Day 01: Arrive Paro
Fly into Paro by Druk Air, Bhutan’s NationalAirline. The great snow-capped peaks of the inner Himalayas rise up to the heavens can be seen during clear weather. As the plane approaches Bhutan, if you look down farmhouses as dots on the hillsides can be seen.
As the aircraft enters the Paro valley, you will see Paro Dzong on the hillside overlooking the Paro Chu (river), with Ta Dzong, formerly a watchtower and now the National Museum, above it.
You will be received by the representative of Access Bhutan Tours & Treks (Bhutan tour operator) who will be your Bhutan travel guide throughout your tour.
Check into your hotel in Paro and after refreshments, visit the following:
- Ta Dzong built in the 17th century as a watchtower for the Paro Dzong. This dzong was converted into the National museum in 1967 and is filled with antique thankha paintings, textiles, Rinpung Dzong, built in 1645 to defend the valley against Tibetan invaders. The Dzong is now being used as an administration center and school for monks.Then walk down to Rimpung Bridge (Traditonal Bridge), oldest bridge in Bhutan.
In the evening stroll through Paro town and you may visit localshops.
Overnight at a hotel in Paro.
Day 02: Paro-Thimphu and Thimphu Sightseeing
Distance: 54 km , Estimated driving time: 1 hr
After breakfast travel to Thimphu and check into your hotel.
Today drive to Thimphu through Paro’s traverse rice field and climbs high above the river providing a great view of Paro airport.
The road descending will lead to the confluence at Chuzom, 24 Kms from Paro and 18 Kms from Bomday.
Chuzom means confluence of two rivers Paro and Thimphu Chu Rivers which we believe this place inauspicious, thus there is a presence of 3 very unique chorten ( Stupa) to ward off this inauspiciousness. Before reaching Chuzom you can see TachogangLhakhang.
It is private temple founded by ThangthongGyalpo, located few Kilometers before Chhuzom, the confluence of the Paro and Thimphu River.
ThangthongGyelpo had a vision when he meditated here of an excellent horse Balaha, an emanation of Avalokiteshvara, thus as a good omen, he built this temple.
Below this temple he built Iron Bridge who is said to have been built 108 iron bridges throughout Bhutan and Tibet by iron man called ThangthongGyelpo.
After 30 minutes’ drive from this place you will reach Thimphu city which is capital city of Bhutan.
The full day Thimphu tour includes visit to the following:
- The National Library, housing an extensive collection of priceless Buddhist manuscripts. The National Institute of Traditional Medicine (outside only), where Bhutan’s famed traditional herbal medicines are compounded and dispensed.
- 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.
- The National Folk Heritage Museum to get an insight into the typical Bhutanese way of life.
- The Textile Museum to get an understanding of the beautiful hand woven Bhutanese textiles.
- Centenary Farmers' Market (open from Thusday to Sunday) where farmers sell their farm produces (vegetables, fruits, cereals, spices, wild vegetable collections, livestock products, etc) and free interaction with local people who come shopping to this market, especially on weekends.
- Takin Preserve which houses the national animal- takin which is found only in Bhutan. Takin is an extremely rare member of goat family.
- Craft Bazaar where artisans and craftsmen from across the country come to sell their products.
- Drive to Kuensel Phodrang and take a short leisure hike to the Kuensel Phodrang Nature Park and enjoy the full view of Thimphu Valley below.
- Visit Buddha Point and offer your prayers to the largest Buddha statue in the country and walk around to enjoy the great view of Thimphu valley below.
Overnight at a hotel in Thimphu.
Day 03: Thimphu-Punakha/Wangdue
Distance: 71 km, Estimated driving time: 2 1/2 hrs
The road to Punakha and WangduePhodrang, branches of a short distance before Simtokhadzong.
The road, which loops back as Fly-over Bridge, is the east-west highway, which was constructed in 1984.
About a Kilometer past the turn-off there is a magnificent view of Simtokhadzong, the first fortress of Kingdom.
The road then climbs past the forestry research center at Yusipang, then through apple orchards and forests of blue pine.
Within few minutes’ drive from here you will reach Dochula La ( Pass) at 3050m.
It is a 45 minutes’ drive from Thimphu. This pass is marked by a chorten with an array of colorful prayer flags.
Dochula cafeteria of Queen mother, located quite near to Dochula stupas which are of 108 stupas to commemorate victory over Indian insurgents.
