Bhutan Tour – 5 Days – 4 Nights
Start and end in Paro! With the Discovery tour Best of Bhutan, you have a 5 days tour package taking you through Paro, Bhutan and 4 other destinations in Bhutan. Best of Bhutan includes accommodation in a hotel as well as an expert guide, meals, transport and more.
Arrival in Paro to Thimphu (1.5 Hr)
Fly into the Kingdom amid a breathtaking vista of the world’s highest mountains, a literal ascent into the heavens. The perennially snow-covered mountains we pass by during the flight include Mt Everest (the highest peak in the world), Kanchenjunga (the world’s third highest peak) and other peaks revered by the Bhutanese as the “Abode of the Gods”.
Finally, land at Paro International airport, an adrenaline-rushing experience as we take a hair-raising descent onto a narrow strip of flatland flanked by the mountains. A short respite after the landing, we begin our Bhutanese adventure. We visit historical places in and around Paro valley, a scenic sojourn in Bhutan’s most beautiful valley, followed by an hour-long drive to Thimphu, the capital city. Dinner and overnight in Thimphu.
The capital city is Bhutan in a miniscule. Its population of 130,000 people come from every nook and cranny of the Kingdom, providing a rare glimpse of a mix of culture, customs and traditions around which Bhutan has built its identity as a nation.
Among the historical places, we visit the Memorial Stupa built in the finest tradition of Buddhist architecture, the 12th century Changangkha monastery which blesses every Bhutanese child born in Thimphu valley, and the 17th century Tashichhodzong that serves as the seat of the central government and also houses the office of the King. We can also see the parliament house where Bhutan’s political leaders meet and take decisions that chart out the country’s destiny.
Other attractions include short trips to the Folk Heritage Museum, Textile Academy, Academy of Art and Craft, the site of the world’s Largest Buddha statue, and the Thimphu viewpoint at Sangaygang. Towards late afternoon, we will take a stroll around town and, probably, also see a traditional game of archery which is popular for its accompanying taunts and merriment.Dinner and overnight in Thimphu.
Thimphu to Punakha / Wangdue Sightseeing
Today, we head to the interior, to Punakha-Wangdue valley that is famous as the ancient capital of Bhutan and where the agrarian rural life is best exemplified by terraced rice fields and villages teeming with traditional farm houses. The first 45 minutes of drive takes us to Dochula pass (3,100m) which is perhaps the only stopover in the entire Himalayan region that affords a stunning view of the mighty and impregnable mountains on the roof of the world. From the pass, we begin a gradual descent through roadsides filled with rhododendrons, bamboo groves, other alpine flowers of all shades and hues, besides birds and numerous other fauna species along the way.On touching the valley floor, we visit the Temple of Fertility in Lobesa which is renowned for blessing infertile couples with children, and the 17th century monastery-palace-fortress called Wangduephodrang Dzong that is being rebuilt after destruction by a tragic fire. But our main place of interest for the day is Punakha Dzong, a huge 17th century monastery-fortress plus ancient capital on whose corridors of power walked Bhutan’s ancient leaders who defined much of the Bhutanese history. The monument is spectacularly built between two rivers and appears like a giant ship sailing on a huge mass of water. Dinner and overnight in Hotel in Punakha.
Punakha to Paro ( Taktshang Monastery hike )
We drive to Paro after early morning breakfast. After reaching Paro, check into hotel and get ready for hike up to Taktshang Monastery, also known as ‘Tiger’s Nest Monastery’. 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 beauty. 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.
For the late afternoon, we will have a special dinner with a local family in a traditional farm house. Enjoy your time chatting and hanging out with the warmest people over authentic Bhutanese dishes!
A nice traditional hot stone bath after all the hiking is another excellent way to relax your body. Besides, you can check out some cool pubs in Paro, where they serve tasty snacks and local alcohols for your last night in Bhutan. Overnight at your hotel in Paro.
Departure from Paro International Airport
In the morning, after breakfast our representative from Tia Tours ,will see you off at the Paro international airport for your onward flight.