START OF TREK : Punakha Dzong
END OF TREK : Wangdue
DURATION : 9 nights/ 10 days
SEASON : October, November, December, January, February,
GRADE : SSS
Arrive Paro (Druk Air)
Paro - Thimphu
Thimphu - Punakha
Punakha - Limukha
Limukha - Chungsakha
Chungsakha - Samtengang
Samtengang - Thimphu
Thimphu - Paro Airport
DETAILED DAY TO DAY ITINERARY
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. We 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 -
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 2 hour drive to the capital, Thimphu. Overnight at the hotel absorbing the sights, sound and scents of Bhutan.
DAY 04 THIMPHU sightseeing - PUNAKHA
In the morning we 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 when driving to Khuruthang a magnificent view of the Bhutan Himalayas can be viewed from Dochula pass (3,050 m). Descend to Punakha valley and visit Punakha Dzong when the monks are in Thimphu. Overnight at the hotel.
DAY 05 PUNAKHA - LIMUKHA
The trek begins with a gradual climb through chir pie forest. A visit to the village of Dompala can be arranged depending on the group. Overnight at camp. Altitude 2,120 m; Distance 14 Km; Time 5-6 hours.
DAY 06 LIMUKHA - CHUNGSAKHA
The trial today takes you through rhododendron and oak forests. Enroute we pass a famous Drukpa Kuenly Lhakhang. Overnight at camp. Altitude 1,680 m; Distance 11 Kms; Time 4 5 hours.
DAY 07 CHUNGSAKHA - SAMTENGANG
The trial now takes us through the village of Sha Wangdue district. Camp at Samtengang, near the lake. Altitude 1,920 m; Distance 11 Km; Time 4-5 hours.
DAY 08 SAMTENGANG - WANGDUE - THIMPHU
The trial descends till the motor road. We drive till Wangdue and after lunch at the Tourist Lodge. We leave for Thimphu. Overnight in the hotel
DAY 09 THIMPHU sightseeing
After breakfast we visit the Dupthop Lakhang one of the few surviving nunneries in Bhutan and the National Memorial Chorten built in honor of our late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk and the Handicrafts Emporium. After lunch visit 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 then drive to Lungtenzampa to observe traditional gold and silver smiths at work followed by shopping in the city.
DAY 10 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.