Day 1: Arrive Paro - Thimphu (55kms)
On arrival at Paro airport assitance and transfer to hotel in Thimphu check in.
Once a rustic village, Thimphu is now the capital of Bhutan, and sits in a broad, fertile valley of the Wang Chu River. Compared to Paro and Punakha, Thimphu is a bustling city, although a relaxed one, with a population of only 150,000; it’s the world’s only capital without a single traffic light. After lunch walk to visit National Archery stadium, local vegetable market where people from all over Bhutan bring local vegetable for sale and the Memorial Stupa.Lunch, dinner & o/n at hotel.
Day 2: Thimphu: Hike the Cheri Goemba
Breakfast at hotel. A short drive up the Thimphu Valley to the road’s end at Dodena from here you cross the Thimphu Chu over a covered wooden swing bridge, adorned with hundreds of prayer flags. You then begin the ascent to Cheri Goemba, a small monastery perched on the hill with a view over the Thimphu Valley. This monastery was built in 1620 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the man responsible for many of Bhutan’s most historic Dzongs and monasteries. Here, he established the first Bhutanese body of Buddhist monks, and scattered across the hillside are many small meditation huts where the devout monks and their students can seclude themselves for extended periods of meditation.
Return for lunch at a local restaurant and visit the School of Traditional Arts and Crafts, the National Library, the newly built Textile Museum, the Heritage Museum, and the Handicrafts Emporium, displaying the rich traditional crafts of the kingdom. Lunch, dinner & o/n at hotel.
Day 3: Thimphu - Punakha (76kms)
After breakfast drive to Punakha, crossing the Dochula pass 3100 meters. On fine weather you will see the eastern Himalayan ranges including the highest mountain in Bhutan Mt.Gangar Punsum 7520 meters. Punakha, situated at an altitude of 4,430 feet, served as the capital of Bhutan until 1955 and is still the winter capital for the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot) and the main monk body. Blessed with a temperate climate and fed by Pho Chu (male) and Mo Chu (female) rivers, Punakha is the most fertile valley in Bhutan. The climate allows for two rice crops per year, and is also suitable for growing fruit, with oranges, bananas, and guavas in abundance.
Descent down towards Lampelri Botanical garden through pristine nature, one can see different varieties of Rhododendron and can hear different birds sings while walking along. The park has 28 kinds of Rhododendrons out of 46 in the country.
After lunch walk through a small village to Chimi Lakhani (the Temple of the Divine Madman). Lama Drukpa Kinley, more commonly known as the “Divine Madman,” is one of Bhutan’s favorite saints. He traveled throughout Bhutan and Tibet singing songs, humor, and outrageous behavior to dramatize his teachings, believing that the stiffness of the clergy and social conventions were keeping people from learning the true Buddhist teachings. This site is still believed to hold fertility powers for women.Lunch, dinner & o/n at hotel.
Day 4: Khamsung Yuely Namgyel Temple Rafting and Punakha Dzong
After breakfast drive through the Punakha Valley, your walk begins with a series of switchbacks to the Khamsung Yuely Namgyel Temple. From the viewpoint at this majestic temple, you will get grand views of the Mo Chu River Valley below.
Your walk descends from the temple and follows a well-worn path down the valley through rice fields and small villages. Along the way are stunning views, with terraced rice paddies, providing a lush backdrop to the river below. Our raft will be waiting us near the river. It takes us around 2 hours to reach our destination covering 10km long with 10 rapids of class 2 and 2+ than we will go for lunch. In the afternoon visit Punakha Dzong, which was constructed in 1637 and was the second of Bhutan’s Dzongs and for many years its seat of government. Lunch, dinner & o/n at hotel.
Day 5: Punakha - Ganteng Valley (80kms)
Drive to Gangteng Valley. Visit Gangteng Monastery, the main seat of Terton who is a discoverer of ancient hidden texts. Now, start Gangtey Nature Trail, Distance 4km at Elevation of 2900m. You will take a walk around potato fields to pine forest, here hikers will come across the best marshland in Bhutan. This marshland is famous for its winter home of rare black-necked cranes. Here, cranes can be seen in the late autumn and winter (November to February). As said when cranes arrive here, they circle around the Gangtey Monastery roof three times before landing on the marshland of Phobjikha valley. Again, when the time comes for their departure, they repeat the same process and leave for Tibet back in March. Lunch, dinner & o/n at hotel.
Day 6: Gangteng - Thimphu (135kms)
If you happen to visit here during the arrival time of crane, you will be awakened by the call of cranes. After having breakfast, visit Black Neck Crane Information center, see a documentary on this crane and related information. Later drive to Thimphu and if time permit walk along the town.Lunch, dinner & o/n at hotel.
Day 7: Thimphu - Paro Tiger Nest Hike
After breakfast drive till the end of the road point and start walking to the most famous of Bhutan’s monasteries, Taktshang, perched on the side of a cliff, 2,800 feet above the valley floor. The 8th-century historical figure, Guru Rimpoche, is regarded as the second Buddha and believed to have had miraculous powers, Taktshang is translated as “tiger’s nest,” and uru Rimpoche is believed to have flown on the back of a tigress to the site of the monastery, where he then meditated in a cave for three months.
The well-traveled trail ascends a series of switchbacks through juniper and pine forests, leading you to a teahouse, which provides spectacular views of the Paro Valley below and the monastery above. You eat lunch here and follow the trail onward to a viewpoint at the same level as the monastery (approximately 9,950 feet). Conditions permitting, it may be possible to walk all the way into Taktshang, which is truly a highlight. This evening a farewell dinner with local troop performing cultural show.Lunch, dinner & o/n at hotel.
Day 8: Departure
Breakfast at hotel. your guide and driver will drop you to the airport for your onward destination.O/n at hotel.
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