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Day 1 Arrival in Paro/Paro Sightseeing
Day 2 Paro to Haa/Haa Sightseeing
Day 3 Haa to Thimphu
Day 4 Thimphu Sightseeing
Day 5 Thimphu to Gangtey
Day 6 Gangtey to Punakha
Day 7 Punakha to Paro
Day 8 Taktsang Hike
Day 9 Departure from Paro
DAY 1 PARO
Arrival in Bhutan’s only International airport. You will experience the freshness of the pristine air with stunning mountains surrounding Paro valley with backdrop of distant Himalayas. You will be received at the gate by Ambrosia Bhutan Travels Representative in a traditional fashion and will be ushered to your hotel in Paro for lunch.
After lunch, you will take a stroll around historic sites of Paro valley. First, visit Ta Dzong which had been an ancient watchtower and now converted to the National Museum. This iconic structure standing on a hilltop houses a collection of ancient Bhutanese art and artifacts, weapons, coins and stamps.
Then take a leisure walk down the hill through a trail that leads you to Rinpung Dzong situated at a commanding height overlooking Paro valley. On the way enjoy the scenic overview of Paro valley with fascinating lush green fields and mountains.
Rinpung Dzong is a ancient fortress built by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1646 to protect the valley from foreign invasions. This dzong now houses Paro’s monk body and the offices of the civil administration and is symbolic as the religious and secular center.
Then take a walk further down and board the vehicle across Pachu (Paro river) after you walk along the traditional cantilever bridge Called Nyimizampa. Then, visit to a 7th century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of 108 lhakhangs constructed by Buddhist Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo. This temple is considered to be very sacred and holds great significance in Bhutanese history.
Overnight in Kichu Resort.
DAY 2 PARO TO HAA
Today, after breakfast, we will drive up the hill towards Haa through Chele La which is a Pass 3988 meters above sea level from there we descend down to the Haa valley. Haa is opened to tourists recently. You will witness the untainted beauty of natural valleys. You will stay in Ugyen’s Farmhouse or in Lechuna Heritage lodge and enjoy the village excursions.
DAY 3 HAA TO THIMPHU
Drive to the capital city of Bhutan, Thimphu from Haa via Chele La and Paro. Drive alongside river Pachu and Wangchu. On the way, we can enjoy awesome sightings of the real Bhutanese landscapes with narrow valleys, mountain ridges and hill slopes.
After a hotel check-in (Wangchuk or Pedling), you may wish to stroll around the town and feel the pleasure of arriving in your Himalayan Home
DAY 4 THIMPHU SIGHTSEEING
Climb a small hill, Kenselphodrang to see 169 feet (51.4 meters) tall statue of Shakyamuni Buddha called the Dordenma. Although this bronze statue gilded in gold is still under construction, it is open to tourists and safe to visit. On return, you will enjoy taking pictures of spectacular Thimphu valley with a panoramic view of the city.
Then visit the school for Bhutanese traditional arts and crafts the Institute of Zorig Chusum (the 13 crafts) to see trainees in their work. Drop in to Zilukha Nunnery to meet Bhutanese anims (nuns) and understand about their daily lives. Next, visit a Park in Motithang to see the national animal of Bhutan Takin which is supposed to be found only in eastern Himalayas. Further, drive up the hill to BBS tower (Sangaygang) to enjoy the bird’s eye view of Thimphu valley.
Next, stop at a 12th century monastery called Changangkha Lhakhang believed to be the residence of the protective deity Tamdrin. All new born babies get their names from here.
Visit to National Memorial Chorten (temple) built in memory of our third king of Bhutan who passed away in 1972. Enjoy the scene of locals circumambulating the chorten religiously and have a look at intricate Bhutanese designs and paintings.
In the evening, visit Tashichhodzong which has the seat of the monarch. Enjoy the beautiful exhibition of ancient Bhutanese architecture. Although it was originally constructed as early as 13th Century, it was renovated several times until 1952.
Back to the hotel. And if you are not tired explore through the town and visit temporary stores of traditional crafts queued along the road.
