Western Bhutan with Hike

Day 1: December 25th Arrival in Paro

Welcome to Bhutan, the land of Thunder Dragon. After landing at Paro international Airport, you will be greeted in our traditional style by our guide and driver when you exit the airport. Today, we will take it easy to acclimatize to the altitude since most of the guests won’t feel comfortable with the climate in our country.

After that, you will slowly drive to Thimphu (Capital City) which will take around 1 hour approximately. On the way, you will start with a short sightseeing at Tamchog Lhakhang (Temple built by the famous saint from Tibet called Thangtong Gyalpo in 13th century.)

Then you will drive to Thimphu. Check in your hotel and let’s have your first taste of our Bhutanese traditional cuisine, and some light sightseeing in Thimphu.

Lunch will be at Folk Heritage (to experiment the traditional life style of the Bhutanese).

National Institute of Zorig Chusum; (Commonly known as ‘the painting school’, operates four to six years courses that provide instruction in Bhutan’s 13 traditional arts.)

After that you will go visit Royal Textile Academy of Bhutan (is a national textiles museum)

Tashichho Dzong (Tashichho Dzong has been the seat of the government since 1952)

Day 2: December 26th Thimphu

After having breakfast, you will go for a hike at Dodeydrak Buddhist Institution

(The place is called Dodeydrak, literally meaning ‘the cave of sutra’ as the trace of the extraction of the sutra can be seen at the entrance of the Tsuglakhang. The Tsuglakhang was established by H.H the 13th Je Khenpo Kyabje Yonten Thaye in 1779 and was later extended by the 18th Druk Desi Jigme Singye.)

Lunch will be at Simply Bhutan (to experiment the traditional life style of the Bhutanese).

After that, you will be visiting the Memorial Chorten (Built in the year 1974).

Then the famous 51.5m Buddha point (built in the year 2006).

The Changangkha Lhakhang (built in 12 century).

Day 3: December 27th Phobjikha/Gangtey

Today early in the morning, do have a good set of breakfast. You will then drive to Phobjikha (4hours).

On the way, you will need to cross the Dochula Pass (Elevation 3100m) there you will stop for a short sightseeing for about 30minutes. Then you will go for a hike right above Dochula Pass which is called “lungchutse” (3-4hours back and forth) you will get to see clearer view of the Himalaya pass with breathtaking landscape.

Lunch will be at Dochula Cafeteria.

Then you will drive down at the elevation of 1242m and reach Lobesa.

After that, you will drive to Phobjikha (It’s a beautiful vast U-shape valley which is a winter residence of the famous endangered bird called “The Black Necked Crane”. They come down from the Tibetan Plateau to Phobjikha valley during winter season and fly back during summer season.). (2hours 15minutes drive, elevation 3000m).

Check in your hotel and rest.

Day 4: December 28th Phobjikha /Gangtey

After breakfast, you will then visit Gangtey Goenpo. Generally known as Gangtey Gonpa or Gangtey Monastery, is an important monastery of Nyingmapa school of Buddhism built in 17th century.)

Nature Trail, walk around the Phobjikha valley.

Visit to The Black Necked Crane information center.

Lunch will be at a local restaurant.

Later you can visit some temples and Stroll around the valley and take photos.

Drive back to Punakha (2hours 40minutes)

Day 5: December 29th Punakha

In the morning, after having breakfast, you will then start your day by visiting Punakha Dzong (also known as Punthang Dechenphodrang, Legend says that Zhabdrung made the carpenter trulpizow balep made to sleep in chamber and he had been taken to paradise /zangtopelri of Guru Rinpoche and he got at the sketch and the model of the dzong.)

Visit to the long suspension bridge in Punakha.

Visit the Chimi lhakhang (Temple of the famous saint mad man Drukpa Kinley)

Then have a lunch at a local traditional restaurant.

After lunch you will go visit Talo Goenpa (is a Buddhist monastery located in the hills above Punakha)

Then stroll around the town or go back to your hotel and rest.

Day 6: December 30th Paro

After breakfast, today you will drive to Paro. Before that, you will first go for a short hike to Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten (Built by the third Queen Mother, Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuck. This beautifully designed chorten took nine years to complete, using only religious scriptures to construct the four- story temple. Have to hike for 40minutes through the paddy fields and vegetable fields, into the chir pine forest.

Have Lunch at Lobesa/Dochula Pass.

Then drive to Paro (4hours and the elevation is 2700m)

It will take around 4 hours to reach Paro.

National museum / Ta Dzong / Watch tower. (Ta Dzong actually means a watch tower to look after the province of Paro valley and served as a regional administrator as well as a store house which would ensure supplies in the event of warfare.)

Paro Dzong / Rinpung Dzong (It was built by Gyalchog (brother of Gyalzom) the family of lama Pha Dung Dung in 15 centuries. He surrendered himself to the local deity Jawang Nep and built a 5 storied building and named as Hungrel Gampo.)

Then check in your hotel and rest or stroll around town for souvenirs.

Day 7: December 31st Tiger’s Nest Paro

Today you will be visiting the most iconic structure in the valley of Paro, the Tiger’s Nest. The cave on the rock was there before 750 million years ago during the formation of the earth. It was only known after the arrival of Guru Padmasambhava in 746 A.D.

Kichu lhakhang (Kichu it actually means the peaceful palace. The first temple was built by a 1st Dharma king of Tibet Songtsen Gampo in 7th century). Then you can also visit the Late Dilgo Khyentse Rimpoche’s Museum next to Kichu Lhakhang.

Day 8: December 1st Paro

Today there will be not so much things to do or see but in the morning you can go for a drive to Chela la Pass and take photos at the elevation 4940m.

Then have lunch at a local restaurant.

Then visit Dumtseg Lhakhang (The temple is notable as it is in the form of a chorten, very rare in Bhutan. It is located on the edge of a hill between the Paro valley and the Dopchari valley, across the bridge from Paro. The Buddhist iconography depicted in the Chorten is considered a unique repository of the Drukpa Kagyu school.)

Then drive 15 km away from Paro town to see the Drukgyel Dzong (was a fortress and Buddhist monastery, now in ruins, located in the upper part of the Paro District, Bhutan. The dzong was probably built by Tenzin Drukdra in 1649 at the behest of Ngawang Namgyal, Zhabdrung Rinpoche, to commemorate victory over an invasion from Tibet.)

Day 9: December 2st Departure from Bhutan

Our guide and driver will bid farewell to you all and have a pleasant flight back home. We will be looking forward to seeing you again in future for another place to tour around.