7 Day Bhutan Halal Itinerary



Day 1

     Arrive in Paro, head to Thimphu

Elevation 2,280 m     Weather in Thimphu

When you first arrive at Paro International Airport, you will be met by one of our delightful tour guides just outside the arrival hall. At 7,333 feet above sea level, the first thing you will likely notice is the effect of the high altitudes, so we will give you time to acclimate as we take a short drive to Thimphu and check into your hotel.

Thimphu is the capital of Bhutan and the perfect location to transition from your familiar lifestyle to our unique country that is like no other place on earth. Here you will begin to appreciate our local customs as you get your first glimpse of monks dressed in traditional red robes, men in striped ghos, and women in brightly colored kiras. Once you settle into your hotel, we will begin to unlock the mysteries of Bhutan by touring Thimphu’s most important sites. The National Memorial Chorten was built in 1974 to memorialize Jigme Dorji Wangchuk, the third king of Bhutan (1928-1972). A chorten is a stupa, or hemispherical structure, that is used as a place of meditation. The whitewashed building with a golden finial on top is a popular location for prayer as it represents the strength and kindness of our beloved third king.

The Thimphu Tashichho Dzong is a fortress and Buddhist monastery with a distinctive Bhutanese architectural design. Sitting aside the Wang Chhu (river), it is the current seat of the Druk Desi, the head of the civil government, and houses the offices of the current king.

On the weekends, Centenary Farmers’ Market is where farmers come to sell their vegetables, cheeses, grains, and the occasional yak leg. Across the street is the Kundeyling Baazam where you can bargain for local handicrafts, such as mala beads and prayer wheels. We will then take a scenic drive up to Buddha Point in the Kuenselphodrang Nature Park to see the 169-foot-tall bronze statue of the seated Buddha Dordenma. One of the largest sitting Buddha statues in the world, it sits atop a hill where you will see sweeping views of the valley and surrounding mountains. After returning to town for dinner, you can wander through the shops, bars, and cafes of Thimphu.

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Day 2

     Tour of Thimphu

Elevation 2,320 m     Weather in Thimphu

Situated at an altitude of 2400m, Thimphu is the centre of government, religion and commerce. The capital has an interesting combination of tradition and modernity, and includes some of the most advanced and remotest parts of the kingdom. It is home to the Kings and the Royal family members, civil servants, expatriates, politicians, business persons and monks. Enjoy this cultural mix based on livelihood. Of culture we will take you through dzongs, chortens, museums, handicraft stores, parks and many more. Allow yourself to meet both traditional and contemporary artist.

Buddha Point - Located at Kuenselphodrang Nature Park, the 169 feet bronze statue of Buddha Dordenma, Vajra Throne Buddha makes it one of the largest statue of Buddha in the world. The Buddha Dordenma symbolizes indestructibility, and it is said to emanate an aura of peace and happiness to the entire world. The Buddha statue will be completed soon, currently awaiting for the completed paintings but visitors can drive up to the Buddha point and view the tallest statue of Lord Buddha. The view of Thimphu valley from the Buddha point is spectacular and beautiful,, especially at night.

Craft Gallery - The Craft Gallery is a showroom/sales outlet for the products of Bhutanese artisans. The Craft Gallery promotes the marketing and development of all forms of Bhutanese handicrafts. The finest samples of Bhutanese craftsmanship are available for purchase with the assurance of the highest standards of quality and authenticity. The gallery also promotes local artisans, encourages product development and provides guidance to Bhutanese artists to support development of skills.

Textile Museum - Witnesses the art of traditional weaving and learn about Bhutan’s living national art of weaving. [Opening hour weekday and Saturday 09:00 AM – 04:00 PM]

Simply Bhutan - A living museum and a photo studio with a mission to engage and empower youth entrepreneurs through preservation, promotion and showcasing of Bhutanese tradition and cultural diversity. [Opening hour Summer 09.00 AM - 17.00 PM, Winter 10.00 AM - 16.00 PM]

Paper Making Factory - The paper factory uses traditional methods to produce the authentic Bhutanese paper known as Deh-sho. Located 1 km from Thimphu City. The factory uses the bark of two tree species, the Daphne tree and Dhekap tree in the manufacture of traditional paper. Visitors can observe the entire process of producing handmade paper.

