4 NIGHTS 5 DAYS- BHUTAN SPLENDOR
Day 01:Arrive Paro, Paro – Thimphu (1 ½ hr drive)
In clear weather, Druk Air’s flight to Bhutan provides a wonderful view of Himalayan scenery. Whether flying along the Himalayan range from Kathmandu or over the foothills from Kolkata, it is a breathtaking journey, culminating in an exciting descent past forested hills into the kingdom.
On arrival at Paro airport and after completing your Bhutan visa formalities, you will be met by a representative from Bhutan All Travels. Travel to Thimphu, the modern capital town of Bhutan. Check into hotel. Travel to see the Takin Zoo, which houses the national animal the Takin that is only found in Bhutan.Then drive further up to Sangaygang to enjoy the bird’s eye view of Thimphu valley.
Evening free after dinner. Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.
Day 02:Thimphu – Punakha (2 ½ hr drive)
Thimphu, perhaps the most unusual capital city in the world, is the seat of government. This bustling town is home to Bhutan’s royal family, the civil service, and foreign missions with representation in Bhutan. It is also the headquarters for a number of internationally funded development projects. Thimphu Sightseeing includes visits to the following:
Tashichhodzong, the main secretariat building which houses the throne room of His Majesty, the King. Tashichhodzong is also the summer residence of the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot) and the central monk body.
The National Library, which houses an extensive collection of Buddhist literature, with some works dating back several hundred years.
The Institute for Zorig Chusum (commonly known as the Painting School), where a six year training course is given in the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan.
The National Institute of Traditional Medicine, where the medicinal herbs abundant in the kingdom are compounded and dispensed.
The National Memorial Chorten. The building of this landmark was originally envisaged by Bhutan’s third king, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, who had wanted to erect a monument to world peace and prosperity. Completed in 1974 after his untimely death, it is both a memorial to the Late King (“the father of modern Bhutan”), and a monument to peace.
The government-run Handicrafts Emporium and privately owned crafts shops, which offer a wide range of handcrafted products, including the splendid thangkha paintings and exquisitely woven textiles for which Bhutan is famous.
The Folk Heritage and National Textile Museums, opened in 2001.
In the early evening,travel to Punakha through Dochula Pass(3,088m/10,130ft) . If you have a clear sky, the view of the Himalayan Mountain ranges is spectacular and you can even see the Gasa Dzong as a white dot in the horizon. 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.
Overnight at the hotel in Punakha.
Day 03:Punakha – Wangduephodrang -Thimphu
Punakha served as the capital of Bhutan until 1955, when the seat of government moved to Thimphu. Visit Punakha Town. The Punakha Dzong is situated on the junction of the two rivers the Phochu (male river) and Mochu (female river) and is one of the most spectacular Dzongs in the country.
Although four catastrophic fires and an earthquake in past times destroyed many historic documents, extensive renovation work was undertaken on Punakha Dzong itself, which is now a breathtaking and glorious sight as you first glimpse it from the road. Punakha Dzong still houses many sacred and historic artifacts and also the embalmed body of Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal .
Visit the Punakha Dzong and later drive to Wangduephodrang, the last town on the highway before entering central Bhutan. Situated on a ridge overlooking a river junction, the formidable Wangduephodrang Dzong is the town’s most visible feature. In the 17th century, Wangdue played a critical role in unifying the western, central and southern regions of the country. Also visit the local market.
After lunch travel back to Thimphu, visiting Simtokha Dzong en route. This dzong, built in 1627, is the oldest in Bhutan. It now houses the Institute for Language and Culture Studies.
Then drive to the town to take a stroll around Thimphu town, do shopping. Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.
Day 04:Thimphu-Paro, Paro Sightseeing
After breakfast, travel to Paro.The valley of Paro contains a wealth of attractions. Visit Ta Dzong, it was once a watchtower, built to defend Rinpung Dzong during inter-valley wars of the 17th century, Ta Dzong was inaugurated as Bhutan’s National Museum in 1968. Afterwards, walk down a hillside trail to visit Rinpung Dzong, which has a long and fascinating history.Then walk further down to Rimpung Dzong Bridge, one of the oldest bridges in Bhutan.
After lunch, drive up the valley to view the ruins of Drukgyel Dzong, 18 km. from Paro town on the north side of the valley. It was from here that the Bhutanese repelled several invading Tibetan armies during the 17th century. Also visit Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest and most sacred shrines of the kingdom.
In the evening, visit a traditional farm house for an opportunity to interact with a local family and learn something of their lifestyle. Later on, take an evening stroll along the main street, and perhaps visit a few handicrafts shops, or take refreshments at a local café or bar. Overnight at hotel in Paro.
Day 05:Departure from Paro
In the morning,your Bhutan tour guide from Access Bhutan Tours ( Bhutan travel agent) will see you off at the Paro airport for your onward flight.