Chen Han Wei and Sheila Sim Bhutan Itinerary

  • Buddha Dordenma

    Buddha Dordenma
    Buddha Dordenma

  • Punakha Suspension Bridge

    Punakha Suspension Bridge
    Punakha Suspension Bridge

  • Bhutan Traditional Costume (Kira and Gho)

    Bhutan Traditional Costume (Kira and Gho)
    Bhutan Traditional Costume (Kira and Gho)

Follow the itinerary of Chen Han Wei and Sheila Sim in Magical Kingdom of Bhutan. 
 

 
Chen Han Wei kick started his career in the entertainment industry when he became a finalist in the first Star Search in 1988, Singapore's bi-annual talent search. Since then this veteran actor has come a long way, playing the male lead in numerous television drama serials and telemovies.
 
Sheila Sim started modelling in 2001. She was discovered at 16 by a talent scout while attending the wedding of her aunt Ivy Chng, who was a runway model in the 1980s.  In 2009, Sim made her film debut in indie film Autumn In March, and later in 2013, she made her television debut in Channel 8's Chinese drama series, I'm in Charge. Sim has a fan club called "Sheila Simplicity".

Day 1

PARO – THIMPHU

Elevation 2320 m     Weather in Thimphu
Welcome to Bhutan, the Land of the Thunder Dragon. Touching down at Paro International Airport, you will be greeted by your guide upon exiting the arrival hall. Today, we will take it easy to acclimatise to the altitude. Drive to Thimphu, check in to the hotel and lets have your first taste of Bhutanese cuisine.
 
Archery Range at Babesa Lam Rd (opposite School for Language and Cultural Studies) - The sport became very popular in the late 1920s, during the regime of Bhutan's second king, and is now an integral part of everyday life. However, it was only declared as a national sport in 1971, when Bhutan joined the United Nations.
 
Centenary Farmers' Market [1.5 hrs] - Most of the Thimphu population congregate on the banks of Wangchhu River where the weekend market is held. Villagers from the Valley and other nearby places come to sell their wide range of agriculture products in the market. The market is by far the largest domestic market in Bhutan. A visit to the market provides great photo opportunities, as well as the chance to mingle with local people and perhaps buy souvenirs. [Operating hour: Every Fridays to Sundays 07:00 AM - 07:00 PM]
 
Takin Enclosure [1 hrs] - On the way to the viewpoint over Thimphu is the home of Bhutan’s national animal, the Takin, a strange looking beast some say looks like a bee-stung moose.
 
View of Trashi Chhoe Dzong [2 hrs] - ‘Fortress of the Glorious Religion’ was initially erected in 1641 and rebuilt by King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck in the 1960s. Tashi Chhoe Dzong houses some ministries, His Majesty’s secretariat, and the central monk body. Entrance may be granted to guests only after 5 pm but the nine-hole golf course alongside makes for a quirky
photo opportunity.
 
Tashichhodzong (Thimphu Dzong) [1 hrs] - The “fortress of the glorious religion” was initially constructed in 1641 and restored by the Third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck in the 1960s. Tashichhodzong houses some ministries, His Majesty’s secretariat, and the central monk body.

 

Hotels:

Day 2

THIMPHU

Elevation 2320 m     Weather in Thimphu
After breakfast, depart hotel by 8am. 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 temples, dzongs, chortens, museums, handicraft stores, nunneries, parks and many more. Allow yourself to meet both traditional and contemporary artist.
 
Gagyel Lhundrup Weaving Centre - The weaving centre produces some of the finest, traditional hand-woven textiles of the region. In fact, the Bhutanese royals source most of their fabric and ceremonial garments (the gho for the King and kushutara for the Queen) from this centre too.
 
National Memorial Chorten [1 hrs] - Meet the elderly generation in circumambulation at the National Memorial Chorten. Chorten means ‘Seat of Faith’ and Buddhists often call such monuments, the ‘Mind of Buddha’. Treat yourself with the fantastic depiction of Buddhist teachings in the form of paintings and sculptures at this temple. As the name denotes this National Memorial Chorten was consecrated on July 28, 1974, in memory of the Third King.
 
