There is only one airport in Bhutan, and most tourists with limited time on their hand would fly in and out of Bhutan. However, for those of you with time on hand and some adventure on their mind can drive into Bhutan from neighbouring Indian towns. It has its own charm…driving through the endless tea gardens on the Indian side to the subtropical forests of Bhutan. Observe the plains of the Ganges rising suddenly into the Himalayan foothill, as the winding road climbs into the misty mountains and another world.
3 Hours Before Flight Time
Touching down at Paro International Airport, you will be greeted by your guide upon exiting the arrival hall. Today, we will take it easy to acclimatise to the altitude.
Drive to Thimphu, check in to the hotel and lets have your first taste of Bhutanese cuisine. After which, you will visit the National Memorial Chorten which is built in honor of the late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk. Thimphu Dzong, the largest Dzong in Bhutan, is also the seat of the office of the King of Bhutan. Every Saturday and Sunday most of the Thimphu population congregate on the banks of the river where the Weekend Centenary Farmers’ Market is held. Here villagers from the valley and other nearby places come to sell their agriculture products.
Thereafter, we will drive up to Kuenselphodrang Nature Park where the 169 feet bronze statue of Buddha Dordenma, Vajra Throne Buddha is located. It one of the largest statue of Buddha in the world. You can enjoy the night walking around Thimphu Town after dinner.
Dochula Pass – the 108 chortens was built by the present Queen Mother of Bhutan Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck to commemorate Bhutan’s victory over indian militants and to liberate the souls of the souls lost. Punakha Dzong – Built in 1637, the dzong continues to be the winter home for the clergy, headed by the Chief Abbott, the Je Khenpo. It is a stunning example of Bhutanese architecture, sitting at the fork of two rivers, portraying the image of a medieval city from a distance. The dzong was destroyed by fire and glacial floods over the years but has been carefully restored and is, today, a fine example of Bhutanese craftsmanship. Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten – Built by the third Queen Mother Ashi Tshering Yangdon wangchuck this Chorten is a splendid example of of the Bhutanese architecture and art and is the only one of its kind in the world. It has been built over eight and a half years and its details have been drawn from religious scripture.
Chhimi Lhakhang – A 20 minutes walk across terraced fields through the village of Sopsokha from the roadside to the small temple located on a hillock in the centre of the valley below Metshina. Ngawang Chogyel built the temple in 15th century after the ’divine Madman’ Drukpa Kuenlay built a small chorten there. It is a pilgrim site for barren women. Paro Valley – The beautiful valley is home to many of Bhutan’s old monasteries and temples. The country’s only Airport is in Paro. The valley is also home to mount Chomolhari (7,300 meters) situated at the northern end of the valley whose glacier water forms the Pachu flowing through the valley. The following are some of the prominent places to visit in Paro. Paro Dzong also known as Rinpung Dzong, this 15th century massive fortress/monastery, is also the administrative center of the dzonkhag. A morning drive, north of Paro valley brings us to the ruins of Drukgyal Dzong. Built in 1647 by the great Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, father and unifier of medieval Bhutan, the Dzong was destroyed by an accidental fire and left in ruins as an evocative reminder of the great victories it was built to commemorate.Explore the ramparts and relive the memories of a glorious past.
Are you ready? We will be making the hike up to one of the key highlights in Bhutan today! Tiger’s Nest aka Taktsang Monastery.
Taktsang Monastery – A one hour hike to the cafeteria is also a vantage view whereby you can enjoy the stunning view of the monastery. Prayer flags adorn the cliffs and this is also where Guru Padmasambhava landed on the back of a tigress in the 8th century.
Kyichu Lhakhang – After a sumptuous local lunch, we will retrace our steps to visit Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest temples in Bhutan.
Today we will bid fond farewell to this beautiful Himalayan country and take an early flight back to Singapore. We hope by now you would have made some friends and also kept many photos and beautiful memories of Bhutan! And we look forward to seeing you again in this beautiful land of endless Enchantments!