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ENTER THE DRAGON KINGDOM

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364
7 NIGHTS/8 DAYS
Paro
Paro
Itinerary

Day 1PARO

We take a Drukair flight into Paro. We arrive in the freshness of Paro valley and our representatives will take us to our hotel in Paro. There will be a short briefing this evening before dinner. (D)

Day 2PARO-THIMPU

We visit the most important sights in Paro including the TA Dzong (national museum), the Drukyel Dzong (fort), Kyichu Lakhang, the oldest temple in Bhutan built in AD 638 by the Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo. After lunch we take an hour and a half drive to Thimphu via Taktsang Lhakhang (temple) called the tiger’s lair clinging to the black rock mountain. We spend the night in our hotel in Thimphu. (B, L, D)

Day 3THIMPU

We take a full sight-seeing trip today including the famous Memorial Chorten built in honor of 3rd king HM Jigme Dorje Wangchuk, Tashichoe Dzong (seat of government), Changlimithang and the weekly market, Changangkha Lhakhang and Simtokha Dzong, guarding the entrance into Thimphu. (B, L, D)

Day 4THIMPU-TONGSA

We take a morning drive to Tongsa in central Bhutan over the Black Mountains and Pele La pass (3300 m or 10825 ft.). The drive takes 7 hours and packed lunch is prepared for the journey. Tour highlight is the Tongsa Dzong founded in 1543, a masterpiece of architecture containing a maze of courtyards, passageways, corridors and additional 23 temples. We spend the night here in a lodge. (B, L, D)

Day 5TONGSA-GANTEY,GOMPA-PHOBJIKA,VALLEY-WANGDI

We head back towards Thimphu stopping by the important cultural, historical and natural sites enroute. Packed lunch is again prepared for the journey. The first stop is at Gantey Gompa (monastery) perched atop a small hill that arises from the floor of Phobjika Valley. The valley of Phobjika, home of the migratory black-necked crane is one of the most beautiful spots in Bhutan. Our second is at Wangdi Phodrang where a dzong is spectacularly perched at a spur on the confluence of two rivers. We stay here in a hotel. (B, L, D)

Day 6WANGDI-PUNAKHA-THIMPU

We take a morning drive to Punakha the old capital of Bhutan to visit Punakha Dzong (fort) built in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel, the most famous name in Bhutanese history. We then return to Dechen Resort, Mendigang for lunch before proceeding to Thimphu over the Dochu La pass where we stop for some tea and view the eastern Himalayas. We return to Thimphu in the evening. (B, L, D)

Day 7THIMPU-PARO

Today we have more opportunity to see Thimphu on our own. A great idea is to hire bicycles and ride the length and breadth of Thimphu breathing the pure and crystalline mountain air. In the afternoon we drive to Paro and check into our hotel. In the evening we visit a typical Bhutanese farmhouse for local food and entertainment. (B, L, D)

Day 8PARO DEPARTURE

After breakfast we take a transfer to the airport nearby and fly back. (B)

Photos