Upon arrival at the airport, you will be greeted by staff from COMO Uma Paro who will assist with the 10-minute transfer to the property. After checking in and spending some time settling into your new surroundings, we will take you on your first foray into the Himalayan Kingdom, with sightseeing in Paro town and a temple visit. This afternoon trip allows you to acclimatise to the rarefied air at this altitude and to get to know your guide
The capital Thimphu, sprawled across the wooded western hillside of the Wang Chhu river, is Bhutan’s centre of government, religion and commerce. During the journey from COMO Uma Paro to COMO Uma Punakha, you can stop off in the nation’s largest city, with an immersive tour taking in some of the major attractions, including the Buddha Dordenma statue, the National Memorial Chorten, a view of Trashi Chhoe Dzong and the Folk Heritage Museum (exact tour itinerary varies). After leaving Thimphu, the drive to Punakha is spectacular, winding snake-like up the 3,000m-high mountain pass of Dochu La, offering views of 108 ‘chortens’ (Buddhist shrines), forests of cluttering prayer flags and, on a clear day, sweeping views of the Himalayan range. Duration of drive: 3 to 4 hours (126km) Overnight: COMO Uma Punakha
This is a full day of exploration through the lush Punakha Valley, which at 1,200m is low enough for bananas and oranges to grow. The morning starts with a short walk across farmhouses and rice paddies to Chimmi Lhakhang, a 15th-century fertility temple dedicated to Drukpa Kuenley, a Tibetan Buddhist saint, better known as the ‘Divine Madman’. This site has long been a pilgrimage for couples hoping to start a family. Heading further down the valley, the 300-year-old Punakha Dzong comes into view. Built in the 17th century by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal (who founded the Kingdom of Bhutan), the fortress once housed the country’s government. It is now the winter home of Je Khenpo, the head abbot of Bhutan, along with a retinue of 1,000 monks. After lunch, the tour takes you on a walk through homesteads and farmland to Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten, a shrine recently built by the royal family.
After breakfast, make your way back to Paro, home to many of Bhutan’s old monasteries and temples. Take a stroll around Paro Town to pick up some souvenirs at your own expense. Then, proceed to visit Dungtse Monastery, built in 1421 by Thangtong Gyelpo to subdue the ogress. Next, visit the 7th century Kyichu Lhakhang, the oldest temple in Bhutan.
Set of early for a gentle hike to Chumphu Monastery where the Dorji Phamo, the flying Goddess also known as the floating statue is situated. It is said that Goddess Dorji Phamo flew here from Tibet and stayed on in the form of a statue
After breakfast, embark on a hike to Bhutan’s most iconic landmark, Taktsang Lhakhang, which means Tiger’s Nest Monastery. Clinging precariously to a granite cliff 800 metres above the Paro Valley, according to legend the great Guru Rinpoche Padmasambhava flew to this spot on the back of a tigress. The monastery was first built in 1692 at a cave where the Guru mediated in the 7th century A.D.
Today we will bid fond farewell to this beautiful Himalayan country and take an early flight back to Singapore. We hope by now you would have made some friends and also kept many photos and beautiful memories of Bhutan! And we look forward to seeing you again in this beautiful land of endless Enchantments! Tashi Delek!