Day 01: Arrive Paro (Altitude 2200 m) by Air & transfer to Thimphu (55km, approx. 1 hour drive)
Fly into Paro by Druk Air (Royal Bhutan Airlines) or Bhutan Airlines. The journey offers fascinating views and an exciting descent into the Kingdom. After completing your immigration formalities; you will be received by our representative who will be your tour guide throughout your tour.
Then drive to Thimphu. The capital town of Bhutan and the centre of government, religion and commerce, Thimphu is a unique city with unusual mixture of modern development alongside ancient traditions. With the population of more than 100,000 it is perhaps still the world’s only capital city without a traffic light.
On arrival at Thimphu check into your hotel and after lunch visit the following places:
- Bhutan Post Office Headquarters to get personalized Bhutanese postage stamps with your photo on them. You can bring along your favorite photo to put on the stamps and put these stamps on your postcard to send to your family and friends.
- Changzamtok Weaving Center to observe beautiful colorful silk and cotton textiles being woven into shawls, scarves and traditional Bhutanese dresses
- Craft Bazaar where craftsmen and artisans from across the country display and sell their handicrafts. In the evening, free to relax or stroll around Thimphu town, do shopping, etc.
Evening an exploratory walk around Thimphu Main Street and market area.
Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.
Day 02: Thimphu. (Altitude 2,320m)
After breakfast drive to the following places:
- Buddha Point (Kuensel Phodrang). Located at a short drive from Thimphu city centre, visitors can get a good overview of the Thimphu valley from the Buddha point (Kuensel Phodrang). You can pay your obeisance and offer prayers to the Buddha, the largest statue in the country and then walk around and take a glimpse of the valley.
- Late third King’s Memorial Chorten continuously circumambulated by people, murmuring mantras and spinning their prayer wheels. Construction of this landmark was the idea of Bhutan’s third king, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuk (“the father of modern Bhutan”) who has wished to erect monument to world peace and prosperity
- Centenary farmers market. Thimphu’s weekend market is by far the largest domestic market for the farmers in Bhutan. Farmers come from all over the country to sell their farm products in the market.
- Textile and Folk Heritage Museum, a fascinating testimony of the Bhutanese living traditions.
- The National Library, housing an extensive collection of priceless Buddhist manuscripts and 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.
- Takin Preserve. The Takin is national animal of Bhutan, and looks like a cross between a cow and goat.
- Tashichhodzong, “fortress of the glorious religion”. This is the center of government and religion, site of monarch’s throne room and seat of Je Khenpo or Chief Abbot. Built in 1641 by the political and religious unifier of Bhutan, Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal.
- Evening time can be spent strolling through the government-run Handicrafts Emporium and local crafts bazaar, to browse through example of Bhutan’s fine traditional arts. Here you can buy hand-woven textiles, thangkha paintings, masks, ceramics, slate and wood carvings, jewelry, interesting items made from local materials.
Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu
Day 03: Thimphu to Punakha & Wangduephodrang (75 km, approx. 3 hours drive) (Altitude 1,300m)
- After breakfast, drive to Punakha across Dochula. It is Located at a height of 3,088m/ 10,130 ft, Dochula is a scenic location with Chorten(Stupas), prayer walls, and prayer flags which decorate this highest point on the road. If skies are clear, it may be possible to see the Gangkar puensum, the highest peak in Bhutan at 7,497m.
- Later in the day visit to Chimi Lhakhang.
The Chimi Lhakhang, situated on a hillock in the centre of the valley, is also known as the temple of fertility. It is widely believed that couples who do not have children and wanting one, if they pray at this temple, they are usually blessed with a child very soon. A walk through the village near the temple will give you rare glimpses into the daily life and lifestyle of the villagers.
- Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Lhakhang Nunnery
Perched on a ridge amid pine trees and overlooking valleys of Punakha and Wangduephodrang gleams the magnificent structures of Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Lhakhang (Temple). The temple houses a 14-foot main bronze statue of Avalokiteshvara .
The temple complex also houses a permanent higher learning and meditation centre for nuns where, apart from religious trainings, it provides life skill training such as tailoring, embroidery, statue making and thangka painting.
- Overnight at the farm house in Wangduephodrang/Punakha.
Day 04: Punakha & Wangduephodrang
After breakfast visit to the following places:
- Visit Punakha Dzong or (Palace of Great Happiness), built in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, at the junction of the Phochu and Mochu rivers. This majestic dzong served as both the religious and the administrative center of Bhutan in the past
- The village of Talo (alt. 2,800m) 30 minutes beautiful drive from the Punakha town. It is scattered along the hill slopes, known for its cleanliness and hygiene among Punakha villages.
Talo village is built on a plateau and has majestic view of surrounding villages. It is the birth place of the four Queens of our fourth king. The beautiful farm houses of the village have its own flower gardens and on the hill slope corns and sweet peas are grown in abundance. The women of Talo are particular known for their beauty.
- After reaching back to town you can take time to explore the small relocated Kuruthang town.
- Later in the evening drive back to Punakha/Wangduephodrang, for overnight stay.
Day 05 : Wangdi to Paro (125 kms, approx. 4 and half hours drive)
After breakfast drive back to Paro descending back down from Dochu La, follow the way back up the dramatic Wang Chhu and Paro Chhu river valleys, before crossing through Paro town towards the north end of the valley.
- En route visit Simtokha Dzong, one of the oldest fortresses of the country and known as the place of profound tantric teaching. This dzong now houses a school for the study of the Dzongkha language.
- Later in the day after checking into hotel, proceed to visit Ta Dzong, originally built as Watchtower, which now houses National Museum. The extensive collection includes antique thangkha paintings, textiles, weapons & armour, household objects and a rich assortment of natural and historic artifacts.
- Then walk down the trail to visit Rinpung Dzong, meaning (“fortress of the heap of jewels”), which has a long and fascinating history. Along the wooden galleries lining the inner courtyard are fine wall paintings illustrating Buddhist lore such as four friends, the old man of long life, the wheel of life, scenes from the life of Milarepa, Mount. Sumeru and other cosmic Mandala.
- Evening free time for visiting the town
Overnight at the hotel in Paro
Day 06: Paro
After breakfast drive to the following places.
- To the west of the road is Dungtse Lhakhang, a Chorten-like temple. This unusual building was built in 1433 by the iron bridge builder Thangtong Gyalpo. It has three floors representing hell, earth and heaven and the paintings inside are said to be some of the best in Bhutan.
Beyond Dungtse Lhakhang, to the east of the road, the tiny Pana Lhakhang is quite old and is believed to have been built in the seventh century.
- Ugyen Pelri Palace is in a secluded wooded compound on the south side of the river just west of the Dzong. This Palace was built by the Paro Penlop, Tsering Penjor, in the early 1900s. It is designed after Guru Rinpoche’s celestial paradise, Zangto Pelri, and is one of the most beautiful examples of Bhutanese architecture.
- Visit the 7th century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples built in the Himalayas by Tibetan King, Songtsen Gampo. The building of this temple marks the introduction of Buddhism in Bhutan.
- Evening an exploratory walk around Main Street and market area.
Overnight at the hotel in Paro. (Altitude 2,280m)
Day 07: Depart Paro
After early breakfast at the hotel, drive to the airport for flight to your onward destination. Our representative will help you with exit formalities.