Bhutan

Distinctive and remote, Bhutan offers beauty, history and adventure by the bucketload. Make your way to delightful Thimphu - the world?s only capital city without traffic lights. Head out into the countryside and marvel at the spectacular Himalayan scenery, visit imposing dzongs and learn the Buddhist traditions of the Land of the Thunder Dragon. Meet the relaxed local people, see the extraordinary 'tiger's nest' monastery and soak up this privileged travelling experience.

Itinerary

Day 5 Gangte

Journey across the Pele La Pass to Gangte and visit the 450-year-old Gangte Goemba. Explore Phobjikha Valley, Bhutan's wonderfully remote area without telephones or regular power.

Day 1 Paro

Arrive in the small town of Paro and get an immediate sense of just how special Bhutan is. With colourful buildings, a main street that is only 25 years old and houses without front doors, Paro is a charming place to begin the adventure.

Day 2 Thimphu

The fortress of Tashichho Dzong dominates Thimphu, the world's only capital city without traffic lights. See the National Library's priceless collection of Buddhist manuscripts, visit the Folk Heritage Museum and stop in at the National Memorial Chorten. In keeping with the country's goal of Gross National Happiness, the stores here take it in turns to be closed; stores on the upper lane are closed on Tuesdays and on the lower lane they're closed on Wednesdays.

Days 3-4 Punakha

Cross the Dochu La Pass to take in spectacular views of the Bhutan Himalaya and stop in at the quirky Chimi Lhakhang, also known as the 'Temple of the Divine Madman'. Visit the Punakha Dzong and the hillside Khamsum Yueling Temple.

Days 6-8 Paro

The adventure comes full circle on the return to Paro. Home to Bhutan's unusual red rice, Paro is the base for exploring the ruins of Drukgyel Dzong and the dramatic Rinpung Dzong. Tour the National Museum, housed in an original watchtower, and drive out to the beautiful Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest and most important of Bhutan's temples. A trek to Taktshang Goemba, the famed 'Tiger's Nest' monastery miraculously clinging to a cliff face, is a definite must-do.

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