The highlight of Shangri-La trip is Bumthang-the wide Central Valley, which is the ancestral home of Buddhism in Bhutan and is a place of pilgrimage for Bhutanese people. It’s many important monasteries and temples contain a wealth of valuable religious artifacts. The visit of Punakha Dzong at Punakha, Wangdiphordang and Gangtey Gompa at Phubjika are all worthy of the visit. Of course, Thimpu-the capital of Bhutan and Paro valley will fascinate you with their cultural heritage and natural beauty. In Thimpu you will visit Tiger’s Nest known as Taktsang one of the most spectacular and most sacred pilgrim sites to all Buddism – Guru Padmasambhava is known to have flown on a Tigers to meditate on the cliffs- the Tigress being his consort the diving Yeshe Tsogyel.
Paro- Thimphu- Punakha- Phubjika- Bunthang- Punakha- Paro
Note: B=Breakfast, L= Lunch, D=Dinner
Reception by our representative and drive to Thimphu. Overnight hotel.
Visit the King’s memorial Chorten; the handmade paper Factory and the Archery Grounds where Bhutan’s National Sport of Archery can be witnessed. In the afternoon, visit the traditional medicine hospital, school of Thangka painting and Mask Making and Traditional crafts. Stroll in the capital town of Thimphu.
Drive over the 10,000ft pass of Dochula to view the stunning scenery of the Himalayan ranges; descend to the old winter capital of Punakha; visit Wangdiphodrang valley.
Excursion to serene Gangtey valley, home of the rare black-necked cranes that fly over Tibet in the winter; visit the Gangtey monastery.
Drive to Bumthang. Visit Tongsa – the biggest Dzong in Bhutan and the seat of power in 19th century Bhutan; walk to the “Watch Tower”, Ta Dzong that once guarded the Dzong below.
Considered the most sacred and religious of all the valleys in Bhutan. In Bhumthang view the White Bird Dzong, drive to the Flaming Lake – Membartsho – where Terton Pemalingpa, the Treasure Finder and reincarnation of the eminent Buddhist saint Guru Padmasambhava found the sacred religious treasures in the 15th century.
Drive back to Punakha with a picnic lunch en route.
Drive back to Thimpu; visit Simtokha Dzong; and continue to Paro. Overnight hotel in Paro.
In Paro, visit the northern part of the valley to Drukgyel Dzong ruins (Monastery Fortress) that once was a strategic post to withhold invading Tibetan forces from the north; visit the famous Kyichu Lhakhang- one of 108 sacred Lhakhang built by the Buddhist King Srongtsen Gampo of Tibet. Visit the Rinpung Dzong-fortress of a mountain of jewels; the Nature History Museum at Ta Dzong is one of the finest in Asia.
Hike up to the Tiger’s Nest known as Taktsang one of the most spectacular and most sacred pilgrim sites to all Buddism – Guru Padmasambhava is known to have flown on a Tigers to meditate on the cliffs- the Tigress being his consort the diving Yeshe Tsogyel.
Drive to Paro Airport for onward destination.