Bhutan Homestay Expedition

TT1738

 Bhutan

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Day 01:  Arrive to Paro International Airport – Transfer to Haa                                                      

The flight into Paro on our national carrier, Druk Air or Bhutan Airlines, is a befitting introduction to the spectacular beauty of our country. In clear weather, magnificent views of the world’s highest peaks like Gangkar Puensum, give way to the lush green Paro valley as you land. Our representative will warmly welcome & greet you on arrival. Then we drive to Paro town for warm lunch. After lunch we drive to Haa via Chelela pass (3895m). This is the highest pass in Bhutan were our car can take us. The pass is adorned with different kinds of prayer flags. On clear days we can also see the Mountain Jhomolhari (goodness of mountains) & Jichu Drakey (the most beautiful mountains in Bhutan). Then we descend down to Haa valley and on reaching Haa we will visit Lahkhang Karpo (white temple), Lhakhang Nagpo (Black Temple) and Haa small town. Then we will visit Bhutanese Farm House. Today beside our normal Bhutanese dinner, we will try to make Hoentoe (Buckwheat dumplings), the specialty of Haa. 

Dinner and Overnight stay at Farm House in Haa.

Day 02: Haa – Thimphu

After our breakfast at Haa Farm House we will drive to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. The drive will take about 3hrs, along a river valley, past small villages and traditional farmhouses, through peaceful countryside. It’s a small & charming capital city located in the heart of the Himalayas. On reaching Thimphu, we will have lunch, served at one of the restaurant at Thimphu. After our lunch, we will visit Buddha Point, were we can see the Thimphu Valley so beautifully, and Thimphu town.

Dinner & Overnight at Hotel White Tara or Similar in Thimphu

Day 03: Thimphu (Sightseeing)

After breakfas visit the following places;

  • Visit Changangkha Lhakhang.

The Lhakhang was built in the 12th Century on a site chosen by Lam Phajo Drugom Zhigpo, who came from Ralung, Tibet. It is an old fortress-like temple perched on a ridge above Thimphu and it has a beautiful view of Thimphu from the courtyard. The main chapel houses a unique statue of the seated Avoloketeshvaras, the Buddha of Compassion.

  • Visit Painting School.

“Zorig Chusum” means the Thirteen Crafts. To preserve our invaluable heritage and promote arts in Bhutan, the Royal Government initiated this institute in1971. Students are taught painting, calligraphy, embroidery, wood carving, sculpture, etc. They also learn to understand the traditional meaning and spiritual values enshrined in Buddhist art.

  • Visit Textile Museum.

With the opening of Textile Museum, under the patronage of His Majesty the Queen Ashi Sangay Choden Wangchuck, Bhutanese textiles have reached new heights as one of the most visible traditional crafts and as a distinctly Bhutanese Art form. The textile museum has opened its exhibition on six major themes: warp pattern weaves, weft pattern weaves, role of textiles in religion, achievements in textile arts, textiles from indigenous fibres and the royal collection.

  • Visit Memorial Chorten.

This stupa was built in 1974 by Her Majesty Ashi Phuntsho Choden Wangchuck in the memory of her son Bhutan’s late third King His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, who is popularly regarded as the Father of Modern Bhutan.

  • Visit Semtokha Dzong.

It was built in 1629 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. It is the oldest fortress of The Kingdom and now houses the School for Buddhist studies. The site is said to have been chosen to guard over a demons that had vanished into the rock nearby, hence the name Semtokha (‘sinmo’ meaning demoness and ‘do’ Meaning stone).

Dinner and Overnight at Hotel White Tara or Similar in Thimphu

Day 04: Thimphu-Punakha/Wangdue

After our breakfast, we will drive to Punakha/Wangdi. The road climbs steeply through forests of pine, hemlock spruce and rhododendrons. At Dochula Pass (3150m) you will have a breathtaking panoramic view of the Eastern Himalayan Mountain ranges. The pass is adorned with 108 small stupas and many kinds of prayer flags. Then the road descends through lush forests to the fertile valley of Punakha & Wangdi Phodrang.

  • Visit Chime Lhakhang.

Chime Lhakhang is a small 15th Century temple famous for its fertility endowments or rites due to the blessings of Lam Drukpa Kuenley. The temple sits on a hillock shaped, as only Drukpa Kuenley could describe it “like a woman’s breast”.

  • Visit Punakha Dzong.

