01 January 2019 | Arjun Rijal
I always had dream to visit Bhutan once in lifetime and now, in December, 2019, i got time to visit Bhutan and So, the dream has been fulfilled now and so, happy to share my experience in Bhutan to all of you.
Day 01/25th December- 2019: Kathmandu- Paro – Taktsang hike- Paro:
Arrival in Paro, Airport!
I had drive to the Tribhuvan International Airport quite early in the morning as I had flight at 9:20 am by Druk air (Druk Air is national carrier of Bhutan) and it was about 50 minutes flights to Paro International Airport of Bhutan. The flight itself is amazing as the excellent view of the Himalayas including Mt. Everest (the Highest Mountain of the world), Mount Makalu and Mount Kanchenjunga. Once reached at the airport, the guide (the Guide Name is Indra Subba) was there to receive and to guide to all the destination to be visited on the tour. He then took to one of the most popular monastery Taktsang Monastery also known as Tiger's nest. It took about 3 hour to reach there and return.
The Taktsang Monastery is a complex which was built in 1692 AD for the first time around the Cave where Guru Padmasambhav meditated for three years, three months, three days and three hours in his time of the 8th century. Guru Padmasambhav is credited for introducing Buddism in Bhutan.
Tiger's nest monestery, Paro, Bhutan
After visiting the Taksang Monastery, drive to hotel and first overnight in Bhutan.
Day 02/26th December, 2019: Paro Tour- Punakha:
After early breakfast at hotel, the guide took to Kyichu lhakhang monastery, which is one of the oldest Monetary in Bhutan, then Visited Ta Dzong National Museum and Paro Ringpung Dzong Built in 17th Century to defend the valley against the Tibetan invaders. After visiting these places, we drove to Punakha with having stopped at Thimpu for lunch and it took us about 3 and half hours to get Punakha and visited Punakha Dzong, it is the second oldest Dzong in the Bhutan, built in1637 and located in middle of the Male and female river by the spiritual leader Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel.
Punakha Dzong, Punakha, Bhutan !
The Punakha Dzong is also known as Pungtang Dewa chhenbi Phodrang. Punakha Dzong is the administrative center of Punakha district of Bhutan as well. The Punakha Dzong was built by Ngawang Namgyal. The Punakha is second bigger and second oldest dzong in Bhutan. The Punakha Dzong was the administrative center of whole Bhutan and seat of the government of Bhutan until 1955 when the capital was moved to Thimpu, the current capital city of Bhutan.
Then drive to hotel and second overnight stay in Bhutan.
Day 03: 27th December, 2019: Day Tour to Gangtey valley:
After having early breakfast at hotel, we started our drive to Gangtey valley that takes about 3 hours, The Gangtey valley is said to be one the most beautiful valley of Bhutan.
The Gangtey valley is the winter home to more than 400 highly endanger black-necked crane, the valley is a wide and flat valley. The time of the December, January and February are the months for black-necked crane to be here in this valley, so, we could see them with bare eyes and there is also black-necked crane visitor center that we visited and offered lot of information about black necked crane.
Gangtey Valley, Black neck crane preservation center.
After seeing the valley and visited Gangtey Dzong and Monastery, we returned to Punakha through Wangdue and visited Chimi Lhakhang in Punakha which is also known as Chime Lhakhang or Monastery or Temple.
Chime Lhakhang Temple, Bhutan:
phallus Shop, Near Chime Lhakhang Temple !
The monastery is the repository of the original wooden symbol of phallus that Kunley brought from Tibet. This wooden phallus (Erect penis) is decorated with a silver handle and is used to bless people who visit the monastery on pilgrimage, particularly women seeking blessings to produce children.
After visiting the temple, we returned to hotel and third overnight in Bhutan.
Day 04/28th December, 2019: Punakha – Thimpu:
After having breakfast at hotel, we start our tour back to Thimpu and we stopped at Dochula Pass, as this is nice pass and can see nice views and as we traveling in December, there was some snow even on the road which was fun and once we reached in Thimpu then we visited the Big Buddha Statue also known as Buddha point from where we could see the excellent view of the Thimpu valley.
Dochula pass, Bhutan
After returning from the Buddha Point, we went to visit the Thimphu Dzong (Trashichho Dzong), and check in to the hotel and forth overnight at Bhutan.
Buddha Point, Thimpu, Bhutan
Day 05/29th December, 2019: Sightseeing in Thimpu and Some Shopping:
After having breakfast at hotel, we started our tour little late this day about 10:00 am. We then been to Takin Sanctuary, where the unique animal Takin which is also national animal of Bhutan are preserved.
Then we return to the town and visited memorial chhorten (Stupa), the stupa, built in 1974 to honor the third Druk Gyalpo, Jinme Dorji Wangchuk (1928-1972) and this is the prominent land mark of city, it has golden spires and bells and it is said that this is the most visible religious landmark of Bhutan.
Thimpu Dzong, Thimpu, Punakha.
After visiting this stupa, we had time to look around ourselves and do some shopping as gift to the people around from Bhutan and we visited the handicraft shops were we could by some handmade clothing and many things. We visited some shopping centers and local markets as well.
Then had farewell dinner with our travel team and stayed last overnight at Bhutan.
Day 06/30th December, 2019: Thimpu- Paro- Flight Kathmandu:
After having breakfast at hotel, we drove to Paro airport and take flight to Kathmandu: