Travel permits was the first thing we got done on the second day. The immigrations office was 5 mins drive from our hotel. We had to submit a tiny form with passport copies and details of districts to visits. The permits were issued in 30 mins (no fees). We visited a number of places in Thimpu. We first visited Textile Museum, which showcases various weaves of Bhutan (Rs 50/person charge). The Museum also had a tiny workshop, where we could see women weaving. A very interesting learning for me :). Next we went to the Buddha point, this is a huge statue of Lord Buddha on top of a hill. Bhuddha point presides over beautiful views of the terrain. This was followed by short visits to nearby zoo (has only one animal, Takin), Nunnery and royal bhutan cultural museum. We visited the Dzong at 5pm, the flag was lowered at 5pm with a Royal salute and a monk performing puja. We were allowed to visit the Dzong (palace) and Monastry after all the officials left at 5.30 pm. We spotted the King of Bhutan leaving his office by walk at 5.30 pm :). The Palace was stunning with pictures detailing history. Our guide explained us the relevance and meaning of each painting patiently in the tour of 1 hour. We closed the day with some shopping and meal of tasty Thupka and Bathup.
We started for Wangdue at around 10 am. Drive from Thimpu to Wangdue has some interesting spots to visit on the way. We visited Dochula pass and Royal Botanical Park with a beautiful walking trail of about 3 kms. We reached Wangdue by 6.30 pm and rested in the resort thereafter.
We started for phobjikha valley by 12 pm. The valley is one of the largest valley in Bhutan with many stories weaved around it. The path to the valley passes through very high mountains, with great views. The best view is the end of this mountainous region and start of the green valley with Yak feeding on the green grass. We visited nearby Gangtey Monastery, but it was closed. The visit to Phobjika valley was beautiful, it started raining and we could see clouds touch earth :). We ate at a resort in the valley and started returning to our resort in Wangdue. The drive to this place was a challenge due to incomplete and muddy roads. We took about 3 hours each way to travel. But, the views were totally worth it.
This was an easy day. We left with packed bags for Paro. On the way to Paro, we visited Dzong (palace) and the Iron bridge in Punakha, both with beautiful views. We reached paro by 6.30 pm and rested to rise early for next day’s trek.
We started early for the trek at around 6am, due to the weather forcast predicting rainfall after 3pm. The trek was easy, with very beautiful views. We reached the top in around 1.5 hours. We were assigned a guide for the monastry, he showed us the four main temples and explained their significance. We climbed down in another 2.5 hours with a lot of breaks to take pictures. The taxi stand, at bottom of the trek at this time had street vendors selling souvenirs and jewellery for women. We picked up some items from here. By now we were hungry and rain had started pouring down, we had lunch in the town (lots of momos) and headed to the hotel to rest.
We left from our hotel at 6am for an 8.30 am flight. (Taxi fare: Rs. 500)
A woman’s jorney to Bhutan - 13 day itinerary