4 Nights / 5 Days
Thimphu * Paro
BHUTAN “HAPPINESS IS A PLACE”
Come explore the Kingdom in the clouds – A land of soaring Himalayan peaks and ancient monasteries and myths, where thousands of prayer flags flutter in the wind and happiness rules.
You can catch Drukair, Royal Bhutan Airlines, National flag carrier flight from Bangkok, Kathmandu, New Delhi, Kolkota, Dhaka and Singapore.
DAY 01 | Arrive and Drive to Thimphu | Drive time: 01 ½ hour | ELEVATION: 2300m
Welcome to Bhutan and your first day in the magical Land of the Thunder Dragon! Upon arrival at Paro International Airport, just outside the arrival hall, you will be greeted by our guide. At more than 7,300 feet above sea level, you will need to acclimate to the high altitude. So, we will take it easy with a short drive to your hotel, enjoy a Bhutanese lunch, and then visit a few sights around the capital city of Thimphu.
We start our tour at Motithang Takin Preserve, home to Bhutan’s national animal, the takin. This unusual animal is often described as looking like a moose that was stung by a bee. Formerly a small zoo, the king decreed that penning up animals was contrary to Buddhist beliefs, so they were released. The takin had difficulty adapting, so the preserve was established to care for these gentle creatures.
DAY 02 | TOUR OF THIMPHU | ELEVATION 2300m
Cheri Goemba Hike
After Breakfast get ready to hike to Cheri Goemba. You have to drive for about 30 minutes to reach to the base point towards the north of Thimphu. This monastery was built by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1620. A silver chorten inside the monastery holds the ashes of Shabdrung's father. The goemba is situated about half an hour walk from Dodena (alt. 2,600m). The trail commences by crossing a traditional wooden bridge that spans the Thimphu Chhu, then climbs steeply to the monastery. Being the place where the Shabdrung spent many years in meditation, Cheri today has numerous hermitages and small temples located on its slopes. The one way walk to the monastery is approx 2 km, taking about 2 hours (roundtrip).
National Folk Heritage Museum, dedicated to connecting Bhutan to its past with exhibitions, demonstrations, and artifacts. Designed to resemble a rural home, this 19th-century building houses three stories of art, culture, and relics.
National Memorial Chorten was built in 1974 to honor the late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. A chorten is a hemispherical shaped memorial stupa. Known as the most visible religious landmark in Bhutan, it is used as a place of meditation.
Jungshi Handmade Paper Factory, you will witness the art of papermaking. Craftsmen demonstrate how Deh-sho paper is made using the bark of two local tree species. Buddhist monks use Deh-sho to write prayers and for woodblock printing.
Buddha Point: The huge 51m-tall steel statue of Buddha Dordenma commands the entry to the Thimphu valley. The massive three-storey base houses a large chapel, while the body itself is filled with 125,000 smaller statues of Buddha. The Buddha looks best in morning light, or at night when it is illuminated.
DAY 03 | THIMPHU TO PARO | DRIVE TIME: 01 HOURS | ELEVATION: 2200m
After breakfast drive back to Paro. You will be driven back from the same road following the way back up the dramatic Wang Chhu and Paro Chhu river valleys.
Later in the day after lunching, proceed to visit Ta Dzong, originally built as Watchtower, which now houses National Museum. The extensive collection includes antique thangkha paintings, textiles, weapons & armour, household objects and a rich assortment of natural and historic artifacts.
Then visit Rinpung Dzong, meaning (“fortress of the heap of jewels”), which has a long and fascinating history. Along the wooden galleries lining the inner courtyard are fine wall paintings illustrating Buddhist lore such as four friends, the old man of long life, the wheel of life, scenes from the life of Milarepa, Mount. Sumeru and other cosmic Mandala.
Walk around Paro downtown for last minute shopping.
DAY 04 | Paro TIGERNEST HIKE |
Taktsang or 'Tiger's Nest' as it is often referred to for Taktshang Pelphung monastery, is one of the most venerated and famous of Bhutan's monasteries. It is located on the face of a 900m sheer cliff. It is an impressive and unmissable site, but accessible only by walk or to ride mules/pony.
From the trail head at Rumtokto (2600m), the walk till the Cafeteria is a steep one hour uphill (about 350m ascent). From the Cafeteria (2940m), one can get a good close-up view of Taktshang. Savor views of the monastery over a well deserved cup of tea and biscuits at the cafeteria and continue uphill for another 45 minutes to a high observation point (3140m) where there is a Chorten.
From this vantage point, the lookout to the monastery is a very spectacular and seems almost close enough to touch. It is now on the other side of a deep chasm, only around 150m away as bird flies, but takes half hour or even more to reach. Continue down the flight of cliff-hanging steps on the narrow trail to a beautiful waterfall that plunges down the deep chasm and alongside is a retreat hermitage, jammed dramatically into a rock crevice. Then climb up the flight of steep steps to the monastery. At any point on this walk, you can always return if you find it too difficult. Once inside the monastery, there are several shrines or temples with few monks in residence. After visiting Taktshang monastery's many shrines, most tours schedule lunch at the Cafeteria upon return. After lunch, retrace back to the road-head where you started in the morning. The return from Cafeteria is all downhill and takes just over half hour.
DAY 05 | DEPARTURE
All good things must come to an end! It’s the last day of your trip to Bhutan and time to drive to the airport for your flight home. Our representative will help you with exit formalities and then bid you farewell with a 'TashiDelek'(goodbye and goodluck).