The Honeymooners arrive at Paro International Airport
Your true Bhutan experience, in a real sense, commences not when you touch down at Paro International Airport but when you begin to approach Bhutan air space. The sheer beauty of the Himalayan range with its immaculate and majestic snow-peaked tops is a sight to behold even for the uninitiated. Once both of you arrive at Paro International Airport, you will be greeted very cordially by an English-speaking representative from A1 Bhutan Travel Services Bhutan who will help you negotiate customs and immigration formalities. Your tour representative is also your tour host, guide and Good Man Friday. It goes without saying that all services will be provided from a safe and comfortable distance.
Unlike some of the really busy airports you have probably seen in the past, the Paro International Airport is relatively quiet, much less crowded and functions with clockwork precision. Your tour representative will drive you to the Taj Tashi Hotel in Thimphu, the exquisite five star hotel in Thimphu where quality is the standard default. The class facility where luxury is always the order of the day is very popular with those on a royal Bhutan honeymoon package. After all, we don't call this honeymoon tour Crowned Prince for no reason. After a round of welcome drinks and an opportunity to settle in comfortably at Taj Tashi, you are all set to begin your enchanting Bhutan honeymoon.
Bhutan National Museum
Your only stop for the day is the Bhutan National Museum. Enjoy a rare collection of Bhutanese art, crafts, paintings and sculptures from a by-gone era carefully preserved for posterity. The museum also holds an impressive collection of ancient folk art, relics, religious thangkha paintings, rare postage stamps, exquisite artifacts, coins and handicrafts and a small natural history collection. The museum is especially famous for the amazing range of colors and shades used in the fabrics on display many of which probably don't even have a name.
Once both of you visit the National Museum, you are free to wander leisurely around Thimphu by yourselves until dinner time. Visit the markets, parks and the traditional outdoor cafes Thimphu is so famous for especially among those who are here for a Bhutan honeymoon. Our chauffeur-driven travel agency car will address all your transportation needs and will bring you back to your hotel well in time for a sumptuous buffet dinner.
The Newly Weds in Thimphu
The next day, after a delectable leisurely breakfast of Bhutan's choicest breakfast delicacies plus the traditional continental fare for which Taj Tashi is famous, you will visit the King's Memorial. The monument was built in memory of the third king of Bhutan who reigned for three decades from 1952-1972. This monument is a favorite for Bhutan honeymoon vacationers because of the numerous photo opps it offers. So be sure to bring your camera along on your Bhutan honeymoon. We have made special arrangements for both of you to be photographed together not just at the Memorial but at every attraction you visit during your Bhutan honeymoon tour.
Dupthop Lhakhang and Changankha Monastery
You will next visit Dupthop Lhakhang, a place of spirituality and worship for Bhutanese nuns. Dupthop Lhakhang is among a handful of nunneries in the region and the experience is rather solemn and unique. Watch the Buddhist nuns as they remain engrossed in prayer and meditation.
The Changankha Monastery was built in the fifteenth century AD by Lama Phajo Drugom Zhipo. All the new-born babies of Thimphu and other parts of the country are taken here to receive holy blessings from the chief High Lama.
Bhutan Mini Zoo
You will next go out on a very short visit to the Bhutan Mini Zoo, where you will be greeted by Takin, the national animal of Bhutan. We are absolutely sure that you have never seen this animal before because the Takin is both native and exclusive to this region. The Takin lives only on the Himalayan slopes. Its head looks like that of a goat and the body resembles that of a cow or yak. There are other animals in the zoo that are unique to Bhutan and your tour guide will tell you about them. Great photo opps here!
You will next visit the Trashicho Dzong also known as the Fortress of the Glorious Religion. Initially built in 1641 AD and later remodeled by King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk in 1965, the Dzong is the home of the main secretariat of the Government. The throne of His Majesty, the King of Bhutan, is situated here. The National Assembly Hall is in a modern structure on the other side of the river. During summer, the main monk group led by His Holiness, the Je Khenpo, reside in the Dzong.
