8 Night 9 Day Remote Village Tour in Bhutan
Bhutanese farmers are mostly small holder farmers practicing mixed farming system involving cattle rearing and cultivation of crops. Cattle are an integral part of the farming system in Bhutan. They provide draught power for cultivating the wet-land and much of the dry-land, manure which is applied to the fields before ploughing, and milk; butter and cheese for family consumption and sale.
There are a few mountain villages in Bhutan which are still not connected by motor road and on this trip you will visit one of these villages. Most of these villages are situated about one to three hours walk from the road point, through gentle and fairly steep slopes carpeted in pine trees.
Travel Season: April-September
8 Night 9 Day Tour Itinerary
Day 1 : Arrive Paro
Fly into Paro by Drukair flight KB 401 at 14.25 . After immigration and customs formalities, you will be received by the representative of Access Bhutan Tours & Treks and driven to your hotel.
After checking into your hotel and lunch visit the following:
- Rinpung Dzong, built in 1645 to defend the valley against Tibetan invaders. The Dzong is now being used as an administration center and school for monks.Then walk down to Rimpung Bridge (Traditonal Bridge), oldest bridge in Bhutan.
- Farm houses in Paro Valley and a visit to a farm house offers a good glimpse into the lifestyle of a farmer.
- · Druk Home Museum (private Museum) which exhibits historical and religious artifacts.
Overnight at a hotel in Paro
Day 2: Paro-Haa Valley via Chelela Mountain Pass
Distance: 65 km, estimated travel time: 2 hours
After breakfast you will travel through farmlands and scattered hamlets and gradually climbing to the Chele La Pass, 3822 m high, with spectacular glimpses of the Bhutan Himalayan mountain peaks all the way. Descending down into the Haa Valley you will be rewarded by stunning scenery as you wind along the side of the mountain into the town of Haa. You stop for picnic lunch at Haa before making your way to Lhakhang Karpo (White Temple) and Lhakhang Nagpo (Black Temple). Local legend has it that deity helped construct the temple thus giving the name to Haa, meaning ‘surprise’. Haa is overlooked by three mountains called ‘Rig Sum Gonpa’ which signify three Buddha deities; Jambayang, Chana Dorji and Chenrizig. Haa was not opened up to tourists until 2002 so remains relatively unspoilt by the 21st C.
In the evening explore the beautiful Haa Valley.
Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Haa.
Day 3: Haa Valley to Bemphu Village
After breakfast travel by car through the stretch of villages of Jankana and Lingzhi and Jabana visiting typical Bhutanese farmhouses along the way and you will see farmers working in their farms. On arrival at Nagu village walk trek downhill through village of Bjaluzu to Haa Chu (river flowing through Haa Valley). After crossing the river, hike uphill for about one and half hours to Bemphu village which is one of the most remote villages in Bhutan and people here live a nomadic life meaning they immigrate with their cattle to southern part of Bhutan and in the spring season they immigrate to this village where their main base is located.
You can spend at one of the farmhouses in the village and have free interaction with the villagers who will entertain you with folk dances.
Day 4:Bemphu Village Tour and Bemphu-Thimphu
After breakfast you can spend some time to visit some more farmhouses in their village and
taste locally brewed liquor called Ara and also taste traditional tea and snacks. You may also
watch them cooking lunch or even you can participate in their traditional lunch preparation and
have lunch at another farmhouse.
After lunch at the Bemphu village, hike back downhill to Haa Chu river and after crossing the
Bridge, hike uphill to the road point through village of Bjaluzu . Then drive to Thimphu through
villages of Susuna and Dogakha and finally through confluence of Pachu (Paro river) and
Wangchu (Thimphu River) to Thimphu which is the capital city of Bhutan.
Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Thimphu.
Day 5: Thimphu Sightseeing
After breakfast , visit the following:
- Bhutan Post Office Headquarters to get personalized Bhutanese postage stamps with your photo on them. You can bring along your favorite photo to put on the stamps and put these stamps on your postcard to send to your family and friends.
- National Textile Museum which is a good place to see the art of traditional weaving being kept alive and preserved through exhibition and has a good collection of old textiles which are rich in colors and designs. You will also see people weaving with intricate designs.
- Traditional Bhutanese paper making factory. The handmade paper making in Bhutan stemmed from the age old tradition originated in 8th century of Bhutanese history. The handmade paper constitutes as valuable National heritage of Bhutanese cultural identity and is preserved through all the ages. The Traditional paper is recognized and held high esteem both in home and outside world. Jungshi Paper Factory was established in November 1990 as an undertaking of the Royal Government of Bhutan. The unit now boasts as a major and sole dealer in handmade paper and its products.
- Simply Bhutan– A living museum of rural life which provides visitors and tourists with fascinating insights into the Bhutanese material culture and way of life.
After lunch visit the following:
- National Institute of Traditional Medicine (outside only), where medicinal herbs are compounded and dispensed, and traditional medical practitioners trained.
- The School of Traditional Painting of Arts and Crafts where students undertake a six-year course on the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan.
- Takin Preserve, which houses the national animal the Takin that is only found in Bhutan. This is an extremely rare member of the goat family. Found in herds in the very high altitudes (13,125ft and over). They live on a diet of grass and bamboo. It can weigh as much as 550 pounds.
- Tashichhoe Dzong, a fortress of the glorious religion. It was built in 1641 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel and was reconstructed into present structure by the late King, His majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck in the year 1962-1969. It houses the secretariat building, the throne room and the office of the king, and the central monk body.
