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8-Day Bhutan Classic Tour with Haa Valley

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Overview

Tour Type: Private Tour: Flexible Travel Date & Travel Routes
Guide & Driver: Chinese-English-speaking guide & air-conditioned
  • Take an in-depth tour to Thimpu, Paro and Punakha
  • Explore the architectural wonders and sacred Buddhist sites in Bhutan
  • Visit the stunning scenery of Phobjikha Valley

Itinerary Day by Day

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Day1  Paro Arrival & Driving to Thimphu / About 1.5 hours’ Driving (L, D )

Welcome to Bhutan, the Land of the Thunder Dragon! Upon arrival, you will be greeted by your local travel guide and driver, and then be escorted to Paro Town to start your wonderful journey.

You will firstly visit Bhutan National Museum where you are going to learn a crash course in Bhutanese rich culture and history. There are many impressive collections displayed in its five galleries, including traditional thangkas, festival masks, religious statues, interesting carvings, etc. Your next attraction is Rinpung Dzong, also known as Paro Dzong, which is reputed as the finest example of Bhutanese dzong. After appreciating these charming architectures in Rinpung Dzong, you could take a leisure walk through cantilever bridge and to Paro Town and witness national game archery, which is played almost every day on the ground. After the sightseeing, drive about 1.5 hours to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan Kingdom, for accommodation.

Arrival Ideas: 1)you are able to take an international flight from Kathmandu (1 hour), Kolkata (1 hour), New Delhi (2.5 hours), Guwahati (55 minutes), Siliguri (30 minutes), Bangkok (3 hours), Singapore (5 hours) and some other cities in India in peak seasons; 2) so far, all the flights to Paro depart and arrive in the morning.

Accommodation:Overnight in Thimphu

Day2  Thimphu Sightseeing & Driving to Punakha / 80km, About 2.5hrs' Driving ( B, L, D )

This morning you will start the day by visiting the National Memorial Chorten (shrine), a monument dedicated to the past 3rd king of Bhutan, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. More than a memorial stupa, it is also one important religious center for Bhutanese daily worship. Then go to visit Traditional Painting School, a school where students are taught to make Bhutan’s 13 traditional arts and crafts, like painting, woodcarving, embroidery, statue-making and so on. Next, go to National Textile Museum which is a good place to display textile weaving – Bhutan’s living national art. You can not only feast on the beautiful costumes, but also learn about the type of textiles, the styles of local dress and the techniques of weaving. Last activity of today is visiting the national animal - Takin in Motithang Takin Preserve, a unique looking animal with the head of sheep and body of cattle.

Leaving Thimphu, drive through a forest of pine and hemlock, up to cross over the Dochu La Pass (Alt: 10142ft/ 3,050 m). From the place, you can enjoy the panoramic views of the majestic Himalaya Mountains. Keep driving along the winding road to the fertile valley of Punakha (Alt: 4430ft/ 1,350 meters).

Accommodation:Accommodate in Punakha Town.

Day3  Punakha to Phobjikha / 80km, about 3 hours (B, L, D)

After breakfast, you will go to visit Punakha Dzong, situated between Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu (male and female rivers) and featuring in three docheys (one more than other dzongs). With white-brilliant walls, red roofs and the surrounding charming nature, Punakha Dzong is praised by as the most beautiful one in Bhutan’s 21 Dzong. When the spring comes, the surrounding lilac jacaranda trees in blossom make Punakha Dzong more impressive.

Next, you will drive toward Phobjikha Valley. In route, you will get amazed by the beauty and serenity of the rich flora and fauna. When you reach Lawala Pass, you may spot some Yaks grazing in high altitude bamboo shrub along the road. Crossing the pass, you will descend to Gangtey Goempa an important monastery of Nyingmapa school of Buddhism located on a forested hill overlooking the entire Phobjikha Valley. The whole complex of Gangtey Goempa is made up of central monastery, monks’ quarters, guesthouse and meditation centers.

Then you will pay a visit to Black-Necked Crane Information Center where you can learn much knowledge of the cranes and their living environment from the informative displays. If you visit Phobjikha Valley in November ~ January, you are able to see many black-necked cranes as well.

