central Bhutan Tours 2018

Western and Central Bhutan Tour comprises the highlights of Western and Central Bhutan and focuses on Paro Tsechu Tour-probably the biggest of the Tsechus of Bhutan. The Black mountain separates Western Bhutan with the rest of the country, extending roughly north-south with virgin forest providing a natural habitat for much wildlife such as Himalayan black bears, leopards, red pandas, etc and about 450 species of birds.

Western Bhutan Tours
The heartland of the Drukpa people- is comprised of the Haa Valley, Paro Valley, Thimphu, Punakha Valley, Wangdue Phodrang and Phobjika Valley. This part of Bhutan is known for its stunning scenery with rice paddies and orchards, magnificent mountains, pristine rivers that flow through the main towns of Paro, Thimphu, and Punakha, and unique two-story houses with brightly painted window designs. We will cross the high passes such as Cheli La (3988m, 13,084ft.), Dochu La (3050m, 10,007ft.), Pele La (3300m, 10,825ft), from where we will enjoy the superb views of the mountains and the valleys.

In Central Bhutan Tours
We will visit Trongsa and the rich broad valleys of Bumthang. We will drive over the passes of Yotang La (3400m, 11,155ft.) Shertang La (3573m, 11,723ft) and Thrumshing La (3800m, 12,465ft.). Central Bhutan is known for its buckwheat and apple production, its sturdy stone houses, and its plethora of monasteries. It’s the ideal place for walking due to its broad valleys and sloping mountains. We will visit the Trongsa Dzong one of the most picturesque examples of Bhutanese architecture and explore Bumthang, the cultural heartland of Bhutan and home to the some of the kingdom’s most precious and ancient Buddhist sites

The trip coincides with the famous Ura Yakchoe Festival in Ura Village. The Festival of Ura is about an old woman who was sitting outside her house and she had a mysterious visitor, a lama who asked her for a glass of water. She went inside and came back with a glass of water only to find the lama vanished leaving a sack. Out of curiosity, she checked the bag and found a Statue (relic). This relic has been passed on from generation to generation and now it’s owned by the descendants of the woman. Every year, this festival is organized and the relic is displayed to the public

For the Bhutanese, attendance at religious festivals offers an opportunity to become immersed in the meaning of their religion and to gain much merit. The festivals are also occasions for seeing people, for being seen, for social exchanges, and for flaunting success. People bring out their finest clothes, their most beautiful jewelry, and enjoy picnics with abundant alcohol and meat.

Outline Itinerary

Day 01| flight to Paro Bhutan
Day 02| Paro Sightseeing tour
Day 03| Drive to Thimphu. (B/L/D)
Day 04| Tours At Thimphu
Day 05| Drive to Punakha and Wangdue Phodrang
Day 06| Drive to Bumthang (Jakar) (B/L/D)
Day 07| Full day in Bumthang Valley (B/L/D)
Day 08| Ura Valley Excursion and attend the festival
Day 09| Return drive to Bumthang
Day 10| Drive to Trongsa
Day 11| Drive to Paro
Day 12| Departure

