A. Itinerary in Detail (8 Days)
Day 01: Flying in to the beautiful Paro valley, the clear mountain air, forested ridges, imposing monasteries and welcoming Bhutanese people in their striking national dress, provides a breath-taking first impression. If we are lucky, we’ll have glorious views of the snow capped Himalayas on the way to Paro. The remarkable and steep descent into the Paro Valley is an awe-inspiring beginning to our adventure. After the customs and immigration formalities, you will be welcomed by representative. In the afternoon, you will take a short walk around Paro town for orientation and acclimatization purposes.
Day 02: After breakfast at hotel we head out south of Paro valley to try our first hand fly Fishing -Catch & release) only in Pachu – Chu Means river in Dzongkha which is stock with beautiful brown trouts. The size ranges in between 6-16”. Depending on water condition you may try and use different flies from teelhead to tiny dry flies. Our local guides will assist with choosing right flies. However we recommend to use only barbless hook. We continue our fishing upstream from Chunzom (confluence) of Paro and Thimphu Chu. Here the water is much cleaner than Thimphu.
Day 03: Fishing, hiking & sightseeing in Haa valley: Drive to Haa Valley across Chele La pass, highest Motor able road in western part of the country. In the afternoon we will have the first cast of fly fishing along Wangchu River with beautiful scenery of Jangkana village.
Day 04: After breakfast we drive to Thimphu city. After Breakfast fish downstream of Wangchu. After lunch, drive south of Chunzom on Thimphu, Phuentsholing national high way for 30 minutes to a beautiful spot for fly fishing.
Day 05: Thimphu -Punakha
Morning: After breakfast, head for the Punakha Valley, winter capital of Bhutan for three centuries. En-route visit the Dochu La Monastery, also known as Druk Wangyal Khangzang Chorten, pays tribute to the service and leadership of the king. The design is a cluster of 108 chortens. Our drive to the Punakha Valley ascends gradually to the Dochu La Pass, 10,300 feet above sea level. From here, get magnificent views of the Himalayan range. On our descent into Punakha, observe the fluttering prayer flags that add to the already rich topography of terraced farms and flowing rivers. Before lunch take a gradual hike through the Lobesa village and rice fields to visit the Chimi “Lakhang” a temple built in 15th dedicated to the “Divine Madman”, an eccentric monk famous for many his many amusing, Rabelaisian folklore stories. It is a popular pilgrimage site for all Bhutanese and is especially revered by women for its fertility powers. After lunch Visit historic Punakha Dzong sprawled at the confluence of the Phochu and Mochu rivers. Built by Shabdrung Nawang in 1637, it serves as the winter residence of the head abbot, Je Khenpo, as well as headquarters of the district administration. Then we drive back to himphu.
Day 06: Punakha – Paro
Paro retains its bucolic nature in spite of the existence of development projects. Fields of brown or green depending on the season covers most of the valley floor while hamlets and isolated farms dot the landscape. Afternoon visit the National Museum, located in Paro Dzong’s 17th-century watchtower. The building itself boasts an unusual shape said to resemble a conch shell. It was in this tower that Ugyen Wangchuck, the future first king of Bhutan, was imprisoned in 1872, when he came to put down a revolt. See a fine collection of old thangka paintings and textiles, ancient weapons, and Bhutanese artifacts. The museum, by the way, is considered a temple due to the religious objects it houses, and as such we are requested to remove our shoes and to move inside in a clockwise direction. To Paro Dzong itself, also called Rinpung Dzong, the Fortress of a Heap of Jewels. Constructed in the early 15th century as a diminutive fort, it was presented to the religious and political authority of Shabdrung Ngarvang, who developed it into a much more commanding fortress in 1646. This is without doubt one of the kingdom’s finest examples of traditional Bhutanese architecture. Rinpung’s central tower and galleries are notable for their superb woodwork and classical paintings of Buddhist cosmology. We see representations of the universe as interpreted by two different philosophies. If Rinpung Dzong looks familiar, you might remember it from Bernardo Bertolucci’s 1993 film, “Little Buddha.” Almost burnt to the ground in 1907, it was restored with money raised from a special tax levied throughout Bhutan. Today the dzong is the administrative seat of the district of Paro, and it also serves the state’s 200-member monastic community. Cross a nearby traditional wooden bridge called Nyamai-Zam, which spans the Paro River. In times of war, the bridge would be removed to protect the dzong from Bhutan’s enemies. Evening at leisure.
Day 07: Hike to Tiger’s Nest
Morning take a hike to Tiger’s Nest one of Bhutan’s most revered Buddhist pilgrimage sites, Taktshang Lhakhang, locally known as Tiger’s Nest Monastery (altitude: 10,433 feet). The complex also includes the Temple of Phorbu, which contains a phorbu, a triple-bladed dagger used to stab demons. Our trail offers spectacular views of this sacred monastery perched precariously on a sheer rock face 3,000 feet above the valley floor. Legend has it that Guru Rimpoche arrived in Paro Valley more than a millennium ago on a back of a tigress. He meditated for three months in a cave that was later converted into this monastery. The only sounds heard here are the murmurs of wind, water, and the chanting of monks. Today, pilgrims from all corners of the kingdom come to worship and meditate. We stop at the Cafeteria, about halfway to the monastery, for wonderful views. From here, it’s about an hour’s trek through stunning landscape to reach Taktshang Cafeteria. Where we will stop for tea & snacks . On our return, we again stop at the Cafeteria, this time for lunch. After some rest time, descend to Ramthanka base.
Day 08: Departure
After breakfast drive to the airport to board your flight to Kathmandu. Pick up from Kathmandu airport and transfer to hotel.