Accommodation:Accommodate in Phobjikha.

Day4  Phobjikhka to Thimphu via Wangdue Phodrang / 135km, about 4 hrs’ driving (B, L, D)

Today is for leaving Phobjikha Valley for Thimphu. In the morning, you will firstly drive about 2 hours and 20 minutes to Wangdue Phodrang and pay a visit to Wangdue Phodrang Dzong where you can get a commanding view of the below valleys. In fact, Wangdu Phodrang Dzong enjoys an important status in the history as well, and it was the second capital city in the early days. Since Wangdu Phodrang is situated on the ridge, you can walk down to the bridge and have a short hiking to the village of Rinchangang.

Accommodation:After the sightseeing, drive back to Thimphu for accommodation.

Day5  Thimphu to Haa Valley / 110km, about 3hrs and 20mins’ driving (B, L, D)

Today, you will begin your adventure trip to Haa Valley, an off-the-beaten-track but sacred valley with its unique beauty and serenity. During the driving journey on the zigzagging scenic road from Thimphu to Haa Valley, you will glut your eyes on the fascinating natural landscape. When you get to the southern entrance to the town of Haa valley, take a visit to holy Lhakhang Karpo which is literally translated as White Temple. Before entering the building, you will be greeted by its big ornate gate. Inside the temple are statues of different deities and some elaborate thangkas.  Local people believe that the deity protects them from sickness.In the afternoon, explore the small hidden villages in Haa Valley and enjoy the peaceful ambience.

Accommodation:Accommodate in the town.

Day6  Haa Valley to Paro/ 100km, about 3hrs and 10mins’ driving (B, L, D)

Today, you will take another nice drive from Haa Valley to Paro. Ascending along the winding road, you will get to Chele La Pass (Alt: 13,084ft/ 3,988 m) which delivers dramatic views on both sides. Stop there to admire the spectacular view of snow-capped mountains of Himalayan Ringes in Tibet and enjoy the awesome fluttering colored prayer flags. In spring, there are many lovely blossoms in the valley can be seen from the pass. Hot tea and noodles are available at a mobile food van. Then continue your adventure tour with an hour's trekking to Kila Nunnery, a mediation site with seven small temples clinging to a rocky cliff. It is believed as the oldest nunnery which can be dated back to 9th century. The trekking trail through the pristine forests is stunning and interesting.

After the visit to Kila Nunnery, you will drive to Kyichu Lhakhang, a lovely ancient temple. Just like famous Jokhang Temple in Tibet, it was built by Songtsen Gampo to subdue a demoness in 659. In this temple, you can admire many exquisite murals. One statue of Sakyamuni in the monastery attracts many pilgrims to get blessings.

Drive back to Paro Town for accommodation

Tip: 1) the wind might be strong, so make sure you take enough clothes to keep your body warm; 2) photography is not allowed inside most monasteries.

Accommodation:Drive back to Paro Town for accommodation

Day7  Day Paro - Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) / About 20mins' driving Plus 2~3hrs' Trekking ( B )

Start the day with short drive to Paro’s upper valley. If the day is clear, you’ll have an unforgettable view of the "Goddess" – Mt.Chomolhari (23,640 feet).

Afterward, it’s a short drive to Taktsang trail ahead. Take a challenging but necessary 2~3 hours’ trek to Taktsang Monastery, the most famous monastery in Bhutan, also known as "Tiger Nest Monastery", because Guru Rinpoche reportedly flew to the site on the back of a flying tiger late in the 7th century. Between blue pines and a blue sky, the monastery perches miraculously on a cliff nearly 2,700 feet above Paro’s valley floor. Break along the way for tea and snacks in small tea house, and the view of both Taktsang Monastery and Paro Valley is magnificent.

Hike down the mountain, then drive back to Paro for accommodation.

Tips: 1) it takes about 2 ~ 3 hours to trek from the parking lot to Taktsang Monastery, and you could ride a horse for the first hour; 2) photography is strictly forbidden in the monastery, but you can take a nice shot on your road to Taktsang Monastery; 3) travelers have to deposit all belongings (cameras, phones or other electronic equipment and bags) at the entrance.

