The Spirit of Bhutan tour provides an in-depth view into the ancient way of life and rich culture that still thrives in Bhutan. You will discover the vibrant history of Bhutan visiting the Ta Dzong Museum, Rimpong Dzong and the infamous Taktsang Monastery (Tiger's Nest) in the beautiful Paro Valley. In Thimphu Valley, you will visit the The National Memorial Chorten, 12th century Changangkha Temple and the National Library exhibiting ancient scriptures before crossing the 3050m Dochula Pass with its 108 chortens, numerous prayer flags and spectacular Himalayan views into the sub-tropical Punakha Valley featuring the incredible Punakha Dzong and Chimi Lhakang, temple of the 'Divine Madman'.
Returning from Punakha to Haa through Chele La, the highest motorable road in Bhutan so is prepared for spectacular views. Schedule your trip during the annual Haa Summer festival to see the weaving and making of yak hair tents from scratch! Get to see a variety of yak products on display, learn about the process of yak shearing and wool making, experience the culinary traditions of Haa as you see how they transform yak dairy into delicious traditional meals.
DAY 01: ARRIVE PARO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Upon arrival at Paro International airport, you will be welcomed by our company representative and the tour guide will receive and escort you to designated Hotels. In the afternoon drive to the ruins of the 17th Century Drukgyel Dzong, an historic monument built by the Zhabdrung to commemorate his victory against invading Tibetans in 1644. In fine weather the towering peak of the sacred Mount Jomolhari (7314m) appears as a stunning backdrop. On the return visit 7th Century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples constructed by the Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo. Overnight at Paro.
DAY 02: PARO - THIMPHU
After breakfast, drive to Thimphu - world's smallest capital. Upon arrival at Thimphu you will start sightseeing tour visiting Memorial Chorten built in memory of the 3rd King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck who reigned the Kingdom from 1952-1972. Visit the National Library where ancient manuscripts are preserved. Further, we will visit the Zorig Chusum - 13 Arts & Crafts Institute where traditional arts and crafts are still kept alive. The visitors can see students of different trades at work like: Sculpting, Thanka Painting, Wood Carving and other skills. In the evening free for a leisure walk to explore Thimphu city - the world's smallest capital and the only capital city where Traffic Lights are absent. The walk around the city is easy and would be enjoyable to experience the Bhutanese way of life. Overnight at Thimphu.
DAY 03: THIMPHU - PUNAKHA
Today you drive to Punakha, an ancient capital of Bhutan over the Dochu-La pass (3,100 meters), which on a clear day offers an incredible view of Himalayan peaks before descending into balmy Punakha valley. In the Dochu-La area there are vast Rhododendron forests that grow to tree size and bloom in late April/early May covering the mountains in a riot of glorious spring colour.
On arrival at Punakha, visit Punakha Dzong, the "Palace of Great Happiness" built in 1637 by the Shabdrung, the 'Unifier of Bhutan'. It is situated at the confluence of the Mo Chu and Pho Chu (Mother and Father Rivers) and is the winter headquarters of the Je Khenpo and hundreds of monks who move en masse from Thimphu to this warmer location. It was here in 1907 that Bhutan's first king was crowned. Overnight at Punakha/ Wangduephodrang.
DAY 04: PUNAKHA
After breakfast drive to Yabesa village and hike to through rice fields and up to Khamsum Yueley Namgyal Chorten, built by her majesty the queen Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuk. Take a picnic lunch on a picturesque riverside.
Afterwards drive back into the Punkha valley for a short walk to Chimi Lhakhang, temple of the Drukpa Kuenly who is also known as the Divine Madman. He inherited the Divine Madman title since he revolted against the orthodox Buddhism in his time. He is considered a symbol of fertility and most childless couples go to his temple for blessing. Overnight at Punakha/ Wangduephodrang.
DAY 05: PUNAKHA - PARO
Today drive back to Paro Valley. The Paro Valley is home to many of Bhutan's old monasteries and temples. The country's only Airport is in Paro. The valley is also home to mount Chomolhari (7,300 meters) situated at the northern end of the valley whose glacier water forms the Pachu flowing through the valley. The following are some of the prominent places to visit in Paro. Paro Dzong also known as Rinpung Dzong, this 15th century massive fortress/monastery, is also the administrative center of the dzonkhag. A morning drive, north of Paro valley brings us to the ruins of Drukgyal Dzong. Built in 1647 by the great Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, father and unifier of medieval Bhutan, the Dzong was destroyed by an accidental fire and left in ruins as an evocative reminder of the great victories it was built to commemorate.Explore the ramparts and relive the memories of a glorious past.
DAY 06: PARO - HAA
Drive to Haa through Chele La Pass (3,988 m) where you will enjoy an panoramic views of the Paro and Haa valley. You can also have a picnic at Chele La if you like to. In Haa, some sightseeing and then going to katsho village and visiting the Katso Lhakhang. The extraordinarily beautiful Haa Valley is newly opened to Tourists in 2002 and Haa is the least visited valley in Bhutan due to the lack of Tourist infrastructure). In the late afternoon transfer to Paro for overnight.
DAY 07: HIKE TO PARO TAKTSHANG
After breakfast hike to Tiger's Nest, one of the most sacred Taktshang monasteries in Bhutan. The trail is broad and the walk of approximately 1.5 to 2 hours uphill takes you almost a kilometer above the Paro valley. It is perched on the cliff where Guru Rimpoche is said to have flown here on the back of a tigress when he brought the teachings of the Buddhist Dharma to Bhutan in the 8th Century. He subsequently meditated here for three months. The cave is said to be the origin of Buddhism in Bhutan. Nearby there is a teahouse where you can stop for refreshments before returning to Paro for lunch.
Return to Paro, where we may have more time for stroll around the town. Farewell dinner in the evening. Overnight at Paro
DAY 08: DEPART PARO
The guests will be Seen Off by a Representative of our company and the Tour Guide at the Exit Gate. Wish Bon Voyage!!!