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Gangtey Valley Tour 7 days

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  • Jyatha, Thamel, Kathmandu, Nepal

Overview

Gangtey valley tour revolves around the historical and cultural highlights of central Bhutan. Paro, famous for its ruined fortress, museums and panoramic view, leaves an indelible cultural experience. Thimpu, the capital city, is laden with legendary ancient monasteries, cultural relics and amazing views of entire valley in 7000+ meter peak in the background.

Gangtey valley, with its ancient monastery and home of the rare Black Necked Cranes, boasts breathtaking landscape view. At leisurely pace you drive past Punakha visually feasting on the sights of places bathed in the exotism of cultural delights. You can either walk or ride on a horse to Taktsang monastery which epitomizes the religious belief of Bhutanese people.


Trip highlights

  • Visit to one of the main winter homes to rare blacked necked crane, Gangtey valley
  • Visit the ruined fortress of Drugyel dzong which still attracts visitors due to the strategic location of the fort Drive back and hike to the view point of Taktsang monastery
  • Proceed through the beautiful valley to the watch tower or locally known as Ta-Dzong
  • A short walk downhill to the Rinpung Dzong which serves as the administrative center and school for monks
  • Drive 45 minutes to Punakha and visit the Punakha Dzong which served as an old capital of Bhutan

Detailed Itinerary

Day 01: Kathmandu to Paro. Overnight at hotel

Fly from Kathmandu to Paro by Druk Air flight. Drive to Ta Dzong (built in1656 and renovated in 1968), an ancient watchtower which now houses the National Museum. Below the museum is the Paro Rimpung Dzong (literally meaning “Heap of Jewels”, built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the centre of civil and religious authority in this valley. Here you can see finest example of Bhutanese architecture.

Drive to see the Kichu Lhakhang, built in 659 A.D by the Tibetan king Srongsen Gampo. Visit the Drukgyal Dzong, built in 1647 by the Great Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, father and unifier of medieval Bhutan, the dzong was destroyed by accidental. Explore the ramparts and on a clear day experience an unforgettable view of Mt. Jhomolhari (7,314 m).

Day 02: Paro – Thimpu, Drive 1 hr. Overnight at hotel

After an early breakfast a short drive takes you to Satsam Chorten. You stop for a rest and light refreshments at the Taktsang Jakhang (cafeteria) and then walk a short distance until you see, clearly and seemingly within reach, Taktsang monastery. This incredible monastery

After lunch drive to Thimphu. Check into hotel. Visit the National Memorial Chorten (1974) built in honor of late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk, “The Father of Modern Bhutan”. Then visit the Dupthop Lhakhang one of the few surviving nunneries in Bhutan. Visit Changangkha Monastery (This monastery was built in 15th century by the lama Phajo Drugom Zhipo). Drive to Mini Zoo where Takin, the national animal of Bhutan can be seen.

Day 03: Sightseeing in Thimpu. Overnight at hotel

After breakfast, visit the National Library, stocked with ancient Buddhist manuscripts, and the Painting School where traditional art is still kept alive through instructions in the art of painting Thangkas (sacred Buddhist religious scrolls). Next you visit Traditional Medicine Institute where medicines are prepared according to ancient practices. Visit Handicraft Emporium for shopping Bhutanese Various Arts and Textiles. Then you visit Bhutanese traditional paper making factory.

After lunch you will hike to Tango Monastery. The trail Tango is a climb of 280 meters and it takes an hour to reach the monastery.

Day 04: Day excursion to the Gangtey Gompa, Overnight at resort

Day excursion to the Gangtey Gompa valley at an altitude of 2800 meters. The only Nyingmapa monastery in western Bhutan is located here. This beautiful valley is also home to the rare Black Necked Cranes migrating from the Tibetan plateau to escape the harsh winter. Currently there are 200 to 300 cranes residing in this valley and the Royal Society for Protection of Nature (RSPN) is taking every measures to ensure the safety of the Cranes.While the cranes reside in the winter valley for 4/5 months the village folks are not allowed to make load noises or fish in the river that runs through the valley. Explore the fascinating glacier valley and return to the Resort.

Day 05: Drive to Punakha. Sightseeing and drive to Paro. Overnight at resort

AM drive 45 minutes to Punakha and visit the Punakha Dzong which served as an old capital of Bhutan. This remarkable fortress is built between two rivers and has survived many glacial floods and fire. Every year during the month of February a procession known as the Punakha Serda takes place to commemorate the victory over the Tibetans. Drive 3 hours to Thimphu for lunch and proceed 2 hours to Paro via visiting the oldest building in Bhutan, the Simtokha Dzong. It now serves as a Buddhist university.

