Uncover the Hidden Kingdom

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Remote Central Bhutan offers a wealth of cultural and natural attractions that are rarely visited by outsiders. On this 9-day tour of Western and Central Bhutan, you'll get a taste of it all. From hiking along quiet rural trails to working monasteries, driving along remote mountain roads over high passes with views of the high Himalaya, exploring majestic dzongs and other cultural riches as well as parts of the country that few travellers venture to, this is the ultimate itinerary to see Bhutan both on and off the beaten track.

9 DAYS OFF-THE-BEATEN-PATH BHUTAN

ITINERARY DAY-TO-DAY

1

DAY

PARO / THIMPHU

Drive to Thimphu. Take in the spectacular views of the valley at Buddha Point Terrace. Visit the Takin Preserve for a glimpse of Bhutan's national animal. Continue to the majestic Tashi Choe Dzong and the Memorial Chorten then explore an authentic craft bazaar.

2

DAY

THIMPHU / PUNAKHA

Drive to Punakha and at Dochu La, take in the panoramic view of the Eastern Himalayas. Hike through rice fields to Chimmi Lhakhang, a temple dedicated to the "Divine Madman". Drive to the hill top nunnery of Sangchen Dorji Lhundrup Chholing and enjoy the charms of the surrounds. Visit Punakha Dzong that sits at the confluence of the Pho-chu and Mo-chu river. 

3

DAY

PUNAKHA / TRONGSA

Cross the 3300m Pele-la pass to Trongsa and along the way, come across Yak herders and Himalayan highland villages like Rukubji and Chendebji. Visit the fortress of Trongsa and the village of Thangkha that practices animism.

4

DAY

TRONGSA / BUMTHANG

Visit Trongsa Dzong, a strategic Dzong of historical importance to the Bhutanese Monarchy. Drive to Yotong la pass then descend to Bumthang valley. Visit Kurje Lhakang, one of the most sacred places in the kingdom as Bhutan's patron saint, Guru Rinpoche meditated from there. Continue to Jambey Lhakhang, one of the oldest temples in Bhutan and hike to Tamshing Lhakhang for interesting and ancient Buddhist wall paintings. 

5

DAY

BUMTHANG / URA / BUMTHANG

Drive through pine forests to Ura, recognised as a model village with beautiful setting. Visit the farm house and meet the locals. Enjoy a picnic lunch before driving back to Jakar.

6

DAY

BUMTHANG / GANGTEY

Drive back to Gangtey, one of Bhutan's few glacier valleys. Visit Gangtey Gonpa, the only monastery of Nyingmapa school of Buddhism in western Bhutan.

Optional: Replace the 2-day road journey back to Paro by flight 

7

DAY

GANGTEY / PARO

Drive back to Paro, stopping by Thimphu for lunch.

8

DAY

PARO

Hike to Zurig Lhakhang for a picturesque view overlooking the valley. Visit the iconic Paro Rinpung Dzong and cross the cantilever bridge. Upon descent, view the facade of Drukgyel Dzong and on a clear day, be rewarded with views of snow-capped Mt Jomolhari, the third highest mountain in Bhutan. Continue to Kyichu Lhakang, one of the oldest temples in Bhutan. Enjoy picnic lunch by the river and then try your hand at archery, the national sport of the kingdom.

9

DAY

PARO / TAKTSANG MONASTERY / PARO

Hike to Taktsang Monastery also known as Tiger's Nest Monastery, set on a vertical cliff face, defies all engineering logic. Walk through cultivated farmlands and villages that dot the landscape. Visit a local farm house and enjoy a home-cooked dinner for an authentic Bhutanese experience. 

Optional: Overnight Bumdra Trek via Taktshang Monastery OR Overnight Haa Valley via Chele La (Pass)

RECOMMENDED ACCOMMODATIONS

Bhutan Spirit Sanctuary, Paro
Bhutan Suites, Thimphu
Como Uma Punakha, Punakha
Dhensa, Punakha
Yangkhil Resort, Trongsa
Yugharling Resort, Bumthang
Gangtey Lodge, Gangtey
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8 Eu Tong Sen Street, 

The Central, 

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Singapore 059818

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