Bhutanese Textile Tour
Bhutan is well known for its beautiful textiles and is considered one of the most important forms of art both traditionally and spiritually. The knowledge and skills have been passed down generations to generations. The weaving tools used are still handmade and the raw materials natural, produced using the available materials. This is one of the most important aspects of Bhutan.
You shall have the opportunity to behold the different aspects of the Bhutanese textiles including the process of weaving, dying, etc. You shall also have the opportunity of try Bhutanese weaving for yourself.
Besides the tour also include visiting Bhutan’s most prized unique museum, monuments, temples and monasteries, dzongs, etc. Visiting villages, interactions with the locals and exploring the natural green valleys of Bhutan shall be another life time’s experience.
- Understand, explore, study and experience the unique textiles in Bhutan.
- Travel to the places where the most prized and beautiful textiles originate.
- Visit less traveled places in the Eastern Bhutan, the most historical place – Bumthang and one of the most beautiful places in Gangtey/Phobjikha.
- Opportunity to pass through almost all the passes in Bhutan with breathtaking views of the Himalayas and the nature from the Dochula pass, Chelela Pass and Lawala Pass, Pelela Pass and Yotongla Pass, Thrumsingla Pass, Yongkala Pass and Korila Pass
- Opportunities to walk around less touristy places and villages.
- Opportunity to explore the Eastern Bhutan (only a few tourists travel to the Eastern Bhutan), Gangtey/Phobjikha valley (one of the most beautiful Glacial valleys in the Himalayas), Paro valley, Thimphu (the capital city of Bhutan without traffic lights) , Punakha Valley (the old capital of Bhutan) and the Bumthang Valley (One of the most historical places in Bhutan)
- Travel hassle free with your own guide and driver. Travel as per your convenience and visit places as per your interest. We are flexible with the itineraries except for the confirmed overnight destinations. Enjoy a real holiday.
- Personal attention by the tour operators.
- A private traditional cultural show and experience of the traditional hotel stone bath.
- Wonderful day hike to the abode of gods and monks, the world famous, Taktshang Monastery (Tigers’ nest)
- Visit to the age old Lhakhang (Monasteries/ temples) and dzongs ( Fortress)
- Opportunity to explore villages, visit to village houses and interact with local people.
- Opportunity to play archery (the national game of Bhutan) and many more.
Day 1: Arrive Paro
Altitude of Paro: 2250.
On arrival at the Airport, you shall be received by your Bhutan Tour Guide with “Tashi Khadar” . And then drive to hotel.
In the evening, explore the Paro Valley and Town. OR if you have enough time, you may discuss with your guide and do sightseeing around Paro.
Dinner and overnight in hotel.
Day 2: Paro Sightseeing
In the morning hike to the Taktshang Monastery (Tiger’s nest) at an altitude of 3100m. This may be one of the highlights of Bhutan trip. The climb up to the view point will take around 2 hours. Here one can enjoy the stunning view of the monastery, and the surrounding temples built in 1692.
Afternoon, visit the Kyichhu Monastery, one of the oldest monasteries in Bhutan and then drive to a village house for a real village experience. Experience a traditional hot stone bath and taste the traditional local alcohol (Arra).
In the evening, visit a Shop in town and try the Bhutanese Traditional Dress (Gho for men and Kira for women)
Overnight in hotel.
Day 3. Paro – Thimphu
Driving Distance: 65 Km, Driving Time: 1.5 -2 Hrs, Altitude of Thimphu: 2350 m.
After breakfast, visit the Paro Rinpung Dzong (Fortress of the heap of jewels) and the Ta Dzong, an ancient watch tower which is now the national museum of Bhutan. Then drive to Thimphu.
Afternoon, visit the Royal Textile Academy and the Textile Museum. The Royal Textile Academy is Bhutan’s first institution that educates the Bhutanese youth about the conservation, preservation, training, study and exhibition of the country’s textiles. The Academy also provides in bringing about a National Centre for weaving and educating young students in textiles, fabric designs and museum studies. The Textile Museum was established in the year 2001 and has a good collection of exclusive and antique Bhutanese textile artifacts. (Closed on weekends and Govt. Holidays)
Then visit the visit the Institute for Zorig Chusum: Students are taught the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan in this institute. Among the 13 Arts one of the Art is Tshem zo, This is the art of working with needle, thread and other necessary items to make clothes, boots, thangkas, and other items used for decorations and other household needs. (Only on working days and when the institute is not on breaks. This institute is closed on weekends, Govt. Holidays and institute vacations)
In the evening, visit; Tashichhodzong (Fortress of the Glorious Religion): The Dzong is the seat of the national government and the Central Monastic Body, including the summer residence of the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot of Bhutan) at present.
