01Arrive Paro and drive to Thimphu.
When you fly to Bhutan on Drukair, the national airline, you will be treated to a spectacular view of the snow- capped Himalayan Mountains including the Mt.Chomolhari and Mt.Jichu Drake in Bhutan. On arrival at Paro International Airport you will be received by our representative who will accompany you throughout the trip. From the airport, then drive for 1Hr 30 Minutes to Thimphu the capital city of Bhutan. The road leads through the Paro valley to the confluence of Paro and Thimphu rivers at chuzom(confluence). Three different styles of chortens adorn the confluence. A short way beyond, on the left, is TachogangLhakhang, the temple of the hill of excellent horse. It is a private temple, built in 15th century, as the result of the visit by Balaha, the excellent horse, a manifestation of Chenrezig, the compassionate Buddha. After the narrow, rock lined section of the road opens up as Thimphu approaches, SimtokhaDzongliesenroute. Simtokha means the place of profound tantric teaching', this dzong now houses a school for the study of the Dzongkha language. On arrival in Thimphu, check into the hotel.
Evening, visit the TashichhoDzong. The ‘Fortress of the glorious religion’ houses the throne room of His Majesty the king, the main secretariat building and the central monk body. Its courtyard is open to visitors during the off-office hours. Overnight at a Thimpu Hotel
Thimphu is a busting town on the bank of the ThimphuChu(river) and set gloriously in the hills of the Thimphu valley. It became Bhutan’s official national capital in the year 1961. It is home to the Bhutanese Royal Family, the Royal Government and to several foreign missions and development projects. Bhutan’s only golf course, a nine – hole circuit, is situated next to the magnificent Tashichodzong. The capital city still has only few streets and no traffic lights.
02Day Hikes to Tango and visit CTAS
Drive 13 KM north of Thimphu to Dodena. A one-hour hike this morning brings us up to Tango Monastery, a monastic school and retreat built in the 15th century. The monastery is the residence of the DrukDesiGyaltsen Tenzin Rabgye, a lama who is a reincarnation of the 16th century monk who founded Tango (tango means horse’s head) the monastery is named for a rock formation on the mountain it is built on). Tango’s inner courtyard is beautifully painted in bright colors, with lovely views stretching across the Thimphu Valley. We descend and head by road to the Baganaand drive along the riverside to the village of Kabesa.
Enroute we stop to visitChokiTraditional ArtSchool(CTAS), theonlycharitableartandcraftschoolintheKingdom which gives opportunity to the economically disadvantage students from different parts of Bhutan. Acampus tour to the class rooms will be arranged where the guest caninteract with the students and also experience the traditional Bhutanese arts and crafts demonstrated by them live. In the evening, take a leisurely stroll in the Thimphu City and free time for shopping. Overnight at a Thimpu Hotel.
03Drive to Dochu La and Punakha sightseeing
Morning sightseeing in Thimphu, we visit the King's Memorial Stupa built in 1974, visit the Folk heritage Museum founded by Her Majesty the Queen Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuk. The museum is one of a kind that portrays the lifestyle of a genteel family in the Thimphu valley in the olden days.
After lunch Head out of town on a spectacular 3 Hrs drive to Punakha crossing the Dochu La Pass at 3100mtrs from where you can see the 108 beautiful chortens built by Her Majesty Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuk. From this pass, on a clear day, you can have a superb view of the highest peaks in Bhutan. After a hot cup of tea at a café atop the pass and time to savor the mountain views, we continue our drive to the Punakha Valley. Enroute visit Chimi Lhakhang a monastery and fertility temple dedicated to Lama Drukpa Kuenley, a Tibetan Buddhist saint known popularly as “the divine madman” and considered a folk hero in Bhutan for his unconventional ways. Drukpa Kuenley originally built a chorten on the site in the 14th century. The temple, flanked by nearly 100 tall prayer flags, sits atop a picturesque hill and has long been a pilgrimage site for childless couples. Overnight at a Punakha Hotel.
Punakha: Punakha is located in the low sub-tropical valley about 4100 feet and was the capital of Bhutan until 1955. It is still the winter home of the Chief Abbot today. The warmer climate in Punakha allows for the production of two rice crops each year, along with oranges, mangos, and bananas. In Punakha, we may see people from the remote village of Laya. The Layap, as they are known, are yak herders who make the three- or four-day walk to Punakha from their high-altitude villages in northwest Bhutan. Women of Laya wear conical bamboo hats with a center spike of bamboo, and Laya’s men wear black woolen coats.
04Hike to Khamsum Yuley Namgay Chorten / Punakha Dzong
Morning drive to Nezigang village and hike to KhamsumyuelleyNamgyalChorten, a shrine built by Her Majesty the Queen, Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuck in 1999. The shrine is perched high on a hill on the opposite bank of the Mo chu river offering superb views of the Punakha valley. The hike is a gradual ascent through cultivated rice fields and little hamlets. After picnic lunch, we visit the Punakha Dzong, built in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. It stands majestically at the junction of the two rivers – Pho Chu and Mo Chu(the Male and Female rivers). The Punakha Dzong is an architectural wonder and it has played a prominent role in the civil and religious life of the Kingdom. The Dzong had been destroyed four times by fire, earthquake and flood. The Dzong has been now fully restored to its original splendor.
The official name of Druk Pungthang Dechen Phodrang translates as "the palace of great happiness." Overnight at a Punakha hotel.
05Drive to Paro and sightseeing
Morning we drive to Paro via Dochula. After a hot cup of coffee at a café atop, we continue our drive to Paro. Visit Ta Dzong, built in 17th century as a watch tower for ParoDzong. This Dzong was later converted into the National Museum in 1967, and is filled with antique thangkha paintings, textiles, weapons and armour. Also visit the Rinpung Dzong, built in 17th century to defend valley against Tibetan invaders. It is now used as an administrative centreand home of monastic community. Visit Kyichu Lhakhang, the oldest monastery of the Kingdom is another place of interest. Overnight at a Paro Hotel.
06Hike to Taktshang “Tigers Lair”
Hike to the famous Taktshang Lhakhang “The Tigers Lair”. Clinging to a black rock face, 900 meters above the valley floor, nestles TaktshangLhakhang, one of the holiest and the most beautiful site of Bhutan. Taktshang, the tiger's lair, acquires its name from the legend of its foundation, when in the 8th Century Guru Rinpoche, widely revered as the second Buddha, arrived from Tibet flying across the mountains on the back of a tigress. He meditated at the site for three months, from where he used the religious cycle of the Kagye to subjugate the Eight Categories of Evil Spirits, and thus converted the region to Buddhism. The hike to the Monastery is a gradual climb through the quiet approach path winds through lush meadow, oak and rhododendron forest, past quaint hamlets, fluttering prayer flags and rotating prayer wheels. The hike takes you about 4-5 hours from the car park. A good picnic lunch would be organized for the hike to Taktshang. In the evening visit a farmhouse to experience traditional Bhutanese lifestyle and spend time with the host. A traditional hot-stone bath can be arranged on an additional cost if you wish to experience. Dinner at Farmhouse andOvernight at a Paro Hotel.
07Depart to Bangkok or Kathmandu
Drive to Paro international Airport. See off by our representatives.