- This is one of the most popular tour in the country. In this tour, you will arrive by air at the dramatic mountain-bound Paro valley. Western Bhutan is heartland of the Bhutanese people and is home to the major airport, the capital, the most popular festivals and the most spectacular dzongs (fort-monastery) in the kingdom. Whether it's the beginning of your trip or the only part of Bhutan that you will explore, the west is a spectacular introduction to this magical kingdom.
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Best Bhutan By Triip Triip.me
This is one of the most popular tour in the country. In this tour, you will arrive by air at the dramatic mountain-bound Paro valley. Western Bhutan is heartland of the Bhutanese people and is home to the major airport, the capital, the most popular festivals and the most spectacular dzongs (fort-monastery) in the kingdom. Whether it's the beginning of your trip or the only part of Bhutan that you will explore, the west is a spectacular introduction to this magical kingdom.
DAY 1: ARRIVE IN PARO / THIMPHU
Upon arrival, your tour executive from We welcomes you at the airport and transfers you to Thimphu (1.5h drive).
The drive follows Pa Chhu downstream until Chuzom where the two rivers meet, and here you can see the three different styles of stupas or chortens commonly found in Bhutan: Nepalese, Tibetan and Bhutanese. The chortens are Buddhist reliquaries, memorials to the teachings of the Buddha. Sometimes actual relics of the Buddha or revered monks are inserted into the dome of the stupa, and the stupas mark the landscape with reminders of the Buddha’s teachings.
Arrive in Thimphu. Check in hotel, have lunch and take a short rest.
* Bhudha Point – In the afternoon visit the world’s largest sitting Buddha, an immense statue housing a monastery and visitors center. Enjoy a stunning view of Thimphu city from this point.
* Memorial Thimphu Chorten: This stupa was built in 1974 to honor the 3rd King of Bhutan, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. This religious structure, circumambulate only in a clockwise direction (reciting prayers and whirling the large red prayer wheels).
* Tashichho Dzong (Thimphu Dzong), This is the main Secretariat Building, where the government ministries, the office of His Majesty the King, the Throne Room, the offices and living quarters of the monk body and its Chief Abbot are housed. The massive fortress, whose name translates as the fortress of glorious religion, was initially a smaller structure but took the present form after expansion/reconstruction commissioned by Late Majesty King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck in 1965. It is also the summer residence of Chief Abbot.
* If time permits, visit Changangkha Lhakhang – It is a fortress like temple and monastic school perched on a ridge above Thimphu, south of Motithang. The temple was established in 12th century on a site chosen by Lama Phajo Drugom Shigpo, who came from Tibet. The central statue here is Chenrezig in a manifestation with 11 heads. From temple courtyard, there is fascinating view of Thimphu valley.
Your dinner will be served with the first taste of Bhutanese cuisine.Overnight in Thimphu: Namgay Heritage Hotel / Thimphu Tower
DAY 2: THIMPHU - PUNAKHA
Punakha Altitude: 1300m/4265ft. Punakha served as the capital of Bhutan during the time of Zhabdrun Ngawang Namkgyal, the founder of Bhutan. Today it is the administrative and religious center of the district and the winter home of Bhutan’s Central Monk Body.
Start your morning by enjoying and taking pictures of the Dochula Pass (3150m/10,000ft) with its panoramic views of the Himalayas. The pass is decorated with 108 Druk Wangyel Chorten, which were built to celebrate the stability and progress, brought to Bhutan by His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck, the Fourth King.
Visit the following places in Punakha:
- Chimmi Lhakhang Hike: take a 45 min hike round trip through the rice field to Chimmi Lhakhang, the 15th-century monastery built by Lam Ngawang Chogyal on the spot where his cousin Lam Drukpa Kuenley (popularly known as “the Divine Madman”) subdued a powerful demon. This monastery is also referred to as the “Abode of Fertility” and believed that any couple who gets blessing from this temple is blessed with a child in the next year or so. Time: 2 hours round trip hike
- Punakha’s Dzong – The name means Palace of Great Bliss. This dzong stands magnificently on the spit of land where two rivers (Pho chu and Mo chu) meet. Punakha Dzong has special significance in Bhutanese history as the place where Bhutan’s first King, Ugyen Wangchuck, was crowned in 1907. It is also the winter residence for the Je Khenpo (spiritual leader) and the entire central monk body.
- Punakha suspension bridge – this is an exciting bridge for photography enthusiasts.
