Thimphu, Punakha and Paro are popular tourist destinations in Bhutan, known for their rich cultural heritage, natural beauty, and historic monuments.
Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan, is a modern city with a mix of traditional Bhutanese culture and architecture. Visitors can visit the Memorial Chorten, Tashichho Dzong, and the Buddha Dordenma statue.
Punakha is a historic city and was the former capital of Bhutan. The city is famous for the Punakha Dzong, a magnificent 17th-century fortress, and the Chimi Lhakhang, a temple dedicated to the legendary saint, Drukpa Kuenley.
Paro is a beautiful valley surrounded by mountains and is home to several important cultural and historical sites. Visitors can visit the Ta Dzong, a former watchtower converted into a museum, and the Rinpung Dzong, a large fortress-monastery. The Tiger's Nest Monastery, one of Bhutan's most iconic landmarks, is a must-visit for those who enjoy hiking.
Overall, a tour of Thimphu, Punakha, and Paro offers a great opportunity to experience the unique culture and natural beauty of Bhutan.
Thimphu Tashichho Dzong: This magnificent fortress serves as the administrative center of Bhutan and is a significant landmark in the city.
Punakha Dzong: This 17th-century dzong is one of the most beautiful architectural structures in Bhutan and is renowned for its intricate carvings and intricate design.
Paro Taksang (Tiger’s Nest): This iconic temple is perched on a cliff and is considered one of the most sacred sites in Bhutan.
Paro Rinpung Dzong: This historical fortress is home to the Paro Dzongkhag administration and is a popular tourist destination due to its architectural beauty.
Memorial Chorten: This famous Buddhist stupa is located in Thimphu and is dedicated to the third king of Bhutan, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck.
Motithang Takin Preserve: This park in Thimphu is home to the takin, Bhutan’s national animal.
Punakha Suspension Bridge: This unique bridge crosses the Po Chhu River and provides panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.
Chimi Lhakhang Temple: This temple is dedicated to the divine madman and is famous for its blessings for fertility and childbearing.
Chele La Pass: This high mountain pass offers breathtaking views of the Paro Valley and is a popular destination for tourists.
Drukgyal Dzong: This ruined fortress is located in Paro and was once a strategic military post. Today, it serves as a popular tourist destination and provides a glimpse into Bhutan’s rich history.
The flight to Paro is one of the most spectacular in entire Himalayas. Flying along the Himalayan range from Kathmandu, the journey offers fascinating views and an exciting descent into the Kingdom. Bhutan’s first gift, as you disembark from the aircraft will be cool, clean fresh mountain air. After immigration formalities and baggage collection, you will be met by our representative, and afterwards drive to Thimphu, the capital town of Bhutan with enroute stop at Chuzom, the confluence of Thimphu and Paro rivers.
Three different style of stupas; Tibetan, Nepalese and Bhutanese adorn this confluence. Shortly before reaching Chuzom, you will see on your left TschogangLhakhang, “the temple of the excellent horse”. It is a private temple, built in 15th century, as the result of visitation from Balaha, the excellent horse, a manifestation of Chenrezig, the compassionate Buddha. On arrival in Thimphu, check into the hotel.
The capital town of Bhutan and the centre of Government, religion and commerce, Thimphu is a unique city with unusual mixture of modern development alongside ancient traditions. With the population of about 90,000 it is perhaps still the world’s only capital city without a traffic light. Afterwards visit to Buddha Point (Kuensel Phodrang). Located at a short drive from Thimphu city centre, visitors can get a good overview of the Thimphu valley from the Buddha point (KuenselPhodrang).
You can pay your obeisance and offer prayers to the Buddha, the largest statue in the country and then walk around and take a glimpse of the valley. Later visit to Trashichhoedzong: This impressive fortress/monastery houses Secretariat building, the throne room of His Majesty, the King and various government offices. It is also the summer residence of Chief Abbot and central monk body. Evening an exploratory walk around Thimphu Main Street and market area.
Also visit the Local Crafts Bazaar, to browse through example of Bhutan's fine traditional arts. Here you can buy hand-woven textiles, Thangkha paintings, masks, ceramics, slate and wood carvings, jewellery, interesting items made from local materials. Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu (Altitude 2400m).
After breakfast, sightseeing in Thimphu valley including visit to the following: The National Library, housing an extensive collection of priceless Buddhist manuscripts. Later visit Textile Museum, which provides insight into Bhutan’s one of the most distinct art form. Also visit Simply Bhutan, a living museum and studio encapsulating the cultural heritage of the Bhutanese people. Later continue drive to Punakha across Dochula pass (3O8Om). In Bhutan, the passes are marked by a large Bhutanese Chorten and prayer flag.
Dochula pass offers the most spectacular view over the high peaks of the eastern Himalayas on a clear day. After checking into hotel, proceed to visit Punakha Dzong, a massive structure built at the junction of two rivers. It was the capital of Bhutan until 1955, and still serves as the winter residence of the monk body. Evening can be spent exploring Punakha village located right on the bank of river. Overnight at the hotel in Punakha.
After breakfast, take a day excursion to Chimi Lhakhang (from hotel it is about 15 minutes’ drive till motorable road and then walk starts through paddy fields and villages. This is total about 1½ hour walk, including both way). The Chimi Lhakhang, situated on a hillock in the centre of the valley, also known as the temple of fertility. It is widely believed that couples who do not have children and wanting one, if they pray at this temple, they are usually blessed with a child very soon. The trail leads across rice fields to the tiny settlement of Pana, meaning ‘field’.
A walk through the village near the temple will give you rare glimpses into the daily life and lifestyle of the villagers. Later continue drive to Paro along scenic highway, enroute visit Simtokha Dzong, the oldest fortress of the country built in 1627 which now houses the School for Buddhist studies. On arrival in Paro, check into the hotel. After lunch, proceed to visit Ta Dzong, originally built as Watchtower, which now houses National Museum. The extensive collection includes antique Thangkha paintings, textiles, weapons &armour, household objects and a rich assortment of natural and historic artifacts.
Ta Dzong visit immediately followed by a short walk down the trail to visit Rinpung Dzong (ParoDzong), meaning (“fortress of the heap of jewels”), which has a long and fascinating history. Along the wooden galleries lining the inner courtyard are fine wall paintings illustrating Buddhist lore such as four friends, the old man of long life, the wheel of life, scenes from the life of Milarepa, Mount. Sumeru and other cosmic Mandala. Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
After breakfast excursion to Taktshang Monastery or Tiger’s Nest (approx. 5 hours walk): It is one of the most famous of Bhutan’s monasteries, perched on the side of a cliff 900m above the Paro valley floor. It is said that Guru Rinpoche arrived here on the back of a tigress and meditated at this monastery and hence it is called ‘Tiger’s Nest’. This site has been recognised as a most sacred place and visited by ShabdrungNgawangNamgyal in 1646 and now visited by all Bhutanese at least once in their lifetime. On 19 April, 1998, a fire severely damaged the main structure of building but now this Bhutanese jewel has been restored to its original splendour.
Afternoon drive to Drukgyel Dzong, a ruined fortress where Bhutanese warriors fought Tibetan invaders centuries ago. The snowy dome of sacred Chomolhari, "mountain of goddess'' can be seen in all her glory from the approach road to the Dzong. Evening, visit the 7th century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples built in the Himalayas by Tibetan King, Songtsen Gampo. The building of this temple marks the introduction of Buddhism in Bhutan. Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
After early breakfast at the hotel, drive to the airport for flight to your onward destination. Our representative will help you with exit formalities and then bid you farewell.
The highlights of THIMPHU, PUNAKHA & PARO Tour include visiting the Royal Palace in Thimphu, the Punakha Dzong, the famous Tiger's Nest Monastery in Paro and exploring the local villages and markets.
The THIMPHU, PUNAKHA & PARO Tour typically lasts for 4 to 5 days.
The best time to visit THIMPHU, PUNAKHA & PARO is from September to November when the weather is clear and pleasant.
Tourists visiting THIMPHU, PUNAKHA & PARO should dress modestly, especially when visiting temples and monasteries. Photography is not allowed inside certain sacred sites.
Bhutanese cuisine is predominantly made up of rice, vegetables and meat. Popular dishes include ema datshi (chilies and cheese), red rice and momos (dumplings).
Yes, you can take a solo trip to THIMPHU, PUNAKHA & PARO, but it is advisable to hire a guide for a more convenient and hassle-free experience.
The mode of transportation for THIMPHU, PUNAKHA & PARO Tour is typically by road. You can either take a private car or a shared taxi.
It is recommended to book a THIMPHU, PUNAKHA & PARO Tour in advance to avoid disappointment, especially during peak tourist season.
The best seasons for a THIMPHU, PUNAKHA & PARO tour are spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November).
Spring season is characterized by warm weather and blooming flowers, making it ideal for outdoor activities and sightseeing. The Tsechu festival held in Punakha during this season is a major attraction.
Autumn season offers clear and dry weather with clear views of the Himalayas, perfect for trekking and outdoor activities. This is also the time for the famous Paro Tsechu festival.
Winter (December to February) can be quite cold and snowy, but it offers spectacular views of the snow-capped mountains, making it ideal for those who enjoy winter sports.
Summer (June to August) can be quite hot and humid, with occasional monsoon rains, making it less ideal for outdoor activities. However, this season is perfect for those who want to experience the lush green landscape of Bhutan.
The following permits are required for traveling to THIMPHU, PUNAKHA & PARO:
Bhutan Visa: All travelers to Bhutan need to obtain a Bhutan visa prior to their arrival.
Permit to visit Paro: Paro is a popular tourist destination in Bhutan and requires a special permit.
Inner Line Permit: This permit is required to enter the Punakha and Wangdue Phodrang districts.
Special Area Permit: This permit is required to enter certain remote and sensitive areas of Bhutan, including the Haa Valley and the Tashiyangtse district.
It is always recommended to check with your travel agent or the Bhutanese embassy for the most up-to-date information on permits required for traveling in Bhutan.
Respect local customs and traditions: Bhutan is a deeply spiritual and traditional country, and it's important to be mindful of local customs and traditions when visiting.
Dress modestly: Bhutanese dress modestly, and it's polite to follow suit when visiting cultural and religious sites.
Respect the environment: Bhutan is known for its stunning natural beauty and it's important to leave the environment as you found it, by avoiding littering, hiking on marked trails and following local guidelines.
Take only photos, leave only footprints: It is important to preserve Bhutan's cultural and natural heritage and minimize the impact of tourism.
Get a local guide: A local guide can give you a deeper understanding of the history, culture and religion of Bhutan, and help you have a more meaningful experience.
Be prepared for weather changes: Bhutan's weather can be unpredictable, so be sure to bring layers and be prepared for sudden rain showers.
Be patient: Bhutan is a small, developing country and things may take longer or be done differently than what you are used to.
Try local food: Bhutanese cuisine is a delicious blend of Indian and Tibetan influences, so be sure to try some local dishes during your trip.
Enjoy the journey: Bhutan is a unique and magical place, so enjoy the journey and take the time to soak up the beautiful scenery, culture and people.