Bhutan Rafting Tour

RaftingTour - 8 Days

Day01: Arrive Paro

Day02 : Paro -Thimphu and Thimphu sightseeing

Day 03:Thimphu-Punakha/Wangdue

Day04: Punakha Rafting Tours

Day05: Punakha Rafting tour

Day06: Punakha-Thimphu

Day07: Thimphu-Paro

Day08: Departure from Paro

RaftingTour itinerary in Detail

Day01: Arrive Paro

Flyinto Paro by Drukair flight (Royal Bhutan Airline) or BhutanAirlines. After immigration and customs formalities, you will bereceived by a Druk Country Explorer representative and driven to yourhotel in Paro.

Afterchecking into your hotel and refreshment visit the following:

Farmhouses in Paro Valley and a visit to a farm house offers a goodglimpse into the lifestyle of a farmer and where you can enjoyauthentic Bhutanese lunch.

Kyichutemple,one of the 108 temples built in the 7th century by the TibetanKing Songsten Gampo. The story goes that a giant demon lay across thewhole area of Tibet and the Himalayas and was preventing the spreadof Buddhism. To overcome her, King Songtsen Gampo decided to build108 temples, which would be placed on all the points of her body. Ofthese 108 temples, 12 were built in accordance with precise plans.Thus, it happened that in about the year AD 638 the temple of Jokhangin Lhasa was built over the very heart of the demon.

RinpungDzong, built in 1645 to defend the valley against Tibetan invaders.The Dzong is now being used as an administration center and schoolfor monks.Then walk down to Rimpung Bridge (Traditonal Bridge),oldest bridge in Bhutan.

Inthe evening stroll around Paro town and you may visit localhandicraft stores.

Overnightat a hotel in Paro.

Day02 : Paro - Thimphu and Thimphu sightseeing

Distance:54 km & estimated driving time: 1 hour

Afterbreakfast, you will travel to Thimphu valley which will take youthrough Chunzom (confluence of Pachu- the river flowing through Parovalley & Wangchu the river flowing through Thimphu valley). Onthe way, visit Tachog Lhakhang (temple) , this 14th century templelocated on the base of a mountain across the Pa chu on theParo-Thimphu highway, is a must visit temple in the Paro valley.Built by the great master architect Thangtong Gyalpo, the templehouses some unique statues. To get to the temple one may actuallywalk over the iron chains that spans over the Pa chu ( Paro river).

Aftercrossing Chunzom which is the confluence of Paro and Thimphu rivers,the drive will take you along the Wangchu ( Thimphu river) to Thimphuvalley.

Afterchecking into your hotel, you will visit the following:

TraditionalBhutanese paper making factory. The handmade paper making in Bhutanstemmed from the age old tradition originated in 8th century ofBhutanese history. The handmade paper constitutes as valuableNational heritage of Bhutanese cultural identity and is preservedthrough all the ages. The Traditional paper is recognized and heldhigh esteem both in home and outside world. Jungshi Paper Factory wasestablished in November 1990 as an undertaking of the RoyalGovernment of Bhutan. The unit now boasts as a major and sole dealerin handmade paper and its products.

NationalTextile Museum which is a good place to see the art of traditionalweaving being kept alive and preserved through exhibition and has agood collection of old textiles which are rich in colors anddesigns.You will also see people weaving with intricate designs.

Schoolof Traditional Painting of Arts and Crafts where students undertake asix-year course on the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan.

SimplyBhutan A living museum of rural life which provides visitors andtourists with fascinating insights into the Bhutanese materialculture and way of life.

Afterlunch at Simply Bhutan enjoying the traditional Bhutanese lunch drivefor about 30 minutes to the base camp of Tango Monastery and hike upto the Monastery. The walk up to the Monastery is through the forestfilled with Rhododendron flower trees which will be in full bloomduring April month. Tango Monastery is the center for higher studiesfor monks. The view from Tango Monastery is breathtakingly beautiful.You will experience complete peace and serenity in this area. Aftervisiting the monastery, walk back to the road and then drive back toThimphu .

Inthe evening visit Craft Bazaar where craftsmen and artisans fromacross the country display and sell their handicrafts.

Overnightat a hotel in Thimphu

Day03 :Thimphu-Punakha/Wangdue

Distance:71 km & estimated driving time: 2 hours

Afterbreakfast, travel to Punakha & Wangdue through Dochula Pass 3140m). In the clear spring sky, you can enjoy the panoramic view of theHimalayan Mountain ranges. . Then pass by the beautiful 108 chortensbuilt on the hill by Her Majesty Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck (QueenMother of Bhutan) for the security and well being of His Majesty, theKing of Bhutan.

Youwill also visit Druk Wangyal Lhakhang (monastery) which was built byAshi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck ( the Queen Mother of Bhutan) as atribute to His Majesty the fourth King of Bhutan, Jigme SingyeWangchuck and armed forces after His Majesty led a successfuloperation against Indian militants who had occupied certain areas ofBhutan. The gallery of the Druk Wangyal Lhakhang has beautiful muralsdepicting some of the important events in the reigns of the Kings ofBhutan. This is a unique feature of this monastery that no othermonastery in Bhutan has.

Thendrive onto Punakha. Punakha has been inextricably linked to some ofthe most momentous events in the Bhutanese history and deserves itsreputation as one of the most beautiful and significant regions atthe heart of Bhutanese culture. Punakha had served as the capital ofBhutan from 1637 till 1907 and the 1st National Assembly was heldthere. The dzong is historically important and stands as the symbolfor a unified Bhutan.

