Wanderer on the Road’s Trip Itinerary: Bhutan Edition (Includes Total Expenses, Accommodation & Transportation Details)

    During my recent trip to Bhutan, I received a lot of emails and messages from various tourists and backpackers asking about the details of my Bhutan itinerary. As you may or may not know, my travel articles contain in-depth posts about every trip that I take. Bhutan is a country with unique visa/permit rules and other regulations and so I decided to make a special post regarding my itinerary for the entire journey.

    Date of the trip: 1st July – 12th July

    Total Expenses (Approximately): 20,000 Nu (Excluding Air Tickets)

    Scheduled Districts to Visit: Thimpu, Paro, Haa Valley, Wangdu, Punakha, Phobjika, Bhumtang (Cancelled due to landslide)

    1st July – 2nd July: Thimpu

    Being a weekend, I wasn’t able to collect the special permit from the administrative office. I used the first couple of days to explore the capital city of Thimpu. I visited multiple temples, monasteries and experienced the nightlife in Thimpu within one and a half days.

    Accommodation: Hotel Zay Zeng for 400/- Nu per night (Shared Accommodation)

    You can read more about how to travel to Thimpu and other important information in this post.

    3rd July: Tiger Nest Trek

    In Bhutan, 3rd July is celebrated as Guru Padmasambhava’s birth anniversary and is considered to be a national holiday. This is probably the best chance to visit Tiger Nest. I spent the whole day trekking to the magnificent Tiger Nest and returned to Thimpu afterward.

    Tiger Nest Ticket: 500/- INR per person (Available until 1 pm)

    Accommodation: Hotel Zay Zeng for 400/- Nu per night (Shared Accommodation)

    You can read more about how to travel to Tiger Nest and other important information in this post.

    4th July: Challe la and HAA Valley

    After getting my special permit to visit the other districts in Bhutan, I started looking for shared taxis to HAA valley. But being an off season, not many tourists were around and I ended up having to book a private taxi for two days to drive me to the HAA valley through the highest peak of Bhutan i.e. Challe la and bring me back to Thimpu the next day. I reached HAA late at night and booked a room at a homestay.

    Private Car Hired for two days: 2800/- Nu

    HAA Valley Homestay: 1000/- per bed & 350/- for dinner

    You can read more about how to get to the HAA Valley and other important information in this post.

    5th July: Paro

    Since I was done with exploring the HAA valley by mid-morning, I decided to make the most of my private taxi and visit Paro before driving back to Thimpu. Visiting the National Museum, multiple temples and some archery practice made my day! Paro was a great experience and I was able to return to Thimpu that evening itself.

    Accommodation: Hotel Zay Zeng for 400/- Nu per night (Shared Accommodation)

    You can read more about how to get to Paro and other important information in this post.

    6th July: Wangdu and Punakha

    I left for Central Bhutan early next morning. The Punakha district lies at a 3-hour drive away from Thimpu. The districts of Wangdu and Punakha are only 7kms apart and I chose to stay in a small town called Khuruthang in the Punakha district instead of Wangdu. I dumped my bag at Hotel Yeosel Rabtenling and left for the Wangdu Dzong in a shared taxi (100/- Nu each) right away. I returned to Khuruthang a few hours later and had lunch at the same hotel, followed by taking a shared taxi to the Punakha Dzong (50/- Nu per person) late in the afternoon. The Punakha Dzong was the most beautiful Dzong that I saw in Bhutan.

    Accommodation: Hotel Yeosel Rabtenling for 1,100/- Nu per night

    You can read more about how to get to Wangdu, Punakha and other important information in this post.

    7th July – 8th July: Phobjika Valley

    I was told that there aren’t any direct taxis available from Punakha to Phobjika. I was recommended to travel to Wangdu to get the taxi. I took a shared cab from Punakha to Wangdu for 100/- INR and found another shared cab to Phobjika for 300/- INR there. The taxi driver said that he would be coming back to Wangdu the next day and I quickly booked him to help me return. The Phobjika Valley is one of the most beautiful valleys I have ever seen and I was lucky enough to have an amazing homestay experience. I trekked to the Gangtey Monastery that evening and explored the other nearby areas. I returned to Thimpu via Wangdu the next morning for 500/- Nu.

    Accommodation: Homestay at Phobjika for 800/- Nu per bed

    You can read more about how to get to the Phobjika Valley and other important information in this post.

    9th – 12th July: Thimpu

    My initial plan was to travel to Bhumtang in Eastern Bhutan but a heavy landslide occurred that day and crashed my plans. I decided to return to Thimpu and spend the remaining three days chilling, meeting the kind locals and writing down my beautiful experiences in Bhutan for the blog.

    I had been traveling non-stop from one place to another since the past eight days and I realized that my body and mind needed a break. I decided to spend some time in peace and just wander around the city without a specific goal in mind. I met a few couch surfers and one of them was kind enough to offer me to stay at her apartment. She introduced me to a lot of locals and we played carom, drank local whiskey, had many laughs and chilled out. I had a chance to experience the famous hot stone bath and do some other activities.

    I had another ten days left in the stretch of the trip. The plan was to visit the north-east Indian states of Assam and Sikkim. My relaxation period in Thimpu was really helpful in recovering from the exertion of this trip and helped me gear up for my next adventure. I bade farewell to Bhutan as I departed for Guwahati from the Paro International Airport on 12th July.

    Accommodation: Hotel New Grand for 1000/- Nu per day

    Couch Surfer host: The cost of friendship!

    So this was my itinerary for my trip to the magnificent country of Bhutan. My initial plan had looked way different from what eventually happened but this just teaches us how a perfect itinerary doesn’t exist. We never know what might happen during the course of the trip so I would suggest you to not fret about planning your journeys to the exact detail but follow your instincts and be ready to take whatever adventure life throws at you!

    If you have any questions regarding my trip to Bhutan or something else related to your own itineraries, feel free to contact me on any of my social media handles. I shall be happy to help out any fellow wanderer out to travel the world, one step at a time.

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