5 Nights 6 Days
- Visit one of the most remote country in the world
- See and Experience century old fortresses called Dzongs and temples
- Experience pure Buddhist tradition and preserved Bhutanese culture
- Very special is a visit to the Cordyceps Tasting House, where you can learn more about the so-called ‘caterpillar mushroom’’, a traditional medicine valued more than gold
- Hike to Taktsang Goemba ‘Tiger’s Nest’ and thrilling cliffs
- See Mask Dance /Traditional Dances/Folk Songs
- Visit to Local Home stay to test local cuisines
- Visit to local post office to make a personalized postage stamp
- Visit to Kyichu Lhakhang built in the 7th century
- Visit to Weaving Center to see Bhutanese hand woven textiles
- Visit Golden Buddha Dordenma at Kuenselphodrang
- Visit 108 miniature chortens or stupa at Dochula pass
- Experience the traditional Hot Stone Bath
Kuzuzangpola – Welcome to Bhutan!
Day 01 Arrive Paro:
The flight into Bhutan takes you the great Himalayas, offering you the most scintillating scenery of the world’s highest glacial peaks. As you enter Paro valley, you will see the silvery Pa-chu (Paro river) meandering down the valley with lush green paddy fields, pristine forest, incredulous fortress-like monasteries known as Dzongs and majestically flowing rivers. On arrival at the Paro International Airport, you will be received by Away Smile Travels representatives and escort you to Thimphu. The drive from Paro to Thimphu takes about one hour.
Thimphu situated at an altitude of 2200 M. The Kingdom’s capital city is home to approximately 130,000 inhabitants including the Royal family. Thimphu is the most modern city in Bhutan. This bustling little city is the main center of commerce, religion and government in the country. The juxtaposition of ancient tradition and modernity make Thimphu the ideal location for visitors to break away from their tour itinerary to immerse themselves in the contemporary Bhutanese lifestyle.
Visit National Memorial Chorten. The National Memorial Chorten was built in 1974 in memory of the late Third Druk Gyalpo (King) of Bhutan. At the chorten, you will find an extraordinary depiction of Buddhist teachings in the form of paintings and sculptures.
Visit Authentic Bhutanese Craft Bazzar/shop. A one stop shop place to witness Bhutanese rich Culture and buy Bhutan made art and craft products. The shop in its 80 small stall covers all aspect of traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan. The shops linked with the rural artisans aims to promote Bhutan’s craft industry by creating a viable market, which n turns acts to preserve and promote Bhutan’s unique culture and bring about equitable socio-economic development in the country.
Visit Cordyceps Tasting House. Unique to the world, the Cordyceps Tasting Room offer a cozy room to taste a range of Cordyceps-infused tea. Our hostess will also perform a Cordyceps Tea Ceremoney. Cordyceps Sinensis is a unique and exoctic mushroom that grows in the mountains of Bhutan at an elevation between 14,500 feet to 17,000 feet below the snow line.
Visit the local post office that has a large collection of stamps. They can make a personalized postage stamp for you that can be used to mail a letter or postcard for a nominal fee. Overnight Hotel in Thimphu
Day 02 Thimphu Local Sightseeing
After breakfast begin the Thimphu City Tour. Visit Buddha Point (Kuensel Phodrang). Buddha Point has the largest statue of Buddha in the whole kingdom.
Kuenselphodrang Hike (Optional). This is a lovely hike from Kuenselphodrang to Changangkha monastery. The hike will take about 3 to 4 hours. The hike is through pine forest. The hiking trail was made as a mountain biking trail but it’s a good trail to go hiking. This trail is doable throughout the year. During winter it could be little chilly, and one should carry some lightweight warm clothes. This trail is part of the 60th birth anniversary celebration of the fourth king of Bhutan. The best time for this trail is to start in the morning when the temperature is quite cool.
Visit National Library. The National Library was established in the late 1960s primarily to conserve the literary treasures which form a significant part of Bhutan’s cultural heritage. It now houses an extensive collection of Buddhist literature mostly in block-printed format, with some works that are several hundred years old. There is also a small collection of foreign ook mainly comprising works written in English. On display is also the world’s biggest book (which was on Bhutan).
Visit Folk Heritage Museum. Built in 2001, the Folk Heritage Museum gives a glimpse of how life was lived in a Bhutanese village a hundred years ago. (You can try traditional butter tea and Traditional food)
Visit Weaving Center. You can watch weavers at work at the private weaving centre at Changzamtog. The centre produces hand woven textiles and has a selection of cloth and readymade Bhutanese garments for sale.
Visit Weekend Market in Thimphu. Most of the Thimphu’s population and many valley dwellers converge on the bustling weekend market, held by the side of Wang chu (Thimphu river). A wide range of food and local arts and crafts are sold at the market, which runs from Thursday afternoon till Sunday evening.
Visit small sanctuary (Takin Zoo) dedicated to the Takin, the national animal of Bhutan.
Visit Tashichhodzong: Tashichhodzong means ‘the fortress of the glorious religion.’ It is a majestic fortress in all its grandeur and serves as the seat of Bhutan’s government. The Dzong houses the secretariat, the throne room, the offices of His Majesty the King. The fortress was initially erected in 1641 and later rebuilt in the 1960s by the third king, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck.
