Bhutanese people have a special place for the festivals in their heart. In fact, Bhutanese culture itself is intimately distinguished by its spiritual celebrations. On this 9 day trip you will participate in the most interesting Paro (Tshechu) festival and also will be exploring the renowned landmarks of Bhutan like Dzongs, monasteries spread throughout the nation. This short trip also takes you short hiking to some of the magnificent trekking places of the Bhutan including the most beautiful tiger’s Nest monastery, which is supposed to be the essence of the wealthy Bhutanese culture.
DAY 1: Arrival and Sightseeing in Paro (2,250m/7,382ft)
The flight into Bhutan is one of the most interesting Mountain flights in the world. You will be welcomed by the representative of Adventure mission Nepal treks and expedition and transferred to the hotel. After a brief rest and lunch we will head towards the Ta Dzong, the National museum of Bhutan. After the visit to the Museum we take a short walk to the Rinpung Dzong often described as the fort with heaps of Jewel. Khichu Lhakhang is the next place we visit. It is the oldest monument in the small kingdom of Bhutan. By the late afternoon we reach the Drugyal Dzong (Bhutan Victory Fort) built around the mid 17th century in the memory of the Bhutanese victory over the Tibetan invaders.
DAY 2: Paro (Tshechu) Festival
Full day festival observation in Paro.
DAY 3: Paro to Thimphu (2,320m/7,610ft) 54 km, 1 hour: Hike to Tiger’s Nest Monastery
The day starts after a nice breakfast at the hotel. Your guide will come to receive you for the hike to the most popular attraction of Bhutan, the Tiger’s nest also known as Taktsang monastery. According to legend of the monastery, the first Dalai Lama, Guru Padmasamvav flew here on a back of a tigress and meditated her. This monastery situated at 3200 m offers nice view of the Paro valley. We will have lunch at the restaurant that lies half way down. We will go back to the hotel and then drive towards Thimpu in the afternoon.
DAY 4: Sightseeing in Thimphu
In the morning, we visit King's Memorial Chorten (built in memory of the third King of Bhutan who reigned from 1952-1972), nunnery temple, mini zoo to see Takin, the national animal of Bhutan and the radio tower (for a great view of the Thimphu Valley and the Thimphu Dzong). After lunch, we visit other landmarks of Thimpu including the National Institute of Traditional Medicine, Bhutanese traditional painting school, folk heritage museum, the majestic Tashichho Dzong and the traditional paper factory. However, some of the landmarks are closed in the weekends (Saturdays and Sundays). Therefore, if we are in Thimpu during the weekends, we explore the Weekend Market instead. Overnight in Thimpu.
DAY 5: Thimphu to Punakha (1,250m/4,100ft), 2 - 3 hours
We start the day in the morning with a drive to Punakha via Dochu La (3,100 meters). The drive is around 3 hours long and is 77 km from Thimpu. This town derives its name from the river on whose banks it is situated, the Punakha River. We will make brief visit to the fertility temple known as Chimi Lhakhang. You can receive blessings of fertility with a phallus (Symbolic representation of male sexual organ) from the Lama. Upon arrival at Punakha we will have lunch and visit the Punakha Zhong in the evening.
DAY 6: Drive from Punaka to Gangtey (2900m/9280ft): 85 Km, 3 hours
We will start the day with a visit to Wangduephodrang town to see the stone carvings. Our destination today is Gangtey a beautiful settlement with White Mountains and green hills around it. After spending some time at the Gangtey we take a short walk in the Phobjikha village and drive back to Punakha.
DAY 7: Drive from Gangtey to Punakha
In the morning, we visit Gangtey Gompa, the only Nyingmapa Monastery in western Bhutan; and RSPN Education Center. Next, we explore the beautiful Phobjikha valley. The broad valley with its best-known marshland in Bhutan, is popular for its scenic splendour and cultural uniqueness. The valley is rich in faunal biodiversity and has, apart from the globally threatened Black-necked Cranes Grus nigricollis, 13 other globally threatened species. After lunch, we will drive back to Punakha. Overnight in Punakha.
DAY 8: Hike to Khamsum Yulley Namgyel, drive to Paro: 140 km, 3 - 4 hours
A short drive of about 11 km takes us to the starting point of hike to the Khamsum Yulley Namgyal, situated on a hill top with panoramic view of the surrounding areas. After lunch drive to Paro.
DAY 9: Final departure
Final departure from Bhutan.