This extended "Aman Circle Retreat Bhutan" tour (from 7-day Amazing Bhutan) is a private tour staying exclusively at Amankora luxury lodges or similar category of 5* hotels. In this trip, we add the visit to the mysterious Bumthang with Kurjey Lahkhang and Gangtey known as Phobjikha valley which is considered one of the best valleys in Bhutan.
Landing in the heart of the Himalaya is like nowhere in the world. On arrival received by Bhutan Senses Travel before being transferred to Thimphu, approximately an hour drive. Upon arrival we will check into the hotel, after lunch we will visit National Memorial Chorten, stupa built in the memory of late 3rd king. Further we will proceed to visit National Textile Museum, Zhorig Chusum, school where 13 different arts are practiced and learnt. We will also hop into nearby Folk Heritage Museum and perhaps time to stroll the main street for some interesting Himalayan artifacts or textiles.
- Le Meridien Thimphu
- Taj Tashi Bhutan Hotel
After our leisurely breakfast, we will head to the north end of the valley to view Trashicho Dzong and further north to hike to Cheri Goenpa. The hike takes about 45 mins one way to reach the temple and trail passes through beautiful cantilever bridge and forest creating the chance to see birds and wild animals sometime. This is the monastery where the first monastic body was established in the Kingdom. Back in town to explore some of the remaining site like traditional paper making center, takin’s mini zoo and weaving centre.
- Ambient Cafe
- The Zone Restaurant
We will checkout from the hotel and drive to Punakha over Dochula pass at 3050m. If the weather permits we can enjoy a spectacular view of the highest mountains of Bhutan at a site that stretches almost 180 degrees. After our packaged lunch we will visit Punakha Dzong (fortress) which houses the most elaborated temple in the country. One can also visit Souvenir making center and evening hike to Khamsum Yulay Namgyal Chorten, which will take about 45 mins to reach on the top. Soak yourself with the warm hospitality of international standard of hotel in the tiny Himalayan kingdom.
- Dhensa Punakha Resort
- Amankora Punakha Resort
Today’s journey onward to Jakar (Bumthang) is perhaps long, but certainly memorable with dramatic landscapes of terraced farmland, deep river valleys and precariously perched farmhouses viewed from the only east west highway that has been ingeniously carved out of the mountain faces. Following a brief stop at Chendebji Chorten, which according to belief was built to cover the remains of a demon spirit, we will carry on to what was the original home of the royal family. Upon reaching Trongsa we may take time to stroll this quaint village and official business permitting, perhaps visit the Trongsa Dzong, ancestral home to Bhutan’s monarch where you will often find novice monks reciting mantras or practising on sacred horns, flutes or drums. The drive onward to Bumthang takes you over the picturesque Yotong La and down into the Chhume Valley, home of Bhutan’s famous Yatra weaving. Here you will have a chance to browse the traditional textiles and perhaps see the weavers create their intricate handiwork.
- Amankora Bumthang
- Jakar Village Lodge
Today we will explore our neighboring palaces, Wangdue Chhoeling, home to the 2nd King, and the auspicious prayer wheels next door. Heading up valley, we will take in the grand Kurjey Lhakhang, considered one of Bhutan’s most auspicious monuments, that was once the resting place of Guru Rimpoche, and Jambay Lhakhang, home to the early winter festivals that draw thousands of Bhutanese for their annual blessings. Heading back into town and across the Bumthang Chhu, we will enjoy a visit to the sin alleviating Tamshing Monastery followed by quick visits to swiss cheese and red panda brewery before heading to our white bird valley resort.
Today we will have an early departure for the lengthy drive to Phobjikha valley, home of black necked cranes. Upon entering the valley, we will pay homage to Gangtey Goenpa before checking in hotel. If time permits we will take beautiful walk or bike around the feeder road of Phobjikha valley meeting locals and students. Evening we may enjoy talking tales of Yeti as it is very famous in the black mountain region.
- Gangtey Goenpa Lodge
After our leisurely breakfast, we will take two hours Phobjikha natural trail before heading to Paro. En-route we will stop at messina to visit Chimi Lhakhang, temple of fertility which is associates with religious arts of phallus. After descending back down from Pelela and up to Dochula, we will follow our way back up the dramatic Wang Chu and Paro Chu river valleys, before crossing through Paro town towards the north end of the valley. Here, set in a pine forest, you will find the Amankora lodge and its spa. We take an opportunity for a quick stroll to the nearby ruins Dzong.
- Uma Paro Hotel
- Le Meridien Hotel Paro
The day starts with a visit to the National Museum, housed in the Ta Dzong (watchtower). Here, an intriguing collection of artifacts provide a wonderful introduction to the rich culture and heritage of the Kingdom. Just a short walk downhill lays the dominating Paro Dzong, fine example of Bhutanese historic architecture. From the Dzong, the tour crosses Nyamai Zampa, a traditional cantilever bridge, and guests are then driven to the town. Paro options include picturesque picnic spots or, perhaps, a visit to a traditional farmhouse to lunch with the family. In the afternoon, hike up to view one of Bhutan’s most revered monuments, the Taktshang Goemba, more commonly referred to as the “Tiger’s Nest”. The four-hour trek offers spectacular views of this sacred monastery perched on a cliff face 900m above the valley floor.
- Sonam Trophel Restaurant
- Bhukari at Uma by COMO, Paro
9 days tour will end today. After the breakfast, we will transfer you to the airport for your departure flight. Carry smile on your face, eyes with tears and memories unlimited. Tour staffs will bid you farewell at the airport departure gate with the quick prayer of save journey and to see you again in future.
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