10 Days Mystical Bhutan Tour Planner

10 Days Mystical Bhutan Tour Planner

Sketch Itinerary

The Central Bhutan Tour is an exciting journey for all visitors travelling to Bhutan. Our 10 days mystical Bhutan tour planner includes some of the most significant historical and religious sites in the country.

This 10 days mystical Bhutan tour planner cultural tour of Historic Central Bhutan offers a once of a life time opportunity to savor the different cultures of the western and central regions of Bhutan.

The district of Trongsa has always been of great political importance to the leaders of Bhutan due to its commanding location at the center of the nation while Bumthang district has some of the most ancient and important temples and monasteries in Bhutan.

View our 10 Days Mystical Bhutan Tour Planner in Google Map.

Duration: 9 nights / 10 days

Sketch Itinerary:

Day 01. Arrive Paro (Altitude 2280 m) – Thimphu (2320 m).

Day 02. Thimphu Sightseeing: (Altitude 2320 m).

Day 03. Thimphu – Punakha: (Altitude 1310 m) (76 Km, 3 hrs drive).

Day 04. Punakha – Trongsa – Bumthang: (Altitude 2800 m) (Distance 188 km).

Day 05. Bumthang Sightseeing: (Altitude 2800 m)..

Day 06. Bumthang – Thimphu (274 km).

Day 07. Thimphu: (Altitude 2320 m).

Day 08. Thimphu – Paro: (Altitude 2280 m).

Day 09. Paro Sightseeing: (Altitude 2280 m).

Day 10. Departure: (Altitude 2280 m).

Detail Itinerary

Detail Itinerary for 10 Days Mystical Bhutan Tour Planner

Day 01. Arrive Paro (Altitude 2280 m) (By Druk Air) – Thimphu (2320 m) (Distance: 54 km, 1 hr drive):

Our Guide from Yak Holidays will receive you at the Airport and drive you to Thimphu city. On the way, see the  Tamchog Monastery built by Thangthong Gyalpo (Popularly known as Lama Chazampa, which literally means, the Iron Bridge builder) in the 15th century.

  • Thang Thong Gyalpo (1385 – 1464) was a wonder working saint from Tibet who came to Bhutan in 1433 looking for Iron Ore. He built 108 bridges across Tibet and Bhutan, out of which 8 were built in Bhutan. His only surviving bridge is in Duksum (Tashi Yangtse district in Eastern Bhutan).

Dinner and overnight in Hotel Migmar or similar.

Day 02. Thimphu Sightseeing: (Altitude 2320 m)

The day begins with visits to the National Memorial Chorten (1974) built in honour of our 3rd King, late His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuk (The Father of Modern Bhutan),  the Buddha Dordenma Statue, the Changangkha Lhakhang, Takin Preserve at Motithang, Sangaygang view point, and the Dupthop Lhakhang; one of the few surviving nunneries in Bhutan.

After lunch, visit the National Postal Museum, which is worth a visit for you can get your own picture on Bhutanese stamp impromptu. Get a photo clicked or give a photo of your near and dear ones and you can get personalized stamps in minutes, followed by a visit to the Painting School where traditional art is still kept alive through the art of painting Thangkas (sacred Buddhist religious scrolls) and the Folk Heritage Museum. In the evening, visit the Tashichho Dzong, seat of the national government and the Central Monastic Body, including the summer residence of the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot of Bhutan) and finally visit the Handicrafts Emporium followed by shopping at the various souvenir shops of Thimphu city. Dinner and overnight in Hotel Migmar or similar.

Day 03. Thimphu – Punakha: (Altitude 1310 m) (76 Km, 3 hrs drive).

After breakfast, drive to Punakha via Dochula pass (3116m). Stop for a while at Dochula pass to view the magnificent range of the Higher Himalayas. Drive further down and visit the Royal Botanical Garden at Lamperi.

  • The Royal Botanical park, also known as the Rhododendron Garden at Lamperi is a half hour drive towards Punakha/Wangdue valleys. With your spirits still high from the visit to the awesome sites of Dochula Pass with its 108 stupas and the beautifully arranged Himalayan mountain ranges, you will descend down to Rhododendron Botanical Garden, a nature reserve rich in flora and fauna and beautiful in itself. The recorded species are the monal pheasants, blood pheasants, musk deer, tiger, leopard, red panda and the leopard cat. A Rhododendron garden with 46 species of the plant is the theme of the botanical garden. Located 30 km from capital city, the park has numerous view points, a lake and a canteen. At this park, you can indulge yourself amongst these rich biodiversity.

