5 Days Bhutan ToursBack
Trip Facts Program Code: PTT-BHUTAN Duration: 5 days Program Type: Sightseeing Maximum Altitude: 2000m Minimum Pax: 3 Mode of Travel: Drive/flight Start Trip: Ktm/Paro End Trip: Paro/Ktm Program Grading: Easy - Tour Driving Hour: 1 hours Driving Distance: 1 KM Trek Distance: 1 KM Flying Hour: 1 hours

Overview

Bhutan, located in the eastern Himalayas, borders China to the north and India to the south, east and west. The altitude varies from 300m (1000ft) in the narrow lowland region to 7000m (22,000ft) in the Himalayan plateau in the north. The foothills are tropical and home to deer, lion, leopards and the rare golden monkey. The Inner Himalaya region is temperate; wildlife includes bear, boar and sambar and the area is rich in deciduous forests. Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan, lies at a height of over 2400m (8000ft) in a fertile valley. It resembles a large, widely dispersed village rather than a capital. The yearly religious Thimphu Festival is held in the courtyard directly in front of the National Assembly Hall. A visit to the Paro Valley and the Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) Monastery clinging to the face of a 900m (2952ft) precipice is highly recommended. Restaurants are scarce and most tourists eat vegetarian food served buffet-style in their hotels. Cheese is a popular ingredient, the most popular being dartsi (cow’s milk cheese). Rice is ubiquitous and is sometimes flavored with saffron. The most popular drink is souza (Bhutanese tea).

Paro Valley
One of the best agricultural regions of the country, Paro is also one of the most affluent. Fields cover most of the valley floor, while hamlets and isolated farms dot the countryside. The houses of Paro valley are considered to be among the most beautiful in the country. Paro is also the site of one of Bhutan's most impressive buildings – Paro Dzong. The famous monastery of Traktang and the ruins of Drukyul Dzong are nearby.
Thimphu
Thimphu lies in a wooded valley, sprawling up a hillside on the West Bank of the Thimphu Chhu [Chhu means River]. Thimphu is unlike any other world capital. Small and secluded the city is quiet and there are never the traffic jams familiar in other Asian Capitals. It is often said that Thimphu is the only world capital without traffic lights. Thimphu's main shopping street is a delight not so much for what you can buy there, but for the picturesqueness of the architecture and national costume. Beautiful weaves in wool, silk and cotton, basketwork, silver jewellery, thangkas and other traditional crafts of the Kingdom are available in various Handicraft Emporiums.
Punakha
Punakha plays a primordial role in the history of Bhutan; it was the country's winter capital for 300 years. Punakha Dzong, or Punthang Dechen Phodrang, was built in 1637. The Dzong resembles a gigantic ship exactly covering a split of land at the confluence of two rivers. The history of Punakha Dzong dates back to the year 1328 when a saint named Ngagi Rinchen built a temple there which can still be seen today opposite to the great Dzong. Shabdrung Nawang Namgyel a key figure in the history of Bhutan built Punakha Dzong and his body is preserved in one of the Dzongs temples, Machen Lhakhang. The Dzong was damaged six times by fire, once by floods and once by earthquake. The coronation of Ugyen Wangchuk, the first king of Bhutan, took place at Punakha Dzong on 17th December 1907.
Wangdue Phodrang
Wangdue Phodrang, means ‘the palace where the four directions are gathered under the power of the Shabdrung'. However the popular story has it that the Shabdrung arrived at the river and happened to see a boy building a sand castle. He asked for the boy's name, which was Wangdue, and thereupon decided to name the Dzong Wangdue Phodrang or 'Wangdue's Palace.' Wangdue Phodrang Dzong is perched on a spur at the confluence of two rivers. Its position is remarkable as it completely covers the spur and commands an impressive view over both the north-south and east-west roads. The main road climbs the length of the spur and on the left, across the river, comes the first glimpse of the picturesque village of Rinchengang whose inhabitants are celebrated stonemasons.

Taksang Monastery :
Literally meaning Tiger's nest; built around the cave in which Guru Padmasambava meditated in the eight century, clings seemingly impossible to a cliff of rock at 800 meters above paro valley. It is believed that Guru Rimpoche landed on this spot in a miraculous manner, flying on the back of a tigress. For local people it is a place for pilgrimage but for tourist a hike up to the view point cafe opposite the monastery is breathtaking, thrilling and mystical.


Short Itinerary

Day 01 : Arrive by Druk air-A319, the only national carrier. The flight offers you beautiful view of mountains and landscapes. On arrival and after visa formalities you will be received by our guide and transfer to Thimphu (54 kms, 1 & 1/2 hrs). O/N at Hotel Phuntsho Pelri or similar.
 
Day 02 : AM Thimphu sightseeing - visit the Memorial chorten built in the memory of the late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, 15 century Changangkha monastery and  the new  Drupthob nunnery temple.
PM drive 3 hours to Punkha/Wangduephodrang crossing the Dochula pass 3100 meters. On fine weather you will see the eastern Himalayan ranges including the highest mountain in Bhutan Mt.Gangar Punsum 7520 meters. The drive from the pass is all the way downhill dropping to the lower and warmer valleys of lobesa. Visit the Wangduephodrang Dzong from outside and the market area. Overnight at Zangto Pelri or similar.
 
Day 03 : AM visit the Punakha Dzong which served as an old capital of Bhutan. This remarkable fortress is built between two rivers and has survived many glacial floods and fire. Every year during the month of February a procession known as the Punakha Serda takes place to commemorate the victory over the Tibetans. Drive 3 hours to Thimphu for lunch and proceed 2 hours to Paro via visiting the oldest building in Bhutan, the Simtokha Dzong. It now serves as a Buddhist university. Overnight at Hotel Tenzinling Resort or similar.
 
Day 04: Day hike to the Taktsang monastery.  The hike which is all the way uphill takes about 2 /3 hours through villages and pine forests. The monastery clings to a huge granite cliff 800 meters from the paro valley.  PM visit Ta Dzong & Rinpung Dzong. Stroll back to Resort. Evening at leisure.
 
Day 05: Transfer to airport  for departure.

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