Accommodation:Hike down the mountain, then drive back to Paro for accommodation.

Day8  Paro Departure ( B )

Your journey in Bhutan comes to an end today! After breakfast, your guide will pick you up from the hotel to the airport in time for the scheduled flight to your next destination. Before that, you can take a rest at the hotel or go for a walk nearby.

Tips: Please pack your luggage carefully, especially for small things like camera charge, power adaptor, mobile phone, phone charger, wallet and towel.

Accommodation:

What's Included

All necessary Tibet Travel Permit. (Including Tibet Entry Permit, Alien Travel Permit, Boarder Pass
Private professional English-Speaking local tour guide
Licensed Vehicle with experienced driver
Airport (or train)pick up and drop off
Accommodation listed in the itinerary
Breakfast provided by the hotel
Tourists Accident/Casualty Insurance
A container of Oxygen for emergency use
All taxes, fees and handling charges
Lodging and meal allowance to the guide & driver
Reservation fee for visiting Potala Palace
2 bottles of drinking water per person per day
One Welcome dinner in Lhasa
Meals not specified in the itinerary (All lunches & dinners)
All Entrance tickets to the sightseeing places
Flight/Trian tickets in and out of Tibet
Personal expenses such as laundry, drink, fax, telephone call, optional tour activities, etc.
Any losses incurred from the force majeure factor like government control, natural disaster etc.
Tips to the guide & driver ( Tips is not required but expected)
Single room supplement

Additional Info

Alterations of Itineraries

The travel date, service items, itinerary and number of visitors, visitors’ ID information, etc. can be modified free of charge 30 days or more before the trip. If the visitor needs to make a second modification, an additional service fee of 5% of the deposit will be charged. Every time the content of the travel contract is modified, the company reserves the right to re-quote.

Cancellation Policy

Once the deposit is paid, your trip is confirmed. If you need to change or cancel your itinerary, please contact your travel consultant by email, phone, instant messenger, etc. There will be a charge for Cancellation or modification. The policy is as follows:

1. Notice of trip cancellation due to personal reasons before the trip starts
Cancellation 30 days or more before the trip starts, 10% penalty of the deposit.
Cancellation 29-15 days before the trip starts, 20% penalty of the deposit.
Cancellation 14-7 days before the trip starts, 30% penalty of the deposit.
Cancellation 6-2 days before the trip starts, 50% penalty of the deposit.
Cancellation within 48 hours prior to the trip starts, no refund of your deposit.

2. Trip cancellation due to irresistible factors before the trip starts

If you have to cancel the itinerary due to irresistible reasons such as traffic, weather, politics, etc., the deposit will be fully refunded by the company (for loss related to air ticket/train ticket, please take reference of the first item).

Reviews

 Karin88888
Travel Date:May 30, 2019

We had a wonderful 8 days trip in Tibet with agency Odyssey travel’s organization and thanks too to our operator Amy’s help from begining to the end. Also, our guide she is an excellent guide, she is passionate and knowledgeable about Tibetan culture and religion, she taught us more than we thought. Thank you again Amy for your patience and all the follow-ups when I had questions even at night local time in China, it was great to have you as my tour operator. I feel very lucky to have accomplished my goal to the Mr. Everest, thanks for making this possible for us : )

 Mary C
Travel Date:July 6, 2019

We worked with Shirley to build an itinerary of cycling through Tibet to EBC. She was incredibly helpful and responsive. She designed a trip that met our requests and exceeded our expectations. She worked with our tour members who would be traveling from North America and China to make sure we were all set with plenty of time to get visas and permits.

Our trip was 10 days in Tibet, with a rest and sightseeing day in Lhasa (Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple). Our amazing guide Phuntsok handled travel, permit, and hotel logistics with expertise and flexibility. He was a 5-star guide in every way- making sure we had everything we wanted and needed, giving cultural + historical context to the sights we saw, and having lots of fun with us.

