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If you wish to explore Bhutan by road via Nepal or from North East India’s Sikkim and Darjeeling, Phuentsholing to Paro Tour will surely be a highly rewarding experience. The 7-day tour begins from Phuentsholing which is a main commercial hub in south-west Bhutan, popularly known as the ‘Gateway to Bhutan’. Next we visit Thimpu and tour its many cultural landmarks like King’s Memorial, nunnery temple, Tashichho Dzong and others. Our next stop is Punakha via the incredible Dochula pass. While there we tour a number of historical sites some of which include the Punakha Dzong and Chimi Lhakhang, a fertility temple. One of the highlights of Phuentsholing to Paro Tour is the hike to the breathtaking Tiger’s Nest Monastery situated at 10,400 feet and perched on the edge of a steep cliff about 3,000 feet above the Paro Valley.
|Day 1 Arrival in Phuentsholing||293m/961ft|
|Day 2 Phuentsholing to Thimphu||2,320m/7,612ft|
|Day 3 Sightseeing in Thimphu||2,320m/7,612ft|
|Day 4 Thimphu to Punakha||1,250m/4,101ft|
|Day 5 Punakha to Paro||2,250m/7,382ft|
|Day 6 Hike to Tiger Nest Monastery||3,180m/10,434ft||4-5 hrs|
|Day 7 Final departure||-|
Our representative will meet you at the India-Bhutan border check point in Phuentsholing. He or she will assist you with the visa formalities and drop you off at your hotel. Phuentsholing is the administrative seat of Chukha District of Bhutan. The town lies opposite the Indian town of Jaigaon, and cross-border trade has resulted in a thriving local economy. Overnight in Phuentsholing.
We leave the border down for Bhutan’s capital city, Thimpu after breakfast. On the way we enjoy the amazing landscape that Bhutan has to offer. We also encounter a few waterfalls which provide a photo opportunity for nature lovers. Overnight in Thimpu.
In the morning, we visit Memorial Chorten (built in memory of the third King of Bhutan who reigned from 1952-1972), nunnery temple, mini zoo to see Takin, the national animal of Bhutan. Today, we also visit other landmarks of Thimphu including the National Institute of Traditional Medicine, Bhutanese traditional painting school, folk heritage museum, the majestic Tashichho Dzong and the traditional paper factory. However, some of the landmarks are closed in the weekends (Saturdays and Sundays). Therefore, if we are in Thimphu during the weekends, we explore the Weekend Market instead. Overnight in Thimphu.
After breakfast, we drive to Punakha via Dochu La Pass (3,100m), where on a clear day we get spectacular views of the Himalayas. Next, we drive downhill through rhododendron, fir and hemlock forests. On the way, we visit Chimi Lhakhang, a fertility temple dedicated to the Divine Madman or Lama Drukpa Kuenley. After reaching Punakha, we also visit Punakha Dzong which was built between 1637-1638 and is the second oldest and the second largest dzong in Bhutan. Overnight in Punakha.
After breakfast, we drive to Paro via Dochu La pass. There, we visit the new Druk Wangyal Monastery. With elaborate paintings depicting the lineage of the present monarchy and their visionary works, the Druk Wangyal Monastery is the only one of its kind in the country. After the tour of the monastery, we continue our drive with a stop in Thimphu for lunch. Overnight in Paro.
After breakfast, we hike for 4 -5 hours to Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) Monastery, which is Bhutan’s most famous monastery situated at 3,180 meters. Guru Rinpoche (spiritual master) is said to have flown on the back of a tigress to meditate in a cave where Taktsang Monastery now stands. Lunch will be served in the Cafeteria Restaurant, located about halfway up the mountain. After having explored the monastery, we hike down to the valley floor and return back to Paro for an overnight stay.
Today we bid farewell to the tiny Himalayan Kingdom and her friendly people. Druk Air generally departs in the early morning to avoid adverse weather conditions. So, if we are flying, we will be dropped off at the airport after breakfast. If not, we will be dropped off at the Phuentsholing border for final departure.
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All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) are included during your stay in Bhutan. A variety of meals are available in most hotels the most popular being Indian, Chinese, and the more common continental food. Non-vegetarian dishes are generally available in most parts of Bhutan - pork, beef, chicken, and fish. The best advice is to ask the hotel and restaurant to recommend what is fresh and in season.
Hotels in Bhutan are approved and classified by the government as grade A, B and C. These government approved hotels are equivalent to 3-4 star hotels elsewhere. Based on availability at the time of booking, we will be accommodated in A grade hotels in Paro Thimpu and Phuentsholing and B grade hotel in Punakha. We use Druk Hotel in Phuentsholing, Hotel Migmar in Thimpu, Meri Puensum Resort in Punakha and Tashi Namgay Resort in Paro. All accommodations are on a twin-shared basis. Single supplement will be served on request and will cost USD 350.
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