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     BIRD WATCHING BHUTAN  
Bhutan Birding Adventure - 19 Days
Tour code: BBA-BT-004
Bhutan Birding AdventureBhutan has a total land area of 46,500 square kilometers and an impressive diversity of plant, animal and bird species. The country’s rich biological diversity is the result of its unique geographical location in the eastern Himalayas, within an area that extends through both the Indo-Malayan (oriental) and thee Palearctic bio-geographic regions; its annual rainfall, which is significantly higher than in the western Himalayas; and its considerable altitudinal variation, from 200 meters in the South to over 7,000 meters in the north.
 
Among the country’s threatened birds are the Blyth’s Tragopan and the Black necked crane. The country still has much of its original forest cover. About 60% of Bhutan is forested, ranging from moist tropical evergreen and semi-evergreen forests in the south to temperate of missed Oakland conifers and sub-alpine forests of fir, spruce, juniper, larch and birch in the north. Because of its unique setting and relatively un-exploited environment, Bhutan probably possesses the greatest biological diversity of any country of its size in Asia. It certainly contains some of the best remaining representatives of habitat types found in the Himalayas.
 
OUTLINE ITINERARY
 
DAY 01: ARRIVAL AT PARO
DAY 02: PARO THIMPHU
DAY 03: THIMPHU PUNAKHA
DAY 04: PUNAKHA [Halt]
DAY 05: PUNAKHA GANGTEY
DAY 06: GANGTEY TONGSA
DAY 07: TONGSA BUMTHANG
DAY 08: BUMTHANG MONGAR
DAY 09: MONGAR TASHIGANG
DAY 10: TASHIGANG [Excursion to KHALING]
DAY 11: TASHIGANG [Excursion to TASHIYANGTSE]
DAY 12: TASHIGANG MONGAR
DAY 13: MONGAR BUMTHANG
DAY 14: BUMTHANG PUNAKHA
DAY 15: PUNAKHA THIMPHU
DAY 16: THIMPHU [Excursion to PHAJODING]
DAY 17: THIMPHU PARO
DAY 18: PARO [Excursion to TAKTSANG]
DAY 19: PARO [Departure]
 
DAY 01: ARRIVAL AT PARO:
Arrival at Paro. Transfer to hotel. Overnight in hotel.
 
DAY 02: PARO-THIMPHU:
Drive to Thimphu the capital of Bhutan through terraced fields along the river banks down stream to its confluence with Wangchu then up valley to Thimphu. Afternoon visit Memorial Chorten, and drive to old Motithang hotel. There you will take a short walk behind the hotel and see the Takin (Bhutan's national animal). Overnight in hotel.
 
DAY 03: THIMPHU-PUNAKHA
Drive to Punakha over the Dochu La pass which is at an altitude of 3,050meters (10,00ft) and on the way you will see more of the beautiful scenery Bhutan has to offer. Once at Punakha, visit Punakha Dzong. Overnight in hotel.
 
DAY 04: PUNAKHA [Halt]
With packed lunch observe different species of birds in Punakha and Wangdi Valley. Overnight in hotel.
 
DAY 05: PUNAKHA-GANGTEY
On the way to Gangtey watch different altitudes species of birds. Gangtey is a place where one can find black necked cranes, which migrates from Tibet in November and leaves back early March every year. Also visit Gangtey Monastery. Overnight in Guesthouse.
 
DAY 06: GANGTEY-TONGSA
Drive to central Bhutan. It takes 5hours by road from Gangtey. A vantagepoint from the opposite side of the valley, still 14Km from Tongsa, provides a welcome view of the Dzong and the town. On the way stop for bird watching and for pictures. Overnight in tourist lodge.
 
DAy 07: TONGSA-BUMTHANG
Early morning visit Tongsa Dzong and Ta Dzong (Watchtower) before starting the journey to Bumthang. You will drive over the Yutong La pass at a height of 3,400meters (11,155ft). From the viewpoint you can see Jakar Dzong "Castle of the White Bird". Bumthang has an individuality that charms its visitors and separates it from other regions. It is also the traditional home to the great Buddhist teacher Pema Lingpa to whose descendants the present dynasty traces its ancestry. Afternoon sightseeing. Overnight in tourist lodge.
 
