DAY 01: ARRIVE PARO – THIMPHU
DAY 02: THIMPHU – PHOBJIKHA
DAY 03: PHOBJIKHA – PUNAKHA
DAY 04: PUNAKHA – PARO
DAY 05:HIKE TO TIGERS’ NEST
DAY 06: DEPART PARO
DAY 01: ARRIVE PARO – THIMPHU (1 hour)
The flight to Paro is one of the most spectacular mountain flights in the world, with a constantly changing panorama of some of the highest mountains on earth.
Arrive at Paro and drive to Thimphu. Upon arrival Check in hotel and visit the National Memorial Chorten depicting the Buddhist faith in the form of paintings and statues. This temple was first initiated by the Third King as a protection from the negative elements of modernisation, and as a monument to world peace. The Royal Queen Mother completed it as a memorial stupa for the Third King who passed away in 1972.His Late Majesty, King JigmeDorjiWangchuk.
Later visit Trashichhodzong fortress of the glorious religion” Tashichho Dzong has been the seat of the government since 1952 and presently houses the throne room and offices of the king, the secretariat and the ministries of home affairs and finance. Other government departments are housed in buildings nearby. The dzong is located close to Thimphu town, next to the banks of the Wang Chhu River. It is an impressively large structure, surrounded by well-kept lawns and beautiful gardens.
Visit Simply Museum. Simply Bhutan is an interactive ‘living’ museum that gives a quick introduction to various aspects of traditional life in Bhutan. Visitors are greeted with a shot of local arra (rice spirit), before being guided through mocked-up village scenes. Along the way, you can dress up in traditional clothes, try out archery and hear songs sung by Bhutanese women as they build houses out of rammed earth. It’s touristy, but a good family experience.
Later visit Painting School the Institute offers you a glimpse of novices learning 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan. In the evening visit the some shops for shopping if interested. Overnight at hotel in Thimphu
DAY 02: THIMPHU – PHOBJIKHA (3.5 hour)
Today after breakfast you will drive to Phobjikha (3000m) the winter home of Black Necked Crane. On the way after 45 minutes‟ drive from Thimphu will reach at highest pass between Thimphu and Punakha the place called Dochula pass (3140m). The pass is a popular location among tourists as it offers a stunning 360 degree panoramic view of the Himalayan mountain range. The view is especially scenic on clear, winter days with snowcapped mountains forming a majestic backdrop to the tranquility of the 108 chortens gracing the mountain pass. hutanese families enjoy visiting the pass during holidays and weekends to picnic and simply enjoy the scenery. It is common to see families and groups of friends seated amongst the chortens, enjoying a packed lunch and hot tea. For tourists this is an ideal location to capture beautiful pictures of the Himalayan mountain range during clear, warm days
On arrival, visit Gangtey Goempa, the oldest Nyingmapa temple in western Bhutan. The Gangtey Monastery, generally known as Gangtey Goenpa or Gangtey Monastery, is an important monastery of Nyingmapa school of Buddhism, the main seat of the Pema Lingpa tradition. It is located in the Wangdue Phodrang District in the western part of Bhutan. Situated atop a hill at an altitude of 2800 m, Gangtey Monastery (also known as Gangtey Sanga Choeling Goemba) offers a stunning view of Phobjikha valley, winter home to the rare Black Necked Cranes. This venerable monastery was founded in 1613 by Je Kuenga Gyaltshen.
Then explore valley on foot is the best way to experience Gangtey as you will walk by small villages and picturesque scenery. Later visit, Crane Information Centre which gives all the information about birds. Overnight at home stay/ hotel.
DAY 03: PHOBJIKHA – PUNAKHA (2.5 hour drive)
We bid goodbye to Phobijkha valley and drive towards Punakha valley, the former Capital of Bhutan. Upon reaching Punakha, visit Chimi Lhakhang (Temple of Fertility), which is dedicated to Lama Drukpa Kunley (also known as the Divine Madman) and is popular among barren Bhutanese couples to seek blessings for fertility. The hike up to the temple is around20 to 30 minutes through a flat paddy field and a small village. Thousands of people visit Chimi Lhakhang either to pray for a child who are childless or to seek protection for children that they already have. There are also anecdotes of tourists from the US and Europe who made the pilgrimage to Chimi Lhakhang and promptly got pregnant within a year after the visit. While Chimi Lhakhang is renowned for its fertility blessings, locals come to the lhakhang to get a name for their child by picking up random bamboo slips placed in the altar inscribed with names of boys and girls.
After lunch visit the impressive Punakha Dzong, the Dzong built in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to serve as the religious and administrative center of the region. Damaged over the centuries by four catastrophic fires and an earthquake, the Dzong has been fully restored in recent years by the present monarch. It is open for visitors during the Punakha festival (early spring) and in the summer months, after the monk body has returned to Thimphu. The Dzong is placed strategically at the junction of the Pho Chu and Mo Chu rivers. This ancient fortress is the winter residence of the monastic orders head and still serves as the administrative headquarters for the Punakha region. After visiting the Punakha Dzong take a leisurely walk for 5 to 10 minutes to reach the longest suspension bridge of Bhutan. We have a great view of villages on the other side of the river. Over night at hotel in Punakha.
DAY 04: PUNAKHA – PARO (3 hour drive)
After early breakfast drive back to Paro and visit the Ringpung Dzong which was built by Shabdrung in 1644. After lunch visit the National Museum and start the hike from above the National Museum (1 hour). The hike provides wonderful views down over the valley and Dzong.
In the evening stroll around the main street for some interesting Himalayan artifacts or textiles or have a relaxing stay in the hotel. Overnight at hotel in Paro.
DAY 05:HIKE TO TIGERS’ NEST
After breakfast hike to Taktsang Monastery. The walk of approximately 1.5 to 2 hours uphill takes you almost a kilometre above the Paro valley floor (for those who cannot hike we will arrange a horse for transfer up to cafeteria). Taktsang Lhakhang is Bhutan’s most iconic landmark and religious site. The name Taktsang translates to “The Tiger’s Nest”. This temple is one of the most holy sites in the kingdom and clings impossibly to a sheer cliff face 900 meters above the Paro Valley. It was first built in 1692 at a cave where Guru Rimpoche meditated in the 7th century A.D. Legend states that Guru Rimpoche flew to the site atop the back of a tigress and meditated in the cave for 3 years, 3 months, 3 days and 3 hours in order to subdue evil demons residing within it. The cave has been considered a sacred site ever since and many famous saints have travelled to meditate in it. Later in the evening experience hot stone bath to relax your sore muscles and enjoy a hearty dinner at a local farm house (Over night at hotel in Paro)
DAY 06: DEPART PARO
in the hotel, then drive to the airport for flight to your onward destination.
Some of the sights/itinerary may change due to season, weather, national holidays, and special events. We maintain the rights to alter the itinerary since tours are made in advance and unforeseen circumstances that mandate change may arise. Itinerary changes are made to improve your overall travel experience in Bhutan
The driving and hiking times mentioned are approximate times and do not include breaks in the journey for sightseeing, photo/tea/meal/rest stops. There may be delays in transfer time due road conditions, road repair/widening works, inclement weather and other unforeseen circumstances. During the treks/hikes, there may be delays or diversion of hiking trails due to trail conditions, inclement weather and other unforeseen circumstances. Please note that at the moment there are numerous areas where road conditions are not very good due to road widening/repair works and you may experience rough and bumpy drives.
WHAT WE INCLUDE IN OUR TAILOR MADE BHUTAN TOURS: