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Sample Itinerary


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Day 1: Arrival Paro

Arrive Paro by Druk Air, the only national carrier. The flight offers you beautiful view of mountains and landscape. Upon arriving the Paro Valley and after completing visa formalities, you will be met by Gawaling Tours & Treks’ representative at the airport.

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Day 2: Paro to Thimphu

Morning, we will visit Ta Dzong (watch tower) which houses the National Museum. The museum has an interesting collections of different costumes and thangkas from various parts of Bhutan. After Museum visit, 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 and the Tiger’s Nest on our way back to Paro. En-route, visit Kichu Lhakhang, one of the two oldest monasteries built in Bhutan by the King of Tibet, Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century.

In the afternoon, we will start biking to Thimphu, passing through the confluence of Paro and Thimphu rivers. Overnight in a hotel.

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Day 3: Thimphu to Punakha

Morning 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. And also visit traditional handmade Paper factory, Government Handicraft emporium and memorial chorten. After early lunch bike to Punakha (82 km, approx. 41/2 hours) ascending Docuhla pass and later descend to Punakha. Overnight stay in a hotel.

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Day 4: Punakha to Wangdiphodrang

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 of Thimphu, as the area provides with more comfortable temperatures. The Punakha Dzong contains the body remains of Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and is considered as one of the holiest of the dzongs in the country. Next, hike to Chhimi Lhakhang, the monastery dedicated to Lama Drukpa Kunley “the Divine Madman” who was known for his eccentric behavior. The monastery is known for its power of fertility, thus is a site of pilgrimage for both Bhutanese and westerners. Evening visit to Wangdiphodrang Dzong and interesting local market. Overnight stay in a hotel.

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Day 5: Wangdiphodrang to Gangtey

In the Morning start biking to Gangtey (68 km, approx. 41/2 hours). Gangtey is a seat of the Ngyingmapa Buddhism, a religious sect in Bhutan. The present chief abbot of the monastery is the 9th reincarnate of the descendant of Terton Pemalingpa. Upon arriving Gangtey, visit Gangtey Monastery, and walk around the place. This area serves as the wintering place for endangered black-necked cranes migrating from Tibet and Lhadak. The cranes stay here from November till April. Overnight stay in a hotel.

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Day 6: Gangtey to Trongsa

In the morning proceed to central Bhutanese town of Trongsa (125 km, approx. 6 hours) crossing 3300m high Pele-la pass From Pele-la pass proceed to chendbji chorten (27 km, approx. 1 ½ hours),the stupa patterned on Swayambhunath in Kathmandu. Chemdbji to Trongsa is about 41 km, approx. 2 hours of biking on almost flat land. Overnight stay in a hotel.

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Day 7: Trongsa to Bumthang

We cross over the Yotongla Pass(3400m) and then descend to Chumi Valley and pass by a weaving center- where professional weavers weave well-patterned fabrics out of wool and yak hair known as “yathra”. Bumthang is known for its four spectacular valleys and was the seat of the government until the reign of second king. The district is famous for its historical sites. After lunch, visit Jambay lhakhang- one of the two oldest monasteries built in Bhutan in the 7th century. Next, visit Kurji Lhakhang, Tamshing Lhakhang, Kenchosum Lhakhang, and Swiss Farm, where people make Bhutanese assorted wines and beer. Overnight stay in a hotel.

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Day 8: Bumthang

Morning, bike to Mebartso “Burning Lake” where the Terton Pemalinga, the Bhutanese famous “treasure revealer” is believed to have taken out a hidden treasure. Late afternoon, visit the Jakar Dzong, the seat of the district administration and the district monk body. Overnight stay in a hotel.

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Day 9: Bumthang to Punakha

We drive early morning and drive to Punakha . Lunch would be served en-route at one of the hotels in Trongsa. En-route at Wangdiphodrang take a short break for tea or coffee and then proceed to Punakha. Overnight stay in a hotel.

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Day 10: Punakha to Paro

We will have early breakfast and drive to Paro. Stop for lunch at Thimphu and continue our journey to Paro. Upon arriving Paro, we will start exploring the Paro valley by vehicle and on foot. Overnight stay in a hotel.

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Day 11: 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.

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Day 12: Departure

After breakfast drive to the airport for departure.

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