Our representative will meet you on arrival at Phuentsholing, the gateway to Bhutan, which lies directly at the base of the Himalayan foothills. This small town is Bhutan's commercial center holding most of commercial organizations. If time permits, visit Zangdopelri temple, located at the heart of the town. Overnight at the hotel in Phuentsholing.
After breakfast, proceed to Thimphu, making our first stop about 5 km. up the road to visit Kharbandi Gompa. This beautiful monastery situated in a garden of tropical plants and flowers, was built by Royal Grandmother, Ashi Phuntsho Choedron in 1967. There is a splendid view of Phuentsholing and the Indian plains from the monastery garden. From this point the road climbs steeply up into the hills, winding in innumerable bends, to an altitude of approximately 2,000 m /6,560 ft. After a two hour drive through light mountain jungle, we pass over the first ridge and begin a long and gradual descent to the river. We cross the river, and rise up the mountainside even further into hills, leaving Chukha and the small town of Chimakothi behind us. Lunch is served en-route. After passing through Chapcha, the road reaches its highest point of about 2800 m, then descends steeply and runs along the bank of the Wang Chu (river) to Chuzom (meaning confluence). From here continue your drive up the valley of Thimphu. Enroute visit Semtokha Dzong, the oldest fortress in the kingdom, built by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1627. If time permit, visit Memorial Chorten, the beautiful stupa build in the memory of Bhutan's third King. The paintings and statues inside the monument provide a deep insight into Buddhist philosophy. On arrival in Thimphu, check-in at the hotel. Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.
Today's full day of sightseeing in Thimphu valley includes visit to: National Library, which houses an extensive collection of Buddhist literature with some works dating back several hundred years: Zorig Chusum (commonly known as the Painting School): Traditional Medicine Institute, the rich herbal medicines abundant in Kingdom is prepared here: Textile and Folk Heritage Museum, the fascinating testimony of the Bhutanese material culture and living traditions: Trashichhodzong, the beautiful medieval fortress/monastery which houses most of the Government's office and King's Throne room, the: Handicrafts Emporium, which displays wide assortment of beautifully hand-woven and crafted products. Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.
After breakfast, drive to Punakha with a short stop at Dochula pass (3,080) stopping briefly here to take in the view and admire the chorten mani wall, and prayer flages which decorate the highest point on the road. In the afternoon, visit Punakha Dzong built strategically at the junction of Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu rivers in 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to serve as the religious and administrative centre of the region. Punakha Dzong has played an important role in Bhutan's history. Damaged by four catastrophic fires and an earthquake, the Dzong has now been fully restored. Evening visit to local market. Overnight at the hotel in Punakha.
In the morning, take an excursion to Taktsang Monastery. Legend says that Guru Rinpoche arrived here on the back of a tigress and meditated at this monastery and hence it is called 'Tiger's Nest'. This site has been recognised as a most sacred place and visited by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1646 and now visited by all Bhutanese at least once in their lifetime. While returning to hotel visit en route, Kyichu Lhakhang, built in the 7th century by the Tibetan king, Songtsen Gampo. In the evening visit local market and overnight at the hotel in Paro.