Day 01: Arrive Paro and drive to Thimphu (55 kms / 1:30 hr)
Bhutan HolidayYour Bhutan tour begins with an arrival into Paro, the location of Bhutan's only airport. The views of the might Himalayas, and richly forested mountains of the Paro valley are breathtaking. Upon arrival, you will be met by our Representative for your transfer to Thimphu. Afternoon sightseeing tour of Memorial Chorten, the stupa built in 1974 in the memory of Bhutan 's third King, His Late Majesty, King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk, who is popularly regarded as Father of modern Bhutan. Also, visit the National Textile Museum, Folk Heritage Museum, and National Library, and get a chance to shop for Bhutanese handicrafts and jewelry.
Travel to BhutanSightseeing tour of Thimphu, visiting the Changangkha Lhakhang, a fortress like temple and monastic school perched on a ridge above Thimphu, the BBS Tower, known for its fascinating views of Thimphu valley, Mini zoo or Takin Preserve - the Takin is the national animal of Bhutan, and looks like a cross between a cow and a goat. Also visit Anim Dratshang (nunnery) at Drubthob Goemba and the Trashichhodzong, an impressive monastery that houses the Secretariat building, the throne room of His Majesty, the King and various government offices. It is also the summer residence of Chief Abbot and central monk body.
Bhutan TourThe day begins with a dramatic drive over the high mountain pass of Dochu La (3,088m/ 10,130 ft) and on to the Phobjikha Valley, passing through dense forests and oak, rhododendron trees, reaching Gangtey. After checking into your hotel in Gangtey, walk around Gangtey village and visit Gangtey Gompa, the only Nyingmapa monastery in this region. This area also is the winter home of black necked cranes, which migrate from the arid plains of Tibet in the north, to spend the winter months in a milder climate.
Holiday Travel to BhutanToday, your tour of Bhutan, takes you to Punakha, enroute visiting Wangduephodrang, which is perched on a spur at the confluence of two rivers, in a remarkable location, with impressive views of the surrounding areas.
Bhutan TourSightseeing tour of Punakha, including a leisurely hike up through fields of chilies, cabbages and rice along the banks of the Mo Chhu to the upper end of the valley and the Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten, a stunning monument recently built by the Queens and consecrated in 1999. Also, visit the impressive Punakha Dzong, home to the remains of Bhutan's first ruler, Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel, and the winter residence of the monastic order's leader and his entourage of monks. Also included is a picnic lunch on the banks of the Punak Chhu in the stunning dzong which straddles the confluence of what are known as the father and mother rivers of Bhutan.
Travel to BhutanThe day starts with a scenic drive back to Paro, descending back down from Dochu La, along the dramatic Wang Chhu and Paro Chhu river valleys.
Upon arrival check in at the Hotel. Afternoon sightseeing in Paro, including Ta Dzong, inaugurated as Bhutan's National Museum in 1968. The Ta Dzong, holds a fascinating collection of art, relics, religious thangkha paintings and Bhutan's exquisite postage stamps. Also visit the Rinpung Dzong, which houses the monastic body of Paro, the office of the Dzongda (district administrative head) and Thrimpon (judge) of Paro district. Part of the attraction of this Dzong, is the way in which it is approached - it is approached via a traditional covered bridge with a stone inlaid path, with excellent views of the Dzong and the surrounding areas.
Sightseeing tour of Paro, which includes an excursion to Taktshang Monastery, a 5 hour hike, which is one of the most famous of Bhutan's monasteries, perched on the side of a cliff 900m above the Paro valley. The Taktshang Monastery is also called "Tiger's Nest", since according to the legend, Guru Rinpoche arrived here on the back of a tigress and meditated at this monastery. The monastery was severly damaged by a fire during 1998, but now has been restored to its original splendor, and a visit here, is said to be the highlight of a holiday in Bhutan.
For those not interested in the hike to the Taktshang Monastery there is also the option of a driving trip to Chela La pass, at an altitude of 4200 mtrs. The Chele La view point offers magnificent views of the 7000 mtr plus Chomolhari peaks and Jichu Drakey.