Drive further down to the Punakha valley. On the way, view Chimi Lhakhang, which was built by Lama Drukpa Kuenley (Popularly known as “The Divine Madman”, in the year 1499. He subdued the demons of Dochula pass who used terrorize all and sundry with his “Magical Thunder bolt” and built the temple on top of a hillock. The Temple is also known as “the Temple of Fertility”.

  • Lama Drukpa Kuenley (1455 – 1529) was one of the Bhutan’s Favourite Saints who was born in Tibet, trained at Ralung Monastery and was a contemporary and a disciple of Pema Lingpa. He Travelled throughout Bhutan and Tibet as a Yogi using songs, humour and outrageous behavior to dramatise his teachings of Salvation through sex. Legend has it that he created the Takin, the national of Bhutan.

After lunch, visit the magnificent Punakha Dzong built in 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and is situated at the confluenceof the  Pho Chu (Male River) and the Mo Chu (Female River). For many years until the time of the second king, it served as the seat of the Government. The construction of the Dzong was foretold by Guru Rimpoche, who predicted, “…a person named Namgyal will arrive at a hill that looks like an elephant”. There was a smaller fortress here called Dzong Chu (Small Dzong) that housed a statue of Buddha. It is said that Zhabdrung ordered the architect, Zowe Palep, to sleep in front of the statue, while Palep was sleeping; the Zhabdrung took him in his dreams to Zangtopelri and showed him the palace of Guru Rimpoche. From his vision, the architect conceived the design for the new Dzong, which in keeping with the tradition, was never committed to paper or an kind of blueprint whatsoever. The Dzong was named Druk Pungthang Dechen Phodrang (Palace of Great Happiness). War materials captured during the various battles with Tibetans are preserved here. Punakha is still the winter residence of Je-Khenpo, the chief Abbbot of Bhutan and King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk convened the First National Assembly here in 1952.

Dinner and overnight in Punatshangchhu Cottages or similar

Day 04. Punakha – Trongsa – Bumthang: (Altitude 2800 m) (Distance 195 km, Drive Time 6 hour drives.)

After breakfast, drive to Trongsa. Visit Trongsa Dzong, the most impressive Dzong in Bhutan, built in its present form in 1644 by Chogyal Minjur Tempa, the official who was sent by Zhabdrung to unify eastern Bhutan and enlarged at the end of the 17th century by Desi Tenzin Rabgay. Trongsa Dzong is the ancestral home of the present Royal Family and the first two hereditary kings ruled Bhutan from this Dzong.

After Lunch, visit the Ta Dzong, an ancient watch tower. The chapel inside the Ta Dzong is dedicated to the Trongsa Penlop Jigme Namgyal. Drive further to Bumthang. Dinner and overnight in Swiss Guest House or similar.

Day 05. Bumthang Sightseeing: (Altitude 2800 m.)

After breakfast, visit the Jakar Dzong, which literally means “The Castle of White Bird”. The current structure was built in 1667. Visit Jambay Lhakhang which was built by King Srongsen Gampo of Tibet in the year 659 on the same day as Kichu Lhakhang in Paro.  The temple was visited by Guru Rimpoche during his visit to Bumthang and was renovated by Sindhu Raja after Guru Rimpoche restored his life force. Under the temple is said to be a lake in which Guru Rimpoche hid several Terma. In October one of the most spectacular festival, “Jambay Lhakhang Drup” is staged here. After lunch, Visit Tamshing Lhakhang (Temple of the good message), established in 1501 by Pema Lingpa and is the most important Nyingma temple in the kingdom.

After lunch, visit Membar stho, which literally means, “The Burning Lake”. It was here that the Terton Pema Lingpa discovered the treasures hidden by Guru Rimpoche in the 14th century.

Dinner and overnight in Swiss Guest House or similar.

Day 06. Bumthang – Thimphu (274 km, 7 hrs drive): After early breakfast, drive to Thimphu. Dinner and overnight in Hotel Migmar or similar.

Day 07. Thimphu: (Altitude 2320 m).

After breakfast, excursion to Cheri Monastery. Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal built this monastery in 1620 and established the first monk body here. A silver chorten inside the goemba holds the ashes of the Shabdrung’s father.

After lunch, visit Changlimithang to witness the archery match. If it is a weekend (Friday – Sunday), visit the Centenary Farmers Market.  Dinner and overnight in Hotel Migmar or similar.

Day 08. Thimphu – Paro: (Altitude 2280 m).

After breakfast, visit the Ta Dzong (built in1656 and renovated in 1968), an ancient watchtower, which now has been converted as the National Museum. Below the museum is the Paro Rinpung Dzong (literally meaning “Heap of Jewels”, built in 1646 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the centre of administrative and religious authority in this valley. A short walk takes you to the base of the Dzong thru a traditional cantilevered, covered bridge.

