Day 01 : Arrive Paro by Druk Air – Thimphu (1hr. 30mins. drive)
On clear day, Druk Air’s flight to Bhutan provides a wonderful view of the mighty Himalaya. Whether flying along the Himalayan range from Kathmandu or over the foothills from Kolkata, it is a fascinating journey, culminating in an exciting descent over forested hills into the kingdom. On arrival at Paro airport, you will be met by our representative after completion of airport formalities. Drive to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan, along the winding highway passing interesting temples and traditional houses among paddy fields.
In the evening, visit Tashichoe Dzong, the beautiful medieval fortress with government offices and His Majesty the King’s Throne Room along with a beautiful temple inside. It is also the summer residence of the Je Khenpo, the Chief Abbot of the monastic body. The Dzong offers a great deal of monks wondering in the courtyard of Dzong.
Evening at leisure
Recommended free time activity:
Take a walk in town.
Visit ambient coffee (walking distance from hotel)
Visit DSB book shop (walking distance from hotel)
Witness local folks playing archery (national sports)
Overnight and dinner at the hotel in Thimphu.
Day 02 : Thimphu – Paro (55 km, 1 hr. 30mins. drive)
Thimphu is the seat of government and perhaps, one of the most unique cities in the world owing to its blend of the traditional and modern. This bustling city is home to Bhutan’s Royal family, the civil servants and international development and diplomatic representatives in Bhutan. It is the most populated city in the country.
Visit Buddha Point located atop a hill in Kuenselphodrang Nature Park overlooking the southern entrance to the Thimphu Valley. This massive statue of Buddha is 51.5 m tall, making it one of the largest statues of Buddha in the world. The statue is made of bronze and is gilded in gold. 125,000 smaller Buddha statues have been placed within the Buddha statue- 100,000 statues of 8 inches and 25,000 statues of 12 inches. Each of these Buddha have also been cast in bronze and gilded. The throne that the Buddha sits upon is a large meditation hall.
Visit the National Memorial Chorten. The building of this landmark was envisaged by Bhutan’s third King, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuk (“the Father of modern Bhutan”) who wished to erect a monument to promote 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. It has now become a vibrant center of spiritual practice and religious events. This site delivers a great opportunity to take photos of elderly local folks and to intermingle with them.
Drive back to Paro for lunch in a local restaurant.
Visit Ta Dzong, once a watchtower, built to defend Rinpung Dzong during inter-valley wars of the 17th century. It was inaugurated as Bhutan’s National Museum in 1967 to preserve art and artifacts from different periods of time. It also has on display a fascinating collection of art, artifacts, thangkha paintings and general history of Bhutan.
Next, visit Rinpung Dzong (fortress on heap of jewels) located at a ridge overlooking Paro valley. The Dzong has a long and fascinating history from 1600s. The first National Assembly of Bhutan was held here. The Dzong offers the sight of 100s of monks wondering in the courtyard of Dzong. After Paro Dzong take a short walk down for 15-20mins till you reach a beautiful traditional cantilevered bridge (photo opportunity as you walk down the way)
Leisure time in Paro town.
Recommended free activity:
Walk along old Paro Street.
Visit stamp shop and Bhutanese traditional music CD shop at old market.
Check in to the hotel. (Your guide will do a detail orientation and preparation for the hike to Tiger nest for next day, while having welcome time in hotel)
Overnight and dinner in a hotel at Paro
Day 03 : Paro- Tigernest, Paro
Day 03.Paro- Tigernest, Paro
Early start is recommended (summer 7am, winter7:30)
After an early breakfast drive north of Paro valley and take a 5-6 hours excursion to Taktsang Monastery, the most famous of all Bhutanese monasteries. It is said that Guru Rinpoche arrived here on the back of a tigress from Tibet. He meditated in the cave and emerged in eight incarnated forms and thus, the site became holy. Subsequently, the place came to be known as the “Tiger’s Nest”. (Your guide will decide on lunch place depending on time)The journey to Tigernest is known for its hiking path through pristine environment delivering views of Paro valley and the famous Tigernest at many spots.
After Tiger nest visit a Traditional farm house where you get the opportunity see interior part of a farm house and also to sit with local family and know about real story translated by your guide or directly from family(depends if someone from family speaks English).As you hear the story, you also get to try local tea(salted cow butter tea) and local alcohol(Ara from fermented rice or wheat).The main goal of this visit is to see traditional house and hear on Bhutanese way of life as farmer.
Optional sights if time permits. Visit Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest and most sacred shrines in the Kingdom.
Day 04 : Paro – depart to onward destination
After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to the airport for final departure.