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Welcome to the Kingdom of Bhutan. Airport arrival transfer from Paro airport to Thimphu, the modern capital town of Bhutan. Driving through the Paro valley, en route to Thimphu gaze out upon silvery Pa Chu (Paro River) meandering its way through the thick forested ravine, the Paro Dzong (fortress) and Ta Dzong (watch tower).
Today’s full day of sightseeing in Thimphu valley includes the National Library, Thimpu Painting School, famous for traditional thangkha paintings. The Traditional Medicine Institute is where the rich herbal medicines abundant in Kingdom are prepared here. Then, the Memorial Chorten, Trashichhodzong, the beautiful fortress/monastery which houses Secretariat building, King’s Throne room and other government’s offices, is also the summer residence of Chief Abbot. To see a wide assortment of beautifully hand-woven and crafted products, visit the Handicrafts Emporium.
This morning drive to Punakha, an old winter capital of Bhutan. En-route stop at the lofty Dochu La Pass, 10,000ft/3,048m to view the rugged eastern Himalayas. This afternoon visit the impressive Punakha Dzong or Pungthang Dechen Phodrang "Palace of Great Happiness," Later hike to the Chimi lhakhang – the temple of Divine Madman which was built by lama Drukpa Kunley in 1499. The trail leads across rice fields to the tiny settlement of Pana. There are very few monks at the temple, which is surrounded by a row of prayer wheels and some very beautiful slate carvings.
Punakha & Wangdue are two separate districts in the same valley, just 20kms apart. Located at a lower elevation, the valley has mild winters, allowing cactuses, oranges, bananas and sub-tropical plants to flourish. Punakha was once the winter capital of Bhutan, the tradition that is still held by the Central Monks and Jekhenpo, who reside here in Punakha Dzong during the winters and return to Thimphu, which is their summer capital. In Wangdue, there is a small town on the ridge and large Wangdue Phodrang Dzong. Enjoy an excursion to Wangdue today and explore the town.
Travel back to Paro today via the scenic Doch La Pass, where on a clear day you can enjoy spectacular views of the towering Bhutan Himalaya peaks. Enjoy a sightseeing tour of the Paro Valley. Visit Kichu Lhakang - one of the oldest temples in Bhutan, Dungtse Lhakang, an incredible 3-storey Chorten-style building which was constructed in 1433 and the impressive and iconic Paro Rinpung Dzong. It is regarded as one of the finest Bhutanese architecture - with intricate wood work, large beams slotted into each other and held together without nails.
Taktshang Pelphung monastery or Tiger's Nest as it often referred to, is one of the most venerated and famous of Bhutan's monasteries. It is located on the face of a sheer 900m cliff above the floor of Paro valley. Today take a scenic hike to view this spectacular and unmissable sight! Once inside the monastery, there are several shrines or temples to see with few monks in residence. After exploring the monastery walk back to the cafeteria for lunch, before retracing your steps back to the road to journey back to Paro.
After breakfast and on onward departure transfer to Paro airport for your international flight back to Katmandhu. Arriving here, our Nepal team transfer you to your hotel.
Your holiday concludes after breakfast and on onward departure transfer to KTM airport for your international flight home.