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ITINERARY AT A GLANCE
Day 01: Arrive by Druk air A 319, the only national carrier. The flight offers you beautiful view of mountain and landscape. On arrival and after visa formalities you will be received by ITT members. Afternoon / evening time at leisure.
Overnight Kichu Resort.
Day 02: Paro Sightseeing - visit the ruined fortress of Drugyel dzong which still attracts visitors due to the strategic location of the fort. The fort defended the Paro valley from the Tibetan invasion from the north in the early 17th century. On clear weather Mount Chomolhari 7320 meters can be seen towering over the dzong. Proceed through the beautiful valley to the watch tower or locally known as Ta-Dzong. It was housed into the National museum in the 1960s by the third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. The seven floors museum highlights various aspects of Bhutanese culture and history dating back to the 7th century. A short walk downhill to the Rinpung Dzong which serves as the administrative center and school for monks. Walk further down crossing the traditional bridge into Paro Town. Return to Kichu Resort.
Day 03: Drive to Thimphu (1 & 1/2hrs). Upon arrival check into Hotel River view or similar. PM sightseeing - Visit the Memorial chorten built in the memory of the late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, 15 century Changangkha monastery, Motithang mini zoo to see the rare "Takin" national animal of Bhutan and drive further down with good view of the Thimphu valley. Visit the new Drupthob nunnery temple and free time in the market.
Day 04: AM visit the Painting school, National library, Royal goldsmith workshop and Handicraft centers. PM drive 3 hours to Wangduephodrang crossing the Dochula pass 3100 meters. On fine weather you will see the eastern Himalayan ranges including the highest mountain in Bhutan Mt.Gangar Punsum 7520 meters. The drive from the pass is all the way downhill dropping to the lower and warmer valleys of lobesa. Visit the market area.
Overnight at Wangdi Kichu Resort.
Day 05: Day excursion to the Gangtey Gompa valley at an altitude of 2800 meters. The only Nyingmapa monastery in western Bhutan is located here. This beautiful valley is also home to the rare Black Necked Cranes migrating from the Tibetan plateau to escape the harsh winter. Currently there are 200 to 300 cranes residing in this valley and the Royal Society for Protection of Nature (RSPN) is taking every measure to ensure the safety of the Cranes. While the cranes reside in the winter valley for 4/5 months the village folks are not allowed to make loud noises or fish in the river that runs through the valley. Explore the fascinating glacier valley and return to the Resort.
Day 06: AM drive 45 minutes to Punakha and visit the Punakha Dzong which served as an old capital of Bhutan. This remarkable fortress is built between two rivers and has survived many glacial floods and fire. Every year during the month of February a procession known as the Punakha Serda takes place to commemorate the victory over the Tibetans. Drive 4/5hrs to Paro via visiting the oldest building in Bhutan, the Simtokha Dzong. It now serves as a Buddhist university.
Overnight Kichu Resort.
Day 07: Day hike to the Taktsang monastery. The hike which is all the way uphill takes about 3/4 hours through pine forests (total walk 4/5hrs). The monastery clings to a huge granite cliff 800 meters from the paro valley. It is believed that the great saint Padmasambhava came in the 7th century on a flying tigress and meditated in a cave for 3 months. The demons were subdued who were trying to stop the spread of Buddhism and converted the Paro valley into Buddhism. During the end of the 17 century a monastery was built on the spot where the saint mediated and it is a pilgrimage site for every Bhutanese to visit once in their life time. Stroll back to Resort. Evening at leisure.
Day 08: Transfer to airport for final departure.