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Mekong Delta day tour – Cai Rang floating market

Mr. Ninh arranged a wonderful trip for us from Saigon to the Cai Rang floating market. I tried to arrange a day trip to Cai Rang with other more reviewed Mekong delta tour groups with no luck. They would only go to Cai Be in one day, which is not the same as Cai Rang.  All in all, a great tour and just what I wanted!

Mekong Delta day tour – Cai Rang floating market

June 5, 2016

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11 days Bhutan Cultural Cum Hiking Tour Package

Day 01: Arrival at Paro Airport, Paro Sight Seeing. Bhutan is almost a secluded country and your landing to this tiny Thunder Dragon kingdom itself is extraordinary in its own little ways. Once in the nation’s only airline the Drukair, you will have a breathtaking sight of the great Himalayan peaks including the Mount Everest, […]

Day 01 Arrival at Paro Airport, Paro Sight Seeing.

Day 02 Paro to Thimphu.

Day 03 Thimphu Sight Seeing.

Day 04 Thimphu to Punakha.

Day 05 Punakha to Gngtay.

Day 06 Gangtay-Gogona

Day 07 Gogona – Khotokha.

Day 08 Khotokha-Chuzomsa/ Wangdue.

Day 09 Wangdue-Thimphu.

Day 09 Thimphu – Paro Taktsang.

Day 11 Departure.

Day 01: Arrival at Paro Airport, Paro Sight Seeing.

Bhutan is almost a secluded country and your landing to this tiny Thunder Dragon kingdom itself is extraordinary in its own little ways. Once in the nation’s only airline the Drukair, you will have a breathtaking sight of the great Himalayan peaks including the Mount Everest, the highest peak in the world and many other peaks in the Kanchenjunga range. This adventure will be soon followed by the air view of the Paro valley which is adorned with lush green coniferous forests, in the valley of which is located the Paro International Airport, where our representative will welcome you wholeheartedly with a pleasant smile. What will amaze you more is the beautiful meandering of the Pachhu (Paro River) that drains the Paro Valley which in the autumn season are fully in ripe with paddy. Before you could leave the Airport for the most hospitable hotel, the sighting of Paro Dzong (fortress) and Ta Dzong (watchtower) on the hills above the town will distract you to discover the Typical Bhutan in its pure aboriginal form. However, you will have to clear the formalities at the Airport to reach the best hotel, which we will book for your best convenience.

Afternoon:

Now that having seen the external beauty of the Paro Ta Dzong, you would be tempted to see what is inside it; therefore, it will be our moral responsibility to take you to the Ta Dzong (National Museum) formerly a watchtower. The museum collection includes ancient Bhutanese art and artifacts, weapons, coins, stamps and a small natural history collection. Then walking down the hillside trail, we will reach Rinpung Dzong (Paro Dzong), which is situated at a commanding height overlooking Paro valley which was built by great saint Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1646. This dzong now house the offices of the civil administration and the Monastic body of Paro rabdey, thus signifying the true blend of religious and secular heads in the country.

After that, we will visit Kyichu Lhakhang (temple), which is one of the oldest and most sacred temples of the Kingdom as its establishment date back to as early as 7th century.

(Overnight at Paro.)

 

Day 02: Paro – Thimphu

As you travel towards Thimphu, the Capital city of Bhutan, which is an hour drive from Paro, we will visit Tacho Lhakhang, and reaching the capital, we will reach you to your hotel. You will be then escorted to the National Memorial Chorten, built in memory of late 3rd King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk in 1974. Then it will be our pleasure to visit you to Changangkha monastery (Temple), which was built in 12th century, the viewpoint where we can get a bird’s eye view of the capital Thimphu.

(Overnight at Thimphu.)

Day 03: Thimphu Sightseeing.

Visit will also be made to Takin Zoo in Motithang (our National animal), and then visit the Nunnery, which is NGO in the Kingdom. Visits will be made to National library, School of Arts and Crafts, Government Handicrafts Emporium and Traditional Handmade Paper Factory and Goldsmith & Silversmith unit. You can also explore the various handicrafts store in the town.

While in the capital, you will also get an opportunity to visit Tashi Chhoedzong (National Headquarter) and the house of the National Parliament. Towards the evening, you may visit our centenary farmers market where vegetables are sold.

(Overnight at Thimphu).

Day 04: Thimphu –Punakha (77 km 3 hours drive).

Soon after an early breakfast, we will drive you towards the next district, i.e. Punakha. Climbing uphill through beautiful evergreen pine forests, you will soon have an amazing sight of Druk Wangyal Chorten, a series of 108 tiny stupas surrounding a big one and a beautiful temple exhibiting the true cultural identity of the country on top of a pass called Dochu La (3,088m/ 10,130 ft. If the skies are clear, the following peaks can be seen from this pass (left to right); Masagang (7,158m), Tsendagang (6,960m), Teri gang (7,060m ), Jejegangphugang (7,158 m ), Kangphugang (7,170 m ), Zongphugang (7,060 m ), a table mountain that dominates the isolated region of Lunana, and finally Gangkar puensum, the highest peak in Bhutan at 7,497m.

