On this short but beautiful journey through Bhutan, you will experience the highlights of this culturally rich kingdom. With some time spent in Paro, you will have the chance to visit the famous museum and Taktsang Monastery, explore the capital of Thimphu and drive across the Dochu La to discover the beautiful Punakha Dzong and the isolated Gangtey Valley – one of the last wintering grounds of the endangered and graceful black-necked cranes.
You will take a scenic flight to Paro and meet your guide and driver there. There will be a pre-trip briefing on arrival at the hotel, followed by an afternoon/evening of leisure in Paro. Overning in Paro.
We will spend the day in and around Paro. We will visit the ruined fortress of Drukyel Dzong (“dzong” means fortress-monastery). The fort defended the Paro Valley from invasion by Tibet in the early 17th century. On a clear day, Mt Chomolhari (7320m) can be seen towering over the dzong. Further along the beautiful Paro Valley we will reach the watch tower known locally as Ta-Dzong and the National Museum of Bhutan. Then, we will take a short walk downhill to the Rinpung Dzong which serves as the administrative centre and school for monks, before walking a little further and crossing the traditional bridge into Paro Town.
We will explore Bhutan’scapital and visit the Indigenous hospital, where traditional healing arts are still practiced, the Art & Craft school, the National Library, the Royal goldsmith workshop and the Handicraft Emporium with its famous weaving, woodcarvings and paintings. In the afternoon we will visit the memorial chorten (a stone Buddhist monument) dedicated to the late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, the founder of modern-day Bhutan. We’ll also visit the 15th century Changangkha monastery and Motithang mini zoo, where we’ll see the rare “takin” (the national animal of Bhutan), before driving out of town for a view of the Thimphu Valley. We will also visit the new Drupthob nunnery temple and walk around the local market. Overnight in Thimphu.
We will drive for about 3 hours to Wangduephodrang (locally known as “Wangdi”) via Punakha, changing climatic zones from mountainous to tropical. On the way, we will cross over Dochu La, a 3150m high pass marked by prayer flags and a chorten and views of the eastern Himalaya including the highest mountain in Bhutan, Mt Gangar Punsum (7520m). We will drive through forests of rhododrendron and magnolia, before the road descends into the warmer lowlands around Punakha. We will visit the Punakha Dzong, which once served as the old capital of Bhutan. This remarkable fortress was built in 1637 between two rivers and has survived glacial floods and fire. Every February there is a procession known as the Punakha Serda to commemorate the victory over the Tibetans. Overnight Wangdi Kyichu Resort.
This day will be an excursion to the Gangtey Gompa valley (2800m). Gangtey Gompa is a Buddhist complex which includes monks’ quarters, a meditation centre, schools and a small hotel – all overlooking the Phobjikha Valley, a designated conservation area which borders Black Mountain National Park. This is one of the most isolated gompas in Bhutan; there’s no telephone/electricity in order to protect wildlife. This beautiful valley is home to the rare Black Necked Cranes which migrate from the Tibetan plateau to escape the harsh winter. About 200 to 300 cranes live in this valley and the Royal Society for Protection of Nature is taking every measure to ensure their protection. For exemple, during the 4-5 months that the cranes are in residence over winter, the villagers are not allowed to make loud noises or fish in the river that runs into the valley. We will explore this fascinating glacier-carved valley before returning to Wangdi for the night.
The return drive back to Paro is no less spectacular, we will re-cross the spectacular Dochu La and arrive into Paro in the afternoon. Overnight in Paro.
We will drive to the foot of the Taktsang Monastery – the famous Tigers Nest Monastery said to have been one of the divine resting places of the Guru Ringpoche. It was once destroyed by the fire but has been restored. We will walk along the trail to appreciate the monasteries breathtaking location on a cliff edge about 800m above the valley floor. You will enjoy your free time for the rest of day. Overnight in Paro.
It is already time to go back to Nepal ! You will say goobye to your driver and guide, and take a flight back to Kathmandu.
What is Included
- Flight tickets Kathmandu-Paro-Kathmandu
- All necessary travel permits to Bhutan
- Entrance ticket fees for all the sight spots
- Private transportation in Bhutan
- English speaking local guide
- Accommodation and meals
- Lodging and meals for guide and drivers
- First aid kit
What is Excluded
- Your travel insurance which should cover emergency evacuation
- Expenses of a personal nature (alcoholic beverages, laundry, phone call, etc.)
- Tips for the guide and driver (tipping is expected)