Dragon Heart Experience - 12 Days

Dragon Heart Experience – 12 Days

Discover the rich cultural heritage of Bhutan by taking this cultural tour. Visits to ancient dzongs (forts), monasteries, museums, cultural centers, and excursions to picturesque Bhutanese villages are all there in your itinerary. Your journey starts from Paro, the only place in Bhutan low enough to have an air strip. You get to survey the ancient Drugyel Dzong in Paro and capture the awesome view of the entire valley from Ta-Dzong. A scenic drive to the capital city Thimphu, where you get to discover the rich Bhutanese heritage and culture. Gangtey, another stop in your itinerary, has the famous monastery, Gangtey Gompa. Gangtey Gompa, perched atop a small hill that rises from the valley floor and is the only Nyingmapa Monastery on the western side of the Black mountains. The monastery is surrounded by a large village inhabited mainly by the families of the 140 Gomchens (Lay Monks).  Experience Bhutanese village life at Wangduephodrang, observe the traditional art of healing diseases at the Indigenous Hospital and learn more about the rich Bhutanese art and culture by visiting the Art & Craft School, National Library, Royal Goldsmith Workshop and Handicraft centers.

Trip length:
 12 Days
Grade: Gentle
Trip type: Cultural tours
Starts in: Paro (Bhutan)
Ends in: Paro
Accommodation: Hotel and Guest-house
Maximum altitude: 3950m.


  • Fantastic introduction to cultural delights of Paro
  • Mesmerizing sight of Mount Chomolhari from Drugyel dzong
  • Insightful visits to Art & Craft school, National library, Royal goldsmith workshop and handicraft centers
  • Fabulous excursion around Thimpu, Gangtey Gompa (2800 meters), Ura Village and Swiss farm
  • Close encounter with Bhutan’s culture in Bumthang and Wangduephodrang
  • Fulfilling hike to Taktsang Monastery, most dotted pilgrimage site for Bhutanese

Trip Itinerary :

Day 01: Arrival at Paro airport, meet our staff then transfer to Hotel.
Day 02: Thimpu Sightseeing
Day 03: Thimpu – Punakha
Day 04: Punakha – Trongsa
Day 05: Trongsa – Bumthang
Day 06: Sightseeing in Bumthang
Day 07: Sightseeing in Bumthang – Excursion around Ura village and Swiss farm
Day 08: Bumthang – Gangtey
Day 09: Gangtey – Paro via Wangduephodrang
Day 10: Paro Sightseeing.
Day 11: Hike to Taktsang Monastery.
Day 12: Last minute, transfer to airport for onward journey.

Bhutan Tour & Trek Cost Includes:

  • All land transportation: Transfers and sightseeing by a deluxe vehicle and Airport /Hotel/Airport & tours pick up & drop).
  • Hotel accommodation at all places and 3 meals; breakfast, Lunch and dinner.
  • 1 Professional English speaking local tour guide & all temples, monuments entry fees.
  • Bhutan visa, tourism development fees, government royalty fees.
  • All applicable taxes.
  • Daily wages for support crews and their health insurance.
  • Basic first aid Medical Kit Box for support crews.
  • All official taxes and service charge.

Bhutan Tour & Trek Cost Doesn’t Include:

  • Personal transportation except above programs.
  • Personal tours gears.
  • Personal Nature expenses. (Extra expenses incurred due to unforeseen circumstances such as sickness, accidents, road blockage, and other occurrences beyond our control.)
  • Emergency evacuation (If incase).
  • Drinks except tea and coffee.  (Bar Bill, laundry and telephones calls.)
  • Airfare: to & from your country and internal domestic flights.
  • Personal travel insurance. (Liability for insurance against sickness, accidents, loss of baggage, loss of life and medical expenses if any kind etc.)
  • Tips for support crews.

