WEEK IN PARADISE – Punakha

AA Special 7night/8day in Bhutan

Trip Highlights

  • You will visit the district of Paro, Punakha and Thimphu
  • Visit the tallest Budhha statue in the world
  • Hike to the Tiger’s Nest
  • Visit the Phobjikha/Gangtey valley
  • Visit the Impressive Punakha Dzong
  • Enjoy a traditional hot stone bath
  • Visit the beautiful valley of Bumthang in central Bhutan

Costs: US$ US$ 1,790 a person

The cost is applicable for groups of 3 and more people

THE DETAILED ITINERARY IS GIVE BELOW

DAY 1: ARRIVE IN BHUTAN

Flights to Bhutan are an amazing experience, particularly if you are flying into the Himalayan kingdom for the first time. As the flights approach Bhutan, you will see the Himalayan foothills including Mt. Everest. Once you enter Bhutan, the flights snakes around the mountains to land at the Paro International Airport in western Bhutan.

Welcome to Bhutan.

You would then get through the immigration counter where you can produce the paper visa we have emailed you based on which you would be stamped your visa on your passport. At the arrival terminal, our guide would be waiting to welcome you. You would then drive for an hour to capital Thimphu. In the evening, you can walk about Thimphu city.

You will also visit the tallest Buddha statue in the world, which is located at a scenic hilltop overlooking the entire Thimphu valley. We will also visit the TashiChhoDzong, which is the giant fortress that houses the office of the King.

Later in the evening, you may wander and explore the fascinating streets of Thimphu, the world’s only capital city without a traffic light!

Overnight at a hotel in Thimphu.

DAY 2: THIMPHU SIGHTSEEING AROUND THE CAPITAL.

After breakfast, you can visit the Changangkha Temple. Located atop a small hill, this temple is considered the guardian temple of all children born in Thimphu area. This fortress temple is built in 14th century by a Tibetan saint who came to Bhutan. After lunch, a visit to the Mini Zoo to see the National Animal ‘Takin’. Highlight of the day will be a visit to Tashichho Dzong, known as the Fortress of the glorious religion in the evening. It houses the throne room of His Majesty the King, the main secretariat building and the central monk body. Its courtyard is open to visitors during the Thimphu Festival and when the monk body moves to its winter residence in Punakha.

Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.

DAY 3: THIMPHU - HIKE TO TANGO AND DRIVE TO PUNAKHA.

After breakfast, we will checkout of the hotel. You will then proceed towards Tango monastery which is about 45-minute drive from the capital city. From the mountain base, you will hike for about 30-45 minutes to the Tango Monastery. It is located at a mountain top and today houses a monastic school. The word Tango literally means “Horse head”.

Tango Monastery is built in the Dzong(fortress) style and has semi-circular shape outside and prominent main tower with recesses. It covers the caves where originally meditation and miracles were performed by saints from the 12th century onwards. Behind the series of prayer wheels are engraved slates. Inside the courtyard is a gallery, illustrating the leaders of the Drukpa Kagyupa lineage.

The monastery was founded by Lama Gyalwa Lhanampa in the 13th century and built in its present form by Tenzin Rabgye, the 4th Temporal Ruler in 1688. In 1616, the Tibetan, Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, meditated in its cave. The Monastery belongs to the Drukpa Kagyu School of Buddhism in Bhutan. According to local legend of Bhutan the location of this monastery is the holy place where Avalokiteshvara revealed himself as “the self-emanated form of the Wrathful Hayagriva”.

Late afternoon, we will proceed towards Punakha. On the way, we’ll pass by Dochula pass from where a beautiful panoramic view of the Himalayas can be seen on a clear day. There are 108 stupas built by the eldest queen Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck to benefit all sentient beings..

Overnight at the hotel in Punakha.

DAY 4: PUNAKHA TOUR

Punakha is at an altitude of 4420 feet and it served as the capital of Bhutan till 1955. It is the winter seat of the Je Khenpo (Chief abbot) and the monk body. It has a temperate climate and its rich fertile valley is fed by the Phochu (male) and Mochu (female) rivers. We will visit the Punakha Dzong built by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel in 1637 is also known as “The Palace of Great Happiness”. It stands majestically at the confluence of the two rivers.

After lunch, we will visit the Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten which stands out on a beautiful ridge above the Punakha valley. Her Majesty built the Queen Mother, Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuck it. It took 9 years to build and Holy Scriptures rather than engineering manuals were consulted to construct this 4-storey temple. It is a fine example of Bhutanese architecture and artistic traditions. This temple has been dedicated for the wellbeing of the kingdom, its people and all sentient beings. It is a 15-20 mins hike from the suspension bridge.

The Chorten would take a one-hour hike to approach. It offers a beautiful view of the Punakha Valley.

Overnight at hotel/farmhouse in Punakha.

DAY 5: PUNAKHA TO BAJO AND DRIVE TO PARO

FAfter breakfast, we will go around Bajo town and then proceed to Paro. Enroute to Paro will be a visit to Chimi Lhakhang, the famous Lama Drukpa Kuenley’s temple. This temple also known as the fertility temple is a popular place for getting fertility blessings by the locals. Lunch at Dochula or Thimphu. The rest of the day can be spent in Paro town with some sightseeing and shopping.

Overnight at a hotel in Paro.

DAY 6: PARO TOUR.

We will visit the Paro Dzong. Then we will visit National Museum. We will also visit the ruins of the Drugyel Dzong and the Paro Kyichu Temple. One of the oldest and most sacred temple that dates back to the 7th century.

Overnight at a hotel in Paro.

DAY 7: HIKE TO TAKTSHANG

Early breakfast followed by a hike up Paro Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest). It is a monastery that is perched on the side of a cliff at a height of 900m above the Paro valley. The hike usually takes about 3-4 hrs and offers views of amazing nature throughout. There is a lookout point at a cafeteria that offers a great view of this impressive monastery. It will truly be one of the main highlights of the whole tour. We will be back to Paro town by around 3:00 pm. In the evening, you can stroll around Paro town and check out some Bhutanese souvenir shops.

Overnight at a hotel in Paro.

Day 8: Departure.

After breakfast at the hotel, we’ll drive to the nearby Paro airport and onboard to your onward destination.

Tashi Delek!


OUR ADDRESS

Green Mandala Tours

Contact: +975-17803928

Email: greenmandalatours@gmail.com

Address: J.D. House, Thori Lam,

Lower Motithang, Thimphu: Bhutan