A Woman’s Journey to Bhutan (13 days)

Old Bhutanese 2

special(Departure October 5 – October 17)
Note: The itinerary is purely crafted for women traveling and is led by a local Bhutanese woman guide.
Nothing offers more of an opportunity to experience life than travel, especially with like minded people. Life is also about deriving happiness out of what we choose to do and understanding others. This tour is handcrafted by a Bhutanese woman to make it easy for women travelers to express themselves and better understand life for local women in Bhutan. This trip also gives the local women a chance to understand women from other countries and share their views of the world. You have plenty of time to relax, to hike, sight see, explore typical life for a woman in Bhutan, try your hand at weaving along with the chance to bond and make friendships. A Woman’s Journey to Bhutan is your chance to get away from the daily grind and learn about women’s life in Bhutan.

Day 1 – Paro
On your journey to Paro, the panoramic views of the Himalayas are sensational, including the Everest and other famous Himalayan Peaks. The approach through the Bhutanese foothills and the landing, including a few steep turns to land at the tiny airstrip of Paro becomes more exciting as you enter Bhutan. Many travelers have termed the landing very much adventurous.

On arrival you will be met by your Bhutanese woman guide and escorted to your hotel.

The first day in Bhutan is free to get to know each one another.
After lunch, drive a short distance for a traditional hot stone bath as you chat and relax with your fellow travelers.. The hot stone bath is believed to have medicinal values.

Hot stone bath: The traditional Bhutanese hot stone bath, known as Dotsho in local language has been practiced in Bhutan for centuries as a medicinal soak. Many Bhutanese believe that the bath helps in curing joint pains, helps in relaxing and other medical problems. River stones are heated and then put in water to heat the water; sometime medicinal herbs are added to the water before it is ready for the soak.

Dinner and overnight in hotel

Day 2 – Paro
Start your tour with a hike to the abode of gods, Taktshang. The hike is at your own pace, no hurries and no worries. Reaching the top you feel the touch of the Himalayan breeze and see breathtaking views of the valley below with the temple on the rocky cliff.

Taktshang Monastery: The primary lhakhang was built surrounding Guru Rimpoche’s Meditation cave in the 1684 by Gyaltse Tenzin Rabgay. This incredible monastery clings to the edge of a sheer Rock cliff that plunges 900 meters into the valley below. Legend has it that Guru Padmasambhava flew here on the back of a tigress. It is a two to three hours excursion uphill; however, one feels truly blessed reaching the monastery.

Today learn about a woman’s life living in a typical Bhutanese house.

After lunch, visit a Bhutanese house. Meet the owner and interact with her with regards to the plans for today’s dinner. We would encourage you to take part in preparing today’s typical Bhutanese dinner. A new experience and feeling, the group work should be something that you would cherish your whole life.

Dinner at the Bhutanese farmhouse. Overnight in hotel

Day 3 – Paro/Thimphu
After breakfast, visit:

Rinpung Dzong: Meaning “fortress of the heap of jewels”. The dzong now serves as the administrative and judicial seat of Paro district and residence for around 200 monks of Paro and was built at the same time of Drukgyel Dzong.The famous Paro tshechhu (festival) is held here in spring.

Ta Dzong: It overlooks the Rimpung Dzong and was built in 1951 as a watch tower. This dzong is Round, more like parts of a European castle. The Dzong was established as the National Museum of Bhutan since 1967 and holds fascinating collection of arts, relics, religious thangkha, etc.
After lunch, drive to Thimphu. While in Thimphu visit the The Centennial farmers Market.

The Centennial Farmers Market (Thimphu’s Vegetable Market): This Market was built in the year in the year 2008 coinciding with the coronation of our fifth King. This market supplies the residence of Thimphu with their needs for the kitchen. This is the main hub for the supplies of fruits, vegetables and meat. Exploring the market and interacting with different mothers of the country trying to communicate in diverse language is an interesting way to spend this part of time.