Jungshi Handmade Paper Factory
Both of you will surely need to take back lots of presents and mementos to your respective families after your Bhutan honeymoon vacation so the Jungshi Handmade Paper Factory is the perfect stop. Come and see how Bhutan protects its environment through long-term sustainability. Paper products are manufactured from mulberry plant bark called "daphne" in the local language. This factory manufactures a special watermark paper as well as products such as lampshades, envelopes and other objects made of traditional Bhutanese paper. They make great gifts to take home with you and are genuinely unique. It is not just the texture of these handmade paper products that will intrigue you, but also their unique earth tones and natural hews.
After your day of exploring and sightseeing in the nation's capital, you will return to Taj Tashi in good time for dinner and a good night's rest. After all, your next day, like every other day you will spend in Bhutan, is meant to be exciting and full of delights and sensations-precisely what a Bhutan honeymoon is all about.
More Sight-seeing In Thimphu
Textile Museum and Folk Heritage museum
You are all set to depart after breakfast. The Bhutan Textile Museum and the Folk Heritage museum are your first two stops. Learn first-hand about Bhutan's rich cultural traditions, its deeply rooted heritage which spans thousands of years and the Bhutanese way of life.
The two museums were open to the general public in 2001 upon completion. These treasure troves of culture and rich Bhutanese heritage provide rich insights into the Bhutanese ethos. You should take the time to visit not one but both the museums during your stay in Thimphu. Your trip to both museums will take only a few hours. We have scheduled your visit during the morning hours since the museums are less crowded at that time and there is plenty of sunlight to go around.
A wide assortment of colorful, hand-woven textiles and other craft products are available for purchase at the government-run Handicraft Emporium and several smaller craft shops around the town. You can purchase exquisite hand-woven fabric in a million colors and decorations for your living room. After all, you will need new furnishings to make a new start in life and nothing beats Bhutanese furnishings. Your Bhutan honeymoon is the perfect time to think, plan and dream. The agency car will take you around for a leisurely bout of exploration and local transport will never be a matter of concern for the two of you.
The Simtokha Dzong is your next stop. Simtokha Dzong is the oldest and the most secure fortress in Bhutan. It offers you an amazing backdrop to take pictures. Not to worry, there will be plenty of folks on hand to click the two of you together to help you preserve a bundle of memories.
If you are up to it, we will take you to Sangay gang. Enjoy a stunning view of the sun set from Sangay Gang which is your next stop. You will drive down to Sangay Gang View Point which is approximately 2685 meters above sea level. The entire Thimphu Valley is visible from here. This is a spectacular place to take pictures and that's one thing you can say about all of Bhutan for sure.
Enjoy a full-course buffet dinner at Taj Tashi and some little "me" time in the evening. Feel free to go out on your own since Bhutan is a very safe country for everyone including tourists.
The Bhutan Honeymooners drive to Punakha!
Your Bhutan honeymoon vacation package is now in full swing as you check out of Taj Tashi and leave Thimphu for Punakha after breakfast. You will go through the Dochula Pass which is an experience in itself. Situated high among the mountains, the pass is the primary conduit that connects the two points.
Your first destination of the day, the 108 Bhutanese Stupas, are revered by the people of the land as an emblem of religious sanctity. Notice their architectural beauty and the manner in which they have weathered the four seasons over the years. If the weather decides to cooperate, you can admire the glory of the snow-capped Himalayan Ranges from this vantage point.
After the stupas, the two of you will drive to Punakha to visit the Punakha Dzong. Punakha served as the capital of Bhutan until 1955. It continues to remain the winter seat of the Je Khenpo, the Chief Abbot. The city enjoys a temperate climate and is extremely popular with newly wed couples on a Bhutan honeymoon.
The valley of Punakha is considered to be the most fertile agricultural terrain in the country. It offers spectacular views from the Dochu-la pass which you have crossed earlier in the day and is 3,088 m/10,130 ft above sea level on the Thimphu - Punakha highway.
