|1||Paro/Thimpu||Half day sightseeing in Thimphu|
|2||Thimpu/Punakha||Drive to Punakha/Wangdue and sightseeing|
|3||Punakha/Wangdue||Sightseeing of Punakha & Wangdue|
|4||Paro||Sightseeing tour of Paro , INCLUDING Tiger’s Nest|
When To Go
Day1 ARRIVE IN PARO AIRPORT, BHUTAN
Arrive at Paro Airport and then drive to the capital city Thimphu. Altitude: 2320m/ 7656ft above sea level. (1 hour 30 minutes drive)
The flight into the Himalayas reveals scenic and breathtaking views of the Himalayan Mountains. If weather permits you will be able to see Mt Everest (8848m, 29,198ft) and other Himalayan mountain ranges. Your representative will greet you on arrival and drive you to the capital city, Thimphu.
Later visit, the weekend market: Held every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, people crowd the stalls every day, dressed in vibrant colors, gathered to meet and to barter, much like the street markets in London!
Visit, General Post office of Bhutan: Get an insight into Bhutan through its stamps. Visit their Philatelic Bureau for their beautiful, unique and wide range of stamps and philatelic products. You can also order them from Bhutan Post and its agents around the world. All types of attractive postage stamps, picture post cards, stamp albums, envelopes, etc. are available at the philatelic counters which are best for presentation and gift purposes. The bureau also maintains prepaid customer accounts such as Ordinary Account and Standing Order Account.
Bhutan Craft bazaar: The private stalls had a variety of high-end quality products from places across the country such as wood carved national symbols, bags and western wears with a touch of traditional designs, wooden and clay utensils, Bangchung, Dhapa, key hangers, jewelry boxes, bookmarks and handmade packing papers (Deysho) in different patterns, antique items, etc. The stalls have a distinctly rich outlook with fine tones of elegance, and a warm and inviting atmosphere. The craft bazaar is also an example of how bamboo can be used to construct houses in the country.
Mini zoo: Here you can see just one animal – Bhutan’s national animal- the Takin. This is an extremely rare member of the goat family, found in herds in the very high altitudes (13,125ft and over). They live on a diet of grass and bamboo.
Kuenselcholing View Point: The view point is also the perfect place to take in some truly breathtaking views of the entire city of Thimpu. The largest Buddha in the world is being built here.
Tashichho Dzong: The names means – Fortress of Glorious Religion. It was built in 1641 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel. It houses the secretariat building, the throne room as well as the office of the King and the central monk body.
Overnight in Thimphu
Day 2 THIMPHU TO PUNAKHA/WANGDUE
Altitude: 1350m/4455ft above sea level.(3 hour 30 minutes drive).
Morning take a hike to Cheri Monastery (Includes Dodina and Jigme Dorji Wild life Sanctuary): Hike about 1hr (to and fro) to Cheri Goemba (Cheri Dorji Dhen). Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal built this monastery in 1620 and established the first monk body here. Here you have a chance to spot birds such as Mrs Gould’s Sunbird, Yellow-browed Tit, Yellow-rumped Honeyguide, Long-billed Thrush, Ultramarine Flycatcher, etc.
Zorig Chusum Institute: The 13 arts and Crafts institute. The two main objectives of the institute are a) to preserve and promote the traditional arts and crafts and b) to create job opportunities for the underprivileged group of the society.
Folk Heritage Museum: It was inaugurated by Her Majesty the Queen Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck, who is the founder and patron of the Museum, on 28th July 2001. It is dedicated to connecting people to the Bhutanese past through exhibition of its items and artifacts used in rural households
Memorial Chorten: This particular Chorten was constructed in 1974 as a memorial for the third King of the country, King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, who is widely regarded as the father of modern Bhutan.
Thangtong Dewachen(Nunnery): It was founded in 1976 by Rikey Jadrel, who is considered as an emanation of Thangthong Gyalpo (1363 – 1485), the builder of numerous iron chain bridges across the Himalayas.
Morning driving towards Punakha/Wangdue, we come across a pass known as Dochula (3140m, 10362ft) from where a beautiful panoramic view of the Himalayan mountain range can be seen, especially on clear winter days. The beauty of this place is further enhanced by the Druk Wangyal Chortens- a cluster of 108 stupas built by the eldest Queen, Her Majesty Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck.
Later you can also visit the Botanical garden just below Dochula Pass where there are loads of rhododendrons.
Overnight in Punakha/Wangdue.
Day 3 PUNAKHA/WANGDUE TO PARO
Altitude: 2280m/7524ft above sea level. (4 hours drive)
Morning visit, Punakha Dzong (fortress): Built in 1637 by Zhabdrung which is remarkably located between the rivers of Mo (Female) Chu (river) and Pho (Male) Chu. Until the time of second king, it served as a seat of the King.
Hike to Chimi Lhakhang (Temple of fertility): This Temple was built by lam Drukpa Kuenley (The Divine Madman) in 1499. It is about a thirty minutes hike across fields from the road – Wooden phalluses are often found hanging in the four corners of the houses and phalluses are also painted on the walls of houses. It is a common belief that this helps in driving away evil spirits. (30 minutes hike to and fro, gentle and steep, good footpath across the valleys and villages)
Later drive to Paro valley.
Overnight in Paro.
Day 4 IN PARO
Morning hike to Taktshang Monastery (Tiger’s nest): This is Bhutan’s most recognizable cultural icon, perched 800m/2640ft up a seemingly sheer cliff. Although it was tragically and mysteriously consumed by fire in April 1998, it has now been restored to its former glory. It is believed that in the 8th century, the great tantric master Guru Rimopche/ Padmasambhava (2nd Buddha) flew on the back of a tigress to the site where the monastery now stands. (Five hours hike to and fro, some gentle and some steep hike, some stony footpaths and some good ones) If you ride a horse upward it will cost an extra US$25 per person.
Visit Farmhouse: Eating, taking bath and staying for a night at a local farmhouse gives a different variation, and a chance to see the inside of such a home, rather than just the brightly decorated exteriors. If you take a hot stone bath and eat in the farm house it will cost an extra US$25 per person.
Later stroll around the town and see how the locals live.
Overnight in Paro
Day 5 DEPART FROM PARO
Early breakfast at the hotel and then drive to the airport. Your escort will assist you with exit formalities and bid you farewell.