5 Nights & 6 Days Cultural Tour
Visit the Folk Heritage Museum, a three-storey rammed mud and timber building houses the Folk Heritage Museum. The house has been turned into a replica of a traditional farmhouse as it would have been equipped about a century ago. A tour of this almost-living museum will give you a glimpse into the way most Bhutanese lived then.
DAY 1: ARRIVE PARO. DRIVE TO THIMPHU
DAY 2: THIMPHU – THIMPHU
DAY 3: THIMPHU – PUNAKHA
DAY 4: PUNAKHA – PARO
DAY 5: PARO – PARO
DAY 6: PARO – DEPARTURE
DAY 1: ARRIVE PARO. DRIVE TO THIMPHU.
Transfer to the airport today for your flight to Paro. Your experience of this enchanting Kingdom begins with a flight over the Himalayas into the Paro valley – truly one of life’s most spectacular sights. You will view the world’s highest, most majestic peaks and enjoy the view of the approaching valley with its pri-medival alpine forests, monasteries, temples and farmhouses nestled in splendid mountain isolation. On arrival your Bhutan Visa will be stamped on your passport. After clearing customs & immigrations formalities your Bhutanese escort from Chhundu Travel and Tours will greet you on arrival and then drive you through the valley of Paro to the town for lunch. After lunch depart for Thimphu, a short one hour drive from one main valley to the next through paddy fields, apple orchards, farmhouses and paddy stacks. Thimphu is the capital city of the Kingdom. One of the charms of this unique capital is Bhutan’s own version of the colonial traffic policemen, who will fascinate you with their elaborate hand gestures.
Overnight at Hotel in Thimphu.
Elevation of Thimphu valley: 2250 m.
DAY 2: THIMPHU – THIMPHU.
Today visit the, National Memorial Chorten: – this large Tibetan-style Chorten was built in 1974 to honour the memory of the third king – His Late Majesty King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk. There are numerous religious paintings and complex tantric statues inside reflecting both peaceful and wrathful aspects of Buddhist Deities. The stupa is one of the most visible religious structures in Thimphu, and for many people it is the focus of their daily worship. Then visit the National Institute for Traditional Medicine: established in 1988- this traditional hospital prepares and dispenses herbal and other medicines. There is an impressive large lab and production facility that ensures the quality of the products. There is a day care facility and clinic where doctors diagnose patients by reading the pulse of the patient. Also visit the National Institute for Zorig Chusum: commonly known as the Painting School, offers a six year course that provides instructions in many of Bhutan’s traditional arts to students from throughout the country. The students here follow a comprehensive course that starts with drawing and progresses through painting, woodcarving, embroidery and statue making.
Also visit the Folk Heritage Museum: a three-storey rammed mud and timber building houses the Folk Heritage Museum. The house has been turned into a replica of a traditional farmhouse as it would have been equipped about a century ago. A tour of this almost-living museum will give you a glimpse into the way most Bhutanese lived then.
From here visit the National Library: this Library was established in 1967 to preserve many ancient Dzongkha and Tibetan texts. The traditional books kept on the upper floor of the building are Tibetan – style, printed or written on long strips of handmade paper stacked between pieces of wood and wrapped in silken cloth. There are also some wooden blocks that are used for printing books and prayer flags. There is also a collection of English –language books, modern academic texts, travel books etc. The building also houses many holy books, and statues of Bhutan’s most important historic figures.
After lunch visit National Textile Museum: this museum which was opened in 2001 is worth a leisurely visit to get to know the living national art of weaving.
Then visit the Dupthop Lhakhang, one of the few surviving nunneries in Bhutan. Also drive to-up to the Mini Zoo. This Zoo houses the National Animal of Bhutan – the “Takin “. It’s worthwhile taking the time to see these strange, quite ugly animals.
Later in the day visit the Tashi Chhoe Dzong: this Dzong was built in 1216 and houses the Throne room and offices of the King and the Ministers. The northern portion is the summer residence of the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot) and the Central Monk Body. Tourists can visit the Dzong after 5 p.m in the summer and 4 pm in the winter and are allowed to enter up till the courtyard only.
