Herbal Bath at Homestay
Butter Lamp Offering at Taktshang
Prayer flag hoisting
Talk on Gross National Happiness at the GNH Centre
Astrology Reading at Pangri Zampa Lhakhang.
Tango Buddhist University visit and Basic lessons on meditation by a monk followed by Q&A sessions
After arrival in Paro, meet your guide and driver outside the terminal. Visit Ta Dzong, most of the things displayed here are series of wooden Masks, sacred Scroll paintings, Clay statues, and exhibition of Bhutan’s Flora and Fauna. The Ta Dzong (watch tower) offers visitors a great view of the fertile Paro valley; Prepare for a flat hike to acclimatize hiking to Zuri Dzong (walking time 1hrs 30mins). From the National Museum in the Ta Dzong, take a leisurely hike along the forested hillside to Zuri Dzong and then down to the Rinpung Dzong, where your driver will pick you up. The walk passes Gonsaka Lhakhang and then Zuri Dzong and provides wonderful views down over the valley and Dzong. Zuri Dzong dates from 1352 and is home to the valley’s local protector gods. Later drive to Thimphu (1hrs,65km/44miles, Altitude 2300m/7360ft).
Overnight at hotel in Thimphu
We start our cycling tour from Dechencholing to Dodina. It’s about 5km/3.5miles adventurous ride along many small villages. Cycling is therefore a very unique way of experiencing and interacting with the people and its beautiful environment. You are more than equally rewarded with an extraordinary view and a rare experience. Riders should have an adequate level of fitness and stamina and be experienced in the required skills of cycling/mountain biking. While biking you will be accompanied by a support vehicle with mechanic which also allows the option to sit out a ride and take a break. Tango Goemba hiking which takes about 45 minutes. The trails are well paved starting from the parking lot till the university. Once on the top, we will be delighted to see the impressive monastery. Tango is the highest center of Buddhist learning in the country; almost every Je Khenpo (religious head of Bhutan) completed the 9-year program there. If the monks are at recess, we will have opportunity to chat with them and learn about their monastic lifestyle. Depending on available time and interest, we may or not visit all the sights.
After noon we retrace our way back downhill but before that we visit the local lhakangs. Evening visit Tashichoe Dzong that houses his majesties the king’s golden throne. Besides, the central monk body and the administrative offices make home here.
Bicycle Ride, Thimphu City.
Cycling routes and supplements ($65 per person)
Dechencholing-Dodina (12km/8miles, 1hrs)
Thimphu-Tango/ Dechencholing to Semtokha (20km/13miles, 2hrs)
Thimphu – Kuensel Phodrang- BBS Tower- Wangditse Goemba (15km/10miles, 1 ½ hrs)
Note: Please discuss the itinerary with the guide before executing the next day program cause due to unavailability of time chances are you may not be able to visit all sites (as mentioned above) in just one day.
(Time permitting) Colourful Weekends markets, considered one of the largest domestic market in the country; next you may stop at the Archery ground if there is any tournament on-going, Jungshi hand-made paper factory, Buddha Dodhenma popularly known as the Buddha point at Kuensel phodrang, Ga-Yul Lhendrup weaving house, Memorial stupa, Takin is the national animal (9A-4P visiting hours) preserve centre, Drubthob nunnery, Craft bazaar. Leisure walk (on your own) around the town.
Overnight at hotel in Thimphu
Today we drive over the high passes of Dochula located at an elevation of 1350m/4320ft. Hike to Lungchutse temple. It’s 30mins drive walk from the hillside below Hongtsho to Trashigang Goemba (3200m/10240ft)) where you will begin the todays hike.
This route actually follows the ancient trails people use to travel with herds of cattle to Punakha in the winter. Drive till Tashigang (unpaved roads), start the hike uphill and take the left fork instead of the going back towards Dochula. This very pleasant trail slowly ascends through spruce, rhodo, hemlock and juniper forest, iris meadows and blue pine and oak forest all the way to Lunchutse. Just when you are about reaching you will come across couple of small shackles are retreat centre and so you should not visit. Head down to the main shirine where you will witness the ancients murals on the interior walls. The trail that continues straight most likely goes to Dochula. Then follow the trail down to the bridge at the bottom of the valley. From here take the main track up to Tashigang. From Langchuzekha till Dochula can take around 1.5 hrs. Lunch will be arranged at the Eco resort.
