12N/13D Central Bhutan Tour
On arriving at the Paro International Airport, representative will receive you and escort you to the hotel. After lunch/refreshment in the hotel drive to the National Museum located on a promontory overlooking the valley. Visit the Paro Ringpung Dzong after the museum. The 17th century Dzong still houses the Monk Body and the district administration. In the evening explore the Paro town.
After an early breakfast drive to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. The drive takes you through the winding road with lots of beautiful hamlets. In Simtokha, visit the Simtokha Dzong built in 1629 and now it houses the Institute of Language & Cultural Studies. On reaching Thimphu, check-in at the hotel.
After lunch, visit the Institute of Arts & Crafts, Folk Heritage Museum, National Library, Traditional Handmade Paper factory and Gold & Silversmiths unit. In the evening, visit the Tashicho Dzong, which houses the Office of His Majesty the King. In the evening explore the various Handicrafts stores in the town.
After breakfast visit the Memorial Stupa built in memory of the late King in 1974. Visit the National Textile Museum, Post office, Changlimithang Zangtopelri and Institute of Traditional Medicines. After lunch drive to Mothithang and visit the Takin (National Animal) sanctuary. Drive further up to the viewpoint and enjoy the view of Thimphu valley. Walk to Wangditse Temple, which would take about 2 hours for the round trip. It is a very gradual walk with great view of Tashicho Dzong and National Assembly building.
After breakfast, drive to Punakha via Dochula Pass (3150 mts). On a clear day, you can see the breathtaking views of the whole range of Eastern Himalayan Mountain ranges. On reaching Punakha check in the hotel.
After lunch drive to Karbisa and begin the Khamsung Yuelley Namgyal Stupa hike. The round trip hike would take about 2 – 3 hours and the place offers good view of the lower Punakha Valley. The Stupa was built for the wellbeing of the present Crown Prince of Bhutan.
After an early breakfast, drive to Trongsa (142 kms). The journey takes about 6 hrs with lunch stop on the way.
AM: Visit the Trongsa Dzong and the Watch Tower. The Trongsa Dzong was the ancestral home of the ruling dynasty. It is also the district administration office of the Trongsa district. It was built in 1648 A.D. The landscape around Trongsa is spectacular, and for miles on end the Dzong seems to tease you so that you wonder if you will ever reach it. Backing on to the mountain and built on several levels, the Dzong fits narrowly on a spur that sticks out into the gorge of the Mangde River and overlooks the routes south and west. The view from the Dzong extends for many kilometers and in former times nothing could escape the vigilance of its watchmen. Furthermore, the Dzong is built in such a way that in the old days, no matter what direction a traveler came from, he was obliged to pass by the Dzong. This helped to augment its importance as it thus had complete control over all east-west traffic. The Ta-Dzong, an ancient Watch Tower of the Trongsa Dzong is located on top of a steep hill about 1 km beyond the Trongsa Dzong. The watch tower displays many interesting armors used by the Bhutanese soldiers during the olden days. Lunch at the hotel and leave for Bumthang. The Journey takes about 3 hrs ( 68 kms. ) and is over one of the most scenically beautiful routes in Bhutan.
Visit the historical Jakar Dzong built by Minjur Tenpa, the third Druk Desi (Temporal ruler) in 1646 A.D. It was later repaired and expanded by Gyalse Tenzin Rabgay, the fourth Desi of Bhutan in 1683 A.D. It is probably one of the biggest Dzongs in Bhutan with the surrounding walls about 1 km in circumference. Visit several ancient and important monasteries such as, Jambay Lhakhang, Kurjey Lhakhang, Kencho Sum Lhakhang, Tamshing and Pema Samba Lhakhangs. Also visit the Bumthang Swiss farm and the Member Tso (The flaming Lake) which is considered one of the most important pilgrimage spots.
A full day excursion to Ura Valley, visitors can drive up to Ura and take a leisure stroll in the clustered village of Ura. Ura has a beautiful Buddhist Monastery surrounded by typical Bhutanese farm houses which is worth seeing. You will also see yaks grazing in the rich pastureland of the Ura valley. Pack lunch in Ura and return to Bumthang in the evening.
After an early breakfast, drive to Gangtey which is 174 kms from Bumthang. Overnight in Gangtey. Gangtey is a beautiful place situated at an altitude of 3000m. From Gangtey, one can closely view the picturesque black mountain ranges as well as the beautiful Phobjikha valley which is one of the biggest and the most beautiful valleys in the country. During winters, we can also see the famous Black Necked Cranes there.
After breakfast drive to Paro. Lunch on the way at Dochula Pass.
AM: After breakfast, drive to Drugyal Dzong ( a ruined fortress – 16 kms from Paro town ). Although in ruins, this Dzong is of great historical importance. It was here that the Bhutanese finally defeated the invading Tibetans and drove them back. From here, the peak of Mount Chomolhari “Mountain of Goddess ” can be seen on a clear day. On the way back, visit a typical Bhutanese farm house.
PM: Visit the National museum ( Ta-Dzong ). This was actually the Watch Tower of the Paro Rinchen Pong Dzong. It was converted into the National Museum in 1968. It is located on the top of a hill above the Paro Dzong overlooking Paro valley and the river.
Visit Rinchen Pong Dzong. This massive fortress is located in the Paro valley and is approached by a gently sloping flagstone road and a beautiful wooden bridge roofed with shingles and abutted by two guard houses. Today, the Dzong is the Administrative seat of the district of Paro and it also contains a state monastic community of about 200 monks. The central tower (Utse) of the Dzong is one of the most beautiful in Bhutan with its superb woodwork. The Dzong was built in 1645 A.D.
After an early breakfast, drive up to Satsam Chorten (10 Kms) for a short trek to Taktsang Monastery. The name Taktsang means “Tiger’s Nest”. The monastery is perched on a rocky ledge with a sheer drop of nearly 800m. and overlooks the Paro valley and the river. It is said that in the second half of the 8th century, Guru Padma Sambhava known as the second Buddha in Bhutan, meditated at the spot where the monastery is situated having alighted there on the back of a flying tigress. Picnic lunch at the Taktsang cafeteria. The round trip hike takes about 4 hrs.
Good times mostly end leaving behind a trail of golden memories to cherish. After breakfast today, spend some time at leisure. Check out from the hotel and take a transfer to the airport to board a return flight.