Detail Itinerary

Day 01| flight to Paro Bhutan
You can choose to fly from Bangkok or Delhi or Kolkatta or Kathmandu to Paro, Bhutan. Upon arrival at Paro airport immigration, produce your visa approval letter provided by us and get your passport stamped with actual visa. Claim your baggage and walk through the customs and meet our guide with your name card outside the airport and transfer to your hotel. This afternoon visit the national museum, which is housed in an ancient watch tower. The museum's collection range from books, paintings, textiles, crafts, arms, utensils, stuffed animals, insects, gallery of philatelic collection and a shrine with the tree that has four sides with statues representing the four school of Lamaism; Sakya, Gelug, Nyingma and Kagyu with emphasis on Drukpa Kagyu sub sect. Overnight hotel in Paro
Day 02| Paro Sightseeing tour
After breakfast, we explore the highlights of Paro that includes the Paro Rinpung Dzong, Kichu Temple, ruins of Drugyel Dzong and visit a typical farm house. In the afternoon, we hike the legendary Taktstang Monatery, famed as Tiger's Nest. Monastery is perched some 2,000ft/600m up on a sheer cliff overlooking the valley and was said to be where the legendary Indian saint, Guru Padmasambhava, flew from Tibet on the back of a tiger to defeat five demons, who were opposing the spread of Buddhism in Bhutan. The hike is about 2 hrs to the teahouse, which can also be done on the Pony. After tea and snacks you may either opt to hike further uphill for about 45mins to get a closer look at Taktsang and the surrounding temples or just remain at the Tea house and enjoy the views. The return trek to the road head is all downhill and takes about half the time. Depending on the available time, you may visit festival or other sites in Paro
Day 03| Drive to Thimphu. (B/L/D)
Today, we drive to Thimphu (2hrs)-the capital city of Bhutan. After some rest, take self guided tour to King's Memorial Chorten and visit other sights as time permits.
Day 04| Tours At Thimphu
After breakfast, begin our sightseeing with a visit to the colorful weekend market, where people from near and far come to sell or buy the fresh produce. It is where the village folks jostle with the well heeled resident of Thimphu for the best and cheapest vegetables and other food stuffs. Weekend also provides opportunity to see the traditional game of archery played in the nearby grounds. During these two days in the capital, you will also visit the school of traditional arts and painting, the indigenous hospital, the heritage museum, textile museum, Tashicho Dzong, the nunnery at Zilukha, handicrafts workshops and shops, handmade paper factory, gold and silver smiths, memorial chorten, Zangdopelri temple, the mini zoo to see Takin and other sights as per available time and interest. Evening can spent taking self guided walks and shopping. Hotel River view.
Day 05| Drive to Punakha and Wangdue Phodrang
Continue drive towards Wangdiphodrang and Punakha, which takes about 3 hours. As you leave Thimphu, the road climbs up to Dochula pass (Alt. 3010m), where we will stop to get a spectacular panoramic views of the snow capped mountain range of Bhutan (weather permitting!). Near the pass there are many 'chortens' (pagoda or stupas) and hundreds of prayers flags fluttering about in the wind. After the pass the road drops through changing vegetation into semitropical lowland Punakha - Wangdi valley at around 1400m. Punakha and Wangdue valleys are at lower elevation of approx. 1400m, and it is therefore warmer with semi-tropical climate or vegetation such as cactuses, bananas and orange groves. Check in hotel and after lunch, visit Punakha Dzong –the former winter capital of Bhutan. The head Abbot and monks of central monastic body reside in Punakha Dzong during the winter months and in Thimphu during the summer. Time permitting, drive to the village near the junction road between Punakha and Wangdi and make a 20 minutes pleasant hike to Chimi Lhakhang temple, dedicated to the Saint Drukpa Kuenley (1455-1529), also known a the "divine madman". He is very popular, as he taught Buddhist teachings in the way that is unlike the stiffness of clergy and society of the time; he dramatized the teachings using songs and sexual humor.
Day 06| Drive to Bumthang (Jakar) (B/L/D)
After early breakfast, set off on the road to Jakar. The road from Punakha passes through the town of Wangdiphodrang and starts the climb from Chuzomsa steadily for about 2 hours and crosses the black mountains at Pele la pass (3420m). From here, on a clear day, you can see the Mt. Jumolhari, and other mountains across the valley. After the pass, you are now in Mangde region and people speak different dialect here. Continue drive to Trongsa, en-route stopping at Chendebji chorten and other places along the way to stretch your legs, to admire the landscape or to take pictures. Lunch at Trongsa and take a peek at the Dzong, which is considered one of the largest and certainly the most impressive of all Dzongs in Bhutan. Trongsa Dzong is a rambling collection of buildings that trail down the ridge, with remarkable street like corridors and wide stone stairs running down. It was from here that the present royal family emerged as the most powerful force at the beginning of this century. The first two hereditary kings ruled the country from here and it is still a tradition that the crown prince first serves as the Trongsa Penlop before ascending to the throne. From Trongsa, it is another 68km/ 2 ½ hours drive Jakar across Youtongla pass (3425m). After the pass, descend into Chume, the first of the four Bumthang valleys. Stop at the roadside village of Zugney to see the weaving of Yathra (deep colored wool textile, a pattern typical to these parts of the country). Overnight and dinner at Mountain Lodge or similar.
Day 07| Full day in Bumthang Valley (B/L/D)
After breakfast start the sightseeing tour with the drive to Jambay Ihakang, visit Chakar temple (iron castle), and continue to Kurjey monastery complex. After visiting Kurjey, we start a gentle leveled walk across the suspension bridge over the Chamkhar Chu river to Tamshing Lhakang. Walk through the village to a smaller Kunchok sum temple and then continue the walk through the farmland to swiss farm area. At this point, your vehicle will meet you and transfer to the hotel for lunch. In the afternoon, visit the new monastery of Namhai Nyingpo, the traditional hospital, Jakar Dzong, Lamay Gompa and other sights as per available time. Overnight at Mountain Lodge or similar at Jakar.
Day 08| Ura Valley Excursion and attend the festival
From Tang it is 50 kms (32 miles) across a pass to the Ura valley, the last and highest of the Bumthang valleys. The road descends into Ura by long loops across fields and pastures. Villages in the region of Ura characteristically have very closely clustered houses, which is unusual in Bhutan. Come together with our people from different locations across the country to involve yourself with hundreds of high-spirited local onlookers dressed in their finest clothes and jewelry to pay respect and to be blessed at the "Tshechu." social gathering. Here we can truly appreciate the essence of Bhutanese people and a preserved steadfast culture. It is a rare privilege bestowed to only a limited number of visitors each year. Camp at the Ura Village or possibly a farm house stay in one of the houses at Ura.
Day 09| Return drive to Bumthang
Return to the festival ground. Watch the festival all day and drive back to Bumthang late afternoon.
Day 10| Drive to Trongsa
Retrace your drive back across Yotongla pass and descend into Trongsa, which takes about 3 hours. In the afternoon visit huge and historical Trongsa Dzong (fortress), site of emergence of present Royal family of Bhutan. Also visit Ta Dzong (watch tower) which now houses the temple dedicated to Jigme Namgyel, father of the first King of Bhutan.
Day 11| Drive to Paro
Leaving Trongsa, we return west, stopping to visit the Chendebji Chorten, a large white monument said to conceal the remnants of an evil spirit vanquished here. Continuing across the spectacular Pelela pass (3,300m), we descend into the valleys of Punakha and Wangdi. Further drive through blossoming hills and pine forests, we arrive at Dochula pass (3,100m) for another opportunity to get the panoramic views of the eastern Himalayan range, including Bhutan's highest peak Gangkar Phuensum. Further continue drive towards Paro via Thimphu.
Day 12| Departure
Transfer to the airport in time for flight to your next destination

