Bearing in mind, that if you have money you may not have time. We have designed this itinerary so that one get under the skin of Bhutan and truly understand the people and their way of life. Spend time on a farm, taking part in activities and eating the local food which you have helped prepare as well as sampling the homemade local spirit of ara. In addition you will visit many of the important Buddhist sites. What more could one ask when everything has been customised for your enjoyment. We have over 10 years experience in taking groups, so awaken your spirits, liberate your senses and travel with Karmic’s Best Odyssey.
Group consisting of 2 to 15
All travellers below 12 must be accompanied by parents or guardian
Some high elevated hikes can be a difficult activity.
Will have experienced guide along with comfortable car.
When you are in Bhutan, smile like we do.
Settle in and view the scenery of the valley from the convenience of a private vehicle as we drive from Paro to the capital of Bhutan Thimphu. Enjoy brief walk (1hr) with our local expert. He will give you basic idea of whereabouts’ of supermarkets, main squares and ATM.
The adventure to this wonderful country begins by tonight’s brief introduction and a welcome speech laid by our friendly guide. After the introduction, your guide will review the details of your tour. 40 mins to 1 hr.
Meals included: Lunch and Dinner.
Today you will be mostly doing outdoor activities with picnic Lunch. Morning hike to Tango and after your lunch you can always hike to another monastery Chari. After your breakfast drive towards the north of Thimphu for about 45 minutes to the head of the trail of Tango and Chari Monastery, along the crystal clear river flowing down from the base of virgin mounatin Jumolhari.
Visit to the Tango Monastery
The monastery was founded in 12th century by Phajo Drugom zhigpo.The monastery was however constructed to its present form by the temporal ruler, Gyalse Tenzin Rabgye in the year 1688.
According to Bhutanese history, the place was first visited by Guru Padasambhava in 8th century and as prophesised by Guru in 13th century Phajo Drugom Zhigpo, the Tibetan saint who first established Drukpa Kagyu tradition in Bhutan visted the site.But the actual monastery it was built in 1620 when he was only 27 years old to accommodate the increasing number of monastic student on the opposite Tango Monastery.It wa sin Chari in 1623 that he established the Drukpa(Dragon people) monastic order in Bhutan.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
After reaching the pass Do Chula, you can take a break for tea or coffee, with the view of Himalayas. And will descend down through evergreen broadleaved forests to Lobesa and will continue driving through the highway to east for about two hours approximately. Afterwards you will divert from the right hand side road to the valley of Black Necked crane. Tonight you will be spending time with some local people in a farmhouse, where they will teach you how to cook chilli cheese with red rice.
Its elevation is about 3150m above the sea level and it beautifully decorated with 108 stupas. If you are lucky you will also get to see the eastern Himalyan mounatian ranges of the world.
Most Bhutanese people live on a farms in small villages. Bhutanese farmhouses are built three storied, because back in early 20th century they used to have animals living on the first floor middle as Granaries and the top floor as a kitchen and living room. Usually the house are built big, in anticipation of the future. If their kids or grandchildren are unemployed they could always come back and work in the field, therefore most of our saving also goes to reconstructing and renovating our ancestral home.
This morning before breakfast you will do what local does the best, milking cow, making butter tea. And later this noon you can explore the valley on foot with our local guide,walking along the meadows ,where Black Necked Crane roost in their hundreds from mid-November till the mid-March.
Black Necked Crane
The Black Necked Crane is a medium sized crane in Asia that breeds in Bhutan and on the Tibetan Plateau. It is 139cm long with 235 cm wingspan and weighs somewhere close to 6 kg. It is whitish gray, with a black head, red crown in males, black upper neck and legs.
It will be a long drive today form Phobjikha to Gasa, but our culture guide will have a way to keep you entertained throughout your journey. After driving on a scenic road for about 6 hours you will be camping near a hot spring place. And after quick dinner you can relax in the pool of hot spring, chatting with one of the happiest people over local drinks prepared for you by your own cook.
Hot spring in Gasa is believed to have healing properties for backache, joint pains and sinus, therefore it attracts more than 7000 locals round the year.Gasa Tsachhu has four main ponds of 3 feet deep, built of concrete, all roofed and each one meant for different ailments.
Meals Included:Breakfast,Lunch and Dinner.
Today you will be retracing the same road.The drive from Gasa to the former capital of Bhutan, Punakha will be for about 4 hours. After reaching there you can visit the beautiful Punakha Dzong and do a short hike through paddy field to the temple of divine madman, commonly known as fertility temple.
