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Bhutan Cultural Vacation with Paro Tsechu Festival

offered by supplier M21637 (read about supplier)

Key Information:
Tour Duration: 8 - 14 day(s)
Group Size: 1 - 21 people
Destination(s): Bhutan  
Specialty Categories: Cultural Journey   Festival Tours  
Season: January - December
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: Yes
Minimum Per Person Price: 2250 US Dollar (USD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 3950 US Dollar (USD)

Until Bhutan opened its doors, she is a mysterious and unknown Himalayan kingdom isolated from the rest of the world. Since then, visitors have returned mesmerized by what they saw. The scenery is beautiful, the architecture is awesome and the people are hospitable. Most importantly, the Kingdom has succeeded in preserving its traditional and ancestral way of life.

We have combined this trip to coincide with one of the biggest and colorful Festival in the country – the Paro Tsechu, held from April 7th to 11th. Not only are there brilliant performances, you will witness the revealing of the Thangka. It is believed that the mere sight of the Thangka brings salvation to the beholder.

For nature lovers, this trip also includes an overnight spring trek to Bumdra. Bask in the beautiful surrounding and breathe in the fresh mountain air and camp above Taktshang Monastery, the most popular monasteries in Bhutan built on a sheer cliff face.

Day 1: Fly into Paro / Drive to Thimphu.
Fly into Paro. Upon arrival, take an hour drive to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. Although Thimphu is the capital of Bhutan, it is a village compared to other Asian countries. It is the only capital in the world without any traffic light! A visit to Takin Preserve to see Takin, Bhutan’s national animal, is a favorite along with the Bhutanese archery game (the national sport) at Changlingmithang National Stadium. Further up the valley, take in the view of the majestic Tashicho Dzong, the seat of the government before circumventing the Memorial Chorten. We then move on to the Heritage Folk Museum and Textile Museum. Take a walk along the streets of Thimphu and enjoy some free shopping time in the handicraft emporiums. (Lunch, dinner included).

Day 2: Thimphu/Punakha.
Catch the bustling weekend market which offers the best opportunity to see the colorful vegetables, dairy products and to mix with the locals before we leave Thimphu and drive up the mountain road and over the 3100m Dochu-la (pass). On a clear day, you will be rewarded with a spectacular view of the snow-capped eastern Himalayas and in spring, the blooming rhododendrons cover the mountains with a riot of colors. Gradually descend through varied forest finally emerging into the highly cultivated valley of Punakha. Enjoy a hike to Chimmi Lhakhang, a temple dedicated to Drukpa Kuenley, who as a favorite saint of the Bhutanese people have known affectionately as "the Divine Madman". The temple is on a hillside in the middle of rice fields and has become a pilgrimage site for childless couples. In the afternoon, we visit Punakha Dzong, the district civil and religious center for Punakha. Sitting at the confluence of the Pho-chu (male-river) and Mo-chu (female-river), this is one of the most impressive Dzong in the country and in spring, the blooming jacaranda makes the dzong even more charming. (Breakfast, lunch, dinner included).

Day 3: Punakha.
Basing ourselves in Punakha, we explore the surrounding countryside. We make an excursion to Gangtey Gompa hidden in the beautiful Phobjikha Valley, which is well known as one of the last winter grounds of the black-necked cranes that migrate from the Tibetan plateau from mid-October to March. The cranes are deeply revered as the heavenly bird by the Bhutanese, who believed that they are the reincarnation of the Lamas from Gangtey Goemba, as the locals say, when the cranes arrive; they appear in the sky above the valley and circle over the Goemba before landing in the marshy area of the valley floor. (Breakfast, lunch, dinner included).

Day 4: Punakha / Paro.
Today, we re-cross Dochu La, making a stop in Thimphu to. After lunch, we continue to Paro and check into your hotel. (Breakfast, lunch, dinner included).

Day 5: Paro.
Rise early this morning (pre-dawn) and arrive at the festival ground for the revealing of the Tangka – a religious drawing of Guru Rinpoche more 50m long and several stories high and it’s completely embroidered! (Revealing the Tangka is subject to confirmation with/without prior notice). After a good rest, we visit Paro Museum (Closed on Sun/Mon) and Paro Dzong, which means “the fortress of the heap of jewels.” This is also the venue for the Paro Tsechu, the biggest festival in Bhutan. It’s an outstanding colorful occasion with brilliant performances and locals dressed in the best! We spend most part of the day here, joining the locals in their celebration. From the dzong, we will enjoy a short and easy walk to the Pachu river and cross to the other side over a traditional cantilever (wooden covered) bridge. Just on the outskirts of Paro town, we visit Kyichu Lhakang, one of the oldest temples in Bhutan. (Breakfast, lunch, dinner included).

Day 6: Paro / Bumdra Trek.
This new 2-day moderate to challenging trek on widely varied trails combine a region of remote and incomparable beauty with some of the most sacred Buddhist pilgrimage sites in the country. After breakfast, we'll take a short drive to Sangchen Chokhor, the most important Buddhist College in the Kingdom, where we begin our trek. The trail climbs steadily up the mountainside through thick forests of Himalayan blue pine, oak, and rhododendron to Chochong-Tse, a small 17th-century temple and meditation cave.

From here, a short steep climb brings us to a spectacular panoramic view. Walking along a ridgeline trail, high above the valley floors, we are awed by the solitude and awe-inspiring panoramic views of the surrounding lush valleys and towering peaks. Winding through beautiful forests and meadows of wildflower we approach tree-line and our campsite, Bumdra. Enjoy this idyllic setting and marvel at the panoramic views of the surrounding Himalayas. (Approximate trekking hours: 5-6 hours) (Breakfast, lunch, dinner included)

Day 7: Bumdra Trek / Paro.
This morning, we visit Bumdra Gompa, a small meditation monastery that clings to the side of an immense cliff face, founded by the Tantric Buddhist Yogini Machig Labdron. After the visit, we begin our descent and the landscape changes from the high country of dwarf rhododendron and beautiful vistas, giving way to the low lands of pine and oak. En route, we visit the magical monastery known as Taktshang Monastery, one of the most sacred pilgrimage sites in the entire Himalayan World. Set on a vertical cliff face at 2950 m above sea level, it defies all engineering logic. Check into your hotel this afternoon and enjoy a relaxing hot shower and celebrate the magnificent adventure over an exquisite meal. (Approximate trekking hours: 4-5 hours). (Breakfast, lunch, dinner included).

Day 8: Departure.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight. (Breakfast included).

Member discount:
10% discount for InfoHub customer. Request a free gift certificate.

Airfare is not included in the tour price.

Price Includes:
- All meals and sightseeing
- All hotel and guesthouse accommodations
- All ground transportation
- Entrance fees
- The services of knowledgeable, English-speaking local guides.

Price Excludes:
- International airfare and en-route stopovers
- Travel Insurance
- Luxury hotel accommodation option
- Excess baggage charges
- Personal items like laundry or toiletries
- Beverages (Alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks).

About This Supplier
Location: Bhutan
Joined InfoHub: Oct 2016

M21637 is officially recognized and licensed by Tourism Council of Bhutan. We have been started to create unique trips that will give a much closer looks of our country at the best possible value to promote sustainable tourism in Bhutan. We focus on reducing the environmental impact of travel, preserve the local...

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