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  • Package Name :- Grand Bhutan Tour with Thimphu Festival
  • Duration :- 13 Days / 12 Nights
  • Trip Difficulty Level :- Easy

Grand Bhutan Tour with Thimphu Festival

Paro l Thimphu l Punakha l Phobjikha l Haa

Grand Bhutan Tour with Thimphu Festival

Trip Length:  13 Days / 12 Nights

Date

Itinerary

Overnight

Sunday, 1st     October 2017

Arrive at Paro. Drive to Thimphu. Sightseeing.

Thimphu

Monday, 2nd  October 2017

Witness Thimphu Festival. Afternoon leisurely hike to Wangditse Temple and Visit Dechenphodrang Monastery.  

Thimphu

Tuesday, 3rd October 2017

Drive to Punakha via Dochula pass and hike in the valley.

Punakha

Wednesday, 4th October 2017

Hike to Khamsung Yuellay stupa and picnic lunch by riverside. Sightseeing

Punakha

Thursday, 5th October 2017

Hike to Chimi Lhakhang and drive to Phobjikha valley. Sightseeing.

Phobjikha

Friday, 6th October 2017

Phobjikha hike and drive to Wangduephodrang

Wangdiphodrang

Saturday, 7th October 2017

Drive to Thimphu and Sightseeing.

Thimphu

Sunday, 8th October 2017

Drive to Haa Valley. Sightseeing.

Haa Valley

Monday, 9th  October 2017

Trek to Damothang/ Riverside camp.

Camping

Tuesday, 10th  October 2017

Trek to Yongto/ Riverside camp.

Camping

Wednesday, 11th  October 2017

Drive to Paro over chelela pass. Sightseeing in Paro

Paro

Thursday, 12th  October 2017

Hike to Taktshang monastery "Tigers Nest".

Paro

Friday, 13th  October 2017

Depart.

 

 

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1/Arrive at Paro. Drive to Thimphu. Sightseeing.

On your flight to Bhutan, you will be treated to a spectacular view of the snowcapped Himalayan Mountains. On arrival at Paro International Airport you will be received by our representatives who will accompany the group throughout the trip. From the air port, then drive for 1Hr 30 Minutes to Thimphu the capital city of Bhutan. The road leads through the Paro valley to the confluence of Paro and Thimphu rivers at chuzom (confluence). Three different styles of chortens adorn the confluence. A short way beyond, on the left, is Tachogang Lhakhang, the temple of the hill of excellent horse. It is a private temple, built in 15th century, as the result of the visit by Balaha, the excellent horse, a manifestation of Chenrezig, the compassionate Buddha. After the narrow, rock lined section of the road opens up as Thimphu approaches, Simtokha Dzong lies enroute. Simtokha means the place of profound tantric teaching. On arrival in Thimphu, check- in to the hotel. Afternoon, visit the Tashichho Dzong. The ‘Fortress of the glorious religion’ houses the throne room of His Majesty the king, the main secretariat building and the central monk body. Its courtyard is open to visitors during the off-office hours. Overnight at hotel.

Day 2/Witness Thimphu Festival. Afternoon leisurely hike to Wangditse Temple and Visit Dechenphodrang Monastery.

Morning we will visit the Trashichhodzong, the fortress of glorious religion where we will witness the festival. During the festival you will see Bhutanese people in their best cloths watch the sacred dance which is performed by monks as well as lay men. The Bhutanese believe that the very act of watching the scared dances helps one to acquire spiritual merit and liberation from worldly woes. After the festival we will hike to Wangditse Temple and after that we will visit Dechenphodrang Monastery meaning "Palace of Great Bliss" is a Buddhist monastery in Thimphu. It is located to the north of the city. The monastery contains a number of important historical Bhutanese artifacts including 12th century paintings. Overnight at hotel.

