from Phuntsholing border town
05 Days / 04Nights
Day1: Arrive, Transfer to Phuentsholing Valley
Drive to the border town of Phuentsholing. As soon as you enter Bhutan/India check point in Phuentsholing. Your Smile Bhutan guide will welcome you after the completion of arrival formalities.
Upon arrival, the distinctive flavor of the country hits you. The Bhutanese prefer to call their country ‘Druk – Yul’ which means “The Land of the Dragon”. Bhutan often referred as the ‘Land of the Peaceful Dragon’ is still regarded as one of the last ‘Shangrila’ in the Himalayan region because of its remoteness, it’s spectacular mountain terrain, varied flora and fauna and its unique ancient Buddhist monasteries. It is in the relatively unexplored pockets of Asia which allows only limited number of discerning travelers to enter the country in order to protect its fragile environment and culture. Bhutan is renowned for its undiluted culture and unspoiled natural wonders. Bhutan’s past is still its present
Check-in the Hotel. The gateway to the south, Phuentsholing is a thriving commercial centre on the northern edge of the Indian plains. Situated directly at the base of the Himalayan foothills, it is a fascinating mixture of Indian and Bhutanese, a perfect example of mingling of people and their culture. If time permits, visit Zangtho Pelri Lhakhang, this small temple built in the centre of Phuentsholing town represents the heaven of Guru Rimpoche. Later take a stroll around town’s market area.
1 night stay in Phuntsholing
Day2 : Transfer to Paro Valley (6hrs drive)
After finishing all border formalities in Phuentsholing, a scenic drive takes you to the charming valley of Paro. Entire drive is very pleasant with numerous scenic spots en route. Sights on the way include a visit to Kharbandi Gompa, 4 km ahead of Phuentsholing. This is a beautiful monastery situated in garden of tropical plants and flowers. The monastery contains paintings depicting scenes from the life of Buddha and statues of Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and Guru Rimpoche. From the monastery garden there is a splendid view of Phuentsholing and plains of West Bangal and their tea gardens beyond. Lunch would be served en route.
You will be struck by the silence and peace of Paro’s valley. Check-in the Hotel and evening, take an exploratory walk around Paro’s main street, visiting shops and local market. It provides excellent opportunity to mingle with local people
1 night stay in Paro
Day 3 : Paro Valley Exploration
This morning, you will head towards the north end of the valley to visit the National Museum, housed in the Ta Dzong (watchtower). Here, an intriguing collection of artefacts provide a wonderful introduction to the rich culture and heritage of the Kingdom. Just a short walk downhill lays the dominating Paro Dzong, a fine example of Bhutanese historic architecture. Following lunch, drive up the valley to view the ruins of Drukgyel Dzong on the north side of the valley. It was from here that the Bhutanese repelled several invading Tibetan armies during the 17th century. Way back, visit to Kyichu Lhakhang, established in the 7th century and one of the two oldest shrines in the kingdom (the other is in Bumthang), marking the introduction of Buddhism in Bhutan.Rest of the day at leisure.
1 night stay in Paro
Day 4: Transfer to Thimphu Valley/Explore (1.5hrs drive)
Thimphu, perhaps the most unusual capital city in the world, is the seat of government. This bustling town is home to Bhutan’s royal family, the civil service, and foreign missions with representation in Bhutan. It is also the headquarters for a number of internationally funded development projects.
An early transfer to Thimphu Valley. Upon arrival, pay a visit to the National Memorial Chorten to His late Majesty (King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck). Then visit the bustling weekend market where residents of Thimphu have been gathering every weekend to buy their green groceries for over 3 decades. Following lunch, visit the Handicrafts Emporium, to see the exquisite artistry of traditional crafts and textiles and take a stroll through the streets for a little shopping. In the evening, visit the Takin Reserve Centre.
1 night stay in Thimphu
Day 5 : Transfer to Phuentsholing Valley/Depart (6hrs drive)
Today, an early drive to Phuentsholing en routing some villages. Upon arrival, depart to onward destination.