- Holiday Inspirations
- Fixed Departure
DAY 01: ARRIVE PARO & DRIVE TO THIMPHU
Flight into Bhutan takes you over the great Himalayas, offering the scintillating scenery of the world’s highest glacial peaks. As you enter Paro valley, you will see the silvery Pa Chu (Paro River) meandering down the valley, the Paro Dzong (fortress) and Ta Dzong (watch tower).
On arrival in Paro you will be received by our representative and drive to Thimphu (55 km / approx. 1 hour drive). En route visit Simtokha Dzong, the oldest fortress of the Kingdom which now houses the School for religious and cultural studies.
Visit National Memorial Chorten: The building of this landmark was envisaged by the third king, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, as a monument to world peace and prosperity. Completed in 1974 after his untimely death, it is both a memorial to the Late King (“the Father of modern Bhutan”) and a monument to world peace. The paintings and statues inside the monument provide a deep insight into Buddhist philosophy. Dinner and overnight at hotel
DAY 02: IN THIMPHU
There are a good many things to see in the capital which has a very relaxed, laid-back feel about it. Thimphu is relatively small having a population of approximately 90,000 people and the streets are wide and tree lined.
After breakfast, you will visit the Late King’s Memorial Chorten, the National Library, the indigenous hospital specializing in herbal medicine, handmade paper factory, and the nunnery at Zilukha.
In the afternoon, tour of the school of fine arts where young students learn the traditional arts and crafts (Zo Rig Chusum – the thirteen crafts); Zangtopelri Lhakhang, the Handicraft Emporium and the local handicraft centers to see the varieties of textiles, thangkha paintings, masks, jewellery etc. on display. Dinner and overnight at hotel
DAY 03: THIMPHU – PUNAKHA BY ROAD
After breakfast, drive to Punakha (3 hrs. drive), the old winter capital. Leaving Thimphu the road climbs via a series of zigzags over the Dochu La Pass, 10,000ft/3,048m. On a clear day, panoramic views can be had of the eastern Himalaya, including Bhutan’s highest mountain, Gangkar Punsum, 24,770ft/7,550m. The road drops down through varied forest finally emerging into the highly-cultivated Punakha valley.
In the afternoon hike to Chimi Lhakhang, the divine mad monk’s temple. It is a beautiful walk through a lovely village. The temple can be visited and there is a tree outside which is supposed to have sprouted up after Drukpa Kunley sent a thunderbolt from an adjoining valley to kill some evil spirits who had gathered at the site.
Also visit the courtyard of Punakha Dzong. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
After breakfast, drive back to Paro via Thimpu. Upon arrival check in at the Hotel. Afternoon City Tour Ta Dzong (Sun, Mon & Govt holiday closed): once a watchtower, built to defend Rinpung Dzong during inter-valley wars of the 17th century, Ta Dzong was inaugurated as Bhutan’s National Museum in 1968. It holds fascinating collection of art, relics, religious thangkha paintings and Bhutan’s exquisite postage stamps. The museum circular shape augments its varied collection displayed over several floors.
Afterwards, walk down a hillside trail to visit Rinpung Dzong, which has a long and fascinating history. Built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the first spiritual and temporal ruler of Bhutan, the Dzong houses the monastic body of Paro, the office of the Dzongda (district administrative head) and Thrimpon (judge) of Paro district. The approach to the Dzong is through a traditional covered bridge called Nemi Zam. A walk through the bridge, over a stone inlaid path, offers a good view of the architectural wonder of the Dzong as well as life around it. It is also the venue of Paro Tshechu, held once a year in the spring. Dinner and overnight at hotel
DAY 05: IN PARO
Breakfast at hotel. Full day excursion to Tiger’s Nest. Taktshang or ‘Tiger’s Nest’ as it is often referred to for Taktshang Pelphung monastery, is one of the most venerated and famous of Bhutan’s monasteries. It is located on the face of a 900 m sheer cliff. It is an impressive and unmissable site, but accessible only by walk or to ride mules/pony. From the trail head at Rumtokto (2600 m), the walk till the Cafeteria is a steep one hour uphill (about 350 m ascent). From the Cafeteria (2940 m), one can get a good close-up view of Taktshang. Savor views of the monastery over a well-deserved cup of tea and biscuits at the cafeteria and continue uphill for another 45 minutes to a high observation point (3140 m) where there is a Chorten. Rest of the day for independent activities. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
DAY 06: DEPART PARO
Breakfast at hotel. In time transfer to Paro Airport to connect flight for onward destination.