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Bhutan Self Drive Tour (11N/ 12D) Packages



 


Our self driving tour will show you an intimate insight into Bhutans Buddhist culture and way of life complimented by the annual religious festival which is very colorful. The mountainous road are well maintained throughout Bhutan, reaches heights of 3000m and offers the most romantic sights of the Himalayan ranges, the rides are through various types of vegetation ranging from sub tropical to alpine vegetation, in the valleys passing through many villages of terraced rice fields and fairy tale rivers.

BRIEF ITINERARY:-

DAY 1: Paro
DAY 2: Paro Halt
DAY 3: Paro – Thimphu
DAY 4: Thimphu – Punakha
DAY 5: Punakha – Phobjikha
DAY 6: Phobjikha – Bumthang
DAY 7: Bumthang halt
DAY 8: Bumthang – Mongar
DAY 9: Mongar - Trashigang
DAY 10: Trashigang halt
DAY 11: Trashigang – Samdrup Jongkhar
DAY 12: Departure

 

 

 

ITINERARY DETAIL

 


DAY 1: Paro arrival

Upon Upon arrival at Paro International Airport you will be received by your guide and driver. The driver will orientate you regarding the driving rules and regulations of Bhutan and after dropping you off at your hotel, the driver will take leave so that you can take over the driving.

Overnight at a hotel in Paro.

 

 

 

 

 



DAY 2: Paro – Tiger’s Nest Excursion

Early in the morning drive toward Tiger’s Nest monastery (Taktsang), one of the most sacred and the most visited holy sites in the country. It lies perched on a rocky cliff and legend has it that Guru Rinpochhe (Padmasambhava) come to this place on a flying tigress from Eastern Bhutan and meditated for 3 months.

The hike up to the monastery and back takes about 5 hours on an average including time taken for lunch at half way point.

After visiting Tiger’s Nest, drive towards Drugyal Dzong ruins. The name means Bhutan’s Victory Fortress, built after driving back the invading Tibetan forces. The ruins sits on a small hill near a beautiful village and if the day is clear Mount Jomolhari makes a splendid backdrop for a striking picture. Then ride back to Paro town along the lone road and up the windy road to the 17th Century Paro Rinpung Dzong, the district’s local administrations and monastic center.

(Overnight at a hotel in Paro

 

 

 

 



DAY 3: Paro – Thimphu

After breakfast drive towards Thimphu. The road is wide and it’s a beautiful 1 hour drive following the river. Once in Thimphu, check into your hotel and have lunch. After lunch drive towards Kuensel Phodrang (Buddha point), it’s an easy drive up the hill to the huge Buddha statue, currently the world’s largest ‘sitting’ Buddha, it is also the bird’s eye view point of Thimphu city.

Then drive toward the Takin Preserve to see the National animal of Bhutan, it is a strange animal that looks like a cross between a goat and a cow. Then drive along the ring road and down to Tashichhoe Dzong (Fortress of the Glorious Religion), the central administrative and monastic offices are in this Dzong.

Overnight at a hotel in Thimphu.

 

 

 

 



DAY 4: Thimphu – Punakha

After breakfast, start the journey towards Punakha. On the way you will cross the first pass, Dochula Pass, at 3010m is a beautiful spot with 108 Druk Wangyel stupas built by the Queen Mother. On a clear day, you can get spectacular views of the Greater Himalayas. You can visit the cafeteria there for tea and if you are interested they have a telescope so you can get a better look at the mountains.

Continue driving towards Punakha and visit the Punakha Dzong, it is believed to be a replica of Guru Rinpochhe’s (Padmasambhava) palace in his paradise, it is also considered to be the most beautiful Dzong in the country by many.

Overnight at a hotel in Punakha.

 

 

 

 



DAY 5: Punakha – Phobjikha

Have a leisurely in Punakha and drive towards Khamsum Yueley Namgyal Chorten and hike up to the stupa, it’s about 1.5 hours to go up and come back down. Then start driving towards Phobjikha, the valley of the Black Necked Cranes. This is the winter nesting grounds for the endangered Black Necked Cranes, they start arriving by October end and leave for the Tibetan plateau by February. Once there, you can go for a walk around the valley, it is called the Gangtey Nature Trail and is a beautiful walk.

Overnight at hotel in Phobjikha

 

 

 

 



DAY 6: Phobjikha – Bumthang

After breakfast go for a short walk in the valley and then drive toward Bumthang. On the way you will visit Trongsa dzong, which played a very important role in the unification of Bhutan between the 17th and 19th Century, after that visit the Ta Dzong, the watch tower which has now been converted into a museum. Lunch will be at the museum restaurant.

The drive from here takes you up to the third pass, Yotungla at 34oom. The air is much cooler and from there you will descend towards the valleys of Bumthang, the hills are much gentler and the valley wider, Bumthang is known as the ‘Switzerland in Bhutan’.

Overnight at a hotel in Bumthang.

 

 

 

 



DAY 7: Bumthang halt

This will be a day of relaxation and rest from all the motorcycle riding as you will spend most of the day visiting local places of interest.

Jambey lhakhang was built by King Srongsen Gampo of Tibet in 659 AD. The temple was blessed by Guru Rimpoche during his visit to Bumthang. It is said that Guru Rimpoche was the one who brought Buddhism to Bhutan. It was renovated by Sindhu Raja after Guru Rimpoche restored his life with his magical powers. Many believe that there is a natural lake under the temple in which Guru Rimpoche took refuge on several occasions.

