Day 01: Arrival-Paro-Thimphu 2280m
with the Trans Himalayan Flight and drive to Thimphu 2320m 75 mins drive. The flight into Paro on Bhutan’s national carrier, Druk Air, is a befitting introduction to the spectacular beauty of our country. In clear weather, magnificent views of the world’s highest peaks give way to the lush green Paro valley as you land. the first gift from Bhutan will be the cool, clean fresh air as you step out of the plane. After clearing customs and visa control you will be brief by our guide and transferred to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. We then depart for Thimpu, the modern capital of Bhutan. The drive will take around 1.5hours. Thimphu has a population of about 100,000. The town is made up of just three lines of the shop and is the only capital in the world without traffic lights. In the evening, we will visit the Handicrafts Emporium, where all types of Bhutanese handicrafts are made and sold, overnight at Thimphu.
Day 02: Thimphu Vicinity Visits
Morning visits the Memorial Chorten, a huge stupa built in memory of the third King who reigned from 1952-1972. Visit the National Library where ancient manuscripts are preserved. Visit the Painting School where traditional art is still preserved. Artists are taught to paint Thangkas here (sacred Buddhist scroll). Visit the Weekend market where vendors from throughout the region arrive on Friday afternoon and remain till Sunday. Here you will find indigenous goods, handicrafts, locally produced goods, etc. Afternoon visit Simtokha Dzong. This is the oldest fortress in Bhutan, built in 1629 A.D. by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. It also houses the largest monastic schools in the country. Visit Tashichho Dzong – the main secretariat building. It is from here that the King and other prominent civil servants run the country. The Head Abbot and the central monastic body also reside here during the summer. Visit Pangri Zampa Monastery, situated just beyond Dechencholing Palace (5 km. from Thimphu). This temple was the first residence of Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal when he arrived in Bhutan in 1616 A.D. Ngawang Chogyel, the great ancestor of the Shabdrung, built it during the first quarter of the 16th century. Overnight at Thimphu.
Day 03: Thimphu-Punakha 1300m Via Dochula Pass 3100m 75 km 3 hrs drive.
After breakfast transfer to Wangdue. En-route stop at Dochula Pass (3150 m), 30 km from Thimphu, for tea and biscuits and enjoy a view of the Eastern Himalayan Mountains. From Dochula to Wangdue, it’s another two hours drive. Wangdue Phodrang Dzong is perched on a spur at the confluence of 02 rivers. The position of the Dzong is remarkable as it completely covers the spur and commands an impressive view over both the north-south and east-west roads. The main road climbs the length of the spur and on the left, across the river, comes the first glimpse of the picturesque village of Rinchengang whose inhabitants are celebrated, stonemasons. After lunch in Lobesa, visit the Punakha Dzong. This is the winter residence of Bhutan’s spiritual leader, the Head Abbot, and the Central Monastic Body. The Dzong is built between two rivers known as “Phochu” (Male River) and “Mochu” (Female River). Check into Hotel. Dinner and stay overnight at Wangdue.
Day 04: Wangdue – Gangtey – Bumthang
Today early morning we depart for central Bhutan through the tropical vegetation to Nobding. Throughout your trip, you will come across the beautiful sceneries of rural Bhutan, with scattered settlements far from the road. We drive about an hour towards Pelela pass (11,000ft) and retrace our Steps and take a road that heads to Gangtey Gompa over Tashi La pass. Descend about an hour to Phobjikha Valley. It is a wide open valley, where Gangtey Gompa is ideally located on a hill overlooking the valley. It is the winter habitat for the Black-necked cranes migrating from Tibet early November till mid-March. Gangtey Gompa is instituted for monks following the Nyingmapa sect in the country. After visiting the monastery we drive back over the Pelela pass. Descend through the open meadows and valley of yak herders and several villages via Chendeji Chorten built in a form of Nepalese style in the 15th century. Picnic lunch will be served en route or at the restaurant at Chendebji. We drive for another 2 hours passing through several villages like Tsangkha, Tashi Choling. Enroute stop at the viewpoint of Trongsa Dzong. Continue drive to Bumthang. Dinner and stay overnight at Bumthang.
Day 05: Bumthang Vicinity Visits
This is one of the most spectacular valleys in Bhutan and also the heartland of Buddhism. The Guru and his lineage of Tertons (treasure finders) have led to the sprouting of many temples in the valley. In the morning we hike to visit the Tamshing Monastery (one of the oldest monastic schools built by Terton Pema Lingpa) and Kurjey Lhakhang (where the Guru Rinpoche subdued a local demon and left his body imprint on a rock). We also visit Jambay Lhakhang (one of the oldest temples in Bhutan built in the 7th century) and Jakar Dzong (seat of the district administration). In the afternoon, hike to Thangbi valley across the suspension bridge and visit the Thangbi Lhakhang built in the 14th century, Dinner and overnight at Bumthang.
Day 06: Bumthang – Punakha (By Car, 210 Km, Approx. 7 Hrs)
This morning we take a short time to stroll around the town and later start for a long drive to Punakha (210km, Approx. 7 hrs).the is a scenic drive, passing many small villages, waterfalls with spectacular landscape, crossing Black mountains, the ever-changing vegetation and finally arriving in the warm valley of Punakha. As the valley is at a lower elevation of about 1250m (4100 ft.) above sea level, it enjoys a subtropical climate with warm summers and pleasant winters. Overnight Punakha.
Day 07: Punakha Valley to Paro Valley
Depart Punakha early morning for your transfer westwards to the Paro Valley, once again traversing Dochula, and arriving in Paro town in time for a late lunch. This afternoon enjoys an orientation tour of the snow-capped features in Paro town including Paro Dzong with its cantilever bridge; Kyichu Lhakhang – one of Bhutan’s oldest and most beautiful temples boasting an orange tree that perpetually bears fruit; and the ruined fortress of the Drugyel Dzong (14 km from Paro). This is the historical site of the Fort of Drukpa Victory, from which the Bhutanese used to repel the Tibetan invaders again and again. On a clear day, views of the 7314-meter snow domed peak of sacred Mt Jomolhari can be seen. Overnight Paro.
Day08: Paro-Haa Excursion to Haa Valley:
The drive from Paro to Haa Valley across Chelela Pass is spectacularly scenic. If the weather is clear, you can see the clear view of snow-capped Mount Jomolhari (the second high wet peak in Bhutan) and Jichu Drake as well as other Bhutanese Himalayan Peaks. You can also encounter some wild animals and pheasants on the road. Haa Valley is unique and totally different from other places in Bhutan. Since it is located very near to the Tibetan Chinese Border, it was opened to tourists very recently. Enjoy your sightseeing in and around Haa Valley and Return to Paro for Overnight.
Day 09: Excrussion To Taktsang Monastery
Morning, hike to Taktsang Monastery. Taktsang, meaning "Tiger's nest," is built in the 8th century at an around a cave in which Guru Rimpoche (Padmasambhava/Second Buddha) mediated, clings seemingly impossible to a cliff of rock at 3,000 feet above the valley floor. For the local people it is a place of pilgrimage, but for a tourist, a hike up to the viewpoint opposite the monastery is exhausting, thrilling and mystical. The legend has it that Guru Rimpoche is said to have flown to the site of the monastery on the back of a tigress from Eastern part of Bhutan that is Lhuentse particularly from the Singye Dzong and meditated in the cave for three months and subdue the evil spirits and also turn Paro valley, one of the oldest valley to received the Buddhism in Bhutan. Overnight Paro.
Day 10: PARO-Departure
After breakfast, Transfer to Paro Airport, complete your departure formalities and fly to your destination.
GoodBye & See You Again