Day 01: Arrival at Paro (by Druk Air) – transfer to Thimphu.
The flight into Paro on our national carrier, Druk Air, is a befitting introduction to the spectacular beauty of our country. In clear weather, magnificent views of the world’s highest peaks give way to the lush green Paro valley as you land. The first gift from Bhutan will be the cool, clean fresh air as you step out of the plane. After clearing customs and visa control you are met by your guide from All Bhutan Connection (ABC) representative of Travel on Q in Australia and drive to Thimphu, the modern capital of Bhutan. The drive will take around 1½ hour. Thimphu has a population of about 70,000. The town is made up of just three lines of shops and is the only capital in the world without traffic lights. Check in at hotel Jumolhari and lunch will be served.
Afternoon visit the National Memorial Chorten, built in honor of our late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk Folk Heritage Museum, which is dedicated to connecting people to the Bhutanese rural past through exhibition of items and artifacts used in rural households, Textile Museum, where the art of traditional weaving is still kept alive and preserved through exhibition and has a good collection of old textiles which are rich in its color and design.Dinner at Plum’s Café which is situated in the heart of Thimphu city and five minutes walk from your hotel. Overnight at hotel Riverview.
Day 02: Thimphu
In the morning visit the Institute of Traditional Medicine, where old healing arts such as acupuncture and herbal remedies are still practiced. Also visit the Folk Heritage Museum, which is dedicated to connecting people to the Bhutanese rural past through exhibition of items and artifacts used in rural households, Textile Museum, where the art of traditional weaving is still kept alive and preserved through exhibition and has a good collection of old textiles which are rich in its color and design. Afternoon visit the Weekly Outdoor Market, where everyone goes to buy fruits and vegetables, rice, grains, chillis and other fresh foods. The crowded stalls offer many colorful local items such as yak tail dusters, butter tea cups, turquoise from Nepal and Tibet and musical instruments. Other high lights include a visit to the Bhutanese Handmade Paper Factory,Zilukha Nunnery, Motithang Mini Zoo,and Sangaygang viewpoint. In the evening visit Handicrafts Emporium, which has all types of Bhutanese handicrafts for sale. Overnight at hotel Riverview.
Day 03: Thimphu – Punakha
After breakfast depart to Punakha, an ancient capital of Bhutan. Leaving Thimphu the road climbs steeply through a forest of pine and cedar, festooned with hanging lichen high up near Dochula pass (3,050 m). This pass often offers panoramic views of the Himalayan mountain ranges. After stopping for tea and the view, we descend along a series of hairpin bends to the fertile valley of Punakha and drive to visit Punakha Dzong, winter seat of the Je Khenpo and the Monk Body, remarkably located between the rivers of the Mo (Female) Chu and Pho (Male) Chu. Afternoon take a hike up to Nyizergang Chorten (Kham Yueley Chorten) which sets majestically on a hilltop promontory across the river. The hike is around forty minutes one way through the terraced rice fields. Overnight at hotel Meri Puensum.
Day 04: Punakha – Trongsa
Today we start early for the fabulous drive to the central valleys of Bhutan. The drive to Trongsa is approximately 5 hours crossing over Pelela pass (3,300 m.
In the morning we pass Wangdue, one of the major towns and district headquarters of Western Bhutan where we make a short stop to view the Wangdiphodrang Dzong dramatically located on the spur of a hill at the confluence of the Tsang Chu and Dang Chu rivers. We then climb steadily passing through semi-tropical vegetation and then to Pelela Pass with an alpine environment of rhododendrons and dwarf bamboo. This pass is traditionally considered the boundary between West and East Bhutan. If the weather is clear the Himalayan ranges can be seen, particularly the peak of Chomolhari to the west. En route we cross Chendebji Chorten built many centuries ago to suppress a demon. Picnic lunch will be served enroute at a very convenient spot and if time permits visit the impressive Trongsa Dzong, ancestral home of the ruling dynasty. In olden days the dzong commanded the passage between East and West Bhutan. Overnight at Yangkhil Resort.
Day 05: Trongsa – Gangtey – Wangdue
Today drive back over the Pelela pass to Wangdue via Gangtey, which lies in the flanks of the Black Mountains. There is an old monastery of Gangtey Gompa (under renovation) dating back to the 17th century. A few kilometers past the Gompa on the valley floor are the fascinating valley of Phobjikha. The gentle sloping hillsides of Phobjikha is described as "the most beautiful valley in the Himalayas". This is the winter home of black-necked cranes that migrate from the arid plains in the north to pass winter in milder and lower climate. Evening take a walk around the beautiful valley of Gangtey which lies at an altitude of 3,000 m. After visiting the old monastery and valley continue your drive to Chhuzomsa through the rich forest of Rhododendrons, Magnolia, Cherries and Chir pine forests. Dinner and overnight at Kyichu Resort, which is situated by the river Dangchu and serves only vegetarian foods.
Day 06: Wangdue – Thimphu – Paro
After breakfast depart to Paro via Thimphu and with a visit to the Royal Botanical Garden, which has a good collection of different species of wild flowers and plants. Dinner and overnight at hotel Rinchenling.
Day 07: Paro – Hike to Taktsang
In the morning drive towards the north of Paro valley to visit the ruins of the Drukgyal Dzong 16 km up the valley. Built in 1647 by the great Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, father and unifier of medieval Bhutan, the dzong was destroyed by accidental fire and left in ruins as an evocative reminder of the great victories it was built to commemorate. Explore the ramparts and on a clear day experience an unforgettable view of Mt. Jhomolhari (7,314 m) and then drive beyond Satsam Chorten to hike up to the Taktsang monastery (Tiger’s nest). The hike up to the cafeteria will take around one and half hour. At the view point enjoy the stunning view of the monastery, where Guru Padmasambhava landed on the back of a tigeress in the 8th century and lunch will be served at the view point cafeteria and then walk back to the road point and visit Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest temples in Bhutan. Evening ends with a walk through Paro’s main shopping district. Overnight at hotel Rinchenling.
Day 08: Paro – Departure (by Druk Air)
In the morning your Bhutanese escort will bid you farewell at Paro airport. Good-bye and happy journey back home.