Day 1: Bagdogra to Phuntsholing (4.5 hours)
Get a pick up from Bagdogra and set out on the journey of a lifetime. Welcome to Bhutan. Phuntsholing is the entry to this beautiful country. Complete immigration formalities at Phuentsholing & transfer to hotel. After reaching the stay push your bags and get out on foot to see the city. The climate is pleasant for a beautiful evening stroll. Phuntsholing is a fascinating place where different ethnic groups mingle prominently Indian, Bhutanese and Nepalese. Meet some locals and exchange few thoughts. Click a happy travel picture with them.
Experience: Crossing the border to another country fuss-free, local walk around town
Day 2: Phuntsholing to Thimphu (6-7 hours)
After breakfast head out to Thimphu, the Capital of Bhutan. Watch out for numerous small towns of Gedu, Chukha and Chunzom, the confluence of Pa Chu and Thin Chu as you drive to Thimphu. Bask in the scenic beauty of the tiny villages which will pass your way too. Once you reach the beautiful city of Thimphu, relax at your hotel after the long drive. Take a short walk to familiarize yourself with the area.
Visit the Memorial Chorten and visit the Buddha Point where a giant statue of Buddha looks over the entire city of Thimphu. Rest of the day is at leisure.
Experiences: Visit Memorial Chorten and Buddha Point
Day 3: Thimphu
After breakfast, proceed for half day trek to Tango Monastery. Need 40-50 min uphill walk to reach to these monasteries. The Monastery was built in 15th century by the great saint Drukpa Kunley (‘The Divine Madman’). This three storied building is the highest learning centre of Buddhism in Bhutan. After lunch visit Trashichho Dzong (Fortress). It is home of the National Assembly and the summer residence of the Monastic body. You have the evening at leisure.
Experiences: Tango monastery trek, Trashichho Dzong
Day 4: Thimphu to Punakha/Wangdue (4 hours)
After breakfast, proceed toward Punakha (Total 3 hours driving time). Enroute, halt at Dochu La - A mountain pass leading further into the Punakha Valley. It offers a stunning 360-degree panoramic view of Eastern Himalayan mountain ranges. The view is especially scenic on clear, winter days with snowcapped mountains forming a majestic backdrop to the tranquillity of the 108 chortens gracing the mountain pass. Enjoy lunch at the restaurant Druk Wangyel Cafe and visit Punakha Dzong and Chimi Lakhang on your way to Punakha. Punakha Dzong is a must see! It is an old capital which still serves as the winter residence of the monk body. Sit next to the monastery and breath in the air around, it’s as fresh as the first raindrop. Hike down the moderate slope to the cantilever bridge, one of the finest specimens in Bhutan with its shingle roof and two guard-houses at each end. A perfect way to end the day!
Experiences: Punakha Dzong| Chimi Lakhang
Day 5: Punakha-Paro (3-4 hours)
The Paro valley extends from the confluence of the Paro Chhu and the Wang Chhu rivers at Chuzom upto Mt. Jomolhari at the Tibetan border to the North. This picturesque region is one of the widest valleys in the kingdom and is covered in fertile rice fields and has a beautiful, crystalline river meandering down the valley.
After checking into your hotel, you would proceed for a sightseeing tour of Paro which would include the following places:
- Kyichu Lhakhang –Famous Monastery in Paro
- Ta Dzong – National Museum of Bhutan
- Rinpung Dzong Overnight stay in Paro
Experiences: Visit Rinpung Dzong, Ta Dzong and Kyichu Monastery
Day 6: Paro (Taktsang trek OR Chele La)
After breakfast, hike to the Taktsang Monastery – a UNESCO World Heritage Site - It requires 2 hours trek to reach the viewpoint of the monastery. You can enjoy tea, coffee and lunch in a cafeteria over there.
Note that this trek is a high difficulty level and takes 2-3 hours one way. Ponies are available for hire till the viewpoint on the way up but will not go to the monastery doorstep since you need to climb 700 steps. Ponies are not available for the return trip.
Experiences: Taktsang trek
Day 7: Paro to Phuntsholing (5-6 hours)
Make your way back to Phuntsholing as you near the end of your journey. Spend your evening at one of the lively cafes in town.
Day 8: Phuntsholing to Bagdogara (4.5 hours)
With a bag full of memories and a memory card full of pictures, head back to the Bagdogra airport to catch your flight back home.