5 Nights 6 Days

Day 01: Arrive Paro

Fly into Paro by Druk Air, Bhutan’s National Airline. The great snow-capped peaks of the inner Himalayas rise up to the heavens can be seen during clear weather. As the plane approaches Bhutan, if you look down farmhouses as dots on the hillsides can be seen.

As the aircraft enters the Paro valley, you will see Paro Dzong on the hillside overlooking the Paro Chu (river), with Ta Dzong, formerly a watchtower and now the National Museum, above it.

You will be received by the representative of Bhutan Dragon Rider Travels Travels who will be your Bhutan travel guide throughout your tour.

Check into your hotel in Paro and after refreshments, visit the following:

Ta Dzong, built in the 17th century as a watchtower for the Paro Dzong. This dzong was converted into the National museum in 1967 and is filled with antique thankha paintings, textiles, weapons and armor.

Rinpung Dzong, built in 1645 to defend the valley against Tibetan invaders. The Dzong is now being used as an administration center and school for monks. Then walk down to Rinpung Bridge (Traditional Bridge), oldest bridge in Bhutan.

In the evening stroll through Paro town and you may visit local shops.

Overnight at a hotel in Paro

Day 02: Paro-Thimphu and Thimphu Sightseeing

Distance: 54 km Estimated driving time: 1 hour

After breakfast travel to Thimphu and check into your hotel. The full day Thimphu tour includes visit to the following:

Overnight at a hotel in Thimphu

Day 03: Thimphu-Punakha/Wangdue

Distance: 71 km Estimated driving time: 2 1/2 hrs

After breakfast, drive to Punakha 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. Also visit Druk Wangyel Temple which was built to honor His Majesty, the fourth King Jigme Singye Wangchuck. The past and future appear to merge in the details of the temple that tells the story of a supreme warrior figure whose vision pierces the distance future.

Drive onto Punakha, the old capital of Bhutan and presently the winter residence of the central monk body. Visit the PunakhaDzong, located on the island of the Pho- Chu (male) river and the Mochu (female) river. Visit the Dho Jha Gha Lam Temple.

In the evening, 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 couples unable to conceive come here for blessing.

Overnight at hotel in Wangdue/Punakha

Day 04: Wangdue/Punakha–Thimphu

Distance: 71 km Estimated driving time: 2 ½ hour

After breakfast, travel through upper Punakha valley through the village of Kabjisa and walk through farmhouses to Khamsum Yuelley Namgyel temple which was built by the queen of Bhutan for peace and stability in this ever-changing world. This temple is situated on the hillock overlooking the valley below.

Then travel to Thimphu with lunch enroute.

On arrival at Thimphu check into your hotel and after refreshments, visit the following:

• National Memorial Chorten, chorten literally means ‘ seat of faith’ and Buddhists often call such monuments the ‘Mind of Buddha’. Meet the elderly generation in circumambulation at the National Memorial Chorten.

• Tashichhodzong, “the fortress of the glorious religion”. This is the center of government and religion, site of the monarch’s throne room and seat of the Je Khenpo or Chief Abbot. Built in 1641 by the political and religious unifier of Bhutan, Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, it was reconstructed in the 1960s in traditional Bhutanese manner, without nails or architectural plan

• In the evening, free to relax or stroll around Thimphu town, do shopping, etc.

Overnight at hotel in Thimphu.

Day 05: Thimphu-Paro& A Day Hike to TaktsangGhoempa (Tiger’s Nest Monastery)

Distance: 54 km, estimated travel time: 1 hr

After breakfast, drive to Paro which takes about an hour and hike up to Taktsang Monastery, also known as ‘Tiger’s Nest’.

The climb up to the viewpoint will take around 1 ½ hours and from there you will enjoy a spectacular view of the monastery clinging to the side of the cliff. Stop for refreshment at the View Point Cafeteria.Then walk further up to the monastery which will take about 1 hour.

It is said that in the 8th century Guru Rinpoche flew on the back of a tigress from eastern Bhutan to this place and meditated in a cave here for 3 months. The principal Lhakhang (monastery) of the present monastic complex dates from 1692. Taktsang was damaged severely by fire in 1998 but has now been fully restored to its former glory.

After visiting the monastery, walk back down to the road on the way stop for lunch at the view point cafeteria and then walk further down to the road point. Then drive back to hotel. On the way, 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 demon.

In the evening relax and overnight at a hotel in Paro.

Day 06: Departure from Paro

In the morning tour guide from Bhutan Dragon Rider Travels will escort you to the Paro airport for your flight to your onward destinations.

End of Tour Program