We had 2 drivers (the van and a truck for our bikes) who were both very helpful, friendly, and good company.

We were worried it would get into rain season while we were there - instead we had beautiful, sunny days 9.5 out of our 10 days.

Thank you to all at Tibet Odyssey Tours for a trip we will remember for a lifetime.

 beno v
Travel Date:June 30, 2019

I had an amazing, memorable trip with Amy/Odyssey: 9 days incl. Lhasa, EBC and Namtso Lake. Amy's service was excellent. From our first contact until after the trip all communication and organisation was very fast, clear and exhaustive. Our guide, Sun, made the whole trip even better. He is a really great, funny and laidback guy, proud Tibetan with very good knowledge of all relevant topics. Take into account that the pronounciation of English by Tibetan people/guides is of a different level than that of native speakers, and when you listen a bit more active than you normally do everything will be clear. The hotels were of a higher standard then expected which was really nice to start and finish the day. I recommend Amy/Odyssey to anyone planning a trip to Tibet! I will definitely go again with them on my next Tibet trip. June was a great time for weather and Tibetan festivities which made trip even more special.

 jersey90104
Travel Date:June 26, 2019

We had a unique travel experience in Tibet specailly the landscapes we saw and local people we met.

Both of our tour guide and driver were excellent, our guide had a vast knowledge about the areas that we visited and also had extensive knowledge with the culture and history of Tibet. All the way, he made sure that we were comfortable with all aspects of the day. The place that he set for each day was appropriate for our abilities, because the tour schedule allowed for a slower start and initial days in Lhasa to adjust to the altitude. Also, the schedule did not put too much into one day. Once we departed from Lhasa and went to the higher altitudes, we did not have any problems with the heights because we were acclimated already, so a good schedule arrangment is very crucial for first-time tourists to Tibet. Our driver was very polite and accommodating person too, he always picked up us from the hotel on time every day and drove in a very safe manner and made us feel comfortable during the trip, he was a very nice man.

Additionally, I never forget the blue sky and white cloud in Tibet, everywhere is so gorgeous that could rarely see in big cities, we love it so much and hoped to stay there longer time. But only one point I want to tell here, the 3 star standard hotel in Tibet actaully is not really equal to 3 star standard hotel I ever stayed in domestic big cities of China, so choose 4 star hotel is suggested, I think it would be much more comfortable stay in the trip. Overall, the Tibet tour was excellent, here I much thanks to our travel agency Odyseey and consultant Amy for everything you did for us for the trip, thank you!!

 Logen143
Travel Date:May 27, 2019

Amy local agent have done great job in arrange the 15days tour. She is always ready to answer any queries and keep checking on us during the trip. Our guide Ngawang local Tibet guy was excellent in guide and take care us individually to complete this tour without any problem.with his expertise manage guide us well and very accommodating for all our needs.

For first time traveler to TIbet, please clear all your doubts and explain well your expectations on food and accommodation so Amy will able arrange it accordingly. Overall it was pleasant trip.Thanks to Amy and Ngawang

 bpagmbh
Travel Date:May 29, 2019

We were very impressed with the travel agency Aisa Odyssey Tour and our organizer Amy who arranged all details swiftly without any worries. We took the flight from Kathmandu to Lhasa and were told we need the group visas to board the flight to Lhasa from there, this agency helped us get both of our group visas and Tibet visas sucessfully before the tour began as we expected and smoothly arrived in Lhasa as planned, really apprecaited!

Tibet is great place we did not want to leave because it’s really fabulous, but of course the long drives across the Tibetan plains to Everest base camp and the fantastic blue skies everyday, we spent a wonderful 7 days trip in Tibet with help of Amy and saw some nice monasteries, lakes, mountains and friendly local Tibetans etc.

Overall, our tour guide is very knowledgeable with culture and history of Tibet and always satisfy us as best as she could, our driver is a good person too and was driving in a safe way everywhere. Tibet is such a beatiful place, hope me and my wife could have a chance to come back again someday to spend more time for visiting further place of Tibet like Kailash? I will contact this agency again then, thanks again for making my long-awaited dream came true!