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Itineraries

Day 1

KTM Paro (by Druk Air) Paro valley sightseeing

The flight into Paro on our national carrier, Druk Air, is a befitting introduction to the spectacular beauty of our country. In clear weather, magnificent views of the world s highest peaks give way to the lush green Paro valley as you land. The first gift from Bhutan will be the cool, clean fresh air as you step out of the plane. After clearing customs and visa control you are met by your guide and transferred to your hotel to settle in. Paro is a picturesque valley with quaint clusters of hamlets amid terraced paddy fields. Although the site of the nation s first airport Paro still retains tradition by way of architecture and farming. Lunch will be served at your hotel. After lunch drive to visit Paro Ta dzong, an ancient watch tower, which now houses the National Museum. This dzong was converted into the National Museum in 1968. The museum boasts antique thangka, textiles, weapons and armour, household objects and rich assortment of natural and historic artifacts. We also visit the Rinpung Dzong, built in 17th century to defend the valley against Tibetan invaders. The dzong is now used as an administration centre and school for monks. Evening ends with a walk through Paro s main shopping district. Overnight Hotel.

Day 2

Paro valley sightseeing hike to Taktsang

After breakfast a short drive will take you to the ground floor of Taktsang Monastery from where we will hike up to the Taktsang monastery (Tiger s nest). The hike up to the cafeteria will take around one and half hour. At the view point enjoy the stunning view of the monastery, where Guru Padmasambhava landed on the back of a tigress in the 8th century and lunch will be served at the view point cafeteria and then walk back to the road point and visit Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest temples in Bhutan. Dinner at Dechen resort. Overnight at Hotel

Day 3

Paro Thimphu

Early morning (4 am) drive to Chelila to see the sunrise on the Himalayan Ranges and then drive back to your hotel for your breakfast. After breakfast, rest for a while and then drive towards the north of Paro valley to visit the ruins of the Drukgyal Dzong 16 km up the valley. Built in 1647 by the great Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, father and unifier of medieval Bhutan, the dzong was destroyed by accidental fire and left in ruins as an evocative reminder of the great victories it was built to commemorate. Explore the ramparts and on a clear day experience an unforgettable view of Mt. Jhomolhari (7,314 m) and then drive to Paro town for lunch. After lunch drive to Thimphu. Check In at hotel Riverview and dinner will be served at Bhutan kitchen.

Day 4

Thimphu valley sightseeing

In the morning drive towards Sangeygang (radio tower) in order to get the beautiful view of Thimphu valley at the down floor. Then drive to the main street of Thimphu and visit Textile Museum where the art of traditional weaving is still kept alive and preserved through exhibition and has a good collection of old textiles which are rich in its color and design. Also visit the Handicrafts Emporium, which has all types of Bhutanese handicrafts and shopping for souvenirs in the shops of Thimphu. Lunch served at a restaurant in Thimphu. After lunch visit the Folk Heritage Museum, which is dedicated to connecting people to the Bhutanese rural past through exhibition of items and artifacts used in rural households and finally we visit the National Library, stocked with priceless ancient Buddhist manuscripts. Dinner served at Bhutan Kitchen. Overnight at hotel.

Day 5

Thimphu Hike to Tango Monastery

After breakfast drive towards the north of Thimphu valley and you will be able to get the glimpses of Dechhenchholing palace amid the forest of pine trees. We continue our drive further on till we reach at the base of Tango Monastery. From here we hike for 2 hours to reach the top and visit the tango Monastery which was founded in the 13th century. After visiting the monastery we walk back at the ground floor where our lunch will be served. After lunch drive back to Thimphu. Afternoon take a walk in the Thimphu valley. Overnight at hotel.

Day 6

Thimphu Punakha

In the morning take a walk around the corner of the hotel to visit the Bhutanese Hand made paper where the paper is being developed from the bark of a tree. From the paper factory we drive to visit the office of the Liasion Office of Denmark. Then we drive back to the hotel for lunch. After lunch we depart to Punakha, leaving Thimphu the road climbs steeply through a forest of pine and cedar, festooned with hanging lichen high up near Dochola pass (3050 m). This pass often offers panoramic views of the Himalayan mountain ranges. After stopping for tea and the view, we descend along a series of hairpin bends to the fertile valley of Punakha.Dinner and overnight at hotel.

Day 7

Punakha Trongsa

In the morning visit Punakha dzong, winter seat of the Je Khenpo and ancient capital of Bhutan, remarkably located between the rivers of the Mo (Female) Chu and Pho (Male) Chu. The dzong is open to visitors only in summer when the Je Khenpo and the Monk Body are in Thimphu. We continue our drive to Trongsa via Wangdue is approximately 5 and half hours crossing over Pele La pass (3,300 m)."The Central Road", across the Black Mountains, was completed 30 years ago, and it brought about great changes to the people in central Bhutan. We pass Wangdue, one of the major towns and district headquarters of Western Bhutan. We then climb steadily passing through semi-tropical vegetation and then to Pelela Pass (3,300 m) with an alpine environment of rhododendrons and dwarf bamboo. This pass is traditionally considered the boundary between West and East Bhutan. If the weather is clear the Himalayan ranges can be seen, particularly the peak of Jhomulhari (7,314 m) to the west. En route we cross Chendebji Chorten built many centuries ago to suppress a demon. Picnic lunch will be served at one of the many inviting spots. After lunch continue your drive to Trongsa. Overnight at hotel.

Day 8

Trongsa Bumthang

After breakfast go out to view the impressive Trongsa Dzong, ancestral home of the ruling dynasty. In olden days the dzong commanded the passage between East and West Bhutan. We also visit the Ta dzong, an ancient watchtower, above the main Dzong, which has an interesting display of Mongol armour. We then drive to Bumthang valley (described as one of the most beautiful spot in the Himalayas! across the Yotongla pass (3,400 m). Check in at Rinchenling lodge and lunch will be served. Afternoon at leisure. Overnight at Hotel

Day 9

Bumthang valley sightseeing

Today we visit Tamshing Monastery (one of the oldest monastic schools built by Terton Pema Lingpa) and Kurjey Lhakhang (where the Guru Rinpoche subdued a local demon and left his body imprint on a rock). We also visit Jambay Lhakhang (one of the oldest temple in Bhutan built in 7th century) and Jakar Dzong (seat of the district administration). Overnight at Hotel.

Day 10

Bumthang Gangtey Wangdue

Today after breakfast we drive back to Wangdue via Gangtey which will take around 6 hours. After crossing the Pelela pass there is a road diversion towards the left into the beautiful valley of Gangtey. Gangtey lies towards the east of Punakha and Wangdue on the flanks of the Black Mountains. There is an old monastery of Gangtey Gompa dating back to the 17th century. A few kilometers past the Gompa on the valley floor are the fascinating valley of Phobjikha. The gentle sloping hill sides of Phobjikha is described as "the most beautiful valley in the Himalayas". This is the winter home of black-necked cranes that migrate from the arid plains in the north to pass winter in milder and lower climate. We continue our drive till we reach Chhuzomsa. Dinner and overnight at Hotel.

Day 11

Wangdue Thimphu - Paro

After breakfast we drive Wangdue, where we make a short stop to view the Wangdue Phodrang Dzong dramatically located on the spur of a hill at the confluence of the Tsang Chu and Dang Chu rivers. Then we continue our drive to Thimphu and lunch served at Dochola cafeteria. Afternoon at leisure for shopping in Thimphu and late afternoon drive to Paro. Overnight at hotel.

Day 12

Paro - Kathmandu

In the morning your Bhutanese escort will bid you farewell at Paro airport. Good-bye and happy journey back home.

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