Suitable Months: All months
Day 1: Arrival at Paro and drive to Thimphu (Altitude 2,280m)
Drive time: 45 minutes
Welcome to Bhutan, “The Land of the Thunder Dragon”. Landing down at Paro International Airport, you will be greeted by your tour guide upon exiting the arrival hall. Then we will drive to Thimphu, let you check in the hotel and serve you with the first taste of Bhutanese cuisine and some sightseeing in Thimphu if possible.
Day 2: Thimphu sightseeing
- Takin enclosure: To see the Takin National animal of Bhutan.
- Buddha Dordenma Statue: You will see the Biggest Buddha statue in the world at Kuenselphodrag, Thimphu.
- Heritage Museum: Dedicated to connecting Bhutanese rural though exhibition of artifacts used in rural households.
- Textile Museum: You will witness the art of traditional weaving.
- TashichoDzong: The Biggest Dzong, in the Country, is also the seat of the office of the King of Bhutan.
- National Memorial Chorten: Built in honor of the Late third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk. You will see hundreds of people chanting around the chorten in the evening.
- Papermaking Factory: You will see the art of papermaking
- Semtokha Dzong: Five miles from Thimphu stands the oldest fortress in the Kingdom known as Semtokha Dzong.
- Centenary Farmers’ Market: Here villagers from the nearby village and other nearby places as far as Wangdue come to sell their agriculture products. This market is open every Saturday and Sunday.
Day 3 – Thimphu to Punakha (Altitude 1,300m)
Drive time: Two and a half hours
- Dochula Pass: 108 chortens built by the present Queen Mother of Bhutan Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck to commemorate Bhutan’s victory over Indian militants and to liberate the souls of the soldiers lost.
- Punakha Dzong: Built in 1637, the dzong continues to be the winter home for the clergy, headed by the Chief Abbott, the Je Khenpo. It is a stunning Bhutanese architecture, built at the fork of two rivers. The dzong was destroyed by fire and glacial floods over the years but has been carefully restored as of today.
- Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten: Built by the Third Queen Mother Ashi Tshering Yangdon wangchuck this Chorten is a splendid Bhutanese architecture and art and is the only one of its kind in the world. It was built over eight and a half years and the details have been drawn from religious scripture.
Day 4: Punakha to Gangtey (Altitude 3,000m)
Drive time: Two and a half hours
- Chhimi Lhakhang: 20 minutes’ walk along the green fields through the village of Sopsokha from the roadside to the small temple located on a hillock in the center of the valley below Metshina. This Temple was built by Ngawang Chogyel in 15th century after the ’divine Madman’ Drukpa Kuenlay built a small chorten over there. Now, It is a pilgrim site for barren women.
- View of Wangdue: One of the district capital of Western Bhutan. Located south of Punakha, downstream of the river flowing from Punakha. The district is known for bamboo works, slate and stone carving.
We will stop for a while to view the Wangdue Phodrang Dzong. Built in 1638, which is now seen only the remains of the walls, it was fiercely engulfed in fire last year, 2012. Every Bhutanese have been disheartened on this unfortunate incident.
Day 5: Gangtey sightseeing (Altitude 3,000m)
- Phobjikha valley: The valley of Phobjikha is well known as the winter home of the Black necked crane (Grus Nigricollis. These valley is one of the popular places that the birds migrate from the Tibetan plateau to the valley in winter months. These elegant birds can be observed from early November to end of March. Bhutan is home to around six hundred black necked cranes..
- Gangtey Goempa: This is an old monastery built around 17th century, overlooking the Phobjikha valley.
Some more short hikes around the valley of Phobjikha valley will be planned with you.
Day 6: Gangtey to Paro (Altitude 2,280m)
Drive time: 7 hours
- Paro Valley: The most beautiful valley, home to many of Bhutan’s old monasteries. The country’s only international Airport is in Paro. The northern end of the valley is the mount Chomolhari (7,300 meters) whose glacier water forms the Pachu flowing through the valley.
- Paro Dzong: Paro Dzong known as Rinpung Dzong, built around 15th century a massive fortress, presently it is a administrative center of the district.
- Ta Dzong: Built as a watch tower, later in 1968 it was converted into National Museum. The museum boasts antique Thangka, textiles, weapons and armor, household objects and rich assortment of natural and historic artifacts.
Day 7: Paro sightseeing (Altitude 2,280m)
- Taktsang Monastery: A one hour hike to the cafeteria is also a vantage view whereby you can enjoy the stunning view of the monastery. The name Taktsang came after Guru Padmasambhava landed on the back of a tigress in the 8th century.
- Drukgyal Dzong: A drive to north of Paro valley you will see the ruins of Drukgyal Dzong which was built in 1647 by the great Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, known as the father and unifier of medieval Bhutan. Drukgyal Dzong was destroyed by fire and left in ruins as reminiscent reminder of the great victories from Tibetans.
- Kyichu Lhakhang: We will then visit the Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest temples in the country.
Day 8: Departing Paro (Altitude 2,280m)
We will drive you to Paro airport for your flight and you bid a farewell to the Kingdom of Bhutan.