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BHUTAN SAMPLER

5 Day Cultural Tour

Day 1
Arrive to Paro, Bhutan – hotel check-in and Welcome Briefing by your host and/or guide and then lunch at the hotel or a restaurant in town. An afternoon visit to Kyichu Lakhang followed by evening exploration of Paro town for sightseeing, shopping, and cultural learning.

Day 2
Following breakfast at the hotel, drive through spectacular forest scenery to the far Western edge of the Paro Valley to explore the historic Drugyel Dzong (or Victory Dzong) constructed in 1649 and a famous location for many battles between Bhutanese and invading Tibetans. Explore the small traditional village situated there along with water-driven prayer wheels, Bhutan’s famous house paintings, and spectacular views of Mount Jomolhari (7,314 m)weather permitting!

We’ll have lunch back in town or at one of the scenic restaurant locations along the way and then visit Dhuntse Lakhang (built by the famous iron bridge builder, Thangtong Gyalpo, 1385 – 1464 and who constructed more than 108 bridges through-out Tibet and Bhutan) and continue up the hillside for a guided tour at the National Museum. Return (or walk) via the Paro Dzong (Rimpung Dzong) for a late afternoon visit and head back to hotel with a stop at the archery grounds along the way.

Day 3
Following breakfast, we’ll set off for Thimphu (the nation’s capital) driving through breath-taking mountain scenery. There will be time for a walk across a traditional suspension bridge and a visit to Thamchoe Lakhang (also founded by the famous saint Thangthong Gyalpo). Our route will take us past the auspicious confluence of the Pa Chuu (Paro Water) and Wang Chuu (Thimphu Water) rivers which merge together and flow south toward the Indian border. Once we reach Thimphu, we’ll complete our hotel check in and have lunch.

In the afternoon we’ll visit the National Textile Museum and/or the Folk Heritage Museum then drive up to visit the newly constructed Buddha Statue which overlooks and provides spectacular views of the valley. On the way back we’ll make a stop at the Memorial Chorten which was built in honor of the 3rd King followed by a visit to the Zorig Chusum (School for 13 Traditional Handicrafts) and/or the National Institute of Traditional Medicine. In the late afternoon we’ll pay a visit to the Tashichoe Dzong– seat of both the nation’s government and official monk body.

Day 4
An early morning departure from Thimphu will get us back to Paro where we’ll then start our pilgrimage walk up to the famous Taktsang or “Tiger’s Nest” monastery – a treasured landmark and prime spiritual destination for Buddhist pilgrims. We’ll have lunch along the way in the blue pine forest and upon return will be treated to either a traditional hot stone bath or cultural performance prior to a sumptuous Farewell Dinner.

Day 5
Depart Bhutan via the Paro International Airport for journey home. If return flight is scheduled for later in the afternoon, an additional visit to town or another location for continued sightseeing and exploration.

All trips include guide, driver, transport, hotel, meals, entry fees to dzongs and
 museums and required travel / route permits.