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 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 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.
Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
After breakfast, begin the drive to Thimphu. This route will take you through Chunzom (confluence of Pachu- the river flowing through Paro and Wangchu - the river flowing through Thimphu valley). On the way, stop to visit Tachog Lhakhang. This is the 14th Century old temple located on the base of a mountain across the Pa chu on the Paro-Thimphu highway and is a must visit temple in Paro valley. Built by the great master architect Thangtong Gyalpo, the temple houses some unique statues. To get to the temple one have to actually walk over the 14th Century old iron chains that spans over the Paro river.
On arrival at Thimphu check-in to your hotel.
After refreshment, start the Thimphu sightseeing which includes the following:
King's Memorial Chorten, where hundreds of Bhutanese throng the place with spinning prayer wheels and murmuring mantars.
National Textile Museum which is a good place to see the art of traditional weaving being kept alive and preserved through exhibition and has a good collection of old textiles which are rich in colors and designs.You will also see people weaving with intricate designs.
Folk Heritage Museum which provides visitors and tourists with fascinating insights into the Bhutanese material culture and way of life.
National Institute of Traditional Medicine (outside only), where medicinal herbs are compounded and dispensed, and traditional medical practitioners trained.
Traditional Painting School where students undertake a six-year course on the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan.
Tashichhodzong, a fortress of the glorious religion. It was built in 1641 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel and was reconstructed into present structure by the late King, His majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck in the year 1962-1969. It houses the secretariat building, the throne room and the office of the king, and the central monk body.
Takin Preserve, which houses the national animal the Takin that is only found in Bhutan. This is an extremely rare member of the goat family. Found in herds in the very high altitudes (13,125ft and over). They live on a diet of grass and bamboo. It can weigh as much as 550 pounds.
Kuenselphodrang where the Bhutan’s largest Buddha statue is perched on the hillock overlooking the entire Thimphu valley below and the view from there is magnificent.
Craft Bazaar where craftsmen and artisans from across the country display and sell their handicrafts.
Centenary Farmers’ Market (open from Thu-Sun only): Most of the Thimphu population and many valley dwellers converge on the bustling weekend market, held by the side of Wangchu River. A wide range of foodstuffs and local arts and crafts are sold at the market, which runs from Friday afternoon till Sunday evening. A visit to the market provides great photo opportunities, as well as the chance to mingle with local people and perhaps buy souvenirs.
Overnight at a hotel in Thimphu.
The journey from Thimphu to Punakha passes through Dochula Pass (3,088m/10,130ft). In the clear sky one can enjoy the panoramic view of the Himalayan mountain ranges.
At Dochula visit the beautiful 108 Chortens and Druk Wangyal Lhakhang built on the hilltop (temple)
On arrival at Punakha check-in to your hotel.
Afternoon visit Punakha Dzong which is located on the island of the PhoChu (male river) and the Mochu (female river). The Dzong was built in 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to serve as the religious and administrative seat of the region. It was here that the dual system of government was introduced in the 17th century and in 1907, enthroned the first King Gongsar Ugyen Wangchuck. Damaged over the centuries by four catastrophic fires and an earthquake, the Dzong has been fully restored in the recent years by the 4th King Jigme Singye Wangchuck. At the Dzong, one can see the highest standards of wood works in Bhutan.
Then drive through upper Punakha valley passing through farm houses and take a short hike through farmhouses to the beautiful Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Lhakhang (temple built by the Queen Mother of Bhutan for peace and stability in this ever-changing world). This temple is situated on the hilltop overlooking the valley below. The leisurely walk up to the temple would take about 1 hour. Visit the temple and also enjoy the breath-taking view from there.
Overnight stay at Punakha.
Today we continue the tour towards central Bhutan passing by the Wangdue Phodrang.
En-route visit Chhimi Lhakhang, also known as the Divine Madman’s Monastery. It is famously known for its fertility shrine, where it is believed that one can receive a special fertility blessing.
In the mountains east of Wangdue Phodrang lies the beautiful valley of Phobjikha which is famous for its scenic beauty, the 17th Century Gangtey Monastery and as the winter home of black necked cranes, which migrate from the arid plains of Tibet in the north, to pass the winter months in a milder climate.
Afternoon explore the beautiful and quite valleys of Gangtey and Phobjikha.
Overnight halt at Gangtey Guest House.
After breakfast, your tour continues towards central Bhutan which leads you to Bumthang through Trongsa. The journey will take you through dense forests of oak trees and rhododendrons and through the tropical vegetation through the village of Nobding and Pelela Pass (11,000ft). Throughout your trip you will come across the beautiful sceneries of rural Bhutan, with scattered settlements far from the road which makes for good photographing. You will also pass through open meadows, and valley of yak herders and several other villages via Chendebji Chorten (Stupa).
Just before reaching Bumthang you will come across "Yathra" Weaving Center at Zugney and spend some time interacting with the local weavers. Yathra is the name for the colorful, hand-woven woollen cloth (often with geometric designs) that is produced in this region and wool used for this type of textile is sheep wool as the sheep is reared in this Bumthang district. Yatra is made into jackets or bags, etc. On arrival at Bumthang, check into your hotel and after refreshments stroll through Bumthang town.
Overnight at a hotel in Bumthang.
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4 Days / 3 Night
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5 Days / 4 Night
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