Overnight in Punakha: Drubbchu Resort
DAY 3: PUNAKHA / WANGDUE VALLEY
Visit the following places:
- Khamsum Yulley Temple Hike (45mins – 1hr) – Khamsum Yuelley Namgyel Chorten is 30 meters (100 feet) tall and can be seen in the distance when driving or walking up from the footbridge towards the lodge. The three-leveled chorten took eight and a half years to build and was consecrated in 1999. It is dedicated to the 5th King and serves to protect him as well as the country. It is therefore filled with every form of colorful protector imaginable.
- Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Lhakhang Nunnery – Perched on a ridge amid pine trees and overlooking valleys of Punakha and Wangduephodrang, gleams the magnificent structures of Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Lhakhang(Temple). The temple houses a 14-foot main bronze statue of Avalokiteshvara (Chenrigzig chagtong chentong). Other statues include those of Guru Padmasambawa, Gautama Buddha, Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel, Tsela Namsum, the 21 Taras and Tsepamay (Buddha of longevity). The Avalokiteshvara statue, one of the biggest in the country, was the handiwork of entirely local Bhutanese artisans.The temple complex also houses a permanent higher learning and meditation centre for nuns where, apart from religious trainings, it provides life skill training such as tailoring, embroidery, statue making and thangka painting.
- Nalanda Buddhist College – Locals call this place ‘Dalayna’ while the monks refer it as ‘Nalanda Buddhist College’. Drive here in the afternoon and enjoy your evening tea supplemented by the ravishing view in front, along with interaction with local monks.
Talo Village – The village of Talo (alt. 2,800m) which is scattered along the hill slopes, known for its cleanliness and hygiene among Punakha villages. Talo Sangnacholing is built on a plateau and has majestic view of surrounding villages. The women of Talo are particular known for their beauty.
Farm House (traditional village house) in Talo – visit a traditional farm house for an experience of an authentic Bhutanese lifestyle and local hospitality.
Overnight in Punakha: Drubbchu Resort
Day 4: PUNAKHA - PARO (4 – 5 hours drive)
Drive to Paro after breakfast taking the same route crossing Dochula Pass. Stop at Thimphu for Lunch. Then visit the following places in Paro:
National Museum – Ta Dzong (the watchtower) was built in the 17th century to guard the Paro Rimpong dzong (fortress) below. It offers great views of Paro Rinpung Dzong and Paro valley. It was said that the future first king was kept in this tower as a prisoner for a week. It was the third king who restored the Ta-dzong and converted it into the National Museum. The visit to the museum will familiarize you with the Bhutanese way of life and will also acquaint you with the natural and cultural history.
Continue visit Paro Rimpung Dzong - regal and imposing, dzongs are arguably among the most distinctive and important structures in Bhutan. This Dzong is the headquarters of the Paro district, housing the head administrator and staff, as well as a monastic body with about 200 monks. A quick descent takes us to covered cantilever bridge marked with giant chortens built in 1980’s by Royal Grandmother in memory of late majesty (3rd King).
From the dzong, hike down to the bridge and then take a short drive for an opportunity to explore the town of Paro.
Before returning to the hotel, visit Kyichu Lhakhang. It is one of the oldest and most sacred shrines of the Kingdom dating back to 7th century (the other is Jambey Lhakahng in Bumthang). The lhakhang complex is composed of two temples. The first temple was built by Tibetan King, Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century and in 1968, H.M. Ashi Kesang, the Queen Mother of Bhutan, built the second temple in original pattern.
DAY 5: HIKE TO TAKTSHANG MONASTERY (Tiger’s Nest)
After a refreshment stop at a cafeteria on the way, you will continue for a short distance until you see, across a deep chasm but clearly and seemingly within reach, the Taktsang Monastery.
Built in 1600s, this incredible monastery clings to the edge of a sheer rock cliff that plunges 900 meters into the valley below. History states that Guru Padmasambhava, the Tantric mystic who brought Buddhism to Bhutan, landed here on the back of a flying tiger.
After reaching the basement around 3 or 4pm, drive back to town. You have free time on your own to walk along the street to see the people, the local stores to do some souvenir shopping.
DAY 6: PARO / DEPARTURE
After breakfast in the hotel, your tour executive will transfer you to the airport on time to catch your onward flight. Your escort from us bids you farewell.
End of services. Tashi Delek !!!
Thanks so much and we hope to see you in Bhutan soon!
- Tuyet Nguyen(17/12/2016)
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