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GNH Travel- a touch of Bhutan's happiness formula



Day 01 : Arrive Paro (Bhutan) by Flight

  • On arrival at Paro international airport, received by our representative and then drive to the hotel. The lovely valley of Paro encapsulates within itself a rich culture, scenic beauty and hundreds of myths and legends. It is home to many of Bhutan’s oldest temples, monasteries and the National Museum.

  • Evening an exploratory walk in the heart of Paro valley.

  • Overnight at the hotel in Paro. (Altitude 2,280m)

Day 02 : Paro

  • After breakfast, excursion to famed Taktsang Monastery or Tiger’s Nest (approx 5 hours round trip walk). It is one of the most famous of Bhutan’s monasteries perched on 900m above Paro valley floor. Legends say that Guru Rinpoche arrived here on the back of a tigress and meditated at this monastery hence it is called Tiger’s Nest’.

  • Later in the afternoon visit Kyichu Lhakhang. It is one of the oldest and most sacred shrines of the Kingdom dating back to the 7th century.

  • Then visit Dungtse Lhakhang. Built in 1433 by iron bridge builder, Thangtong Gyalpo, this chorten like temple is located to the west of the road. It has three floors representing hell, earth and heaven while paintings inside the temple are said to be some of the best in Bhutan.

  • Overnight at the hotel in Paro.

Day 03 : Paro / Jele Dzong, 8km, approx 3 hours trek

  • Morning after breakfast, visit Ta Dzong, one time watch tower built to defend Rinpung Dozng during inter-valley wars of the 17th century, since 1967 it is serving as the National Museum of the country.

  • Then walk down the trail to  visit Rinpung Dzong, the fortress built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the first spiritual and temporal ruler of Bhutan.

  • Post lunch, begin the trek. Today is a short trekking day. The journey starts with a short climb up to Jele Dzong. The trek trail ascends gradually up to the camp, and if the weather is clear Paro valley can be seen with snow-capped mountains behind. Above the camp is Jele-la pass (3,400m) and Jele Dzong (mostly in ruins). There is also a Lhakhang containing a statue of Buddha Sakyamuni.

  • Overnight camp.

Day 04 : Jele Dzong / Jangchulakha, 10 km, aprox 4 hours trek

  • Begin with a one and a half hour climb and then ascend more gradually upwards. The trail takes you through thick alpine forests and rhododendrons. You will have fine views of Jhomolhari and other snow capped peaks if the weather is right, and you may also hear some monal pheasants calling during the day. Also there is an opportunity to see yak herders around your campsite.

  • Overnight camp.

Day 05 : Jangchulakha – Jimilangtsho, 11 km, approx 4 hours trek

  • The trail follows the ridge, and on a clear day the views of the mountains and valleys are sensational. You will enjoy a great view of Jichu Drake (6,989m), the peak representing the protective deity of Paro. Our camp is close to the Jimilangtsho lakes, which are famous for their giant sized trout.

  • Overnight camp.

Day 06 : Jimilangtsho – Simkota, 11 km, approx 4 hours trek    

  • The trail takes you through dwarf rhododendron trees and passes by the lake of Janetsho. Today you may come across some yak herders’ camps and get an idea of how these people live. Overnight camp close to Simkota Lake, and if you are lucky you can catch a lake trout for your dinner.

Day 07 : Simkota – Phajoding, 10 km, approx 4 hours trek

  • Today begins with a gradual climb, and if the weather permits you will enjoy majestic views of Mt. Gangkar Puensum, the highest mountain Bhutan and a host of other peaks. The trail slowly descends through juniper trees to a campsite at Phajoding.

  • Overnight camp.

Day 08 : Phajoding – Thimphu, 6 km, approx 3 hours trek

  • After visiting Phajoding monastery built in the 15th century by Shagcha Rinchen who introduced Drukpa Kagyu School in Bhutan in the 13th century, trek downhill to Thimphu passing through a forested area of mostly blue pine. Taking a leisurely pace, you reach Thimphu in about 3 hours.

  • Afternoon at leisure and also visit Trashichhoedzong, beautiful medieval fortress / monastery.

  • Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu. (Altitude 2,320m)

Day 09 : Thimphu

  • After breakfast, visit to Drubthob Goemba or Zilukha nunnery. Built in 1976 by the 16th emanation of Thangtong Gyalpo, Drubthob Rikey Jadrel, this is the only nunnery in the capital city of Thimphu.

  • Then visit Simply Bhutan, a living museum and studio encapsulating rich cultural heritage of Bhutanese people.

  • Afterwards visit Textile Museum for deep insight into one of Bhutan’s most distinctive art form.

  • This is followed by visit of Institute of Zorig Chusum or Arts & Crafts School where students learn 13 traditional crafts of Bhutan.

  • Post lunch, visit the National Library which holds vast collection of ancient Buddhist texts and manuscripts.

  • Later drive to Kuenselphodrang, to see the largest statue of Buddha in the country.

  • This is followed by a tour of Memorial Chorten, the stupa built in the memory of Bhutan’s Third King His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuk who is popularly regarded as Father of modern Bhutan.

  • Conclude the day with a visit of Changangkha Lhakhang, fortress like temple and monastic school perched on a ridge above Thimphu.

  • Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.


Day10 : Thimphu / Punakha (75 km, approx 3 hour drive)

  • After breakfast, drive to the ancient capital town of Bhutan en route taking a short stop at Dochula pass (3,080m) that heralds the most enchanting views of Bhutan and also the site of picturesque Druk Wangyal Chortens.

  • On arrival in Punakha, check into the hotel, followed by lunch.

  • Later visit magnificent Punakha Dzong. Until 1955, Punakha served as the capital of Bhutan and it is still winter seat of Je Khenpo, the Chief Abbot.

  • Then a short walking excursion to Chimi Lhakhang also known as ‘Fertility Temple’.

  • Overnight at the hotel in Punakha. (Altitude 1,300m)

Day 11 : Punakha / Paro (125 km, approx 4.1/2 hour drive)

  • Morning after breakfast, a beautiful hike takes one to the regal Khamsum Yuelley Namgel Chorten, which was built to remove negative forces and promote peace, stability and harmony in a changing world.

  • After lunch, drive to Paro. En route visit Simtokha Dzong, the oldest fortress of the country, built in 1627 which now houses the School of Buddhist studies.

  • Evening for shopping / leisure.

  • Overnight at the hotel in Paro.

Day 12 : Depart Paro

  • After breakfast, transfer to the airport for flight to onward destination. Our representative will assist you with exit formalities and bid you farewell.

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