In the evening visit the Handicrafts Emporium where you can buy any type of Bhutanese souvenirs. Overnight at Hotel in Thimphu.
DAY 3: THIMPHU – PUNAKHA.
After breakfast leave Thimphu and begin your journey east to Punakha. The journey takes you on windy, mountain roads, with spectacular alpine scenery. The drive will go over the Dochu La Pass at 3, 100m where on a clear day there are spectacular views of the Northern Himalayan Range. Also stop at this pass to visit the 108 Druk Wangyal Chortens built in the center of the pass.
The drive from Thimphu to Punakha will take about 3 hours to cover the distance of 70 kilometers. On arrival in Punakha you will notice the change in climate and scenery, which has become warmer. Until 1955, Punakha served as the winter capita of Bhutan and even today it is the winter seat of the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot) and the Central Monastic Body.
After lunch take a short hike from the road point to visit the Chimi Lhakhang built by Lama Drukpa Kuenley – “ The Divine Madman “ . He subdued the demoness of the Dochu la with his Magic Thunderbolt of Wisdom. A wooden effigy of the lama’s thunderbolt is preserved in the Lhakhang and childless women go to the temple to receive a wang (blessing) from the saint. The hike is a 20 minute walk across fields from the road to the temple and passes through a small traditional village. Late afternoon visit the courtyard of the Punakha Dzong. The dzong was built in 1637 at the junctions of 2 rivers – the Pho (male) Chhu and the Mo (female) Chhu. In the south of Bhutan this river is known as the Sankosh.
Overnight at Hotel in Punakha.
Elevation of Punakha valley: 1,350 m
DAY 4: PUNAKHA – PARO.
Morning depart for Paro which will take about 4 hours drive. Lunch at Paro.
In the afternoon, visit the Ta Dzong – an unusual round building said to be in a shape of a conch shell and which houses the National Museum of the Kingdom. The museum displays a spectacular collection of Thankas, extensive philatelic collection, ancient bronze and stone objects, statues, ancient weapons and shields. Also visit the Paro Dzong known as the Rimpung Dzong. This Dzong was built in 1644 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and today houses a Monastic school, the office of the local governor and a few government offices. If you like, you can take short walk down hill crossing a traditional cantilever bridge over the Pa-chu (Paro River) will take you to the base of the hill.
Overnight at Hotel in Paro.
Elevation of Paro valley; 2, 280 m.
DAY 5: PARO – PARO.
After breakfast take a short drive to the north of the valley to the base of a hill and hike to the famous Taktsang monastery (Alt.3100m). Taktsang literally means –“Tiger’s nest”. This monastery was built in the 1600s and clings to a sheer rock cliff that plunges 900m above the valley. Legend has it that Guru Rinpoche, in the form of Dorji Drolo arrived at this site on the back of a flying tigress believed to be his consort, to subdue the eight evil spirits who were preventing the propagation on Buddhism in the area. It is an hour and 45 minutes walk up hill to the cafeteria and another one hour up to the main Monastery.
After lunch, walk back to the base and drive a short distance further north to visit the Drukgyal dzong built in 1647 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to commemorate Bhutan’s numerous victories over the Tibetan invaders. The Dzong was destroyed by an accidental fire and is now left in ruin. On a clear day, the 24, 000 ft (7314m) white doomed sacred Mount. Jhomulhari can be seen.
Late afternoon visit the Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the two oldest Lhakhangs in the country built in 659 by the Tibetan King Songtsen Gyampo. It is one of the 108 temples built by the Tibetan King and is said to hold down the left foot of a demoness.
Overnight at Hotel in Paro.
DAY 6: PARO – DEPARTURE.
After breakfast you will be driven to the Paro Airport to board your flight out of Paro. Your Bhutanese escort will bid you farewell and “Tashi Delek “(Good Luck) !.