Discovering Western Bhutan

Destination: Paro, Punakha, Thimphu, Wangdue Phodrang

Duration: 8 days

Your introduction to our enchanting kingdom begins on a flight over the Himalayas into the lush green valley of Paro; truly one of the world’s most spectacular sights. Flying into Paro, Bhutan is a unique experience altogether. You will view the world’s highest, most majestic peaks and enjoy the view of the approaching valley with its primeval alpine forest, monasteries, temples and farmhouse nestled in splendid mountain isolation.

Welcome greeting in a Bhutanese style with Tashi Khada (white scarf) by our representative & your guide at the Airport. You will be driven to hotel for refreshment and a brief discussion on your tour program. (Please note; your itinerary shall be flexible and your guide shall give you options based on your interest).

We will set out for eight-days cultural tour that covers Paro, Thimphu, Punakha, Wangdue Phodrang and Phobjikha.

The National Museum ( Ta-Dzong).Once the watch tower for the Rinpung Dzong ( Fortress), it was converted into the national Museum in 1968 (one of the best museums of Asia). The museum stands on a promontory overlooking the Paro valley in all its glory. Visit the Rinpung Dzong.

A flagstone path rises gradually from a beautiful wooden bridge with shingle roofing and abutted by two guard houses to the Dzong. Today, this massive fortress built in 1645 AD is the seat of the district administration as well as the home for the monastic school. The central tower( Utse) of the Dzong, with its superb woodwork, is one of the most beautiful in the nation.Take a leisurely drive to the ruins of Drukgyel Dzong. This point offers bird eye view of the Mt. Chomolhari (7329m). On the way back visit the oldest temple of the kingdom, Kichu Lhakhang. This temple was built in 629AD by a Tibetan King to pin down a giant demon. There is a sacred orange tree that grew on its own at the courtyard which bears fruits on all the seasons. This tree is said to be 600 years old. In the evening walk around Paro town and interact with the local people. Overnight Paro.

Day 2- Punakha Festival & Wangdue Adventure

After breakfast, drive to Punakha. Stop for a hot cup of coffee at Dochu La pass ( 3150m) where you can enjoy the spectacular views of the eastern Himalayan mountain range.

En route, visit Royal Botanical Garden in Lamperi. The park features a variety of forest types, spectacular scenery, natural rhododendron groves, endangered wildlife and a lake.

Punakha is the former Capital of the kingdom and at present day hosts the administrative seat of the district. Also the winter residence of the central monastic body and its Chief Abbot. It is located at the confluence of two major rivers. It was built in 1637 AD.

After lunch, attend the colorful Punakha Tsechu (festival) which is held at the massive courtyard of the Punakha Dzong. Enjoy and interact with the locals. All the festivals around the kingdom have deep religious meaning & significance.

The locals don’t go for the festival only to enjoy but also to show respect to one’s culture and its great founders.

In the evening, hike to Chimi Lhakhang, a temple of fertility. It is believed that childless couples who come here to pray for a child is usually blessed with a child. This is the temple of one of Bhutan’s foremost saints, Lama Drukpa Kunley, also known as the “Divine Madman.” Overnight Punakha/ Wangdue. (Alt; 1240m)

Day 3- Phobjikha Rural Expedition

In the morning, we will visit the site of classic fortress of Wangdue situated on the hilltop, which was lost to fire in 2012. We may spend some time exploring the town of Bajothang and head on the Phpbjikha.

Phobjikha is a glacial valley on the periphery of the north western tip of the Black Mountain. The valley is a conservation area maintained by Royal Society for Protection of Nature (RSPN).

People sometimes refer to the entire region as Gangtey after the name of the Gangtey Goenpa that is situated on a ridge overlooking the Phobjikha valley. The Phobjikha valley is also one of the largest winter roosting grounds of the Black-necked cranes that migrate each year from its Tibet.

Visit Information Centre for the Blacked Necked Cranes. In the evening, we will take a hike through the Blue Pine forest to the village farmhouse. Try traditional Bhutanese snacks made from corn and rice with a homemade wine. Overnight Phobjikha.

Day 4- Gangtey to Thimphu

After exploring Phobjikha valley, we will drive back to Thimphu. We will have an evening walk in the Thimphu valley and visit some souvenir shops.

Day 5- Explore Thimphu Cultural Heritage Sites

e will explore signigicant cultural heritage sites in Thimphu in the morning. Later in the evening, we can take walk in the streets to shop some Bhutanese arts and crafts souvenirs

Day 6- Excursion to Tango and Chari Monastery

We will hike to Tango and Chari monaster in the north of Thimphu. Tango is well known Buddhist College and Chari is a famous retreat centre. It is located at the hill top and you will enjoy hiking through thick forests.

Day 7- Excursion to Tango and Chari Monastery

We will drive to Paro in the morning and hike to Paro Taktshang. You will be amazed to see beautiful and historically significant structure standing on the sheer cliff.

Day 8- Departure

Our representative will bid you farewell at the Paro International Airport. Tashi Delek!

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