Day 01: Arrive at Paro by Air and Transfer to Thimphu: Distance: 52 KM
On arrival at Paro airport, after completion of immigration and custom formalities our representative will receive and drive you to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. After arriving at Thimphu first check into your hotel and visit TashichhoeDzong, Tashichho Dzong has been the seat of the government since 1952 and presently houses the throne room and offices of the king, the secretariat and the ministries of home affairs and finance. Other government departments are housed in buildings nearby. Later visit The Memorial Chorten which was constructed in 1974 as a memorial for the third King of the country, King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, who is widely regarded as the father of modern Bhutan. In the evening stroll around Thimphu town. Overnight at a hotel in Thimphu.
Day 02: Thimphu Sightseeing
After breakfast visit the following as per your interest and time availability:
The Folk Heritage Museum, an outdoor museum that gives an insight into rural life in Bhutan. ChangankhaLhakhang (temple): This temple situated atop a small hound overlooking the Thimphu valley was built in the 13th century by the illustrious Lam PhajoDugomZhigpo. The temple is considered the spiritual home of children born in the Chang valley. Kuenselphodrang where largest Buddha statue in the country is perched on the hillock overlooking the Thimphu valley and also if interested/if time permits, take a leisure walk through Kuenselphodrang Nature park and enjoy the nice view of the entire Thimphu valley below. Centenary Farmers’ market (if tour coincides with Thu-Sun) where farmers would be selling their wide range of farm produces (vegetables from farms and wild ferns or bamboo shoots collected from forest, flour, rice, roasted rice, rice flakes, spices, yams both cultivated and wild ones collected from forests, fruits, etc) and livestock products (mainly cheese and butter). Free interaction with people from town as well as from villages come to this weekend market. Weekend market is from Thursday-Sunday(4 days). Takin Preserve, which houses the national animal Takin (budorcastaxicolor white) the national animal of Bhutan. Archery Match (National game of Bhutan): During the visit drop by at one of the archery field to watch locals play archery. (sometimes you won’t be able to see as it depends on the season and tournaments of archery) Visit the National Institude for Zorig Chusum(School for the Thirteen arts and crafts of Bhutan ) or famously known as the painting school. Evening at leisure in Thimphu City centre and explore the Local Craft Bazaar to browse through Bhutan’s fine handicrafts. Overnight at Thimphu.
Day 03: Thimphu – Punakha
After breakfast, drive to Punakha via the Dochula pass. An hour's drive from Thimphu will take you to this pass (3100 m) where one can have a superb view of the Eastern Himalayas on a clear day. Visit the beautiful 108 chortens built on the hill by Her Majesty Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck for the security and wellbeing of His Majesty the King of Bhutan. Drive onto Punakha, the old capital of Bhutan and presently the winter residence of the central monk body. Stop at Lobesa to visit the Devine Madman’s Monastery-ChhimiLhakhang, famously known for its fertility shrine, where couples unable to conceive come here for blessing. Later visit the Punakha Dzong, placed strategically at the junction of the Pho Chu and Mo Chu rivers; the dzong was built in the 17th century by ZhabdrungNgawangNamgyal to serve as the religious and administrative seat of the region. It was here that the dual system of government was introduced and in 1907, enthroned the first King Gongsar Ugyen Wangchuck. Damaged over the centuries by four catastrophic fires and an earthquake, the dzong has been fully restored in the recent years by the 4th King Jigme Singye Wangchuck. At the Dzong enrich your trip with the opportunity to see the highest standards in woodwork. Do not miss the massive Kuenray, the Coronation Hall of all Bhutanese kings. Later visit Punakha Suspension Bridge, one of the longest suspension bridges in Bhutan. Overnight at Punakha.
Day 04: Punakha to Paro
Distance: 127 KM Estimated Time of Travel: 3 hrs 30 mins
After breakfast go to Paro via Thimphu. You will have your lunch at Thimphu and before going to Paro visit the national Post office where you can buy different types of Bhutanese stamps and also make your own personal Bhutan stamps using your pictures.
After lunch drive to Paro. At Paro visit Paro Dzong, a fine example of Bhutanese historic architecture. It is also known as the Rinpung Dzong which means a “fortress that sits on a heap of jewels”. This imposing dzong located above the Paro river is a fine example of Bhutanese architecture with its inward sloping walls that rise to an impressive height.The dzong was built in the 16th century on the foundation of a monastery built by Guru Rinpoche (who is regarded as the “second Buddha.”) . From the Dzong, walk further down to Nyamai Zampa, an oldest
traditional cantilever bridge in Bhutanand also visit the National Museum which is now being housed at a hall near the Ta Dzong (National Musuem) as it is now closed to the visitors due to major cracks formed during the September 2011 earthquake that hit Bhutan quite hard. In the evening stroll around the Paro town, free mingle with people and do shopping. Overnight at a hotel in Paro.
Day 5: Paro: Taktsang Hike
Today you will hike to Taktsang Goempa (Tiger's Nest Monastery), the most famous tourist destination in Bhutan. It takes around 30 minutes’ drive from Paro town to the Parking lot. The hike upto the viewpoint will take about 1 1/2 hours from the parking lot and from there you will enjoy a spectacular view of the monastery clinging to the side of the cliff.You will stop here for refreshments and then hike further upto the monastery which should take another 1 1/2 hours. It was first built in 1692, around the Taktsang Senge Samdup, a cave where Guru Padmasambhava is said to have meditated for three months in the 8th century. It is believed that Guru Rinpoche (Guru Padmasambhava) flew to this location from Khenpajong, Tibet on the back of a tigress and subdued a demon. He then performed meditation in one of the caves here and emerged in eight incarnated forms (manifestations) and blessed the place. Subsequently, the place came to be known as the “Tiger’s Nest”. Guru Padmasambhava is known for introducing Buddhism to Bhutan. Today, Paro Taktsang is the best known of the thirteen caves in which he meditated. After visiting the monastery, walk back downhill to the road with lunch at the viewpoint cafeteria.
Later 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, 2 were built in Bhutan.
In the evening relax and overnight at a hotel in Paro.
Fun and Memorable Tour
"Thank you so much for organising such a wonderful India trip for myself and colleague Tracy Kells. Vue India team were amazing everywhere, the driver and guides were always there and all excellent and Knowledgeable.
I loved India and the people and cannot wait to come back. It was an amazing work with so much patience and always extremely professional.
I highly recommend Vue India Tours".
Janice, New Zealand
I am reflecting on the wonderful trip that I had to Sri Lanka. I would especially like to thank you and the team at Vue India. I would also like to thank all the hotels who provided so many amenities and also extended this
on many occasions to our friends Mr and Mrs McClure. This was unexpected and greatly appreciated.