Our 5 Days Family Trip to Bhutan in October filled with fun and excitement
Traveling has always been an integral part of my life as I think it offers me the opportunity to explore the world in a new way.
In October 2016, I along with my family made a trip to Bhutan. We were planning for the last few years to visit Bhutan (The land of Happiness) and finally, we decided to travel to the land of thunder dragons in October.
Well, October is the month when the biggest festival of West Bengal, Durga Puja is celebrated and this is the time when all of our family members get the opportunity for a get-together. We do not prefer pandal hopping which is the most common activity during Puja holidays. Hence, we thought of making that puja vacation an enduring memory by visiting Bhutan. Also, October is the time when the weather in Bhutan remains comfortable which is perfect for roaming around the country and exploring the awe-inspiring sightseeing destinations.
Initiatives of the trip
The first thing I usually do whenever I am planning a trip to any place is consulting a tour operator as a trip arranged by myself can be troublesome due to the lack of proper information. Hence, I googled it and found Bhutan Packages very informative and reliable tour operator in Jaigaon. So without any more delay, I booked a Bhutan family package with the places I wanted to visit.
Day 1 (7th October): NJP to Phuentsholing
We arrived in NJP Railway Station at around 8:30 am as we had chosen Darjeeling Mail to travel from Kolkata to Siliguri. Upon arriving, our tour operator sent a car to pick us up from the station and transfer to Phuentsholing, Bhutan. The journey of almost 3 hours and 50 minutes was quite enjoyable as the roads from NJP to Phuentsholing offer amazing views of the lush greeneries and unending tea gardens. My father who is a nature lover was mesmerized throughout the journey period and captured lots of pictures with his ages-old camera.
Formality arrangements at Phuentsholing and check-in at Park Hotel:
As Indians, we did not require a visa to travel to Bhutan and as we had consulted Bhutan Packages, they did all the necessary arrangements for us in Phuentsholing and we went straight to Park Hotel which is a great budget hotel in Phuentsholing. After checking in we spend the rest of the day at leisure as we all were tired of the long journey.
Day 2 (8th October): Full day Paro sightseeing tour
We were given a wakeup call from the hotel staff that we insisted the night before. After taking traditional Bhutanese breakfast we set off towards sightseeing of Bhutan.
Paro was the first destination which we visited. Paro is the gateway to Bhutan and has lots of charming sightseeing destinations. We visited Tiger’s Nest Monastery first which is said to be one of the most sacred monasteries in Bhutan (as I read Impressive facts about Tiger’s Nest Monastery ). Then we went on to visit the National Museum in Paro which is situated on the top of a hill and is the best place to learn about Bhutanese culture. We also visited Rinpung Dzong, Kyichu Lhakhang, Dungtse Lhakhang, Drugyel Dzong all through the day and returned back to our hotel in the evening at around 7 pm.
Day 3 (9th October): Full day Punakha sightseeing tour
The next morning after checking out for the hotel, our tour operator took us to Punakha and we checked-in at a hotel. We took some delicious Bhutanese food there and went to discover the unexplored beauty of Punakha.
Punakha Dzong was the first place that we went to and words fall short when the beauty of the place is described. Then we went on to explore Chimi Lhakhang which is another charisma of nature. It is dedicated to Lama Drukpa Kuenley who is also called “Divine Madman”. The suspension bridge in Punakha is about 200 m long. The surrounding view of the lush green forest, Pho and Mo Chu River and the view of the Dzongs from the suspension bridge are breathtaking and allured all of us in such a way that we will always cherish this scenic memory in our heart. Apart from that, we also visited Nalanda Buddhist College, Rithsa Village, and Talo village in Punakha.
The day was quite tiring hence we stayed at the hotel in the evening and took rest.
Day 4 (10th October): Full day Thimphu sightseeing tour
We were taken to Thimphu which is the capital city of Bhutan and I must say that Thimphu is also one of the best tourist places in Bhutan. Thimphu is an amalgamation of ancient traditions with modern developments. We checked in at a hotel there and went on to indulge in sightseeing.
Thimphu has countless destinations to be visited and to visit all of them in just one day is impossible. Hence, we decided to explore some of the most important places to visit in Thimphu. We visited Memorial Chorten first which (I got to know) was built in the memory of Bhutan’s third king. We saw the paintings and statues inside the monument which give a closer insight of the Bhutanese culture. Throughout the day we visited the National Library, Institute for Zorig Chusum, and The Folk Heritage Museum. I always wanted to visit The Folk Heritage Museum since after I studied about it (from Bhutan Packages’ blog Read more).
In the evening we returned back to our hotel and packed everything as the next day was the day of departure.
Day 5 (11th October):
We checked out from the hotel at 10:00 am and hoped into the car which was there to transfer us back to NJP. That was a journey of almost 8 long hours but the amazing views of both side of the roads again mesmerized us. We arrived at NJP at around 6 pm in the evening though we stopped at several occasions for lunch and souvenir shopping. At 8 pm Darjeeling Mail along with our family members set off towards Kolkata again.
And thus our 2016 Durga Puja holidays were spent. From the very next day upon returning from Bhutan, the urge for visiting again has been forcing us. Luckily, this year too Durga Puja is in October and we have decided again to visit and explore the beautiful places in Bhutan that we could not witness the last time due to lack of time. And we know that the true essence of the beauty of Bhutan will always lure and mesmerize us every time we visit it.