Punakha Drubchen

Day 1: February 10th Arrival in Paro

Welcome to the land of happiness, also known as Druk Yul (country of the Drukpa Lineage, the Dragon People, or the Land of the Thunder Dragon.) Upon arrival at the Paro International Airport, you will be greeted in our traditional style by our guide and driver, who will be accompany you throughout the tour.

After that, we will gradually start with the tour at 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.)

You will then go have lunch at a local restaurant to experience the traditional style Bhutanese cuisine. Then go check in your hotel.

Dungtsey 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.)

Then go and check in your hotel and rest.

Day 2: February 11th Paro Taktshang

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. Guru Padmasambhava used the cave for meditation for 4 months. He came on a riding female tigress (moenmo Tashi Khenden) from Singye dzong – Khoma-Drakarpo-Chumphuney and finally on Taktshang (tiger’s nest).

Kichu lhakhang (Kichu it actually means the peaceful palace. There are three temples built by a very renowned person with different dates. The first temple was built by a 1st Dharma king of Tibet Songtsen Gampo in 7th century. He has built a 108 structure in a Himalayan region to ogress the evil spirits and out of those two temples was now in Bhutan and they are Kichu lhakhang in Paro and Jambay lhakhang in Bumthang.) You will also get to see the museum of Dilgo Khyentse Rimpoche’s home.

Day 3: February 12th Thimphu

After breakfast, we will gradually start with the tour and drive towards Thimphu (capital city, 1hr drive). On the way, we will stop for a short sightseeing at Tamchog lhakhang (Temple built by the famous saint from Tibet called Thangtong Gyalpo in 13th century.)

Then we will be moving directly towards the capital. First we will visit 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).

Lunch will be at Folk Heritage (experience the authentic traditional style Bhutanese cuisine)

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.)

Royal Textile Academy of Bhutan (is a national textiles museum)

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

Day 4: February 13th Punakha

After breakfast, you will then start moving to Punakha. While going to Punakha, you will need to go across the Dochula Pass (3100m).  Over there you will stop for a short sightseeing and tea break, while having tea, you can also see the beautiful Himalayas across.

After that, you will then descend down towards Punakha at the elevation of 1242 m. Then visit Chimi Lhakhang (Madman’s temple)

Lunch at the Local Restaurant

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

Visit to the long suspension bridge in Punakha.

Day 5: February 14th Punakha

After breakfast, you will then go and witness the last day of the famous Bhutanese festival called “Punakha Drubchen” at Punakha fortress.

Day 6: February 15th Gangtey/Phobjikha

After breakfast, today you will drive to Gangtey. (It’s a beautiful vast U-shape valley which is a winter residence of the famous endangered bird called “The Black Necked Crane”) 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/Gangtey.

Now driving to Gangtey will take around 2hr 21mins. After reaching Gangtey, you will first visit 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.

Day 7: February 16th Trongsa

Today you will drive to Trongsa.

You will first cross the Chele La pass (3420m).

Then towards Trongsa district. Before reaching Trongsa, you will stop for awhile to take picture across the other side to see the largest dzong (Trongsa fortress) in the country.

Then move on to visit the Trongsa dzong and the to the watch tower (museum of Trongsa district).

Then later you can visit the small weekend market near the road side to see how Bhutanese farmers sell their organic products.

Day 8: February 17th Paro

Today after having a good set of breakfast, you will drive towards Paro. It will be 6 hours 35 minutes journey so it’s going to be a long trip. Enjoy the long drive.

Day 9: February 18th Departure from Paro

Our guide and driver will bid farewell to you all. We will be looking forward to seeing you again in future for other amazing places to tour around.