Paro- Thimphu- Paro

NESTLED IN THE HIMALAYA MOUNTAIN RANGE, Bhutan is blissfully untouched. Here you can step back in time and experience a life of ancient tradition playing out in front of you. Bhutan’s location in the mighty Himalaya has protected it from the rest of the world and left it unspoilt through the centuries. For example, the Bhutanese people still wear traditional dress while archery is a national sport. The Drukpa Kagyupa school of Mahayana Buddhism is prevalent and has left the country with a rich culture and a fascinating history. The Bhutanese people have protected this sacred heritage and unique identity for centuries by choosing to remain shrouded in a closely guarded isolation.

Upon arrival in historic Paro (7,300ft/2,225m), you will be met and greeted with a traditional welcome. After lunch, visit Paro Dzong and Ta-Dzong, the national museum showcasing Bhutan’s rich cultural heritage dating from at least 2000 BCE to the present day. Built in 1648 as a watchtower, the cylindrical museum houses a fine collection of Bhutanese art and artefacts. We continue our tour of Rinpung Dzong, a historic Buddhist monastery and fortress housing local government and monastic offices; and Kyichu Lhakhang, an important place of pilgrimage and ceremony for Bhutan’s royal family and one of the kingdom’s oldest and most sacred temples. Dinner and Overnight at the Hotel.

Breakfast. In the morning, drive to the foot hills of Taktsang Monastery and from here hike up to the viewpoint of the sacred Taktsang monastery, which is approx. 2,000ft/610m above Paro valley. This is a sacred place for the Bhutanese and every Bhutanese from far- away places try to visit at least once in their lifetime. There is an option for either walking or a pony ride. Lunch will be served at the Taktsang Cafeteria. Later, visit the ruins of Drukyel Dzong, a victory fortress dating to the 17th century and visit a Bhutanese farmhouse and meet the family. Dinner and Overnight at the Hotel.

Breakfast. Full day excursion to Thimphu (7,900ft/2,410m), the Himalayan country’s capital and largest city. The road to Thimphu first follows the Pa-chu (river) till the confluence where the Thim-chu joins. Visit the Memorial Chorten (Stupa) built in memory of the Late King and walk around on the main street of Thimphu. Today’s tour includes the National Library, housing an immense collection of ancient Buddhist manuscripts and the world’s largest book; the Painting School, where students keep alive the traditional art of painting sacred religious scrolls; and the Folk Heritage Museum, which celebrates the country’s rural life. After lunch, visit the Textile Museum, where we see a demonstration of traditional weaving; and Tashichhoe Dzong, the historic fortress and monastery that today houses government offices and temples. Later, visit the Buddha Dordenma Statue, The gigantic statue of Shakyamuni Buddha erected on a mountain top is considered one of the largest statues of Buddha in the world. Return to Paro. Dinner and Overnight at the Hotel.

Breakfast. Transfer to the airport for your flight back home.

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