Walk Around Thimphu Town - Shop and walk around Thimphu town

Hotels:

Day 3

     Thimphu (Day Trip to Punakha)

Elevation 1,300 m     Weather in Punakha

We will set off early from Thimphu after breakfast, perhaps with a visit to the weekend market first. Then proceed to Punakha, the ancient capital of Bhutan, about 2 1/2 hours drive from Thimphu across Dochu-la pass. Once you cross the pass, you wind down into a warm fertile valley and meander along a gently flowing aquamarine river that leads you to the Punakha Dzong, the second dzong to be built in Bhutan.

We will drive back to Thimphu in the late afternoon

Dochula Pass- At 3,050 meter, this beautiful pass located on the way to Punakha from Thimphu offers a stunning 360-degree panoramic view of Himalayas mountain range with its 108 chortens that was built by Her Majesty The Queen Mother Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck. The pass is also a popular spiritual destination for both locals and tourists.

Druk Wangyal Chortens - The construction of 108 chortens was commissioned by Her Majesty The Queen Mother Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck to commemorate the victory over the Indian militants and to liberate the souls of the lives lost.

Punakha Dzong - Placed strategically at the junction of the Pho Chu and Mo Chu rivers, the Dzong was built in 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to serve as the religious and administrative seat of the region. It was here that the dual system of government was introduced in the 17th century and in 1907, enthroned the first King Gongsar Ugyen Wangchuck. Damaged over the centuries by four catastrophic fires and an earthquake, the Dzong has been fully restored in the recent years by the 4th King Jigme Singye Wangchuck. At the Dzong enriches your trip with the opportunity to see the highest standards in woodwork. Do not miss the massive Kuenray, the Coronation Hall of all Bhutanese kings, the Dzongchung at the entrance to the Dzong and the cantilever bridge over the Mochu that has been recently renovated.

Pho Chhu Suspension Bridge - The 160 metres Pho Chhu Suspension Bridge is known for the longest suspension bridge in Bhutan, which gives you spectacular views of Punakha Dzong and the Pho Chhu Valley.

Hotels:

Day 4

     Thimphu to Paro

Elevation 2,280 m     Weather in Paro

The beautiful valley of Paro is home to many of Bhutan's old monasteries and temples. The country's only Airport is in Paro. The valley is also home to mount Chomolhari (7,300 meters) situated at the northern end of the valley whose glacier water forms the Pachu flowing through the valley.

Tachog Lhakhang - In the 14th century an emanation of Guru Padmasambhava, the great Siddha Thangtong Gyalpo had been to many places and built about 50 iron bridges in the parts of this world, for the benefit of all beings. When the great Siddha was in Phagri in Tibet, the Haa Chundu and Paro Jodarkay requested him to come to Bhutan for the benefit of Buddha’s teaching and people. In Bhutan, the great Siddha had built about eight bridges and established several Lhakhangs, such as Deoeteng Lhakhang, Phurdo Geonpa, Mindral Goenpa, Bardrong Lhakhang, etc. Specially Dumtse

Lhakhang at Paro Droelphug Jangsa was built for remedy of subduing Sadak and Lunyen in the country. The place where Tachong Lhakhang is situated above chhuzom the great Siddha had meditated seven days, and he has the vision that the Lhakhang should be built at that place, and the name of the place is also given by Tachog Gang. Because this particular place is suitable for meditation, and to accomplish ones Buddha’s activities. The natural situation of the place is also in the triangle shape. One day he had seen a woman with the signs of Dakini, and he gave her three blessing pills.

After some time, she had a son, named Dewa Zangpo. People in the place asked here about his father. He was pointing his finger to the sky and said that his father is in the sky. A still picture of this story exists in the wall painting and Statue in the Lhakhang. During the time of Desi Tenzin Rabgay, the Lhakhang was completely rebuilt as it was seen as the protector of Paro Valley.

Paro Valley - The beautiful valley is home to many of Bhutan's old monasteries and temples. The valley is also home to Mount Chomolhari (7,300 meters) situated at the northern end of the valley whose glacier water forms the Pachu flowing through the valley.