From Dochu-la pass, it is a long, winding descent into Punakha and Wangdue Phodrang valley, which is about 1,700m below the pass. We will stop for lunch at Lobesa. After lunch, you will visit Punakha Dzong, a massive structure built at the junction of two rivers. Punakha was Bhutan’s capital until 1955 and Punakha Dzong still serves as the winter residence of the central monk body. Bhutan’s first King, Ugyen Wangchuck, was crowned there in 1907. The fortress withstood several damages from fire, earthquake and flood over the centuries. The latest flood, in October, 1994, caused great damages to the fortress but miraculously spared its most holy statue, which you can see it today also.

While in Punakha region, you will get this opportunity to visit Chimmi Lhakhang temple built in 1499 by Lama Drukpa Kuenley who was famously known as the “divine madman”. Hearing how he had subdued the demons would simply shock and stun you, so this for a time being, we will keep it as a surprise for you. A wooden effigy of the Lama’s thunderbolt is being preserved in the Lhakhang, which is believed to have certain spiritual powers to restore fertility to childless women. Thus, many childless women visit the temple to get blessings.

A pleasant stay in a hotel in Punakha would add more glamour to your already stunned stay in this kingdom of happiness.

(Overnight at Punakha).

Day 05: Punakha to Gangtay.

From Punakha, you will travel to Gangtey, where Black necked Cranes roost in winter. As you travel from Punakha towards gangtay, you will pass via Wangdue Phodrang, where you can see the remains of historic Wangdue Dzong, which was razed to ground by fire in June 2012. From wangdue, it is a three hour journey to Gangtay. The road pass through villages, fielda dn forests and there is a gradual altitudinal shift from Hot Temperate to cold temperate. You will cross the Lawala pass from where you can have a clear view of the Phobjikha valley and also visible are many high passes of Black Mountain range.

Reaching gangtay, you will be checked into the hotel and will make a visit to gangtay Lhakhang, which is one of the renowned Nyingma Monastry in the country.

If there is time, you may visit a nearby village to see the rural lifestyle.

 (Overnight at Gangtay.)

 

Day 06: Gangtay – Gogona (15 km, 6-7 hours walk).

There are good hiking trails that winds through the fields and forest, and ascends up to Tselela pass through mixed forests of juniper, bamboo, Magnolia, Rhododendrons. The people of Gogona speak a dialect called Bjokha. In Gogona, there is a cheese-manufacturing unit, but visit can be made only if there is time provided you are not tired.

(Overnight Camp at Gogona).

 

Day 07: Gogona – Khotokha (15 km, 6-7 hours hiking).

From Gogona, a gentle climb will reach you to a pass called Shobjula at an elevation of 11,155 ft. From the pass, the descend leads to a wide valley to reach Khotokha valley, which homes Black Necked Crane in winter.

(Overnight camp at Khotokha).

 

 Day 08: Khotokha – Chuzomsa/ Wangdue.

From Khotokha, a short climb will lead you to another pass called Tashi la at an elevation of 9,200ft. The descend from the pass is dry so be sure you fill up your water bottles. Walk down through the forest will finally lead you to the valley drained by Dangchu. From Chuzomsa, our vehicle will pick you up and reach you to the hotel in Wangdue.

(Overnight at Wangdue).

Day 09: Wangdue – Thimphu (77km 2 hrs 45 min drive).

In the morning, we will drive you back to Thimphu crossing the Dochula pass without halt. Thimphu city is one of the fastest developing cities in Asia. However, the uniqueness of Thimphu is that the ever-booming city has not lost its traditional ethics; the buildings bear wonderful traditional paintings and the ancient Bhutanese architectural design is not lost. Traffic is getting heavy, but you will not hear cars honking unnecessarily, nor there is traffic light to regulate the flow of traffic but the policeman do. Reaching Thimphu, we will take you for a visit to Dechenphu Lhakhang, which is built in a most unique Bhutanese style. In the evening, you can take a walk to the main city from Clock tower square.

(Overnight at Thimphu.)

 

Day 10: Thimphu – Paro Taktsang.

After an early breakfast, we will drive back to Paro. While in Bhutan, one of the must visit spectacular site is the Paro Taktshang, popularly known to the outsiders as Tigers Nest. A few minutes’ drive from Paro town towards the north, and perching on the steep cliff is the fortress of flying tigress, and you should be prepared to walk up the steep hills for at least two hours. But it is a general experience that our guest, out of zeal to reach the top and faith in the flying tigress, had never complained of arduous journey and made to the site in ease after crossing the soothing river, and passing through the moss laden woods.

While in the valley, you can experience and feel how close you are to nature and visit some Farm House where you will be able to see the lifestyle of the villagers of Paro. In the afternoon if you are left with some energy you could visit the town for shopping or leisure at Paro, before spending the night in a hotel in Paro, which of course is your last night in Bhutan as well.

(Overnight at Paro.)

Day 11: Departure from paro Airport.

We will see you off at Paro International Airport.

Tashi Delek.

 

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