Truly Bhutan

Why Travel Bhutan With Truly Bhutan

11 Days

Punakha Rafting

The main highlight of this tour is two days of rafting Class II and Class IV rapids on the Pho Chu and Mo Chu Rivers in Punakha valley. Bhutan’s pristine snow-fed rivers offer some of the best whitewater rafting in this region. Amazing scenery along the rafting route makes this adventure even more stunning.

The tourism industry in Bhutan is founded on the principle of sustainability, meaning that tourism must be environmentally and ecologically friendly, socially and culturally acceptable, and economically viable. The Royal Government of Bhutan recognizes that tourism is a worldwide phenomenon and an important means of achieving socioeconomic development, particularly for a developing country like Bhutan. It believes that tourism, in allowing traveling, can help to promote a deeper understanding among people and to strengthen ties of friendship based on a deeper appreciation and respect for different cultures and lifestyles.

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Detailed Program

On arrival, our representative will be there to pick you up from Paro airport.  Begin sightseeing around Paro valley. Visit the Paro Rinpung Dzong (fortress) built in 1646, which serves as the center of civil and religious authority in the district. Visit Ta Dzong, once a watchtower for Rimpung Dzong, now a museum of natural history.

Later drive to the capital Thimphu (54 km) following the Pa Chu river and take in the wonderful scenery as the road winds through farms and villages.

Overnight in hotel, Thimphu.

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Thimphu is Bhutan’s largest urban center with a population of 100,000 people. It easily stands out as one of the unique capitals in the world where tradition blends with modernity. It is one of the fastest-growing cities in the region.

Enjoy a full day of sightseeing. Start with a visit to the National Memorial Chorten (Stupa) built in memory of the Third King and for world peace and harmony. It is a norm for Bhutanese of all ages to circumambulate the stupa and recite prayers for all sentient beings. Continue to the 12th-century Changangkha temple overlooking the valley. If a Thimphu resident is named Tandin he probably got his name from this temple.  Also, visit the Zulikha Nunnery.

If you are in Thimphu during the weekend visit the Farmer’s centenary market, which has an entire section selling local organic farm produce as well as dairy products and varieties of incense. Interact with local farmers are sample some organic fruits!

Overnight in hotel, Thimphu.

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Continue Thimphu sightseeing.  Visit the National Library, the Folk Heritage Museum, the Royal Textile Academy, the school of 13 traditional arts and crafts, Trashichhoedzong, the seat of government, and Buddha Point, which offers panoramic views of Thimphu city.

Visit the Takin Preserve, Trashichhoedzong, and if you have time hike to Tango and Cheri monasteries (45 mins) at the northern end of Thimphu valley.

Overnight in Thimphu.

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Today the drive to Punakha, Bhutan’s old capital, will take you through some of the kingdom’s fertile agricultural land and river valleys.

The first stop is Dochu La (pass) at 3,050 meters. The snow-capped eastern Himalayan range can be seen on a clear day. You could also circumambulate the 108 stupas of the Druk Wangyel Chorten. Descending into Punakha valley the drive through the countryside affords a glimpse of everyday life in rural Bhutan.

In Punakha, visit Punakha Dzong the “fortress of great happiness built in 1637 by the founder of Bhutan, Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel.  The magnificent structure stands at the confluence of the Mo Chu (female) and Po Chu (female) rivers, like a ship ready to set sail. Bhutan’s first King was crowned here in 1907 and the present and fifth King wed his bride here in October 2011.

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After breakfast hike along the banks of the Pho Chu River through pine forests and paddy fields for about two hours until you reach Samdingkha where the rafting crew will be waiting.

After a debriefing session gets on the Pho Chu. You will come across exhilarating stretches of Class II and Class IV rapids on the Pho Chu while passing farmlands and a dense forest full of avian life.

Break for lunch on a sandy embankment. Rafting continues until it reaches a calm section below  Punakha Dzong.

Overnight in Hotel, Punakha.

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After breakfast drive to the rafting point near the Mo Chu River. This section takes four hours and has some calls II rapids.

After lunch enjoys a short walk through paddy fields to Chimi Lhakhang, a temple dedicated to the Drukpa Kuenley famously known as the divine madman for his outrageous and unorthodox methods of imparting Buddhist teachings.  Also regarded as a temple of fertility childless couples visit this temple for blessings.

Overnight in a hotel, Punakha.

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In the morning visit the neighboring district of Wangduephodrang to explore the bustling market town catering mainly to travelers on the east-west highway.  Also visit the Wangduephodrang Dzong, which is now being rebuilt after it went up in flames in June 2011. Built-in 1639 the Dzong sits on a spur at the confluence of two rivers.

Later drive up a winding mountain road through oak and rhododendron forests and over a pass into the wide and beautiful valley of Phobjikha.

