Nestled in the heart of the great Himalayan range, Druk Yul(The land of thunder dragon)- the Buddhist kingdom of Bhutan, is one 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.
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Day 01: Arrival at 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 Paro town for lunch. After lunch visit the National Museum of Paro, which dates back to the 17th century and holds the artifacts of Thangkas, stuffed animal and birds, history of Bhutan, textiles and armour, household objects. After the museum we can also visit the Rimpung Dzong built in 17th century to defend the valley against the Tibetan invaders and then depart to Thimphu, the modern capital of Bhutan. The drive will take around 1.5hours. 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 Tashi Chhoedzong, which is also known as the “fortress of the glorious religion” which was initially built in 1702 by Sherab Wangchuck, the 13th Desi (temporal ruler) and later in 1955 after moving the capital to Thimphu from Punakha it was redesigned and added the present structure. Today it houses the main secretariat building, the central monk body and it also has the office of the King. Later in the evening visit Handicrafts Emporium, which has all types of Bhutanese handicrafts for sale. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
Day 02:Thimphu Sightseeing
After breakfast drive to visit National Memorial Chorten with its golden spines shining in the sun, its tinkling bells built in honor of third King of Bhutan, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, who is the father of modern Bhutan. This stupa was built in 1974 and the paintings and statues inside the monument provide deep insight into Buddhist philosophy. This Chorten is one of the most visited religious structures in Thimphu. Then visit the Buddha point one of the biggest statue and after that visit the Weekly Outdoor Market, where everyone goes to buy fruits and vegetables, rice, grains, chilies and other fresh foods. The crowded stalls offer many colorful local items such as yak tail dusters, butter tea cups, turquoise from Nepal and Tibet and musical instrument. Visit the Zilukha Nunnery, Motithang Mini-Zoo (home of the bizarre Takin, the national animal). Other high lights include a visit to the Bhutanese Handmade Paper Factory. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
Day 03:Thimphu – Punakha
After breakfast 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 and continue your drive to Lobeysa and a leisure hike another 20 minutes to Chime Lhakhang, temple of the “Divine Madman” built in 1499 and today it is mostly visited by the women who couldn’t bear Children. Also it is known as temple of fertility. After the visit walk back to the road point and then drive Punakha and visit Punakha Dzong, an ancient capital of Bhutan, spanning the MoChu and Pho Chu rivers. It is also the winter capital for the monks and the Je Khenpo (chief abbot). Dinner and overnight at hotel.
Day 04:Punakha –Wangdue – Paro
After breakfast drive to Wangdue, one of the major towns and district headquarters of Western Bhutan. We make a short stop to view the ruined Wangdue Phodrang Dzong dramatically located on the spur of a hill at the confluence of the Tsang Chhu and Dang Chhu and then drive to Paro via Thimphu. Lunch served at a hotel in Thimphu and after lunch visit the National Library stock with ancient books, also visit the Folk Heritage Museum which is dedicated to connecting people to the Bhutanese rural past through exhibition of items and artifacts used in rural households. One should also visit the Institute of Traditional Medicine, where old healing arts such as acupuncture and herbal remedies are still practiced and then drive to Paro. Later in the evening stroll around the small town of Paro. Dinner and Cultural Program consisting of mask dances and folk songs at hotel.
Day 05:Paro - Departure (By Druk Air)
After breakfast served at your hotel and drive to Paro Airport where your representative will help you with the exit formalities and bid you farewell and wish you happy Journey back home.