Dochula Pass offers a breathtaking, panoramic view of the eastern Himalayas on a clear day.
Such days are rare. The best chance of view is in the early morning between mid-October and mid- February.
The pointed peaks standing opposite Dochula are:
- Kang Bum-6526m
- Gangchhenta- 6840m
- Masang Gang-7158m- This mountain dominates the region of Laya
- Tshenda Gang- 7100m
- Teri Gang- 7170m
- Jejekangphu gang-7158m
- Zongphu Gang- a Table mountain that dominates the isolated region of Lunana is 7060m
- And GangkarPuensum -7497m is the highest peak in Bhutan
Gasadzong almost 50 kms to the northcan also can be seen from the Dochula cafeteria.
Drive to toPunakha from this place changes the vegetation dramatically to Oak, maple and blue pine to a moist mountain forest of rhododendron, alder, cypress, hemlock and fir
Punakhadzong which is also known as PungthangDewachenpoePhodrang is located between Mochu (Female) and Phochu River (Male) were once lovers, flowing in the same bed. PunakhaDzong( fortress) is the second largest Dzong of Bhutan built by spiritual unified, father of Bhutan ZhabdrungNgawangNamgyel in 1637 which was blessed by Guru Rinpoche in 8th century and prophesized that name called Namgyel will come and build a fortress in this place.
Thus, true Guru Rinpoche’s prophecy ZhabdungNgawangnamgyel built a remarkable dzong which is now having the important relics of RangjungKharsapani, which is statue of Avalokistesvara which appeared marvelously from the vertebrate of TshangpaGyare, the founder of Drukpa School in Tibet.
Above 10 minutes’ walk from this Dzong you will find longest suspension bridge in Bhutan (200m) to enjoy beautiful valleys.
Overnight at hotel in Wangdue/Punakha.
Day 04: Wangdue/Punakha -Thimphu
Distance: 71 km, Estimated driving time: 2 1/2
After breakfast, travel through upper Punakha valley through the village of Kabjisa and walk through Farmhouse to hike KhamsumYuelleyNamgyelChorten
The road up the west side of the Mochu valley passes PhuntshoPelri Palace and many farms and homes of Bhutan’s nobility.
Perched high on the strategic ridge above Punakha valley in Yebbesa, 7 .5 kms from Punakha.
The Chorten is very unique and only of its kind in the world and it is kind of impressive example of Bhutan’s fine architecture and design.
From here you can see beautiful Punakha valley and it is one kind of Photographic spot.
Distance: 108 km, Estimated driving time: 3 hrs
Distance: 65 km, Estimated driving time: 1 1/2 hrs
After breakfast travel to Haa valley( the valley of Guardian Spirit) through the stretch of villages of Dogakha, Susuna and Jabana visiting typical Bhutanese farmhouses along the way and you will see farmers working in their farms. Drive further onto Haa Valley. After lunch at Haa valley, explore the valley and then travel to Paro valley via Chilela pass ( 3810 m). On a clear day you will see Himalayan mountain peaks from Chilela pass. Then drive onto Paro valley.
overnight at a hotel in Paro.
Day 06: A Day Hike to Paro Taktsang Goemba (Tiger's Nest Monastery)
After breakfast, take a hike to Taktsang Goemba, popularly known as 'Tiger's Nest' Monastery. The hike upto the view point will take about 2 hours and from the view point you will enjoy the spectacular view of the monastery clinging to the side of a high cliff. Stop for a refreshment at the Cafe at the view point. Then hike further to the monastery which will take about 1 1/2 hours. It was first built in 1692,around the Taktsang Senge Samdup, a cave where Guru Padmasambhava is said to have meditated for 3 months in the 8th century. It is believed that Guru Padmasambhava flew to this location from Khenpajong, Tibet on the back of a tigress and subdued a demon. He then perform meditation in one of the caves here and emerged in 8 incarnated forms (8 manifestations) and blessed the place. Subsequently, the place came to be known as 'Tiger's Nest'.
After visiting the monastery, walk back down to the view point and stop for lunch at the cafe at the view point. Then walk further down to the road and then drive to your hotel in Paro visiting Kichu temple on the way. The temple was build in 7th century. The temple is a reservoir of peace and you will really feel at peace at this temple.
In the evening, relax after a tiring day.
Overnight at a hotel in Paro.
Day 07: Departure from Paro
In the morning, your tour guide from 7brother tour and travels will escort you to the Paro airport for your onward destinations.