Buddha Point [1 hrs] - 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 [0 hrs] - The Craft Gallery is a global platform for authentic Bhutanese craft. Find original works by skillful Bhutanese women who put their hearts in the process (weaving for as long as 7 hours a day) and discover Bhutan through “textile” sensory. Similar to the five elements, the spirit of Bhutan is manifested in these works, namely needlework, papermaking, wood and metal making and painting. Craft Gallery advocates and supports the empowerment of women with RENEW and the continued sustainability of the arts in Bhutan. Witness the finest products by the Kingdom of Bhutan here at the Craft Gallery
 
Textile Museum [1 hrs] - 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]
 
Post Office [0 hrs] - Visit the post office in Thimphu to get customized stamps or to mail cards to your friends and relatives
 
Simply Bhutan [1 hrs] - 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]
 
Walk Around Thimphu Town [1 hrs] - Shop and walk around Thimphu town.
 
Local Life [1 hrs] - For a taste of local life: Have coffee at Karma's Coffee (better coffee in town). Ambient Café is where NGOs and expats often converge. It is run by a Western monk who is involved in drug rehabilitation program.

Hotels:

Day 3

THIMPHU – PUNAKHA

Elevation 1300 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.
 
Dochula Pass [2 hrs] - 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 [0 hrs] 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.
 
Chhimi Lhakhang [2 hrs] - The Divine Madman, Drukpa Kinley is a famous teacher with whom the phallic symbol is associated. Tales told by your guide would have excited you to visit Chhimi Lhakhang. The Divine Madman sits there though a statue this time. Do not miss the master’s deeds painted on the walls. Japanese and several American couples visited this temple and were blessed miraculously with children. Ask yourself, do I need this Fertility Tour or not?
 
Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Lhakhang [0 hrs] - A temple and nunnery perched on a ridge and overlooking Toebesa, Punakha and Wangduephodrang valleys. The temple is consecrated by His Holiness and was attended by His Majesty the King, the Fourth Druk Gyalpo, members of the royal family along with hundreds of people from Punakha. The temple is dedicated to the bodhisattva of compassion.
 
Home Visit [0 hrs] - Visit a Bhutanese family at their home and share dinner over conversations. Take a peek into their lives and experience dining in a traditional Bhutanese home embraced by the warm hospitality of the family.

Hotels:

Day 4

PUNAKHA

Elevation 1300 m     Weather in Punakha
Punakha Dzong [2 hrs] - 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 [1 hrs] - 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.
 
Khamsum Yuley Temple [3 hrs] - [Duration 2 hour, 1 hour to ascend and 1 hour to descend] There is no temple in Bhutan built elaborately as this. This fascinating temple was built by the Queen Mother of the 5th King to bring universal peace in this world. The best of the spiritual art works are painted on the inner walls. There are also paintings of Buddhist teachers and tutelary deities of the country. This is a great temple to study the symbolic meanings from frescoes and sculptures.

Hotels:

Day 5

PUNAKHA : PARO

Elevation 2280 m     Weather in Paro
Paro Valley [0 hrs] - 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) [2 hrs] - 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 the monks, architecture and the ancient frescoes.
 
Kyichu Lhakhang [1 hrs] - Also known as Kyerchu Temple or Lho Kyerchu, is the oldest temple in Bhutan. Just like Jambhay Lhakhang in Bumthang, it is one of the 108 temples built by the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo to subdue and pin down an ogress that was obstructing the spread of Buddhism. According to legend, all 108 temples were built in a single night. Go back in time and history and visit the 7th century Kyichhu temple. As the name suggests, the temple is a reservoir of peace, where you will feel at peace here. Next to the temple is the house that is turned into a museum dedicated to the late Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. One can come across photographs and other artifacts belonging to Rinpoche.
 
Paro Town [2 hrs] - Explore the main street of Paro town and check out if there's anything you will like to pick up as a
souvenir!

Hotels:

Day 6

PARO

Elevation 2280 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 [6 hrs] - 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.
 
Horse Ride to Tiger'e Nest View Point [1.5 hrs] - Rent a mule or a horse at the base of the mountain, enjoy your ride uphill as you pass through the Pinecone forests and make you stop at the Teahouse.
 
Hot Stone Bath [0 hrs] - You can go for a locally own Hot Stone Bath, which can take four people at one time. This bath will help loosen your joints, release muscle tension and invoke a profound sense of relaxation. The cost is approximately USD 25 per person.

Hotels:

Day 7

DEPARTURE

Elevation      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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