Note: If Traveling Bhutan via Nepal

  1. All land transportation by private vehicle tourist Bus (Airport /Hotel/Airport & trekking pick up & drop).
  2. Sightseeing activities in Kathmandu with professional English speaking tour guide & temple entry fees.
  3. Hotel accommodation in Kathmandu at Bed & Breakfast basis.
  4. Major meals lunch and dinner during your stay in Kathmandu – Nepal.
  5. Nepal entry, re-entry visa fees & international airport departure taxes. (t is suggested you apply for a multiple entry visa for Nepal initially saving you the Nepal re-entry fee).
  6. Personal nature’s expenses and transportation except given programs.


Day 01: Fly to Paro –Drive to Thimphu (54 kms & 02 hrs.)
The flight into the Himalayas is truly a memorable experience. As the aircraft enters the Paro valley, look down and you will see the Paro Dzong overlooking the Paro chu (\River) with Ta Dzong (National Museum) above it. On arrival and after visa formalities you will be received by your Bhutanese guide. You will be driven to Thimphu.  In the evening you visit the Tashicho Dzong, the head seat of the King and the Je Khenpo, the highest abbot of Bhutan. Upon arrival, you check in at the hotel. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 02: Thimpu Sightseeing
After breakfast we drive up to 12 kms above and hike for about 45 minutes to Tango Monastery. Tango Monastery is a Buddhist college and is the residence of Desi Tenzin Rabgye, reincarnation of the 16th century monk who built the Tango. You will also visit Cheri Monastery which lies15 km north of Thimphu. It was built in 1620 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, a Tibetan native and a holy man. It is situated on a steep mountain slope on the southern boundary of the 4,200 sq km Jigme Dorji National Park, and is in the transition zone between broad-leaved forests of oak, rhododendron, maple, walnut and conifer forests with species such as spruce, fir, hemlock and the Himalayan yew.

A visit to the Memorial Chorten, Folk Heritage Museum and the Arts & Crafts centre is also included. The Memorial Chorten is a stupa built in memory of Bhutan’s third king, the late Majesty, King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk, popularly regarded as the Father of modern Bhutan. The paintings and statues inside the monument offer a deep insight into Bhuddhist philosophy. The Folk Heritage Museum was established in the year 2001. This museum houses some original and ancient artefacts used in the Bhutanese rural areas.

Arts & Crafts School teaches the techniques of traditional Thangkha paintings. One can see students at work producing intricate designs on cloth. Overnight at the Hotel.

Day 03: Thimphu – Punakha (70 km & 03 hrs.)
After breakfast, you visit the oldest Dzong in Bhutan, Simtokha Dzong. After the visit continue the drive to Dochu La Pass (3050m.). If the weather is clear, you can see a range of high peaks toward the north east. The recently built 108 chortens gives the ridge a very beautiful and charming presence. On the way is Chhimi Lhakhang, the temple of the ‘divine monk’, Drukpa Kuenley. The approach to the temple is an easy walk through the village. Continue the drive to Punakha and check in at the Hotel.

Later you visit Punakha Dzong, the most beautiful dzong in Bhutan. Punakha Dzong was built in 1637 by Shabdrung, the spiritual and temporal ruler of Bhutan prior to the present dynasty. It is an old capital which still serves as the winter residence of the monks. The first King, Ugyen Wangchuck, was crowned here in 1907. It has withstood damages by fire, earthquake and flood. The latest flood of Oct’ 94 caused great damage to the fortress but miraculously the statue of the Buddha Jojampa remained untouched.

Day 04: Punakha – Trongsa (146 km/ 05 hrs.)
After breakfast depart towards Trongsa. Enroute you will visit the Wangdue Dzong. The drive is taken via the Pele La Pass (3300m.) to reach Chendebji Chorten where we will stop for our picnic lunch. Further continue the drive to Trongsa and enjoy the beautiful view of Trongsa Dzong, while approaching Trongsa. Upon arrival check in at the Hotel. Overnight at the Hotel.

Day 05: Trongsa – Bumthang (68 km/ 03 hrs.)
After breakfast you will visit the beautiful Trongsa Dzong and Ta Dzong.  You will also visit the Kuenga Rabten Palace located 22 kms from Trongsa. This ancient palace is the palace of the second king of Bhutan. Further continue the drive over Yuto La Pass (3400m.) to reach the most beautiful valley in Bhutan, Bumthang. We will stop briefly at the line of shops selling Bhutanese handicrafts before entering Bumthang.  Upon arrival, you check in at the hotel.  Later on you will visit the Jakar Dzong in the late afternoon. After breakfast visit Ugyencholing Dzong which has been converted into a museum now.