Dochula Nature Trails begins at Dochula Pass, near the spectacular sight of 108 stupas framed by distant Himalayan peaks. On a clear day, these include Masangang, Table Mountain, and Tiger Mountain, which lies on the northern border with Tibet. It takes about 45 minutes of easy downhill hiking immersed in a pristine natural environment that features a wide variety of rhododendron, magnolia, oak and birch trees. Clear streams tumble down the hillside and bursts of melodious birdsong occasionally ring through the forest. A highlight of the trail is that 28 of 46 different species of rhododendron line the trail. As a tribute to this gift of nature, an annual Rhododendron Festival is held at the Royal Botanical Garden sometime between April and May, at the height of rhododendrons in full bloom. Tonight you will camp at the Botanical Park.
Overnight at Campsite
(1.5hrs each way, 45km/30miles, Altitude 1250m/4010ft)
The road gradually descends to the low lands of Punakha and Wangdue districts. Khamsum Yulley Namgay Chorten was built by Queen Mother and dedicated for the world peace. It majestically located on a ridge, with amazing views of the country side. It is one of the finest Bhutanese architects. It is located in idyllic countryside north of Punakha, about 30min drive from town. From the parking lot, it is another 45 minutes uphill walk through the rice fields and the return portion downhill takes around 30 minutes. In the summer or during the rainfall, the trails could be muddy and slippery. After return walk back (Optional), there is an option to walk along the riverside, following the ancient trail that goes through farmlands, homes, Sonagasa village and arrive near Punakha Dzong. This extra walk takes another two hours or so. It is particularly interesting for those interested in birding and to enjoy the walk viewing the countryside
Mo chu river originating in the mountainous hills of Northern Bhutan and Mo Chu river with 10 Km course with 10 rapids of class 2 – 2+ are chosen for our white water rafting packages in Bhutan. After the confluence of these two rivers near Punakha Dzong, the main river is known as Puna Tsang chu which offers even more exciting river run acknowledged mostly for its culturally stimulating and exciting rapids.
During this scrupulously organized river rafting trip, your journey through the most scenic and secluded miles featuring incredibly blue water, breath-taking alpine scenery, sighting world’s rarest birds and amazing rapids on the backdrop of striking 17th century Punakha Dzong (Fortress).
(Note: US $200 will be charged as supplements for the river rafting for a group of 1-4people)
The most elegant Dzong (castle) of all times is the great Punakha Dzong, serve as winter capital for the Je Khenpo (chief abbot) and central monk body is located at a confluence of Mo(female) and Pho(male) Chhu (river); A walk through the tiny village of Sopsokha in between the rice fields lead you to the divine madman’s Fertility temple (1hr hike both ways), Rinchengang stone mason’s villages (hike 30mins both ways)
Overnight at hotel in Punakha/Wangdue phodrang
(4hrs, 141km/94miles, Altitude 2290m/7328ft)
Morning drive (30mins drive) to Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal where you begin (45min hike one way) from nearby a river bank. After lunch drive back to Paro, En-route stop over at Chunzom, hub of road network that link the West to the South; 15th century Iron Bridge at Tamchog lhakhang; Visit the ruins Drugyel Dzong (currently under reconstruction), Kichu lhakang and Dungtse lhakang.
Leisure walk through the traditional old town of Paro agricultural valley that is home to over 40000 residents.
Overnight at hotel in Paro
(4hrs hike both ways, Distance 6.5km/4.3miles, Elevation 3160m/10112ft)
Early morning hike to Taktshang, seen as if its glued on the face of cliff that seems chain down from the sky is perched at an elevation of 3160m/10112ft above sea-level. It’s about 2hrs each way. However, the tea house is just 1hrs hike from the base to Tigers Nest. Almost 30mins before reaching the main monastery, there are approximately more than seven hundred stone steps on the edge of the cliff followed by a waterfall half way through.
Evening, Farewell dinner with (optional) herbal bath (supplements at $30 per person), if preferred local cuisine would be arranged and served as a part of your travel experience.
Overnight at hotel in Paro
After breakfast, you will be transferred back to the airport for your flight.