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Western Bhutan Explorer

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Western Bhutan Explorer

Experience western Bhutan's best day walks around Thimphu, Paro and Punakha before finishing the trip in great style with a hike to the brilliant Tiger's Nest monastery.

The Tiger's Nest

Hike to one of the world's most beautiful Buddhist monasteries, built on a sheer cliff at the head of the Paro Valley. It's a strenuous yet gorgeous walk through pine and rhododendron forest. You will be rewarded with panoramic views of this incredible temple, located at 3,100 metres in altitude.

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Punakha Dzong

The beautiful dzong at Punakha sits at the confluence of two great rivers and is reached by a wooden cantilevered bridge. This elegant building displays the very best of Bhutanese architecture, embellished with intricately carved, painted and gilded woodwork. The dzong is the site for the coronation of all of Bhutan's kings and it is the winter residence of the central monk body.

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Paro Dzong

As you fly into Paro you won't be able to miss seeing the enormous dzong that dominates the valley. Paro Dzong is one of the few fortresses to serve as both monastery and home to several local government offices. From the charming wooden bridge over the Paro River follow the sweeping path to the entrance to the dzong. The views over the valley are superb.

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Archery

Check out Bhutan's national obsession. Games of archery are played everywhere! There is plenty of entertainment for the spectator as every hit of the target is followed by both teams singing and dancing to celebrate. You would sing and dance too if you managed to hit the target located some 145 metres away.

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Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten

Enjoy stunning views of the Punakha Valley on this superb walk that takes you to the gorgeous Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten. Climb to the rooftop for wonderful panoramic 360-degree views.

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The Temple of the Divine Madman

This small temple, built in 1499, belies the big reputation of Drukpa Kunley, known affectionately as the Divine Madman. His outrageous and bawdy behaviour caused consternation among the Buddhist hierachy of the day as he challenged the accepted the established order with his 'crazy wisdom'. The numerous phallus shaped souvenirs available to buy in the nearby trinket shops, symbols of fertility and good luck, attest to Drukpa Kunley's 'flaming thunderbolt'.

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