Happiness Bhutan Tour
Duration: 6 Nights 7 Days
Day 01: Fly in to Bhutan with Druk Air from Singapore or Bangkok
Arrive Bhutan, meet with your special Bhutanese Guide and transfer to Thimphu, the largest city and capital of Bhutan. The drive from airport to Thimphu City is approximately one and half hours. Check in to your hotel and have lunch. After lunch, some time at leisure on your own to take rest, change money, read some books, ask your personal questions etc. In the evening welcome cultural show and dinner. Overnight Thimphu.
Day 02: After breakfast at the hotel
Visit the Memorial Stupa built in 1974 in memory of Third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. Today it is the landmark of capital city and many elderly people go there pray and spend their time leisurely.
Visit the Largest BIG Buddha. Buddha Dordenma is a gigantic Shakyamuni Buddha statue. Completed construction on September 25th 2015 in the mountains of Bhutan celebrating their 60th anniversary of fourth king Jigme Singye Wangchuck. The statue will house over one hundred thousand smaller Buddha statues, each of which, like the Buddha Dordenma itself, will be made of bronze and gilded in gold. The Buddha Dordenma is sited amidst the ruins of Kuensel Phodrang, the palace of Sherab Wangchuck, the thirteenth Druk Desi, overlooking the southern approach to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. Upon completion, it will be one of the largest Buddha rupas in the world, at a height of 169 feet (51.5 meters). Although its completion was planned for October 2010, construction is still ongoing as of February 2016.
The statue alone is being built at a cost of US$47 million, by Aerosun Corporation of Nanjing, China, while the total cost of the Buddha Dordenma Project is well over US$100 million. The interior will accommodate 100,000 8-inch-tall and 25,000 12-inch-tall gilded Buddhas respectively. Names of sponsors will be displayed in the meditation hall which forms the throne of the Buddha Dordenma.
Apart from commemorating the centennial of the Bhutanese monarchy, it fulfills two prophecies. In the twentieth century, the renowned yogi Sonam Zangpo prophesied that a large statue of either Padmasambhava, Buddha or of a phurba would be built in the region to bestow blessings, peace and happiness on the whole world. Additionally, the statue is mentioned in the ancient terma of Guru Padmasambhava himself, said to date from approximately the eighth century, and recovered some 800 years ago by terton Pema Lingpa.
Under the eyes of the Buddha statue, the Kuensel Phodrang nature park was formally opened as a recreational park in 2011. The park conserves 943.4 acres of forest area that surrounds the Buddha Dordenma statue.
Have lunch. After lunch, visit Takin Zoo, Handmade Paper Factory and Handicrafts Shops in town for souvenir shopping. Overnight Thimphu.
Day 03: After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to Punakha
The drive from Thimphu will take about 3 to 4 hours. En-route, we will stop at Dochula Pass (Altitude: 3,100-m, 10,171-feet) to take some pictures and enjoy the views of highest mountains in Bhutan. Besides, there are 108 beautiful stupas and temple at Dochula Pass for you to offer your prayers and take pictures. We can have some coffee/tea at the Dochula Cafeteria and then continue our journey. After crossing Dochula Pass, the vegetation will change and you can enjoy the drive through nature.
Stop at Menchuna Cafe for Lunch. Those who are interested to try and wear Bhutanese Traditional Dresses can do so here.
After lunch, we will go to visit the most famous Chimi Lhakhang (Monastery). This monastery stands on a hillock. Although the temple was built by Ngawang Choegyal 1499, the site is supposed to have been blessed by Buddhist Saint Drukpa Kuenley (popularly known as Divine Madman 1455-1529) and built a Stupa there. He was known as the "Mad Saint" or “Divine Madman” for his unorthodox ways of teaching Buddhism by singing, humour and outrageous behavior, which amounted to being bizarre, shocking and with sexual overtones. He is also the saint who advocated the use of phallus (penis) symbols as paintings on walls and as flying carved wooden phalluses on house tops at four corners of the eves. The monastery is the repository of the original wooden symbol of phallus that Drukpa Kunley brought from Tibet. This wooden phallus is decorated with a silver handle and is used to bless people who visit the monastery on pilgrimage, particularly women seeking blessings to have children. Overnight Punakha.
Day 04: After Breakfast, go for hike up to Khamzum Yulley Namgyal Monastery)
Khamsum Yulley Namgyal stands majestically on a strategic ridge above the Punakha valley. Built over a period of 9 years, Bhutanese craftsmen including carpenters, painters, and sculptors consulted holy scriptures rather than engineering manuals, to construct this 4-storey temple. Khamsum Yulley Namgyal is a splendid example of Bhutan’s fine architectural and artistic traditions and the only one of its kind in the world.
