Highlights of Bhutan Tour
This short cultural tour through the mystical Western valleys of Bhutan is the perfect introduction to the Dragon Kingdom. In a short time you experience the major highlights of Bhutan, together with a dedicated private guide and driver.
It is an ideal tour to combine with a longer trip in Nepal or India, or even with a relaxing holiday on some of Asia's finest beaches
Suggested Itinerary Introduction to Bhutan
- Arriving in Paro by plane is considered one of the most beautiful scenic mountainflights in the world. When approaching the small Paro airport you see some of the highest peaks in the world, before landing between the rice paddies. Your guide will pick you up after immigration and will bring you to Thimphu, the capital, for a first afternoon in this mythical country. An introductory walk through the Old Town Centre along the Memorial Chorten, the Centennial Market and the Handicraft Bazaar
- In the morning you start with a scenic 2 hour walk from the Changanka Temple to the huge Buddha Statue of Dodenma, overlooking the valley. Along the trail there are great views on the ever spreading Thimphu. The afternoon can be spent according to your interests visit the National Library, the National Museum or the famous Textile Museum. A visit to the local School of Arts where Bhutanese students are taught the 13 National Arts is also possible, as well as a walk up to the Buddhist University of Tango or the monastery of Cheri.
- In the morning you leave by car for a pleasant 40 minute drive to the top of the Dochu La, a pass which connects Thimphu and Punakha. From the pass a spectacular walk through the rododendron forests can be made to the temple of Lunchotse for a great view on the snowclad Himalayas. Dochu La (3050m) is crowned with 108 Buddhist stupa's and thousands of prayer flags. Descend into the subtropical Punakha-valley, a fertile valley with lots of farmland and charming villages. In the afternoon walk through one of the villages to experience village life and visit to the Chime Lhakhang, the temple of the famous Divine Madman. Young couples still come to visit this temple to receive blessings for a fertile marriage.
- Early morning visit to Khamsum Yueley Namgyal Chorten, built by the Queen Mother. It takes about 45 minutes walking through the fields to reach the Chorten. Perched high on a hill on the bank of the river, the Chorten houses paintings belonging to Nyingmapa Traditions. From the roof one has great views over the valley. Afterwards visit to the Punakha Dzong, one of the most impressive in Bhutan, built at the confluence of two rivers. It still functions as the winter retreat for the highest monks and all the important royal ceremonies take place in one of the large prayer halls. Shabdrung, the warlord who unified Bhutan, is buried inside the dzong. One can easily spent a couple of hours in the several courtyards and temples, observing the monastic life. From the nearby suspension bridge (the longest in Bhutan) you can walk along the river on a well marked trail to some rural villages. Those who are in for some more thrills can take a short rafting on the river or can hike up to a nunnery nearby.
- In the morning visit to Talo, the birth village of the Queen Mother, considered as one of the most typical villages of Western Bhutan. Afterwards you can hike some more in the surroundings, before driving back to Paro with a stops enroute to visit Semthoka Dzong and the Rimpong Dzong in Paro.
- The highlight of every Bhutan tour: a visit to Takstang, the Tigers Nest. High on a cliff about 900m above Paro valley, it takes about 3 hours to reach. If necessary you can rent a local horse to make the climb. The spectacular temple is a major pilgrimage site for the Bhutanese: Guru Rinpoche landed here on the back of a Tiger and meditated here for 3 years, 3 months and 3 days. The whole complex burnt down in 1998 and was completely restored in its former glory in 2004. In the afternoon there is time to visit Paro Town, the small National Museum or the ruins of the Drukyel Dzong.
- Your guide will drop you at the airport after breakfast for your onward flight.
This is just a sample itinerary. As we work completely tailormade .feel free to contact us for a longer or shorter itinerary according to your wishes.
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