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Window on Bhutan (5 days)

Published: Monday, 07 April 2014

Day 1: Calcutta/Paro. Arrive at Paro , reception by Yodsel representative; transfer to hotel Tiger's Nest resort set in the pine trees overlooking the lush valleys; afternoon sightseeing/visit of Ta dzong, now a natural history museum- one of finest in Asia; visit the Rinpungdzong; visit the little town of Paro with its various handicraft shops lining the street; then drive towards northern part of the Paro valley to view the impressive Drugyaldzong ruins perched on a hill that once guarded the invading forces from Tibet; dinner and overnight at hotel.

Day2: Paro valley: continue sightseeing from day 1; today make a hike to famous Kilagompa, a unique nunnery for those practicing the Buddhism in the Vajrayana tradition; or to Drakarpo (above Shaba village); afternoon visit the Tshongdue archery range to witness the top archers of the valley contest in the national sport; walk on the famous wooden bridge called Naymezampa where scenes in the movie: “little Buddha’ was filmed; visit the little town of Paro to sample handicrafts and paintings from local artists. Dinner and overnight at hotel.

Day3: Thimphu. Drive to capital city of Thimphu. Sightseeing of Thimphu:visit the hospital for traditional medicine, the Thimphu general post office- Bhutan stamps that are world famous can be all seen here; visit the king's memorial chorten- built in memory of the late king Jigme Dorji Wangchuk- the father of Bhutan. After lunch visit the handmade paper factory; drive to the Sangay gang view point, and also visit the takin zoo that houses the rare takin (a unique animal that is a cross of a goat and yak); time permitting you can also visit the nunnery at Zilukha, the Changangkhalhakhang; return to hotel

Day4: Thimphu/Punakha and return to Paro: early morning drive on the mountain route towards the former capital of Bhutan passing through the Dochu la pass (alt. 10,000 feet); stunning scenery of Himalayan ranges. Descend to Punakha, visit the dzong- which today houses the most sacred relic of the Druk-pa Kagupa sect of Buddhism- that is the state religion of Bhutan; tour the small town of Punakha. After lunch drive to view Wangdiphodrang dzong, the most picturesque in Bhutan; return drive to Paro, via the Simtokha dzong the oldest in Bhutan- now a learning institute in the traditional culture; overnight dinner and hotel Tigernest resort.

Day5: Paro/Calcutta/Delhi: transfer to Paro airport for onward flight.

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