` Good Karma Travels

Six-day White-Bellied Heron Tour

If we do not have time and wherewithal for the lateral route birding tour, we can take this shorter tour, which is equally fulfilling. The highlight of this tour is the endangered white-bellied heron which can be spotted along the shores of the Phochhu River and the Mochhu River that are home to a large number of migratory water birds.

Day 1
Arrive in Paro
Good Karma Travels will receive you at the Paro airport.
If you arrive in Paro early morning, we will take you to the National Museum of Bhutan, spectacularly located on the hill above the Paro valley, and to Rinpung Dzong (fortress-like structure) after lunch. We will make sure that you have some time to walk around small Paro town, which has a number of handicraft shops that you may like to explore.

Day 2
Chelela Pass
Today, we drive to Chelela Pass early in the morning. It’s the pass between Paro and Haa which commands spectacular views of Mt. Jhomolhari and Jichu Drakye. On the way to Chelela Pass colourfully forested with prayer flags, we may see the Colorful Himalayan Monal, flocks of Blood Pheasants, Kalij Pheasants, Grosbeaks, Bullfinches, and Cutia.
We have the packed breakfast on the pass. After hanging around on the pass for a while, we go back to Paro town, rest there for a while before having lunch.
After lunch, we visit the 7th century Buddhist temple, Kyichu Lhakhang, a few kilometres from the town. The temple is one of the two in Bhutan built by Tibetan dharma king Songtsen Gampo as his grand project of the construction of 108 temples to suppress a supine demoness. Jampa Lhakhang in Bumthang is believed to have been built on the demoness’s left knee and Kyichu on its left foot. The temple is small but very historic in Bhutan. Visiting it will take only a short time, but our guide will take some time explaining to you its historical and religious importance.
After visiting the temple, we drive to Thimphu, some 56 km and 1 and a half hours. We will have some time to explore Thimphu city, particularly handicraft shops.
Dinner and overnight stay at hotel.

Day 3
Halt in Thimphu
Today, we hike to Cheri Monastery in the morning. We may spot the following birds on the way: Spotted Laughing Thrush, Fire-capped Tit, Golden-breasted Fulvetta, Yellow-backed Flower Packer, Maroon-backed Accentor.
We eat packed lunch.
After lunch, we return to Thimphu go around sightseeing in Thimphu. We take you to the bustling Memorial Choeten, the Weaving Centre, the Bhutanese Paper Factory, and Post Office to buy the Bhutanese stamps. Among others, you get bird stamps.
Dinner and overnight stay in hotel in Thimphu.

Day 4
Thimphu to Punakha
Early in the morning, we drive up to Dochula Pass at 3150m. We stop on the pass for a while enjoying the breathtaking mountain views and the grandeur of the 108 stupas that decorate the mountain top.
The following birds can be spotted on our way to Punakha: Gold-naped Finch, Rufous-breasted Bush Robin, Satyr Tragopan, Slender-billed Scimitar Babbler, and Tree Creeper.
We halt for lunch in Lobesa.
In the afternoon, we hike to Khyime Lhakhang, some 25 minutes from the road point. This temple built by Tibetan lama Ngawang Chogyal (1465-1540) is today mostly associated with his cousin, Lama Drukpa Kunley, who was known for his outrageous behaviour aimed at ridiculing the hypocrisy of society. The temple is believed to have been built on the spot where Drukpa Kunley subdued a demoness fleeing in the form of a dog. It is today known as the temple of fertility. The temple is believed to bless childless couples with fertility.
After the visit to the temple, we drive to Punakha to visit the magnificent Punakha Dzong built by the founder of Bhutan, Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, in 1637. Located between the Phochhu (Male River) and Mochhu (Female River), it was the medieval capital of Bhutan. Dinner and overnight stay in hotel in Punakha.

Day 5
Halt in Punakha
Today, we go bird watching along Mochhu side. We may spot White-bellied Heron, White-gorgeted Flycatcher, and Yellow-vented Warbler, among others. These are mostly migratory birds.

Day 6
Punakha to Paro
Today, we drive to Paro via Thimphu. While we halt for lunch in Thimphu, there is some time for shopping. We continue our journey to Paro after lunch. On our last evening, we have some time to stroll around Paro town and the last bit of shopping.

Other Bird Watching Tours

1. Lateral Route Bird watching Tour
3. Eleven-day Birding Tour
3. Sixteen-day Bird Watching