Punakha Dzong is situated near two rivers-- the Pho Chu (Male River) and Mo Chu (Female River.) Even rivers in Bhutan celebrate an eternal never-ending honeymoon and so a Bhutan honeymoon experience is bound to be the perfect honeymoon for you! The Dzong is one of the largest Dzongs in Bhutan. Take the suspension bridge to arrive at the Dzong. Punakha Dzong was initially called Druk Pungthang or Dechen Phodrang (Palace of Great Happiness), for many years until the second king of Bhutan assumed power. Punakha Dzong happened to be the seat of the Government for a long time. The booty seized during the various wars with Tibet are carefully preserved at Punakha Dzong. Punakha continues to serve as the winter residence of Je-Khenpo, the country's spiritual leader. King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk convened the National Assembly here in 1952.
We will next take you on a short and easy evening hike to Chimi Lhakhang, one of Bhutan's most famous monasteries. It was built by Lama Drukpa Kuenley in 15th century AD. It is dedicated to Drukpa Kinley who is also known as the Divine Madman. The spiritual leader inherited the accolade since he revolted against the principles of orthodox Buddhism.
You will be staying at the Royal Living Hotel in Punakha and you will return to your hotel in the evening well in time for a quick session of "us" time serenaded with a little dose of the bubblies. Dinner will also await you at the hotel and will be served to you in true Bhutan honeymoon style!
Punakha - Wangdue - Paro
After a laid back morning breakfast, a short drive to Wangdue takes you to the Wangdue Dzong. It was founded by Zhandrung in 1639 AD and is located on a hill which overlooks the valley. The view leaves absolutely nothing to be desired. Folk lore has it that Bhutan's protective deity, Yeshey Gonpo told Zhabdrug Rimpoche that if he would construct a dzong on this remote ridge, he would be able to rule the nation. The word "Wangdue" means "to bring under one's power."
You can either relax in your hotel in the afternoon or visit the local markets for a quick round of window shopping before you drive to Paro in the evening. Wander around the town at your own pace. Meet the friendly shop owners many of whom speak English and trade stories with them. This is the perfect time to shop for gifts for both families and haggle for the right price.
Once you arrive in Paro, you will check in at Hotel Uma Paro, an elegant and exquisitely appointed five star hotel in Paro. You have two more fun-filled days during your Bhutan honeymoon package.
The Bhutan Honeymoon Couple Explores Paro
Hike to Taktshang Monastery
Your call of the day after a sumptuous breakfast is the Taktshang monastery. It can be called "the Tiger's Lair" when translated. The short and extremely easy trek to the monastery passes through a dense pine forest. You can hear the insects chirp as you pass along the clearly marked and maintained pathway. You will stop at a traditional Bhutanese cafeteria for rest and refreshments royal Bhutanese style. You will then continue the hike till you arrive at the ruins of the ancient Taktshang monastery. This abode of traditional Buddhist religious prayer and worship was built in the 17th century AD. It literally hangs from the edge of a sheer rock cliff that plunges 900 meters into the valley below. According to a legend, Guru Padmasambhava, the Tantric mystic who brought Buddhism to Bhutan, came to Bhutan from India flying on a tiger.
You and your significant other will have Lunch and refreshments at the cafeteria adjacent to the monument. Take in the amazing views of Bhutan's majestic peaks and valleys as you enjoy your meal. If you wish, your tour guide can arrange for a pony for you at a nominal expense. The pony ride is very safe and an experience in itself. You will return to your hotel and if you like, you can surely go out for a quick spin around town and stop by at a restaurant for coffee. Many Bhutan honeymoon couples say that they really enjoy these strolls around the quaint and dainty markets which, in essence, characterize the true spirit of Bhutanese life and culture. We will get you back to your hotel in good time for a full course meal. Cocktails are available at all the three hotels in which you will stay for a very attractive price.
Like all good things, your Bhutan honeymoon vacation will come to an end. We will be sad to see you go but we know you will come back again because Bhutan has more to offer to you. And hopefully, you will bring your family and a few friends with you the next time you arrive. The entire travel team at A1 Bhutan Travel Services Bhutan is standing by to assist you with your hotel check-out and departure formalities. Memories are meant to be made and preserved for posterity and your Bhutan honeymoon package is certainly no exception.