Seven Day Cultural Tour

Sample 2: Seven Day Cultural Tour

Day – 1 Arrive Paro International Airport

Paro International Airport

Paro International Airport

During the journey to Paro, one will experience breath taking views of Mount Everest, Kanchenjunga and other famous Himalayan peaks, including the sacred Mount Chomolhari and Jichu Drake in Bhutan. On arrival at Paro International Airport, you will be received by representatives of our tour operators who will escort you to the hotel.

Day – 2 Paro – Sightseeing

Paro Dzong

Paro Dzong

Morning: Drive to Drugyal Dzong ( a ruined fortress – 16 km away from Paro town ).
Although in ruins, this Dzong is of great historical importance. It was here that the Bhutanese finally defeated the invading Tibetans and drove them back. The peak of Mount Chomolhari “Abode of the Goddess Chomo” can be seen on a clear day (Alt. 7329m). On the way back our guests will visit a typical Bhutanese farm house. Lunch at the hotel.

Afternoon: Visit the National Museum (Ta-Dzong).
This was actually the Watch Tower of the Paro Rinchen Pong Dzong. It was converted into the National Museum in 1968. It is located on the top of a hill above the Paro Dzong overlooking Paro valley and the river.
Visit Paro Rinchen Pong Dzong. This massive fortress is located in the Paro valley and is approached by a gently sloping flagstone road and a beautiful covered wooden bridge and guard houses. Today, the Dzong is the Administrative seat of the district of Paro and it also contains a state monastic community of about 200 monks. The central tower (Utse) of the Dzong, is one of the most beautiful in Bhutan with its superb woodwork. The Dzong was built in 1645 A.D.

Evening: Tea at the hotel and drive to Thimphu (Capital). This 2 hour drive snakes along the Paro and Thimphu rivers offering gorgeous scenic views at every turn. Overnight in Thimphu.

Day – 3 Thimphu – Sightseeing

Morning : Visit the Memorial Chorten (a huge stupa) built in memory of the third King of Bhutan who reigned the Kingdom from 1952-1972.

Visit the National Library where ancient manuscripts are preserved.

Visit the Painting School where traditional art is still kept alive through instructions in the art of painting Thankas (sacred Buddhist scrolls).

Visit the Handicrafts Emporium where Bhutanese textiles and other arts and crafts are displayed and can be purchased.

Lunch at the hotel

Afternoon: Visit Simtokha Dzong. This is one of the oldest fortresses in Bhutan. It also houses the largest monastic schools in the country. It was built in 1629 Ad.

Visit Tashichho Dzong – the main Secretariat Building. This massive structure houses part of the Ministries, the office of the King and the Throne Room. It also houses the State Monastic Body and the living quarters of the Chief Abbot.

Visit Pangri Zampa Monastery which is situated just beyond Dechencholing (5kms. from Thimphu ). This Lhakhang was the residence of Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel when he arrived in Bhutan in 1616 A.D. The Monastery was built during the first quarter of the 16th century by Ngawang Chogyel, the great-great- grandfather of the Shabdrung and the 14th hierarchy of the Drukpas.

Day – 4 Thimphu – Punakha/Wangdiphodrang (77 km)

After an early breakfast, drive to Punakha and Wangdi. On the way halt at Dochula for a hot cup of tea/coffee and witness a most spectacular view of the Eastern Himalayan mountain ranges. Hotel arrangements at Zangtoe Pelri in Punakha/Government Guest House in Wangdi.

Lunch at the hotel/guest house.

After lunch, visit the Punakha Dzong which houses the district administration offices. It is also the winter residence of the State Monastic Body and its Chief Abbot. Punakha was the former capital of Bhutan. The Dzong (fortress) lies between two rivers known as Pochu and Mochu which means “Male River and Female River.” It was built in 1637 AD.

Visit Wangdiphodrang Dzong which is 13 km from Punakha. Wangdiphodrang Dzong and its small town is perched on a hill between two rivers. This is another District Administration Office housed in a fortress. The Dzong was built in 1638AD. Halt at Zangtoe Pelri Hotel/Wangdi Guest House.

Day – 5 Punakha – Khotokha

After an early breakfast, drive to Chuzomsa – 16kms. distance. From Chuzomsa, travel by roadway to Khotokha (5.5kms.) At Khotokha, visit Drajanchu monastery which is one of the most sacred and important Lhakhang of Tongdey Phajo’s lineage. There are about six other important Lhakhang including several sacred and holy pilgrimage spots of Guru Rimpoche and Drukpa Kunley. There is a Drupchu (spring water) believed to be a gift from the Khandoma (angel). The waters are supposed to have healing powers. Khotokha is one of the most beautiful valleys in Bhutan and the view of the surrounding mountains and landscape is breathtaking. Picnic lunch at Khotokha and return to Thimphu.

Evening: Visit Thimphu for shopping. If the day falls on a Saturday or Sunday, visit the weekend vegetable market or relax in Thinphu’s modern health club and beauty parlor. “Sakten Health Club and Salon” where sauna, steam, gymnasium facilities are available as well as full beauty treatment, including hair dressing, skin care (with pure herbal products) and body massage services. For our guests the Health Club facilities (sauna, steam, gymnasium) are free and beauty services will be at concessional rates.

Day – 6 Thimphu – Paro

After an early breakfast, drive back to Paro to take a short trek to Taktsang Monastery (10 km) from Paro Town. The name Taktsang means “Tiger’s Nest”. The monastery is perched on a rocky ledge with a sheer drop of nearly 800m. and overlooks the Paro Valley and river. It is believed during the second half of the 8th century Guru Padma Sambhava known as the second Buddha in Bhutan, meditated at the spot where the monastery is situated having alighted there on the back of a flying tigress.

Picnic Lunch at Taktsang cafeteria. The round trip hike takes about 4 hrs.

Evening: Free to stroll in Paro to shop or to visit some village homes.

Day – 7 Paro – International Airport

Seen off by representatives of our tour operator or your guide.