The flight to Paro is one of the most spectacular of all mountain flights. One can see the Mt. Everest, Mt. Kanchanjunga, Mt. Makalu and other peaks in Bhutan such as Mt. Chomolhari, Mt. Jichu Drakay, and Mt. Tsherimgang. The green wall of hills known as the doors, or gateways into Bhutan from the plains climbs continually higher as down the forested mountainsides, and to the north, the great snowcapped peaks of the inner Himalayas rise up to the sky. You will be received by the representative of Discover Happiness Tours Travel who will be your Bhutan tour guide throughout your entire travel in Bhutan.
Check into the hotel. After the refreshment, visit to the National Museum, housed in the Ta Dzong (watchtower). Here an intriguing collection of artifacts provide a wonderful introduction to the rich culture and heritage of the Kingdom.
Walk down to Paro Dzong, a fine example of Bhutanese historic architecture. From the Dzong, walk further down to Nyamai Zampa, a traditional cantilever bridge.
Travel to Thimphu, the capital town of Bhutan. The road runs down through the Paro valley, to Chuzom (Confluence) at the entrance to the valley, where the Paro and Thimphu rivers meet. The road passes along a narrow valley with high, rocky cliffs on the left, and then the valley opens out into farmland on the approach to Thimphu. Simtokha Dzong, “the place of profound tantric teaching”, stands sentinel on a hillock a few kilometers out of town. This dzong now houses the Institute for Language and Culture Studies.Check into hotel.
Evening free after dinner. Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu
Sightseeing in Thimphu includes visit to:
Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.
After breakfast, drive to the base camp of Tango Monastery and hike up to the Monastery. Tango is the center for higher studies for monks. The hike up will take approximately 45 minutes. The view from Tango Monastery is breathtaking. Drive back to Thimphu and evening free to relax /stroll around Thimphu town.
Overnight at hotel in Thimphu.
In the morning, travel to Punakha (2 ½ hrs) via the Dochula pass. An hour's drive from Thimphu will take you to this pass (3140 m) where one can have a superb view of the Eastern Himalayas on a clear day with a powerful binocular telescope. Visit the beautiful 108 chortens built on the hill by Her Majesty Ashi Dorji Wangmo for the security and wellbeing of His Majesty the King of Bhutan.
Travel onto Punakha, the old capital of Bhutan and presently the winter residence of the central monk body. Visit the Punakha Dzong, located on the island of the Pho-Chu (male) river and the Mochu (female) river. Visit the Dho Jha Gha Lam Temple.
After lunch, walk through the Metshina Village and take a 20-minute walk through the rice fields to the Devine Madman’s Monastery-Chhimi Lhakhang, famously known for its fertility shrine, where one can receive a special fertility blessing. Drive to Wangdue and visit Wangdue Dzong, situated on a ridge overlooking a river junction. In the 17th century, Wangdue played a critical role in unifying the western, central and southern regions of the country.
Overnight at hotel in Wangdue.
Drive to Trongsa via Pele la pass at an altitude of 3,150 metres, a wonderful opportunity for photographs. Stop over at Trongsa to visit Trongsa Dzong, which is the most impressive Dzong in Bhutan. Built in 1644 by the Shabdrung, the dzong is an architectural masterpiece.
Drive to Bumthang, this is one of the most spectacular valleys in Bhutan and also the heartland of Buddhism. Here the great teachers meditated and left in their wake many sacred grounds. The Guru and his lineage of Tertons, treasure finders, have led to the sprouting of many temples in the valley. Visit Yatha Weaving Center, a cooperative of the National Women Association of Bhutan where the women of the region sell their textiles and Yatha specialty.
Check into hotel and overnight in Bumthang.
Sightseeing includes visit to the following:
In the evening stroll around the beautiful landscape of the Bumthang Jakar valley.
Dinner and overnight in Bumthang.
This Bhutan tour continues eastwards, winding through more rugged terrain. The drive, with spectacular views, will take about 6 hours. Pass through Ura village in Bumthang before climbing sharply to the highest motor road pass in the Kingdom, the Thrumshingla Pass 12,465 ft. Gradually drop down to Sengor. Watch cascading waterfalls along the way. The descent stops at 2,130 ft on a bridge over the Kurichu. Climb again through pine forest, maize fields and eastern hamlets to Mongar town. The Mongar Dzong, built not too long ago, yet maintains the architectural traditions of the old dzongs.
The road from Mongar to Trashigang, the eastern most region, begins through lush forests and ferns passing over the Kori La at 8,000 ft. After driving about an hour, you reach the village of Ngatshang, the site of one of the fiefdoms before unification of the nation. Descending rapidly through corn fields and banana groves, you reach Yadi village. Follow the Gamri river until the bifurcation to Drametsi. This temple, perched atop a steep hill, was founded by Nun Choden Zangmo in the 16th century. This is the place from where the famous Drametsi Nga Chham, mask dance with drums, originated. About 30 kilometres onwards lies Trashigang, at 3,775 ft. Trashigang is the center of the biggest and most populated district in the nation. View the dzong, built strategically on a spur going out towards the Gamri Chu.
After lunch, visit Khaling, it is the weaving center under women association of Bhutan,Government of Bhutan. There you can see all the process and materials involved in weaving.
Drive back to Trashigang for overnight stay.
Excursion to Gom Kora and Tashiyangtse. Overnight at hotel in Trashigang.
This is the beginning of the return journey. After sightseeing Trashigang valley, travel back to Mongar.
Travel back to Bumthang. Ovrnight at Bumthang.
After early breakfast, drive to Gangtey Gompa with picnic lunch. Visit Gangtey Gompa, which now houses one of the only Nyingmapa monastery in Bhutan. The valley is also the winter home to the rare black-necked cranes (Grus Nicorocolis), which migrate, from remote parts of Tibet, China and Siberia during winter in this valley.
Drive to Wangdue for overnight halt. Evening stroll around Wangdue town.
After breakfast, walk to Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten (50 Mins) temple built by the Queen of Bhutan for peace and stability in this ever-changing world.
Travel back to Thimphu, visiting Simtokha Dzong en route. This dzong, built in 1627, is the oldest in Bhutan. It now houses the Institute for Language and Culture Studies.
In the evening, drive to see the Takin Zoo, which houses the national animal the Takin that is only found in Bhutan. Drive further up to Sangaygang to get a bird’s eye view of the Thimphu valley in the evening. Dinner and overnight at hotel in Thimphu.
After breakfast, travel to Paro. Visit Kichu temple,one of the 108 temples built in the 7th century by the Tibetan King Songsten Gampo. The story goes that a giant demon lay across the whole area of Tibet and the Himalayas and was preventing the spread of Buddhism. To overcome her, King Songtsen Gampo decided to build 108 temples, which would be placed on all the points of her body. Of these 108 temples, 12 were built in accordance with precise plans. Thus, it happened that in about the year AD 638 the temple of Jokhang in Lhasa was built over the very heart of the demoness.
After lunch, drive up the valley to view the ruins of Drukgyel Dzong, 18 km. from Paro town on the north side of the valley. It was from here that the Bhutanese repelled several invading Tibetan armies during the 17th century. Evening at leisure to visit local shops.
Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
After breakfast hike to Taktsang Monastery. The trail is broad and the walk of approximately 2 hours uphill takes you almost a kilometer above the Paro valley floor (for those who cannot hike we will arrange a horse for transfer up to the viewing point). The view of Taktsang Monastery built on a sheer cliff face 900 meters above the valley floor is a spectacular sight. The Monastery is also an important pilgrim site for the Buddhists. The great Guru Rimpoche is said to have flown here on the back of a tigress when he brought the teachings of the Buddhist Dharma to Bhutan in the 8th Century. He then mediated in a cave there for three months where the monastery was later built. On the return drive to Paro.Dinner in Paro.
It’s time for good bye!
Unfortunately, it is time to depart from the Paro International Airport.