In the evening, visit:

Sangaygang view point: (2685 meters) to have view of whole Thimphu valley and walk through hundreds of colorful prayer flags that dot the hill overlooking the Thimphu valley.
Takin Reserve Centre: The takin, the national animal of Bhutan can be seen here. This particular animal is found only in the Himalayan region.

Tashichho Dzong (Fortress of the Glorious Religion): A Doom (Blue Stone) Dzong was built on the hill above Thimphu in 1216 the lama Gyalwa Lhanampa. A few years later Lama Phajo Drugom Shigpo, who brought the Drukpa Kagyu lineage to Bhutan, took over Dohon Dzong. Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal (The one who unified the country) acquired the Dzong in 1641 from the descendants of lama Phajo and renamed it as Trashi Chhoe Dzong. The Dzong is the seat of the national government and the Central Monastic Body, including the summer residence of the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot of Bhutan) at present.

Dinner and overnight in hotel

Day 4 – Thimphu
Today’s morning starts exploring:

Kuenselphodrang: A place for refreshing with a huge statue of Buddha on the top of the Kuenselphodrang. The area also gives a very good view of the Thimphu valley from the west.

Textile Museum: The museum showcases the living national art of Bhutanese weaving. Operated by the National Commission for Cultural Affairs in Bhutan, the Museum was established in 2001. Since its establishment the museum has a substantial collection of antique textile artifacts, exclusive to Bhutan and has generated national and international attention.

Simply Bhutan: Inaugurated by Her Majesty the Queen Mother, Tshering Pem Wangchuck, This is the first living museum in the country. It depicts ancient Bhutan and the Bhutanese ways of life in the ancient times. It has an altar, a photo studio, a Zhabdrung museum, a traditional Bhutanese kitchen, demonstration stalls of textiles and handmade products and cafe offering butter tea Suja, snacks and a souvenir shop

After lunch, visit the Jewelry and Handicraft Shops in the town.
In the evening, interaction with our Bhutanese women host in regards to “Women in Bhutan”.

Dinner and overnight in hotel

Day 5 – Thimphu/Punakha
After breakfast, drive to Punakha. On the way you stop in Dochula.

Dochula Pass: is the most known pass in Bhutan, about 30 km drive from the Capital City Thimphu on the way to Wangduephodrang/Punakha. It is at around 3150 mt height. On a clear day, spectacular view of the mighty Himalayas mountain ranges can be seen. The pass also has 108 Druk Wangyal Khangzang Chhortens which is believed to bring multi fold merit to all sentient beings and which make the pass a must visit place.

Drive onward to Punakha.

Visit Chhimi Lhakhang: This temple is located on the way to Punakha. This temple is also known as the temple of fertility and was built by Lama Drukpa Kuenley in the 15th century. Lama Drukpa Kuenley is also known as the Devine Madman.

In the evening, leisure time for exploring the Punakha town and valley. Dinner and overnight in hotel

Day 6 – Punakha/Gangtey
After breakfast,visit:

The Punakha Dzong: This Dzong was built by the Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1637. It is built at the junction the Pho Chu and Mo Chu Rivers. The annual Punakha Tsechhu(Festival) is held here. The monk body resides in this dzong in winter.

Drive onward to Gangtey.

Being in Phobjikha gives you the opportunity to experience two things:
1. Undisturbed, beautiful and tranquil nature where you can relax.

2. Unique and traditional lifestyle, people and villages.
- Visit villages and meet people also visit women weaving and try your hand at traditional Bhutanese weaving.
- Also visit the Phobjikha school, (Only on government working days and within the school time) and meet the children.
Dinner and overnight in hotel

Day 7 – Gangtey/Trongsa/Bumthang
While in Trongsa, visit:

Trongsa Dzong: The most impressive Dzong in Bhutan. The Dzong was built by Chogyal Minjur Tempa, the official who was sent by Zhabdrung to unify Eastern Bhutan and enlarged at the end of the 17th century by Desi Tenzin Rabgay. Trongsa Dzong is the ancestral home of the present Royal Family. The first two hereditary kings ruled Bhutan from this Dzong.

