Designed for clients who would like to pass by for a short visit to Thimphu, Bhutan’s capital city, and the neighboring town of Paro. This can either be incorporated to your existing tour outside Bhutan (eg. Nepal or India) or taken independently.
Day 01 Paro to Thimphu
Arrival Paro International Airport
On arrival at Paro International Airport, the representatives (tour guide and driver) of Druk Tersar Tours and Travels will give you a warm reception and escort to your hotel in the capital city Thimphu. The duration of the ride is about an hour. After a brief rest at the hotel and tea/coffee, your tour will begin by visiting the following places:
It was built in 1974 by Her Majesty the late Queen Mother in memory of her loving son, the third King of Bhutan (His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck). The third King of Bhutan is also known as the “Father of Modern Bhutan”. It was his wish to erect a monument symbolising world peace and prosperity but after his unfortunate and untimely death in 1972, the late Queen Mother Ashi Phuntsho Choden Wangchuck resolved to fullfill his wishes. This chorten has a unique architecture and contains very finely detailed traditional sculptures and paintings.
Post office and The Bhutan National Bank
After lunch, visit the Post office and The Bhutan National Bank where you can exchange money and buy postcards and stamps to either add to your collection or have a stamp customised with you in it.
Kuensel Phodrang / Buddha point
We drive up to “Kuensel Phodrang” to see the statue of the largest sitting Buddha in the world. The statue is 51.5 meters tall and is made of bronze and gilded in gold. 125,000 smaller Buddha statues have been placed within the Buddha statue, 100,000 8 inch tall and 25,000 12 inch tall statues respectively. The hill, where the statue is located, also provides a beautiful bird-eyes view of the capital city.
Traditional paper factory
We then drive down back across the town to visit the traditional paper factory. Here you can see how they produce traditional Bhutanese paper from Daphne plants without using modern technology.
Located below the main town, next to the Wangchu River, Thimphu’s weekend market is by far the largest domestic market for the farmers in Bhutan. Farmers come from all over the country to sell their farm products in the market. With its wide assortment of fresh, organic produce, the Farmer’s Market has become a favourite spot for tourists and a recreational hub for people from all walks of life.
Day 02 Thimphu to Paro
We drive up to the “Thimphu mini zoo”. Fenced between 8 acres of land, this area provides a sanctuary for an animal with a head like goat and a body similar to a cow. This strange animal, called the “Takin”, is believed to be a creation of the Divine Mad Monk (Lam Drukpa Kuenlay of Chimi Lhakhang) in the 16th century. The Takin is the National Animal of Bhutan.
Zorig-Chu-Sum (Arts and Crafts school)
We then visit the Zorig-Chu-Sum (thirteen different traditional arts) Center, where young Bhutanese learn to master various Bhutanese arts and crafts like painting, sculpture, wood work, silversmith and so on. We can watch the artisans while they create beautiful traditional art.
The folk heritage museum
A living museum that gives you an insight to the ancient Bhutanese way of life and rural folk life.
National Textile Museum
The changing exhibitions at the museum will introduce you to the major weaving techniques that the weavers employ to make these beautiful fabrics. It also gives you a chance to see the various styles of dressing of the men and women from different parts of Bhutan. The museums exhibits follow 6 major themes :
1. Wrap Pattern Weaves
2. Weft Pattern Weaves
3. Role of Textile in Buddhism
4. Historical achievements in textile
5. Textiles made from different indigenous fibres
6. The royal textile collection.
We visit Tashichho Dzong (Dzong means a fortress). Built by the political and religious unifier Zhabdrung Nagwang Namgyel in 1941, it was reconstructed and extended by the Third King of Bhutan in 1961. This Dzong was built in the traditional style without using nails or architectural plan. It is now the headquarters of the of government and the religious body, site of the King’s throne room and the seat of the Je Khempo (Chief Abbot).
Then, visit the handicraft Emporium where Bhutanese textile, painting, thangkha’s (traditional scroll paintings), postcards, woodcarvings can be purchased. Then, after a tiring day you can relax or explore Thimphu town.
After the sightseeing, a short break for snacks and drive to Paro.
Overnight in Paro
Day 03 Paro
Taktshang (Tiger’s Nest)
After breakfast, you will drive to the base of Taktshang. Taktshang is about 2 hours hike. Taktshang, located 2900-3000mts above sea level was built in the 8th century. According to legend Guru Rimpoche flew on a flaming who, according to legend, flew on a flaming tigress from the eastern part of Bhutan and landed where the Taktshang monastery is built. It is believed that he meditated in a cave for three years and was fundamental in spreading Buddhism in Bhutan.
Half way, halt for a 15 minute’s tea/coffee break at the Taktshang cafeteria and another 30-minute’s walk till the monastery. After visiting the monastery, walk back to the cafeteria for lunch.
After lunch, walk down to the base and then drive to the north of Paro to visit the historic Dru-gyal Dzong (Fortress of Victory) built in the 17th century to commemorate Bhutan’s victory over the Tibet invaders. On a clear day, we can admire the snow covered peak of Mt. Jumolhari (7300mts).
Ta-Dzong(National Museum) and Paro Dzong
We then visit the Ta-Dzong, which served as a watchtower for the Paro Rinpung Dzong in the olden days. It was converted to the National Museum in 1968. After the National Museum, we visit the Paro Dzong, which was built in 1645 on a hilltop near the Pachhu (Paro river). The Dzong has the finest example of traditional Bhutanese architecture and is now used as the District Administration Office, houses the district monk body and is used as the venue for hosting colourful local festivals and tsechus.
Afterwards, visit one of the holiest place in Bhutan called Kichu Lhakhang (Lhakhang means Monastery), built by King Songtsen Gampo of Tibet in 659 A.D. It is one of the 108 such temples built to spread Buddhism in this region.
Evening, walk and explore Paro Town.
Overnight in Paro
After early breakfast in the hotel, drive to the airport for flight to onward destination.