Day 01:Arrive Paro
Fly into Paro by Druk Air, Royal Bhutan Airline. The great snowcapped peaks of the inner Himalayas rise up to the heavens can be seen during clear weather. As the plane approaches Bhutan, if you look down farmhouses as dots on the hillsides can be seen.
“As the aircraft enters the Paro valley, you will see Paro Dzong on the hillside overlooking the Paro Chu (river), with Ta Dzong, formerly a watchtower and now the National Museum, above it.”
A representative from Bhutan All Travels, who will be with you throughout your visit, will be waiting for you at Paro airport. After completion of airport formalities, you will drive through the lovely Paro valley to your hotel.
After lunch, drive to Drukgyel Dzong, a ruined fortress where Bhutanese warriors fought off Tibetan invaders centuries ago. The snowy dome of sacred Jhomolhari, “mountain goddess” can be seen in all her glory from the approach road to the Dzong. Along the way, see the 7th century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples built in the Himalayas by the Tibetan king, Songtsen Gampo. The building of this temple marks the introduction of Buddhism in Bhutan
In the evening stroll around the Paro town, free mingle with people and do shopping. Dinner and overnight at hotel in Paro
Day 02:Paro – Thimphu
After break fast visit Ta Dzong, originally built as a watchtower, which now houses Bhutan’s National Museum. The extensive collection includes antique thangkha paintings, textiles, weapons & armor, household objects and a rich assortment of natural and historic artifacts.
Then walk down the trail to visit Rinpung Dzong (“fortress of the heap of jewels”), which has a long and fascinating history. Walk down to Rimpung Bridge ( Traditonal Bridge), oldest bridge in Bhutan.
Finally, travel to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. The road runs down through the Paro valley, to Chuzom (Confluence) at the entrance to the valley, where the Paro and Thimphu rivers meet. Three chortens on the riverbank at this place, each in a different style, mark the confluence of the two rivers. The road passes along a narrow valley with high, rocky cliffs on the left, and then the valley opens out into farmland on the approach to Thimphu. Simtokha Dzong, “the place of profound tantric teaching”, stands sentinel on a hillock a few kilometers out of town. This dzong now houses the Institute for Language and Culture Studies.
On arrival at Thimphu, check into the hotel. After lunch, sightseeing in Thimphu valley, includes visits to the following:
- The National Library, housing an extensive collection of priceless Buddhist manuscripts.
- The National Institute of Traditional Medicine (outside only), where Bhutan’s famed traditional herbal medicines are compounded and dispensed
- The Institute for Zorig Chusum (commonly known as the Painting School) where students undergo a 6-year training course in Bhutan’s 13 traditional arts and crafts.
- If the time permits, visit Tashichhodzong, “the fortress of the glorious religion”. This is the center of government and religion, site of the monarch’s throne room and seat of the Je Khenpo or Chief Abbot. Built in 1641 by the political and religious unifier of Bhutan, Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, it was reconstructed in the 1960s in traditional Bhutanese manner, without nails or architectural plans.
- visit the National Memorial Chorten, continuously circumambulated by the faithful, murmuring mantras and spinning their prayer wheels. Construction of this landmark was the idea of Bhutan’s third king, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck (“the father of modern Bhutan”) who had wished to erect a monument to world peace and prosperity. Completed in 1974 after his untimely death, it serves both as a memorial to the Late King and as a monument to peace.
- Early evening, drive to sangay gang to get a bird’s eye view of the Thimphu valley. On the way, visit Takin Reserve (National Animal). Then in the late evening stroll around town before dinner.
Day 03:Thimphu Tour and Short Hike to Tango Monastery
After breakfast, travel to base of Tango Monastery ( 30 minutes drive) and hike up to it. Tango Monastery was built in 15th century. The hike up will take approximately 45 minutes. The view from Tango Monastery is breathtaking. travel back to Thimphu. Then, visit the government-run Handicrafts Emporium and local crafts shops, to browse through examples of Bhutan’s fine traditional arts. Here you can buy hand-woven textiles, thangkha paintings, masks, ceramics, slate and woodcarvings, jewelries, and other interesting items made from local materials.In the evening, travel to Paro for overnight stay in hotel in Paro.
Day 04:Departure from Paro
Access Bhutan Tours will escort you till the Paro airport for your onward journey.