7 Day Thimphu Tshechu and Adventure
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Plan:3 star hotel
Options: 4 or 5 star hotel
DAY 1: ARRIVAL IN PARO - THIMPHU
Welcome to Bhutan, the Land of the Thunder Dragon! We are thrilled to have you here and we hope that you will enjoy your stay in this beautiful country. Upon arrival at Paro International Airport, you will be warmly welcomed by your guide. As we will be at a high altitude, we will take it easy today to allow you to acclimatize. Our first stop will be Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan.
After checking in at the hotel, we will have lunch and then head out to explore some of Thimphu's cultural landmarks. Our first stop will be the National Memorial Chorten, a stupa that was built in memory of the third king of Bhutan. Here, we will witness the elderly generation in circumambulation, a traditional form of Buddhist prayer.
Next, we will visit the Folk Heritage Museum, which is dedicated to preserving and showcasing artifacts used in rural households, providing a glimpse into Bhutanese rural life. We will also visit the Textile Museum, where we can witness the art of traditional weaving, an important part of Bhutanese culture.
Finally, we will visit the Institute of Zorig Chusum, also known as the Painting School. This institute offers a hands-on experience, where you can observe novices learning 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan. We will have the opportunity to interact with the students and witness their work firsthand.
We hope that this first day in Bhutan will give you a taste of the country's rich culture and traditions. Get ready for more exciting adventures tomorrow!
DAY 2: THIMPHU TSHECHU
Begin our day by visiting Tashichhodzong, a fortress that dates back to 1641 and was restored in the 1960s by the Third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. Currently, it houses several ministries, His Majesty's secretariat, and the central monk body.
Experience the Thimphu Tshechu festival, a vibrant celebration of Padma Sambhawa, also known as Guru Rinpoche, the yogi and saint who is believed to have introduced Tantric Buddhism throughout the Himalayas. During the festival, monks dressed in colorful brocade attire perform masked dances and read Buddhist scripts. The festival's highlight is the unveiling of a giant cloth Thangka, a sacred scroll that depicts Padma Sambhawa and other Buddhist deities.
Conclude our day by visiting Buddha Point, situated at Kuensel Phodrang, which boasts the world's largest bronze statue of Buddha Dordenma, representing indestructibility. While the statue awaits painting, visitors can still drive up to Buddha Point and admire the impressive statue of Lord Buddha. The view of Thimphu valley from Buddha Point is particularly stunning at night.
DAY 3: THIMPHU TO PUNAKHA
In the morning, we will depart from Thimphu towards Punakha, and on the way, we will pass through the Dochula Pass. The pass features 108 chortens, built by Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck, the Queen Mother of Bhutan, to celebrate Bhutan's victory over Indian militants and to honor the souls lost. The location offers a spectacular view of the Himalayan range, and we will take a short break for a photo session and stretch our legs.
We will then continue to Punakha Dzong, which was constructed in 1637 and still serves as the winter residence for the clergy, led by the Chief Abbott, the Je Khenpo. The dzong is a stunning example of Bhutanese architecture, located at the confluence of two rivers, creating the impression of a medieval city from a distance. Although the dzong has suffered damage from fires and floods, it has been meticulously restored and remains an excellent representation of Bhutanese craftsmanship.
In the afternoon, we will proceed to Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten, which was built by Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuck, the third Queen Mother. This chorten is an exquisite example of Bhutanese art and architecture, and it is the only one of its kind in the world. The construction of the chorten took eight and a half years, and its intricate details were inspired by religious scripture.
DAY 4: PUNAKHA TO GANGTEY
In the morning, we will depart from Punakha and make our way towards Gangtey. Our first stop will be at the Chimmi Lhakhang Temple, also known as the "Fertility Temple." This temple is dedicated to Drukpa Kunley, who is known as the Divine Madman, and is believed to have the power to grant children to childless couples. The temple's unique phallus paintings and carvings make for a distinctive and unforgettable experience.
Next, we will visit the stunning Gangtey Monastery, also known as the Gangtey Goempa, which is situated in the picturesque Phobjikha Valley. The monastery is a significant spiritual center for the region and is home to several monks. We will have the opportunity to explore the monastery's rich history and unique architecture.
Afterward, we will embark on a scenic hike through the Phobjikha Valley, which is renowned for its natural beauty and wildlife. This valley is home to the endangered black-necked cranes, which migrate here every year from Tibet. We will have the chance to spot these magnificent birds and admire the valley's breathtaking landscapes.
Finally, we will visit the Black-Necked Crane Information Centre, where we can learn about the conservation efforts being made to protect these beautiful birds. The center offers interactive exhibits and educational displays that provide insight into the ecology and behavior of the black-necked cranes.
In the evening, we will retire to our accommodations in Gangtey, where we can relax and enjoy the serene ambiance of this charming town.
DAY 5: GANGTEY TO PARO
In the morning, we will depart from Gangtey and make our way towards Paro. Our first stop will be at the historical and religious site, the Kyichu Lhakhang Temple. This temple is believed to have been built in the 7th century and is one of Bhutan's oldest and most sacred temples. We will have the opportunity to explore the temple's rich history and unique architecture.
Next, we will visit the Paro Rinpung Dzong, which is a fortress monastery and a significant landmark in Paro. The dzong was built in the 17th century and is a prime example of Bhutanese architecture. We will have the chance to explore the dzong's rich history and admire its intricate carvings and paintings.
Afterward, we will embark on a scenic hike to the iconic Tiger's Nest Monastery, also known as Paro Taktsang. This monastery is perched on a cliff at an altitude of 3,120 meters and is one of Bhutan's most famous landmarks. The hike takes around 2-3 hours, and the stunning views of the Paro valley along the way make the trek worthwhile.
Finally, we will visit the National Museum of Bhutan, which is situated in a former watchtower of the Paro Dzong. The museum provides insight into Bhutan's unique culture and history, showcasing traditional arts and crafts, textiles, and weaponry. We will have the opportunity to explore the exhibits and learn more about Bhutan's fascinating heritage.
In the evening, we will retire to our accommodations in Paro, where we can relax and reflect on our day's experiences.
DAY 6: PARO-TIGER NEST HIKE
In the morning, we will depart from Paro and drive to the base of the Tiger's Nest Monastery, also known as Paro Taktsang. We will stop at a viewpoint to capture the breathtaking view of the monastery and the valley.
Next, we will begin our hike to the monastery. The trek takes around 2-3 hours and involves a gradual uphill climb through a pine forest, with several stops along the way to rest and enjoy the scenery. We will also pass a waterfall and a small tea house, where we can take a break and enjoy some tea and snacks.
As we approach the monastery, we will cross a traditional Bhutanese bridge and climb a steep staircase carved into the rock face. The final stretch of the climb involves a steep ascent, but the stunning views and the anticipation of reaching the monastery make it all worthwhile.
Once we reach the monastery, we will explore its various temples, chapels, and courtyards, and learn about its fascinating history and legends. We will also have the opportunity to enjoy the stunning panoramic views of the valley from the monastery's viewpoint.After exploring the monastery, we will descend back down to the base, where we can enjoy a delicious lunch at a local restaurant.
In the evening, we will return to our accommodations in Paro, where we can relax and reflect on our day's experiences.
DAY 7: DEPARTURE
Thank you for choosing to explore Bhutan with us! We hope you had an amazing time and that the memories you made will stay with you forever. We are glad to have been able to share the beauty and magic of Bhutan with you. We wish you a safe and pleasant journey back to your country and hope that you will visit us again soon to discover even more of Bhutan's endless enchantments. Tashi Delek!
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