Day 1-Welcome to Bhutan - Arrival
Sunday - 25th of February 2018 @ Metta Resort and Spa/Hotel Gangtey Palace
If you are arriving on a bright sunny day, your holiday begins with a panoramic view of the Himalayan range from your Drukair seat, where you’ll be greeted by Mt. Everest and Mt. Kanchenjunga, and our very own Mt. Jomolhari and Mt. Jichu Drakey. Since you intend to fly in from Bangkok, make sure you are seated on the left side of the aisle for better views over the himalayan ranges (You’ll have to ask the seating preference while checking in at the airport for your Bhutan flight).
As you enter the Paro valley, you will see forested hills with the silvery river meandering down the valley with the backdropp of the Paro Dzong fortress. On arrival to Paro you will be taken to your hotel for short check-in and short rest and explore the town in the evening. Dinner and overnight at the hotel. Tour briefing will be done after dinner.
Day 2-Excursion to Tiger's Nest and Paro Sightseeing
Monday - 26th of February 2018 @ Metta Resort and Spa/Hotel Gangtey Palace
Today you’ll experience Bhutan’s most valued attractions, and perhaps the biggest highlight for your trip! An active day in Bhutan to start acclimatising to the altitude for your Marathon run. An excursion to the famous Taktshang monastery –translated as- Tiger’s nest monastery. The temple was built in 1692 by a prominent historical figure named Gyaltse Tenzin Rabgye whose reincarnation is now a young teenager and already a prominent figure in the clergy. Your guide will complement the experience with its story.
On the way back visit the ruins of Drugyal Dzong fortress, which is an important Bhutanese heritage as it served as a strategic watchtower and a fortress that helped repel numerous Tibetan invasions in the 1600s. Peak of Jumolhari ‘Mountain of the Goddess’ can be seen on a clear day from here (7,329 mts/24,029 ft.).
Visit Kyichu Lhakhang – believed to be the oldest Buddhist temple in Bhutan built during the 08th century. Some of the most treasured collections of arts, artefacts, textiles, stamps, statues, etc.
In the afternoon, Visit the Paro Rinpung Dzong fortress overlooking the beautiful Paro river and hike upto the the National Museum to immerse yourself into some rich history and heritage of Bhutan. The museum houses some of the most treasured collections of arts, artefacts, textiles, stamps, statues etc. Explore Paro town in the evening on foot.
Day 3-Paro to Thimphu Sightseeing
Tuesday - 27th of February 2018 @ Bhutan Suites/Hotel Pedling
After breakfast drive to Thimphu. Visit Tamchog lhakhang temple that involves crossing a heritage bridge built in the 15th century. Once you reach the apital city, your guide from Bhutan Travel Club will take you to some of the treasures of the capital - Visit the National Folk Heritage Museum, the Zorig Chusum school of 13 traditional arts/crafts, the Textile Museum, the Bhutan Post Office to see the rich collection of stamps and philatelic history.
Wangditse-Chokhortse Gomba hike (5 km loop, 380m high, 3 hours)
In the late afternoon, drive to the entrance gate of the radio tower (BBS) area. You can also choose to do a small run as this is one of the favourite jogging areas for locals. Take the trail that traverses through beautiul bluepine forests with many prayer flags the trail. Continue along this trail until you reach Wangditse goenpa. Along the way there are good views of the Dzong and the underlying Thimphu valley.Continue to climb up to Chhokhortse goenpa. The trail goes straight up the ridge. After about 500 m the trail levels out while crossing an open ridge with a field of prayer flags. The views of the city are excellent from here. Continue up the ridge. The trail to Chhokhortse continues up, at times to the left, then again along the ridge. It leads through open grassy areas, oak undergrowth and blue pines. Descend down to the radio tower and visit the Taken Reserve Centre to see the national animal of Bhutan.
In the evening visit the Memorial Chorten Stupa, Dinner at the Babesa village restaurant to enjoy authentic Bhutanese cuisines. Overnight in select hotel.
Day 4-Day Hike to Dodeyna Monastic School
Wednesday - 28th of February 2018 @ Bhutan Suites/Hotel Pedling
Drive to Dechenchholing and start the three hours hike to Dodeydra Shedra. The hike is characterized by moderate ascents thorugh Blue-pine forests. A picnic lunch will be served on the way. After the lunch spot, hikers will be rewarded by stunning views of Thimphu city. Currently there are around 170 monks studying and living in Dodeydra Buddhist University, including His Eminence Gyalwang Lorepa and His eminence Yongzin Rinpoche. It is located at an altitude of 2380m. An audience with His Eminence Gyalwang Lorepa and His eminence Yongzin Rinpoche after lunch, followed by a visit to the temple. The monks always engage in games like Football and Volleyball everyday as part of their physical education and guests who are interested can join the games and enjoy a game with the monks who are more than happy to welcome guests.