Chimmi Lhakhang(fertility temple)
Take a short hike to Chime Lhakhang, temple of the “Divine Madman” through paddy field. It was Built in 1499 by his cousin brother Ngawang Chogyal to commemorate his visit, it is mainly visited today by those couple longing to have kids, as it is known for the of fertility blessing.
Visit Punakha Dzong which was built in 1636, the winter seat of the Je Khenpo and the central monastic body, remarkably located between in the island of river Mo Chu and Pho Chu. It is the second oldest fortress built in exemplary architectural style of Bhutan .
Meals included:Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
After your breakfast, you can get dressed in local attire arranged by us, to hike up to Khamsum Yuelley Namgyel, which will take about 45 minutes. Have picnic lunch.
Khamsum Yuelley Namgyel Chorten
Khamsum Yuelley Namgyel Chorten was built in the year 2004 in accordance to the instructions of Lopon Sonam Zangpo, with the intention to bring peace in the world and to clear the obstacles for Bhutanese people in general.
To walk to this beautiful temple will take you anywhere from 30 to 55 minutes of gradual uphill walk but mind it, not to forget your camera for the view from the top is just mind blowing.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
Today you will drive back the same pass Dochula to Paro. You can try shooting archery our national game and play Khuru(dart) with some local people.
Archery and Dart
Archery, national sport is played throughout the country and year round, and it’s one of the best sport to pass time during weekends. But during official match each team will have their own women supporters, and to the opponents, they tease them with vulgar, be aware! because you are going to love it. Nonetheless Khuru (dart) is also played around the country but mostly during some local festivals.
Early hike to the Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest).Later that evening you will have time to for hotstone bath in a local farmhouse. After breakfast, drive about 30 minutes to the base of the famous Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest). You will walk gradually uphill through the pine forests to this incredible location. And once you reach the entrance to the monastery you will be frisked by the police to make sure that nothing illegal is being brought in or taken outside.
It is considered to be the most holy pilgrim sites in Bhutan. It is where Guru Padmasambhava flew to Bhutan for second time from Tibet riding on the back of the Tigress,which again was also believed to be his spiritual consort. And after meditating for 3 months he was able to subdue all the malevolent spirits and thus flourishing tantric Buddhism for the first time in the history of western Bhutan. But the actual temple was only built in 17th century by the second Druk Desi Gyalse Tenzin Rabgye, Walking distance 5hrs.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
Our representative will drop you at the airport and bid you farewell and Trashi Delek.
Meals included: Breakfast.
The best way to enter Bhutan is by Air. Because driving from Indian border can be quite tiring and strenuous, if you are not used to the quick bends of the road but we can say that the view is much better along the road.
Bhutan has two airlines that operates flights in and out of Bhutan. Drukair is a national carrier and Bhutan Airline is a private airline which started operating in 2011 and has brought in some needed competition. There is only one international airport at Paro and takes about an hour and half drive from Thimphu. There are also some new domestic routes in operation connecting Badbalathang in Bumthang, Yonphula in eastern Bhutan and Gelephu in southern Bhutan.
Druk Air and Bhutan Airlines flights can now be booked directly by yourself online, but usually it is preferable for you to ask us to make the flight booking for you. We can hold the seats for you for a period without commitment as we discuss your itinerary and you can take time to finalize your travel plans. But shall not be held liable for the change in the costs of the airfare due to unforeseen circumstances.
It is always advisable to plan one day overnight stay or to have 5 to 6 hours in excess after reaching to your chosen point of entry to Bhutan. Because the schedules for Bhutan flights are subject to frequent change, due to unpredictable weather condition and often in very short notice.
The routes taken by our airlines are Delhi, Kathmandu, Bangkok, Kolkata and Singapore. There are also flights from Dhaka, Gaya, Baghdogra, Guwahati and Mumbai.
Bangkok flights come in and out every day with both airlines during the peak season but flights on the other routes are not as frequent. Delhi and Kathmandu flights tend to be 5 times a week. Kolkata flights run around 5 times a week with Druk Air and daily with Tashi Air and Singapore flights are twice a week with Druk Air. Tashi air also has future plans to fly to Singapore.
Flight timing Varies on whether it is a direct flight or has a stopover:
The current rates for both entry and return flights are around US$450 (Kathmandu), US$700 (Delhi), US$750 (Bangkok), US$450 (Calcutta) and US$1150 (Singapore). They are charged in US dollar, as the price and value of the currency keeps on fluctuating on daily basis and therefore it can be only confirmed after issuing the tickets.
***Please note that Airfare of Druk Air and Bhutan Airlines is charged on top of the tour price***
Visitors are required to complete the Customs form and hand it over on arrival. The following articles are should be declared:
Alcohol-1 bottle not larger than 1 litre bottle
200 sticks of cigarettes, 50 pieces of cigar, 250 grams of other tobacco products. But they are all subjected to 100% customs duty and 100%sales tax. If found excess in quantity mentioned then above it will be confiscated.
