The Kingdom of Bhutan, nestling in the heart of the great Himalaya, only opened its gates to foreigners in 1974. It remains the society, where age old culture and traditional life continues as it had been for centuries. With about 69% of population still living in rural Bhutan, farming is still considered an occupation for the majority of Bhutanese. Old aged barter system and close bond within the family often with more then 50 members are common sight.
Best of Scenic Bhutan Tours offer you package of Bhutan in short time. During this tour, you will have opportunity to see all the cultural and other important sites in western Bhutan. This tour gives you insight of this Himalayan Kingdom in best possible way. You will be escorted through beautiful valleys of Paro, Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan, and the picturesque and sub tropical valleys of Punakha, Wangdue & Phobjey Kha Valley in central west Bhutan. You will encounter magic of simple Bhutanese life that transform into happiness and contentment making the society truly peaceful and happy. Village lives are simple and pure. People’s thoughts are straight forward and undiluted. Here you will meet monks in their monasteries during their chanting or other monastic activities.
Road passes through Bhutan’s rich forest reserves and mountain environment. At all places, you will come across smiling Bhutanese faces, and you will be treated to mouth watering international foods, and drinks recipe. There many more surprises waiting for you in Bhutan.
Fly on Druk Air to Paro. Druk Air is a Bhutan national flag bearer, which has an exclusive right to fly to Bhutan from 6 other sectors. Limited flight allows only restricted amounts of flyers into this beautiful Himalayan Kingdom, there by preventing and conserving valuable culture and environment that has remain intact for centuries. Culture and environmental protection are two important pillars for achieving enhanced Gross National Happiness in Bhutan. Tiger Nest ParoThe flight to Paro is one of the most amazing experiences. On clear days, during this fight, you will experience breathtaking views of the Himalayan Mountains including Mt. Everest, and Jichu Drak and Chomolhari in Bhutan. There is never ending panoramic view of distance mountain ranges as we glide beside it for fairly long time. Few minutes before landing, flight will criss cross through many mountains, allowing you to have most spectacular view of village in and around district of Paro. Thickly forested mountains with winding trials passing through scattered village are common sight down below. Paro (2300m MSL) valley is more than beautiful district of Bhutan. Paro is also fertile and fairly flat valley stretching along one side for more then 20 kms. Farmers here are considered economically better then their counter part in most other regions in Bhutan. Produce like apple, paddy, and chili are cultivated and traded in local and international markets. It has some historically important monasteries and cultural sites. This beautiful terraced valley is known for Bhutanese red rice and summer fruits and vegetable. Farmers here find easy accessibility to market for their farm produces. You will land in a beautiful valley of Paro, located at an elevation of 7,400 ft. At Paro International Airport you will be received by Representative of MAT Nepal representative. You will be welcomed with traditional reception. White Khaddar or scarf with Buddhist blessing will be presented to you to be carried along your journey.Bhutanese architecture Drive to Paro Town, which is 20 minutes away from Airport. Have lunch, and walk along small town design and constructed in typical Bhutanese architecture. Then drive to the ruins of Drugyel Dzong. This Dzong is of historical importance, from whose ramparts the Bhutanese repelled Tibetan invaders. On a clear day one can view the sacred Chhomolari (Mountain of Goddess) – 24,000 ft. Visit Ta Dzong, the National museum housed in an ancient watchtower, which has a fine collection of ancient Thangka painting, textiles, weapons and artifacts. See also a traditional wooden bridge.
Today’s after breakfast sightseeing in Thimphu valley includes visits to: National Memorial Chorten: The building of this landmark was envisaged by the third king, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, as a monument to world peace and prosperity. Completed in 1974 after his untimely death, it is a both a memorial to the late king (‘the father of modern Bhutan’), and a monument to world peace. The painting and statues inside the monument provide a deep insight into Buddhist philosophy; National Library, which holds a vast collection of Buddhist texts and manuscripts, some dating back several hundred years, as well as modern academic books mainly on Himalayan culture and religion. Institute for Zorig Chusum (commonly Known as the Painting School) where student undertake a six – year course on the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan: National Institute of Traditional MedicineNational Institute of Traditional Medicine, where the medicinal herbs, mineral, and animals organs available in abundant in the kingdom are compounded and dispensed by traditional pharmacist and medical practitioners. This indigenous healing method is popular amongst all Bhutanese people, and runs in parallel to modern medicine in all district head quarter. Here you will have exclusive privilege of talking to a renowned traditional healer. Folk Heritage and National Textile Museums: These museums, both of which opened in 2001, provide fascinating insight into Bhutanese material culture and way of life. Handicrafts Emporium: This government – run enterprise displays a wide range of beautifully hand – woven textiles and craft products. It also carries a small collection of books on Bhutan, Buddhism and Himalayan culture. After that drive to Dodeyna and do a hike to Tango Monastery. The drive of 20 kms till the end of the road offers varieties of scenes. The Old Palace (for view only and no entry) where our present king was born in the year 1955 can be seen, the farming village of Begana and Kabjisa and the temples on the hill – slopes. Lama Gyalwa Lhanampa founded the Goemba in the 12th century. The present building was built in the 15th century by the ‘Divine Madman’ .It is visible from the road above pine forest. Just before the Dinner, your escort will make brief presentation of the whole trip program. Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.
Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu
Drive through Dochula Pass where one gets one of the most enchanting views in Bhutan. On a clear day, the one can get a good view of the Himalayan ranges and also see the Gasa Dzong at a distance. The journey continues through varying scenes of greenery all the way to Punakha. The Punakha Dzong is set on the junction of the two rivers Phochu (male river) and Mochu (female river) and is one of the most spectacular Dzongs in the country. At present this Dzong serves as the winter residence for the Je Khenpo, Chief Abbot of the Central Monastic Body. Visit the Dzong if the monastic body has sifted to Thimphu for the summer. Visit the town and after Lunch drive to Gangtey in Phobjekha Valley. Overnight at Gangtey.
Morning, visit 17th century Monastery, and drive further down to iinformation centre for the Black – Necked Cranes. This centre is maintained by a NGO; Royal Society for the Protection Nature. The Black Neck Crane roost in the swampy marshland during winter. We can see this magnificent birds in their winter nesting home during month of Nov – March. These endangered birds fly south from Siberia and Tibet. The calls of the Black – Necked Crane locally known as Thrung Thrung Karm have inspired folklore for generations. RSPN and Phobjikha Community are now working together to protect the habitat of endangered Black Necked Cranes. There is annual festival to celebrate and create awareness about importance of this protected bird species. Community participation is active. Afternoon drive back the same way to Wangdue. Overnight in Hotel in Punakha.
Drive to Paro via Thimphu. Visit Sangay Gang where you can get a spectacular view of the whole Thimphu valley. Then visit Zelukha Nunnery.
Drive to Paro after short visit
Today after breakfast drive to Drukgyel Dzong, or Dzong in ruins, and on your way, you will observe Takstang Money for today’s hike. Visit this ruin of Dzong initially constructed in mid 17th century. Drive back to Ramthongkha and then hike to viewpoint of Taktshang, the Tiger’s Nest (one and a half hours). This magical monastery clings to a vertical granite cliff 3,000 ft above the valley floor. The trail is broad and the walk uphill takes you a little more than a 1000ft above the Paro valley. The view of Taktsang monastery built on the cliff is a spectacular sight. It is a great pilgrim site for the Buddhists and also it is one of the most sacred sites in the Himalayan world, a pilgrimage destination for devout Buddhists. For a close look at the cliff – hanging site, hike about 2 hrs up hills to a view points directly opposite the monastery a hilltop filled with prayer flags. From here Taktsang is clearly seen, clinging to a sheer rock wall 3000 ft above the valleys floor, at an altitude of 10,000ft. Beyond the viewpoint, the path is narrow and steep as it climbs to a point above the temple, from where walkers descend to the building itself. TaktsangThe main deity of Taktsang is Dorje Drolo, the wrathful form of Guru Rinpoche, the precious Teacher, also known as Padmasambhava. The great tantric mystic is said to have flown here on the back of a tiger, a manifestation of his consort, Yeshi Tsogyal, when he brought the teachings of the Buddhist Dharma to Bhutan in the 8th century. The image of Dorje Drolo inside the temple is shown standing on a tiger. There are 13 sacred sites at Taktsang, and several meditation caves in the cliffs above. Many saints have meditated here, not only Guru Rinpoche but also Milarepa and the female yogin Machig Labdronma. Here you can meditate awhile before beginning the descent. Nearby there is a teahouse, where you can stop for lunch or a snack. Take road down, and evening farm house visit in Paro.Overnight at hotel in Paro.
Early breakfast at the hotel and drive to the Paro Airport to board the flight.