Later visit Punakha Dzong (the Palace of Great Happiness) built in 1637 by the Zhabdrung. The Dzong is beautifully located in between the two rivers called Pho (male) and Mo (female) Chhu (river). It was the capital of Bhutan till 1955. The establishment of the Wangchuck Dynasty on 17th December, 1907 took place here and the first National Assembly was also held in the Dzong in 1953. Punakha Dzong continues to be the winter residence of the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot) and the central monk body.

After this, we will drive till the view point of Khamsum Yule Namgyle Chhorten, passing the beautiful rural landscape. Leisure at evening, if we finish sightseeing early.

Dinner and overnight at Punakha Residency or Similar in Punakha/Wangdue.

You can try Various Local Dishes found in this locality of Punakha/Wangduephodrang.

Day 05: Punakha – Paro

Drive to Paro. The drive will take about 6hours. On the way back to Paro offers another chance to view the amazing Himalayan ranges. Stop along the way to take photos wherever you find the best spot for the photography. Lunch will be served at Dochula Café. Then continue our journey to Paro and visit the following places;

  • Paro Dzong

This is also known as the “fortress of the heap of jewels”. It was built during the time of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1646 after the small Hungrel fortress built by Lam Drung Drung was offered to Zhabdrung. The approach to the Dzong is through a traditional cantilever bridge.Visit Paro Dzong.

  • Visit National Museum.

National Museum was built as a watch tower. Unlike the rectangular shape of the Dzongs, Ta Dzong is conical, more like that of a European castle. Since 1967 the Dzong was re-established as the National Museum and holds a fascinating collection of art, relics, religious thangkha paintings and Bhutan’s exquisite postage stamps.

Then we will visit Fram House at Paro. Today we will learn how to cook the Bhutanese most spicy dish, “Emma Datshi” (chilly and cheese). We also learn how to cook other Bhutanese Dishes. Then we will have dinner with the host family. 

Dinner & Overnight at Farm House in Paro

Day 06: Paro Sightseeing

Today we will make a hike to Paro Taktshang Monastery, the most famous and scared monastery in Buddhism world. Taksang means “TigerNest” named after Guru Rinpoche reportedly flew to this site riding on the back of a flying tigress late in the 9th century. We have to walk about 2hours up steep from the road end. You can also take horse ride if you are not able to walk. The trail climbs through beautiful pine forest, many of the trees festooned with Spanish moss, and an occasional grove of fluttering prayer flags.

After lunch, drive to the village of Drukgyel and visit the ruins of Drukgyel Dzong, built in 1649 to commemorate the victory over Tibetan invasion and Kyichu Lhakhang, it is one of the two most sacred and the oldest temples in Bhutan, built in 7th century by Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo (the 33rd Tibetan king, who is also the manifestation of Avoloketeshvara, commonly known to Bhutanese as Chenrize).

Shopping of Bhutanese Ornaments (if you wish to buy) and leisure in evening.

Dinner & overnight at Mandala Resort or Similar in Paro.

Day 07: Departure

After our breakfast, we will drive to Paro International Airport for your onward flight. Our guide and driver will bid you farewell here at the airport. We wish you a very safe and pleasant flight for your onward destinations.

