Bhutan Cross Country Cultural and Festivals Itinerary

Day 4 — {date4}
Monkey in Bhutan
Abundant roadside wildlife, even monkeys are in Bhutan.

Thimphu to Wangdi

Arise at 0700 (if you wish) and go to the Memorial Chorten, built in 1974 in memory of the third king, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, who died in 1972. Local residents flock here in the morning to chant their daily prayers as they walk clockwise around the chorten (temple), spinning prayer wheels as they pass fragrant columns of smoke from smoldering juniper branches that carry a stream of prayers to the mountain deities. Bring a tripod and shoot high ISO because sunlight doesn’t hit here ‘til late morning.

Bhutan  Punakha Dzong
Punakha Dzong photo in Bhutan by 2011 Tour Participant Jeff Henry, Auckland, New Zealand

Breakfast at 8 a.m., then pack and meet your guide and driver in front of the hotel at 9 a.m. We then begin our journey to the East, en route stopping at 10,500 ft. DochuLa pass for tea and biscuits and enjoy our first view of the eastern Himalayan mountains. Here we can spend some time photographing the Druk Wangyal Chortens. Built in 2004 to “...celebrate the stability and progress that His Majesty has brought to the nation,” this hill of 108 religious buildings in the middle of the pass reflect Bhutan’s spiritual and artistic traditions. Then it’s on to Wangduephodrang—shortened to Wangdi by the locals—where the most prominent feature is the Wangdi Dzong sitting on a mountain spur commanding an archer’s view of two rivers. But on the way, after lunch at a roadside restaurant overlooking the Divine Madman’s Temple, we visit Punakha Dzong where we can photograph the colorful exterior, new covered foot bridge, and interior courtyards with colorful and intricately painted doorways and temple exteriors. Built in 1637 between the confluence of the Po Chu (male river) and Mo Chu (female river,) this fortress monastery is the winter residence of Bhutan’s spiritual leader, the Je Khenpo or Head Abbot, and the central Monk Body—350 monks in total.

Bhutan  Kichu Resort
River sounds put you to sleep at the upscale Kichu Resort, Bhutan.

Beyond Punakha and Wangdi, both at 4,260 ft., we check in at Kichu Resort on the edge of the rapids of the Dangchu River. We always get a good night’s sleep there, listening to the water tumble over boulders the size of Volkswagens. Kichu is a private resort and there is the slight chance we would be bumped by their own guests, but if that happens the alternative hotel is Dragon’s Nest, a classy place overlooking the wide and calm river at Wangdi. 

Overnight: Kichu Resort

Top of Page

More Bhutan Tour Information

Do you have more travel questions about going to Bhutan? Please feel free to Email Robin!Email Robin