Kurjey Lhakhang is a monastery located in the Bumthang Valley of Bhutan. The Kurjey Lakahng Temple Complex is a 20 minute hike from the Jambay Lhakhang. According to legend, Guru meditated in a cave there to subdue an evil spirit and left an imprint of his body in the cave to serve as a reminder to all evil beings of his wrath. A cypress tree stands behind the temples, it is believed to have grown from Guru Rinpochhe’s staff. The Kurjey Lhakhang Temple complex consists of 3 major temples and surrounding Chortens. The first one dates back to the 17th Century, second one was built by the first King in the 1900’s and the last one was built by the Queen Grandmother in the 1980’s

Tamshing Lhakhang is home to Lama Sungtrul Rinpoche, the present day speech reincarnation of Pema Lingpa, the ‘Treasure revealer’.The temple was constructed in 1501 by the great Pema Lingpa himself. Before 1960 Tamshing was privately owned. The core mission of the Tamshing monastery is to teach the Dharma, perform religious service for the community and educate the young monks under its care. Since the monastery is not state run the monks find it a challenge to support the operation of this monastery and survive off donations from the devout. Most of the young monks in the monastery are under the age of 15 and are either orphans or come from very poor families who can’t afford to send their children to even the state run schools.

Mebartsho (The Burning Lake): It is not a lake as such but a small stream instead which gets collected into a small pool. This is the place where Pema Lingpa discovered his first treasure. The villagers didn’t believe that he found the treasures there. So, to prove that he was not lying he jumped in the lake with a burning butter lamp in his hand, when he came out he had some more treasures in his hand and the lamp was still burning.

Overnight at a hotel in Bumthang

 

 

 

 



DAY 8: Bumthang – Mongar

This is going to be a long day of drive through the valleys of Bumthang. The roads start to become narrower and rougher. First part of the journey till the Thrumshingla (the last pass at 3600m) is beautiful with smooth curves and the ride is easy. From there it’s all downhill on an even narrower road. It becomes warmer and warmer as you get lower and closer to Mongar Kurizam bridge.From the bridge it is about 45 mins drive to Mongar town.

Overnight at a hotel in Mongar

 

 

 

 



DAY 9: Mongar – Trashigang

Post breakfast you will drive towards Trashigang and there you will be visiting various places like Tashigang Dzong Tashigang is located in the Far East corner of the country. Tashigang town, on the hillside above the Gamri Chu river, was once the center for a thriving trade with neighboring Tibet in the north. It is the junction of the east-west highway, one of the major arteries of the country, with road connections to Samdrup Jongkhar and then into the northeastern Indian state of Assam. The town is also the primary marketplace for the seminomadic people of Merak and Sakteng, who are known for their attractive costumes and their way of dressing up beautifully.

Overnight at a hotel in Trashigang

 

 

 

 



DAY 10: Trashigang – Trashi Yangtse – Trashigang

After breakfast drive to Trashi Yangtse, which is about 70km from Trashigang. The road will take you through Gom Kora, a very sacred place where Guru Padmasambhava subdued the demons residing in that area, a small temple has been built in that place. Thereafter, you will cross a small river and then start climbing up the slopes of the mountain, that slope doesn’t have many trees giving you excellent view during the drive. Once there, go visit Chorten Kora which is just below the township. The stupa resembles Boudanath Stupa in Kathmandu and is actually a copy of the stupa in Kathmandu.

Go towards Bumdeling Wildlife Sanctuary. At the bridge there is a small check post from where you will have to get a permit to visit the park. Bumdeling is the other valley where Black Necked Cranes stay during winter to escape the harsh Tibetan weather.

You can visit the park office if you want any information, if not, you can walk around the valley and visit the villages there.

Drive back to Tashi Yangtse town and have lunch, then before driving back to Trashigang go and visit the School of 13 Arts and Crafts, that’s another branch of the school in Thimphu. Drive back to Trashigang after that, if you’d like then you can go up to Tsenkharla from the road diversion at Zangpozor, which is about 7-10 km before reaching the bridge near Gom Kora. Tsenkharla is on top of the hill and almost plateau like. You can see Arunachal Pradesh from here.

Overnight at a hotel in Trashigang

 

 

 

 



DAY 11: : Trashigang – Samdrup Jongkhar

It is a long and tiring day of drive but is also one of the best stretches to drive on as you ride up to the high mountain top and ride along the ridges with beautiful scenery of mountains, valleys and the Himalayan foothills as you slowly descend the mountains to reach the Indian plains.

The total driving time for today will be about 8-9 hours.

Overnight at a hotel in Samdrup Jongkhar

 

 

 

 



DAY 12: DEPARTURE

Our guide will help you complete the necessary check out procedures at the Bhutan-India gate for you to continue on with your trip.

 

 

 

 


 

 


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What our customers have to say

A great trip, thank you. Also appreciated Bishnu, our driver.

GINETTE CLAUDINE HENGESCH

What our customers have to say

You have wonderful guides. They are well educated, highly informed problem solver, historian and good communication skills. They showed us presentation from normal programme with different topics. They let us discuss interests – photography and arrange programme accordingly. They always showed positive energy and passion to us. They never argued, instead suggested. We are very happy. My husband was very happy with them as he describe him as professional guide. Thank you so much.

DR. ROLF DIETER

What our customers have to say

Thanks to you and our very nice and patient guide, we had an amazing experience. He was very patient with our questions about Bhutan and very gentlemanly during the entire journey. We appreciate it very much

Yingjie Wu

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