Evening Explore Thimphu City. Overnight Hotel in Thimphu
Day 03 Thimphu-Punakha. (Drive 3 hours)
After drive to the beautiful valley of Punakha, the former capital of Bhutan. After a dramatic one-hour drive, the zigzag course of the road brings you to Dochula, a beautiful mountain pass (alt 3,140 m) with its fluttering prayer flags and a spectacular set of 108 miniature chortens. On a clear fine day, you will also get awe-inspiring glimpses of the towering Himalayan peaks around. The remaining part of the drive is mostly a gradual descent into Punakha valley.
Punakha situated at an altitude of 1200 M. Punakha Dzongkhag has been inextricably linked with momentous occasions in Bhutanese history. It served as the capital of the country from 1637 to 1950s. Punakha Dzong is not only the second oldest and second largest dzong, but it also has one of the most majestic structures in the country. Punakha Dzong was built at the confluence of two major rivers in Bhutan, the Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu, which converge in this valley. It is an especially beautiful sight on sunny days with sunlight reflecting off the water onto its white-washed walls.
Visit the Punakha Dzong. Placed strategically at the junction of the Pho Chu and Mo Chu rivers, the dzong was built in 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to serve as the religious and administrative seat of the region. It was here that the dual system of government was introduced in the 17th century and in 1907, the first King Gongsr Ugyen Wangchuck was enthroned. Damaged over the centuries by four catastrophic fires and an earthquake, the dzong has been fully restored in the recent years by the 4th King Jigme Singye Wangchuck. At the Dzong, enrich your trip with the opportunity to see the highest standards in woodwork.
Visit Chimi Lhakhang in the village of Lobesa (20 mins from Punakha), the auspicious fertility temple built by the famous divine madman. It’s a beautiful 30 min walk amidst paddy fields and typical Bhutanese houses. Stop at some of the local village homes here to get a feel of the traditional Bhutanese way of living. The temple is beautifully perched on a small hilltop overlooking the entire village. Overnight Hotel in Punakha
Day 04 Punakha-Paro (Drive 4 hours)
After breakfast drive to Tserigang and hike Khamsum Yule Namgyel Chorten. This fascinating temple was built by the Queen Mother of the 5th King to bring universal peace in this world. The best of the spiritual art works is painted on the inner walls. There are also paintings of Buddhist teachers and tutelary deities of the country. This is a great temple to study the symbolic meanings from frescoes and sculptures. The hike is about 45 mins one way.
Later transfer to Paro. Paro is situated at an altitude of 2200 M. Paro valley extends from the confluence of the Paro Chhu and the Wang Chhu rivers at Chuzom up to Mt. Jomolhari to the North. This picturesque region is one of the widest valleys in the kingdom and is covered in fertile rice fields and has a beautiful, crystalline river meandering down the valley. Accentuating the natural beauty are the elegant, traditional-style houses that dot the valley and surrounding hills. One of the distinctive features of Paro town is that it is situated in a flat valley bottom and follows a grid-like pattern.
Visit the Ta-Dzong. The Ta-Dzong was originally the watchtower for the Paro Dzong and stands imposingly on a hillock overlooking the Paro valley. In 1968, it was inaugurated as the National Museum, and now holds a fascinating collection of arts, relics, religious thangka paintings, Bhutan’s exquisite postage stamps, coins, handicrafts, and a small natural history collection. A short visit here will give you an idea of the cultural and ecological richness of Bhutan.
Visit Rinpung Dzong. The dzong’s correct name is Rinchen Phug Dzong but has been shortened to Rinpung Dzong. The name means ‘fortress of the heap of jewels.’ The dzong was built in 1644 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel on the foundation of a monastery built by Guru Rinpoche. Some of the scenes from the film ‘Little Buddha’ by Bernardo Bertolucci in 1995 was filmed at the Paro Rinpung Dzong.
Explore Paro Town. Overnight Hotel in Paro
Day 05 Paro Sightseeing (Hike to Taktsang Monastery)
After breakfast, drive to Paro, Rumthngaka village and hike to Taktsang. The main highlight of the trip is the hike to one of Bhutan’s most venerated pilgrimage sites, the Taktsang Goemba, commonly referred to as the ‘Tiger’s Nest’. According to legend, Guru Rinpoche miraculously flew here on the back of a tigress, meditated in a cave here for three months and converted the whole of Paro valley to Buddhism. Resting at an altitude of 900 m above the valley, Taktsang is an architectural wonder and the spectacular around 5 hours round trip walk will be your most overwhelming experience ever.
Visit Kyichu Lhakhang built in the 7th century by the famous Buddhist Tibetan king, Songtsen Gampo. This is one of the oldest and most holy temple in Bhutan.
After the tiring hike you can experience the traditional Hot Stone Bath. Stones are handpicked from the river which is heated up in the open fire until they turn blood red. The traditional wooden tub is filled with cold water and then the red-hot stones are dipped in until the water warms up. It is a very natural experience that includes the elements of water, fire and earth.
Traditional hot stone bath is a complimentary service arranged by Away Smile Travels.
Evening Cultural show/ program at local venue and later followed by Farwell dinner at Local Home Stay. Overnight Hotel in Paro
Day 06 Departure:
After breakfast drive to the Paro International Airport, where our representatives will bid you goodbye!
Thank you (Kardrienchhey) for visiting Bhutan with Away Smile Travels “Smiles for Miles “