Paro is the only International Airport in Bhutan. Two Airlines (Druk Air and Tashi Air) fly to Paro from Bangkok, Singapore, Kolkata, Kathmandu and New Delhi. As the plane flies towards north from these cities continuously climbing higher and higher, often flying above the puffy Sea-of-Clouds, the travelers get a majestic views of the Himalayas with snowcapped peaks rising up into the sky. As the aircraft enters the Paro valley, you will see the Paro Dzong (fortress) overlooking Paro Chu (river) and Ta Dzong, the watch tower standing just above it on top of a hillock overseeing the Paro Dzong.
At the airport representative from Kins Traveler will receive you and after completion of airport formalities drive you through the fascinating valley of Paro to your hotel.
Afternoon visit to Ta Dzong, originally built as Watch Tower overseeing the Paro Dzong, it now houses the National Museum of the Kingdom and boasts antique Thangkha paintings, textiles, weapons & Armour, household objects and a rich assortment of natural and historic artifacts.
Then walk down the trail to visit Rinpung Dzong, meaning 'Fortress of the Heap of Jewels' which has a long and fascinating history. Along the wooden galleries lining the courtyard of the Rinpung Dzong are fine wall paintings illustrating Buddhist lore such as four friends of Elephant, Rabbit, Monkey and Parrot, the old man of long life, the wheel of life, scenes from the lore of Milarepa, Mount Sumeru and other cosmic Mandala.
Evening visit to Paro market and take a stroll through town's main street. Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Paro.
Start the drive towards Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. The road leads through the beautiful Paro valley and then enters into a narrow rock lined section yet a natural beauty by itself just before reaching the confluence of Paro and Thimphu rivers at Chuzom (confluence).
The valley then gradually widens up finally opening into Thimphu. As you enter Thimphu, you will not miss the giant statue of Lord Buddha sitting on top of hill and Simtokha Dzong on the right. Simtokha Dzong is the oldest Dzong in Bhutan build in 1618AD by a great lama called Zhubdrung Nawang Namgyal. Simtokha means the place of profound tantric teaching.
On arrival in Thimphu, check into the hotel. The full day sightseeing of Thimphu valley includes:
Visit to National Library, a treasure trove of priceless Buddhist manuscripts.
The Traditional Medicine Institute, where centuries old healing arts such as acupuncture and herbal remedies are still practiced.
The Painting School, where young monks learn the art of Buddhist thangkha.
The mask maker workshop and workshop for fine metal craft, weaving, ceramics and paper making.
The Textile and Folk Heritage Museum, a fascinating testimony of Bhutanese material culture and living traditions.
The Handicrafts Emporium and local shops if you like to browse through example of Bhutan's fine traditional arts. Here you can buy textiles, thangkha paintings, masks, ceramics, slate and wood carvings, jewellery, interesting items made from local materials, and all manner of unique objects.
Overnight stay at Thimphu.
After breakfast, drive to Punakha via the Dochula pass. An hour's drive from Thimphu will take you to this pass (3140 m) where one can have a superb view of the Eastern Himalayas on a clear day with a powerful binocular telescope. Visit the beautiful 108 chortens built on the hill by Her Majesty Ashi Dorji Wangmo for the security and well being of His Majesty the King of Bhutan. Also visit Druk Wangyel Temple which was built to honor His Majesty, the fourth king Jigme Singye Wangchuck. The past and future appear to merge in the details of the temple that tells the story of a supreme warrior figure whose vision pierces the distance future.
Drive onto Punakha, the old capital of Bhutan and presently the winter residence of the central monk body. Visit the Punakha Dzong, located on the island of the Pho-Chu (male) river and the Mochu (female) river.
In the evening, walk through the Metshina Village and take a 20-minute walk through the rice fields to the Devine Madman’s Monastery-Chhimi Lhakhang, famously known for its fertility shrine, where couples unable to conceive come here for blessing.
Overnight at hotel in Wangdue/Punakha.
After breakfast, travel through upper Punakha valley through the village of Kabjisa and walk through farmhouses to khamsum Yuelley Namgyel temple which was built by the queen of Bhutan for peace and stability in this ever-changing world. This temple is situated on the hillock overlooking the valley below.
Then travel to Thimphu with lunch enroute. On arrival at Thimphu check into your hotel and after refreshments, visit the following:
The King’s Memorial Chorten where hundreds of Bhutanese throng the place with spinning prayer wheels and murmuring mantars.
Tashichhodzong, 'Fortress of the Glorious Dharma'. It is the centre of government and religion, seat of Je Khenpo or Chief Abbot and King's throne room. Built in 1641 by the political and religious unifier of Bhutan, Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, it was reconstructed in 1961 in traditional Bhutanese manner, without nails or architectural plans.
Overnight at hotel in Thimphu.
After breakfast travel to Haa valley( the valley of Guardian Spirit) through the stretch of villages of Dogakha, Susuna and Jabana visiting typical Bhutanese farmhouses along the way and you will see farmers working in their farms. Drive further onto Haa Valley. After lunch at Haa valley, explore the valley and then travel to Paro valley via Chelela pass ( 3810 m). On a clear day you will see Himalayan mountain peaks from Chilela pass. Then drive onto Paro valley.
Overnight at a hotel in Paro.
After breakfast, drive to Taktsang Goempa base at Paro. Hike up to Taktsang Monastery, also known as ‘Tiger’s Nest’.
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.
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. 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.
On the way, visit Kichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples built in the 7th century by the Tibetan King Songsten Gampo. It is one of the most sacred shrines in the country reflecting the introduction of Buddhism in Bhutan. 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, Kichu Lhakhang was built on her left foot to pin her down.
In the evening relax and overnight at hotel in Paro.
After early breakfast in the hotel, drive to the airport for flight to onward destination.
Lower Motithang Thimphu, Thimphu, Bhutan - 11001
Paro - Thimphu
Paro - Thimphu - Taktsang Tour - 5 D / 4 N
Paro - Thimphu - Taktsang - Goempa
Thimphu - Punakha Tour - 6 D / 5 N
Paro - Thimphu - Wangdue - Punakha - Taktsang - Goempa
Punakha - Bumthang Tour - 8 D / 7 N
Paro - Punakha - Bumthang - Trongsa - Thimphu - Taktsang Goempa
Phobjikha - Bumthang Tour - 10 D / 9 N
Paro - Thimphu - Punakha - Gangtey - Bumthang - Taktsang Goempa