Day 06: Sightseeing in Bumthang
After breakfast you visit Jampey Lhakhang, Kuje Lhakhang, and Tamsing Monastery. Jampey Lhakhang is one of the oldest monasteries in Bhutan. Built in the 7thcentury, Kuje Lhakhang is where Guru Rinpoche left the imprint of his body in the cave he was meditating. Tamsing Monastery is the private monastery where we can wash our sins if we carry the coat made of nails thrice around the shrines. This coat of nails was made by Pemalingpa himself. If time permits we will take an excursion to Thangbi Lhakhang, where we will visit a very old Lhakhang.

Day 07: Sightseeing in Bumthang – Excursion around Ura village and Swiss farm
Today after breakfast, you take a full day excursion to Ura Valley. Just before reaching the Sheltang Pass, we will have a beautiful view of the highest peak in Bhutan, Gangkar Punsum (7541m). Explore this prosperous village including the village temple with the beautiful paintings. On the way back we will visit the Shingkhar Monastery and Shingkhar village. Overnight at the Hotel.

Day 08: Bumthang – Gangtey (193 km & 07 hrs.)

After breakfast depart for Gangtey. Upon arrival check in at the hotel. Gangtey is a beautiful place of rolling hills and green meadows surrounded by snow-capped mountains. It is at an altitude of 3000m. From Gangtey, one can closely view the picturesque Black Mountain ranges as well as the beautiful Phobjikha valley. Gangtey Gompa is perched atop a small hill that rises from the valley floor. The monastery is surrounded by a large village inhabited mainly by the families of the 140 Gomchens (Lay Monks). The Gangtey Gompa is the only Nyingmapa Monastery on the western side of the Black mountains and is also the biggest of its kind. Gangtey is also the winter home for the famous Black Necked Cranes who migrate here from Tibet during the winter months. While the cranes reside in the valley for 4/5 months the village folks are not allowed to make loud noises or fish in the river that runs through the valley. At Gagtey, you get to visit the Gangtey Monastery and the Black Necked Crane centre. Overnight at the Hotel.

Day 09: Gangtey – Paro (135 km & 5 hrs.)
After breakfast, depart for Paro. Paro is a picturesque valley with quaint clusters of hamlets amid terraced paddy fields. Although the site of the nation’s first airport, Paro still retains its traditional charm in its traditional buildings and the simple way of life lead by the locals. Upon arrival check in at the Hotel. Rest of the time explore the town on your own. Overnight at the Hotel.

Day 10: Paro Sightseeing
Today after breakfast you visit Rinpung Dzong, the administrative headquarters and the monastic unit of Paro district. Along the wooden galleries, lining the courtyard of the Rinpung Dzong, are fine wall paintings illustrating Buddhist lore such as The Four Friends, The Old Man of Long Life, The Wheel of Life, Scenes from the Life of Milarepa, Mount Sumeru and other cosmic mandalas.  Also visit the ancient and holy Kyichu Temple (built by the Tibetan King Songtsen Gompo in the 7th century).At the National Museum antique Thangkhas, textiles, weapons and armours, household objects and a rich assortment of natural and historic artifact is exhibited. Overnight at the Hotel.

Day 11: Hike to Taktsang Monastery
After breakfast take a drive up the valley to Drukgyal Dzong or the fort of Drukpa victory. The Dzong, although gutted by fire and in ruins now, still attracts visitors. It was used to repel Tibetan invasions throughout the course of early Bhutanese history. Looming above the smouldered ruins is the snow-capped peak of the Chomolhari. We will stop at the view point of Taktsang (hike uphill for about two to three hours for a close up of the Taktsang or Tiger’s nest). This is the famed site where Guru Padmasambhava alighted upon the back of a tigress. Overnight at the hotel

Day 12: Last minute, transfer to airport for onward journey.

Early morning transfer to the airport for your final departure.

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