Onthe way, stop for lunch at Metsina village and then visit the DevineMadman's Monastery-Chhimi Lhakhang, famously known for itsfertility shrine, where one can receive a special fertility blessing.

Thenvisit the Punakha Dzong, located on the island of the Pho - Chu (maleriver) and the Mochu (female river). The dzong was built in 1637 byZhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal (the person who unified Bhutan) to serve asthe religious and administrative seat of the region. It was here thatthe dual system of government was introduced in the 17th century andin 1907, enthroned the first King Gongsar Ugyen Wangchuck. Damagedover the centuries by four catastrophic fires and an earthquake, thedzong has been fully restored in the recent years by the 4th KingJigme Singye Wangchuck. At the dzong, you can see the higheststandards in woodwork.

Overnightat a hotel in Punakha.

Day04: Punakha Rafting Tours

Alongthe Pho Chu ( Male river) in Punakha Valley

Afterbreakfast, an exciting rafting tour awaits you. Following a shortdrive you arrive at the river and, after a fully safety briefing, youtake to your raft for a soft rafting experience down thePho-Chu (Male River). You will need to do a little paddling and youmay get a little we but it will all be worthwhile as this journeytakes you through a wonderland of secluded scenic beauty. You driftalong to Punakha Dzong, located on an island in the middle of therivers. Built in 1637 the Punakha Dzong served as a religious andadministrative centre for the region. Currently the Dzong is thewinter residence of the Holy Monk Body of Bhutan. This rafting touris expected to last 3-4 hours.

Aftera picnic lunch on the river side, you drive through the upper PunakhaValley passing through traditional villages and farmlands you willtake a short hike through farmhouses to the beautiful Khamsum YuelleyNamgyal Lhakhang (temple) built by Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuck(the Queen Mother of Bhutan) for peace and stability in thisever-changing world. This temple is situated on the hilltopoverlooking the valley below. The leisurely walk up to the templewould take about an hour. Visit the temple and also enjoy thebreathtakingly beautiful view from there.

Dinnerand overnight at a hotel in Punakha.

Day05: Punakha Rafting tour

Alongthe Mochu (Female River) in Punakha Valley

Afterbreakfast,yet another exciting day awaits you. This good stretch isfor those who are apprehensive about going on a whitewater trip.Start your day by taking an hour or so hiking up to the temple atNyezengong and then floating down the scenic Mo Chhu past the PunahkaDzong and to the take out at the high school. It is recommended tofinish by mid afternoon, as an upstream wind is common mostafternoons.

Inthe evening you may visit Rinchengang village in Wangduephodrangwhere you will take a short hike through the village and have freeinteraction with the villagers. Round trip hike will take about 1 hr.At the same time you can view the ruins of Wangdue Dzong (the Dzongwas razed to the ground by fire in 2012).

Dinnerand overnight at a hotel in Punakha.

Day06: Punakha-Thimphu

Afterbreakfast drive to Thimphu and after lunch at Thimphu visit thefollowing:

TakinPreserve, which houses the national animal the Takin that is onlyfound in Bhutan. This is an extremely rare member of the goat family.Found in herds in the very high altitudes (13,125ft and over). Theylive on a diet of grass and bamboo. It can weigh as much as 550pounds.

WitnessArchery game which is National sport of Bhutan.

KuenselPhodrang and take a short leisure hike to the Kuensel Phodrang NaturePark and enjoy the full view of Thimphu Valley below.

CentenaryFarmers Market (open from Thu-Sun only): Most of the Thimphu's population and many valley dwellers converge on the bustling weekendmarket, held by the side of Wangchu River. A wide range offoodstuffs and local arts and crafts are sold at the market, whichruns from Friday afternoon till Sunday evening. A visit to themarket provides great photo opportunities, as well as the chance tomingle with local people and perhaps buy souvenirs.

TashichhoeDzong, a fortress of the glorious religion. It was built in 1641 byZhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel and was reconstructed into presentstructure by the late King, His majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck in theyear 1962-1969. It houses the secretariat building, the throne roomand the office of the king, and the central monk body.

NationalMemorial Chorten, chorten literally means ' seat of faith' andBuddhists often call such monuments the 'Mind of Buddha'. Meet theelderly local in circumambulation at the National Memorial Chorten.

Overnightat a hotel in Thimphu.

Day07: Thimphu-Paro

AHike to Paro Taktsang Ghoempa(Tiger's Nest Monastery)

Afterbreakfast drive to Paro for about 1 hour and hike up to TaktsangMonastery, also known as Tiger's Nest. The climb up to theviewpoint will take around 1 hours and from there you will enjoy aspectacular view of the monastery clinging to the side of the cliff.Stop for refreshment at the View Point Cafeteria.Then walk further upto the monastery which will take another 1 hour. It is said thatin the 8th century Guru Rinpoche flew on the back of a tigress fromeastern Bhutan to this place and meditated in a cave here for 3months. The principal Lhakhang (monastery) of the present monasticcomplex dates from 1692. Taktsang was damaged severely by fire in1998 but has now been fully restored to its former glory.Aftervisiting the monastery, walk back down to the road on the way stopfor lunch at the view point cafeteria and then walk further down tothe road point.

Inthe evening you may relax in the traditional hotstone bath.

Dinnerand overnight at a hotel in Paro.

Day08: Departure from Paro

Afterbreakfast, drive to the Paro airport and your Bhutan tour guide fromAccess Bhutan Tours will see you off at the Paro InternationalAirport for your flight to your onward destinations.

Endof the tour