DAY 5 THIMPHU TO GANGTEY
After 45 minutes drive uphill from Thimphu, stop at Dochula, a mountain pass at 3100 meters,from where on a clear day you can capture incredible view of distant snow capped Himalayan mountain ranges. 108 Druk Wangyal miniature chortens (temples) maintain the serenity of the place. Then, we descend down the mountains through meandering roads and myriads of colourful rhododendron shrubs that bloom in the month of April and May.
Once we reach the warm and fertile valleys of Wangdue, we will take lunch in one of the restaurants and drive up to Gangtey/Phobjikha towards the east of Wangdue on the flanks of the Black Mountains. Crossing a 17th century old Gangtey Gompa (monastery), few kilometers down the valley is a fascinating valley of Phobjikha. Here is the winter home of rare migratory black necked cranes that fly from the arid plains of Tibet in the north. Anyone would be enraptured admiring at the astonishing landscape formed by receding glaciers once upon at time. Take a stroll and capture some pictures and breathe the freshness of air from pristine nature. Overnight at a farm house in Phobjikha.
DAY 6 GANGTEY TO PUNAKHA
After breakfast drive Punakha which is approximately 4 hrs. From Gangtey the road gradually descends into the gentle valleys of Wangdue and enters Punakha.
Punakha had remained as the old capital of Bhutan until it moved to Thimphu in 1955.
In the afternoon, visit Chhimi Lhakhang (temple) the temple of fertility situated on a spherical hillock built in 1499. Walk about 15 minutes through a village and paddy fields. There is an interesting history behind this sacred place about Drukpa Kuenley whose crazy wisdom of teaching Buddhism through sexual references using wooden Phallus as one of the symbols for driving away evils, because of which he is commonly referred as ‘The Divine Madman’.
Next, visit Punakha Dzong, one of the most beautiful and majestic dzongs built by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1637 at the confluence of two significant rivers; Pho chu (male) and Mo chu (female). This Dzong holds a great significance in history of Bhutan.Although four catastrophic fires and an earthquake in past times destroyed many historic documents, Punakha Dzong still houses many sacred and historic artifacts and also the embalmed body of Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal .
Overnight at a hotel in Punakha. If you wish, stroll in the town and meet locals.
DAY 7 PUNAKHA TO PARO
After breakfast, a short hike of about 30 minutes up to Khamsum Yulley Namgyel chorten built by Her Majesty the Queen Mother Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuk in over eight years time. This is a unique 4 storied temple on a hill top constructed by means of spiritual consultation rather than the modern engineering. Walk through rice fields and climb up the ridge. Enjoy the scene of spectacular valley downhill with a thin line of meandering river.
Drive to Paro.
In Paro, visit to a historic site of a ruined Drugyel Dzong approximately 9 miles towards north built somewhere in 1647 to commemorate victory of Drukpas (Bhutanese) over Tibetans. Unfortunately, in 1951 it caught fire and raged to ground leaving behind the collapsed walls outlining this historic site. However, the Dzong in under renovation and has been restricted to tourists till it is completed.
Overnight in a hotel in Paro.
DAY 8 TAKTSHANG HIKE
People often say that your visit to Bhutan is incomplete without a trip to Takshang. Built in 1692, Takshang literally means ‘Tiger’s Nest’ in Paro, is perched amazingly on a rocky cliff believed to be the cave where Guru Rinpoche, the whisperer of Buddhism in Bhutan, flew on a tigress’s back and meditated for years to subdue evil demons.
After breakfast, we hike uphill for 1.5 to 2 hours to reach to the monastery. The experience of walking through the forest of pine trees is off course exhausting but is fanned away by refreshing air which is irresistibly gratifying. The view of incredible grandeur of the structure clinging on a crag and literally entering the cave will leave a lasting impression of your journey to Bhutan.
Lunch at Cafeteria on the way return from Takshang.
After lunch, visit to a historic site of a ruined Drugyel Dzong approximately 9 miles towards north built somewhere in 1647 to commemorate victory of Drukpas (Bhutanese) over Tibetans. Unfortunately, in 1951 it caught fire and raged to ground leaving behind the collapsed walls outlining this historic site.
Experience the last serve of farmhouse dinner in Bhutanese style.
DAY 9 DEPART FROM PARO
After breakfast, your guide will see you off in the airport for your onward destination.
Upon cancelation of the tour after booking, the following charges apply: