This tour packs in many architectural, cultural and natural highlights of two Himalayan nations in less than a week. From the ancient Hindu and Buddhist temples of Kathmandu to the impressive Dzongs, fortress likes monasteries of Bhutan. The tour also includes the short hike to the unmissable Tiger’s Nest monastery perched improbably on a cliff, and the chance to see rare dancing cranes in Phobjikha. A perfect itinerary if either time or budgets are stretched.
Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu
You will be greeted by our representative at the arrival area and provided hotel transfer. Depending on your arrival time, you can visit some of the cultural sites close to the hotel. In the evening, we will visit a traditional Nepalese restaurant for a fine meal accompanied by folk music and a cultural program. Rest ready for the morning flight.
Day 02: Fly to Paro and drive to Thimpu
The flight to Paro is an amazing chance to contemplate the scale of Himalayas. Keep your eyes open for Gauri Shankar, Everest, Makalu, Kanchenjunga in Nepal, and then the striking form of Jhomolhari welcoming you into Bhutan. You’ll love Bhutan from the moment you descend the steps of the plane. The fragrance of pine forests is detectable on the air. You’ll be greeted by our guides, of course wearing colourful national dress, the Kho. It’s a calm hour’s drive to the growing capital of Thimpu. After checking in, we’ll eat a good lunch and visit some of the nearby sites in the afternoon, the informative cultural centre and zoo, where you can see Bhutan’s curios national animal the Takin.
Day 03: Drive to Phobjikha via Punakha
Another fresh morning start as we drive east, first winding through forested slopes to cross the Dochu La with its 108 stupas and an excellent mountain view(provided we start enough). Look out for langu monkeys as we descend towards Punakha. Here, on the confluence of the Pho Chu (meaning male) and Mo Chu( female) rivers, you’ll see the deeply impressive Punakha Dzong. We’ll give you the shawl you must wear to enter and we’ll explore inside. It’s a truly wondrous monastery. Later, we’ll make the drive to rural village of Phobjikha, famous winter nesting spot for rare Black Necked Cranes. Here we are: broad yak pastures, rhododendron and pine forests and the winding narrow roads leads to a serene bowl shaped valley made to look more remote by the non-existence of power cables and telephone connections.
Day 04: Drive to Trongsa
In the morning we’ll pay a visit to the 450 year old Gangte Monastery which houses one of the largest prayer halls in Bhutan and gives shelter to about 100 resident monks. We head out of the valley towards Trongsa. On arrival, we’ll take tea and then visit Trongsa Museum and impressive Dzong.
Day 05: Drive to Thimpu via Wangdu
Today’s drive to Thimpu will be broken up by stops in villages and viewpoints. We’ll briefly stop in Wangdue, a market town, whose Dzong was sadly badly damaged by fire recently.
Day 06: Drive back to Paro
In the morning we’ll drive to Paro, check into the hotel and then drive to the head of the valley toward the infamous Tiger’s Nest. Your excitement will grow as you catch the first glimpses from the window. Keep some small money with you to buy souvenirs from local people at a few points along the trail. We’ll walk slowly and savor the views through the trees towards this amazing architectural sight. On returning we’ll eat a lunch befitting our efforts before visiting Paro Dzong and Museum (subject to opening times). In the evening , a final chance to enjoy ema datsi, Bhutan’s national dish..
Day 07: Fly from Paro to Kathmandu and transfer to hotel
Again a chance to enjoy mountain views on the flight from Paro. Back in Kathmandu we’ll visit the ancient temples of Pashupatinath and Boudhhanath and hunt for souvenirs in the markets of Thamel.
Day 08: Final Departure
We hope that you enjoyed your journey! Our representative will transfer you to the airport approximately 3 hours ahead of you flight time. We bid you farewell and hope to see you in the Himalaya again soon, ready for your next adventure!