Instruments or appliances for professional use.
Tourists shall be allowed to import temporarily free customs duty for his /her personal effects and articles required for visit like photographic equipment, video cameras and other electronic goods for personal use only and that items will be re-exported with them when the leave Bhutan.
The Import and Export of the following goods are strictly prohibited:
Arms, ammunitions, explosives and military stores. All narcotics and drugs, except medically prescribed drugs. Wildlife products, especially those of endangered species. Antiques(any household items).
All visitors are advised to be cautious in purchasing old and used items. Custom authorities will not allow any old/used items to be taken out of the country if they have not been certified as non-antique. The import of plants, soil etc. is subject to quarantine regulations. These items must be cleared on arrival.
Entry to and exit from Bhutan is also possible through Phuentsholing and Gelephug through the southern Bhutan border town. Bagdogra, in the state of West Bengal (India) is the nearest airport to the bordering towns, if you wish to travel by road it will take you least 4 hours’ drive to reach the border of Bhutan.
Now entry and exit from Bhutan can also be made through Samdrup Jongkhar (Eastern Bhutan). This frontier Bhutanese town is also the main trade hub for the people living in east of Bhutan and it is approximately 3 hours’ drive from Guwahati on a traffic free day, the capital town of the Indian north- eastern state of Assam, which too has an airport. Samdrup Jongkhar is also an authorized exit point for tourists who wish to visit other north eastern Indian states.
The southern part of Bhutan is tropical, and in general the east of Bhutan is warmer than the west. The central valleys of Punakha, Wangduephodrang, Mongar, Trashigang and Lhuntse enjoy a semi tropical climate with very cool winters, whilst Thimphu, Paro, Haa, Trongsa and Bumthang have a much harsh climate, with heavy monsoon in the summer and heavy snow-falls in the winter, which often blocks the pass on the highway connecting to central and then to the eastern Bhutan. Winter in Bhutan starts from mid-November until mid-March, and at this time of the year the climate is dry, with day time temperatures falling below zero. The monsoon usually arrives in mid-June to end of September, with the rain falling mainly in the afternoon and evening. In autumn which starts from October, most of the trees growing in sub-tropical region suddenly changes their colour marking the arrival of beautiful clear sky and a good weather for die hard trekkers, until the mid-November.
There are comfortable hotels, lodges and farm houses throughout the tourist destinations in the country. The Western and Central Bhutan has better hotels, while in the eastern parts of the country, it’s more of a pure untouched lands in other word one would find rustic beauty establishments. The hotels that we provide is categorized as 3 star hotels , hotel. bt and we have few luxury five star hotels but with it comes the extra costs.
Bhutanese delicacies are rich in cheese and spicy with chilies, in bhutan we use chilli as vegetable rather than spice. The hotels and restaurant in the list of Karmic’s Best Odyssey offers delicious local Bhutanese, Continental, Indian, Thai and Vietnamese food. Even on the trek, our cook prepares palatable dish suitable for western tastes. Most meals are provide in buffet style during peak season but we can also do ala carte depending on the size of the group and the time availability.
Bhutanese unit of currency is the Ngultrum (Nu.), with 100 Chetrums = 1 Ngultrum. The value of Ngultrum is pegged with the value of Indian rupee. Presently, US $ 1 = Nu. 60 (the value keeps on fluctuating as does any other currency). Visitors are advised to carry their money in the form of travelers’ cheques, with a little cash (US dollars) which might be needed for incidental expenses.
In Bhutan, electricity runs at 240 volts, 50 Hz. If you do bring electrical appliances, bring along an international converter kit complete with a set of adapter plugs.
Bhutan is 6 hours ahead of GMT and 30 minutes ahead of Indian standard time. There is only one time zone throughout the country.
The photography opportunities on all trips are immense. It is said that, you cannot take any bad pictures in Bhutan, provided if you have a good camera with extra batteries and charger. You will wish to take pictures of the local people, their houses and shops, etc. Please always seek your guides help or ask by gesture if it is acceptable to do so or not. And, while visiting religious institutions and Dzong’s you won’t be allowed to take pictures or record a video therefore please make sure you follow your trip leader’s instructions carefully.
The local experts (Guide) provided by Karmic’s Best Odyssey works on regular basis with us and all of them does speak fluent English, they are knowledgeable, certified by the Tourism council of Bhutan under Royal government of Bhutan.
We plan, design carefully because we don’t compromise on the quality of the service that we provide. Kadrinchey La.