Enchanting Kingdom - 7 Days

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Day 1
NJP Railway Station / IXB Bagdogra Airport – Phuentsholing

Arrival at NJP Railway Station / IXB Bagdogra Airport. Transfer to Phuentsholing (980ft/ 142 kms / 03 hrs) after a drive of along a road lined with lush green tea gardens you will reach Phuentsholing, the gateway to Bhutan, which lies directly at the base of the Himalayan foothills. This rapidly growing town is Bhutan’s commercial center, with most commercial organizations headquartered here. Overnight at hotel in Phuentsholing.

Day 2
Phuentsholing to Thimphu

After breakfast, proceed to Thimphu, (7875ft / 170 kms / 06-07 hrs) making our first stop about 5 km. up the road to visit Kharbandi Gompa. This beautiful monastery situated in a garden of tropical plants and flowers, was built by Royal Grandmother, Ashi Phuntsho Choedron in 1967. There is a splendid view of Phuentsholing and the Indian plains from the monastery garden.From this point the road climbs steeply up into the hills, winding in innumerable bends, to an altitude of approximately 2,000m/6,560ft. We will make stops along the way from time to time, so as not to miss the magnificent view of the Indian plains and the Toorsa River below. After a two hour drive through light mountain jungle, displaying lianas and orchids, we pass over the first ridge and begin a long and gradual descent to the river which is the source of energy for the massive Chukha Hydel hydroelectric power project. We cross the river, and rise up the mountainside ever further into the hills, leaving Chukha and the small town of Chimakothi behind us. Lunch is served en route.After passing through Chapcha the road reaches its highest point of about 2,800m/9,185ft, then descends steeply and runs along the banks of the Wang Chu (river) to Chuzom (meaning confluence), where the Paro Chu runs into the Wang Chu. From here it is only about 2 hours’ drive up the valley to Thimphu. Shortly before reaching our destination, we will stop to visit Simtokha Dzong, the oldest fortress in the kingdom, built by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1627.On arrival in Thimphu, check into the hotel. Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.

Day 3
Thimphu

Thimphu, perhaps the most unusual capital city in the world, is the seat of government. This bustling town is home to Bhutan’s royal family, the civil service, and foreign missions with representation in Bhutan. It is also the headquarters for a number of internationally funded development projects.Morning visit to Tashichhodzong, the main secretariat building which houses the throne room of His Majesty, the King. Tashichhodzong is also the summer residence of the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot) and the central monk body. Proceed to the National Library, which houses an extensive collection of Buddhist literature, with some works dating back several hundred years. Visit the nearby Institute for Zorig Chusum (commonly known as the Painting School), where a six year training course is given in the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan. Also visit (outside only) the National Institute of Traditional Medicine, where the medicinal herbs abundant in the kingdom are compounded and dispensed.After lunch, visit the National Memorial Chorten. The building of this landmark was originally envisaged by Bhutan’s third king, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, who had wanted to erect a monument to world peace and prosperity. Completed in 1974 after his untimely death, it is both a memorial to the Late King (“the father of modern Bhutan”), and a monument to peace. Visit the government-run Handicrafts Emporium and privately owned crafts shops, which offer a wide range of handcrafted products, including the splendid thangkha paintings and exquisitely woven textiles for which Bhutan is famous. Also visit the Folk Heritage and National Textile Museums, opened in 2001. Overnight at Thimphu.

Day 4
Thimphu to Paro

Ile Aux Cerfs is most probably one of the most beautiful places in Mauritius. It is an emerald colored lagoon on the east coast of this lovely island. After a hearty breakfast at the hotel, embark on an excursion to its sandy beaches, beautiful lagoon and a wide array of tourist friendly beach activities. Nothing beats a swim in the blue waters of the ocean. You can choose to don the snorkel and check out the marine life under the waves. You can also enjoy optional water sports such as banana boat ride, water skiing, parasailing, waterfall visit and undersea walk at an additional cost. After a fun-filled and exciting day, you will be transferred back to the hotel in the evening. Later in the night, have dinner at one of the restaurants or in hotel and stay overnight at the hotel.

Note : Carry beach towel which you can collect from the hotel( to be returned later). Also carry changing clothes, swimwear, sunscreen, cap / please do not carry your passport and any other valuable items.

Day 5
Paro

This day marks the end of a fabulous vacation to Mauritius. Rise to a charming morning and indulge in a mouth-watering breakfast at your hotel, check out from your hotel (check-out time is 1200 hours) before you head to the airport for your flight back home.