Transportation and Travel situation in Bhutan
Ground transportation is by private  vehicles based on number of travelers. we provide clean Air conditioning  and  heat in vehicles . expect bad roads with uphill and narrow tracks too, travel time might delay due to weather too.

please consult your doctor before you come to travel. in Bhutan we have local doctors to assist incase if needed.

Hotels / Resorts / Tents
We choose nice and best available hotels based on your budget. you will have private rooms with hot and cold showers

Guide, Driver and helpers
local expert guides and drivers.
“this program can be customized based on your time and interest ”

Service Includes during Bhutan Tour

  • Bhutan Visa arrangement service
  • Government royalty and all the taxes
  • FIT Surcharge for one and two persons
  • Accommodations in A grade hotels
  • Three meals a day breakfast, lunch & dinner
  • Full-time English speaking Bhutanese guide
  • Private transportation and sightseeing as per the itinerary
  • Museums and parks fees indicated in the itinerary
  • Bottled drinking water throughout the journey


Excludes in the package / supplement during Bhutan Tour

  • Flight fares from Kathmandu, Bangkok, Singapore, Delhi, Kolkata, Bagdogra, Dhaka, Mumbai, Guwahati, Gaya to Bhutan- please choose the route and let us know we book for you
  • Personal expenses and any alcoholic, non-alcoholic beverages
  • Tips to guide, driver, trekking staff, hotel service, etc.
  • Single room supplement charge for two Pax and above
  • Luxury hotels/resorts available on supplement cost
  • Specialized /language guides available on supplement cost
  • Travel / Medical Insurance

Visa processing

  • Bhutan visa is pre-process by our company we need to have your passport copy by scan on our e-mail. we will send you electronic visa on your mail. you need to print and carry to fly to Bhutan. at immigration authorities will stamp on your passport.
  • your passport must be valid more than 6 months at the time  of travel in Bhutan

Notes: There are regular flights from Kathmandu Nepal, Bangkok Thailand, Delhi India to Bhutan . for flights and package please contact us now

Some useful Bhutanese phrases during tours
Hello :              Ku-zu-zam-po-la (meaning good health)
Thank You :     Ka din chey la
See you :          Lok jey gay
Good bye :       Lus la “or” Laso la

Cost and Dates

You can choose your dates at the time of booking. Thanks!


Amazing Bhutan Experience

Dear Rajan,
I can't thank you enough for all your help to make my trip to Bhutan an amazing experience. You always responded to my (many) questions so quickly that it almost seemed that you really weren't half a world away. You were wonderful through all the changes that I and other sources through at you; through it all you planned the perfect itinerary. The guides were extremely knowledgeable, friendly and courteous; I feel I have made new friends with each and every one of them. The accommodations were outstanding everywhere and you were able to get me into all the special events I want to attend, with your guidance it really was the trip of a lifetime!
As the COO of a major travel company I will make sure my agents and clients know to contact you for the perfect Himalayan journey.
Again, many, many thanx for everything!