Bhutan’s Festivals: The Tshechu is a festival in honour of Padmasambhava popularly known under the name of "Guru Rinpoche", the precious teacher. This Indian saint contributed enormously to the diffussion of Tantric Buddhism in the Himalayan regions of Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan etc. around 800 A.D. During the Tshechus (pronounced say-choo), chaams (religious dances) are performed either by monks or by lay people. The dances take place in beautiful monastery courtyards under the brilliant cobalt sky. The Tshechu is a religious festival and it is believed that these dances bring blessings upon the onlookers to instruct them in the teaching of the Buddhist dharma and protect them from evil influences. It is also a yearly social gathering where the people come together to rejoice dressed in all their finery. It is in this way that the festivals become a showcase for Bhutan's highly developed indigenous art of textile weaving.

 

Day 3/Morning drive to Punakha. Sightseeing in Punakha.

Morning we will visit the King's memorable chorten built in 1974 and Kuensel Phodrang where the huge 51m tall bronze statue of Buddha Doedenma commands the entry to Thimphu Valley and offers great views of the Thimphu city. Then we head out of town on a spectacular 3 Hrs drive to Punakha crossing the  Dochu La Pass at 3100mtrs from where you can see the 108 beautiful chortens built by Her Majesty Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuk. From this pass, on a clear day, you can have a superb view of the highest peaks in Bhutan. After a hot lunch at a café atop the pass and time to savor the mountain views, we continue our drive to the Punakha Valley via the tiny village of Thinleygang, the starting point for our afternoon hike of about 2-3 hours to Lobsakha village. Our hike brings us into a serene region of small villages interspersed with rice and wheat fields, and we may see farmers plowing fields with oxen as we hike along the trail. The forests on the mountainsides are home to barking deer, Himalayan  black  bear,  and  wonderful  birdlife,  from  Himalayan barbets to cuckoos. Overnight at Hotel

Day 4/Hike to Khamsum Yuley Namgay Chorten and Punakha Sightseeing.

Drive 7KM from Punakha to Nezigang village and hike to Khamsum yuelley Namgyal Chorten, a shrine built by Her Majesty the Queen, Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuck in 1999. The shrine is perched high on a hill on the opposite bank of the Mo chu river offering superb views of the Punakha valley. The hike is a gradual ascent through cultivated rice fields and little hamlets.  After the hike we would be doing a White water river rafting along mo chu river in the beautiful valley of Punakha with scenic views and opportunity to spot some of the world’s rarest bird species. At the end of the raft we would be organizing a special picnic lunch overlooking the beautiful Punakha Dzong by the river side. After lunch, we will visit the Punakha Dzong, built in 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. It stands majestically at the junction of the two rivers – Pho Chu and Mo Chu (the Male and Female rivers). The Punakha Dzong is an architectural wonder and it has played a prominent role in the civil and religious life of the Kingdom. The official name of Druk Pungthang Dechen Phodrang translates as "the palace of great happiness." Overnight at Hotel.

Day 5/Drive to Phobjikha. Enroute hike to Chimi Lhakhang.

After breakfast we drive to the beautiful Phobjikha valley a glacial valley on the western slopes of the Black    Mountains. The approach to Phobjikha valley is through a forest of Oak and Rhododendron. It is a glacial valley on the western slopes of the Black Mountains. The only Nyingmapa monastry, Gangtey goemba sits prominently on a hill top. The valley is a designated conservation area and borders on the Black Mountain National Park. Because of the large flock of black-necked cranes(Grus nigricollis) that winter here, it is one of the most important wildlife preserves in the country.  Enroute, we stop to take a half-hour walk through mustard fields to Chimi Lhakhang, a monastery and fertility temple dedicated to Lama Drukpa Kuenley, a Tibetan Buddhist saint known popularly as “the divine madman” and considered a folk hero in Bhutan for his unconventional ways. As part of this fertility cult, this temple is frequented by couples wanting children, who go there to be blessed by a large wooden phallus. Related to this religious notion, one finds phallic symbols all over Bhutan, where it represents both fertility and protection. Afternoon sightseeing in Phobjikha visit the The Royal Society for the Protection of Nature (RSPN), Crane Observation & Education Center was established in the Phobjikha Valley in 1996 by Bhutan’s government, with assistance from the World Wildlife Fund. The centre studies the conservation needs of the valley and holds workshops for farmers and students. The rare and endangered black-necked crane occupies a special place in Bhutanese hearts and folklore. Also  visit a local farm house and get a hands on experience with archery using our traditional bow and arrow. Dinner will be organized at the farm house with the option to experience our traditional hot stone bath. Overnight at Hotel.   Overnight at hotel.

