Essence of Bhutan (04 nights/05 days).
Nestled in the heart of the great Himalayan range, Druk Yul(The land of Thunder Dragon) – the Buddhist kingdom of Bhutan, is on of the world’s most beautiful travel destinations. Often referred to as the last Shangri-la, this tiny Himalayan kingdom hosts a remarkable variety of climate and ecosystem, with 72% of it under forest cover, high mountain terrain and deep fertile valleys. Out itinerary and gives participants an opportunity to interact with the people of Druk Yul and experience the Bhutanese way of life in its undiminished natural form.
Day 01: Arrive Paro (by Druk Air) – Transfer to Thimphu.
The flight into Paro on our 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. 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. The drive will take around one hour. Thimphu has a population of about 100,000. The town is made up of just three lines of shops 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 Hotel.
Day 02: Thimphu – Punakha – Wangdue.
Thimphu sightseeing includes visit to the Institute of Traditional Medicine; the National Library, stocked with priceless ancient Buddhist manuscripts and the Arts and Craft school, where children still learn ancient art of Buddhist painting. Other highlights include a visit National Memorial Chorten, built in honor of our late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk; Zilukha Nunnery; Folk Heritage Museum; Textile Museum; Bhutanese Handmade Paper Factory. Afternoon depart to Punakha, an ancient capital of Bhutan. Leaving Thimphu the road climbs steeply through a forest of pine and cedar, festooned with hanging lichen high up near Dochula pass (3,050 m). This Pass often offers panoramic views of the Himalayan mountain ranges. After stopping for tea and the view, we descend along a series of hairpin bends to the fertile valley of Punakha. Visit the Punakha Dzong, winter seat of the Je Khenpo (chief abbot of Bhutan) and the Monk Body, remarkably located between the rivers of the Mo (Female) Chu and Pho (Male) Chu. We then drive to the fertile valley of Wangdue, one of the major towns and district headquarters of western Bhutan where we make a short stop to view the Wangdue Phodrang Dzong dramatically located on the spur of a hill at the confluence of the Tsang Chu and Dang Chu rivers. Dinner and overnight at Hotel.
Day 03: Wangdue – Paro.
Morning visit Wangdiphodrang Dzong. End route to Paro small hike to Chimmi Lhakhang. After lunch shopping for souvenirs in the shops of Thimphu. Before depart to Paro visit mini zoo to see National Animal of Bhutan called TAKIN. Dinner and overnight at Hotel in Paro.
Day 04: Paro sightseeing and hike to Taktsang.
After breakfast drive the winding road to Drukgyal Dzong, the ruined fortress, which was once defended this valley from Tibetan invasions. We then drive to Ramthangkha, the terminating point of the motorable road and then hike up to the Taktsang monastery (Tiger’s nest). The hike up to the cafeteria will take around two hours of average walking speed and is located above 2,950 meters (9,678 feet) above sea level. At the view point enjoy the stunning view of the monastery where Guru Padmasambhava landed on the back of a tigress in the 8th century. If you desire then you can hike up to the monastery and visit the monastery which contain thirteen holy places. Taktsang is the most venerated pilgrim sites of the Himalayan world. The monastic complex clings to the rock towering 900 meters above the valley (over 2,600 feet). After the visit to the temples walk back to the cafeteria for your lunch. After lunch we then walk back to the road point and then visit Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest temples in Bhutan. In the afternoon visit National Museum, Ta Dzong, an ancient watchtower which now houses the National Museum and visit Paro Rinpung Dzong, built in 17th century to defend the valley against Tibetan invaders. The Dzong is now used as an administration center and school for monks. Evening stroll through main town of Paro. Dinner and overnight at Hotel.
Day 05: Depart from Paro (by Druk Air).
In the morning our ABC escort will bid you farewell at Paro airport. Good-bye and happy journey back home.
Note: This itinerary is a sample itinerary to give you a general idea of the likely trip schedule. We have designed this itinerary including the best cultural and natural aspects of this country. We can further customize the itinerary to suit your specific interest and needs to our valued customers.