Exploring Bhutan in December

Tripoto
20th Dec 2013

Tiger's Lair Temple

Photo of Exploring Bhutan in December by Christina

Paro

Photo of Exploring Bhutan in December by Christina

Phobjikha Valley

Photo of Exploring Bhutan in December by Christina

Punakha

Photo of Exploring Bhutan in December by Christina

Thimphu

Photo of Exploring Bhutan in December by Christina

Bhutan is not the usual December destination. However, this is a superb time to visit this amazing country. While Bhutan is never crowded, in December you'll find even fewer foreigners. The weather is still pleasant, with days in the 60’s and 70’s and nights in the 30’s. This is also the season when black necked cranes return from Tibet, where they breed. These majestic and rare birds are easily seen in the Phobjikha Valley, perhaps the most beautiful of all Bhutan’s valleys. 

Day 1 We flew to Paro, Bhutan and checked into the impressive and beautiful Zhiwa Ling Hotel. We spent the day exploring Paro town.
Photo of Zhiwa Ling Hotel, Paro, Bhutan by Christina
Day 2 After breakfast we visited Paro town, and then drove to Bhutan’s capital Thimphu and checked into the Druk Hotel. We spent the afternoon exploring Thimphu, visiting National Memorial Chorten, paper making factory, and incense making factory. Day 3 We took a 2-3 hour hike to one of the monasteries above Thimphu. We visited the Takin Reserve, where we saw Bhutan’s odd national mammal. In the afternoon we visited the National Textile Museum.
Photo of Thimphu, Bhutan by Christina
Day 4 Early afternoon we drove to Punakha. The 3-hour drive took us over Dochu-La, a 10,300 foot pass with stunning views of the snow covered Himalayas.
Photo of Punakha, Punakha, Bhutan by Christina
Day 5 Punakha is set in subtropical valley, and we started the day with a visit to the Punakha Dzong. This 4-century-old fortress and monastery is considered the most beautiful of all Bhutan’s dzongs. In the afternoon we hiked across dry rice fields to the Temple of the Divine Madman, a beloved 17th century saint.
Photo of Kunzang Zhing Resort, Punakha, Bhutan by Christina
Day 6: We drove 3.5 hours to the Phobjika Valley. This area is unique in that it is a broad glacial valley, and winter home to one of the largest flocks of rare black-necked cranes. We saw both cranes and beautiful mountain scenerimagey during our stay here. We stayed at the Dewachen Lodge.
Photo of Phobjikha Valley, Wangdue Phodrang, Bhutan by Christina
Day 7 We took a short hike in the valley, and then visited the Gangtey Monastery. Under renovation for the past several years, we watched craftsmen at work and met some of the local monks.
Photo of Gangtey Monastery, Wangdue Phodrang, Bhutan by Christina
Day 8 After breakfast we drove back to Thimphu, through the subtropical Punakha Valley and then over the pass at Dochu-La, arriving in Thimphu for a late lunch. Day 9 We drove to Paro in early afternoon and spent the night at Zhiwa Ling Hotel.
Photo of Druk Hotel, Thimphu, Bhutan by Christina
Day 10 After an early breakfast, we drove to the base of the mountain where we began our hike to Tiger’s Nest Monastery. The monastery is the most iconic site in Bhutan, impressively perched near the top of the mountain, the site where Guru Rimpoche arrived atop a flying tigress in 743 C.E. and meditated in a cave for 3 months. Ever since the site has been sacred and the monastery a site all Bhutanese endeavor to visit. We joined many Bhutanese on the trail as they make their pilgrimages to this sacred and lovely site.
Photo of Tiger's Lair Temple, Paro, Bhutan by Christina
1 Comment(s)
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Hi Christina In the last week of December am planning trip to bhutan. This is would be my first visit and this are the places that i would like to visit (in the order) 1)Phuentsholing 2)Thimpu 3)Paro 4)Punakha 5)Haa Any suggestion's ?
Sat 11 07 15, 02:52 · Reply · Report