Trip Name: 8 Days Culture Tour
Trip Style: Classic
Service Level: Standard
Trip duration: 8days/ 7Nights
Physical demand: **
Availability: All year
Best time to Visit: Any time if the Year (BOOK NOW)
Day 1. Arrive Paro – Thimphu
Your flight to Paro will provide you a wonderful experience with a view of various high snow capped mountains of Bhutan and Mt. Everest on a clear day. Upon arrival at Paro, our representative from Druk Leisure Tours will receive you at the Airport. Drive to Thimphu for about an hour. After checking in at the hotel you could have rest for a while, and later walk around the city to see the life of urban Bhutan or the capital city. Overnight stay at the hotel in Thimphu.
Day 2. Thimphu hiking & sightseeing
After breakfast drive for half an hour (12 km) towards north of Thimphu valley and then you will have to hike for almost 2 hours to and fro. Tango Goemba (monastery): Lama Gyalwa Lhanampa founded the monastery in the 12th century. The present building was built in the 15th century by the Divine Mad Man “Drukpa Kunley”. In 1616 Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal visited Tango Goemba and meditated in a cave nearby. Today Tango is the residence of an important young Trulku (reincarnate lama) who is recognized as the 17th reincarnation of highly respected forth Desi, Gyalse Tenzin Rabgye, whose previous reincarnation passed away in 1830. Also at present the monastery serves as the prestigious Buddhist University for the monks of our state religion. Hike back all downhill and drive back to the city for lunch. And then visit the folk Heritage museum, to see the house of living traditions in some of the rural areas or the living house in olden days. Drive to Buddha point to see one of the world’s largest statues of the Buddha. And visit the mini zoo to see the Takin which is our national animals. Visit the Memorial stupa which was built in the memory of our beloved 3rd King in1974. Overnight halt at the hotel in Thimphu.
Day 3. Thimphu – Punakha
After breakfast drive to Punakha for 2 ½ hours with short stop at Dochula pass (3100 meters). If the weather is clear, you could have a superb view of the Bhutan’s Himalayas from the pass. Upon arrival in Punakha, check into the hotel first.
After lunch visit a farm house to see how people live with their subsistence farm in the rural village. You can taste their traditional Butter tea with local homemade snacks, and taste Ara which is a distilled local wine. Night halt stay at the hotel in Punakha.
Day 4. Attend Punakha Festival (Drupchen)
After your breakfast drive to beautiful Punakha Dzong built in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and see the festival with the local folks in the Dzong. Based on the prophecy of Guru Padmasambhava the Dzong is situated between two famous rivers, Pho Chu (Male River) and Mo Chu (Female River).
Today there will be many local people dressed up with different finest silk cloths with intricate designs; particularly you will see many Bhutanese women wearing most expensive cloths with jewelleries and ornaments during the festival. And you will see different religious mask dances and some folk songs during the day at the Punakha festival. Overnight stay at the hotel in Punakha.
Day 5. Punakha – Phobjikha, day excursion
Drive to beautiful Phobjikha valley for 2 hours. Phobjikha valley is a roosting place for the Blacked Necked Cranes in winter. Upon arrival at Phobjikha, visit the Crane Information Centre to see the cranes and take a short leisure walk around the valley which will give you a warm feeling of rural Bhutan as the valley is beautiful. And then drive back to Punakha in the evening. Overnight in Punakha.
Day 6. Punakha – Paro sightseeing
Drive back to Paro for 4 hours and check –in at your hotel first. Have your lunch in one good restaurant in the town.
After lunch, you will visit the Paro Ringpung Dzong built in 1646 and now serves as head of the administration for Paro district. And then, visit Kyichu monastery dating back to the 7th Century. This is one of the oldest monasteries in Bhutan built by Tibetan king Songtshen Gempo to pin down the ogress. Afterwards visit the historical Drugyel Dzong which is a ruin fortress now, built by Shabdrung in 1649 to commemorate the winning victory over the Tibetans in 1644. Thus Drugyel Dzong means the Bhutanese victorious fortress. Overnight stay in Paro.
Day 6. Paro to Haa
Today after breakfast you will be heading to the Haa valley crossing over Chilela Pass at 3988meters and the highest pass in the country by road. On the clear weather you can see the peak of three beautiful snow capped mountains ranging from 7000m to 7314 m above sea level.After the Pass then you will be descending down to the beautiful valley of Haa. The Haa valley was opened for the first time to foreign tourists in 2002. It is culturally rich valley and some of famous sites in the region are:
7th century Lhakhang Karpo(white temple) and Lhakhang Napo(black temple) at the foothills of a venerated three brotherly mountains known as Meri Phuensum. The valley is known for its diversity of the folk culture, legends and shamanistic rituals. And you will have lunch at farm house with famous and delicious inborn cuisine called happy hangtey (vegetable dumpling) and after lunch you will drive back to Paro by using different road with panoramic vistas on the way. Overnight hotel at Paro.
Day 8. Paro – Taktsang hike
After your breakfast drives till the road end and begin your hike up hill. Walking time will be around 4 hours for a round trip.
Taktsang monastery is perched on the face of a cliff 800 Mts, above the Paro valley. It is a memorable spiritual journey. It was here that the great Tantric master, Guru Padmasambhava flew in from Tibet on the back of a flying tigress to propagate his teachings in Bhutan. If you cannot continue your hike inside the monastery, you can stop at the Cafeteria from where you can have a spectacular view of the Tiger’s Nest. And lunch at the cafeteria and after lunch you will walk back and take rest at hotel.in the evening you will taken to the hot stone bath and after that you will have farewell dinner and gift presentation from the company representative at hotel.
Day08. Paro – Flight Departure
Our guide and driver will drop you at the airport for your departure after doing small ceremony by the high monk for your safe journey and long life.