Day 01: Kathmandu – Paro (by Druk Air) Transfer to Thimphu.
Transfer to airport and fly to Paro. A spectacular descent through mountainous valleys brings you into the Kingdom of Bhutan. The beautiful airport is your first glimpse of what’s ahead. After clearing customs and visa control you are met by your driver and guide. A short drive along the valley brings you to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. This very picturesque drive past rural homes, hillside monasteries and chortens only takes 1.5 hours. Settle into your hotel and after lunch at a local restaurant start your sightseeing, visiting the Textile Museum, a traditional paper making factory and the Post office to see Bhutan’s beautiful stamps which also depicts about our countrys myths, traditions etc. Alternatively you can do less formal sightseeing and walk around the town with your guide. Dinner at restaurant. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 02: Thimphu – Punakha
(72 Kms, 3 hours drive). After breakfast, drive to Punakha via Dochula pass. If the weather is clear, we stop for a while at Dochula pass to view Higher Himalayas. On the way, stop a while to view Chimi Lhakhang, which was built by Lama Drukpa Kuenley in 15th century. He subdued the demons with his “Magical Thunder bolt”. The Temple is also known as “the Temple of Fertility”.
Lunch in Punakha. After lunch, visit Punakha Dzong built in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and is situated between Pho Chu (Male river) and Mo Chu (Female river). For many years until the time of the second king, it served as the seat of the Government. The construction of the Dzong was foretold by Guru Rimpoche, who predicted, “a person named Namgyal will arrive at a hill that looks like an elephant”. There was a smaller building here called Dzong Chu (Small Dzong) that housed a statue of Buddha. It is said that Shabdrung ordered the architect, Zowe Palep, to sleep in front of the statue, while Palep was sleeping, the Shabdrung took him in his dreams to Zangtopelri and showed him the palace of Guru Rimpoche. From his vision, the architect conceived the design for the new Dzong, which in keeping with the tradition, was never committed to paper. The Dzong was named Druk Pungthang Dechen Phodrang (Palace of Great Happiness). The war materials captured during the battle with Tibetans are preserved here. Punakha is still the winter residence of Je-Khenpo and King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk convened the new national Assembly here in 1952. In the evening, hike to Khamsung Yulley Namgyal Choling Monastery. Overnight at hotel in Punakha.
Day 03: Punakha – Thimpu and sightseeing in Thimpu
After early breakfast drive back for 3 hours to Thimpu. Thimphu sightseeing includes a visit to the visit National Memorial Chorten, built in honor of our late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk and also visit the Folk Heritage Museum, which is dedicated to connecting people to the Bhutanese rural past through exhibition of items and artifacts used in rural households, Textile Museum, where the art of traditional weaving is still kept alive and preserved through exhibition and has a good collection of old textiles which are rich in its color and design. Lunch will be served at a restaurant in Thimphu. After lunch visit the School of Arts and Crafts where the 13 Crafts are taught to the Young Children which was established in 1971 with two objectives in mind, (a) to preserve and promote the traditional arts and crafts and (b) to create more job opportunities.
Day 04: Thimpu to Paro including sightseeing and hike to Taktsang.
After early breakfast, we drive to Paro for sightseeing in Paro and hike to Taktsang. Immediate after arriving in Paro again we drive to winding road to the Drukgyal Dzong, the ruined fort, which was once defended this valley from Tibetan invasions, and also visit a Bhutanese farm house of a local family at Drukgyal for a close up view of everyday Bhutanese life. We then drive beyond Satsam Chorten to hike up (or horse ride) to the Taktsang monastery (Tigers nest) for around 1.5hrs. At the view point, you will enjoy the stunning view of the monastery. The monastery can be visited where Guru Padmasambhava landed on the back of a tigress in the 8th century. We then walk back to the road point and visit Kyichu Lhahang, one of the oldest temples in Bhutan, overnight at hotel in Paro.
Day05. Paro: Departure:
After breakfast, drive to Paro Airport and farewell for your flight to Kathmandu. Receive from airport and transfer to Hotel.
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Day to Day Itinerary
Day 01 : Arrival at Paro (by Druk Air) – Transfer to hotel.The flight into Paro on the national carrier, Druk Air, is a befitting introduction to the spectacular beauty of the country. In clear weather, magnificent views of the world.s highest peaks give way to the lush green Paro valley as you land. The first gift from Bhutan will be the cool, clean fresh air as we step out of the plane. After clearing customs and visa control we are met by your guide from Bhutan before driving to Paro town for lunch. After lunch visit National Museum, Ta dzong, an ancient watchtower which now houses the National Museum and visit Paro Rinpung Dzong, built in 17th century to defend the valley against Tibetan invaders. The dzong is now used as an administration centre and school for monks. Evening ends with a stroll through the main street of Paro. Dinner and overnight at hotel
Day 02 : Paro – ThimphuAfter breakfast drive the winding road to the Drukgyal Dzong, the ruined fort, which was once defended this valley from Tibetan invasions. Mount Chomolhari can be seen the on a clear day from Drukgyal village.We visit a typical Bhutanese farm house of a local family for a close up view of everyday Bhutanese life. We then drive to Shari to hike up (or on horseback) to the (Tiger’s nest). The horse ride up or hike to the cafeteria will take around one and half hours. At the view point there is a stunning view of the monastery, where Guru Padmasambhava landed on the back of a tigress in the 8th century. After lunch at the café walk back to the road point.On our way back to the hotel we visit Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest temples in Bhutan built in 7th century. Late afternoon depart to Thimphu, the modern capital of Bhutan. The drive takes around 1½ hours. Thimphu has a population of about 98,500. The town is made up of just three lines of shops and is the only capital in the world without traffic lights. Enroute visit Simtokha Dzong. Check In at hotel / dinner and overnight at hotel
Day 03 : Thimphu valley sightseeing – PunakhaThimphu sightseeing includes a visit to the visit National Memorial Chorten, built in honour of the late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk and also visit the Folk Heritage Museum, which is dedicated to connecting people to the Bhutanese rural past through an exhibition of items and artifacts used in rural households.We also visit the Textile Museum, where traditional weaving is still kept alive and preserved through an exhibition of old textiles rich in colour and design. Lunch is served at a restaurant in Thimphu. After lunch visit the School of Arts and Crafts where the 13 Crafts are taught to the Young Children the school was established in 1971 with two objectives in mind, a) to preserve and promote the traditional arts and crafts and b) to create more job opportunities. Later in the afternoon depart to Punakha the ancient capital of Bhutan. Leaving Thimphu the road climbs steeply through a forest of pine and cedar, festooned with hanging lichen to the Dochula pass (3,050 m).This pass often offers panoramic views of the Himalayan mountain ranges. After stopping for tea and the view, we descend along a series of hairpin bends to the fertile valley of Punakha. Check in at hotel Meri Puensum/Zangtopelri. Dinner at the hotel.
Day 04 : Punakha – Wangdue – ParoIn the morning visit Punakha Dzong, winter seat of the Je Khenpo and the Monk Body, splendidly located between the rivers of the Mo (Female) Chu and Pho (Male) Chu. A short drive from Punakha brings us into the valley of Wangdue, one of the major towns and district headquarters of Western Bhutan where we make a stop to view the Wangdiphodrang Dzong.The Dzong is dramatically located on the spur of a hill at the confluence of the Tsang Chu and Dang Chu rivers. We then drive over the Dochola pass to Paro. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
Day 05 : Paro – Kathmandu (by Druk Air)After an early breakfast transfer to Paro airport for departure to Kathmandu.