Enjoy a Wild Eastern Bhutan festival tour unique to this ancient Himalayan Kingdom.
28th October to 1st November 2023
Trip Length: 13 Days/12 Nights
Tour Costs: 1 person US $3710, 2 persons US $3570 each, 3 & more US $3150 each.
Jambay Lhakhang is one of 108 Buddhist temples built in the 7th century by the Tibetan king, Songtsen Gampo. Revered as one of the oldest landmarks of the arrival of Buddhism in Bhutan, this temple holds a unique Tshechu or festival. The highlight of this festival is a fire dance that is done to purify sins and augur a good harvest. Naked dance is performed by men and is considered very auspicious.
Day 1: Arrive at Paro
During the flight, on a clear day, you can see breathtaking views of the Himalayas Mountains, including the sacred Jumolhari and Jichu Drake peaks in Bhutan. On arrival, you will be greeted by the representative of Excursion to Himalayas-ETH and transferred to your hotel. After lunch, visit the Ta Dzong, once a fortified lookout tower that is now the National Museum. Then walk down the trail to visit the Rinpung Dzong which houses monastic bodies and center of civil administration. In the evening, you can stroll freely in the town. Overnight hotel in Paro.
Day 2: Hike to Tiger’s Nest Monastery
After breakfast, you will hike to Taktsang or “Tiger’s Nest” Monastery perched precariously on the cliff 900m above the floor of the Paro valley. It is the most famous monastery in Bhutan. It is said that Guru Rinpoche, the great spiritual master, have flown to the site of the monastery from eastern Bhutan on the back of a tigress and meditated here for three months. Lunch would be served in the Cafeteria restaurant on the way. After having explored the monastery, you will hike down to the valley. Overnight hotel in Paro.
Day 3 : Paro – Thimphu
In the morning, you will visit Kichu Monastery the 8th-century old monastery built by the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo to spread Buddhism. Drive for 12 kilometers further to visit Drukgyal Dzong (Bhutan Victory Fort), which was built in 1646 to commemorate Bhutan’s victory over Tibetan invaders during the 1600s. On a clear day, you can see Mount Jumolhari, Bhutan’s second-highest mountain at 7,314 meters. After lunch, drive to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. You will visit the popular Weekend Market where you can see the variety of food of the country, including basket upon basket of fiery chilies, fresh cheese, and mangoes. In addition, many stalls contain Bhutanese handicrafts and household items. This is perhaps a good opportunity for photography and to mingle with locals who come from the nearby villages to sell their farm products. Overnight hotel in Thimphu.
Day 4: Thimphu
After breakfast, you will visit the King’s Memorial Chorten (built-in memory of the third King of Bhutan who reigned from 1952-to 1972), Changgangkha Monastery, the radio tower (for a great view of Thimphu Valley, and the Thimphu Dzong), the zoo, which contains the national animal of Bhutan (the takin) and the nunnery temple. After a relaxing lunch, visit the National Library (which houses ancient manuscripts), the School of Arts and Crafts (also known as the painting school), the traditional paper factory, and the Majestic Tashichodzong. In the evening, you can stroll through Thimphu town. Overnight hotel in Thimphu.
Day 5: Thimphu – Wangdue with an excursion to Punakha
After breakfast, you will drive to Wangdue, with a stop en route for tea at Dochu La Pass (3,100 meters), where on a clear day you can get spectacular views of the Himalayas. Drive downhill through the forests of rhododendron, fir, and hemlock. You will arrive at Punakha after traversing through the rice fields and along the bank of the Punakha River. After lunch, visit Punakha Dzong, which is noteworthy for being one of the most beautiful dzongs in Bhutan. Then drive to Wangdue. On the way back, you will stop at Metshina Village and take a 20-minute walk through the rice fields to Chimi Lakhang, which is a fertility temple dedicated to Divine Madman or Lama Drukpa Kuenley. Receive the blessing from the Lama’s wooden phallus! Overnight hotel in Wangdue.
Day 6: Wangdiphodrang – Trongsa, with an excursion to Gangtey
You will begin the day by driving to Gangtey. You’ll pass through dense forests of oak trees and rhododendrons and arrive at Gangtey village, where you’ll visit Gangtey Gompa, the only Nyingmapa monastery in western Bhutan. From Gangtey, you can see the picturesque Black Mountain range as well as Phobjikha Valley, the winter habitat of the black-necked cranes. From there you’ll head to Trongsa, the ancestral home of the royal family. The route is along a spectacular winding road, crossing 3,300-meter-high Pele La, and you will see yaks grazing on the slopes of dwarf bamboos. On arrival, you can browse through the Trongsa shops and town. Overnight hotel in Trongsa.
