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Grade: Easy and adventure
Max Duration: 4 Nights 5 Days
Activities: City Sightseeing (Culture exploration/farmhouse visit)
Altitude: 2350 m /7708ft at Thimpu
Accommodation: star category hotel
Transportation: Private Car / Van / Hiace
Flight Ticket: Kathmandu to Paro
Best Months: Sept-Dec and Mar-May
Group Size: 01 to 10 Pax
Departure: Every day (It depends on visa & Flight ticket)
This 5 days cultural tour program offers you most of the touristic places in western Bhutan combining with visiting some of the farm houses and to experience the way of life of the Bhutanese people. You have 1 night each in Thimphu and Punakha and last 2 nights are in Paro where the airport is located. This tour is specially designed to suit the travelers who have not enough time but want to see and explore the most. Within 5 days, you will be able to get the taste of Bhutan covering almost three major districts of western Bhutan. All three districts are equally important in respect of culture, history and natural beauty. You will be driving as high as 3150m through Dochula pass to a lush valley of Punakha at 1300m, the old palace and still winter resident of chief lama of Bhutan. Weather permitting; you will be able to enjoy the panoramic views of eastern Himalayas from Dochula pass dotted with 108 stupas and thousands of colorful prayer flags offered by faithful.
After our arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu, a our
reprentative/staff will pick us up from the airport and take us to our hotel. We can take
rest and later visit the company office in Thamel, a popular tourist hub. However, there
will be a welcome dinner in the evening where we get to experience excellent Nepalese
After breakfast, we begin our tour of four amazing UNESCO World Heritage Sites. These
include the architecturally rich Durbar Square, the sacred Hindu temple of Pashupati
Nath, the interesting ‘Monkey Temple’ (Swayambunath) and Buddha Nath Stupa which
is one of the largest stupas in the world. After completing our tour late in the
afternoon, we drive to High Spirit office for a brief meeting about our trek and
get to know our team leader (guide) and fellow travelers.
Flight into Paro with Druk Air/Bhutan National Airlines. The flight takes you over the great Himalayas, offering the most beautiful scenery of the snow-capped mountains and lush valleys. As you enter Paro valley, you will see the Paro Dzong (Fort), the National Museum and the Paro town. Your local guide from Experience Bhutan Travel will receive you at the airport & welcome you to Bhutan. After completing the formalities, you will drive through fascinating valley of Paro to Thimphu. You will witness in your journey a mixture of rice fields, apple orchards, crystal clear river, deep river gorges, surrounding mountains and farm houses After passing the confluence of Thimphu and Paro rivers, the road ascends and the valley turns into a narrow gorge before widening out at Namseling, and soon the quaint shrubs of Thimphu begins to appear. Thimphu is the capital of Bhutan since 1955. Before Thimphu became the capital, it was in Punakha since 1907 when our first king was crowned at the Punakha Dzong. Thimphu is the only capital with no traffic lights and No McDonalds. The population is little over one hundred thousand. Given the fact that Thimphu is a valley with not much space to expand, it is getting congested year by year due to many imported cars hitting the road every day and rural-urban migration for job and business. Still Thimphu has a special charm and it is fascinating to sit and watch a gathering of local people in the town square and office goers wearing their traditional dress, and going about their business in a typically unhurried Bhutanese way.
Following your breakfast, start your day visiting all important touristic places in Thimphu before heading to Punakha. Begint he day by visiting Buddha Point (tallest statue of Buddha Dordenma, 51m ) situated on top of a hill with commanding views of the valley below. The photo enthusiasts can take the opportunity to take the pictures of the valley below, the scenic landscape and the greenery around. This gigantic Buddha Dordenma statue also houses a hundred thousand smaller statues of Buddha Dordenma himself made of bronze and gilded in gold. Anyone who wants to donate money to make such statues can contact their host agent and make a donation. The name of donors will be inscribed on the wall in later dates. After visiting the Buddha point, drive back and visit Changangkha Lhakhang, one of the oldest and most revered temples in Thimphu with the main statue inside is that of the god of compassion or Avalokitesvara. From outside of the temple you can again have a splendid view of the valley below. Drive further up and visit mini Zoo where you can see the national animal of Bhutan called Takin. On your return visit the nunnery, an ancient watchtower to the Dzong below but converted into a nunnery where Buddhist nuns live and study there. This is also a good spot to take the picture of the Main secretariat building Trashichhoe Dzong and Parliament building. Before heading for hot lunch in the town, visit National Library: It holds a vast collection of ancient Buddhist texts, manuscripts and also modern academic books.
