Arrive Paro - Transfer Thimphu
The flight to Paro is one of the most spectacular mountain flights in the world, with a constantly changing panorama of some of the highest mountains on earth. Our representative will meet you at Paro airport exit doors following customs formalities.rnrnAfter lunch enjoy afternoon sightseeing around Paro, including a visit to the Ta Dzong Museum housing many religious relics, works of art and handicrafts offering a great orientation into Bhutan’s historical, cultural, and religious past. Next, visit the Rimpong Dzong to see the painting of the great saint Milarepa, considered as the master of meditation by the Bhutanese and believed to have attained enlightenment in a lifetime. Dzong’s are large monasteries and district administrative centers, which were once strategic forts.rnrnAfterwards, drive to the capital, Thimphu (1.5 hours) following the Pachu River. Before dinner at the hotel there will be an orientation on Bhutanese etiquette by your guide. Overnight at your hotel in Thimphu.
Begin your day with a visit the handmade paper factory. Paper has been made in the Himalayas from a long period of time, traditionally to supply the Buddhist monasteries with paper for woodblock and manuscript books. The most common and popular papers of Bhutan are made from the bark of the de-nar plant, a variety of Daphne. It is a dark woody paper fiber found only in Bhutan. Bhutanese Handmade Paper is made without environmental damage to the land.rnrnIf your visit to Thimphu coincides with the weekend, you can walk through the Thimphu Market to see the variety of food of Bhutan, including basket upon basket of fiery chillies, fresh cheese and a variety of fresh greens. In addition, many stalls contain Bhutanese handicrafts and household items. (This market is open only from Friday until mid Sunday). Later visit the Folk Heritage Museum featuring an exhibition of items and artifacts of Bhutanese villages and rural households. The museum also organizes demonstrations of rural traditions, skills, habits and customs, educational programs for children and research and documentation on rural life of Bhutan.rnrnIn the evening, your guide will demonstrate how to wear our national costumes (gho for men and Kira for women). It is an opportunity for the clients to try our national dress. Overnight at your hotel in Thimphu.
Thimphu - Phobjikha Valley
Transfer to Phobjikha Valley (5.5-6 hrs). Drive over the Dochu-La pass (3,100 meters) which on a clear day offers an incredible view of Himalayan peaks before descending into balmy Punakha valley (about 3 hrs total driving time). The drive through the countryside affords a glimpse of everyday life in this most remote of Himalayan kingdoms.rnrnContinue on through the bustling market town of Wangduephodrang, and up winding mountain roads through mixed forests and over high passes before descending down into the wide and picturesque Phobjikha Valley. Phobjikha is one of Bhutan’s few glacial valleys, and chosen winter home of black necked cranes (November – March) migrating from the Tibetan plateau.rnrnOvernight in Phobjikha Valley.
Phobijakha Valley - Bumthang
Following breakfast visit the Phobjikha Sanctuary to view the majestic black necked cranes (Nov-Mar only) and Gangtey Gompa (Monastery), dating back to the 16th century. Afterwards drive by luxury 4WD over the Pele La pass (3,420m) on the Black Mountain range towards Trongsa (4.5 hrs). Enroute visit the beautiful 18th century Chendebji Chorten. Trongsa is the ancestral home of Bhutan’s ruling dynasty. Visit Trongsa Dzong, thernrnlargest Dzong in Bhutan and the Ta Dzong museum housing a collection of historical artifacts of the Royal Family.rnrnContinue driving towards Bumthang (2.5 hrs), the spiritual of the kingdom. Bumthang is home to some of Bhutan’s oldest Palaces, Buddhist temples and monasteries.rnrnOn arrival enjoy an optional Spa Treatment before dinner. Overnight in Bumthang.
In the morning visit Kurjey Lhakhang, one of the most sacred places in the kingdom where Bhutan’s patron saint Guru Rimpoche meditated and 7th century Jambay Lhakhang. It dates back to the origins of Buddhism in Bhutan and is one of the Kingdoms oldest temples.rnrnAfter lunch continue sightseeing including Jakar Dzong and Tamshing Lhakhang, founded in 1501 by Pemalingpa and containing interesting and ancient Buddhist wall paintings. Overnight in Bumthang.
Bumthang - Punakha
Depart for Punakha stopping along the way at Trongsa for lunch.rnrnOvernight in Punakha.