Day 01-Enter Bhutan via PARO
Day 02 –Thimphu to Punakha
Day 03- Punakha to Thimphu
Day 04 – Thimphu to Paro
Day 05 – Depart Bhutan from Paro International Airport
This Tour to Bhutan is for travelers who have limited time in hand to tour Bhutan, YET during their short period of stay, they wish to see and experience as much of true Bhutan. Thus this tour entails long drives especially from Paro to Punakha, and is a tight daily schedule.
This Tour takes up 4 nights 5 days, within which you will visit and tour the Western Districts of Paro, Thimphu and Punakha, in Bhutan.
Day 01 – Enter Bhutan via PARO:
Paro is the first town you will enter when flying in to Bhutan.
You will be boarding the one and only Airline of Bhutan called the “Druk Air” where Druk means “Bhutan” so in translation called “Bhutan National Airline”
When flying into Bhutan, from the left hand side of the aircraft you will see the Majestic Himalayan Range with the Peaks of Mt.Everest, Mt.Kanchanganga, Mt.Jumolhari and Mt.Jichu Drake whereby the latter two Mountains are in Bhutan.
On arrival at the Paro Airport,you will be welcomed and greeted by the representatives of Bhutan Jewel Travel so from the time you touch the Bhutan soil, we at Bhutan Jewel Travel will be accompanying you so that you experience the warmness of Bhutan Jewel Travel and Bhutan.
From the airport Drive towards the Capital City Thimphu, which is the Capital of Bhutan.
Depending on your arrival time at the airport, and if there is time in hand after checking in and freshening up at the Thimphu Hotel, you can start by merging in with the Thimphu local people and see take a walk through the Thimphu roads. Your Guide will be accompanying you.
Night at Thimphu Hotel.
Day 02 – THIMPHU To PUNAKHA
Travel Distance 77kms and Time Taken direct drive is around 2.5 to 3 hours.
On your drive to Punakha, stop by the enchanting and mesmerizing Dochula Pass which is at an altitude of 3150 meters and takes around 1-1.5 hours to reach from Thimphu.
Dochula Pass is a Great place to feel the cool air and see thousands of prayer flags fluttering high on tree tops. There are 108 stupas and a Temple build by the Queen Mother for the long life of the Fourth King and the well being of the sentient beings. After spending some time here and having some tea and snacks/lunch, continue journey to Punakha.
Punakha was the former Capital of Bhutan and the Punakha Dzong(Fortress) lies at the confluence of two rivers called the “Mo Chu” and the “Pho Chu”. Mo means female and Pho means male and Chu means water…so in this context it’s the Female and Male Rivers. Punakha Dzong was built in 1637 A.D and is a beautiful fortress which has a story of its own. Your Guide will narrate the beautiful and exciting story in relation to Punakha Dzong But legend has it the Guru Rimpoche who first brought Buddhism into Bhutan had predicted that a Dzong would be build and that a “person named Namgyel would come on the hill that’s looks like an elephant “. Near this hill was a small Dzong by the name of “Dzong Chu” which had a Buddha Statue. Then one day the Founder of Bhutan Shabdrung Ngawang “Namgyel “ came by exactly as predicted and on arrival on the elephant looking hill, summoned the architect, by the name of Zowe Palep and ordered him to sleep near the Buddha Statue. Then when asleep, Shabdrung took the architect in his dream to “Zangtopelri” the Palace of Guru Rimpoche. From this dream the architect conceived the idea and designed the Dzong in his mind ,thus this plan for the Dzong was never placed down on paper. Thus initially the Dzong was named Druk Pungthang Dechen Phodrang (The Palace of Great Happiness). Later this Dzong was renamed to Punakha Dzong and till date you will see the war materials captured from Tibetan Invaders here in this Dzong.
Punakha Dzong is also the fortress where the Royal Weddings took place of the 4th and 5th reigning King of Bhutan.