Paro Dzong (aka Ringpung Dzong) - Explore the Rinpung Dzong, which the locals call the ‘fortress of a heap of jewels’. Built in 1646 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the dzong stands on a hill above Paro Township. It is linked by the traditional cantilever bridge (called the Nemi Zam) over the Pa Chu where one may pose a photograph. Experience a walk up a stone paved path running alongside the imposing outer walls. Once inside the Dzong, you will be welcomed by themonks, architecture and the ancient frescoes.

National Museum (Ta Dzong)- On a ridge immediately above Rinpung Dzong is Ta Dzong, originally built as a watchtower. In 1968, Ta Dzong was inaugurated as the first National Museum, and now holds a fascinating collection of art, relics, religious thangka paintings, Bhutan’s exquisite postage stamps, coins and handicrafts, together with a small natural history collection. Start or end your trip with a visit to this marvellous museum.

 

Hotels:

Day 5

     Paro to Haa to Paro

Elevation 2,280 m     Weather in Paro

Drive to Haa through Chele La (3, 988m). From the pass you can see Paro Valley on one side and then Haa valley on the other. You can also have a picnic at Chele La if you like to. In Haa, some sightseeing and then head to Katsho village and visiting the Katso Lhakhang. Then you will head back to Paro.

Chele La Pass - Start early for the drive to Chele La Pass, which, at 3, 988m is the highest road pass in Bhutan, snaking upwards through blue pine and rhododendron (Etho Metho) forests for 35 km. On a clear day, the view sweeps away to the snow-dome of Bhutan's second highest peak, Mt. Jomolhari (7, 314m), and down to the Haa Valley, which only opened to foreigners in 2002 due to its promixity to the border with Sikkim and Tibet.

For those who rather have a leisurely sightseeing day, there is the option to drive from Chele La Pass down the other side to the Haa valley. In case Chele La Pass is not accessible during the winter months due to ice or snow, your guide will propose an alternative for this day excursion.

Picnic at Chele La Pass - Have a picnic at and have a beautiful short hike at the pass while enjoying the beautiful view.

The valley of Haa was only opened to tourists in 2002 and Haa is the least visited valley in Bhutan due to the lack of tourist infrastructure. This has helped keep Haa the way its always been, with Bhutanese families living their traditional and simple life. There are no tourist standard hotels in the Haa valley, so we return to Paro for the night.

Lhakhang Nagpo, Black Temple - It's a very peaceful and tranquil place, suitable for meditation. The monastery was established in the 7th century by King Songtsen Gampo in his mission to build 108 monasteries in one day. It is situated towards the north of Lhakhang Karpo. Legend has it that King Songtsen Gampo released a black and white pigeon to select sites to build the temples. 

Hotels:

Day 6

     Paro

Elevation 2,280 m     Weather in Paro
Are you ready? We will be making the hike up to one of the key highlights in Bhutan today! Tiger's Nest aka Taktsang Monastery
 
Taktsang Monastery - Often called the Tiger’s Nest, perched on the cliffs, has awestruck many a visitor. “Trip to Bhutan is never complete without climbing to Taktsang”, says one tourist. Indeed, it’s true as the journey there fills you with spiritual bliss. For those not choosing the spiritual side, it is the dramatic, artistically built monument that becomes a hiker’s delight. Take a trip to this dramatically set Buddhist relic hanging from a cliff. Experience the uphill climb as you ascend more than two thousand feet from the valley floor. A prominent Himalayan Buddhist sacred site and temple complex located on the cliff side of Paro Valley. According to legends, it is believed that Guru Rinpoche flew to this location from Tibet on the back of a Tigress (his consort Yeshey Tshogyal) and meditated in one of the caves. Guru Rinpoche performed meditation and emerged in eight manifestations, and the place became holy, thus gaining the name Tiger's Nest.

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Day 7

     Depart Paro

Elevation 2,280 m     Weather in Paro

Today we will bid fond farewell to this beautiful Himalayan country and take an early flight back to Singapore. We hope by now you would have made some friends and also kept many photos and beautiful memories of Bhutan! And we look forward to seeing you again in this beautiful land of endless Enchantments! Tashi Delek!

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