Thimphu – Punakha/Wangdue – Thimphu
(Distance: 76 km (One Way) / Driving Time: 2.5 hr (One Way) / Altitude of Punakha/Wangdue: 1310 m)
After breakfast drive to Punakha (4298 ft). On the way stop at Dochula Pass at 3150 m to view the higher Himalayas. The pass is approximately 25 kms away from Thimphu and is the highest point between the Thimphu and Punakha/Wangdue Valley. Another attraction is the 108 chorten/stupas (Druk Wangyel Chortens) built close to each other surrounded by numerous colorful prayer flags. Further, one the way to Punakha enjoy the winding roads and the nature at its best. While in Punakha, take a short and easy hike to visit the Chhimi Lhakhang which is also known as the “The Temple of Fertility” and was built by Lama Drukpa Kuenley, “The Devine Mad Man”. Then, visit the Punakha Dzong. Built in 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal the Dzong served as the seat of until the time of the Second King of Bhutan. The Dzong was named Druk Pungthang Dechen Phodrang (Palace of Great Happiness). It is still the winter residence of Je-Khenpo. If time permits, visit the Suspension Bridge, which is one of the longest in Bhutan. In the evening, drive back to Thimphu. Overnight in Thimphu.