Day 06: A day hike to the view point of Taktsang Monastery. Overnight at hotel

Day hike to the view point of Taktsang monastery. Horses can be arranged with an extra payment. The hike which is all the way uphill takes about 2 /3 hours through villages and pine forests. The monastery which clings to a huge granite cliff 800 meters from the paro valley was devastated by fire in 1998 but the Royal Government has taken immediate steps to restore the monastery to its original structure. It is believed that the great saint Padmasambhava came in the 7th century on a flying tigress and meditated in a cave for 3 months. The demons were subdued who were trying to stop the spread of Buddhism and converted the Paro valley into Buddhism. During the end of the 17 century a monastery was built on the spot where the saint mediated and it is a pilgrimage site for every Bhutanese to visit once in their life time. Stroll back to hotel. Evening at leisure.

Day 07: Depart Paro.

After breakfast transfer to airport to catch your flight to onward destination.

  • Trip facts

  • Trip duration : 7 days
  • Grade : Easy
  • Activity : Sightseeing Tour
  • Starts in : Paro
  • End in : Paro
  • Max Altitude : 2900 m
  • Location Covered: Paro, Thimpu, Gangtey Valley & Punakha
  • Best Season: Spring / Autumn

Extension Tours

Paragliding
Jungle Safari
Pokhara Tour
Rafting

Necessary Information

1. Visa to Bhutan

To travel to Bhutan, first of all, you have to obtain a passport with the valid for 6 months. Then, if you are not an Indian, Bangladesh, or Maldivian, you must have a visa and get permission via your travel agency to enter Bhutan. Also, you cannot purchase air tickets unless you can show your visa clearance.

2. Meals on Bhutan Trip

We offer 3 tasty meals while on our trips in Bhutan (breakfast, lunch and dinner).

3. Accommodation on Bhutan Trip

All the hotels we use are comfortable, clean and offer all the amenities required. We have carefully selected the best hotel in Paro, Tiumphu and major cities of Bhutan for you and your group. If you would like to select your hotel, please let us know and we'll book everything for you.

4. Transportation

We use comfortable and well-maintained 4WD Toyota land cruiser. We ensure before leaving on a trip that our vehicule are double-checked properly. Your security is our main concern and you can be sure to have a safe trip with us.

5. Climate

You can travel in Bhutan at any time of the year except during the winter which starts in December and ends in early March. During the summer, you should expect some light rainfall especially in the south of Bhutan. In the winter time, the temperature can drop down to -6 degrees Celsius while in the summer time the temperatures reach an overage of 25 degrees Celsius.

The best time to travel in Bhutan is during the Spring (March, April and May) as days are warm and clear.

6. Vaccinations

As vaccination requirements change frequently, we suggest you consult your doctor at least 2 months prior to the commencement of your trip. We recommend protection against malaria, tetanus, typhoid, hepatitis and polio.

7. Insurance

Before joining the tour we recommend you take out travel insurance. This should include adequate cover for baggage, medical expenses, cancellation, helicopter evacuation and emergency repatriation. If you do not have travel insurance you must have a credit card with at least a US$5000 limit.

8. Personal Expenses

We don’t pay for your personal expenses and recommend you to bring extra money to cover meals not included in the tour, extra activities, souvenirs, tips etc. Bhutan currency: Ngultrum (Nu) There is no ATM machines in Bhutan and credit cards are usually not accepted.

9. Safety in Bhutan

It is no doubt to say that Bhutan is the safest country in the world as there is no terrorism, riots, and political turmoil. Due to the fact that most Bhutanese people are Buddhist; hence, they believe in karma and always try to do good things in life. For this reason, your Bhutan tour itineraries will be so much perfect without worrying about anything dangerous.

10. SIM card & Internet Service in Bhutan

To keep in touch with your beloved ones, or your local guide who comes along with you on your Bhutan tour itinerary, you have to own a Bhutanese SIM card. The Internet is limited in Bhutan as it just can be found in very few hotels in big towns like Thimphu and Paro; however, you still can use the internet via data servicing packages including 2G, 3G, or even 4G by the two network providers in Bhutan: Bmobile and TashiCell.

Additional Information

Travel With Rajbala

Since we began in the early 90s we have always strived to keep our environmental footprint as small as possible and to give back to the many villages we pass through on our trekking itineraries. Today we still embrace this responsible travel approach when devising and operating our small group travel holiday experiences in Nepal. We invite you to trek in Nepal with the Himalayan trekking specialists Raj Bala Treks and Expeditions.