Bhutan Homestay Tour | Bhutan Individual Travel | Pyala Travel - Travel Program

Homestay Tour in Bhutan. Meet the local people of Bhutan on this individual Bhutan Tour with Pyala Travel.

Bhutan Homestay Tour

private tour

Discover Bhutan in an entirely unique way!

On this tour you get to see the real Bhutan by staying with locals on their traditional farms. Especially for those who are interested in experiencing daily Bhutanese life up close.

from 2195,-
12 days

Bhutan Homestay Tour
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Day 1 arrival Paro
Today you arrive in Paro via international flight, by flight from Delhi, Kolkata or Kathmandu, or overland from Phuentsholing on the border with the India. You will have your first homestay tonight, on the Ap Tshering farm. It’s a unique opportunity to experience rural Bhutanese life firsthand. You will be served a typical dinner and you have the opportunity to take a traditional bath. Bhutan has traditionally been a closed and isolated country. The mountains form a natural border with its neighbors, and the country had long been inaccessible to tourists. King Jigme Singye Wangchuk, Bhutan’s 4th king who ruled from 1972-2006, slowly opened the country to the outside world and allowed the first tourists to enter. He is best known for his remarkable philosophy on the development of the country which looks at Gross National Happiness rather than Gross National Product. In March 2008, he abdicated the throne to his eldest son Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuk, an event that coincided with the first democratic elections in the country. The king is still formally head of state but can now be removed by parliament. The young king, like his father, is very popular with the locals. His portrait hangs prominently in nearly all the houses and shops, and many Bhutanese proudly wear a button with his picture.
Day 2 Paro / visit Tiger’s Nest Monastery
Paro is a small provincial town, situated in the beautiful Paro Valley. Walking through the streets will immediately give you and impression of traditional Bhutan, like the distinctive construction of the houses, the traditional attire of the population (the gho for men and kira for women), and the many red peppers drying in bunches hanging from the window frames. The pepper is a common ingredient in the very spicy Bhutanese cuisine, like the national dish: chili pepper with cheese.

On the outskirts of Paro is the imposing Paro Dzong, a square building that you enter via a drawbridge. It was the setting for the famous Bernardo Bertolucci film “Little Buddha.” You can see typical Bhutanese dzongs in many places throughout your trip. A dzong is a fortified settlement that houses both spiritual and worldly powers, a kind of abbey and local government combined.

When entering the dzong, Bhutanese men have to wear traditional clothing and leather shoes, as well as a traditional scarf that displays their civil or official rank. Although nowadays tourists are able to enter most dzongs, there are always areas that are closed to the public. Fortunately, there is much you can admire from the courtyards. Tourists do not have to adhere to a dress code, but of course you should be dressed decently.

Just above the dzong is the National Museum, housed in the old watchtower (ta dzong). It is an interesting museum that gives a nice overview of the history and daily life in Bhutan.

Not far from Paro is Taktshang Goemba, or Tiger’s Nest Monastery. Due to its spectacular location perched on a steep rock face, this is by far the most famous monastery of Bhutan. It is a beautiful but strenuous hike to reach the monastery, as the trail is almost entirely uphill. After about an hour you reach the first lookout point at the teahouse. Here you can have a drink while enjoying the view of the convent across the street. There is also the option of going as far as the teahouse on horseback, but this needs to be discussed well in advance with your guide.

