Day 01: Arrive Paro. Drive to Thimphu. (2500m 55 kms 01 hour)
The flight into the Himalayas aboard Druk Air, Bhutan’s National carrier is truly a memorable experience. As the aircraft enters the Paro valley, look down and you will see the Paro Dzong overlooking the Paro chu (river) with Ta Dzong (National Museum) above it. Assistance upon arrival at Paro Airport and further drive to Thimphu. Evening visit the Tashicho Dzong, the head seat of the King and the Je Khenpo, the highest abbot of Bhutan. Upon arrival check in at the hotel. Overnight at the hotel.
After breakfast visit Memorial Chorten: This stupa was built in the memory of Bhutan’s third king, His Late Majesty, King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk, who is popularly regarded as Father of modern Bhutan. Folk Heritage Museum: Established in year 2001, it provides deep insight to classical Bhutanese rural lifestyle by displaying original artifacts. National Library: The history of Bhutan lies imprinted in archaic texts, which are preserved at the National Library. Besides thousands of manuscripts and ancient texts, the library also has modern academic books and printing blocks for prayer flags. Arts & Crafts School: This school teaches the techniques of traditional thangkha paintings. On a visit, one can see students at work producing intricate design on cloth. Visit the Takin sanctuary to have a glance at the national animal of Bhutan, Takin.
After breakfast visit the Tongsa Dzong located on a spur overlooking the Mangde River. Built in 1648, it was the seat of power over central and eastern Bhutan. Both the first and second King of Bhutan ruled the country from this ancient seat. All five Kings were invested as Trongsa Penlop (‘governer’) prior to ascending the throne. The Dzong is a massive structure with many levels, sloping down the contours of the ridge on which it is built. Also visit the Ta Dzong (watch tower), dedicated to Buddhist epic hero, King Gesar of Ling. Continue drive to Bumthang ascending quickly with an impressive of the Trongsa Dzong, passing the forest of Rhododendrons and old decimated trees. After the Yuto La Pass (3400m 11155ft), the dramatic scenery changes to gentle spruce and fir covered slopes, reminiscent of the Alps.
Today after breakfast visit Jampey Lhakhang, Kuje Lhakhang, and Tamsing Monastery. Jampey Lhakhang is one of the oldest monasteries in Bhutan built in 07th century. Kuje Lhakhang is where Guru Rinpoche left the imprint of His body in the cave He was meditating. Tamsing Monastery is the private monastery where we can wash our sins if we carry the coat of nail thrice around the shrines. This coat of nail is made my Pemalingpa Himself.
After breakfast depart for Punakha, en route visit Punakha Dzong is built in 1637 by Shabdrung, the spiritual and temporal ruler of Bhutan prior to the present dynasty. It is an old capital which still serves as the winter residence of the monk body. The first King, Ugyen Wangchuck, was crowned here in 1907. Upon arrival check in at the hotel. Rest of the time at leisure. Overnight at the hotel.
After early breakfast we will retrace back towards Dochula Pass and Simtokha to drive towards Paro. Upon arrival check in at the hotel. Visit the National Museum which houses and impressive collection of fine arts, paintings, bronzes, textiles, jewellery and handicrafts sections as well as galleries of stamps for which the Country is very popular.
After breakfast drive 20 minutes to the end of the valley to Drukgyel Dzong from where one can see the towering peak of Jomolhari (7,316m, 24,003 ft). This mountain, also revered as a powerful goddess, forms the border with Tibet and provides magnificent background to the ruined Drukgyel Dzong and village. Drive to Rumthangka and begin the Taktsang hike.