Bhutan Cultural Tour 7D Paro-Thimphu-Punakha
Bhutan is a rich mosaic of different cultures, traditions, life styles, ethnic groups, languages and belief systems. It is astounding that a country with a population of just over half a million speaks as many as nineteen different dialects and a few major languages. Diverse as it may seem, yet the Bhutanese socio-culture fabric is well interlaced and harmonized mainly due to the common thread of simple Buddhist values that the people share.
Our cultural tours are the easiest way to get a taste of Bhutan. With comfortable nights in hotels and luxury buses or cars during the day, we will give you a tour of all the major towns. Each town has a Dzong/Monastic Fort dating back from the 1600s, and many old temples and monasteries, architectural marvels in their own rights. We will also organize a cultural show for you to heighten your experience.
Day1. Arrive Paro and drive to Thimphu.
As you land at Paro, you have a dramatic experience and weather permitting you also have some views of the Himalayas. On arrival at Paro, your guide will receive you at Paro and drive you to Thimphu the capital city of Bhutan with appx. 100,000 people. The drive is 1hr through the hamlets of Paro adjacent to the Paro river and later Thimphu river. Based on your convenience, you can start Thimphu sightseeing by visiting the Memorial stupa of the 3rd King of Bhutan. Paro/Thimphu- altitude 2300m.
Day2. Sightseeing Thimphu.
Visit the view point of Thimphu, see the Takin the national animal of Bhutan. Visit the Zilukha nunnery and the Thimphu Dzong which also is the office of the 5th King of Bhutan and most Ministers. You will have the option to do a hike of about 6km through the pine forests or do some city sightseeing.
Day3. Drive to Punakha 79km appx. 2hrs drive.
Drive to Wangdue-Punakha region over the Dochula pass at 3200m. The views of the eastern Himalayan range is stunning weather permitting, along with 108 chortens/stupa built for the well being of the country. Visit the Chimi Lhakhang Monastery which is also the fertility temple, a short walk amidst the rice fields.
Visit the beautiful Punakha Dzong/Fort which is built at the confluence of the two rivers, the Mo-Chu and Pho-Chu.
Day4. Punakha sightseeing.
If you want some adventure in the morning you have the option to do rafting on the pho-chu if you prefer more rapids, if you want something calm mo chu is advisable. OR you have the option to visit a monastery and a do a hike and visit local villages.
Day5. Punakha to Paro 144km appx 3hrs drive.
Visit the national muesuem, Paro Dzong, Paro town and visit the Kichu monastery which is one of the oldest monasteries in Bhutan built in the 7th century by the Tibetain King Songsten Genpo who built 108 monasteries around the region with the heart being Lhasa in Tibet.
Day6. Paro sightseeing.
Taktsang Monastery Hike: Take a hike to the Taktsang Monastery, Guru Padmasambhava or Guru Rimpoche did his meditation here for 3 months. The hike takes about 3 – 4 hrs depending on the capability of the hikers. This is also a photographer’s delight; the monastery is adorned with prayer flags and stands in the cave of granite rocks 300m above the valley floor. Lunch will be served in the viewpoint cafeteria.
Visit the archery grounds and see the shooting as people indulge in the national sport of Bhutan where arrows are shot at targets of 3ft x 1ft from 130m.
Day7. Excursion to Haa valley via the Chelila pass.
Drive over the Chelila pass at 4000m to the Haa valley which is one of the furthermost valleys of Bhutan bordering Tibet.