Visit the Crafts Bazaar in the afternoon, along the streets of Thimphu which sells and displays various handicrafts and textiles made entirely in Bhutan.
Visit the Kuensel Phodrang in the afternoon where the gigantic 169 ft statue of Buddha Dordenma. The interior of the statue’s temple is easily one of the most beautiful and unique with thousands of other statues inside. Enjoy a panoramic view of Thimphu city from there. We can do a short hike through the Nature Park here and hoist some prayer flags along the way to send out some prayers into the world. If the group is interested, we can also offer our signature offering of “Plant a tree”, where guests will plant a tree sapling.
Note: If you like Mountain Biking, we can ride on this day. We are a biking specialist and encourage active and eco-friendly holidays, and therefore will provide you our bike and equipment as a complimentary offer.
Spend the evening exploring the capital city.
Day 5-Thimphu to Punakha Valley
Thursday - 1st of March 2018 @ Hotel Lobesa/Meri Phuensum Resort
Drive to Punakha over the Dochula Pass (3140). Situated atop the pass at the backdrop of fluttering prayer flags is the Druk Wangyal Chortens, a collection of 108 chortens (stupas) that was built to exemplify the greatness of the Fourth King. If you would like to hike, we recommend the Lungtsezelkha hike – another lovely like that passes through Rhododendron forests and alpine vegetation. Here you might come across some Yaks as we often spot them. It starts from Dochula pass – and climbs upto the peak where the Lungtsezekha temple stands at 3800m. From here, you can see the great Himalayan peaks of northern Bhutan as well as valleys of southern Bhutan.
Hike back to Dochula, and descend to the low-lying rice valley of Lobesa and pay your respects to one of Bhutan’s most charming and eccentric historic figures nicknamed ‘The Divine Madman’ at the Chhimi Lhakhang – also called the fertility monastery - our guide will explain the entire story about it. The visit involves a short nice hike through a beautiful village surrounded by paddy fields.
Stay in a cozy resort overlooking the valley.
Drive time 4 hrs
Day 6-Punakha Sightseeing and Scenic Valley Hike
Friday - 2nd of March 2018 @ Damchen Resort
Drive to Punakha valley to visit Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal stupa, which involves a short scenic hike through paddy fields for about 45 minutes till the hilltop where the temple is located. From here you can also enjoy a majestic view of the underlying valley. The temple itself is a splendid example of Bhutan’s fine architectural and artistic traditions and the only one of its kind in the world. From here you can optionally take another great hike from the riverside crossing a suspension bridge to other side of the Mo Chu river for approximately 3 km with hours hiking. A picnic lunch is served on the banks of the Punakha river.
After lunch, continue to Punakha Dzong – the most beautiful fortress in Bhutan situated at the confluence of two rivers. This ancient fortress is the winter residence of the monastic order’s leadership and still serves as the administrative headquarters for the Punakha region. The fortress is a fine example of Bhutan’s rich art and architecture, and our guide who is an expert in iconography will explain all aspects of art, architecture, history and its significance.
Proceed to Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Lhakhang Nunnery which is atop a ridge amid pine trees and overlooking valleys of Punakha and Wangduephodrang. Interact with the nuns and they love to speak English with visitors and learn about the ways of the world.
Day 7-Bhutan International Marathon
Saturday - 3rd of March 2018 @ Metta Resort and Spa/Hotel Gangtey Palace
Bhutan International Marathon. B/L/D
After a nice breakfast, Participate in the Half a Marathon.
After the run, drive to Paro. Visit a farmhouse to soak in a herbal hot-stone bath which is known to be therapeutic and a perfect way to soothe your feet and body after the run. Enjoy a nice authetic Bhutanese dinner at the farmhouse and experience our way of life.This is a complimentary value-added experience from Bhutan Travel Club without any hidden costs. Goes perfectly with some pints of locally brewed Red Panda Beer and if you are fine why not try a hand in archery too! Proceed to your resort in the evening.
Drive time 4 hours.
Sunday - 4th of March 2018 @
After breakfast at your hotel, your driver will drive you to the airport for your onward journey.