After hot lunch in the town, visit National Institute for Zorig Chusum (thirteen traditional arts & crafts). The Royal Government of Bhutan has sponsored and established this national institute in the year 1971 mainly to preserve and promote culture and to contribute to the country’s economy through quality products and services. In the course of history, Bhutan has developed a unique artistic tradition which has played a vital role in modeling its distinct cultural heritage and this tradition is reflected in thirteen traditional arts & crafts. Visit weekend market(Friday, Saturday and Sunday) where you can witness the display of local vegetables, fruits and other goods for sale.
Wangdue Dzong Buddha Dordenma (Thimphu) Punakha Dzong
After the market, drive to Punakha, the winter residence of chief abbot. The road climbs for about an hour till you reach a pass at Dochula at an altitude of 3150M which is marked by 108 stupas and thousands of colorful prayer flags hung around by faithful to bring good fortune. Weather permitting, this pass offers the most spectacular view over the high peaks of the eastern Himalayas. After hot cup of tea/coffee at the Dochula tourist’s café, continue to descend a long way to Punakha & Wangdue through temperate forest of rhododendron & magnolia bloom in spring then a semi-tropical zone where orange trees, banana trees and cactuses are found. On arrival, check in to your hotel. Evening at leisure. (Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner)
Following breakfast, visit the Punakha Dzong some 9 km away from the hotel. Punakha Dzong is the most impressive dzong in Bhutan situated in the confluence of Phochhu & Mochhu (male & female rivers). It looks like a giant ship with excellent wood work and detail of paintings. It was here that the first King was crowned in 1907. It was capital of Bhutan until 1955 and then it was shifted to Thimphu. This Dzong was built by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel in 1637. Punakha Dzong still serves as winter resident of the chief lama of Bhutan and houses both administrative & religious center of Punakha district. Visit Chime Lhakhang en route. This temple is dedicated to famous Drukpa Kagyud Lama “Drukpa Kuenley”. The temple is situated on a hillock above Sopsokha village. It is about 20 minutes walking from the road through rice terraces and village houses. This temple was built in 1499 by his descendent Ngawang Chogyel. This temple is popularly known as “temple of fertility” and is the pilgrim site for a couple who are unable to bear children. Walk back and after having hot lunch in one of the tourist restaurants, continue to drive to Wangdue to enjoy the scenic and lush valley and Wangdue Dzong perched on a hill (Now under construction after a great fire a few years ago, it was totally burnt down to ashes). Continue to drive back to Paro via the same road crossing over the most famous Dochula pass from where you can enjoy the panoramic views of the Himalayas on clear weather. Continue to drive to Paro that may take you another 2 hours approximately. Stop at Paro town for refreshment. Your guide will take care of this arrangement and time permitting you can go around local shops for the last souvenir shopping. On arrival, check in to your hotel. BLD
Following breakfast, drive through the lush valley of Paro to the pass of Chilila at an elevation of 3988mts. This is the highest point of motor road in Bhutan. From the pass you can see the peak of Mount Jomolhari at 7314mts and the second highest peak Mt. Kanchenjunga. Drive back to Paro for hot lunch in one of the restaurants in the town. After lunch, visit the most sacred and oldest temples in Bhutan called Kyichu Lhakhang built in the 7th century. This is one of the 108 temples built by then the Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo in a single day in order to subdue a demoness who was terrorizing the entire region of Bhutan, Nepal & Tibet.
Drive further north and visit the Drukgyel Dzong (fortress of victorious Drukpas). It was burnt in 1951 by the tilting of butter lamp in the middle of the night so in present days it remains as ruins preserved as the monument (Recently the government has decided to re-build and the re-construction work has just begun). It was built in 1647 after Bhutan stand victorious against Tibetan invasion. Overnight at the hotel. (Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner)
Following breakfast, drive to the airport for your onward flight. Your guide will assist with your baggage, bid you farewell and wish you a safe journey back home.
Our amazing journey in Bhutan comes to an end today. A company representative will
pick you up from your hotel and drop you off at the airport 3 hours before our scheduled