Flight of The Thunder Dragon
Places & Attractions
Paro, Thimphu, Punakha, Gangtey, Trongsa, Bumthang, Wangduephodrang, Haa valley
Enjoy places of interest and ancient stories connected to them. Visit Phobjikha valley – winter home of the black necked cranes. An elaborate tour that covers the whole of western Bhutan including an excursion to Haa valley and the central region. From Chele la get a superb view of Chumolhari and Jichu Drakey mountains.
Day 1 : Arrive Paro by Druk Air
Flying into Paro is one of the most spectacular in entire Himalayas. Whether flying along the Himalayan range from Kathmandu or over the foothills from Kolkatta, each flight is mesmerizing and offers an exciting descent into the Kingdom.
On arrival at Paro airport, our representative will receive you and transfer you to your hotel. In the evening take a stroll around town’s main street.
Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
Day 2 : Paro
After breakfast, visit Ta Dzong (National Museum), one an ancient watch tower and then walk down the trail to Rinpung Dzong, a 17th century fortress which today serves as the civil and religious centre of the district.
In the afternoon drive to Drukgyel Dzong, the ruined fortress from where Bhutanese repelled several invasions by Tibetan armies. Visit a traditional farm house and get an insight into the lifestyle of local people. In the evening, visit Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest and most sacred shrines that was built in the 7th century.
Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
Day 3 : Paro - Thimphu
After breakfast proceed to Thimphu, the capital Bhutan. Enroute stop at Chuzom (confluence) where Paro river joins Thimphu river. Nearby Thimphu, visit Simtokha Dzong, the oldest fortress of the Kingdom which now houses the School for Buddhist studies.
In the afternoon, visit the Memorial Chorten and the Tashichhodzong both key landmarks of the city. Visit the Handicrafts Emporium, Textile and Folk Heritage Museum to get a sense of Bhutan’s vibrant weaving culture and then the local market where farmers sell organic fruits and vegetables.
Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.
Day 4 : Thimphu – Punakha
After lunch, drive to Punakha, the old capital. Stop enroute at Dochula pass (3,050m) and enjoy the enchanting views of windswept pine forests and the Himalayan range in the far distance.
On arrival check into hotel.
In the evening visit Punakha Dzong, the most beautiful of Bhutan’s ancient fortresses, and the Khamsm Yulley Namgyal Chorten.
Overnight at the hotel in Punakha.
Day 5 : Punakha - Wangduephodrang - Gangtey
After breakfast drive to Gangtey via Wangduephodrang. Visit the majestic Wangdue Dzong which was gutted by a fire in 2012 and is being rebuilt to its former glory by Bhutan’s finest artisans. The drive to Gangtey (Phobjikha) passes through dense forests of oak and rhododendron trees.
In the evening, walk around Gangtey village and visit Gangtey Goenpa, the only Nyingmapa monastery in this region.
Overnight at HomeStay/Guest House.
Day 6 : Gangtey - Trongsa
In the morning explore Phobjikha valley, the winter roosting grounds for the endangered Black Necked Cranes. The cranes migrate to the valley from Tibetan plateau in winter.
After lunch drive to Trongsa crossing the 3,300m high Pele la pass and in the evening visit the Trongsa market.
Overnight at resort in Trongsa.
Day 7 : Trongsa - Bumthang
In the morning visit Trongsa Dzong, a masterpiece of Bhutanese architecture and the centre of power during the first half of the 20th century. Visit the Ta Dzong, the watch tower, built to defend this Dzong, which is now a world class museum.
After lunch, drive to Bumthang, the religious heartland of the nation.
Spend evening at your own leisure.
Dinner and overnight at lodge in Bumthang.
Day 8 : Bumthang
Bumthang at an altitude of 2,600m to 4,000m is home to many prominent Buddhist temples and monasteries. In the morning visit Tamshing Lhakhang, a treasure house of interesting religious Buddhist paintings and the Jakar Dzong, the administrative centre of the valley. In the afternoon visit Kurje Lhakhang, one of the most sacred places and Jambay Lhakhang, the ancient monastery that dates to the introduction of Buddhism in Bhutan.
In the evening, visit local shops and sample the local cheese and beer.
Overnight at lodge in Bumthang.
Day 9 : Bumthang - Wangduephodrang
Drive to Wangdue after a visit to the Bumthang market. Lunch will be served enroute in Trongsa town at one of its well known restaurants.
Evening stroll around Wangdue town, visiting shops, local market and mingling with the people.
Overnight at hotel in Wangduephodrang.
Day 10 : Wangduephodrang - Paro
Morning excursion to Chimi Lhakhang situated on a hillock in the centre of the valley. The temple is dedicated to the 15th century saint, Lama Drukpa Kuenley, who used humour, songs and outrageous behaviour to dramatise his teachings and spread the Dharma. It is also known as the temple of fertility and couples who do not have children come here to offer prayers.
Afteroon drive to Paro.
Overnight at hotel in Paro.
Day 11 : Paro (Excursion to Haa valley)
Start the day early and drive to Haa Valley via Chele-la pass (4,200 m). The climb towards Chele-la, the highest road pass in the country, begins 4 kms out of Paro winding through blue pine & rhododendron forest for 45 kms. Chele-la pass offers superb views of Mount. Chomolhari & Jichu Drakey.
Drive on to Haa, descending all the way for another 22 km. After a picnic lunch visit Lhakhang Karpo (White Temple) amd Lhakhang Nagpo (Black Temple). The central shrine in Lhakhang Nagpo is said to be no different than that of Lhasa JOWO in Tibet. The construction of the Lakhang Karpo is believed to have been assisted by the local deity. The three giant hills looming over the fringes of Haa valley are called “Me Rig Puen Sum” and are today popularly known as “Rig Sum Goenpa” signifying three deities: Jambayang, Chana Dorji and Chenrizig. After the arrival of Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel in 1616 the chief guardian deity of Haa became Ap Chundu.
Drive back to Paro late in the afternoon.
Overnight at hotel in Paro.
Day 12 : Depart Paro
After breakfast transfer to the airport for flight to onward destination.
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