After lunch, visit to the ruins of the Drugyal Dzong (the fortress of the victorious Drukpas), 16 km up the valley built in 1647 by the great Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, father and unifier of medieval Bhutan, the Dzong was destroyed by an accidental fire and left in ruins as an evocative reminder of the great victories it was built to commemorate. Explore the ramparts and on a clear day experience an unforgettable view of Mt. Jhomolhari (7,314 m). On the way back, visit Kichu Lhakhang, built in 659 A.D by the Tibetan king Srongsen Gampo.

  • Srongsen Gampo: He was a Tibetan king who married a Chinese princess, Wenchen in 641, and as part of her dowry was a statue called “Jowo” which was an Indian image of Buddha, Sakyamuni as a small boy. In 659, He decided to build 108 Temples in a single day to subdue the Ogress to the earth forever and, at the same time, convert all Tibetans to Buddhism. 6 of these Temples are in Bhutan, the most prominent of them are Jambay Lhakhang in Bumthang and Kichu Lhakhang in Paro. Kichu Lhakhang is said to hold the left foot of the Ogress and Jambay Lhakhang pins the left knee.

Dinner and overnight in Tashi Namgay Resort or similar.

Day 09. Paro Sightseeing: (Altitude 2280 m).

After an early breakfast, a delightful Excursion to the Taktsang Monastery: A short drive will take us to Satsam Chorten, something similar to a base camp. The trail leads through beautiful pine forests, many of the trees festooned with Spanish moss, and an occasional grove of fluttering prayer flags. We stop for a rest and light refreshments at the Taktsang Jakhang (cafeteria) and then walk a short distance until we clearly see the legendary Taktsang monastery. The primary Lhakhang (temple) was built around Guru Rimpoche’s meditation cave in 1684 by the Penlop (Governor) of Paro, Gyaltse Tenzin Rabgay. This incredible monastery clings to the edge of a sheer rock cliff  900 meters above the Paro valley. Legend has it that Guru Rinpoche, the tantric mystic who introduced  Buddhism to Bhutan in 747 AD, flew here on the back of a flying tiger, Dorji Drolo, who is believed to be his favourite consort.

NB: You can hoist prayer flags near the monastery, and offer your prayers inside the monastery.  You can also request the lamas to pray for you.

In the evening, visit the Drugyel Dzong, the fortress of the victorious Drukpa people, which is now now in ruins, that was built by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to commemorate the victory over the Tibetan invaders in1644; The Dzong was used as an administrative center until 1951 when a fire caused by butter lamps. Then visit Kyichu Lhakhang, one of Bhutan’s oldest and most sacred monasteries dating from the introduction of Buddhism in the 8th century.

  • Srongsen Gampo: He was a Tibetan king who married a Chinese princess, Wenchen in 641. As part of her dowry was a statue called “Jowo” which was an Indian image of the Buddha, Sakyamuni as a small boy. In 659, He decided to build 108 Temples in a single day to pin the Ogress to the earth forever and, at the same time, convert the Tibetan people to Buddhism. 6 of these Temples are in Bhutan, the most prominent of them are Jambay Lhakhang in Bumthang and Kichu Lhakhang in Paro. Kichu Lhakhang is said to hold the left foot of the Ogress and Jambay Lhakhang pins the left knee.

Hot stone bath: One of the best ways to unwind after a long tiring day in Bhutan is a traditional hot stone bath. It is not only practiced as a comforting leisure but also to treat various ailments.  Soaking in Menchu  (Bhutanese term for water with medicinal properties) is one of the favorites for Bhutanese, especially during the winters. The cost for one bath is US$10.

Dinner and overnight in Tashi Namgay Resort or similar

Day 10. Departure: (Altitude 2280 m) Early morning, drive to Airport and Farewell.

Tour Photo Gallery
Rinpung Dzong @ Paro
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Value Added Services
  • Hot stone bath.

    bhutanese archery

    Practicing Archery

  • Cycling around Paro valley.
  • Practice Archery.
  • Bhutanese cooking class.
  • Bhutanese cultural show featuring various mask dances and folk dances.
  • Talk on Gross National Happiness / Buddhism.
  • Consulting an Astrologer.
  • Practice Dart.
  • Performing religious ceremony.
  • Marriage ceremonies.
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Please contact us for the price.

Optional Activities
  • Village walk
  • Hike to Dzongdrakha Monastery.
  • Hike to Kila Gompa.
  • Excursion to Chelila Pass.