The Foothills and the Himalayas

The Foothills and the Himalayas

The Foothills and the Himalayas is a five nights, six days tour in Bhutan with arrival in Phuentsholing and departure from Paro. The itinerary covers Phuentsholing, Thimphu and Paro. The itinerary allows travelers to explore the beautiful valleys of Thimphu and Paro. The itinerary includes cultural sightseeing, walks, hikes, etc. The beautiful part of this itinerary is that you can experience how the plains become small foothills and how the foothills grow into the big Himalayan Slopes when you travel from Phuentsholing to Thimphu.

We can also arrange from Pick up from IXB Airport, NJP railway station or other areas nearby.

It is advisable that you book your tour at least 6 months or more prior to the commencement of your tour. This is because of the limited infrastructures and inventories in Bhutan.

Tour Highlights – The Foothills and the Himalayas

  • The tour is convenient if you are traveling to Bhutan from India after tour in Sikkim, Darjeeling etc.
  • Experience Changes in landscapes from the plains of India to the foothills and Himalayas in Bhutan.
  • The opportunity to experience entry in Bhutan via land and also exit by Air.
  • Breathtaking views of the Himalayas and the nature on the way when you travel from Phuentsholing to Thimphu.
  • Opportunity to explore Thimphu (the capital city of Bhutan without traffic lights), Paro Valley and the Phuentsholing town.
  • Travel as per your convenience and visit places of your interests as you travel with your own private guide and vehicle.
  • Personal attention by the tour operators.
  • A private traditional cultural show and experience of the traditional hotel stone bath.
  • Wonderful day hike to the abode of gods and monks, the world famous, Taktshang Monastery (Tigers’ nest)
  • Visit to the age old Lhakhang (Monasteries/ temples) and dzongs ( Fortress)
  • Opportunity to play archery (the national game of Bhutan) and many more.

Detailed Itinerary – The Foothills and the Himalayas

Day 1. Arrive Phuentsholing:

On arrival, you will be received by your Bhutan tour guide from Neptune Holidays Bhutan with “Tashi khadar”. Do your visa formalities and the check in hotel.

In the evening (if time permits) explore the Phuentsholing town. You may also visit the following;

Crocodile Centre: This place contains a collection of marsh mugger and gharial crocodiles .The crocodiles are fed every other day at noon.

Zangtho Pelri Lhakhang: This is a small Buddhist temple situated in the heart of Phuentsholing town representing the heaven of Guru Rinpoche.

Kharbandi Goemba: The monastery was founded by the Royal Grand Mother, Ashi Phuntsho Choden in the year 1967. The monastery contains paintings on the life of Buddha, statues of Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and Guru Rinpoche. A fascinating view of Phuentsholing town and surrounding plains can be seen from the Monastery garden.

Dinner and overnight in hotel.

Day 2. Phuentsholing – Thimphu:

After breakfast, drive to Thimphu. Driving through road between shall bring you across beautiful landscapes, waterfalls, monuments, villages and small linear settlements. Stop at places for sightseeing and photography.

In the evening, you may relax or go around the Thimphu town and valley – A time for yourself. If you are interested in cycling, you may choose to do so, we shall arrange it for you at an extra cost. If you have enough time, you can also choose to sightseeing.

Dinner and overnight in hotel

Driving Distance – 176 Km. | Driving time – 5 to 6 Hr. | Altitude of Phuentsholing – 160 m. | Altitude of Thimphu – 2350 m.

Day 3. Thimphu Sightseeing;

After a leisure breakfast, your sightseeing for the day includes;

Sangaygang view point (2685 meters): You can have a very good view of whole Thimphu valley from this place. Walking through the hundreds of colorful prayer flags that dot the hill could be another good experience.

Takin Preserve Centre: Takin, the national animal of Bhutan can be seen here. This particular animal is found only in the Himalayan region.

Changangkha Monastery: This monastery is built on a hill overlooking the Thimphu valley. It was built in 15th Century by Lama Phajo Drugom Zhipo. Many parents of Thimphu take their new born babies to this monastery to be blessed by a high lama.

Folk Heritage Museum: Founded by Her Majesty the Queen Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck the museum is one of a kind that portrays the lifestyle of a family in the Thimphu valley in the olden days. This is a three storied, 19th century traditional house giving an insight to the Bhutanese lifestyle, and artifacts from the rural households. The museum contains typical Bhutanese household objects, tools and equipment.

After lunch sightseeing includes;

The Institute for Zorig Chusum: Zorig Chusum means the thirteen traditional arts and crafts. Students are taught the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan in this institute.

The Institute of Traditional medicine: Medicines are prepared according to the Tradition practices in this institute. People are also treated here in traditional ways.