It is a splendid example of Bhutan’s fine architectural and artistic traditions and the only one of its kind in the world. Built by Her Majesty the Queen Mother, this temple is dedicated for the well being of the kingdom and the benefit of all sentient beings.
Enjoy the Hike. A 30-minute drive from the Punakha Dzong will bring you to the base of the hill on which this temple is built. From the car park, you have to cross a suspension bridge and walk through rice fields before you start climbing a moderately inclined trail surrounded by pine trees. It takes about 1 hour from the car park to hike up to the temple, and 30 minutes to hike down. During the summer, the walk could be a bit muddy, so be prepared. A hiking pole is recommended. The 1 hour walk to the temple will take you through rice fields.The 30 minute walk to the temple will take you through rice fields.
The best view of Punakha is enjoyed from the top of this temple. If the caretaker is convinced that you will not take pictures inside the temple, and only shoot out of the temple, you will be allowed to take your cameras. On the top floor, you can step outside. Enjoy the view.
Have lunch and visit the most magnificent Punakha Dzong. The Punakha Dzong, also known as Pungtang Dechen Photrang Dzong (meaning "the palace of great happiness or bliss", is the administrative centre of Punakha District in Punakha, Bhutan. Constructed in 1637-38 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, 1st Zhabdrung Rinpoche. It is the second oldest and largest Dzong in Bhutan and one of its most majestic structures. The Dzong houses the sacred relics of the southern Drukpa Lineage of the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism, including the Rangjung Kasarpani and the sacred remains of Ngawang Namgyal and the Tertön Pema Lingpa.
Punakha Dzong was the administrative center and the seat of the Government of Bhutan until 1955, when the capital was moved to Thimphu. It is listed as a tentative site in Bhutan's Tentative List for UNESCO inclusion. Overnight Punakha.
Day 05: After breakfast
We will start our journey back towards Paro through the same road over Dochula Pass. We will arrive Thimphu on time for lunch. After lunch, continue our drive towards Paro. The total drive will be approximately 4 to five hours including stops for sightseeing, lunch, toilet, shopping etc. Overnight Paro.
Day 06: After early morning breakfast
We will take a drive up till the base of Taktsang Monastery (popularly known as Tiger's Nest). From here, you can choose to hike all the way up to the Monastery or take a horse ride halfway till the Cafeteria and then hike. You will have walk all the way back till the car park since horse rides are not available for downhill.
Hike to Tiger's Nest Monastery is one of the highlights of your Bhutan trip and it is very much recommended. It is a prominent Himalayan Buddhist sacred site and temple complex, located in the cliff-side of the upper Paro valley. A temple complex was first built in 1692, around the Taktsang Senge Samdup (stag tshang seng ge bsam grub) cave where Guru Padmasambhava is said to have meditated for over three months, three weeks, three days and three hours in the 8th century. Guru Padmasambhava (Chinese :莲华 生 上 师( Liánhuāshēng Shangsh) is credited with introducing Buddhism to Bhutan and is the tutelary deity of the country. Today, Paro Taktsang is the best known of the thirteen taktsang or "tiger lair" caves in which he meditated.
The Guru mTshan-brgyad Lhakhang, the temple devoted to Padmasambhava (also known as Gu-ru mTshan-brgyad Lhakhang, "the Temple of the Guru with Eight Names") is an elegant structure built around the cave in 1692 by Gyalse Tenzin Rabgye; and has become the cultural icon of Bhutan. Overnight Paro.
Day 07: After early morning breakfast at the hotel
transfer to Paro International Airport for your departure flight to Bangkok or Singapore. Besides the best services arranged by your local agent, your Guide and Driver will assist you all along the way to make sure you have a wonderful trip to Bhutan.
Price: 1,800/- US Dollars per person (AP). Price is inclusive of following services:
- 4-Star Hotel on twin/double sharing basis.
- All Meals (Fixed Menu Buffet Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner & two bottles mineral water/day).
- Deluxe Car/Transport for entire trip duration within Bhutan only.
- Experienced English Speaking Guide for entire trip duration.
- All the Applicable Taxes and Service Charges.
- Bhutan Government Tourism Development Tax.
- All Applicable Entry Fees.
- Bhutan Visa Fee and Processing Charges.
- Single Room, Flight Tickets and all other special/personal requests will be charged extra.
- Group Size – minimum 4 persons required.