Day 6/Morning Sightseeing in Phobjikha. Then drive to Kichu Wangdi.

Morning we will visit the beautiful 17th century Gangtey Goemba and then we will hike along the beautiful Gangtey Nature Trail for approximately 2 hours, we pass through villages, marsh land, potato field, stupas and above all meet with the friendly locals.  After lunch in Gangtey, we drive to Wangdue. Enjoy a leisurely afternoon and the beautiful surroundings of your hotel. Overnight at hotel.

Day 7/Drive to Thimphu and Sightseeing.

A Three-hour drive brings us back to Thimphu, recrossing the magnificent Dochu La Pass at 3100 Mtrs with the 108 stupas. After having lunch at the restaurant on the pass, we continue our drive to Thimphu. In the afternoon we will visit the Takin preserve to see the unique national animal of Bhutan the takin (with a cow's body and a goat's head). Then Visit the busy weekend market where you you see many varieties of local vegetables, fruits being sold at the Centenary Farmers Market. Also visit the paper making factory where the traditional Bhutanese paper is made from Daphne plant using the ancient traditional methods. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 8/Haa Valley and Sightseeing.

Haa Valley is set at an altitude of about 9,000 feet in western Bhutan. Just opened to outsiders in 2001, the Haa region is pristine and holds a wealth of traditional culture. It was for many centuries the center for trade between western Bhutan and the Chumbi Valley of Tibet. The mountain-ringed valley is dotted with fields of millet, barley, potatoes, and wheat. Its farmhouses are beautiful and richly adorned with traditional painted motifs. Three prominent hills dot the valley and are believed by the locals to be the physical manifestations of three very important Buddhist saints. The left-hand hill represents Manjushri (the god of wisdom who holds the flaming sword that cuts the knot of ignorance), the middle one is Chenrizig (the Buddha of compassion, of which the Dalai Lama is the human incarnation), and the right-hand hill is Chana Dorji (the protector god of Bhutan). Collectively they are known as rigsum (three hills).

After lunch at our lodge, we visit Lhakhang Karpo (“temple of the white dove”), a monastery believed to have been built in the 8th century by the Tibetan king, Songtsen Gampo, after he sent two doves (one black and one white) to find a sacred place to build a monastery. Another legend tells how the local nomads erected the temples in a single day—hence the name of the valley, Haa, meaning “sudden.” The Lhakhang Karpo houses around 120 monks and is one of the oldest buildings in Bhutan. Visit the Haa dzong situated in the center of the valley. Overnight at Haa.

Day 9/Haa Camping Trek to Damothang - Riverside camp

At Wangtse village, with our guide and staff set off for our first trekking day. From Wangtse we hike up to a ridge  top then descend gradually to Karsha Chorten, ascending again to reach Kartsho Monastery. After exploring this large monastic complex, we continue with a gradual walk to Damothang meadow at 9,550 feet, where we camp for the night. Our staff prepares the dinner. Tonight we will set up a rustic hot-stone bath for those who wish to enjoy a relaxing soak.Overnight at camp. Total Hiking Time: About 2-3 Hours

 

Day 10/Haa Camping Trek to Yongto / Riverside Camp

From Damothang, we hike gradually up through beautiful rhododendron and pine forests to Motori Ridge for spectacular views across the Haa Valley. From here a gradual descent brings us to Yongto at 8,760 feet, where we camp in a meadow next to the Haa River. Along the river banks here we see a shrine with a prayer flag flying in honor of Chundu, the local protector-deity. In the late afternoon, we walk to Yongto village for an opportunity to meet the locals, perhaps sample some butter tea or the local wine, and hike up above the village to Yongto Gompa, one of the oldest monasteries in Bhutan.  This evening, villagers from Yongto visit us at our camp to share their traditional dances. Overnight at camp. Total Hiking Time: About 2-3 Hours

Day 11/Morning drive to Paro and sightseeing in Paro.

