The Himalayan Splendor
09 Nights / 10 Days Tour
(Covering: Kathmandu, Patan, Paro, Thimphu, Trongsa, Bumthang, Punakha and Wangdiphodrang)
Day 01: ARRIVE KATHMANDU
Arrive on Katmandu airport, and transfer to hotel. The tour manager will give pre-tour briefing. Rest of the day is leisure. O/N at Hotel.
Day 02: KATHMANDU
Morning visit Swayambhunath Temple and Patan City. Afternoon visit Pashupatinath, Boudhanath and Old Kathmandu City. Evening free and overnight stay at hotel.
Day 03: Arrive Paro
Get on board Druk Air, Bhutan’s national airline, from Kathmandu bound for Paro. The flight to Paro offers fascinating views of the eastern Himalayan range, including Mt. Everest. On arrival you will be received by your guide and driven to the capital, Thimphu.
Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu .
Day 04: Thimphu sightseeing
In the morning, visit the Memorial Chorten, a stupa conscpetualised by the Third King to ward off negative influences. It was later built in his memory by the present King and the Queen Mother. Other important places include the Folk Heritage Museum for an insight into the medieval lifestyle of the Bhutanese; the National Library which contains collections of literature and scriptures; the Textile Museum for ancient Bhutanese textile collections; a Nunnery, the 12th century Changgangkha temple; and a drive to the viewpoint of Thimphu and national animal-Takin research center. If time permits, visit Tashicho Dzong, the center of government and the monastic order. Independent tour of the town.
Overnight at Hotel in Thimphu.
Day 05: Thimphu - Trongsa (200 Km, 6 Hours)
The journey to central Bhutan takes about 7-8 hours passing through alpine and coniferous forests across three districts. While the drive can be arduous, there are, however, splendid views of mountain ranges, village hamlets and two high passes. Pack lunch will be served at Chendebji, an ancient Newari stupa like those found in Nepal. Arrive Trongsa and check into the lodge.
Day 06: Trongsa –Bumthang sightseeing (68 Km, 2 1/2 Hours)
After breakfast, visit Trongsa Dzong, one of the most impressive in the kingdom. Built in 17th century by Shabdrung, this is a masterpiece of architecture with several courtyards and corridors and 23 temples. Drive to Bumthang through the most scenic landscape of lush pine forests, open fields and quaint hamlets.
On arrival in Bumthang, check into the lodge. After lunch, visit Kurje Lhakhang where the saint Padmasambhava subdued a local demon and left his body imprint on a rock; the Jambey Lhakhang (7th century temple), Tamshing Monastery (one of the oldest), the Jakar Dzong (administrative centre of the region) and Swiss Farm House. Overnight at the lodge in Bumthang.
Day 07: Bumthang - Wangdiphodrang (197Km, 6 Hours)
After breakfast, explore the fascinating valley of Bumthang before driving back to Trongsa where lunch will be served at a local restaurant, famous for its traditional cuisine. Continue to Wangduephodrang. Evening at leisure.Overnight at the hotel in Wangdiphodrang.
Day 08: Punakha Sightseeing - Paro (125 Km, 4.1/2 Hours)
Drive to Punakha and visit the Punakha Dzong, a massive structure built at the junction of two rivers. It was the capital of Bhutan until 1955, and still serves as the winter residence of the monk body. The first King, Ugyen Wangchuck was crowned here in 1907. After lunch, proceed to Paro. En route visit traditional Bhutanese farmhouse, which offers good insight into lifestyle of local people and their culture. On arrival in Paro, check into the hotel for overnight stay.
Day 09: Paro Sightseeing
After breakfast, visit to Ta Dzong, originally the Watch Tower for the Rinpung Dzong. It was later converted into the National Museum of the Kingdom and boasts a wide range of antique thangkha paintings, textiles, weapons & armour, household objects and natural and historic artifacts.
Walk down the trail to Rinpung Dzong or the 'fortress of the heap of jewels' which is the seat of the district administration and the residence of the monastic school. The dzong is famous for its wall murals depicting Buddhist parables, symbols and the lives of prominent saints.
After lunch, drive to Drukgyel Dzong, the fort of the victorious Drukpas. Although gutted by a fire, this fort is renowned as the stand from which several Tibetan invasions were repulsed. To the north can be seen in all its majesty, the dome of sacred Mt. Chomolhari or the abode of the "mountain of goddess.”
En route, see one of the oldest landmarks in Bhutan. The 7th century Kyichu Lhakhang was one of the 108 temples built in the Himalayas by Tibetan King, Songtsen Gembo. It is revered as one of the most holy shrines in Bhutan and embodies the arrival of Buddhism here.
Overnight at hotel in Paro.
Day 10: Departure
After breakfast in the hotel, drive to the airport for flight to onward destination. Representative of Eco Trek will bid you farewell. TASHI DELEK.
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