From the teahouse you can continue the hike to visit the monastery itself. The path eventually leads to a set of stairs carved into the mountain surrounded by fluttering prayer flags. When entering the monastery, you must give up your purse and camera because photography is not allowed inside. You should also be respectfully dressed, which means no bare arms or legs, and preferably nothing tight-fitting. Make sure you keep some change ready, so you can make a small donation in the temples, just like the locals. You can visit various rooms in the monastery, including the cave where Guru Rinpoche meditated for three months. During a fire in 1998 large parts of the monastery were destroyed, but the cave remained miraculously undamaged. The monastery has since been completely rebuilt.
Day 3 Paro - Haa valley
From Paro it takes a couple of hours to drive to Haa, a gorgeous valley on the border with Tibet. The valley has only recently been opened to tourists and isn’t widely visited. It is a beautiful drive via the highest pass in Bhutan, the Cheli La (3988 m), which is always dotted with prayer flags. From here you have a stunning view of the snow-capped mountains with the imposing peak of Jhomolhari (7314 m), the highest point of the range. In the valley you will visit the village and the local dzong. You are a guest tonight on a farm in the village of Phintso Norbu Katso. It's a very simple place, but the cordiality of the owners makes up for the basic amenities. Alternatively, you can choose to stay in a guesthouse in Haa.
Day 4 Haa Valley - Thimpu
Today you will continue on to Thimpu, the capital of Bhutan. Although Thimpu is now a real city-it is the only place in Bhutan with traffic-it still has the feel of a small village. During your stay in Thimpu, you will get a chance to attend an archery competition. Archery is the national sport in Bhutan and competitions are always well-attended. You can also visit one of the many monasteries or the National Peace Chorten (a Buddhist shrine). It's also nice to walk around the city and visit some of the many shops, or just sit on a bench in a square and watch the comings and goings of day-to-day life. Of course, you can also visit the impressive Dzong Thimpu where you will find the rooms of the king, whose palace is situated diagonally opposite the dzong. The security for visiting the Dzong Thimpu is therefore much stricter than elsewhere in the country. At the end of the day you can visit the small zoo, located on the outskirts of the city. The zoo is dedicated to the national animal of Bhutan, the takin, which is a unique creature that is a deer-like variant of the wildebeest. You will spend the night in a hotel in the center of the city.
Day 5 Thimpu - Punakha via Samtengang
From the Thimpu Valley you begin the ascent to the Dochu La Pass (3140 m), which is not only dotted with stupas and prayer flags, but also has stunning views of the Himalayas. On the way to Punakha you will pass the Chimi Lhakhang Monastery built by the “Divine Madman,” a legendary figure from Bhutanese history. He was convinced that a life of debauchery and pleasure was the way to reach nirvana. All over the country you will see phallic symbols painted on the walls and doors of houses, a reminder of the wild love life of this popular saint of Bhutan. The walk to the monastery is about half an hour from the road. From here it is 4 hours to Punakha where the dzong is immediately visible. It is one of the most picturesque and important dzongs in the country, beautifully situated at the confluence of two rivers. Because Punakha is at a much lower elevation than Thimpu it is usually much warmer. For centuries it also served as a winter residence for the royal family, and the Punakha Dzong continues to be the where the religious center of Thimpu moves in the winter. With a little luck you can go inside to admire the prayer hall. Not all areas are always open to the public, but there is always plenty to see. You will spend the night with a host family in either the village of Samtengang or the village of Gaselo. The host family will receive you warmly and prepare a traditional meal for you.
Day 6 Samtengang - Phobjika Valley
It is about five hours’ drive from Punakha to Trongsa. You will cross the Pele La Pass (3420 m) which offers you a nice view of the Black Mountains and is usually dotted with yaks. From the Pele La Pass you have will take a detour to the Phobjika Valley, a beautiful, large valley famous for the rare black-necked cranes that live there in winter (mid-October to April). You can visit the crane center and get a close-up view with their high-powered telescopes. Phobijka is also full of beautiful, short walks. Alternatively, you can stop in the village of Gangtey and see the small monastery there. The restoration of this monastery was largely funded by American Buddhists. You will spend the night on a traditional farm in Phobjika.
Day 7 Phobjika - Bumthang via Trongsa
Today you return to the Pele La Pass. After an hour you will drive by the chorten of Chendebji, a Nepalese Buddhist monument which is strongly reminiscent of the Swayambunath Stupa in Kathmandu. A little further along the road you will be able to see Trongsa, but it takes a while before you're actually there because the road winds along the treacherous mountainsides. The Trongsa Dzong is the largest in the country and is beautifully situated high up on the mountain. Everywhere you look from here you have a beautiful view. The dzong is an active administrative and religious center and is therefore not always open to the public, but it is impressive to see from the outside. The village itself is also fun to stroll through. Immediately after Trongsa the ascent to the Yotong La Pass (3425 m) begins, which is an hour uphill. From there it's two hours’ drive to the Bumthang Valley where you will stay in the village of Jakar on the Norbu family farm. Bumthang is a collective name for the four valleys in central Bhutan: Chökhor, Tang, Ura and Chumey. The main attractions are found in Chökhor, so often when people say Bumthang they are talking about Chökhor. From Jakar you can take nice walks through the valley and visit several monasteries. The village itself is also worth walking through, and there are lots of shops and restaurants you can visit. There is also the local dzong with tall, imposing walls situated in the mountains on the outskirts of town that offers beautiful views over the surrounding area.
Day 8 Bumthang
Today you can take a walk through the valley and visit some monasteries. The walk is mostly flat, but non-hikers can also go with private transport on the road. First you walk to Kurjey Lhakhang, one of the most impressive monasteries in the country that consists of three temples. One of these temples was built by the queen grandmother. In one of the temples is a sacred cave where the patron saint of Tibet, Guru Rinpoche, meditated after he defeated the demons and brought Tibetan Buddhism to Bhutan. A walk of about two hours takes you back to Jakar via several more monasteries, the Tamshing Goemba and Konchogsum Lhakhang.
Day 9 Bumthang - Ugyencholing
Today you travel deeper into Bumthang, to the Tang valley. En route you can visit the Rimochen Temple, and then continue on to Ugyencholing (2760 m). You will spend the night in a guesthouse at the former Ugyencholing Palace, which is now a family museum. This was the former residence of the governor and dates back to the 16th century. The museum has an interesting collection and is one of the best museums in Bhutan. In the evening you can enjoy traditional dishes from the Bumthang Valley.
Day 10 Ugyencholing - Wangdue
Your journey takes you out of the central part of Bhutan and brings you back to the west of the country; there is only one main road through Bhutan, so you will be returning via the same route by which you came. It is a day's drive to the town of Wangdue, near Punakha. Here you can visit the huge dzong and take a stroll through the center with its many small shops and tea houses.
Day 11 Wangdue - Paro
You return to Paro for your last night in Bhutan. You will again spend the night with the Ap Tshering family and it will be a warm reunion!
Day 12 departure Paro
Depending on your travel plans you can fly to Delhi, Kolkata or Kathmandu, or travel overland to Sikkim in India via the border town of Phuentsholing.

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Are you interested in this trip? Request an personalized offer. You will receive an offer with the exact price per person and the exact number of travel days.
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Hi, I am Tshering Yangchen, your local travel agent.
Discover bhutan with me!

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Hi, I am Tshering Yangchen, your local travel agent.
Discover bhutan with me!

find out more