Day 01: Paro – Thimphu (D)
Arrive at Paro International Airport. The runway of the Paro International Airport hides deep within layers of mountainous terrain. Flying into Bhutan can be quite an adventure particularly the final approach to the airport as the plane glides and maneuver the mountains before aligning to the runway.
On arrival you will be transferred to Thimphu, you will check in to your hotel and will do some sightseeing (based on your flight arrival) in Thimphu. Overnight in Thimphu.
Day 02: Thimhpu (B/D)
After breakfast, drive to visit Memorial Chorten. Also known as Thimphu Chorten, this stupa is located at the heart of the Thimphu city and was built in 1974 to honour the third King of Bhutan, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuk (1928-1972) popularly known as Father of modern Bhutan.
Afterwards visit to Buddha Point (Kuensel Phodrang). It holds one of the largest Buddha’s statue in the country of 169 feet (51.5 m), made of bronze and gilded in gold. Visitors can also get a good overview of the Thimphu valley from this point.
Then visit Changangkha Lhakhang. This temple is located above central Thimphu, built in 12th century by Lama Phajo Drukgom Shigpo on a ridge overlooking the town. Local parents traditionally come here to get auspicious names for their newborns or blessing from the protector deity ‘Tamdrin’.
Later drive to upper Motithang in Thimphu to visit Takin Preserve. The Takin is the national animal of Bhutan, and looks like a cross between a cow and a goat. Legend has it that the animal was created by the great Buddhist yogi, Drukpa Kuenley, and it can be found only in Bhutan and nearby areas. Taxonomists place the animal in a category of its own as it is not similar enough to any other animal to fit established categories.
Post lunch (own expenses), sightseeing in Thimphu valley including visit to the following : the National Library, housing an extensive collection of priceless Buddhist manuscripts; the Institute for Zorig Chusum (commonly known as the Painting School) where students undergo a 6-year training course in Bhutan’s 13 traditional arts and crafts, Textile Museum, which provides deep insight into Bhutan’s one of the most distinct art form, Folk Heritage Museum, dedicated to connect people with the rich Bhutanese Folk heritage and rural history through exhibits, demonstrations, educational programs and documentation of Bhutanese rural life.
Conclude the day’s sightseeing with visit of Trashichhoedzong, or ‘the fortress of the glorious religion’. This is one of the most impressive buildings situated along the right flank of the Thimphu river built in 1641 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel who unified Bhutan and was later reconstructed in 1962 by the third King His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuk. This impressive fortress/monastery houses Secretariat building, the throne room of His Majesty, the King and various government offices.
Evening at leisure in Thimphu city centre. Also explore the Local Crafts Bazaar, to browse through example of Bhutan’s fine traditional arts.
Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu
Day 03: Thimphu – Punakha (B/D)
Morning drive to low lands of Punakha valley touching Dochula pass 3,100 m and on the stop at Hongtsho village. Stop at the immigration check point to stamp in your permit. Next to the check point you will find small local stalls selling fresh juicy local apples available for sale in plastic bags you could try some. You will be driving through the first mountain pass in the western part of Bhutan. You will find the 108 Druk Wangyal chortens on the top of the pass where the ridges are draped in colourful prayer flags greet you. You could take three rounds and offer prayers, take some best photo shots. If the weather is clear you will be able to see the highest peaks towards the north, Gangar Punsum among others is the highest unclimbed peak (24,000 ft) in the world. If you are lucky you could see red pandas, different species of birds, you can take some photo shot close to the natural lake. Proceed down towards Punakha through Thinleygang village and upon reaching Lobesa turn left and enter Punakha valley.
On the way have lunch (own expenses) and take a hike to Chimi Lhakhang (Temple). This monastery is dedicated to Lama Drukpa Kunley” Divine Madman” known for his outrageous behaviour. It was built in 1499 by Ngawng Chogyal the, 14th Drukpa Hierarch. Many childless women visit this lhakhang (Temple) and seek blessings for a child.
The existing footpath to Chimi Lhakhang (Temple) passes through beautiful terraces of paddy filed after crossing paddy field. You will come across a Lobesa Village with lots of traditional house. Lobesa Village is situated in valley, surrounded by paddy fields on the way to important Buddhist Shrine “Chimi Lhakhang” in Punakha.
You can very well interact with local people and here also, you can visit some village houses to understand about their life style and proceed towards Chimi Lhakhang (Temple). Drive to Punakha.
Overnight at a Hotel in Punakha.
Day 04: Punakha (B/D)
Morning we will visit Punakha Dzong, Built tactically at the junction of Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu rivers in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to serve as the religious and administrative centre of the region, Punakha Dzong has played an important role in Bhutan’s history. Damaged by four catastrophic fires and an earthquake, the Dzong has now been fully restored.
Later drive further north of Punakha to visit one of the beautiful Stupa or Temple built on ridge near the Punakha river known as Khamsum Yuelley Namgyel Chorten which will take around 30 minutes to reach from the town. It was built in honour for then Crown Prince Jigme Kheser Namgyel Wangchuk which was built in 1990s and took period of nearly 10 years. From the parking, it will take another 45 minutes uphill hike to reach crossing through rice suspension bridge and rice field and return portion downhill takes around 30 minutes.
Day 05: Punakha – Phobjika Valley (B/D)
This morning transfer to Phobjikha (Altitude 3,000 m); an important site for visit at Phobjikha is Gangtey Gonpa (Temple), the seat of Ngyingmapa Buddhism, one of the religious sects in Bhutan. It was built by Pema Thinley, first Gangtey Trulku (reincarnation) grandson of Pema Lingpa in the year 1613. After the visit of the Lhakhang (temple) stroll around the beautiful valley of Phobjikha. This place serves as the winter habitat for endangered black necked cranes migrating from Tibet from November to February to escape harsh winter there. The road to Gangtey passes through dense forests of oak, rhododendron trees with beautiful scenery. Overnight in Phobjika valley.
Day 06: Phobjika Valley – Paro (B/D)
This morning will drive back to Paro early. It will be a five hours drive.
In the afternoon, you will some cultural sightseeing. Attractions include the national museum, the Paro Dzong and exploring the quaint Paro town. Overnight in Paro.
Day 07: Paro (B/D) Hike to Taktsang Monastery
Considered the highlight of any trip to Bhutan, today you will hike to the most popular Tiger’s nest monastery. You will drive up to the base of the monastery and begin your two hour hike to the top. Lunch will be served at a cafeteria en route (own expenses). On arrival, you will visit the monastery and spend some time taking in the impressive view of the valley below. You will then descend back to the base and drive back to the hotel. Overnight in Paro.
Day 08: Depart from Paro (B)
Transfer to Paro Airport
Included: Accommodation in Hotels for 07 nights, meals as mentioned in the program, transportation using Air-conditioned private vehicle, local English speaking guides, entrance fees and all taxes.
Excludes: International flights, Visa, Insurance,Meals not included above, beverages during meals included in program, gratuities and any expense of personal nature.
Note: For Quotation please contact us.