DAY 01 ARRIVE PARO (DRUK AIR)
The flight into Paro on our national carrier, Druk Air, is a befitting introduction to the
spectacular beauty of our country. In clear weather, magnificent views of the worlds highest peaks, give way to the lush green Paro valley as you land. A tour guide from Sambara Tours & Travels, who will be your personal host throughout your stay in Bhutan, will be waiting to assist you with customs and immigration formalities, and then drive you the short distance to the Hotel.
DAY 02 PARO sightseeing
Your journey into the Thunder Dragon kingdom will truly begin with a drive in the morning to the ruins of the Drukgyal Dzong 18 km up the valley. Built in 1647 by the great Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, father and unifier of medieval Bhutan, the dzong was destroyed by accidental fire and left in ruins as an evocative reminder of the great victories it was built to commemorate. Explore the rampart and on a clear day experience an unforgettable view of Mt. Jumolhari (7,314 m). We then drive back for an unhurried stroll through Paro town before proceeding to the hotel for lunch. In the afternoon we drive to the Ta Dzong, and ancient watch-tower, which now houses the National Museum. A relaxed evening at hotel, sumptuous meal including (for the adventurous!) authentic fiery hot local cuisine, and a warm bed.
DAY 03 PARO EXCURSION TO TAKTSANG (Tiger's Nest) MONASTERY - THIMPHU
A very special day, with an excursion to view the spectacular Taktsang monastery - a labour of devotion and faith! After breakfast a short drive takes us to Satsam Chorten from where we walk up to the Taktsang viewpoint. The trail climbs through beautiful pine forest, many of the trees festooned with Spanish moss, and an occasional grove of fluttering prayer flags. We stop for a rest and light refreshment at the Taktsang Jakhang (cafeteria) and then walk a short distance until we see, clearly and seemingly within reach, Taktsang monastery. Built in the 1600s, this incredible monastery clings to the edge of a sheer rock cliff that plunges 900 m into the valley below. Legend has it that Guru Padmasambhava, the tantric mystic who brought Buddhism to Bhutan, landed here on the back of a flying tiger. Looking at the monastery flying tigers donšt seem so impossible after all. Lunch at Taktsang Jakhang and then back to Satsam Chorten for the 2 hour drive to the capital, Thimphu. Overnight at hotel absorbing the sights, sounds and scents of Bhutan
DAY 04 THIMPHU sightseeing
After breakfast we visit the National Memorial Chorten built in honor of our late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk and the Dupthop Lakhang one of the few surviving nunneries in Bhutan. We then visit the National Library, stocked with ancient manuscripts, and the Painting School where traditional art is still kept alive through instructions in the art of painting thangkas (sacred Buddhist religious scrolls). After lunch we drive to the Traditional Medicine Hospital where medicines are prepared according to ancient practices, and to Lungtenzampa to observe traditional gold and silver smiths at work. Other highlights include a visit to the Tashichho Dzong, seat of the national government and the Central Monastic Body, including the summer residence of the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot of Bhutan). The Tashichho Dzong is open to visitors only in winter when the Je Khenpo and the Monk Body move to Punakha the ancient winter capital of Bhutan. We finally visit the Handicraft Emporium followed by shopping for souvenirs in the shops of Thimphu.
DAY 05 THIMPHU - PUNAKHA/WANGDUE - THIMPHU
A day's excursion to Punakha and Wangdue valley. Leaving Thimphu the road climbs steeply through a forest of pine and clear, festooned with hanging lichen high up near Dochula pass (3,050 m). This pass often offers panoramic views of the Himalayan mountain ranges. From Dochula the road descends along a series of hairpin bends to the fertile valley of Punakha. We take a stroll through the small town and view the Punakha Dzong, winter seat of the Je Khenpo and ancient capital of Bhutan, remarkably located between the rivers of the Mo Chu and Pho Chu. The dzong is open to visitors only in summer when the Je Khenpo and the Monk Body are in Thimphu. Lunch at hotel in Punakha. We then drive down the valley to view the Wangdue Dzong dramatically located on the spur of a hill at the confluence of the Tsang Chu and Dang Chu. We return to Thimphu in the late afternoon.
DAY 06 THIMPHU - PARO AIRPORT
We leave Thimphu early to catch your onward flight from Paro airport where our STT
representative will bid you farewell at Paro airport. Good-bye and happy journey back home.