In this tour, you will travel to the Paro, Thimphu, Punakha, and Wangdue districts as well as stop by the scenic Gangtey valley. In Thimphu, you will visit the Tashi Chho Dzong (fortress), National Institute for Zorig Chusum (13 traditional arts), the National Memorial Chorten, Jungshi paper factory, Takin reserve, Buddha Dordenma statue, and the adjacent Kuensel Phodrang Park where you can view a panoramic look of Thimphu town. The National Memorial Chorten is a large Tibetan style shrine built in honour of the late third king, King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. It is the heart of the little capital town, where citizens of all ages can be found circumambulating the chorten and offering earnest prayers all through the day. On your drive to Punakha form Thimphu, you will have the opportunity to stop by Dochula pass (3,100 meters) to admire the majestic view of the Himalayan mountain-scape and visit the stunning 108 stupas at the Druk Wangyal Chorten. In Punakha, you will visit the Punakha fortress, Khamsum Yulley Chorten, and Chimi temple. The Chorten was built in dedication to the fifth king by the Queen mother. The trek to the Chorten is a pleasant 45 minute hike where you cross a suspended footbridge adorned with colorful prayer flags onto a trail that passes through fields of local vegetables and plants before climbing up a gentle hill where the Chorten rests at the top.
In Gangtey valley, also known as Phobjikha valley, you will visit the resplendent 17th century Gangtey monastery and the Black-necked crane Information Centre. If you are visiting Gangtey during November and March, you may be able to sight the endangered black-necked cranes, wild boars, sambars, red foxes, as well as an array of beautiful birds.
In Paro, you will visit the ruins of the Drugyel fortress, Paro Rinpung fortress, and the National Museum which was built to serve as a watchtower for the Paro fortress. The museum holds an impressive collection of precious antiques and artifacts. You will also hike to the most iconic and sacred place in Bhutan, Taktsang (Tigers nest), built precariously on a hillside cliff. Legend states that Guru Rinpoche, the 8th-century Indian Buddhist master who introduced Buddhism in Bhutan, flew to the site on the back of a tigress and meditated in the cave for 3 years, 3 months, 3 days and 3 hours in order to subdue evil demons residing within it. You will also visit one of Bhutan’s oldest and divine monasteries, Kyichu monastery.
In addition to visiting all of the above cultural and historical spectacles, your itinerary will also include enjoyable recreational activities such as learning how to play archery, relaxing in a traditional hot stone bath, and sampling a range of interesting local cuisine.