Glimpse of Bhutan Tour is a five-day cultural experience filled with riveting visits to Bhutan’s ancient dzong(forts), castles, monasteries, and lakhangs (Buddhist temples). Tucked away deep in the Himalayan mountains, Bhutan is a mystical land, where Buddhist thoughts and ideals permeate into the everyday lives of the people. This small kingdom is a champion of sustainability and environmental conservation. With more than seventy percent of the country covered by forest, Bhutan is the only country that produces more oxygen than carbon dioxide.
Your adventure begins with a flight to Paro, a quiet city nestled in a green valley surrounded by mountains. During the flight, you are treated to sweeping views of the Himalayas. At the Paro International Airport, you will be greeted by your local guide and driver.
On the first day of your tour, you will visit the Ta Dzong, an impressive lookout tower that has been converted into a museum. The wide array of ancient military artifacts and religious relics showcased at the National Museum offers a glimpse into Bhutan’s rich past and Buddhist heritage.
A scenic drive towards the north of Paro brings you to Kichu Lakhang, an ancient temple built by the Tibetan emperor Songsten Gampo in the seventh century. The temple or lakhang is built in the traditional style of architecture and houses murals, scroll paintings, and idols of Lord Buddha and Padmasambhava.
Before you leave Paro, you hike to the iconic Taktsang Monastery or Tiger’s Nest. Hugging a rocky cliff, the monastery stands almost suspended in the air. The monastery is an extension of the meditation cave of Padmasambhava, who according to legend flew to this spot from Tibet on the back of a tigress.
The hike to Taktsang Monastery involves an ascent up a forested trail. It is a steep walk on a well-maintained trail. From the top one can enjoy sweeping views of the Paro Valley and the Bhutanese mountains.
While driving to your next destination Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan, stop at the mountain pass of Dochu La to take in the panoramic views of the Bhutanese peaks and the 108 chortens built by the Bhutanese queen mother.
In Thimphu, you walk around the grand Memorial Chorten built in honor of the third King of Bhutan. To explore Changkangka Lakhang you drive to the Royal Takin Preserve and walk up to a ridge, where the impressive temple is located. One of the best-preserved temples in Bhutan, Changkangka Lakhang is the home of the protector deity of infants and children. Bhutanese parents bring their children to this temple to seek blessings from the Tamdrin.
You will get to see how the nuns or anis live at the Nunnery Temple. Thimphu tour is incomplete without an exploration of the impressive Tashichho Dzong, Wangditse Monastery, and Buddha Dordenma, and we will take you there.
Tashichho Dzong, originally built in the thirteenth century, houses the throne room of the Bhutanese king and government offices. This grand castle is a beautiful example of traditional Bhutanese architecture. Wangditse Monastery showcases life-size images of Buddhist deities and a Buddha statue that is one-storied high. Buddha Dordenma is a gigantic statue of Sakyamuni Buddha sitting on top of a hill overlooking Thimphu city.
At the Folk Heritage Museum and Painting School, you learn more about get Bhutan’s rich art and culture. Before you leave Bhutan, experience village lifestyle at a traditional farm in Paro.
Though Glimpse of Bhutan Tour can be done throughout the year, spring and autumn are the ideal seasons. There is not much precipitation and the weather remains dry and warm during these seasons. People of all ages and fitness levels can do this trip. If you are not used to hiking, you can skip the hike to Taktsang Monastery, as the ascent can be tough for non-hikers.
With Glimpse of Bhutan Tour you can experience an ancient Himalayan culture and tradition that is still alive and thriving. This trip is highly recommended for those interested in culture, history and a unique experience.