DAY 08: BUMTHANG-MONGAR
Today drive to Mongar the eastern part of Bhutan across the Thumsing La pass at a height of a 3,800meters(12,465ft) and the subsequent descent from high altitude pine forest to lush pastures and orchards is one of the most exciting drives in all of the Himalayas. Gushing waterfalls, steep cliffs with even steeper drops, blazing flowers, and constantly changing vegetation combine to make this journey as varied, as it is beautiful. Mongar town is small with a sprinkling of shops. On the way as usual take a break to observe and take a pictures of the birds. Overnight in tourist lodge.
 
DAY 09: MONGAR-TASHIGANG
The road from Mongar passes the Korila pass and then Yadi loops. Tashigang town is high up on a mountain, and is busier than any other Bhutanese town. It is used as the market place for the hill people from Merak and Sakteng who are remarkable for their exceptional features and for their costumes which is brightly coloured and different from customary Bhutanese clothing. Afternoon, excursion to Radhi to experience the way of Bhutan. Overnight in tourist lodge.
 
DAY 10: TASHIGANG [Excursion to KHALING]
After breakfast drive to Khaling with a packed lunch to visit the Traditional Weaving Center and to observe the different species of birds on the way. Overnight in tourist lodge.
 
DAY 11: TASHIGANG [Excursion to TASHIYANGTSE]
On the way to Tashiyangtse visit a famous Goma Kora Monastery and continue drive to Tashiyangtse. This is another place where one can find black necked cranes, which migrate from Tibet in December and leave back early March every year. A town here has developed around another famous Chorten Kora, one of only two temples built in a style prevalent in Nepal and the spot where Guru Padmashambhava is believed to have had a vision that a temple and Chorten would be built. Visit Bhutanese lacquer varnishing center and drive back to Tashigang. Overnight in lodge.
 
DAY 12: TASHIGANG-MONGAR
Drive back to Mongar. One can catch-up what you have missed during your forward journey. Afternoon at leisure. Overnight in lodge.
 
DAY 13: MONGAR-BUMTHANG
Drive to Bumthang takes about 8-9hours with a short break on the way for photograph. Overnight in lodge.
 
DAY 14: BUMTHANG-PUNAKHA
Early breakfast and drive to Punakha with a pack lunch. Drive will be through the dense forests of rhododendrons and magnolia trees. Stop for lunch at Chendibji Chorten and continue drive to Punakha. Overnight in hotel.
 
DAY 15: PUNAKHA-THIMPHU
Morning visit Punakha Dzong and drive to Thimphu with a stop at Dochula pass for a hot cup of tea/coffee and continue drive to Thimphu. Afternoon go around the Thimphu town and do shopping. Overnight in hotel.
 
DAY 16: THIMPHU [Excursion to PHAJODING]
Early breakfast and drive till Motithang where hike begins with gradual climb through dense forest of pine and rhododendron trees. From the Monastery one can have a magnificent view of Thimphu valley and surrounding mountains. Overnight in hotel.
 
DAY 17: THIMPHU-PARO
Morning witness the cultural program of folk and masked dances and drive to Paro. On the way visit Simtokha Dzong (the oldest Dzong in Bhutan) and today it is a house of the traditional school. Continue drive to Paro. Afternoon, visit the National Museum, Paro Dzong and Satsam Chorten Monastery. Overnight in hotel.
 
DAY 18: PARO [Excursion to TAKTSANG]
Excursion to Taktsang through the oak, pine and rhododendron trees mainly to watch different species of birds on the way. 2-3hours hike to Taktsang cafe and refresh yourself with tea, coffee, coke etc. Saint Padmasambhava founded this monastery in 8th century.
 
DAY 19: PARO [Departure]
Early breakfast and transfer to Paro Airport for your onward departure flight.
 
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