Journey to Bhutan
Day 1: Arrival at Paro
On arrival our representative will meet you at the entrance to airport terminal. Transfer to hotel. After lunch start your Bhutan adventure with a visit to Kyichu Lhakhang, a 7th century temple about 5 km north of Paro town. Then drive up the valley to the ruins of Drukgyal Dzong which was once an important and strategic fortress that withstood many invasions from Tibet. Evening at leisure to explore Paro town.
Day 2: Paro -Thimphu (55km. appx. 1 ½ hrs.)
After breakfast continue sightseeing which includes Dungtse Lhakhang which is probably the only ancient temple built in the shape of a chorten (stupa). Then continue on to the National Museum of Bhutan for some insights into the religion, culture and history of Bhutan. Tour the imposing Paro Dzong, the fortress monastery first built in 1644 which today serves as the district administration center. After lunch travel to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. After checking into the hotel in Thimphu, rest of the day is at leisure.
Day 3: Sightseeing in Thimphu
Spend the day visiting some of the capital’s attractions such as the National Memorial Chorten, the Buddha Dordenma statue, the National Institute of Zorig Chusum (School of 13 traditional crafts), the Royal Textile Academy, the Folk Heritage Museum, Tashichhodzong (central government Secretariat building which also houses the Throne Room). For lunch, enjoy a traditional Bhutanese meal at the Folk Heritage Restaurant. Shop for souvenirs at the Authentic Bhutanese Crafts Bazaar, the Handicrafts Emporium and other handicraft shops.
Day 4: Thimphu - Punakha (77 kms. App.3 hrs.)
Reveille is at 6:30 am for the drive to Punakha the old capital of Bhutan1. Enjoy a panoramic view of the eastern Himalayan range (if the day is clear) from Dochula Pass. Visit Chimme Lhakhang a famous fertility temple built by the “Divine Madman” Drukpa Kinley who popularized the use of the phallic symbol which still remains ubiquitous throughout the country. Visit the magnificent Punakha Dzong, which contains the embalmed body of Bhutan’s founding father and is the site of many historic national events such as the coronation and the royal wedding. Overnight in Punakha.
Day 5: Punakha - Paro (132kms. Appx. 5 ½ hrs.)
A short drive up the valley followed by 30-45 minutes of walking brings you to the Khamsum Yulley Namgyel Chorten which showcases some of the finest Bhutanese architectural craftsmanship. Later you can choose to return to Punakha by car, or on a river raft passing through some very scenic areas.
After lunch drive to Paro.
Day 6: Excursion to Taktshang (Tiger’s Nest) Monastery.
End your journey to Bhutan with a trek to Bhutan’s iconic monastery built in the middle of a cliff almost a thousand meters above the valley floor. For those who do not feel physically up to the trek, there is the option of riding ponies and mules. The spectacular views combined with the spiritual vibrations of the place will give you a sense of exhilaration that you will seldom experience anywhere else.
Day 7: Departure
After breakfast drive to the airport for the flight to your next destination.