Best of Western Bhutan

Day 01: Arrival at Paro

After your arrival and completion offormalities at the Paro International Airport, Abhaya Bhutan Tours and Treks will welcome you at Paro airport and drive through the lovely Paro valley to your hotel.

After lunch, drive to Drukgyel Dzong, a ruined fortress where Bhutanese warriors fought off Tibetan invaders centuries ago. The snowy dome of sacred Jhomolhari, “mountain goddess” can be seen in all her glory from the approach road to the Dzong. Along the way, see the 7th century Kichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples built in the Himalayas by the Tibetan king, Songtsen Gampo. The building of this temple marks the introduction of Buddhism in Bhutan.

In the evening stroll around the Paro town and shop. Dinner and overnight at hotel in Paro.

Day 02: Paro Tour and Sightseeing

After breakfast visit Ta Dzong, originally built as a watchtower, which now houses Bhutan’s National Museum. The extensive collection includes antique thangkha paintings, textiles, weapons & armor, household objects and a rich assortment of natural and historic artifacts.

Then walk down the trail to visit Rinpung Dzong (“fortress of the heap of jewels”), which has a long and fascinating history. Walk down to Rimpung Bridge ( Traditonal Bridge), oldest bridge in Bhutan.

After lunch, drive to the base camp and then hike up to the Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s nest). The climb up to the viewpoint will take approximately 3 hours. Enjoy the stunning view of the monastery, where Guru Padmasambhava flew on the back of a tiger and landed there in the 8th century, and meditated for three months. The monastery was later built in this holy place in 1684. After tea in the cafe’, walk back to the road point and drive to back to hotel for overnight stay.

Day 03: Paro –Thimphu

Travel to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. Check into hotel. After the refreshment,visit Tashichhodzong, its history is very old, dating back to the 13th century, which houses His Majesty’s Throne Room and home to the Monk Body.

Then visit the National Library where the history of Bhutan lies imprinted in archaic texts, which are preserved at the National Library, a treasure trove of priceless Buddhist Manuscripts and ancient texts; the library also has modern academic books and printing blocks for prayer flags.

Visit Changangkha temple, which is the temple of Chenrizig or Compassionate Buddha.

After luch,drive to see the Takin Zoo, which houses the national animal the Takin that is only found in Bhutan. Then drive further up to Sangaygang to enjoy the bird’s eye view of Thimphu valley. Drive back and walk around the National Memorial Chorten built in 1974 in honor of the late King. In the evening, walk through Thimphu town and visit local shops.

Day 04: Thimphu Tour and Sightseeing-Punakha-Wangdue

After breakfast, visit the following:

  • The National Folk Heritage Museum to get an insight of the Bhutanese way of life.
  • The Institute for Zorig Chusum (commonly known as the Painting School), where a six year training course is given in the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan.
  • The National Institute of Traditional Medicine, where the medicinal herbs abundant in the kingdom are compounded and dispensed.

After lunch, travel to Punakha via the Dochula pass . An hour’s drive from Thimphu will take you to this pass (3140 m) where one can have a superb view of the Eastern Himalayas on a clear day with a powerful binocular telescope.

Visit the beautiful 108 chortens built on the hill by Her Majesty Ashi Dorji Wangmo for the security and well being of His Majesty the King of Bhutan. The descent into Punakha valley along the Kingdom’s only east west highway.Visit Punakha Dzong,the Punakha Dzong is situated on the junction of the two rivers the Phochu (male river) and Mochu (female river) and is one of the most spectacular Dzongs in the country Drive through Metshina village and walk to Chimi Lhakhang ( 20 minutes), temple of the divine Madman Lama Drukpa Kuenley where couples unable to conceive child, come here to receive blessing.

Overnight at hotel in Wangdue.

Day 05: Wangdue –Paro

After breakfast, visit Wangdue Dzong,situated on a ridge overlooking a river junction. In the 17th century, Wangdue played a critical role in unifying the western, central and southern regions of the country. Also visit the local market.

Travel back to Paro, visiting Simtokha Dzong en route. This dzong, built in 1627, is the oldest in Bhutan. Check into hotel. Free time to relax.

Day 06: Departure from Paro

In the morning tour guide from Abhaya Bhutan Tours and Treks will escort you to theParo International Airport for your onward flight.