Day 1 - Arrival in Paro, Bhutan
Fly onboard Druk Air to Paro, Bhutan. On a clear day the panoramic views of the Himalaya are sensational, including Everest, but particularly exciting is the approach through the Bhutanese foothills and the landing, including a few steep turns to land at ttiny airstrip of Paro. In Paro you will be received by your Bhutanese guide and transferred to Thimphu that takes an hour. Afternoon visit Tashicho Dzong, The memorial chorten, handicraft stores and emporium and city of Thimphu.
Day 2 - Tour of Thimphu
Heritage Museum - Dedicated to connecting people to the Bhutanese rural past though exhibition of artefacts used in rural households.
Textile Museum - Witnesses the art of traditional weaving.
Thimpu Dzong - The largest Dzong, is also the seat of the office of the King of Bhutan.
National Memorial Chorten - Built in honor of the late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk.
Papermaking Factory - Witnesses the art of papermaking
Simtokha Dzong - Five miles from Thimphu, on a lofty ridge stands Semtokha Dzong, the oldest fortress in the Bhutan.
Centenary Farmers’ Market - Every Saturday and Sunday most of the Thimphu population congregate on the banks of the river where the weekend market is held. Here villagers from the valley and other nearby places come to sell their agriculture products.
Day 3 - Thimphu to Punakha
Dochula Pass - The 108 chortens was built by the present Queen Mother of Bhutan Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck to commemorate Bhutan’s victory over Indian militants and to liberate the souls of the soldiers lost.
Punakha Dzong - Built in 1637, the dzong continues to be the winter home for the clergy, headed by the Chief Abbott, the Je Khenpo. It is a stunning example of Bhutanese architecture, sitting at the fork of two rivers, portraying the image of a medieval city from a distance. The dzong was destroyed by fire and glacial floods over the years but has been carefully restored and is, today, a fine example of Bhutanese craftsmanship.
Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten - Built by the third Queen Mother Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuck this Chorten is a splendid example of Bhutanese architecture and art, and is the only one of its kind in the world. It has been built over eight and a half years and its details have been drawn from religious scripture.
Day 4 - Punakha to Gangtey
Chhimi Lhakhang - A 20 minutes walk across terraced fields through the village of Sopsokha from the roadside to the small temple located on a hillock in the centre of the valley below Metshina. Ngawang Chogyel built the temple in 15th century after the ’divine Madman’ Drukpa Kuenlay built a small chorten there. It is a pilgrim site for barren women.
Passing Wangdue (left), one of the major towns and district capital of Western Bhutan. Located south of Punakha, Wangdue is the last town before central Bhutan. The district is famous for its fine bamboo work and its slate and stone carving.
We will pause to view the Wangdue Phodrang Dzong. Built in 1638, Wangdue Dzong is dramatically perched on the spur of a hill and overlooks the confluence of the Tsang Chu and Dang Chu rivers.
Phobjikha Valley- The valley of Phobjikha is well known as the winter home of the Black necked crane (Grus Nigricollis). Bhutan is home to around six hundred black-necked cranes with Phobjikha being one of the popular places that the birds migrate to in the winter months from the Tibetan plateau. The elegant and shy birds can be observed from early November to end of March. Overlooking the Phobjikha valley is the Gangtey Goempa. This is an old monastery that dates back to 17th century.
Day 5 - Gangtey to Paro
Paro Valley - The beautiful valley is home to many of Bhutan’s old monasteries and temples. The country’s only Airport is in Paro. The valley is also home to mount Chomolhari (7,300 meters) situated at the northern end of the valley whose glacier water forms the Pachu River that flows through the valley. The following are some of the prominent places to visit in Paro.
Paro Dzong - Also known as Rinpung Dzong, this 15th century massive fortress/monastery, is also the administrative center of the dzonkhag.
Ta Dzong - Built as a watch tower the Ta Dzong, it was converted into the National Museum in 1968. The museum boasts antique Thangka, textiles, weapons and armour, household objects and rich assortment of natural and historic artifacts.
Day 6 - Paro
Taktsang Monastery- A one hour hike to the cafeteria is also a vantage viewpoint whereby you can enjoy the stunning view of the monastery. Prayer flags adorn the cliffs and this is also where Guru Padmasambhava landed on the back of a tigress in the 8th century.
Drukgyal Dzong - A morning drive, north of Paro valley brings us to the ruins of Drukgyal Dzong. Built in 1647 by the great Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, father and unifier of medieval Bhutan, the Dzong was destroyed by an accidental fire and left in ruins as an evocative reminder of the great victories it was built to commemorate. Explore the ramparts and relive the memories of a glorious past.
Kyichu Lhakhang - After a sumptuous local lunch, we will retrace our steps to visit Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest temples in Bhutan.
Day 7 - Departure from Paro
After early breakfast at the hotel drive to Paro airport for your sensational take-off and scenic Himalayan flight past Chomolhari, Bhutan’s second highest peak.