The 2 Hrs winding road from Haa to Paro ascends through pastureland past grazing yaks, before reaching the 3,900m Cheli La Pass. 4KM below the pass towards Paro valley at a turn-off is a hearders’ camp marked by prayer flags. From here hiking trails lead up for 45 minutes to Kila goemba a nunnery, established as a meditation site in the 9th century and reputedly the oldest nunnery in Bhutan. The hike to the nunnery is truly rewarded with a superb view of the Himalayan Mountains and the Paro valley. Driving down into the Paro Valley, the scenery transforms from sub-alpine pasture brilliant with wildflowers, to lush forests of blue pine, cypress, larch, fir and rhododendron. Later visit Ta Dzong (watch tower for Paro Dzong) which was later converted into the National Museum in 1967, and is filled with antique thangkha paintings, textiles, weapons and armour. Also visit the Rinpung Dzong, built in 17th century to defend valley against Tibetan invaders. Overnight at Hotel

 

Day 12/Morning Hike to taktshang.monastery 'Tigers Nest"

In the morning we hike to the famous Tigers lair “Taktshang Lhakhang” Clinging to a black rock face, 900 meters above the valley floor, nestles Taktshang Lhakhang, one of the holiest and the most beauti ful site of Bhutan.  Taktshang, the tiger's lair, acquires its name from the legend of its foundation, when in the 8th Century Guru Rinpoche, widely revered as the second Buddha, arrived from Tibet flying across the mountains on the back of a tigress. He meditated at the site for three months, from where he used the religious cycle of the Kagye to subjugate the Eight Categories of Evil Spirits, and thus converted the region to Buddhism. The hike to the Monastery is a gradual climb through the quiet approach path winds through lush meadow, oak and rhododendron forest, past quaint hamlets, fluttering prayer flags and rotating prayer wheels. The hike takes you about 4-5 hours from the car park for a round trip. Evening at leisure or take a stroll in the beautiful Paro town.

Day 13/Depart from Paro

Depart from Paro International Airport to your destinations.

Accomodation Detail

Thimphu : Namgay Heritage Hotel or Tashi Yoedling

Paro : Tashi Namgay Resort or Hotel Gangtay Palace

Punakha : Hotel Meri Phuensum or Drubchu Resort

Phobjikha : Hotel Dewachen or Yuloke

Wangdiphodrang : Kichu Resort

Haa : Luxury Camping

Note : Please note that the above hotel will be based on availability at the time of confirming your trip. In the event the above hotels are not available, we will provide hotel in similar catagory.

Price Details

High Season(Mar,Apr,May,Sep,Oct & Nov)

  • One Person :  $4080.00
  • Two Person :  $3660.00
  • Three Person :  $3300.00

Lean Season(Dec,Jan,Feb,Jun,Jul & Aug)

  • One Person :  $3480.00
  • Two Person :  $3060.00
  • Three Person :  $2700.00

Cost includes:  

  • Bhutan Government Royalty & Taxes
  • Accommodation in Standard Tourist Hotels
  • All Meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
  • A licensed English-speaking guide
  • An experienced driver with comfortable private vehicle
  • Bhutan visa fees
  • Entrance fees to all museums & monuments
  • Mineral water
  • Evening Tea/Snacks
  • Luxury camping for 2 nights in Haa Valley

Cost does not include:  

  • Drinks and Beverages
  • Tips/Gratitude
  • Personal Insurance
  • Flight ticket To/From Bhutan

Route Map

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