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Bhutan Winter capital tour (7days tour)
Day 1: Bkk/Ktm to Paro
The first day flight to Paro airport will bring you the most spectacular view of the Himalayan ranges.
Twenty five minutes before you land in the Dragon kingdom you will be able to view the highest mountain range, The Everest and then other mountains like the Mt.Kanchenjunga, Mt.Makalu and at the later end you will also see the mountains of Bhutan like the most famous Mt.Chomolhari, Mt.Jichu Drake, Mt.Tsrim Gang etc. Finally you will reach Paro airport after 2 hrs 45 minutes (from BKK) or 1hr 30 minutes (from KTM). A warm reception by the guide. If your flight is early then you will be served lunch at Rinchenling lodge. You can then discuss the other following programmes with your guide. In the evening if you are not tired then you can take a drive/walk through the Paro town.
Day 2: Paro sightseeing
On your second day you will go for Paro Sightseeing. In the morning you will experience a small hike of 3 hrs to the Taksang monastery (The tiger’s nest). A small history on this monastery will help you understand further and appreciate the monastery.
As believed by the Bhutanese, Guru Padmasambhava flew here on a tiger’s back in the 8th century and meditated for three months. Later in 1684 this holy place was built. When you finish your climb you will reach a cafe where you will get a very good view of the monastery. There you will be served tea and snacks. For some tourists who wants to get a very close view of the monastery, they can further climb for the next 45 minutes and enjoy the 50 meter close view of the Tiger’s Nest. You can ask your guide to give you a detailed explanation. Later when you reach back to Paro then the first sightseeing will be to visit the Drukgyel Dzong (fortess). This Dzong was built by Shabdrung Nawang Namgyel in 1647.This Dzong was built to celebrate the victory over the Tibetains. In the early 18th century a candle fire accidentally burned down this Dzong and still at present this Dzong is in ruins.
You can proceed to go for lunch either in town or back to your hotel. After lunch you can visit the Tag Dzong which was later converted into the National Museum in 1967.Inside the museum you will find many antique thankas, different kinds of textiles, a small temple of tree of life, different statues, etc. After this you can drive to the Rimpung Dzong or the Paro Dzong which was built in the 17th century. This Dzong is now the administration center and school for the monks. In the evening you can take a short walk in the town. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 3: Paro to Thimphu
You can have an easy start from Paro since Thimphu (2300m) is just 2 hrs drive. On the way you will see a monastery called the Tachogang lhakhang. You can ask your guide for some explanation. After a drive of 1 hour you will reach a place called Chuzom which means the meeting of two rivers. The Thimphu river and Paro river meets here at a confluence of three different kinds of monastery that you will see in the country. There will be a road junction from which one goes to the south which leads to Phuentsholing in the southern part of Bhutan and the other to the capital. Before reaching Thimphu you will see a dzong on the top of a hill which is the Simtokha dzong. Shabdrung Nawang Namgyel built this dzong, which is infact one of the oldest dzongs in Bhutan. It was built in 1627 and at present it is being used as a school for the monks and also for students who want to learn Dzongkha in a professional field. You will reach Thimphu after 15 minutes from this Dzong and then you can either check in your hotel first or start with your sightseeing after lunch. The first thing you will visit is the Memorial Chorten which was built in memory of the third king in 1974.You can further go inside the Chorten and enjoy the most exotic statues of the gods. You can then visit the indigenous hospital, the School of Arts & Crafts where the students use the art of ancient painting. Then you can visit the Tashichhodzong from outside which is the seat of the Royal Government and central monastic body. After this you can go back to your hotel for some tea and relaxation. Then you can further continue your sightseeing by going to the Post office, Paper factory, a small weaving practice center, Changangkha monastery, Zangto Pelhri monastery and Zilukha nunnery. In the evening you can drive to the viewpoint from which you can view the whole Thimphu city. On the way you can also stop and visit a small zoo to see the National animal of Bhutan, the Takin. Later you can go for a walk on your own in the town. Overnight at hotel.
Please note that if you are in Thimphu during the weekends then you can visit the Subji Bazaar i.e the vegetable market where you will witness a lot of natural people in their own style of selling and buying vegetables.
Day 4: Thimphu to Punakha
This day consists of your drive to Punakha, which is 4 hours drive from the capital. On the way you will stop at the Dochula Pass which is at 3050 meters. There is a café above the pass where you can enjoy some hot tea & snacks. From there you will experience a superd view towards your north of the Himalayan ranges. You will then drive down further through temperate forests into semitropical range of orange and cactuses. Before you reach a junction you will see Chime Lhakang built by a famous divine mad monk, Drukpa Kinley. This monastery is a famous pilgrim site for infertile women who wish to bear children. As you drive further you will pass Khuruthang which is the new Punakha town. This town has been shifted from the pervious town near the dzong and is a new settlement of the Punakha People. When you reach near the dzong you will see the Punakha dzong built on the meeting of the Phochu (Male River) and the Mochu (Female River). This Dzong was the winter capital 300 years ago; today it is the winter residence of the Je- khenpho the chief abbot and also serves as the administration center of the Punakha district. You can go for your lunch at your hotel in Punakha or eat packed lunch on your way. Overnight at hotel.
Day 5: Punakha to Wangdiphodrang /back to Thimphu
After your breakfast you can then proceed to Wangdiphodrang. On your way you will see a different kind of village called the Richengang village. Here you will see the houses are built very close together. You can visit the Wangdiphodrang dzong built in 1647 by Shabdrung Nawang Namgyel. After a satisfying view over the dzong you can have your lunch in Wangdi town. You can then turn back the same road to Thimphu. Overnight Thimphu hotel.
Day 6: Thimphu to Paro
On your last day in Thimphu you can visit some places like The Royal Academy of Performance & Art where the national folk and Bhutanese dances are practiced. You can then visit the Handicraft in the town for some shopping. After lunch you can proceed to Paro. When you reach Paro you can visit some places like the Kyichu lhakhang and the Dungtse lhakhang. You should take an early day off since your flight may be early in the morning. Overnight at hotel.
Day 7: Paro Airport
Drive to the airport for your flight to BKK/KTM/DEL.