Bhutan, the last remaining great Himalayan kingdom, is a deeply Buddhist society where "gross national happiness" is more important that "gross national product". Also known as "the last Shangri La," you'll find a medieval mountain realm where cell phones
and computer technology are as much a way of life as Buddhist monks spinning prayer wheels.
Your flight this morning takes you to the majestic mountain retreat of Bhutan. This hidden treasure of the Himalayas, known as the Dragon Kingdom, is still home to an ancient style of life. A stroll down the main street is a very pleasant experience.
Your tour of Paro includes visits to Ta Dzong, now the national museum, and fascinating Rimpung Dzong. Visit the interesting Drukgyel Dzong from which one has a commanding view of Mt. Chomolhari on a clear day.
You are driven through spectacular mountain views and peaceful countryside to Thimphu, Bhutan's capital. You will stop en route to visit a Bhutanese farmhouse traditionally built entirely without nails. Your tour of Thimphu includes visits to Simtokha Dzong and Tashichho Dzong, the center of government and religion in Bhutan. Stroll to Changgankha Monastery, and visit the handicrafts emporium.
Visit the lively Sunday Market, where folk from outlying areas come to buy goods. Dressed in colorful traditional garb, these remote mountain dwellers descend upon the marketplace, creating a photographer's delight as they barter among themselves and socialize with friends. This afternoon, visit the memorial chorten built in memory of the late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck.
Your first stop after leaving Thimphu is Dochula Pass. Situated at 10,500 feet above sea level, the pass offers breathtaking views of the Himalayan Range and the valleys below. While in Punakha, visit Punakha Dzong, which the first Shabdrung of Bhutan, Ngawang Namgyel, strategically built at the confluence of the Phochu and Mochu Rivers in 1637.
This morning, drive back to Paro. Rest of the day at leisure.
This morning, board your flight for your onward journey.