Assemble at Changi Airport for our flight to Paro on Druk Air via Kolkata. Paro valley (2195m) is a perfect entry into this happiest country in the world. Lunch on the board.
Arrival meet and greet by our representative and Proceed on an hour’s journey to the capital city Thimphu (2350m), which is situated in a large valley traversed by the Wangchu River and overshadowed by high peaks.
Visit the Centenary Farmers Weekend Market where the locals come to do their weekly shopping. This will be one of the highlights of your trip as you observe the Bhutanese people’s culture and lifestyles. *Open Friday to Sunday, however, farmers will gradually come to the market from Wednesday onwards.
Memorial Chorten - Erected by the Royal Grandmother, Ashi PhutshChoedren in memory of her son the third King Jigme Dorje Wangchuck, it contains a fine collection of Buddhist statues and is a centre of tantric Buddhism in all its complexity.
Visit the local Post Office. How about sending a greeting card or letter to your friends and loved ones with a personalize postage stamp of your own photo?
Visit Changangkha Lhakhang, a fortress-like temple perched on a ridge above Thimphu. The temple is dedicated to Avalokiteshvara, the Buddhist emanation of Compassion. • Visit Simply Bhutan, a living museum and photo studio. The Simply Bhutan Project is aimed at preservation and promotion of culture being one of the four pillars of Gross National Happiness (GNH) by involving youth as the core. • Visit the National Institute of Zorig Chusum, see the children learn traditional techniques of drawing, painting, calligraphy, embroidery, wood carving and sculpturing which are very important aspects of Bhutanese culture intertwined with Buddhism.
Motithang Takin Preserve, a wildlife reserve area for the Takin, the national animal of Bhutan. The unique appearance of neither yak nor ram attracts attention and curiosity; the local legends attribute the creation of these animals in Bhutan by a 15th century saint name Drukpa Kunley, popularly known as the Divine Madman. Originally a mini zoo, the preserve also houses a few native deer of Bhutan, including the barking dear and sambar.
Visit Kuensel Phodrang Nature Park, where the Buddha Dordena resides and also known as Buddha Point. The massive statue of Shakyamuni measures 51.5 meters in height, making it one of the largest statues of Buddha in the world.
Visit the beautiful medieval fortress-monastery, Tashichho Dzong, Bhutan’s administrative and religious centre which houses most of the Government’s office and the King’s Throne Room. It is also the summer residence of Je - Khenpo, the Chief Abbot. Note: Visiting time for tourists must be after office hours on weekdays & in the morning until noon during the weekends. Closes at 6.30pm during summer and 5.30pm during winter.
Travel approximately 3 hours to Punakha, the winter capital of Bhutan. Note: Road widening works underway, please be prepared for a bumpy ride and chances of delay.
The drive ascends gradually to the Dochula Pass (3150m) with magnificent vistas of the Himalayan range.
Visit the Dochula Monastery, also known as the Druk Wangyal Khangzang Chortens. The design inspired by the Queen is a unique cluster of 108 Chortens seen from all directions.
Stop by Dochula Cafeteria if you would like to enjoy the Tea / Coffee. (tea / snacks on your own expenses)
Continue to Punakha while noticing a change in landscape to vibrant and colourful one with terrace farming and rivers flowing through. Note: Mountainous winding road after Dochula Pass.
Visit the historic Punakha Dzong sprawled at the confluence of the Phochu (male) and Mochu (female) rivers. “The Palace of Great Happiness or Bliss” was the administrative centre and the seat of 43 www.dynastytravel.com.sg | Book Online. Anytime, Anywhere! the Government of Bhutan until 1955, when the capital was moved to Thimphu. Jacaranda trees grow around the dzong, blooming with mauve flowers every spring - April to May
Continue to the countryside and enjoy a short walking trail (about 1 hour) through paddy fields to the Pana Village to visit Chimi Lhakhang. Built by Lama Kuenley, also known as the “Divine Madman” due this unique philosophy - “salvation through sex”; the lhakhang is also known as “The Temple of Fertility.” From far and wide, women who have trouble conceiving come to the temple to get blessings in hopes to become fertile to bear children.
Departure for Phobjikha Valley via Wangdue. Note: Mountainous winding road, approximately 3 hours’ drive to the destination.
The valley of Phobjika is home to the migratory black-necked cranes and is one of the most beautiful spots in Bhutan. Spotting of the cranes is possible during November to mid-February.
View Wangdue Dzong - The Dzong was destroyed by fire in 2012 and is still undergoing renovation.
Visit Gantey Gompa (monastery). Perched on a small hill that rises from the valley floor, the monastery is the only Nyingmapa monastery on the western side of the Black Mountain and is surrounded by a large village inhabited mainly by the families of the 140 Gomchens who take care of the Monastery.
After lunch, walk along the Gangtey Nature Trail. This pleasurable walk will give you a nice feel of the Phojikha Valley. From the small hilltop overlooking Gangtey Goemba, you head downhill through flower meadows to Simchubara Village and from there through beautiful forest, and into the open valley. After passing a Chorten and Khewa Lhakhang, the trail ends at the Tabiding football ground.
Visit the Black-Necked Crane Information Centre (November to February only). The information centre has an observation room that is equipped with a telescope that enables you to catch the best view of the cranes.
After breakfast, head back to Paro via Wangdue Phodrang and Thimphu. The same way back to Paro, approximately 6.5 hours’ drive including mountainous winding road and possible road-work along the way.
Arrive Paro in the late afternoon. • Visit Rinpung Dzong, the “Fortress of a Heap of Jewels”. It is one of the kingdom’s finest examples of traditional Bhutanese architecture. The dzong houses a monastic school with two hundred resident monks. Several interesting paintings here include an unusual Bhutanese interpretation of a mandala, a diagram of the cosmos.
Some free time at leisure, take a walk down Paro’s main street, where you can interact with the locals and visit the interesting small shops that provides the basic necessities and local produce.
Later enjoy the farm house visit with a lovely Bhutanese Local dinner
After breakfast, set off for our hike to visit one of Bhutan’s most important pilgrimage sites of the Buddhist world, the Taktsang Lhakhang popularly known as the ‘Tiger’s Nest’ Monastery. The trek offers spectacular views of this sacred monastery perched precariously on a sheer rock face 915m above the valley floor. (Pony services up to the cafeteria point are available as alternative but at your own risk and expense) The first 1 to 1.5 hour journey walks you to the cafeteria which serves as a midway point and has wonderful views of the Tiger’s Nest. From here, it is another 45-minutes trek through some stunning landscapes to reach the view point of the monastery. The final part is another 1-hour journey (down and up steps) to reach the monastery. (Bags, camera and mobile phones are not allowed into the monasteries, there is locker service at the entrance which you can store your belongings.)
After visiting the monastery, return to the cafeteria where a hot and simple lunch will be served.
Descend the mountain and return to Paro.
If time permits and if you are not tired, visit to Kyichu Lhakang, one of the oldest lhakhang in the country built miraculously by Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo in 7th century to subdue the demoness residing in the Himalayas.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your pleasant flight back to Singapore.
We hope you had an enjoyable vacation with Dynasty Travel, and we look forward bringing you to your next holiday destination!
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