Day 01 : Fly to Paro (2,200m/7,217ft)) and Drive to Thimpu (2,334m/7,657ft) - 55 Mins + 1.5 Hrs
On your arrival day, the representative of the local Bhutan tour operator at the Paro Airport. After finishing the visa formalities, he escorts you up to the hotel, which is about one and half hours’ drive. After being fresh, you walk around the capital city of Bhutan to observe the important landmarks.
You visit the Takin Preserve, which has conserved the national animal of Bhutan. You also explore Tashichhoe Dzong which is regarded as a fortress of the glorious religion of the Kingdom. Similarly, you do a short walk around Craft Bazaar to observe the art and craft products of Bhutanese culture. You can find a large number of craft shops displaying different items of local products like thankas and Buddhist relics.
Day 02 : Drive to Punakha (1,242m/4,083ft) - 85 kms/2 Hrs 30 Mins
Today’s journey moves to Punakha, the old Capital City of Bhutan via Dochu La Pass (3,088m). In a fine day with clear weather, you can enjoy the panoramic view of the Himalayas from this high pass. Then, you move further towards 108 Chortens which was built by the Queen Mother of Bhutan, Her Majesty Ashi Dorji Wangmo. This captivating shrine was made for the security of the country and countrymen and betterment of the King.
Another must-visit site is Druk Wangyal Lakhang (‘Lakhang’ means ‘temple’), which is one of the historical sites of Bhutan. This shrine was built in an honour to the Fourth Druk Gyalpo Jigme Singye Wangchuk. The history of this temple narrates the story about the supreme warrior who fought bravely to protect Bhutan. Finally, you visit the Divine Mandman’s Monastery, also called Chhimi Lhakhang. Chhimi Temple is famous for fertility shrine which is visited for taking fertility blessing.
Finally, you visit the Punakha Dzong which stands on the island made by the two rivers. The two rivers are the Pho Chu (meaning ‘male river’) and Mo Chu (meaning ‘female river’) symbolizing the creation. After the renovation, the Coronation Hall of all the Kings of Bhutan, the Dzongchung at the entrance of the main Dzong are beautiful things to have a look into. Similarly, now the plank bridge built over the Mo Chu is also an interesting site to visit.
Day 03 : Drive Back to Paro – 125 kms/ 3 Hrs 30 Mins
After having breakfast, you drive back towards Paro by following the same route that passes via Dochu La Pass. After arrival in Paro, you go to visit the National Museum that is located in the Ta Dzong (Watch Tower). This museum houses all the important testimonials of rich cultural heritage of Bhutan. To observe the Bhutanese historical architecture, you visit Paro Dzong which is situated on the bank of the Paro River.
The Paro Dzong (also known as ‘a fortress that sits on the heap of jewels’) is a paradigm of the unique Bhutanese architecture. This monastery was built by Guru Rinpoche, the Second Buddha in the 16th century. After that you can visit the Nyamai Zampa that is the oldest traditional bridge made up of the planks. In the evening, you can visit the craft stores of the city to buy the handcrafted items to take to your people.
Day 04 : Day Hike to Tiger’s Nest Monastery (3,120m/10,236ft)
Today is one of the most significant days of the entire 4 Nights and 5 Days Bhutan Tour. You are going to hike up to the Taktsang Monastery (also called ‘Tiger’s Nest Monastery’) after having breakfast. Driving up to the base of the hill, you ascend to the Bird’s Viewpoint that gives you the best vistas of the entire Paro Valley.
Following the steep uphill trail for about an hour, you reach the Tiger’s Nest Monastery which clings on the ridges of about 8,00 metres. The monastery is one of the holiest shrines in Bhutan as it is believed that in the 8th century, Guru Rinpoche came to the monastery flying on the tigress. He meditated there for about three months and got enlightenment.
After enjoying the peaceful environment of the monastery, you walk down to observe the 108 Chortens built by the 7th century Tibetan King Songsten Gampo. The temple was built to vanish the demon who would otherwise caused a huge destruction in Tibet and Bhutan. It has connection with the Jokhang Temple of Lhasa which was also built in the same century to dismantle the demonic force.
In the evening, you can visit the local market to collect the handcrafted items of Paro City. You can shop some Buddhist idols and relics as souvenirs from the market to gift to your people.
Day 05 : Final Departure
The representative of the local Bhutan tour operator escorts you up to the airport as per your schedule. We hope this trip to the Last Shangri-La on Earth was fantastic that you enjoyed at fullest. We wish you a happy and safe journey hoping to see you next year.