Bhutan Tour lets you experience the cultural treasures of Bhutan. In four days you get to explore two important Bhutanese cities Paro and Thimphu. Discover secluded Buddhist monasteries, and magnificent palaces and dzongs built by Bhutanese royalty. Experience the beautiful Bhutanese countryside on a drive on the Paro-Thimphu highway.
Known as the ‘Land of the Thunder Dragon’ or Druk Yul in Dzongka the local dialect, Bhutan is one of the least explored destinations in Asia. To preserve the balance in the ecosystem, the government of Bhutan allows only a limited number of tourists to visit the country each season.
With more than seventy percent of the country covered by forests, the kingdom of Bhutan is one of the greenest countries in the world. The country is known to measure its prosperity by using the ‘gross national happiness index’. The Bhutanese enjoy many benefits from their government, including free healthcare and education. The amount tourists have to pay per day while traveling in Bhutan has been fixed by the government. These go to fund the country’s free healthcare and education sectors and other developmental projects.
Your tour begins with a flight to Paro. It is a wonderful experience to fly into an airport nestled in a narrow valley surrounded by mountains. You can enjoy the aerial views of the Himalayan mountains during the one hour and twenty minutes long flight from Kathmandu.
On reaching Paro, you will meet your Bhutanese guide and driver at the airport. Your sightseeing tour begins after light refreshment or lunch. You explore the magnificent Ta Dzong, a watch tower located above Rinpung Dzong. The ancient fortress which was built in the seventeenth century now houses the National Museum. Buddhist relics and military artifacts dating back more than a thousand years are showcased at the museum.
You also visit the grand Paro or Rinpung Dzong which lies below the Ta Dzong tower. The dzong is a classic example of traditional Bhutanese architecture and features exquisite wooden carvings and paintings.
To explore Kyichu Lakhang, one of the oldest Buddhist shrines in Bhutan, you drive north from Paro. The temple lies on a secluded hill surrounded by forests. Kyichu Lakhang or Lho Kyerchu is one of the 108 temples built by the Tibetan emperor Songsten Gampo in the seventh century.
Before leaving Paro, you hike to the Tiger’s Nest or Taktsang Monastery. The monastery built on the side of a rocky cliff was the meditation cave of Padmasambhava or Guru Rimpoche who introduced Buddhism to Tibet and Bhutan. To reach the monastery, you hike through thick pine and rhododendron forest. The view of Paro valley from the top is amazing.
After exploring Paro, you visit Bhutan’s capital Thimphu. It is a delightful ride filled with breathtaking views of the countryside. On the way, you stop at Dochu La Pass, a mountain pass, to take in the breathtaking 360-degree views of the Bhutanese mountains and 108 memorial chortens built by the Bhutanese queen.
In Thimphu, you will visit the grand Wangditse Monastery, a national heritage site dating back to the eighteenth century. The monastery was the seat of the eighth Druk Desi, the secular ruler of Bhutan. You also get to explore the only nunnery in Thimphu, the Thangtong Dewachen Monastery, and Changangkha Lakahang, the oldest Buddhist shrine in the country.
You get to learn more about the rich Bhutanese arts and crafts at the Painting School or National Institute for Zorig Chusum. Explorations of the glorious Tashichho Dzong and the hilltop shrine of Buddha Dordenma are also included in your itinerary.
This tour involves hiking, easy walking, and driving on pitched roads. People of all age groups can take this tour. If you are not comfortable with hiking, you can skip the hike to Taktsang Monastery. This four-day Bhutan Tour can be done in all four seasons.