Paro - Punakha - Wangdue - Trongsa - Bumthang - Punakha / Wangdue - Thimphu
Arrive Paro by Drukair or Bhutan Airlines.. After immigration and customs formalities, you will be received by the representative of Access Bhutan Tours & Treks. Then you will be driven to your hotel in Paro. After checking into your hotel and refreshment you will visit Paro Rinpung Dzong (fortress), built in 1645 to defend the valley against Tibetan invaders. The Dzong is now being used as an administration center and school for monks. From the Dzong you will walk down to Rimpung Bridge (Traditonal Cantilever Bridge), oldest bridge in Bhutan. Then you will visit one of the clusters of farm houses in Paro Valley and a visit to a farm house offers a good glimpse into the lifestyle of a farmer.
In the evening drive up the Paro valley to visit Drukgyel Dzong (in ruins), 18 km. from Paro town on the north side of the valley.It was built in 1649 to commemorate the victory of Bhutanese over allied Tibetan-Monolian forces. The Dzong as a defence fortress is said to have housed the finest armoury in the country. Dinner & overnight at a hotel in Paro.
After breakfast, you will travel to Punakha & Wangdue which will take you through Chunzom (confluence of Pachu- the river flowing through Paro valley & Wangchu –the river flowing through Thimphu valley). On the way, visit Tachog Lhakhang (temple) , this 14th century temple located on the base of a mountain across the Pa chu on the Paro-Thimphu highway, is a must visit temple in the Paro valley. Built by the great master architect Thangtong Gyalpo, the temple houses some unique statues. After crossing Chunzom, the drive will take you along the Wangchu upto Simtokha where road diversion leads you to Punakha/Wangdue through Dochula Pass (3,088m). In the clear spring sky, you can enjoy the panoramic view of the Himalayan Mountain ranges. At Dochula Pass you will see the beautiful 108 chortens (stupa) built on the hill by Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck (the Queen Mother of Bhutan) for the security and well being of His Majesty, the King of Bhutan. You will also visit Druk Wangyal Lhakhang (temple) The temple was built to honor His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck (the 4th King of Bhutan). The past and future appear to merge in the details of the temple that tells the story of a supreme warrior figure whose vision pierces the distant future.
After breakfast, travel to Bumthang through Trongsa.The drive will take you through dense forests of oak and blue pine trees and through the subtropical vegetation. The journey will also take you through the village of Nobding and Pele la pass (3300m). Throughout your trip you will come across the beautiful sceneries of rural Bhutan, with scattered settlements far from the road which makes for good photographing. You will also pass through open meadows, and valley of yak herders and several other villages via Chendebji Chorten ( Stupa) . Lunch and refreshments will be served enroute. On arrival at Trongsa, you will visit National Museum which is housed in the Ta Dzong (watch tower).A museum in which aspects of Bhutanese culture and history are explained by beautifully objects. Documentary will be shown too which explains a great deal about Bhutanese history and history of monarchy. Then you will be driven further to Bumthang Valley. On arrival at Bumthang, check into your hotel in Bumthang. Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Bumthang.
After lunch drive to Mebar Tsho ( Burning lake) and visit the lake and then drive back to your hotel and in the evening you may wish to stroll around the beautiful landscaped gardens of Bumthang. In the evening you may wish to stroll around the beautiful landscaped gardens of Bumthang.
After breakfast, drive to Punakha via Phobjikha valley. Driving through the dense forests of the Phobjikha Valley you arrive at Gantey village where you see the Gangtey Monastery and visit the monastery. Phobjikha valley is part of the beautiful Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park ( formerly known as Black Mountains National Park), one of Bhutan’s most important nature sanctuaries. Each winter it is home to a flock of 300 rare and endangered black-necked cranes. The surrounding hills and mountains are home to nomadic shepherds and yak-herders. This is one of the most remote and untouched regions in Bhutan and is only just opening its doors to the outside world. After lunch at Phobjikha valley and explore the valley and also visit the Black Necked Crane Center.
After lunch drive for about 30 minutes to the base camp of Tango Monastery and hike up to the Monastery. The walk up to the Monastery is through the forest filled with Rhododendron flower trees which will be in full bloom during April month. Tango Monastery is the center for higher studies for monks. The view from Tango Monastery is breathtakingly beautiful. You will experience complete peace and serenity in this area. After visiting the monastery, walk back to the road and then drive back to Thimphu . Dinner & overnight at a hotel in Thimphu. Day 8: Thimphu-Paro (54 km,1 hr).
In the morning after breakfast your tour guide from Access Bhutan Tours will escort you to the Paro airport for your flight to your onward destinations.
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