This trip combines the bustling capital of Thimphu; the tropical Punakha valley; and the open valley of Paro. and an additional highlight : Haa, which is newly opened to Tourists. Haa is a picturesque fertile valley ideal for mountain biking and hiking.
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Paro - Thimphu - Punakha - Haa
Paro - Thimphu
Tashi Delek! Welcome to Bhutan, the country with the happiest people in the world. Meet tour guide at Paro Airport then transfer to Thimphu – the capital town of Bhutan, en route to Chuzom, the confluence of Thimphu and Paro rivers. Check in of your hotel in Thimphu then you are free to explore. Overnight in Thimphu
Begin your day with a short drive to Kuenselphodrang, a popular vantage point, with the biggest Buddha statues in the world. This site offers a panoramic view of the capital below and also has several walking trails, which ranges from leisurely to moderate. Then visit the National Memorial Chorten, built in the memory of the Third King and for world peace. Continue on to the picturesque 12th century Changangkha Temple and Nunnery at Zilukha. Afterwards visit the Folk Heritage Museum featuring an exhibition of items and artifacts of Bhutanese villages and rural households. After visiting the museum we will walk to School for Arts & Crafts which is located close to the museum. This is one of the interesting schools where young boys & girls learn 13 different skills of arts & crafts in Bhutan. If your visit to Thimphu coincides on a weekend, you can visit the weekend vegetable market (open from Friday To Sunday). Overnight in Thimphu
Thimphu - Punakha
Drive over the Dochu-La pass (3,100 meters), which on a clear day offers an incredible view of Himalayan peaks before descending into balmy Punakha valley (about 3 hrs total driving time). The drive through the countryside affords a glimpse of everyday life in this most remote of Himalayan kingdom. Punakha was the ancient capital of Bhutan. On arrival, visit Punakha Dzong, the “Palace of Great Happiness” . It is situated at the confluence of the Mo Chu and Pho Chu (Mother and Father Rivers) and is the winter headquarters of the Je Khenpo and hundreds of monks who move en masse from Thimphu to this warmer location. The three story main temple of the Punakha Dzong is a breathtaking example of traditional architecture with four intricately embossed entrance pillars crafted from cypress and decorated in gold and silver. Overnight in Punakha
In the morning drive to Yabesa village and hike to through rice fields and up to Khamsum Yueley Namgyal Chorten, built by her majesty the queen Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuk, perched high on a hill on the bank of the river. Take a picnic lunch on a picturesque riverside before exploring Wangduephodrang Dzong. Built in 1639, the strategically located Dzong is perched on a spur at the confluence of two rivers. In the 17th century Wangduephodrang played a critical role in unifying the western, central and southern regions of the country. Afterwards drive back into the Punkha valley for a short walk to Chimi Lhakhang. Overnight in Punakha
Punakha - Thimphu - Haa
Drive back to Thimphu where you will have an opportunity to visit handicraft and souvenir stores visiting Semtokha Dzong en route. The Dzong, built in 1627, is the oldest in Bhutan. It now houses the Institute for Language and Culture studies. Afterwards drive to Haa via Chelela Pass where you will enjoy an panoramic views of the Paro and Haa Valleys as well as Mt Jumolhari and the the beautiful Himalayan ranges of Bhutan. From Chelela drive down through a deep pine forest and into the narrow valley of Haa. Overnight in Haa
Haa - Paro
The extraordinarily beautiful Haa Valley is newly opened to Tourists. Haa is a picturesque fertile valley ideal for mountain biking and hiking. Visit Lhakhang Karpo and Nagpo (white temple and black temple) that was built in the 8th century by the Tibetan King, Songtsen Gampo, after he sent two doves (one black and one white) to find a sacred place to build a monastery. Enjoy strolling around the small and beautiful township of Haa with the option of exploring the valley by bicycle through villages along farmroad (additional US $ 30 bike hire charge applies). In the late afternoon transfer to Paro for overnight. Overnight in Paro
After breakfast, we will visit Taktshang Monastery by walk for approximately 2 hours; comfortable walking shoes are highly recommended (for those who cannot hike we will arrange a horse for transfer up to cafeteria). This monastery is one of the most famous Bhutan’s monasteries, perched on the side of a cliff 900 m above the Paro Valley floor. It is said that Guru Rinpoche arrived here on the back of a tigress and meditated at this monastery and hence it is also called “Tiger’s Nest”. Afternoon drive to Drukgyel Dzong, a ruined fortress where Bhutanese warriors fought against Tibetan invaders centuries ago. The snow dome of sacred Chomolhari, “Mountain of goddess” can be seen in all her glory from the approach road to the Dzong. On the way, visit the 7th century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples built in the Himalayas by Tibetan King, Songtsen Gampo. The building of this temple marks the introduction of Buddhism in Bhutan. Overnight in Paro
Board on vehicle and drive to airport of Paro, from where, you will catch your flight onward to your next destination. This tour service is officially finished now. The whole team of Bravo Asia Tours looks forward to meeting you again in your next trip to Asia.