Destinations Covered: Paro - Punakha - Jakar - Trongsa - Thimphu - Paro
10 Nights / 11 Days
Day 1: Arrive Paro
Arrive Paro from Bangkok or Delhi or Kathmandu. Meet your local Tour Guide at Paro airport and transfer to hotel. After lunch, visit the National museum, Paro Rinphung Dzong and a typical Bhutanese farm house. In the evening, stroll around the township of Paro and browse through it markets.
Day 2: Paro
Take 4 hours out and back, Taktsang Monastery Hike, a holy pilgrimage site with spectacular views. On return, visit the ruins of Drugyal Dzong. If you are not into hiking, we will arrange you alternative tour to the Dungtse Temple, Kyichu Temple and easy village walks.
Day 3: Paro – Punakha
After breakfast, drive two hours to Thimphu and visit sights such as traditional painting school, handmade paper factory, gold and silver smiths and few others depending on available time. After lunch at Thimphu, drive to Punakha & Wangdiphodrang valley, with a short stop at Dochula passes for panoramic views of the eastern Himalayas.
Day 4: Punakha and Wangdiphondrang valley sightseeing
In the morning, drive to the idyllic countryside, north of Punakha and those who wish can do any easy 1 hour walk back following the river for possible sighting of birds and diverse flora. Visit the Punakha Dzong that served as the winter capital of Bhutan until 1958 and the old and new township of Punakha.
After lunch, drive to road head from where you can take a pleasant 20 minutes walk through the paddy fields and farm houses to visit Chimi Lhakhang temple dedicated to Bhutan’s popular saint Drukpa Kuenley, also known as the “divine madman” (1455-1529).
Day 5: Punakha - Jakar (Bumthang valley).
Drive down the valley to the town of Wangdiphodrang, where there is a very large fortress and an interesting town. Continue on the road to east, we cross Pele La Pass at 11,152ft and enjoy the views of the valleys and mountains, including Mt. Chomolhari. After lunch at the picturesque town of Trongsa, we continue across Yotong La (11,234ft) and descend into the valley of Chumey, the first of four Bumthang valleys. Here we will visit the Weavers and see the weaving of Bhutan’s colourful and textiles. In another half an hour, we reach Jakar-the centre of Bumthang valleys.
Day 6: Jakar (Bumthang Valley sightseeing).
We will visit some ancient temples, farm houses, traditional hospital, wood craft centre and small villages, weavers, forts and palaces by short walks and driving to them. Tonight sample some local food such as buck wheat pan cakes and noodles.
Day 7: Ura Valley Excursion
We drive up to Ura and take a leisure stroll in the clustered village. Ura has a beautiful Buddhist Monastery surrounded by typical Bhutanese farm houses which is worth seeing. We will also see yaks grazing in the rich pasture land of the Ura valley. Pack lunch in Ura and return to Bumthang in the evening.
Day 8: Jakar –Trongsa
Retrace your drive back across Yotongla pass and descend into Trongsa, which takes about 3 hours. In the afternoon visit huge and historical Trongsa Dzong (fortress), site of emergence of present Royal family of Bhutan. Also visit Ta Dzong (watch tower) which now houses the temple dedicated to Jigme Namgyel, father of the first King of Bhutan.
Day 9: Trongsa – Thimphu.
Leaving Trongsa, we return west, stopping to visit the Chendebji Chorten, a large white monument said to conceal the remnants of an evil spirit vanquished here. Continuing across the spectacular Pelela pass (3,300m), we descend into the valleys of Punakha and Wangdi. Further drive through blossoming hills and pine forests, we arrive at Dochula pass (3,100m) for another opportunity to get the panoramic views of the eastern Himalayan range, including Bhutan’s highest peak Gangkar Phuensum.
Day 10: Thimphu - Paro
After breakfast, begin our sightseeing with a visit to the colourful weekend market, where people from near and far come to sell or buy the fresh produce. It is where the village folks jostle with the well heeled resident of Thimphu for the best and cheapest vegetables and other food stuffs. Weekend also provides opportunity to see the traditional game of archery played in the nearby grounds. Other visit includes a nunnery, Textile Museum, the Heritage Museum, mini Zoo to see Takin, the national animal and a temple or so. Late afternoon, drive to Paro.
Day 11: Departure Paro
After early breakfast, transfer to Paro airport to connect your flight for onward destination.