Ta Dzong: An ancient watch tower. The chapel inside is said to be dedicated to the Trongsa Penlop, Jigme Namgyal.

Drive to Chummey valley in Bumthang. Overnight in hotel

Day 8 – Bumthang
After breakfast, drive to the Yathra and Mathra (wool woven Bhutanese clothes) Weaving Center in Chummey valley. Spend time here interacting with the local women weavers.

After lunch, drive to Chamkhar Valley (the main Bumthang town).

Drive to Bathpalathang and visit the cheese, juice and wine making factory. Taste the locally made cheese and wine.

In the evening, take a walk around the Bumthang valley. Dinner and overnight in hotel

Day 9 – Bumthang
Today is a full sightseeing day.

After breakfast, sightseeing includes:

Jakar Dzong: Literally meaning the Castle of White Bird. The current structure was built in 1667.

Lamey Goemba : A large palace and monastery built in 18th century by Dasho Phuntsho Wangdi.

Jambay Lhakhang : built by King Srongsen Gampo of Tibet. In October one of the most spectacular festival, “Jambay Lhakhang Drup” is staged here.

Chakhar Lhakhang: Literally meaning the Iron Castle, the original palace was made of Iron and hence the name “Chakhar”.

Kurjey Lhakhang: Named after body print of Guru Rimpoche.

After lunch, visit:

Tamshing Lhakhang: Literally meaning the Temple of the good message, established in 1501 by Pema Lingpa .

Membarstho: Literally meaning, “The burning Lake”.

Dinner and overnight in hotel

Day 10 – Bumthang/Wangdue
After breakfast, drive to Wangdue. Dinner and overnight in hotel

Day 11 – Wangdue/Thimphu
After breakfast, drive to Thimphu. On the way stop at Lamperi to visit the Royal Botanical Park.

Royal Botanical Park: Situated at an altitude range of 2100 meters – 3800 meters, the park covers an area of 47 square kilometers and is located between Thimphu and Punakha. The park contains a rich biodiversity of flora and fauna and features a huge species of plants and animals including endangered species such as Himalayan yew, native Rhododendron, Royal Bengal Tiger, , Musk Deer, Red Panda, Blood pheasants and Himalayan Monal. You can also find Tetracentron (an ancient relict angiosperm with no vessel in its trunk) in the park. The park has 14.5 km of trails for eco trek for cycling and walking and one of the main attractions is the rhododendron garden including a picnic spot with children’s play ground.

After spending some time in the park drive on to Thimphu.

After lunch, visit the Botanical Garden.

Royal Botanical Garden: situated 15 km south of the Thimphu city. The garden was established in 1999. You can see several areas of interest in the garden. It consists of medicinal plants and flowering plants and is a perfect place for picnic. The garden sees a good number of local visitors during the holidays. It offers a peaceful and relaxing environment and is a good place of interest for people who love flowers and plants including the views.

In the evening, feel at home in a company of local Bhutanese working women, which gives you time to share experiences, a time to taste the local Bhutanese wine (rice wine), a time to know and let know about the lives of women in two completely different parts of the world and a dinner with new friends. Overnight in hotel

Day 12 – Thimphu/Paro
Today is a time for yourself. You have the whole day for shopping to walk around and visit parlors. By now you know Bhutan!

In the evening, drive back to Paro. Overnight in hotel

Day 13 – Depart Paro
After breakfast, you are driven to the airport for your flight homebound or onward.

CALL NOW to BOOK 415-331-3791

Includes:
- 3 meals a day
- Accommodation in twin sharing basis in Tourist certified Class A hotels — Transportation
- English speaking certified guide
- Museum and monument fees
- Government Royalty and taxes
- Visa fee

Does not include:
- International Air Ticket
- Druk Air internal airfares
- Bills of personal natures such as bar bills, laundry bills, telephone bills, and any kinds of bottled drinks.

CALL NOW for all DETAILS 415-331-3791