A glacial lake valley, Phobjikha is the winter roosting grounds for the Blacked-necked cranes that migrate from the Tibetan plateau.  The valley is also home to the 17th-century Gangtey Goenpa.

The Blacked necked cranes referred to as Trung by the Bhutanese feed off the marshy lands of the valley.

Overnight in hotel, Phobjikha.

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After breakfast drive back to Paro passing through Wangduephodrang with a picnic lunch along the way. In Paro, walk around the town and interact with the locals.

Overnight in hotel, Paro.

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After breakfast gets ready to hike to Taktshang monastery, a pilgrimage site for Buddhists from all around the world. This hike, which is all the way uphill, takes about 3 hours through pine forests.

The tiger’s nest monastery hangs on a rocky cliff 900 meters above the valley floor. The Indian tantric master, Guru Padmasambhava, came here on a flying tigress and meditated for three months in the eighth century.

In the afternoon, drive to the 7th century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples built by Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo, to pin down a giant demoness that was preventing the spread of Buddhism in the Himalayan region. The ancient temple houses a golden statue of Buddha Sakyamuni.  Also, visit the ruins of Drukgyel Dzong built in the 17th century by the founder of Bhutan to commemorate the victory over invading Tibetans.

Overnight in hotel, Paro.

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Breakfast in the hotel then drives to the airport for the flight to your onward destination.

Tashi Delek!

Frequently Asked Question

In Bhutan, each season has its charm; as a result, the country offers a variety of activities to tourists based on their interests. Nonetheless, the most popular months to visit are usually March, April, and May, when the country is at its most beautiful as the spring season begins, as well as later in the year in August, September, October, and November.

These are the peak seasons because the weather is pleasant and warm at this time of year, not to mention the festival months. However, Truly Bhutan is focusing on spreading out visitation throughout the year because come rain or shine, there is something for everyone at all times of the year. Winters are cold, but there are winter treks and festivals in southern Bhutan, which has warm weather all year. Winter in Bhutan is distinguished by clear blue skies, but you must bring your jackets.

Except for Indian nationals with valid Indian passports, all visitors traveling to Bhutan must obtain a visa before arrival. After we have confirmed your visit to Bhutan, you can simply download and fill out the Visa Application form from our website and send it to us. We will process the visa confirmation letter and send it to you within 7 working days.

You will need your passport, which must be valid for at least 6 months after its expiry date, your airline e-ticket, whether purchased through us or through a third-party website and your Visa confirmation letter, which we will send you prior to your arrival in the country.

Please also bring a copy of your tour itinerary with you.

You can fly into Bhutan via Druk Air or Bhutan Airlines from Bangkok, Kathmandu, New Delhi, India, Calcutta, Dhaka, Bagdogra, or Singapore. Road access to Bhutan is also available through Phuntsholing, Gelephu, and SamdrupJongkhar in southern Bhutan.

We can book your tickets. Please keep in mind that all tickets are electronic and will be delivered to you via email.

  • Inclusion
  • Exclusion
  • Insurance
  • Airport pick-up and drop-off by private vehicle.
  • 3-star accommodation (4 & 5 stars may require an additional premium update).
  • Bhutan visa fee – including all necessary processing
  • Route Permit
  • Three meals per day during your stay in Bhutan
  • A licensed Bhutanese tour guide
  • All land transportation by private vehicle
  • Camping equipment and haulage for trekking tours
  • Sightseeing as per itinerary
  • Monuments entrance fees where applicable
  • Drinking water
  • All internal taxes and charges
  • A sustainable development fee of $200. (This sustainable development fee goes towards free education, free healthcare, and poverty alleviation, along with the building of infrastructure.)
  • Airfare & Travel Insurance
  • Expenses of personal nature, Tips to guides and drivers
  • Expenses occurred due to unavoidable events i.e. road wrecks, flight delays etc.

Package does not include insurance of any kinds, and that you are required to obtain separate coverage from your home country before your trip begins.

Our Host

Bhutan is one of the most unusual and beautiful countries in the world. You’ll find a land that is blessed with abundance, with a deep connection to the past, and a culture that is unique. Truly Bhutan’s Host are second to none. Handpicked, highly experienced and scrupulously trained, they bring a wealth of skill and knowledge to each trip. They are fun and friendly, whose aim is to ensure that each trip remains an unforgettable experience. Creating colorful, discovery-oriented tours in a combination of safety and comfort is the mission of our guides. All Host have earned the tour guide’s certificate from the Tourism Council of Bhutan.

 

host

Pelden Dorji | Culture & Trekking Expert

Damchoe Lhendrup

Damchoe Lhendrup | Culture & Trekking Expert

Trek guide

Jigme Dorji | Culture & Trekking Expert

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