Routes & Places: Paro, Thimphu & Punakha
Day 1: Arrival – Paro – Thimphu
The flight landing at Paro international airport is the first introduction to the beautiful kingdom of Bhutan. Bhutan Myway representative will greet you and your travel companion for your entire trip. Take a short time for the refreshments and lunch, and then visit the sites as scheduled.
Paro Dzong (Fortress) – the name Rinpung Dzong is loosely translated as the ‘fortress of a heap of jewels’. It was built in 1646 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal beautifully perched on a hill top overlooking the valley. After visiting the dzong, take a leisure walk along the stone pavements that will lead to the traditional cantilever bridge known by the name Nemi Zam.
Kyichu Temple – one of the 108 temples built in the 7th century by the Tibetan King Songsten Gampo. The temple was built mainly to subdue the demon that has prevented the spread of Buddhism in the Himalayan region.
You will drive to the capital city of Bhutan, Thimphu. One the way, you can stop to take pictures of magnificent 15 century temple called Taachog lhakhang (Temple) perched on the opposite hilltop, which was built by great iron builder Drupthop Thangthong Gyalpo.
Take a short walk down to see the old iron chain bridge as old as the temple itself which takes a special position in the heart of the people of Bhutan. After the visit, you will soon feel the warmth of Thimphu city. You can take a leisurely walk around the town to feel its traditional-modern architectural design.
Overnight at Thimphu
Day 2: Thimphu
Thimphu is Bhutan’s capital city and center of government, religion and commerce. And home to civil servants, expatriates and people from all walks of life. Thimphu as the capital city is founded on the traditional and modern blends of architectural design and further it adds glory as Thimphu is only the capital in the world without traffic signals. And more interestingly, Thimphu is constantly nurtured by the green vegetation coverage which remains evergreen city in the eyes of the travelers.
Memorial Chorten (stupa) – the white tall structure built in 1974 to loving memory of His Majesty the Third king of Bhutan is the prominent landmark of Thimphu. It is a four-storey tall white building, containing statues and iconography of deities from complex tantric teachings and serves as an important place of worship for Thimphu residents, as well as from other parts of the country.
Buddha Point – Kuenselphodrang where largest sitting Buddha statue in the country is perched on the hillock overlooking the Thimphu valley and also if interested/if time permits, take a leisure walk through Kuenselphodrang Nature Park and enjoy the nice view of the entire Thimphu valley.
Changangkha Lhakhang – Visit the 13th century Changangkha temple which is more popular among the people of its surrounding area and the entire valley. Many parents pay their visit with their child to seek blessings from the temple unlike any other temples in Thimphu.
Bhutan Post Office – the post office has one of the finest collections of the postal stamps of Bhutan. Bhutan post now offers an exclusive photo print of your pictures on the postage stamp or you can bring along your favorite photo to get print on the stamps. And get your stamps stamped on your postcard and send to your family and friends back home.
Takin Enclosure – It is a man-made enclosure for the national animal of Bhutan, Takin which is distributed only in a few pockets of the world. Takin is unique creature which resembles goat’s head and the body of cattle. Listen to its evolution story from your guide.
Textile weaving center – The weaving center is the exhibition one of the finest example of how the art of weaving is still thriving through generation, and a legacy passed down from parent to their children.
Overnight at Thimphu
Day 3: Thimphu – Punakha
Today is a fresh new day to enjoy and to open a new travel chapter. You will leave for Punakha from Thimphu, the road climbs steadily up through pine forest at the height of 3,050 reaching Dochula pass adorned with 108 stupas. If the weather is clear, you will see beautiful snowcapped mountains.
Chimi Lhakhang – the distinct structure perched on the hilltop was built in 15th century by the cousin of Drukpa Kuenley, which the temple is best known for the “Temple of Fertility”.
Punakha Dzong – Fortress is known as Dzong in Bhutanese term, built in 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel which is situated between Pho chu (Male River) and Mo chu (Female River). For many years until the reign of the second king of Bhutan, Punakha Dzong served as the seat of government and today it serves as the winter residence of monastic body besides its administration function. It was there that the dual system of government was introduced in the 17th century and in 1907, the first King Gongsar Ugyen Wangchuck was enthroned. Don’t forget to visit the Dzongchung (small fort) which the architectural design for Punakha fort was drawn.
Overnight at Punakha
Day 4: Punakha – Paro
Your physical ability to climb/hike to the Tiger Nest for tomorrow at Paro will be put to test with a short hike to Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Lhakhang in Punakha. Drive through upper Punakha valley passing through farm houses and take a short hike through farmhouses to the beautiful temple, which is built by the Queen Mother of Bhutan for peace and stability in this ever-changing world. This temple is situated on the hilltop overlooking the valley below. The leisurely walk up to the temple would take about 1 hour. Visit the temple and also enjoy the breathtaking view from there.
The real adventure to yet to begin and it is time for some fun. Some adventure is an essential component of travel life, so you will be rafting the slow, soft cascading Mo chu (Female river) and in the mid of enjoyment don’t forget photo-shoot (note-carry a water proof material to cover the camera) the nature and its surroundings and the magnificent Punakha Dzong with its beautiful cantilever bridge. And, after the adventure drive back to Paro. Evening is leisure time.
Overnight at Paro
Day 5: Paro
Today you will have an adventurous journey and a memory worth to cherish of a hike to world famous Taktshang (Tiger Nest) monastery. Paro Taktshang is one of the most amazing structures ever built in Bhutan. Hanging in the middle of the rocky cliff was a small temple first built by Gyalse Tenzin Rabgay in1692, which was later enlarged to the present glory despite several fire calamities. Legends surround the fact that the place was founded by Guru Padmasambhava in 8th century. It is a 2-3 hours walk uphill from the nearest motor road head and located at an altitude of 3,120 approximately meters above sea level. Back at Paro, spent rest of the day in buying gifts for your loved ones back at home
Overnight at Paro
Day 6: Departure
It is time for you to bid farewell to Bhutan with the joyful memories. Bhutan Myway would like to wish you a happy flight and safe journey. And Tashidelek (Good Luck)
Travel Advise: To save travel cost, travel with group and get exemption from supplementary cost and surcharges.