Arrival Paro to Thimphu
Arrive in Paro by druk air, the only national carrier. The flight offers you beautiful view of mountains and landscapes. Upon arriving the Paro Valley and after completing visa formalities, you will be met by Gawaling Tours & Treks’ representative at the airport. We will then drive to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. The journey would take us one and half hours.Upon arriving Thimphu, we will visit the National Painting school to see the young men and women at work in the production of handicraft items. Some specialize in mask making, some in wood curving, some in slate curving, and others in embroidery & scroll painting. Overnight stay in a hotel.
Thimphu to Punakha or Wangdiphodrang
Drive over the DochuLa pass in the morning. On clear weather, we can see around 200 miles of Himalayan summits bordering northern Bhutan.
As we descend from the pass, we will notice that the vegetation changes from sub-alpine to sub-tropical. At the lower elevation, we can see banana plants, cactus and other semi-tropical plants, and the green terraced rice fields of Punakha.
We begin our explorations of Punakha valley with a visit to Punakha Dzong, located between two rivers. It serves as the winter residence for the central monastic body.
Next, visit Wangdiphodrang Dzong built in 1638 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. Overnight at home stay.
Punakha or Wangdiphodrang
# plough field with local people.
# Play Archery/dart game with local people.
# Learn the way of living of Bhutanese local people
Afternoon hike to Chhimi Lhakhang, the monastery dedicated to Lama Drukpa Kunley, ‘the Divine Madman’. The Lama was known for his eccentric behavior and the monastery for its power of fertility. Many Bhutanese and even westerners make a pilgrimage to the monastery to get themselves blessed.
Punakha or Wangdiphodrang
# learn the way of cooking Bhutanese food
# hot stone Bath
# act like Bhutanese
# Hike to Khamsum Yulley Namgyal
Overnight Home stay.
Punakha or Wangdiphodrang to Paro
Drive to Paro via Thimphu, Stop briefly for tea at Dochula Cafe and continue our journey to Thimphu for our lunch. Next, visit the handmade paper factory in Thimphu and do our last shopping, if we need to & drive to Paro.
Hike to Tiger’s Nest
Paro is a valley of religion and myth. The most famous landmark, the Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest), stands on a granite cliff about 800m above the valley. Legend has it that Guru Rinpoche, a famous Buddhist saint, flew to Paro on a tigress and meditated at Taktsang. The monastery is considered as a national treasure of Bhutan.
The hike to Taktsang would take us around two and half hours. To reach a cafeteria, a point from where one can enjoy a great view of the monastery is more than an hour walk from the road-head uphill. Those interested can walk further 45 minutes uphill to get a closer view of the monastery and return to the cafeteria for lunch. The journey downward to the road-head would take us less than one and half hours.