- Craft Bazaar where craftsmen and artisans from across the country display and sell their handicrafts and Government-run Handicrafts Emporium and local crafts shops, to browse through examples of Bhutan’s fine traditional arts. Here you can buy hand-woven textiles, thangkha paintings, masks, ceramics, slate and wood carvings, jewelry, and other interesting items made from local materials.
Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Thimphu.
Day 6: Thimphu-Punakha and Wangdue
Distance: 71 km, estimated driving time: 2 ½ hours
After breakfast, travel to Punakha & Wangdue through Dochula Pass 3140 m). In the clear spring sky, you can enjoy the panoramic view of the Himalayan Mountain ranges. . Then pass by the beautiful 108 chortens built on the hill by Her Majesty Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck (Queen Mother of Bhutan) for the security and well being of His Majesty, the King of Bhutan.
You will also visit Druk Wangyal Lhakhang (monastery) which was built by Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck ( the Queen Mother of Bhutan) as a tribute to His Majesty the fourth King of Bhutan, Jigme Singye Wangchuck and armed forces after His Majesty led a successful operation against Indian militants who had occupied certain areas of Bhutan. The gallery of the Druk Wangyal Lhakhang has beautiful murals depicting some of the important events in the reigns of the Kings of Bhutan.
Then travel onto Punakha. Punakha has been inextricably linked to some of the most momentous events in the Bhutanese history and deserves its reputation as one of the most beautiful and significant regions at the heart of Bhutanese culture. Punakha had served as the capital of Bhutan from 1637 till 1907. The dzong is historically important and stands as the symbol for a unified Bhutan.
On the way, stop for lunch at Metsina village and then visit the Devine Madman’s Monastery-Chhimi Lhakhang, famously known for its fertility shrine, where one can receive a special fertility blessing.
Then visit the Punakha Dzong, located on the island of the Pho - Chu (male river) and the Mochu (female river). The dzong was built in 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to serve as the religious and administrative seat of the region. At the dzong, you can see the highest standards in woodwork.
In the evening you may visit Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendup Lhakhang Nunnery and enjoy the breathtakingly beautiful view of Punakha and Wangdue valleys from there.
Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Punakha.
Distance: 125 km
Estimated travel time: 3 1/2 hrs
After breakfast, drive through upper Punakha valley passing through farmhouses and take a leisure walk through farmhouses and then through nature to the beautiful Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten temple built by the Queen Mother of Bhutan for peace and stability in this ever-changing world. This temple is situated on the hilltop overlooking the valley below. The leisurely walk up to the temple would take about 1 hour. Visit the temple and also enjoy the breathtaking view from there.
After lunch,drive back to Paro. After a refreshment drive up the valley to visit the historic Drukgyel Dzong which was built in the 16th century to mark the Bhutanese victory over the Tibetan invaders.
Dinner and overnight at hotel in Paro.
Day 8: A Day Hike to Taktsang Goempa (Tiger’s Nest Monastery) in Paro
After breakfast, travel to Paro which will take about 1 hour and on arrival at Paro hike to Taktsang Goempa (Tiger's Nest Monastery). The hike upto the viewpoint will take about 1 1/2 hours and from there you will enjoy a spectacular view of the monastery clinging to the side of the cliff.You will stop here for refreshments and then hike further upto the monastery which should take another 1 1/2 hours. It was first built in 1692, around the Taktsang Senge Samdup, a cave where Guru Padmasambhava is said to have meditated for three months in the 8th century. It is believed that Guru Rinpoche (Guru Padmasambhava) flew to this location from Khenpajong, Tibet on the back of a tigress and subdued a demon. He then performed meditation in one of the caves here and emerged in eight incarnated forms (manifestations) and blessed the place. Subsequently, the place came to be known as the “Tiger’s Nest”. Guru Padmasambhava is known for introducing Buddhism to Bhutan. Today, Paro Taktsang is the best known of the thirteen caves in which he meditated. After visiting the monastery, walk back downhill to the road with lunch at the viewpoint cafeteria.
Then drive back to your hotel after visiting Kichu Lhakhang on the way. Kichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples built in the 7th century by the Tibetan King Songsten Gampo. The story goes that a giant demon lay across the whole area of Tibet and the Himalayas and was preventing the spread of Buddhism. To overcome her, King Songtsen Gampo decided to build 108 temples, which would be placed on all the points of her body. Of these 108 temples, 12 were built in accordance with precise plans. Thus, it happened that in about the year AD 638 the temple of Jokhang in Lhasa was built over the very heart of the demon. In the evening relax and overnight at a hotel in Paro.
Day 9: Depart Paro
After breakfast,your tour guide from Access Bhutan Tours will see you off at the Paro International Airport for your onward journey.
End of Tour Program
3 pax & above
Low Season: June, July & August
High Season: April, May Sept
The above Bhutan tour package prices include the following:
- Bhutan Government Royalty of US$ 65/person/night
- FIT surcharges of US$40/person/night for a single traveler and US$30/person/night for a double
- Twin sharing hotel rooms at 3 star hotels or homestay/farmhouses
- All meals ( breakfast, lunch, dinner & light refreshments) with standard menu at 3 star hotels and at farmhouses
- English speaking tour guide service
- All transfers and excursions by private vehicles
- All entrance fees to museums and monuments
- All internal taxes and fees
- Mineral drinking water
The above tour prices do not include the following:
- Single room supplement of US$ 40/room/night (optional)
- Bhutan Visa fee of US$40/person (must be paid in advance with tour cost)
- Airfares (optional)
- Travel insurance (recommended)
- Other personal expenses like overseas calls, laundry,etc
***Thank you & Tashi Delek***