Enjoy cultural tours in Bhutanese townships and admire the country's landscape with a hike to Taktsang Monastery. Bhutan Land of the Thunder Dragon Tour provides its visitors a chance to get acquainted with Bhutan’s rich culture and landscape. On this 5-day trip we visit major Bhutanese townships of Paro, Thimpu, Punakha and explore its beautiful landmarks. In Paro, visit Rinpung Dzong (fortress), Kichu Lhakhang and Drugyal Dzong. Next, visit the famous Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) Monastery and drive to Thimphu. While there, we will explore Memorial Chorten, nunnery temple, folk heritage museum and others. We then drive to Punakha and visit the majestic Punakha Dzong. We end our trip in Paro but not before visiting Chimi Lhakhang, a popular Bhutanese fertility temple. On 'Bhutan Land of the Thunder Dragon Tour' we also drive pass the Dochu La pass and enjoy constant company of the amazing Bhutanese landscape.
As your flight nears Bhutan, you can enjoy amazing views of the Himalayas including the sacred Chomolhari and Jichu Drake peaks. At the airport, you will be greeted by a representative from Mount Trails who will take you to your hotel in Thimphu for a good night's sleep. However, if your flight arrives early and you want to visit a few places in Thimphu then it can be arranged too. Overnight in Thimphu.
In the morning, we visit Memorial Chorten (built in memory of the third King of Bhutan who reigned from 1952-1972), nunnery temple, the National Institute of Traditional Medicine, Bhutanese traditional painting school and the folk heritage museum. After lunch, we drive to Punakha via Dochu La Pass (3,100m).From the pass, we drive downhill through the rhododendron, fir and hemlock forests. We then pass through rice fields along river banks and reach Punakha. In Punakha, we visit Punakha Dzong which was built between 1637-1638 and is the second oldest and the second largest dzong in Bhutan. Overnight in Punakha.
After breakfast, we begin our drive to the Paro valley. In Paro, we visit Rinpung Dzong which means “fortress made from a heap of jewels." We will also visit Kichu Lhakhang, the oldest temple in the country and Drugyal Dzong, built in 1646 to commemorate Bhutan's victory over Tibetan invaders during the 1600s. Overnight in Paro.
After breakfast, we hike for 4 to 5 hours to Taktsang (Tiger's Nest) Monastery, which is Bhutan's most famous monastery situated at 3,180 meters. Guru Rinpoche (spiritual master) is said to have flown on the back of a tigress to meditate in a cave where the Taktsang Monastery now stands. Lunch will be served in the Cafeteria Restaurant, located about halfway up the mountain. After having explored the monastery, we hike down to the valley floor. Overnight in Paro.
Today we bid farewell to the tiny Himalayan Kingdom and her friendly people. Druk Air generally departs in the early morning to avoid adverse weather conditions. Therefore, after taking breakfast, we will be taken to the airport in the morning for final departure.
Hotels in Bhutan are approved and classified by the government as grade A, B and C. These government approved hotels are equivalent to 3-4 star hotels elsewhere. Based on availability at the time of booking, we will be accommodated in A grade hotels in Paro and Thimphu and a B grade hotel in Punakha. We use Tashi Namgay Resort in Paro, Hotel Migmar in Thimpu and Meri Puensum Resort in Punakha. All accommodations are on a twin-shared basis. Single supplement will be served on request and will cost USD 280.
All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) are included during your stay in Bhutan. A variety of meals are available in most hotels the most popular being Indian, Chinese, and the more common continental food. Non--vegetarian dishes are generally available in most parts of Bhutan - pork, beef, chicken, and fish. The best advice is to ask the hotel and restaurant to recommend what is fresh and in season.