6 days Mountains and Monasteries of Western Bhutan

mountain-monastries-of-western-bhutan

Day 1: PARO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT - THIMPHU (L/D)

Upon arrival at Paro International Airport, you will be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel in Thimphu, Bhutan’s beautifully located capital city which is about 45 minutes drive (53km) from the airport.

Lunch will be served at your hotel.

In the afternoon visit the Tashichho Dzong, the beautiful medieval fortress/monastery which houses most of the Government’s office and King’s Throne room. It is also the summer residence of Je Khenpo, the Chief Abbot. Then visit the National Library which has a vast collection of ancient Buddhist texts and manuscripts. After that, drive to Painting School, famous for traditional thangkha paintings. Here you will see students at work producing intricate design on cloth. If time permits, also visit the Traditional Medicine Institute.

Dinner and overnight at your hotel.in Thimphu

Day 2: THIMPHU-PUNAKHA (B/L/D)

Breakfast at your hotel.
Travel to Punakha with a stopover at the Dochula pass (altitude 3140m). If the weather is clear, you will have spectacular views across the Himalayas.

Here you can also take a 3 hour trek to Lhuenchutse monastery several hundred meters above the Dochula pass. A late lunch or afternoon tea will be served at the Dochula Resort.

On the way to Punakha, visit Chimey Lhakhang located on a hillock in the centre of the valley below Metsina. Built in 1499 the temple is also known as “the Temple of Fertility”. A wooden effigy of the lama’s thunderbolt is preserved in the lhakhang, and childless women go to the temple to receive a blessing.

Dinner and overnight at your hotel in Punakha.

Day 3: PUNAKHA-THIMPHU (B/L/D)

Breakfast at your hotel.
Take a 45 minute walk to a chorten or stupa at Nyizergang followed by a visit to the amazing Punakha Dzong which was built in 1637. This impressive dzong is situated between Pho Chu (Male River) and Mo Chu (Female River). The Punakha Dzong was the second of Bhutan’s dzongs and until the mid-1950s, it served as the seat of the government. It is also the winter residence of Je-Khenpo and the Central Monastic Body.

After lunch in Punakha, drive to Wangdue Phodrang and visit the Wangdiphodrang Dzong built in 1638. Legend relates that as the people were searching for the site of the Dzong, four ravens were seen flying away in four directions. This was considered an auspicious sign, representing the spread of religion to the four points of the compass. The dzong is situated at the confluence of Mo Chu and Tsang Chu rivers.

Later in the afternoon drive to Thimphu.
Dinner and overnight at your hotel in Thimphu.

Day 4: THIMPHU-PARO (B/L/D)

After breakfast, drive through to Paro to visit Simtokha Dzong, built in 1627 and also to visit the ruins of Drukgyel Dzong which was built in 1644 to commemorate the victory over the Tibetan invaders. The Dzong was used as an administrative center until 1951 when a fire caused by butter lamp destroyed it. Then visit Kyichu Lhakhang, one of Bhutan’s oldest and most sacred monasteries dating from the introduction of Buddhism in the 8thcentury and also visit the Rimpung Dzong built in 1646.

Dinner and overnight at your hotel in Paro.

Day 5: TAKTSHANG MONASTRY OR TIGER’S NEST (B/L/D)

After breakfast, take a short drive to the base of the famous Taktshang Monastery or Tiger’s Nest, which clings to a sheer rock face at a height of 2600m above sea level. The climb is quite steep, but ponies are available for those who feel they cannot make the climb themselves.

The main temple was built around Guru Rimpoche’s meditation cave in 1684. This incredible monastery clings to the edge of a sheer rock face which plunges 900 meters into the valley below. 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 tiger, Dorje Drolo.

After lunch, visit Ta Dzong an ancient watchtower, which now houses the National Museum. Below the museum is the Rinpung Dzong (literally meaning “Heap of Jewels”), the centre of civil and religious authority in this valley, built in 1646.

Dinner and overnight at your hotel in Paro.

Day 6: PARO - PARO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (B)

After breakfast drive to Paro International Airport for your departure from Bhutan.

Cost Information

Peak Season (Mar, Apr May, Sep, Oct and Nov)
Number of days: 6 days, 5 nights
Price:
US$ 1,690 single per person
US$ 1,440 twin/double per person
US$ 1,290 triple per person
Off-Season (Jan, Feb, Jun, Jul, Aug and Dec)
Number of days: 6 days, 5 nights
Price:
US$ 1,440 single per person
US$ 1,190 twin/double per person
US$ 1,040 triple per person

Trip Dates

Any date.