Dinner and overnight in Hotel.
Day 4. Thimphu:
After breakfast, visit a weaving center in Thimphu. Learn and explore the weaving in Bhutan. Then visit the Buddha Drodenma Statue in Kuenselphodrang, from where you can also see the bird’s eye view of the Thimphu valley and the National memorial Chorten built in the memory of the Third King of Bhutan.
Afternoon, explore the craft Bazar and the Handicrafts in Thimphu studying the different textiles and Handicrafts in the country.
A private traditional Bhutanese Cultural show in the evening. Dinner and overnight in hotel.
Day 5. Thimphu – Punakha
Driving Distance: 76 km. Driving Time: 2.5 – 3 hrs. Altitude of Punakha: 1310 m.
After breakfast, drive to Punakha, on the way, visit the Dochula pass. This is the most known pass in Bhutan, about 30 km drive from the Capital City Thimphu on the way to Wangduephodrang. It is at around 3150 MT height. On a clear day, spectacular view of the mighty Himalayas mountain ranges can be seen. The pass also has 108 Druk Wangyal Khangzang Chhortens which is believed brings multi fold merit to all sentient beings and which make the pass a must visit place.
Drive further towards Punakha.
Afternoon, take a short and easy hike through villages to visit the Chhimi Lhakhang, also known as the temple of fertility and was built by Lama Drukpa Kuenley (The Devine Madman) in the 15 century. And then visit the Punakha Dzong, built by the Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1637. It is built at the junction the Pho Chu and Mo Chu Rivers. The monk body resides in this Dzong in winter.
Evening at leisure. Dinner and overnight in Hotel.
Day 6. Punakha – Phobjikha/Gangtey
Driving distance: 70 Km. Driving time: 2.5 hr, Altitude of Gangtey/Phobjikha: 2900 m.
After breakfast, drive towards Phobjikha/Gangtey. Lunch at Phobjikha.
Afternoon, visit the Gangtey Goemba, built by Gyaltse Pema Thinley, the grandson and mind reincarnation of Pema Lingpa in the year 1613.
Then explore the Phobjikha Valley, one of the most beautiful glacial valleys in the Himalayas and the winter roosting place for the endangered black necked crane.
As you explore the Phobjikha Valley, visit villages and village houses, interact with village people and learn and explore about the different textiles and clothes in the valley.
Dinner and overnight in hotel.
Day 7. Phobjikha – Trongsa – Bumthang
Driving Distance: 190 km. Driving Time: 7 Hrs. Altitude of Bumthang: 2600 m
After an early breakfast, drive to Trongsa. On the way stop at the Pelela Pass (Altitude: 3300 m) and then the Chendebji Chhorten built by Tshering Wangchuk in the style of the great Boudhnath chhorten of Nepal. Drive further to Trongsa.
While in Trongsa, visit the Trongsa Dzong, one of the most impressive dzongs in Bhutan. Drive further to Bumthang.
While in Chhumey valley in Bumthang, visit the Yathra weaving factory. Yathra is the most famous textile product of Bumthang. The Chhumey Valley is known for the beautiful yathra woven by the locals. Yathra is a hand woven fabric made from the wool of sheep or Yak. The wool is first spun into threads and then dyed before they are woven into Yathra with beautiful flower patterns and colors. The Yathra cloth is made into scarfs, jackets, table cloths, bags, etc. Most of the women in this valley, especially in Zungye village earn their lively hood by weaving yathra which is supplied to various towns in Bhutan.
Dinner and overnight in Hotel in Bumthang.
Day 8. Bumthang
After breakfast, visit the Tamshing Lhakhang, Literally meaning the Temple of the good message, established in 1501 by Pema Lingpa. Then take a short hike across the River and through the villages and the visit the Kurjey Lhakhang, Named after body print of Guru Rinpoche.
Then visit the Jambay Lhakhang, built by King Srongsen Gompo of Tibet and the Jakar Dzong, literally meaning the Castle of White Bird. The current structure was built in 1667.
Afternoon visits to the local weavers and study and understand the textile, weaving and clothes in this valley.
Dinner and overnight in hotel.
