Day 1: Arrival Paro, 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.
Visit to Ta Dzong, built in 17th century, as watchtower to defend Paro Dzong and the Paro valley. The fortress was later converted into the National Museum in 1968 by the Third King. It has a rich collections of antique thangkha paintings, textiles, weapons and Bhutan’s renowned postage stamps. Below the Ta Dzong, is the fascinating Rinpung Dzong meaning ‘fortress of the heap of jewels’, which is the seat of the Paro district built in 1645 by Shadrung Ngawang Namgyal. Drive to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. The journey would take us one and half hours. Overnight stay in a hotel.
Day 2: Thimphu to Punakha
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 with a visit to Punakha Dzong built in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and then take a hike to Chimi Lhakhang, the monastery dedicated to Lama Drukpa Kunley ” Divine Madman” knows for his outrageous behavior. Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 3: Punakha to Paro
Drive towards Paro via Thimphu, Visit, # Traditional handmade Paper Factory # Handicraft Emporium # Memorial Chorten # Buddha Point
On arriving Paro visit, Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the two oldest monasteries built in Bhutan by the King of Tibet, Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century and most sacred monasteries of Bhutan.
Then, we drive towards the north to see the Drukgyel Dzong, in ruins. It was built by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel in 1649 to commemorate a victory over the Tibetan forces. Unfortunately the fortress was destroyed by fire and was never rebuilt. On clear weather, we will be able to see Mt. Chomolhari from the Drukgyal Dzong. Overnight stay in Hotel.
Day 4: 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.
Day 5: Departure
After breakfast drive to the airport for departure.