DAY 1 : Paro. Altitude:
Fly into the Kingdom of Bhutan. On the
flight, you can see breathtaking views of the Great
Himalayan Mountains. Upon arrival at Paro International
Airport, you will be welcomed to the Kingdom by your guide
from the Travel Agent and lunch at hotel. Start the day by
visiting the National Museum (Ta- Dzong). Once it was
watchtower for Rinpung Dzong (Fortress) was converted into
the National Museum in 1968. The museum stands on a
promontory overlooking the Paro valley in all its glory.
Visit Paro-Rinpung Dzong. The flagstone
path rises gradually from a beautiful wooden bridge with
shingle roof and abutted by two guardhouses to the Dzong.
Today, this massive fortress built in 1646 AD is the seat of
the district administration as well as home for the monastic
school. The central watchtower (Utse) of the Dzong, with its
superb woodwork, is one of the most beautiful in the
country. Night Paro.
DAY 2 : Day Excursion to Taktsang.
Hike or take a horse ride to Taktsang
Monastery viewpoint. Taktsang meaning “Tiger’s Nest” is
built around a cave in which Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava)
meditated clings seemingly impossible to a cliff at 3000
feet above the valley floor. For the local people it is a
place of pilgrimage, but for a tourist, a hike up to the
viewpoint opposite the monastery can be exhausting,
thrilling and mystical. The legend has it that Guru Rimpoche
is had flown to the site of monastery on the back of tigress
from Tibet and meditated in the cave there for three months.
Although the main building of the temple
was destroyed by fire on 19 April 1998, the hike up to the
viewpoint is still worth the effort as the temple has been
restored to its original form.
When we are coming back and reach to main
road we turn right and drive further to Drukgyel Dzong. It
was built in 1649 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. It was damaged
by fire in 1951.
On way back we will visit one of the
oldest monasteries that we have in Bhutan. It is called
Kichu Lhakhang and built in the 7th century by the first
King of Tibet, Songtsen Gampo to spread the Buddhist Dharma
DAY 3 : Paro – Thimphu.
65 KM. 2 Hours Drive. Altitude: 2350 M
After breakfast a two-hour drive will
take you to Thimphu (7,700 feet), the only Capital City in
the world without traffic lights.
Drive through the Paro Valley, which lies
beneath chomolhari, One of the Bhutan’s “Mountain of the
Goddess.” The drive from Paro to Thimphu is spectacularly
scenic. In the spring season in Bhutan, you will find nature
in a festive mood with rushing turquoise rivers which can be
heard from miles away and mountains transformed into Master
artist’s palette of brilliant vermilion, yellows, purples,
pink, oranges and reds to dazzle your senses. Wild cherry,
mountains plums, cotton silk and forests of rhododendron
trees bloom with astonishing beauty and abundance especially
in spring. Enjoy the magnificent monasteries, stupas in the
valleys and the mountains.
Experience the “Last Buddhist Himalayan
Kingdom” on earth. Night Thimphu
DAY 4 : Thimphu
Visit the General Post Office and
purchase the world’s most beautiful postage stamps,
collector’s items and postcards at face value.
Visit the Arts and Crafts school where
one can see young children at work.
Visit the Traditional Medicine Institute
where the ancient healing arts are still practiced.
Visit the Memorial Chorten built in 1974
to honor the memory of the Late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk,
popularly known as the Father of Modern Bhutan. A multi
storied stupa that will introduce you to the vitality of
Observed traditional paper making from
Daphnia and Edgeworthia shrub to the finished product and
maybe purchase some beautiful writing sets from the factory.
Visit the mini zoo/sanctuary where one
can see the Takin, the National Animal of Bhutan.
Drive up to the viewpoint and take a hike
for about an hour to see clear uninterrupted views of the
Explore Thimphu on foot, visiting the
Handicrafts Emporium and other Arts & Crafts stores. Buy
stunning Kiras that can be used as bed covers or wall
hangings, jewelry and much more. Night Thimphu.
DAY 5 : Thimphu-Punakha
–Wangdue. 77 KM. 3 Hours Drive. Altitude: 1350 M
The drive begins with the ascent to the
Dochula pass at an altitude of 3150 meters. On a clear day,
you can see the whole range of the Bhutanese Himalayas from
here. The pass has 108 Druk Wangyel Chortens. Then descend
to Punakha. Punakha was the winter capital for over 300
years until the time of the second King. Punakha Dzong that
dominates the whole area was built in 1637 by Shabdrung
Ngawang Namgyel, and established the central monastic body
with 600 monks.
Today, Punakha is still the home for Je
Khenpo (chief Abbot) and the central monastic body. It was
built at the confluence of two rivers called the PO-CHU and
MO- CHU. Which means, Male & Female. After lunch continue
driving to the town of Wangdue. Another Dzong built 1 year
after that of Punakha Dzong. Which it is the District Head
Quarters of Wangdue. Night Wangdue.
