CULTURAL TOURS
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10 Nights/ 11 Days:

Day 1 : Arrival in the Kingdom.
Arrival at Paro by Druk Air. The first day flight to Paro Airport will bring you the most spectacular view of the Himalayan ranges. Twenty five minutes before you land in the Dragon Kingdom, you will be able to view the highest mountain range, the Everest and then other mountains like the Mt. Kanchenjunga, Mt. Makalu and at the later end you will also see the mountains of Bhutan like the most famous Mt. Chomolhari, Mt. Jichu Drake, Mt. Tshering Gang, etc. Finally after a great view you will reach the Airport after 3 hrs 20 minutes (from BKK) or 56 minutes from (Ktm), 1 hr from (Kolkota) 2hrs 10 minutes from (Delhi). Your respective guide from the Norda Expeditions will receive you the Airport. Transfer to Hotel. Local sightseeing if time permits (Paro). Evening at leisure.

Day 2: Full day sightseeing in Paro.
Start with Ta Dzong (previously watch tower), which was later converted into the National Museum in 1967. Inside the museum you will find many antique paintings, carvings, status, textiles, jewelleries, etc.. After this you can drive to the Rimpung Dzong or the Paro Dzong which was built in the 17th century. This dzong is now the administration center and school for the monks. Overnight at Hotel.

After lunch drive up to Drukgyal (Ruin Fortress) which is 14 km away from town. This fortress was built in 1649 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in a location chosen for its control of the route to Tibet. The Dzong was name Druk (Bhutan) gyel (victory) to commemorate the victory of Bhutan over Tibetan invaders in 1644. On a clear day there is a spectacular view of Jhomolhari from the area near the Dzong. On the way you can view Paro Taktsang (Tigerís Nest) Monastery on the side of a cliff 900m above the floor of Paro valley from the road. As believed by the Bhutanese, Guru Padmasambhava (a very famous Buddhist saint) flew here on a Tigress's back in the 8th century and meditated for three months. Guru Padmasambhava was the one who later converted whole Paro valley into Buddhism. Visit Kyichu Lhakhang & a short distance south of the road. This Temple is said to have been built in 659 by King Songtsen Gampo of Tibet. (special permit required to visit this temple and can be arranged upon request). Visit a typical Bhutanese farm house for tea. If there is enough time, then visit the unfinished sites and stroll around the Paro town shopping /leisure).

Day 3 : Paro to Thimphu.
On the way visit Simtokha Dzong the oldest Dzong (fortress) built by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel in 1629. Visit the Memorial Chorten which was built in memory of the third King in 1974. After lunch, visit the Painting School where the art of ancient painting is used by the students, visit the Changangkha Monastery, Zagtopelri Monastery and Zilukha Nunnery. Visit Tashichhodzong from outside which is the seat of the Royal Government and central Monastic body. Visit Post Office for beautiful stamps, Paper factory, weaving center, handicrafts and shopping. Overnight at hotel.

(Please note that if you are in Thimphu during the weekends, then you can visit the Sabji Bazaar that's the vegetable market (farmer's market), where you will witness a lot of natural people in their own style of selling and buying vegetables). Overnight at Hotel.

Day 4 : Thimphu & Punakha & Wangduephodrang.
Morning drive to Dochula which is at 3150m (pass). On a clear day you can view the Himalayas. Upon reaching Punakha which is about 2 hrs visit Punakha Dzong. Lunch can be a picnic near a river or in a restaurant. After lunch visit Khamsung Yuellay Temple and then drive to Wangduephodrang. Visit Wangdue Dzong.

Day 5 : Wangduephodrang - Bumthang
Drive to Bumthang via Trongsa which is about 6 hrs. Lunch picnic on the way.

Day 6 : Bumthang local.
Visit Jakar Dzong (fortress) built in 1549, Wangdichholing Palace built in 1857. Swiss Farms, Buddhist Temples etc. and days hike can be arranged.

Day 7 : Bumthang - Trongsa
Visit Trongsa Dzong, Ta Dzong Tower and Kuenga Rabpten Palace.

Day 8 : Trongsa & Gangteng
The drive is 3 hrs. Gangteng is such a beautiful valley. Visit Gangteng Monastery. During winter you can see Black Necked Cranes fly in from Tibet in this valley and stay on till end of February. Overnight at a guest house.

Day 9 : Gangteng & Thimphu.
Explore the Phobjikha valley and drive to Thimphu which is about 5 hrs.

Day 10 : Taktsang Hike.
Morning drive to Paro and hike up to Taktsang.

Day 11 : Departure
Wish you a very pleasant journey back with fond memories of Bhutan.

'TASHIDELEK'


e-mail: norda@druknet.bt or karmawangmo@gmail.com
PO. Box 1419, Thimphu, Bhutan
Tel: 975-2-326818, 325743, 329116 and Fax : 975-2-326818