TripAdvisor: Ms. Kerli’s experience in Bhutan
Me and my husband had a 5 days/4 nights tour in Bhutan in this April during, in the end of the festival season in Paro. We decided to choose Heavenly Bhutan for several reasons: fast replies, informative answers and strong will to execute and let’s be honest: good reviews on Tripadvisor + much better terms on sudden cancellation. We more or less knew what we want to do, see so the correspondance did not take too much time. Anyway, I had many specific questions which were answered.
Best thing in Bhutan? Nature, culture, architecture, people! Western-Butan was actually surprisingly developed so next time we would probably be visiting Cental and Western part.
Tip: rushing to Tiger’s Nest Monastery early in the morning may not be the wisest idea. Departing later will keep you away from the crowds and provides more intimate time in the temple. For example we started our hike afternoon, 13:00 and it took us 1h30 minutes to get up (+ 15 minutes break in the middle) and 1h10 minutes to come down (without a break). The hike is a challenge, but nothing impossible. For a relatively fit person it is deffinately doable. Full body massage and river-stone bath right after the hike will keep away all the muscle pain – tested!
Here is the programme for Western-Bhutan, if someone is isnterested in getting the ideas.
Day 01: 4-Apr, 2015 | Saturday
Arrival in Paro to Thimphu, 1.5 hrs drive
On arrival in Paro international airport at 1020 hrs, both of you will be received by Heavenly Bhutan’s licensed guide and driver, who will be with you throughout our stay in Bhutan. We will drive to Paro Dzong to witness the festivals for few hours before lunch. Paro festival is one of the largest and most popular event in Bhutan. Lunch in the town, after lunch we will drive to Paro via Chuzom. On arrival check in the hotel and later in the afternoon proceed for city sightseeing like visiting Buddha view point and if not closed on Saturday (usually its half day only), we will visit Folk Heritage Museum, Textile Museum, Traditional Medicine center and Tashichho Dzong in the evening. Overnight in Hotel Amodhara, altitude 2400m
Day 02: 5-Apr, 2015 | Sunday
Punakha Excursion from Thimphu, 6 hrs drive
After an early breakfast, we will visit interesting weekend market and proceed for day excursion to Punakha. The drive is very scenic and its via the most beautiful Dochu La Pass (3,150 meters), where on a clear day we can get spectacular views of the Himalayas. From the pass, drive downhill through the forests of rhododendron, fir and hemlock. Lunch in Punakha, after lunch we will visit Punakha Dzong, the most beautiful Dzong in Bhutan. Later in the evening if time permits we will walk to Chimi Lhakhang, temple of fertility which is associated with religious arts of phallus and return back to Thimphu. Overnight in Hotel Amodhara
Day 03: 6-Apr, 2015 | Monday
Thimphu to Paro, 1.5 hrs drive
After the breakfast in Thimphu, we will drive to Paro, straight to Tiger Nest hiking point from where we will take up hill 2 hours hike to (Taktshang monastery) Tiger’s Nest Temple, the most revered temple in the country that literally hangs on a granite cliff overlooking the Paro valley at 900m above the valley floor. The temple is associated with Guru Rimpoche who visited in 8th century and believed to have meditated three months in this cave and converted entire valley into Buddhism. Evening hotel check in and enjoy hot stone bath (on extra cost). Overnight in Tenzinling Resort, altitude 2200m
Day 04: 7-Apr, 2015 | Tuesday
After our leisurely breakfast, we will visit one of the farm house, join the family for cooking lunch, interacting locals, kids and families. We will have lunch with them, after lunch visit National Museum, the first of its kind which has a collection from natural history to religious paintings. Visit 17 century Paro Dzong (Fortress) on foot and continue walking through the oldest wooden bridge still in use. Later in the evening we will enjoy outdoor activities like playing khuru and wearing Gho for men and Kira for women. Explore tiny Paro town and peep into some local handicrafts stores and enjoy the farewell dinner in one of the local restaurant. Overnight in Tenzinling Resort
Day 05: 8-Apr, 2015 | Wednesday
Tour Ends, after the breakfast our team will see off both of you in Paro international airport for your departure flight to onward journey with the prayers to welcome back to Bhutan in future.