Day 9. Bumthang – Mongar:
Driving Distance: 190 km. Driving time; 7 – 8 hrs. Altitude of Mongar
After breakfast, drive to Mongar. Stop at places to view scenery and for photography. Drive from Bumthang to Mongar shall take you across the highest point in Bhutan’s motorable road. The point is known as the Thrumsingla Pass at an altitude of 4000 m.
Picnic lunch on the way. The evening ends exploring the Mongar town. Overnight in Hotel at Mongar.
Day 10. Mongar – Lhuntse:
Driving Distance: 78 Km. Driving time: 3 – 3.5 hr, Altitude of Lhuntse; 1460 m
Early Morning drive to Lhuntse.
Lhuntse is one of the most isolated and rural settlements in Bhutan. It is mostly covered by beautiful conifer and pine forests. One of the most picturesque sights in Lhuntse is the Lhuntse Dzong. The Kurtoe region is the ancestral home of the Royal family of Bhutan. ,
From Lhuntse, hike to Khoma village. Khoma Village is most known for the most famous and expensive hand woven Bhutanese textile, “Kishuthara”. Kishuthara weaving is the main source of income for the people in this place. Kishuthara is fabric made by silk on silk weaving with intricate hand laced patterns. This is highly regarded and most expensive textiles in Bhutan.
Today is a special day for textile lovers as you shall see this famous textile at its originating place. You shall see the weaving technique of this most beautiful textile. You shall also have the opportunity to interact with the different weavers in the village, understand and study their weaving techniques, process and tools. You may also try weaving with the weavers.
Walk back to Lhuntse. Overnight in camp or Guest House in Lhuntse.
Note: Accommodation is not good in Lhuntse.
Day 11. Lhuntse – Ranjung.
Driving Distance: 218 km. Driving Time: 8 – 8.5 hr.
After breakfast, drive to Ranjung.
In the evening, visit the Rangjung Lhakhang and then explore Ranjung Valley.
Overnight in Guesthouse in Ranjung or Camp.
Day 12. Ranjung
Today is another special da for textile lovers. We shall be vising the Radhi village where another famous and expensive textile is produced, “Bura”.
After breakfast, visit Radhi Village which is famous for Bura. Bura is a Bhutanese textile woven from raw silk. Explore the village meeting different Bura weaver. Interact with the weavers, study and enjoy the techniques, process, tools and materials for this famous Bhutanese textile.
Overnight in Camp or Guest House in Ranjung.
Accommodations may not meet your expectations.
Day 13. Ranjung – Khaling – Trashigang
Driving distance: 125 km, Driving time: 4.5 -5 hrs. Altitude of Trashigang; 1620 m.
After breakfast, drive to khaling and visit the National Institute for the Visually Impaired (NIVI).
NIVI: This institute was started in the year 1973 with its first three students. The first principal of the institute was Mr. Einar Kippenes, a Norwegian. The establishment of the institute was the personal initiative of His Royal Highness Prince Namgyel Wangchuck, the then honorable minister of Trade Industry and Forests. Today the institute produces a number of intelligent, talented, hardworking and dedicated citizens every year, who serve the nation in different capacities and ways.
Then visit the Khaling textile weaving Centre which is operated by the National Women’s Association of Bhutan.
Drive to Trashigang. Overnight in hotel in Trashigang.
Day 14. Trashigang – Trashiyangtse – Trashigang
Distance from Trashigang to Trashiyangtse: 52 Km, Driving time: 2 Hrs.
After breakfast, drive to Trashiyangtse. Located in the eastern Bhutan at an altitude of 1700 m, Trashiyangtse is a rapidly growing town and administrative center of the district. The main town is situated in a small river valley and is a lovely spot to take walks in the countryside. This area is famous for wooden containers and bowls. Visit Chorten Kora. One of the most important stupa in Trashiyangtse built in the year 1740, and then explore the villages, learn about wooden containers and bowls and making it.
In the evening, drive back to Trashigang. Dinner and overnight in Trashigang.
Day 15. Trashigang – Samdrupjongkhar:
Driving Distance: 180 km, driving time 7 Hr.
After breakfast, visit the Trashigang Dzong, which lies on the headland of the dzongkhag that gives us the confluence of the Drangme Chhu and the Gamri Chhu. It was built by Minjur Tempa, Bhutan’s third Desi in the year 1667. It was once destroyed by fire and was rebuilt in only three years. In the Gorikha (Veranda) are the paintings of the kings and guardians of the four directions.
Then drive to Samdrupjongkhar. Dinner and overnight in hotel.
Day 16. Samdrupjongkhar – Guwahati (Departure)
After breakfast, drive to Guwahati and farewell.