SPIRITUAL AND WELLNESS TOUR
• An extraordinary opportunity to both enjoy its people and participate in its Buddhism efforts.
• Combines both sightseeing and cultural insight with nice walking in pristine pollution free atmosphere
• Be some of the pioneer travelers into the last remaining Mahayana Buddhist state Bhutan and learn its Buddhist way of life: Happiness.
Day 1: Arrive Paro
Met by your expert Bhutanese guides (specialized in Buddhism and Culture). If morning arrival drive to your nearby Paro hotel. Lunch is taken in a local restaurant before the afternoon is spent sightseeing in the beautiful Paro valley. Considered to have the most beautiful homesteads in Bhutan, a walk through the fields and houses in an enchanting start to your journey. Depending on time we can visit the ruined DrukyelDzong, under Mount Jomolhari a huge 24000 backdrop to this fortress (Mt Jhomolhari is the highest unclimbed mountain in the world and is believed by the Bhutanese as the abode of Goddess Jhomo), the Dungtse temple and Paro town itself, with its main streets of painted houses and shops. Overnight hotel Tash NamgyalResor.
Day 2: Paro/Tigers Nest
After breakfast you will depart for the Tiger’s nest, the famous temple Taktshang. Originally just a cave famous for its meditating buddhist saint Guru Padma Sambabha who is believed to have flown in to this inaccessible cave on the back of a roaring tigress. The first temple was built on a cliff face 800 metres above the Paro Valley in the 14th century. Burnt down in 1998 it has been carefully restored and the two and a half hours walk to it is worth the effort (as long as you do not get vertigo.) After a picnic lunch here descend to the valley and visit the historical museum and the Paro Dzong. An evening stroll in the town and return to your hotel. Overnight hotel (FB)
Day 3 Paro/Thimpu
After breakfast you will be driven towards Thimpu and the base of the Cheri Monastery, or Gonpa. An hour’s walks takes you into this 17th century monastery and a fascinating insight into Bhutan’s monastic and religious life in this architecturally fascinating building. You will have a chance to chat with the most highly qualified lamas and monks and participate in Buddhist meditation here. It is possible on your walk to spot Goral, the rare and nimble goat antelope of the Himalayas. Lunch will be taken back in the capital city of Thimpu, after checking into your hotel. Afternoon will be an opportunity to explore Thimpu on foot. Thimpu is as modern as Bhutan gets, with traffic, smart traffic policemen directing traffic, old shops and modern houses built in the old style, but with concrete. It’s experiencing something of a boom these days. Overnight in comfortable hotel (FB)
Day 4 Thimpu/Punakha
Today you start a very windy but scenic drive east and after one hour reach the 10000ft high pass of Dochola, with breathtaking views over the high peaks of the Eastern Himalayas, many over 23000ft peaks. Quantities of prayer flags and 108 chortens mark the pass. Descend down the other side into the Punakha Valley, a long windy journey dropping over 6000 foot through leafy forests to a botanical garden for a break. Drive onto Punakha (winter home of the central monastic body), the unlikely old capital of Bhutan and visits its Dzong built in 1637, that much resembles a ship on the confluence of two rivers. After lunch we visit local town and the sacred Chimi Lhakhang, known for blessings especially fertility. Few people who could not conceive have been blessed with beautiful babies after visiting this monastery. After some refreshments, drive back towards Thimphu but stopping at Dochu la pass for night halt at 10,000 feet. You will enjoy unbelievable view of the Himalayas.
Day 5 Thimphu/Paro Exit
Today you will get up early to walk outside the hotel and enjoy mindblowing early morning view of the Himalyan Range, worth millions of dollars. After a quick breakfast and depending on the flight time, leave for Paro Airport (about 1.5 hours drive). At the airport, you will say good bye to the guides head for your next destination with full of energy, excitement, and enlightenment.