Travel ▻ Himalayas ▻ Bhutan5-Day Cultural Tour to Paro and Thimphu
5-Day Cultural Tour to Paro and Thimphu

5-Day Cultural Tour to Paro and Thimphu

5 days

5-Day Cultural Tour to Paro and Thimphu
from $1245 USD

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Five days of cultural tours to Paro and Thimphu.

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Day 1: Arrive Paro, drive to Thimphu (Tashichho Dzong)

/images/itineraries/Bhutan/bhutan (1).jpg On arriving at the Paro International Airport, your tour guide will meet you and escort you to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. The one-hour drive to Thimphu takes you on a winding road along the Paro and Thimphu River with views of lots of beautiful hamlets. Just before reaching Thimphu, you will visit Tashichho Dzong (dzong means fortress). This impressive fortress/monastery houses the secretariat building, the throne room of His Majesty the King, and various government offices. It is also the summer residence of the Chief Abbot and the central body of monks. It was rebuilt in the early 1960's after a fire destroyed most of the building. The amazing thing about this building is that it was built without a single drawing or a single nail!

Meals included: Dinner
Mid-Range Accommodations: Peaceful Resort

Day 2: Sightseeing in Thimphu (Memorial Chorten, the Folk Heritage Museum, the Institute of Traditional Medicines, and the National Library of Bhutan)

/images/itineraries/Bhutan/bhutan (2).jpg First, you will visit Memorial Chorten, also known as the Thimphu Chorten, a large Tibetan-style Buddhist Monastery. The Memorial Chorten is a popular landmark in the city with its golden spires and bells. The building of this landmark was envisaged by the third king, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. Completed in 1974 after his untimely death, it is both a memorial to the late king ("the father of modern Bhutan") and a monument to world peace. Next, you will visit the Folk Heritage Museum, which is housed in a three story 19th century traditional earthen and timber building. Established in 2001, the museum provides a glimpse into the traditional Bhutanese culture and way of life. Later, you will visit the National Institute of Traditional Medicine, which was established in 1988 with the concept to merge the allopathic and traditional systems of healing. The Institute also has a small museum and a gift shop, and also produces the famous herbal tea, Tsheringma. Last, you will visit the National Library of Bhutan, which collects and preserves important documents on Bhutan. The library also contains a representative collection of English and other western language books mainly related to the Himalayas, Bhutan, and Buddhism.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Mid-Range Accommodations: Peaceful Resort

Day 3: Sightseeing in Paro (Simtokha Dzong, the National Museum, and Paro Dzong)

/images/itineraries/Bhutan/bhutan (4).jpg On your way back to Paro, you will visit Simtokha Dzong, located 5 km south of Thimphu. Simtokha Dzong is one of the oldest Dzongs in Bhutan. It was built in 1629 A.D. by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel, the founder of Bhutan, and it was the first Dzong to be built by him. Next, you will visit the National Museum of Bhutan, which is housed inside the revamped circular Ta-Dzong, an ancient watchtower above the Paro Dzong. This unusual round building is said to be in the shape of a conch shell. The original building was constructed in 1656, but the building was converted into a museum in 1968. The National Museum has in its possession over 3,000 works of Bhutanese art and houses some of the finest specimens of Bhutanese art, including masterpieces of bronze statues and paintings gathered from different parts of the country. Later, you will visit Paro Dzong, also known as the Ringpung Dzong, which means "fortress on a heap of jewels," and is one of the finest examples of Bhutanese architecture. It is also the administrative seat of the district of Paro. The Paro Dzong was built in the 16th century on the foundation of a monastery built by Guru Rinpoche and was used on numerous occasions to defend the Paro Valley from invasions by Tibet. You will also have the opportunity to take a stroll in downtown Paro this afternoon, before returning to the hotel.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Mid-Range Accommodations: Tenzinling Resort

Day 4: Sightseeing in Paro (Taktsang Monastery, Kyichu Monastery, Drugyal Dzong)

/images/itineraries/Bhutan/bhutan (23).jpg Today, you will hike to Taktsang Monastery, also known as the Tiger's Nest. This magical monastery clings to a vertical granite cliff 3000 feet above the valley floor. The primary monastery was built around Guru Rinpoche's meditation cave in 1684 AD by Gyaltshe Tenzin Rabgay. Legend has it that Guru Padmasambhava, the tantric mystic who brought Buddhism to Bhutan in 747 AD, flew here on the back of a flying tigress. The old monastery, unfortunately, was destroyed by fire in 1998, but has been completely restored. The hike takes about 4 hours round-trip. Once you reach the view point of the Monastery, you have the option to visit the Monastery, which takes about another hour to reach. Next, you will visit the Kyichu Monastery built in the 7th century. This is one of the oldest monasteries in Bhutan built by the great Tibetan King Songsten Gyepo and the main statue is of the Future Buddha which is similar to the main Buddha statue in the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet. Pilgrims turn the many prayer wheels along the walls as they circumnavigate the temple. The statues of the Bodhisattvas and the Buddha are national treasures. The wooden floor of the sanctum is inlaid with turquoise and coral gemstones offered by pilgrims. Last, you will visit the ruined Drugyal Dzong, whose massive ruins offer insight into the unique construction of Bhutan's famous fortresses. From its ramparts, the Bhutanese repelled Tibetan invaders. Weather permitting, you will have great views of Mt. Chomolhari at 24,000 ft.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Mid-Range Accommodations: Tenzinling Resort

Day 5: Depart Paro

/images/itineraries/Bhutan/bhutan (17).jpg Transfer to airport for departure flight.

Meals included: Breakfast

Pricing

5-Day Cultural Tour to Paro and Thimphu

Prices are Per Person and Valid for Trips through December 31, 2018

# People in Group: 2 3+
Mid-Range Lodging: $1495 $1245

NOTE: Prices are per person in U.S. dollars based on double/triple occupancy. All quotations are based on the current rates of park fees, VAT, other government taxes, and current exchange rates. Should any of these be increased or a new tax introduced, these increases will be added on even if your trip has already been paid for.

INCLUDES:
  • All accommodations per itinerary
  • All meals per itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
  • All tours and entrance fees per itinerary (unless listed as excluded)
  • All transportation and transfers per itinerary
  • Qualified local guide speaking fluent English
  • All lodging in 3-star hotels
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner, tea/coffee)
  • All entrance fees
  • All transportation in minivans
  • Driver
  • Bhutan visa and Tourism Development Fund (TDF) fee
EXCLUDES:
  • International and domestic flights
  • Meals not listed
  • Beverages and alcohol
  • Tips for guides, drivers, hotel staff
  • Optional tours
  • Single room supplement
  • Personal expenses (visas, airport taxes, Internet, etc.)
  • International and domestic flights
  • Tips for guide and driver
  • Tips for restaurant service
  • Donations at monasteries
  • Personal expenses (Internet, drinks, shopping, etc.)

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