DAY 6 : Wangdue – Trongsa. 128 KM. 5 Hours Drive. Altitude: 2200M
We will drive to Trongsa. It is 128
kilometers and 5 hours drive from Wangdue. The road will
climb all the way to the Pele-la pass. It is at 3300m. It is
a landmark between east & west, and from here we will drive
on to Trongsa. On the way we will come across Yak herders
camps and encounter Yaks especially during winter. We will
see high Himalayan villages like Rukubji and Chendebji. All
the houses cluster at one place and fields at another.
The road then descends through Rukubji
village further down to Chendebji village. Here you will see
the 18th century Nepalese style stupa built by saint Shida.
The drive to Trongsa from here is about an hour and half
with great views of the historical Dzong and valley. Night Trongsa.
DAY 7 : Trongsa –
Bumthang. 68KM. 3 Hours Drive. Altitude: 2600 - + M
In the morning after breakfast we will
take an excursion drive to Kuenga Rabten. It was the winter
Palace for our beloved 2nd King Jigme Wangchuk. It is 23
kilometers from Trongsa and it takes about 2 hours by car.
Although, it is mostly empty with only one room occupied for
the library. This palace is under Special Commission of
cultural Affairs and we do not require any permit to visit
The trip from Trongsa to Kuenga Rabten
will give you an intimate insight into the early days of
Bhutan’s Monarchy. Beside you will see the beautiful large
expanse of rice terraces in the lower Mangdu-Chu valley and
as well the big waterfall before the drive back to Trongsa
Visit Trongsa Dzong. It was built at
different periods on a spur over looking the Mangdu-Chu
River and it is one of the longest & most impressive Dzongs
in Bhutan along with Trashi Chhodzong in Thimphu. How did
Trongsa get its name? Well many centuries ago the horse of
Palden Lhamo (Bhutan’s guardian deity) appeared before Lam
Naggi Wangchuk who has settled in this village of yueli, a
few kilometers above today’s fortress of Trongsa. For Naggi
Wangchuk, the presence of Lhamo-Pal den’s horse was an
auspicious event. In order to immortalize the miraculous
event, he built a small meditation hut- Tshamkhang and
started to meditation there, gradually more and more
meditating huts arose near by & the place looked more like a
village. People of yueli called it Dzongsar (New Village)
and because they pronounced it as Trong –Sar the name stuck.
The evening drive to Bumthang will climb
all the way to the Yotong la pass 3400m.It will be the
highest pass on your trip to Bhutan. After the pass we will
go down through the Chhumey valley before we reach Jakar.
This valley is famous for yathra weaving in central Bhutan. Night Bumthang
DAY 8 : Bumthang –
After breakfast make a hike to Thangbi
Mani countryside. It is a very easy trail and we will come
across a few villages. Here they have a very old monastery
with Gomchens & the local community school. We will return
for lunch in Jakar.
After lunch we visit Jambay Lhakhang,
Kurjey Lhakhang, Tamshing Lhakhang, Guru Lhakhang, and the
Swiss Cheese Processing Unit. Here they produce cheese,
apple juice and herbal brandies etc. Visit Jakar Dzong and
more if time permits. Night Bumthang.
DAY 9 : Excursion to URA
Excursion to the Ura valley is (48Km)
that takes us across blue pine forests & wonderful views of
the Choskar & Chhumey valleys. Visit Ura Lhakhang, which
will give you an insight into the lifestyle of the people of
central Bhutan. Visit some local houses in village and talk
to the local people casually and understand their daily way
of life. Ura is one of the most beautiful and interesting
villages in Bumthang.
The landscape of the Ura valley is
different to others, with round sweeping slopes, rich
pasture and wide fields. At the bottom you will see the
large and unusual village with its cluster of big houses
united by paved alleys of stone, a rare sight in Bhutan. The
big community monastery dominates the village. Which is
dedicated to Guru Rinpoche (the great teacher) and they have
Ura festival, which usually take place in the 2nd week of
May or sometimes in June, dependent on Bhutanese lunar
calendar. Thimshingla National park starts here and if one
wishes to see it they have a field office at Ura. It is open
Monday to Friday except on holidays. Night Bumthang.
DAY 10 : Bumthang - Gangtey – Wangdue.
Gangtey Goemba was built on a small
hillock surrounded by blue pine trees. The descendant of
Pema Lingpa founded it. The great Bhutanese saint from
Bumthang, in the 16th century. At the end of 17th century it
was enlarged once and at present it is headed by the 9th
reincarnation called Gangtey Trulku. At present it is under
renovation and it is ringed with the family houses of
Gomchens (Lay man) who work and worship at the monastery.
Further down you will reach the Phobjikha
valley. This place is reserved for the migration of the
black Neck Crane. The people out here have become friendly
with the endangered species and every consecutive year
starting from 2nd week of November to 1st week of April. The
fields and marshes of this undisturbed valley are alive with
the sight of these rare cranes.
After having a picnic lunch here and
drive to wangdue. Night Wangdue.
DAY 11 : Wangdue –Thimphu
- Paro. 142 KM. 5 Hours Drive
An early breakfast then drive to Thimphu
for our lunch, as well as shopping for souvenirs and then an
evening drive to Paro. Night Paro.
Day 12 : Departure.
Representative from our company will bid
you a farewell.