Kuenselphodrang: A place for refreshing with a huge statue of Buddha. The area also gives a very good view of the Thimphu Valley from the west. The place also consists for biking trail and has a picnic spot.

National Memorial Chhorten: This Chhorten was built in the honor of the Third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, also known as “The Father of Modern Bhutan”. This Chhorten was built in 1974 in a typical Tibetan style. This Chhorten is also a center of worship for the people living in Thimphu and contains many religious paintings and tantric statues. Lighting Butter lamps and circumambulating the chhorten can be a great experience and a good way to earn merits as per Buddhist beliefs.

In the evening, visit the Tashichhodzong. The Dzong is the seat of the National Government and the Central Monastic Body, including the summer residence of the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot of Bhutan) at present.

A private traditional cultural show over the dinner. 

Dinner and overnight in hotel.

Day 4. Thimphu – Paro:

After breakfast, drive to Paro. On the way visit the Tamchog Lhakhang; built in the 13th century by Thangthong Gyalpo. He is also known as the Iron bridge builder. Situated on a hill top, we have to cross an ancient style bridge to reach the temple. It is owned by the descendants of Thangthong Gyalpo

Drive further to Paro. Lunch at Paro. After lunch, visit;

Rinpung Dzong:  Meaning “fortress of the heap of jewels”. The Dzong now serves as the administrative and judicial seat of Paro district and residence for around 200 monks of Paro and was built at the same time of Drukgyel Dzong. The famous Paro Tshechu (festival) is held here in spring.

Ta Dzong: It overlooks the Rinpung Dzong and was built in 1951 as a watch tower. This Dzong is Round, more like parts of a European castle. The Dzong was established as the National Museum of Bhutan since 1967 and holds fascinating collection of arts, relics, religious thangka, etc.

In the evening, witness an Archery Match (if going on) or experience a private Khuru (Traditional Bhutanese sport) or archery. If time permits, explore the Paro town and Valley.

Dinner and overnight in hotel.

Driving Distance – 135 Km. | Driving Time: 4 to 5 Hrs. | Altitude of Paro: 2280 m.

Day 5. Paro:

After breakfast, start your day with a hike to the abode of gods and monks, the Taktshang Monastery. It shall be taken care of that the time shall be yours for the hike, no hurries and no worries. Reaching the top shall be worth the climb; the touch of the Himalayan breeze, the views of the valley below and temple on the rocky cliff shall be fascinating and shall let you feel the real freedom of mind and happiness.

Taktshang Monastery: The primary lhakhang was built surrounding Guru Rinpoche’s Meditation cave in the 1684 by Gyaltse Tenzin Rabgay.  This incredible monastery clings to the edge of a sheer Rock cliff that plunges 900 meters into the valley below. Legend has it that Guru Padmasambhava flew here on the back of a tigress which gives its name “Taktshang” meaning Tiger’s nest. It is a two to three hours excursion uphill; however, one feels truly blessed reaching the monastery.

Picnic Lunch among the woods shall be another great experience. After lunch, visit the Kyichhu Lhakhang.

Kyichhu Lhakhang: This temple is one of the oldest Buddhist temples in Bhutan. The Tibetan King, Songtsen Gompo miraculously built 108 temples to consecrate the entire region of Himalaya in the 7th century. Kyichhu Lhakhang is considered to be one of them.

Then we have a special program for you to feel the pure Bhutanese hospitality.  Drive to a village house. You shall be served with the local Bhutanese alcohol (Arra) and shall have the opportunity to understand and experience the life in a village in Bhutan. Right from the daily household chores to other works in the field. Also relax in traditional hot stone bath (optional)

Hot stone bath: The traditional Bhutanese hot stone bath, known as Dotsho in local language has been practiced in Bhutan for centuries as a medicinal soak. Many Bhutanese believe that the bath helps in curing joint pains, helps in relaxing and other medical problems. River stones are heated and then put in water to heat the water; sometime medicinal herbs are added to the water before it is ready for the soak.

You may choose to have your dinner with the family. (Optional)

Dinner and overnight in hotel.

Altitude of Paro – 2280 m.

Day 6. Departure:

After breakfast, Drive to Airport and farewell.

Important Notes

In case of unforeseen contingencies (natural/man made) or unavailability of hotels, we reserve the right to change the itinerary as may be required to.

Some of the sightseeing places may be closed on government holidays or during breaks. In this regards we shall do other sightseeing in its place.

We believe in making every individuals’ travel to Bhutan a life time experience. Neptune Holidays Bhutan is flexible with the itineraries and we wish all our guests travel as per their comfort and convenience. It is not necessary the itinerary has to be followed, except for the change of overnight destination.