Day 6
Paro to Phuentsholing/Jaldapara

After breakfast drive to Jaldapara in India (190 kms / 06-07 hrs). Jaldapara is a famous wild life sanctuary for one horned rhino and Indian elephant. Overnight at the tourist lodge at Jaldapara

Day 7
Jaldapara to Bagdogra / NJP

Early morning elephant ride/car safari inside the grassland of Jaldapara to watch the great Indian Rhino in their natural habitat. Back to the rest house for breakfast and drive to Bagdogra/NJP Station (142 kms / 03 hrs) to catch the return flight/train

Entry Formalities:

People traveling to Bhutan should carry their Passport or Voter Identity card to proof their Identity as an Indian National. These documents along with Passport size Photographs (4 copies each) are required for the entry formalities in Phuentsholing and Paro. Children accompanying their parents may produce their School Identity card or birth certificate in case of non availability of Passport or Voter Identity card.

The Inner Line Permit for Bhutan is issued on producing these documents. To visit Punakha, Wangdi, Bumthang visitors needs one restricted area permit which is available one day in advance from Thimphu. People entering Bhutan by surface are advised to stay one night in Phuentsholing for the entry formalities. The Govt offices in Bhutan are closed on Sunday and Saturday. The visitors are hereby requested to plan there trip in such a way that they are not stuck up for permits due to holidays.

Important notes:

Smoking is banned in Bhutan

Credit card like Master and Visa are only accepted

  • 02 Nights accomodation in 4 Star hotel at Phuentsholling on BB Basis.
  • 01 Night accomodation in 4 Star hotel at Thimpu on BB Basis.
  • 02 Nights accomodation in 4 Star hotel at Paro on BB Basis.
  • 01 Night accomodation in 4 Star hotel at Jaldaphara on BB Basis.
  • Price based on Double Occupancy.
  • All Tours and Transfer in AC Sedan/Minivan as per the above mentioned itinerary.
  • Flight charges
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visa
  • Meals other than specified in the inclusions
  • Anything not mentioned in inclusions

FAQ'S

Where is Bhutan?

Bhutan is a small, landlocked nation located in the eastern Himalayas between India and China. Its landscape ranges from subtropical plains and forests in the South to subalpine forests and snowy mountains in the North. Bhutan is a predominantly Buddhist country and is known as the last stronghold of Mahayana Buddhism.

Do I need to use a tour operator to book my travel?

It is a government regulation that you must use a licensed Bhutanese tour operator to book your travel to Bhutan or one of their international partners.

Do I need a visa to enter Bhutan?

All International tourists wishing to enter Bhutan require a visa which must be pre-arranged through a license Bhutanese Tour Operator or one of their international partners. Visa clearance must be obtained through your tour operator prior to travel. For Indian passport (or VIC) holders, Bangladeshi nationals and persons from the Maldives may obtain a visa on entry.

How much does the visa cost?

For International tourist visas, a cost of USD 40 is applicable. This can be paid in advance to your tour operator or travel agent. For Indian passport (or VIC) holders, Bangladeshi nationals and persons from the Maldives, there is no cost incurred.

How do I get to Bhutan?

There are a number of airports where you can fly into Bhutan from (Bangkok, Delhi, Kolkata, Bagdogra, Bodh Gaya, Dhaka, Kathmandu, Guwahati, Singapore and Mumbai.). At present two carriers operate to Bhutan, Drukair and Bhutan Airlines. Also, there are three land border crossings which you can travel into the kingdom overland. All crossings are along the Indian border only – Phuentsholing, Gelephu and Samdrup Jongkhar. All travel arrangements to Bhutan must be made through a local tour operator. A list of tour companies operating in Bhutan is available on this website. Your selected tour operator will make all the necessary arrangements.

What does the $200/$250 per day minimum daily package include?

The $200 per day (January, February, June, July, August) and $250 per day (March, April, May, September, October, November) package includes a minimum of 3 star accommodations, costs for food, an experienced guide and transportation within the country. Also included in the price is a $65 per day Sustainable Development Fee that goes towards free education, free healthcare and poverty alleviation. All of these services will be arranged by your tour operator.

What currency is used in Bhutan?

Bhutanese currency is known as the Ngultrum. Its value is tied to the Indian Rupee which is widely accepted in the country.

Is there a limit on the number of tourists that can enter Bhutan each year?

There is no limit on the number of tourists allowed to visit in a year. In order to protect our culture, traditions and natural environment, the government has adopted a unique policy of “High Value, Low Impact ”. This policy is aimed at attracting discerning tourists that will respect the unique culture and values of the Bhutanese people while also providing the visitors with an unforgettable one of a kind experience.

What’s the food like in Bhutan?

The most distinctive characteristic of Bhutanese cuisine is its spiciness. Chillies are an essential part of nearly every dish and are considered so important that most Bhutanese people would not enjoy a meal that is not spicy.

Rice forms staple Bhutanese diet. It is accompanied by one or two side dishes consisting of meat or vegetables. Pork, beef and chicken are consumed most often. A wide selection of western and Indian food is also available in many of the restaurants around the country.

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Enchanting Kingdom
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