Daniel Hanes
Morrison International, A Travel Corporation
San Mateo, CA 94401, 32 East Third Avenue
E-Mail:- danielh@morrisontravel.com
Phone: - (+1) 650-274-6112

Bhutan’s Best Tour

Dear Rajan;
Thank you for the most amazing trip to Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan, your itinerary was a very good one, well planned and had all the needed components: from spiritual, to culture, to accommodations and many others.
Beyond all that your friendly and cooperative attitude made our trip an unforgettable one. Please pass our regards and thanks to all three companies in Tibet Nepal and Bhutan.
Special thanks to yourself, and to Yontan in Bhutan and Lapka in Tibet. Hope we could meet in the near future again.

Anyone who wants to ask me more about this trip feel free to contact me
E-mail - saulakry@aol.com | Shaul & Orly, Los Angeles

Excellent Trip

Dear Rajan,
My wife, son and I want to thank you for providing us with an excellent trip to Bhutan . Your company was very organized with all of the necessary plane and hotel reservations made well in advance of our trip. Your company arranged all the necessary Visas and the guides in each country were knowledgeable and helpful. My wife appreciated the Bhutanese guide's assistance in walking her safely down the steep hill from the Tiger's Nest monastery Thanks again.

Richard, Jacqueline and Scott Swanberg
Los Angeles, Ca, USA
cell 818 497-8692
E-mail- rjsswan@sbcglobal.net

Bhutan – land of happiness

From USA,
In February and March 2015, my wife and I were able to visit Bhutan. Our best tour trip was arranged with the assistance of Rajan and his company. We were extremely pleased with the accommodations, tours, guides and drivers which served us during this three-week holiday; and can highly recommend this company and its owner to anyone who is considering traveling in these beautiful countries.
We also visited Nepal and Myanmar. Thanks again for everything.
Chip & Madeline Thomas
Mercer Island, Washington

best tour
Chip & Madeline Thomas,

We will certainly be recommending the “Bhutan experience”

Our time in Bhutan was particularly enjoyable, perhaps partly by contrast with Delhi and Kathmandu. If all of the guides and drivers you employ in your company are of the same quality as Ngawang and Bhim then you must receive many critiques praising their performance. Bhim's skills as a driver were manifest any number of times from congested traffic in Thimpu to the rugged road between Thimpu and Punakha. He also has good English and a sense of humor. We felt very secure in his car.

Ngawang is a perfect blend of calm (perhaps even serene) and knowledge. He patiently explained and reexplained some very difficult (for us) aspects of life in Bhutan and Buddhism. He was flexible (we wanted to skip the Paro Dzong) as you said he would be. Highlights of our time in Bhutan had to be our hike to the Taktshang Monastery and the meal we had on the last evening with the rice farming family.  I don't know if it was coincidental, but we had commented earlier that we were tiring of continental cuisine for seemingly every lunch and dinner. This entirely Bhutanese meal was a perfect way to end our visit.

All hotels were excellent. We especially enjoyed the view from the veranda of our hotel in Punakha.
In short, not much to complain about. We will certainly be recommending the "Bhutan experience" and your company to our friends.
Good luck and all the best.

Jim Reese,
Atlanta, United States

Exciting and an adventurous trip

Hello Deepak
We have come back last Sunday from and exciting and an adventurous trip to your country. It was exciting climbing and trekking those mountains .We stayed at some decent hotels, however the food was average. The guide and the driver you provided were excellent. Nawang was a font of knowledge , both local and international, the driver Jeevan was very good and careful, and he made the journey very comfortable.We enjoyed all the sights we visited and every day we looked forward to a ne destination. The downside to the trip was the condition of the roads, I understand that the Government has undertaken the road widening project from Thimphu to Bumthang . We found it extremely tiring because of the many bad road conditions on the way.Bhutan is unspoilt and we would visit again.The whole experience was well worth the visit.

John Pereira ,

Our unforgettable trip!

Dear Rajan,

Many thanks for organizing such a wonderful tour for us. This will remain our unforgettable trip! We felt so lucky that we were able to visit your beautiful country during the 30th Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between Bhutan and Japan.

We spent one night in Thimphu, two nights in Phunakha, and two nights in Paro. Phunaka's Lobesa hotel became one of the most impressive splendid hotels we have ever stayed! Its view from the window was just gorgeous and took our breath away.

Nawang was a knowledgeable, kind and caring guide and we learned a lot about your beautiful country from him. Ugay was a safe driver and we felt so comfortable in the lovely Nissan four wheels.

The tour was both very informative and fun. In addition, Nawang accommodated many of our requests and re-arranged the original schedule to our satisfaction. Going to the weekend market in Thimphu became one of the highlights of this tour for us !

We'd like to visit Bhutan again in the future and we will definitely ask you again to organize tour for us.

Finally, we would like to thank Rajan for being such a friendly coordinator. Your responses were always so prompt!!

Nory and Mayuri,
Tokyo, Japan

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