- Trip Outline
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Bhutan is a tiny country tucked between China and India. It is a land of pristine beauty, with more than fifty percent of its territory covered by forest vegetation! The mountainous country is home to some of the oldest Buddhist temples and monasteries in the world — visitors to these sites have had extremely positive reviews.
There are many reasons why Bhutan should be on your bucket list: it's home to some of the most incredible natural wonders in the world. The country is mostly made up of mountains, valleys, and rivers — making it a dream destination for any adventurous traveller.
Arrival in Paro, Bhutan - Thimphu
Welcome to Bhutan. On a clear day, one will experience breathtaking views of major Himalayan peaks, Jomolhari and Jichu Darkey in Bhutan from your flight. Upon arrival Bhutan's first gift to you will be clean fresh mountain air. Obtain your Bhutan visa which will be pre-paid, and after clearing Immigration and Customs, you will be met outside at the exit point by Bhutan Sky Trails representatives and escort you around for the sightseeing, onward to your hotel.
Visit Ta Dzong (National Museum), which towers above the Paro Dzong and viewing its well-interpreted collection of historic artifacts that makes a great prologue to the journey yet to come.
Visit Paro Dzong. This massive fortress is located in the Paro valley approached by a gently sloping flagstone road, a beautiful wooden bridge roofed with shingles and abutted by two guardhouses. Today, the Dzong is the Administrative seat of Paro district and it also contains a state monastic community of about 200 monks. The central tower ("Utse") of the Dzong is one of the most beautiful in Bhutan with its superb woodwork. The Dzong was built in 1646 A.D. After wards drive to Thimphu for the overnight and it’s comfortable around an hour drive from Paro.
Thimphu Valley Excursion
Begin the day with the visit the Memorial Chorten built in 1974, in memory of the third King of Bhutan who reigned the country from 1952-1972. Next visit the Buddha Dordema located at Kuenselphodrang, it is 51.5 meter bronze statue overlooking the Thimphu valley. After that stop by Changangkha temple built in 12 century; Visit the Painting School (ZorigChusum if in session) where traditional art and craft is still kept alive, Takin preserve to see Bhutan’s national animal, Zilukha nunnery to grasp the role of woman in Bhutan’s spiritual realm, the Handicrafts Emporium where Bhutanese textiles and other arts and crafts are displayed which can be purchased and TashichhoDzong, the main secretariat building. This massive fortress houses part of the government Ministries, the office of the King and the Throne Room. It also houses the State Monastic Body, the office and the living quarters of the Chief Abbot.
Thimphu – Punakha
Transfer on approximately 2 hours 30 minutes’ drive over Dochula Pass (3.150 m) to the lower valley of Punakha. Stop at the Dochula pass for hot cup of tea/coffee and a chance to stretch your legs, use proper toilet facilities. On a clear day one can view the Himalayan ranges with 108 stupas named as “Druk Wangyel Chorten” that have been erected here by the Queen Mother.
After reaching the village of Sobsokha take a short walk through the rice pounding village to visit Chimi Lhakhang, a fertility shrine, built in the 15th century by lama Druk Kunley, also known as the “the Divine Madman.” The cheerful flying phallus that one sees painted on homes throughout Bhutan is a tribute to this saint, whose presence distracts and thus repels evil spirits.
Also visit the beautiful Punakha Dzong, the winter residence of the central monastic body. The dzong was damaged by fire in 1986, but recently renovated using traditional building techniques without using of nails, plans of power tools. It is beautifully located at the confluence of Pho chu (male river) and Mo Chu (female river).
Punakha - Paro
This morning drive to the north of the valley around 30mins and take a hike, which is around 1-2 hour to Khamsum Yule Namgyel chorten, which took more than 9 years to complete it. The walk through rice fields, passing by farm houses is very scenic and beautiful.
Transfer on approximately 4 hours’ drive to Paro stopping in Thimphu for any last minute shopping. Visit Bhutan Post to make your personalize stamp if you wish or visit the local market, this is a wonderful opportunity to witness daily life of people. If locals are practicing or playing archery (the national sport) you can stop and witness the sport.
Paro - Paro
Hike to Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) Monastery. The Icon monastery of Bhutan, This monastery clings to a cliff was built in 17th century. The monastery was burnt in 1998 and was rebuilt in its original form. The mountainside viewpoint for this dramatically situated and most sacred site is accessible by walk of about 5 hours round trip. There is also a cafeteria at mid-point, where one can enjoy refreshments and meals.
In Paro make a visit to Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the most sacred temples in Bhutan and built in 659 AD by Tibetan Buddhist king Songtsen Gampo.
After breakfast, say good bye to this lovely country and you will then be transferred to the airport for you flight.
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