Path to Bhutan

Days: Seven
Activities: Hiking and walking
Season: All
Places covered:   Paro,  Thimphu, Punakha  and Wangdi  districts

This tour option is sort of culture cum Himalayan driving tour. Unlike the other short tours you will have the chance to pierce further east of the capital i.e Punakha and Wangdi. You will be driven through Dochula pass where you will have the cosmic view of eastern Himalayan range.  Besides culture experience you could see dzongs, chortens, rich agricultural fields, temples, monasteries and landscapes of Bhutan. Glimpse of Bhutan will make you to trip four places of Paro, Thimphu, Punakha and Wangdi.

Day 01 Bkk/Ktm to Paro

The very first day, flight to Paro Airport will bring you the most stunning view of the Himalayan Mountains which ranges from Nepal towards Bhutan. When the clock needs about twenty five minutes to enter the land of thunder dragon (Bhutan) you will be able to view the world highest peak, Mt Everest and then other mountains like Mt Kanchenjunga, Mt. Makalu. As you approach quite near to Bhutan you will be greeted by mighty peaks of Bhutan like Mt. Jhomolhari, Mt. Tsrim Gang etc. proudly standing amongst the world’s highest known Himalayan peaks. Finally then, you will reach Paro Airport in 3 hrs (from Bangkok) else 2 hrs (from Kathmandu). Now you are stepping out from the Druk air into fresh and silent atmosphere of Paro, the characteristic of the last Shangri-La. The representative from 7 Brothers Tours and Travels will be waiting for you at the exit who will guide you throughout your stay in Bhutan. If your flight is early you will be served lunch at one of the lodge in Paro.  Afternoon stay at your own leisure. In the evening, take a stroll around Paro market. Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Paro

Day 02 Paro sightseeing

Early in the morning you will have delicious breakfast and then straight away start for experiencing a small hike of 3 hrs to the Takshang monastery (The tiger’s nest). A small history will help you understand further and appreciate the monastery.

As believed by the Bhutanese, Guru Padmasambhava flew here on a tiger’s back in 8th century and meditated for three months. Later in 1684 this monastery was built. When you finish your climb you will reach a cafe where you will get a very good view of the monastery. There you will be served special fruits along with the pack lunch. For some tourists who want to get a very close view of the monastery, they can further climb for about 45 minutes and enjoy the 50 meter close view of the Tiger’s Nest. You can ask your guide to give you a detailed explanation. Later, when you reach back then the first sightseeing will be to visit the Drukgyel Dzong (fotress) which is 10 kms further. This dzong was built in 1684 by Shabdrung Nawang Namgyel to celebrate the victory over the Tibetans. At present too you can view this dzong in ruins since it was burned down accidentally by a candle fire in 1874.

Move back to   your hotel for a cup  of tea. After that you can visit National Museum at Paro. Inside the museum you will find many antique Thankas, different kinds of textiles, a small temple of life, different statues, etc. After this you can drive to Rimpung Dzong or the Paro dzong which was built in the 17th century. This dzong is now the administration center and school for the monks. In the evening you can take a short walk in the town. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 03 Paro to Thimphu

You can have an easy start from Paro since Thimphu (2300m) is just 2 hrs drive. On the way you will see a monastery called Tachogang lhakhang. You can ask your guide for some explanation. After a drive of half hour you will reach a place called Chuzom which means the meeting of two rivers. The Thimphu River and Paro River meet here at a confluence of three different kinds of monastery that you will see in the country. There will be a road junction from whom one goes to the south which leads to Phuentsholing in the southern part of Bhutan and the other to the capital. Before reaching Thimphu you will see a dzong on the small hump called Simtokha dzong. Shabdrung Nawang Namgyel built this dzong, which is in fact the oldest dzong in Bhutan. It was built in 1627 and at present it is being used as a school for the monks. You will reach Thimphu after 15 minutes from this Dzong and then you can either check in your hotel first or start with your sightseeing after lunch. The first thing you will visit is the Memorial Chorten which was built in memory of the third king in 1974.You can further go inside the Chorten and enjoy the most exotic statues of gods. You can then visit the indigenous hospital, the School of Arts & Crafts to see the live paintings by the students. Then you can visit Tashichhodzong to have external view. This massive structure is the seat of the Royal Government and central monastic body. After this you can go back to your hotel for some tea and refreshment. Then you can further continue your sightseeing by going to the Post office, Paper factory, a small weaving practice center, Changangkha monastery, Zangto Pelhri monastery and Zilukha nunnery. In the evening you can drive to the viewpoint from which you can view the whole Thimphu city. On the way you can also stop and visit a small zoo to see the National animal of Bhutan, the Takin. Later you can go for a walk on your own in the town. Overnight at hotel.

If you are in Thimphu during the weekends then you can visit the Subji Bazaar i.e the vegetable market where you will witness lot of people in their own style of selling and buying vegetables.

Day 04  Thimphu to Punakha

On this day we will drive to Punakha, the winter capital, which is 4 hours drive from Thimphu. On the way you will stop at Dochula Pass which is at 3150 meters. There is a café above the pass where you can enjoy some hot tea & snacks. From there you will experience a cosmic view of mighty peaks and the great valley that lie down. You will then drive down further through temperate forests into semitropical range of orange and cactuses. Before you reach a junction you will see Chime Lhakang built by a famous divine mad monk, Drukpa Kinley. This monastery is a famous pilgrim site for sterile women who wish to bear children. As you drive further you will pass Khuruthang where new administrative town of Punakha is located. When you reach near the dzong you will see Punakha dzong built on the confluence of Phochu (Male River) and Mochu (Female River). This Dzong is the winter capital since 300 years ago; today it is the winter residence of the Je- khenpho the chief abbot and also serves as the administration center of the Punakha district. You can go for your lunch at one of the hotel in Punakha or eat packed lunch on your way. Overnight at hotel.

Day 5  Punakha to Wangdiphodrang /back to Thimphu

After your breakfast you can then proceed to Wangdiphodrang. On your way you will see a different kind of village called  Richengang village. Here you will see the houses are built very close together. You can visit Wangdiphodrang dzong built in 1647 by Shabdrung Nawang Namgyel on a sharp ridge looking like elephant. After a satisfying view over the dzong you can have your lunch in Wangdi town. You can then turn back the same road to Thimphu. Overnight Thimphu hotel.

Day 6  Thimphu to Paro

On your last day in Thimphu you can visit some places like The Royal Academy of Performaning Arts where the national folk and Bhutanese dances are practiced. You can then visit the Handicraft in the town for some shopping. After lunch you can proceed to Paro. When you reach Paro you can visit some places like the Kyichu lhakhang and the Dungtse lhakhang. You should take an early day off since your flight may be early in the morning. Overnight at hotel.

Day 7  Paro Airport

Drive to the airport for your flight to BKK/KTM/DEL. Thank you! And safe journey!

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