Receive by Rainbow Representative. In Paro, receive by a representative from Rainbow Tours. Transfer to hotel. Paro Altitude: 2400m. Paro is a town and seat of Paro district in Bhutan. It is also the home to the only international airport in the country.
After check in and refreshment, visit the followings places:
-Visit the National Museum, once the watchtower for the Rinpung Dzong, located high on a promontory overlooking the Paro Valley. This first outing is meant to familiarize you with the cultural and natural history of this amazing kingdom in the clouds, and a visit to the National Museum is the very best way to quickly learn the culture since it houses everything that is Bhutanese, in a very different museum style that will delight you. First constructed in 1645, the Rinpung Watchtower was converted to the National Museum in 1968. While photography within the museum is not allowed, there are numerous photo ops of the exterior and the valley below.
-Visit the Rinpung Dzong situated just below the National Museum Watch Tower. Built in 1645, this massive building now houses the District Administration Office and the Monk Body.
Drive 16 Km from Paro town to visit the Drugyel Dzong - ruined fortress. The dzong, although in ruins, holds great historical significance. It was from this fortress that the Bhutanese repelled many Tibetan invasions. On a clear day this spot offers a magnificent vista of Mount Chomolhari, "Mountain of Goddess" (Alt. 7329 m). In the evening walk through Paro town.
Dinner and overnight: Hotel
Bhutan’s most scenic icon or the most important landmark, Taktshang the Tiger’s nest clings to the side of a steep cliff 300 meters above the Paro valley. The place was first visited by Guru Rimpoche, founder of the tantric form of Buddhism in Himalayan countries, in the 8th century. It was said that he meditated there for about three months. The original temple was built in the 17th century, but tragically, it was consumed by fire in 1998. Like a phoenix, the temple was rebuilt to its fullest glory in 2003. Takshang is considered to be the 10th-holiest site in the Buddhist world. You can visit three different temples inside the main Takshang complex. Riding Ponies provided upon request.
Lunch at Taktshang Cafeteria.
After you descend from Taktshang, visit Kychu Lhakhang (temple). This is one of the oldest and most sacred shrines of Bhutan. The inner temple was built by a Buddhist Tibetan King, Srongtsen Goempo in the 7th century.
Dinner and Overnight: Hotel
Transfer to Thimphu. En route visit an ancient monastery built in the mid 15th century by a Bhutanese saint “Thangthong Gyelpo” who introduced the iron chain bridges in Bhutan. Five kilometers from Thimphu lies the oldest fortress, Semtokha Dzong, built in 1629 by Shabdrung Rimpoche, a Tibetan Lama, who came to Bhutan in 1616. After Semtokha Dzong drive to Thimphu and check in at hotel.
In the evening visit Thimphu town.
Dinner: hosted by Rainbow Tours
Morning visit the Week-end Open Market where people from all over western Bhutan bring their vegetables (Provided day 04 falls on Friday-Sunday). Local Arts and Crafts/Textiles for sale. This is an excellent photo shoot opportunity.
If during a weekday, visit Memorial Chorten: Memorial Chorten. This stupa was built in 1974 to honor the 3rd King of Bhutan, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. This religious structure is circumambulated only in a clockwise direction (reciting prayers and whirling the large red prayer wheels).
Hike to Tango Monastery and meet the child lama and the monks.
The hike takes about 3 hours round trip.
If time permits, visit Trashichhodzong Courtyard. This massive building houses government ministries, the Throne Room and the residence of Chief Abbot.
Dinner and overnight: Hotel in Thimphu.
The drive takes about 3 hours. En route stop at Dochula Pass (3150 m), 30 Km from Thimphu, for tea and biscuits and enjoy a view of the Eastern Himalayan mountains. From Dochula to Wangdue, it’s another two hours drive. After lunch in Lobesa, visit the Punakha Dzong. This is the winter residence of Bhutan’s spiritual leader, the Head Abbot, and the Central Monastic Body. The Dzong is built between two rivers known as “Phochu” (Male River) and “Mochu” (Female River). After Punakha take a short hike to Chhi-Med Lhakhang in the picturesque Lobesa valley, to visit the temple of one of Bhutan’s foremost saints, Lama Drukpa Kunley, also known as the “Divine Madman”.
Dinner and overnight: Hotel
The winter habit of the famous black-neckedcranes which migrate from Tibet and Siberia. Visit the roosting place of the cranes, the famous Gangtey Monastery. In the evening visit a farm house for local hospitality.
Overnight: local Guest House
Transfer to Bumthang crossing Yotungla Pass (3425 m) and get the first glimps of the Black Mountains and yaks along the way. En route visit the Yatha Textile Centre in Chumey Valley.
Overnight: Local Guest House
Day Excursion to Shugdrag Temple (5 hours)
Walk through farms, fields and forests to the temple. The temple is dedicated to Guru Rimpoche and it is supposed to have been blessed by the Saint in the 8th Century. The temple is built on a rock face and resembles the Taktshang Monastery in Paro. The to and fro trip to the temple will take approx. 5 hours. Enroute a side visit to the Thangbi Monastery, an 18th Century temple and interact with the monks over a cup of yak butter tea.
Overnight: Local guest house.
Morning: visit Ugyenchholing Dzong (Tang Valley) Drive for 1 ½ hours drive then walk for another 1 hour through farms and fields finally climbing a small rise to reach the Dzong. Enroute visit Rimochen Temple, another temple blessed by Guru Rimpoche and where imprints of the Saint’s foot and body can be seen on the rock.
The Ugyenchholing Dzong was formerly the palace of Trongsa Penlop Tsokey Dorji. It now houses a museum.
Evening: transfer to Trongsa
Dinner and overnight: Hotel in Trongsa
Drive back to Thimphu (8 hrs) Check in at Hotel in Thimphu. In the Afternoon visit the privately run Textile Weaving Centre. It takes almost a year to weave one dress, but textiles has become the largest industry in the country. The visit to the textile museum is an introduction to the Bhutanese national attire and the workforce responsible for these items of utility and beauty.
Evening: stroll through Thimphu town
Morning: Thimphu Sightseeing.
Visit the following places:
- Arts and Crafts School
- National Library where ancient manuscripts are kept
- Paper Factory
Evening: drive to Paro. Visit a farm house and experience traditional Bhutanese hospitality.
Dinner and overnight: Hotel
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