16.30 – 18.00
option 1: local attractions: culture
Option 2: Local attraction: Nature and culture
Option 3. Local culture
option 1: Economic development, Education and Climate change
Visit site: Local service delivery through government offices, school and Automated Water and Weather Station, Kabisa, Thimphu
Kabisa is roughly 25 minutes- drive from Thimphu along the right bank of Wangchu (River). Kabisa is a village in transition to become a small town. There is a middle secondary school, agriculture extension office, livestock office, Basic Health Unit (hospital) and other amenities cater to the people’s daily public service needs.
There is an ongoing NAPA II Project intervention with the National Center for Hydrology and Meteorology(NCHM), and guests will be demonstrated with first- hand knowledge of the climate information services through the expansion and upgradation of the hydro-met network. The hydro-met monitoring network planned and stablished in 1991 consists of 24 river gauging stations, 90 meteorological stations and 15 flood warning stations. Due to mountainous terrain, require large number of weather monitoring stations are required. Hydro-met data received once in every month from the manual stations is not useful in the context of providing early warning to the public. To have more coverage to get the real picture of weather, climate and water resources the upgradation and expansion of the hydro-met network and the establishment of the National Weather and Flood Warning Center (NWFWC) received top most priority. An early warning system based on accurate weather and hydrological information could help save lives, livelihood and public assets.
At the National level these interventions will help NCHM establish a dynamic science/policy interface for effective decision-making in development and disaster prevention and preparedness.
8.40 AM: Drive to Kabisa
9-11 AM: village tour, school visit, visit government offices, visit Automated Water and Weather Station
Option 2: culture
Hike to Taktshang Monastery
Elevation at the Tiger’s Nest: 3120 m/10,232 ft (elevation gain – 900 m/1700 ft)
Taktsang Lhakhang or the Tiger’s Nest Temple is Bhutan’s most iconic landmark and religious site. The name Taktsang translates to “The Tiger’s Nest”. This temple is one of the most holy sites in the kingdom and clings impossibly to a sheer cliff face 900 hundred meters above the Paro Valley.
It was first built in 1692 at a cave where Guru Rimpoche meditated in the 7th century A.D. Legend states that Guru Rimpoche flew to the site atop the back of a tigress and meditated in the cave for 3 years, 3 months, 3 days and 3 hours to subdue evil demons residing within it. The cave has been considered a sacred site ever since and many famous saints have travelled to meditate in it.
Taktsang Lhakhang is located approximately 10 km north of Paro town at an altitude of 3.120 meters. To arrive at the temple visitors must trek for around 2-3 hours through beautiful, shady pine forests and rhododendrons now of the year. No trip to Bhutan would be complete without a visit to this remarkable heritage site.
9.00 AM: Arrive at Parking Lot/Base
10.30 AM: Arrive at the View Point (1.3 miles, ~ 1 hour-1.5 hours)
11.45 AM : Arrive at the Monastery (0.9 miles, ~1 hour – 1.15 hours)
Visit the monastery and hike back to View Point (Restaurant)
01.00 – 2.00 PM: Lunch and back to Paro (and en route visit Kyichu Monastery based on timing)
Option 3: Nature and Culture
View of the Himalayan ranges and Royal Botanical Park (Biological Corridor)
The Royal Botanical Park is the country’s first nature recreational Park and falls within the Biological Corridor connecting Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park and Jigme Dorji National Park, and forms a crucial part of a long, contiguous hill range that joins China to the north and India to the south. A variety of outdoor opportunities await you in the Royal Botanical Park. Rest and enjoy the view at the Dochu La Pass. Visit the Royal Rhododendron Garden, where you can stroll through a beautiful collection of 46 Bhutanese rhododendron species, The visitor center is right off the highway and provides interpretive services, educational signboards on the local ecosystem, and resting facilities such as snacks and beverages, and a picnic area next to a reflective pond. There are also plenty of day hikes and camping opportunities, which include a scenic hike along the Sinchula-Dochu La ridge or a cultural hike to the local monastery.
Figure 1. The sacred Baritsho Lake in the Park
08.00 to 08.30 AM: Drive to Dochula Pass and Druk Wangyel Chortens
9.15 AM: Trek down along the Ancient Rhododendron Trail
10.15 AM: Arrive at the Royal Botanical Park Precinct and explore nature activities in the Park with lunch by the sacred lake
Afternoon: Drive to Paro/Thimphu and evening at Paro Market
Figure 2. Druk Wangyal Stupas in Dochula
Figure 3. View of the Himalayan ranges
option 4. Thimphu local sightseeing
Visit local attractions
The Kingdom’s capital city is home to approximately 100,000 inhabitants including the Royal family. This bustling little city is the main center of commerce, religion and government in the country.
Thimphu is the most modern city in Bhutan with an abundance of restaurants, internet cafes, nightclubs and shopping centers, however it still retains its’ cultural identity and values amidst the signs of modernization.Thimphu is one of the few towns in Bhutan that have been equipped with ATM banking facilities and is a good place to stock up on some currency.
One of the most curious features of Thimphu is that it is the only capital city in the world that does not use traffic lights. Instead a few major intersections have policemen standing in elaborately decorated booths (small pavilions), directing traffic with exaggerated hand motions. The juxtaposition of ancient tradition and modernity make Thimphu the ideal location for visitors to break away from their tour itinerary and just immerse themselves in the lifestyle of contemporary Bhutanese.
9.00 AM – 12.00 PM: Local sightseeing including;
Tashichhodzong, National Memorial Chorten, Buddha Dodenma Statue, Weekend Vegetable Market, Folk Heritage Museum,
Figure 4. Thimphu City
Figure 5. Tashichhodzong
Figure 6. Weekend Farmers Market