Night Halt in Punakha
Day 03 – PUNAKHA To THIMPHU
After early breakfast drive to Thimphu and En Route visit the “Chimi Lhakhang”. From the road head walk towards this temple and even a leisurely pace will take you just beyond 20-30 minutes to reach this temple. Chimi Lhakhang is famous for couples who want children and thus known as the “Temple of Fertility” and is widely believed by the Bhutanese people that if you want to conceive, then this is the temple to pray for a child where you are blessed with an ancient Wooden Phallas. Since this temple was built by the naughty and shabby looking but greatly revered religious saint in the year 1499 A.D, known as ”Lam Drukpa Kuenley” meaning Devine Mad Man,thus this temple is also known as the Devine Mad Man Temple. When walking to Chimi Lhakhang you will go through the near by village having a few traditional Bhutanese houses and through their paddy fields, so it’s a very refreshing and moderate walk.
Lunch En route to Thimphu and then evening visit sites like the Memorial Chorten( Chorten means Stupa).This Chorten was built by the Royal Family of Bhutan in memory of the Third King of Bhutan who ruled Bhutan from 1952 till 1972. 1972 is also the year when the Fourth King of Bhutan was crowned the King of Bhutan after the unfortunate demise of his father the Third King. The Fourth King Jigme Singye Wangchuck was crowned the King of Bhutan at a tender young age of 17 years and was the youngest monarch in the World.
Visit the local Crafts Bazaar which has all types of textile, arts and crafts, all goods are exclusively made in Bhutan and authentic. Night in Thimphu
Day 04 – THIMPHU To PARO
After breakfast in Thimphu Drive to Paro.
Today it is OPTIONAL TOUR: You can chose either of the following 2 options of (A) or (B)
OPTION ( A ) : Hike to the Taktsang (Tigers Nest Monastery) :
After an early breakfast drive to Paro for about one and a half hours and then start hike to the World famous Taktsang Monastery. The Hike at a leisurely pace takes about 4 to 5 hours up and back down. Tea and snacks will be served half way to the Monastery where along with your tea you can enjoy the view of the Tigers Nest Monastery on the other side. Taktsang Monastery is perched on a cliff of 900 meters and its where the Guru Rimpoche came flying on the back of a tigress. He meditated here and henceforth the Paro valley is believed to have flourished with abundance in food and religion. Night in Paro
OPTION ( B ) : Other Sightseeing
En route to Paro after about 15 minutes drive from Thimphu visit the Simtokha Dzong, which was the first Dzong built in Bhutan by the Founder of Bhutan, Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel in the year 1629 A.D.
Lunch in Paro Town and Visit the Rinpung Dzong built in 1646. A flag stoned path leads toward the Dzong. This Dzong over looks the Paro valley and you will also cross over an ancient wooden bridge with guard houses.
Paro Dzong and its bridge is the location where the holly wood movie “The Little Buddha” starring Keanu Reeves was filmed. Rinpung Dzong presently houses the Government Administrative offices, the Judiciary and a section is used by the Paro Monastic Body.
Visit the Ta-Dzong(watch Tower) which was converted into the National museum of Bhutan in 1968. Here you will see many ancient artifacts of Bhutan, like the Horse Egg, rare ancient stamps, ancient thankas etc. However due to the earth quake a few years back this Museum is currently under renovation but the artifacts are still displayed the the adjacent building.
Then visit the Kyichu Lhakhang, which is the oldest and very sacred monastery of the 8Th century.
Night at Paro Hotel
Day 05 – Depart Bhutan from Paro International Airport.
Today you will be departing Bhutan from the Paro International Airport. Your Bhutan Jewel Travel representative will escort you till the check in at Paro Airport and we will bid fare well with a hope to see each other once again.
NOTE : This Itinerary could change at the time of travel to Bhutan as we have to take into consideration weekends and other Public Holidays that may clash with your travel dates and sites that might be closed.