Day 7: Trongsa – Bumthang
In the morning you’ll visit Trongsa Dzong, the masterpiece of Bhutanese architecture, and you’ll also see Ta Dzong, the watchtower built to defend this Dzong. Then you’ll proceed to Bumthang, the religious heartland of the nation, with lush valleys and hilly forests. Along the way, you will stop at a yathra (textile weaving) factory, where the yathras are designed with patterns unique to Bumthang, and you can even watch some of the weavers at their looms. The afternoon will be spent sightseeing in the area, including Jakar Dzong, the administrative center of the valley; Kurjey Lhakhang, one of the most sacred places, because Guru Rinpoche left his body imprint on the cave when he was meditating. You can spend the evening strolling through Bumthang town. Overnight hotel in Bumthang.
Day 8: Bumthang
Attend the full-day festival of Jambay Lhakhang. Stay awake till midnight to catch an unusual naked dance, which is considered pious and performed to sanctify the region and augur a good harvest. Overnight at a hotel in Bumthang.
Day 9: Bumthang
Day excursion to Ura Valley. The road to Ura Valley is off the main road, and this enjoyable excursion will provide a nice view of the Jakar Dzong. You’ll make a stop in Ura village for lunch and will have a chance to visit the main temple and explore the village. Ura Village has a medieval look to it because of the cobblestone streets, and the typical clothing of the women includes a sheepskin shawl. On the way back to town, you will be taken to Mebar Tsho (Burning Lake), where some of Guru Rinpoche’s treasures were found in the 15th century by the famous treasure discoverer Pema Lingpa. It’s a good place to meditate. You will also have a chance to tour Tamshing Lhakhang, a treasure house of interesting religious Buddhist paintings. In the evening you can visit local shops. Overnight hotel in Bumthang.
Day 10: Bumthang – to Paro via domestic flight.
The local flight from Bumthang to Paro will take 35 minutes. This short flight gives the best panoramic views of central Bhutan over the Himalayas. Our driver will be there waiting for you at Paro airport. The sightseeing begins at par. Visit Ushering farmhouse and experience the local good and whetstone bath. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 11: Paro to Haa sightseeing
Visit the small haha district of western Bhutan that recently opened for tourism. Visit the monastery and have leisure time at Haa.
Day 12: Haa to Paro via Chele La Pass and Kila Goenpa Hike.
After breakfast, you will begin the excursion to Chele La Pass 3810m. Walking along the high ridges dotted with colorful Buddhist prayer flags will offer you stunning views of Mount Jumolhari and other mountains and valleys below the pass. Have a picnic lunch on the Pass. If you want to be more adventurous, after lunch, you can hike further down the ridges to Kila Goenpa Nunnery, which is nestled in a craggy patch on the mountainside below the pass and perched precariously along the rock face. Walk for a few miles through the coniferous forests to the road head, where your car will be waiting to transfer to Paro. Free time in Paro town. Overnight hotel in Paro.
Day 13: Depart Paro
After early breakfast, drive to the airport for departure.
HOTEL USED FOR THIS TOUR:
Thimphu: Hotel Ariya X 3nights
Paro: Hotel Tashi Namgay Resort X 4nights.
Punakha: Hotel Drupchu X 2 nights.
Trongsa: Hotel Yangkhil Resort X 1 night.
Bumthang: Hotel Swiss Guest House X 3nights
NOTE: we can upgrade your hotel to 5 stars based on the advice of our valued clients upon extra payment.
Bhutan Festival Tour Cost Includes:
a.All Meals [Breakfast /Lunch/Dinner]
b. Accommodation in 3 Star Hotel [Twin Sharing]
c. All transportation within the country including airport transfers.
d. Sustainable Development Fees
e. Entrance fees for Museums and Monuments only
f. Visa Fee of USD 40 per person.
g. Airport tax
j. Domestic one-way fare
The Tour Cost Does Not Include:
* International Airfare.
* Insurance Premiums,
* Payments for service provided on a personal basis
* Cost for any services not mentioned in the “Cost Include head”
* Cost incurred due to mishaps, strikes, political unrest, etc.
* Personal expense in items such as laundry, soft drinks, Camera Charges, Bottle water, incidentals, Portage, Bellboy charges tips, or any other services
Find Bhutan Festival Dates for 2022/2023 CLICK HERE