Bhutan Orchid Tour

An Orchid Tour Itinerary. (May-August)

Day 01: Paro, Bhutan – Thimpu
Arrive Paro International Airport. Upon clearing Customs and Immigration, you are met by Bhutan Majestic Travel representative who will present you with a welcome packet including necessary documentation. Private transfer to your hotel for check-in and balance of day at leisure. Dinner at the hotel.
Overnight in Thimphu

Day 02: Thimpu
Breakfast at the hotel. Private full-day sightseeing in Thimphu Valley including lunch.

Today’s visits include: National Library, which holds a vast collection of Buddhist texts and manuscripts, some dating back several hundred years, as well as modern academic books mainly on Himalayan culture and religion; Institute for Zorig Chusum (commonly known as the Painting School) where students undertake a six-year course on the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan; National Institute of Traditional Medicine, where the medicinal herbs abundant in the kingdom are compounded and dispensed, and traditional medical practitioners are trained; National Memorial Chorten: The building of this landmark was envisaged by the third king, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, as 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 world peace. The paintings and statues inside the monument provide a deep insight into Buddhist philosophy; Tashichhodzong: This impressive fortress/monastery houses the secretariat building, the throne room of His Majesty, the King and various government offices. It is also the summer residence of the Chief Abbot and central monk body; Folk Heritage and National Textile Museums: These museums, both of which opened in 2001, provide fascinating insights into Bhutanese material culture and way of life. Handicrafts Emporium: This government-run enterprise displays a wide range of beautifully hand-woven textiles and craft products. It also carries a small collection of books on Bhutan, Buddhism and Himalayan culture. Return to your hotel for dinner and overnight.
Overnight in Thimphu

Day 03: Thimpu – Punakha
Breakfast at the hotel. Private full-day sightseeing en route to Punakha including lunch.

Drive up to Dochu-la pass (3,088m/10,130ft) stopping briefly here to take in the view and admire the chorten, mani wall, and prayer flags which decorate the highest point on the road. If skies are clear, the high Himalayan peaks towards the north east will be revealed in all their glory. On a clear day, the following peaks can be seen from this pass (left to right): Masagang (7,158m), Tsendegang (6,960m), Terigang (7,060m), Jejegangphugang (7,158m), Kangphugang (7,170m), Zongaphugang (7,060m) a table mountain that dominates the isolated region of Lunana, and finally, Gangkar Puensum, the highest peak in Bhutan at 7,497m.

Then continue onwards, reaching Punakha town in time for lunch. From here, it is a long, winding descent into the Punakha Valley, which is about 1,700m below the pass,where we will come across many different species of tree orchids enroute. Many terrestrial orchids like Cypripedium tibeticum,cypripedium guttatum,C.himalaicum,Paphiopedilum fairrieanum etc. can be spotted at higher elevation. Take lunch at Punakha town, and continue on to short hike in dense forest of Taashithang to hunt for more species of tree orchids. Here you are likely to see many different species of tree orchids. Return to your hotel in the late afternoon for dinner and overnight stay.

Day 04: Punakha-Wangduephodrang
Breakfast at the lodge. After breakfast, walk by Punakha Dzong (built by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1635) and Walk around the Dzong surrounded by the beautiful Jacoranda plants.
Private transfer to Wangduephodrang, a journey approximately 1 hour, engulfing the majestic view of the Wangduephodrang Dzong ) leading you to your night destiny at magnificent Kyichu Resort by the side of the river.This Resort has a beautiful collection of plants growing in its campus.You can also find some wild Dendrobium orchids being cultivated. After lunch drive further till Nobding, to find more species of wild orchids.If you are lucky you will also see the grey and the Golden Languor’s and the Rhesus Monkey between Kyichu Resort and the Nobding. The road winds steeply up to the pass, through coniferous forest.Return to your Resort late afternoon for dinner and overnight.
Overnight in Kyichu Resort

Day 05: Wangdue-Trongsa
Breakfast at the hotel. Private full-day sightseeing en route to Tongsa including lunch.
Wangduephodrang town, and continue on to Tongsa across Pele-la pass (3,300m/10,830ft), the traditional boundary between east and west. The pass is marked by a large white chorten and prayer flags. There is an abrupt change in vegetation at this point, with mountain forest replaced by high altitude dwarf bamboo,Junipers,Dog wood Rhododendrons etc. Stop en route at Chendebji Chorten, patterned on Kathmandu’s Swayambhunath Stupa, with eyes painted at the four cardinal points. It was built in the 18th century by Lama Shida from Tibet, to cover the remains of an evil spirit that was subdued at this spot.
Arrive Tongsa late afternoon. Transfer to your hotel for dinner and overnight.
Overnight in Tongsa

Day 06: Trongsa-Langthel
Breakfast at the hotel. Private full-day tour en route to Langthel including lunch.
Morning visit to Trongsa Dzong, a massive structure . After breakfast, walk by Tongsa Dzong (built by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1647) and climb up a steep path to visit the Ta Dzong (watchtower), dedicated to the epic hero, King Gesar of Ling. Then drive towards Langthel to find some epiphytic or lithophytic orchids like Pholidita pallida,pleione hookeriana giving beautiful whitish-green or whitish tinged pink flowers and whitish pink with yellow disc and purple spots etc and many more epiphytic orchids like Agrostophyllum callosum flowering during the same time of the year. Drive back to Trongsa by late afternoon for dinner and overnight stay.
Overnight in Tongsa

Day 07: Trongsa-Punakha
Breakfast at the lodge. Private full-day tour en route to Punakha including lunch.
Explore further the fascinating valley of Trongsa. Then proceed to Punakha, stopping along the way at Tongsa for lunch, which will be served in a local restaurant famous for its cuisine.
Visit Wangduephodrang Dzong and town before a late afternoon arrival into Punakha. Transfer to your hotel for check-in and overnight. Dinner at the hotel.
Overnight in Punakha (B,L,D)

Day 08: Punakha-Paro

Breakfast at the hotel. Private full-day tour en route to Paro including lunch. You will find more medicinal Plants and orchids enroute to Paro.You will also be visiting a traditional Bhutanese farm-house, to gain an insight into the lifestyle and culture of the local people enroute.
On arrival in Paro, transfer to your for check-in and dinner.
Overnight in Paro.

Day 09: Paro – Depart
Breakfast at the hotel. Private transfer to the airport for flight to onward destination.