Tour Route: Paro and Thimphu
Tour Highlights: Tiger’s nest hike, 108 stupa at Dochula pass(3150m/10080ft), Farm house visit, Experience hot stone traditional bath
Day 1: Arrive in Paro, transfer to Thimphu(1hr drive, 65km/43miles),
Kindly approach the airport 2hrs prior to the flight departure. You will need to present the Bhutan Visa at the time of the boarding. We will be sending you a copy of your Bhutan visa clearance before you depart from home through email, fax etc. There are only ‘two’ commercial planes that fly in and out of Bhutan. Normally these flights are scheduled to fly in from Bangkok, Delhi, Nepal and Singapore. Upon arrival at the airport immigration, you will need to once again present your visa copy for final visa seal on your passport. After clearing all formalities at the immigration and custom, you will find our guide and the driver waiting outside the terminal. You will then be greeted with traditional welcome scarf and then transferred to sightseeing for the day.
The Ta-dzong(Watch tower) was once built during the 17th century to safeguard the Rinpung dzong below. It’s now been converted into a museum in 1968, its collection of fine arts, paintings and large bronze vessels, textiles, artifacts, jewellery, history about the kings, galleries of stuffed animals, birds and butterflies from Bhutan. Among the others, the mask hall is very popular room on display is a series of masks collected from all over the country. Dungtse lhakang, one of the very few temples that don’t have lights as fear to the ancient murals could be destroyed by the rays of the light over a period of time. Later we drive to Thimphu(1hrs), En route stop over for a 10min walk down to the 15th century ‘Iron bridge’, at the Tachog lhakang. It’s a privately owned temple by the descendants of Drubthob Thangthong Gyelpo so you might want to check with your guide before making a visit to make sure they are open.
Upon arrival, the capital city boost to about more than 80,000 residents and the only capital in the world next to Pyongyang that doesn’t have traffic lights even to this day. Visit the National Memorial Stupa, the stupa was erected in a memory of the late third king of Bhutan in early 1974. Over the years it have become the pious landmark for local residents and for Buddhist pilgrims.
Overnight at Thimphu, Khang residency, Dorji elements or Similar.
Day 2: Sightseeing and drive to Paro (Alt.2300m/7360ft)
Following breakfast at the hotel we explore the Himalayan valleys by visiting the Thimphu weekend markets, Buddha point, Takin preserve at Motithang, Drubthob Nunnery, Tashichoedzong, We drive approximately for 45mins, to the ‘108 stupas at Dochula’ (3150m/10080ft). The most scenic pass offers visitors with a panoramic view of the Eastern Himalayas on a clear day including the highest peak in such as Mt.Gankhar phuensum(7570m/24224ft) and Mt.Jumolhari(7326m/23443ft). Druk wangyel lhakang, these temple and stupas is dedicated to commemorate victory over the armed gunmen who were posing serious threat to the sovereignty as well as the serene tranquility of the nation which was untouched for many centuries. Later retrace your way back to Paro(1.45min drive). Visit farm houses and experience the Bhutanese way of living.
(Optional) Traditional hot stone bath can and will be arranged with prior notice at a supplements of $25 per person. It’s a tradition; an art of natural healing process believed to cure arthritis, muscle and join pains and relieves fatigue. An indigenous remedy practiced for centuries and still considers of very useful aid even to this day.
Overnight at Paro, Hotel Drukchen/ Hotel Olathang or similar
Day 3: Day Hike to the Legendary Tiger’s nest
(4hrs hiking, Alt.3140m/10098ft)
It’s going to be a long day hike to Tiger’nest. If possible try to leave hotel at around 0730A and it takes about 15-20mins drive till the base camp. You will follow through a natural unpaved foot trails covered with pines, holly, Spanish mosses, rhododendron etc. It is also like to counter many species of birds and wild animals such as the ‘grey languor’.
The trails can be divided into two sections; the first half mostly out in the sun takes about an hour till the tea house offering stunning view of the Taktshang, it looks as if glued to the face of the rocks above you. You may take a short breather using washrooms or for a hot cup of tea/coffee since there will be no proper washrooms after this so it’s probably the best stop. At this point one may decide whether you opt to go further uphill to the monastery for about 1 hour or return with few snapshots of the monastery. Lunch is served at the tea house with the majestic views of Taktshang above and the Paro valley at the bottom.
However, the second half continues further up the ridge for another hour but this time the trails remain hidden by the forests so it is not going to be as hot as the first half. You will reach the pinnacle point where the monastery seems standing just below your feet. From here we have more than seven hundred steps with proper hand rails to support until we finally reach the Taktshang. Don’t worry if the monastery is closed for lunch (1-2P) as it will resume afterwards.
Taktsang (meaning Tiger’s nest) Alt.3140m/10098ft,, tragically wrecked in a fire of early 1998. The monastery, which has now been rebuilt, is perched some 2,880ft/900m up on a sheer cliff overlooking the valley and was said to be where the legendary Indian saint, Guru Padmasambhava, flew from Tibet on the back of a tigress to defeat demons obstructing the spread of Buddhism in Bhutan.
(Optional: Ponies are available for ride at an extra cost of $20 per person. Please bear in mind that these ponies would not go as far as the tea house and cannot be used for ride while coming downhill)
Overnight at Paro, Hotel Drukchen/ Hotel Olathang
Day 4: Depart Paro.
You will be transferred to the airport by our representative for flight back home.
Meals: Breakfast only.