Bhutan is an extraordinary place hardly touched by the hands of time. Nestling in the heart of the great Himalaya, it remained in self-imposed isolation for centuries, aloof from the rest of the world. Since its doors were cautiously opened in 1974, visitors have been mesmerised: the environment is pristine, the scenery and architecture awesome, the people hospitable and charming, and the culture unique in its purity. Despite the huge potential of its natural resources, Bhutan emerged as one of Asia’s poorest countries, shunning the ‘profit at all costs’ mentality of the rest of the world. With one foot in the past and one in the future, it strolls confidently towards modernisation, on its own terms, fiercely protecting its ancient culture, its natural resources and its deeply Buddhist way of life.
Day 01: Arrive at Paro Airport
The representative will receive and drive you through the valley of Paro to the hotel.
Morning visit Drugyel Dzong, 18 kilometers away from Paro town. On a clear day one can view the sacred Mount Chhomolhari, Mountain of Goddess (24,000 ft). Visit a typical Bhutanese farmhouse and sightseeing trip to the Paro Bazaar. Visit also Ta Dzong that houses the National Museum followed by a short walk to Paro Rimpung Dzong. See a traditional wooden bridge.
Day 03: Paro
Drive to Satsam Chorten and then hike to viewpoint of Taktshang, the Tiger’s Nest. This monastery clings to a vertical granite cliff 3,000 ft above the valley floor. The monastery unfortunately got burnt in 1998 and has recently been reconstructed. OR Drive to Chelila Pass where you can see beautiful mountain ranges and rhododendron flowers in bloom. On the way back walk to Chela Nunnery.
Drive to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. Sightseeing in Thimphu includes visit to the National Library, the School of Thangka Painting, the Traditional Medicine Institute, the Memorial Chorten and the Tashichho Dzong (Fortress of the Glorious Religion)
Day 05:Thimphu -Punakha
Drive to Punakha through Dochula Pass. On a clear day, one can get an excellent view of the Himalayan range and also the Gasa Dzong at a distance. The journey continues through varying scenes of greenery all the way to Punakha. Visit Punakha town. The Punakha Dzong is set on the junction of the two rivers the Phochu (male river) and Mochu (female river) and is one of the most spectacular Dzongs in the country. At present this Dzong serves as the winter residence for the Je Khenpo, Chief Abbot of the Central Monastic Body. Afternoon, drive to Wangdue Phodrang and return to Thimphu in the evening.
Day 06: Drive to Paro
On the way, visit Simtokha Dzong the oldest fortress in Bhutan built in the 17th century by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the unifier of Bhutan. Afternoon visit Paro town and stroll through Paro town. Evening at leisure.
Day 07: Depart
Early morning drive to Paro Airport for departure.