Gateway to the Kingdom’s treasures! Known as the ‘Land of the Thunder Dragon,’ the charming town of Paro is home to Mt. Chumolhari, some of the oldest monasteries and temples in the region, and the country’s only airport. Rinpung Dzong is venue to the ‘Paro Tschu’ and is one of Bhutan’s strongest fortresses.
Amankora lodges have an astonishing effect of genuine harmony of the eco-system & a thriving mosaic of different peoples complimented by the staggering beauty of the landscape amid the supreme greatness of the Himalayan peaks like Jhomolhari! Nestled among glistening conifers, this 24-suite pine forest retreat offers a unique experience.
Gangtey Palace is Bhutan's only palace turned heritage hotel, nestled amid acres of hillside apple orchards on the outskirts of Paro. Past the fortified walls and mythical snow lion statues, make yourself at home in the intimate rooms with heated ensuite facilities.
Enjoy a thrilling demonstration of archery or ‘Dha’, the national sport and an activity that most ‘Drukpas’ or Bhutanese archers love to engage in. Every village has its own archery range. Dha facilitates getting together and socializing among players. An ideal weekend or festival sport, it is also keenly popularized by the Kingdom’s Majesty himself. Using bamboo longbows and arrows, the skill, accuracy and artistry of the many traditional archers is spectacular, especially considering the primitive tools involved. The split bamboo bows or ‘zhu’, have twisted stinging nettle strings and lead-tipped bamboo or reed arrows, topped off with bird feather fletches. Large scale compettitions are normally held at Losar (Bhutanese New Year) but smaller competitions are held year round.
Tea Ceremony at Zhiwa Ling Tea House
Enjoy a wide variety of teas, coffees and other beverages along with delectable traditional snacks and pastries amid Bhutan’s tranquil, mountaneous environs. Enjoy an authentic ritual tea ceremony demonstration in Zhiwa Ling’s very own ‘Tea House’. ‘Suha’, the customary Bhutanese Butter Tea will be ceremoniously prepared in front of you, which is made with a special mixture of tea leaves (‘Jare’), salt and yak butter. This is then served with ‘Zaw’, local roasted butter rice or pastries. The in-house monk performs the tea prayers. The wide-ranging tea menu includes Tshering Ma, Green Oolong, Assam, Darjeeling, Chinese Green, India Green, Camomile, Jasmine, Ginger and various Herbal infused Teas. Alternatively, visit a quaint Bhutanese ‘farm house’, built with mud and stones and without the use of single nail. Have some tea/coffee while interacting with the locals, glimpsing typical village lifestyles.
Dance Performance at Paro
Enjoy a thrilling dance performance in a two hour long private session. Bhutanese masked dances reflect highly complex symbolic understandings of life in a complex universe. The Bhutanese see dance as an extension of their religious and social lives because the movement reflects their deep devotion, compassion, tolerance, and harmonious living.
City Highlights of Paro
Delve deep into the cultural gems of Paro! Start your day at Rinpung Dzong, a 17th century Buddhist monastery and fortress built by Tibetan Buddhist Lama Ngawang Namgyal. Next on your itinerary is the National Museum, where various interesting artifacts of the Bhutanese civilization find pride of place. Here, witness the original marks used in Bhutan’s famous cultural festivals as well the art of preparing statues! Soak in the stunning view from the museum before you depart for Jangtsa Dumtseg Lhakhang – also known as the 3 realm temple, it symbolizes the different stages of rebirth according to Buddhist philosophy. The temple’s three floors represent hell, earth and heaven respectively, enclosed within a chorten-shaped building topped by an unusual white flower. Climb between the different levels via steep ladders to see beautiful displays of Buddhist artwork. Don’t forget to throw a stone in the air at the space for making wishes – you may just have your heart’s desire! (Half Day; Private Activity & Transfer; Fitness level: Moderate as there are many steep ladders to reach the various levels inside Jangtsa Dumtseg Lhakhang. Please wear formal clothes for your visit to the museum.)