End of Tour Program

  • Pick and Drop from Airport
  • Home Stay (Farm House Stay) in Paro and Haa
  • Hot - Stone - Bath: Hot stone bath (Dhotsho) is a traditional bath of Bhutan. Bhutanese belief that this bath has so much of medicinal benefits.
  • The Dochula Pass (3,088m) is a mountain pass  where 108 memorial chortens or stupas known as "Druk Wangyal Chortens" have been built by Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuk, the eldest Queen Mother. Apart from the chortens there is a monastery called the Druk Wangyal Lhakhang (temple), built in honour of the fourth Druk Gyalpo (head of the state of Bhutan), Jigme Singye Wangchuk; the open grounds in its front yard is a venue for the annual Dochula Druk Wangyel Festival.
  • Chhime Lhakhang: Chhime Lhakhang is a small 15th Century temple famous for its fertility endowments or rites due to the blessings of Lam Drukpa Kuenley. The temple sits on a hillock shaped, as only Drukpa Kuenley could describe it “like a woman’s breast “.
  • Punakha Dzong: Punakha Dzong (the Palace of Great Happiness) built in 1637 by the Zhabdrung. The Dzong is beautifully located in between the two rivers called Pho (male) and Mo (female) Chhu (river). It was the capital of Bhutan till 1955.
  • Paro Taktshang Monastery: Taktshang means “Tiger Nest” named after Guru Rinpoche reportedly flew to this site riding on the back of a flying tigress late in the 9th century. We have to walk about 2hours up steep from the road end. You can also take horse ride if you are not able to walk. The trail climbs through beautiful pine forest, many of the trees festooned with Spanish moss, and an occasional grove of fluttering prayer flags. Paro Taktshang is one of the holiest places in the world.
Stay Envisaged Stars Destination Nights
Ugyen Farm House
Haa 1
Hotel White Tara
Thimphu 2
Punakha Residency
Punakha 1
Mandala Resort
Paro 1
Deki Farm House
Paro 1
Inclusions
  • All Permit Fees
  • Assistance on Arrival
  • A 24 - hour helpline
  • Tour Guide
  • All sightseeing and excursions as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Walks and Hikes
  • Two meals a Day (Breakfast & Dinner)
  • Bhutan Mineral Water in the Bus
  • 4 nights at 3 stars Hotels on twin/double sharing basis
  • 2 nights at Farm House 
  • Receive and Transfer to Paro Airport
  • SUV Car/HiAce Bus for the entire trip, as per the itinerary
Exclusions
  • Insurance
  • Tentative Airfare (Ex Delhi Rs. 20,640/-, Ex Kolkota Rs. 16,570/- & Ex Bagdogra Rs. 10,655/- per person)
  • Gifts & Souvenirs
  • Alcohol & Beverages
  • Donations to Monasteries
  • Sightseeing Entry Fee
  • International Telephone Calls
  • Tips for Guide, Driver & other Staff
  • Items of a personal nature such as souvenirs, laundry and tips
  • Anything else not mentioned under ‘INCLUSIONS’
Terms and Conditions
  • Tour Price: The price attached above is in terms of INR per person. Minimum of 2 Person is required to avail the above price. Tour price will be different (cheaper) for 3 and more person in a group. Larger the number of guests lesser will be the per head cost. Kindly contact us for details but unfortunately we won't be able to entertain more than 10 pax in a group due to lack of accommodation capacity in the Farm Houses. 
  • VISA: Visa can be obtained at the port of entry on producing a valid passport with a minimum of 6 month validity. Indian nationals may also use their Voters Identity Card in place of passport. Your passport / VIC needs to have at least 6 months’ validity calculated from the date on which you head Bhutan. Your Bhutan visa will be arranged by us and the actual visa is stamped into your passport on arrival at Paro Airport.
Cancellation Policy

Once booked, the tours that are cancelled are subject to the following cancellation charges:

  • Earlier than 30 days before the start of the tour programme: 10% of the rates
  • Between 30 and 21 days before the start: 40% of the rates
  • Between 20 and 14 days before the start: 60% of the rates
  • Between 13 and 7 days before the start: 80% of the rates
  • Less than 7 days before the start or cancellation without notice: No refund will be made.

Note: Processing fee of 3% would be charged for the above mentioned cancellation policy. 

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Trail Overview

The farmhouse visit brings an opportunity to learn and experience the true culture, the living style of Bhutanese people in a Bhutanese way, why & how the Bhutanese people are happy? Known for its un-touched ancient culture and tradition, Bhutan still has its past in its present, where almost all the countries in the world have lost. You will have a greater experience in your lifetime and you will rightly say that Bhutan is the right place to see the past lives of this world.

The following are some of the main activities that we can experience during our visit to farmhouses in each region;

  • Hoentoe (Buckwheat noodles) it is a special dish and associated with celebration and good fortune. It is made only by Haaps (habitants of Haa). So we can try with family how to make this and also taste its real delicacies.
  • We will try to cook the Bhutanese food in the Bhutanese Kitchen. Prepare the world's most spicy dish 'Ema Datshi' here in Bhutan. We will also try to cook other Bhutanese dishes like “Pasha Pa” and so on.
  • We can also work in the field with the Bhutanese framers.
  • Hot -stone bath-, Hot stone bath (Dhotsho) is a traditional bath of Bhutan. We Bhutanese belief that this bath has so much of medicinal benefits.
  • We will see how our Bhutanese alcohol (Ara) is made and taste it.
  • We can see the milking of the cows-if the farmhouse has the milking cows.  We can try to milk also.
  • If we are lucky, we can also see how the butter and cheese are made in the farmhouse in Bhutanese way.
  • In all the farmhouses, the Bhutanese alcohol is served.
Duration : 7 Days
Trail Type : Fixed Departure
Location : Bhutan
Maximum number of people : 10
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Code: TT1738

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