Day 01: Arrive at Paro International Airport and Drive to Thimphu
During this flight one will enjoy the view of Mt. Everest, Mt. Kanchenjunga and other Himalayan Mountains including the sacred Mt. Jhomolhari & Mt. Jichu Drake in Bhutan. On arrival at Paro Airport a representative of Bhutan Soul Tour and Travel will receive you and drive to Thimphu.
After lunch visit:
- Buddha Point/ Kuensel Phodrang – Is the largest Buddha statue in the country, from there you can get a good view of the Thimphu valley.
- Memorial Chorten – Built in the year 1974 in the memory of our third king of Bhutan, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck.
- Tashichho Dzong – The “fortress of the glorious religion” was initially erected in 1641 and rebuilt by King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck in the 1960s. Tashichho Dzong houses some ministries, His Majesty’s secretariat, and the central monk body.
Overnight at hotel.
Day 02. Thimphu – Sightseeing
- Changangkha Lhakhang – It is right above Thimphu Valley, this temple and a monastic school was established in the 12th century on a site chosen by Lama Phajo Drugom Shigpo.
- Motithang Takin Preserve – Houses the rare national animal of Bhutan. Takin is listed by international conservation agencies as a vulnerable species and it is a rare animal found only in Bhutan, Nepal and Burma.
- Traditional Medicine Institute – In Bhutan, equal emphasis is given to both allopathic and traditional medicines. The rich herbal medicines made up from medicinal plants are prepared and dispensed here.
- Folk Heritage Museum – The house replicates a traditional farmhouse and is furnished, as it would have been about a century ago.
- National Institute for Zorig Chusum – The school of Arts and crafts is an institute where student undertake a six-year course on the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan.
Overnight at hotel.
Day 03: Thimphu – Punakha
After breakfast, drive to Punakha – approximately 3-hours drive through picturesque valleys and mountain slopes dotted with typical Bhutanese villages. From the Dochula pass, at over 10,000ft, vast panoramic views of the high snowcapped peaks of the Bhutanese Himalaya can be enjoyed on a clear day. Continue drive down into the Punakha valley. On the way visit Chhimi Lhakhang – This was founded in 15 Century by Lama Dukpa Kinley also known as divine mad man. It is half hour walk across a local village and rice field. After lunch visit Punakha Dzong – built in 1637 by Zhabdrung. Overnight at hotel.
Day 04: Punakha – Phobjikha
After breakfast drive to Phobjikha. Visit Gantey Goenpa as it is a major attraction with an old monastery date back to the 16 century. Walk through Gangtey natural trail and visit Phobjikha valley exploring Bhutanese traditional houses. Overnight at hotel.
Day 05: Phobjikha – Bumthang
After breakfast drive onward to Jakar (Bumthang) is perhaps long, but certainly memorable with dramatic landscapes of terraced farmland, deep river valleys and precariously perched farmhouses viewed from the only east west highway that has been ingeniously carved out of the mountain faces (occasional road blocks may occur). Following a brief stop at Chendebji Chorten, which according to belief was built to cover the remains of a demon spirit, you will carry on to what was the original home of the Royal Family. Continue drive to Trongsa. Visit Trongsa Dzong – seat of the district administration, built in 1648. And visit Tower of Trongsa, which has been converted into a museum from a watchtower that once guarded Trongsa Dzong. The drive onward to Bumthang takes you over the picturesque Yotong La. Overnight at hotel.
Day 06: Bumthang – Halt
After breakfast, you will explore our neighboring palace, Wangdichhoeling, a past home to the 2nd King, and now home to the auspicious prayer wheels next door. Heading up valley, you will take in the grand Kurjey Lhakhang – considered one of Bhutan’s most auspicious monuments, that was once the resting place of Guru Rimpoche, and Jambay Lhakhang – home to the early winter festivals that draw thousands of Bhutanese for their annual blessings. Heading back into town and across the Bumthang Chhu, you will enjoy a visit to the sin alleviating Tamshing Monastery followed by quick visits to the valleys unique cottage industries – Red Panda Brewery, Bumthang Cheese/Dairy Facility and the Bumthang Distillery, home to numerous distinctive spirits.
Overnight at hotel.
Day 07: Bumthang – Halt
After breakfast drive to Tang valley and visit the mystical Ugyen Choling Palace and explore Tang valley. After lunch drive back to Bumthang on the way take short walk on the riverside to MenbarTsho (the burning lake). Overnight at hotel.
Day 08: Bumthang – Paro
After breakfast drive to Airport for onward flight to Paro. After lunch visit:
- Kyichu Lhakhang – One of the oldest and most sacred temple in the kingdom, dating back to the 7th century.
- Ta Dzong – Former Watch Tower which now houses the National Museum.
- Rinpung Dzong – Which houses the monastic school and the office of the civil administration and walk down passing close by crossing the Bhutanese typical wooden roofed bridge to Paro town.
Overnight at hotel
Day 09: Paro – Excursion to Taktsang (Tiger nest)
After breakfast, drive for half an hour and start the hike, which is about 5 hours (round trip.) The trail is along an ancient path marked by river-powered prayer wheels. As you reach Taktsang you will be struck by the architectural wonder of this most pious Buddhist shrine in Bhutan. Perched some 1000m, 3000ft on a cliff overlooking the valley; it would justifiably qualify as one of Bhutan’s wonders. Tragically wrecked in a fire early in 1998. It has been rebuilt to its original glory. It is said that the legendary Indian saint, Guru Padma Sambhava, flew from Tibet on the back of a tigress to tame five demons, who were opposing the spread of Buddhism in Bhutan in 746 A.D. Hence the name, Taktsang, or the “Tiger’s Lair.”
Descend back to Ramthangka. If the time permits, drive further north to visit another symbolic structure, which is now under reconstruction. Drugyel Dzong, or “”Castle of the Victorious Drukpa,” which was also built by the Shabdrung to commemorate Bhutan’s victory over the Tibetans in the 16thcenturies. From here, the Jomolhari Peak (“Mountain of the Goddess”) can be seen on a clear day (Alt. 7,329m/24,029ft.). Overnight at hotel.
Day 10: Paro – Departure
After breakfast, drive to Paro international airport for your onward flight. The representative of Bhutan Soul Tour and Travel will see off and bid farewell.