Embarking our tour, we fly over to the dragon kingdom Paro. We fly over passing by Mountains of 5500 meters to Paro. Paro is a beautiful valley and is home to many of Bhutan’s oldest monasteries and temples, and the country’s only international airport. The flight to Paro is one of the most spectacular mountain flights in the world, with a constantly changing panorama of some of the highest mountains on earth including Chomolhari and Jitchu Drake peak. Paro Airport has been described as “the most difficult commercial airport in the world”. 1980meter runway length presents a double challenge, due to the extremely low density altitude at the site. So, only a handful of well experienced pilots are certified to operate commercial airplanes here thus, making least number of flights in a day.
After immigration and custom formalities, check out from the departure lounge. There you will meet one of the representatives of Nature Trail Travels & Tours, Trekking & Expeditionwho will greet you and then escort you to Thimphu. En route you can visit the Rinpung Dzong, meaning ‘fortress of the heap of jewels’ to see the painting of the great saint Milarepa, considered as the master of meditation by the Bhutanese and believed to have attained enlightenment in a lifetime. The Dzong is now used as an administration center and school for monks. Dzong’s are large monasteries and district administrative centers, which were once strategic forts. Afterwards, we’ll go to Takin Sanctuary and Zilukha Nunnery. The Takin (a goat-antelope) was declared the national animal of Bhutan because it is strongly associated with the country’s religious history and mythology. Today’s last destination is Thimphu Dzong (Tashichho Dzong), a Buddhist monastery and fortress. It also houses Bhutan’s central government. Then drive to Thimphu following the Pachu River. Once a rustic village sitting in a broad, fertile river valley, Thimphu is today the nation’s bustling capital. Before dinner at the hotel there will be an orientation on Bhutanese etiquette by your guide. Stay overnight at Thimphu.
Today we’ll visit Simtokha Dzong, an important historical monument and former Buddhist monastery. It was built in 1629 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, who unified Bhutan. It is the first of its kind built in Bhutan. At present it serves as a language learning institute too. It is the oldest Dzong which has been able to survive its original form. Afterwards, we will visit the Folk Heritage Museum and the National Painting School. The Folk Heritage Museum is built to resemble an old Bhutanese farm housewhich gives one insight into the average household & lifestyle in the region during that era.The house replicates a traditional farmhouse and is furnished as it would have been about a century ago.Here, you can learn much about the rural life of the Bhutanese. At the National Painting School, you can see students paint and carve traditional Buddhist images. Next, we come to the Bhutan Post Office Headquarters. Here you can have stamps made with your own photo images. It is very popular with tourists and it costs about USD4 for 12 stamps, which is at your expense. We suggest you store some photos on an SD card or USB device for stamp printing in case there is a long line for taking photos. In the afternoon, we will transfer you to Paro, where a local farm house visit is scheduled for you.
You will have a short hike today up to Taktsang. Taktsang is a prominent sacred Buddhist site and temple complex perched on the edge of upper Paro Valley. It is also known as the Tiger’s Nest. This magical monastery clings to a vertical granite cliff 300 meter above the valley. Legend says that Guru Padmasambhava flew here on the back of a tigress for the purpose of his journey. When the Guru finished his meditation, he instructed that the monastery to be built. The spectacular view along the way and the historical sites draw many tourists to this imposing monastery. There are also a number of temples scattered along the route. Later we’ll turn to the Paro Dzong, a large Buddhist monastery and fortress, which is considered the best example of Bhutanese architecture. Now it also houses the district Monastic Body and government administrative offices. On the hill above the Dzong stands an ancient watchtower called Ta Dzong, which is the National Museum of Bhutan. VisitTa Dzong Museum housing many religious relics, works of art and handicrafts offering a great orientation into Bhutan’s historical, cultural, and religious past.This Dzong was converted into the National Museum in 1968. The museum boasts antique thangkas, textiles, weapons and armor, household objects and rich assortment of natural and historic artifacts.Here you can also learn about Bhutan’s history. After this hike and a short sightseeing tour, return back to the hotel for overnight stay.
On the very last day of our tour, we depart from Paro. Your short but inclusive holiday package ends today. Depending upon your flight schedule, transfer to airport for departure.