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Paro Tshechu is one of the most popular festivals in Bhutan. Featuring dances performed by trained monks and laymen in amazing masks and costumes, Tshechus (festivals) are one of the best ways to experience the ancient living culture of Bhutan. This tour also takes advantage of the beautiful spring time growth with stunning hikes through the countryside to a Rhododendron Forest in Phobjikha, as well as a visit to the Lamperi a Rhododendron Festival near Dochu La Pass. The sacred sites of Paro, Thimphu and Punakha are also featured
DAY1: Arrive at Paro airport
The flight to Paro is one of the most spectacular mountain flights in the world, with a constantly changing panorama of some of the highest mountains on earth. Our team representatives will receive you at Paro airport. After lunch, enjoy afternoon sightseeing around Paro, including a visit to the Ta Dzong Museum and the 7th Century Kyichu Lhakhang. Overnight in Paro.
DAY2: Paro Taktsang (The Tiger’s Nest)
After breakfast, we will hike to Taktsang Monastery. The walk of approximately 1.5 to 2 hours uphill takes you almost a kilometer above the Paro valley floor (for those who cannot hike we will arrange a horse rides). The view of Taktsang Monastery built on a sheer cliff face, 900 meters above the valley floor is a spectacular sight. Nearby there is a tea house where you can stop for refreshments before returning to Paro for lunch. Overnight in Paro.
DAY3: Paro – Thimphu
Wake up very early at 2.30am and drive to Paro Dzong to witness the Thongdroel ceremony where a large religious painting of Guru Rinpoche made of cloth is unfurled on the side of the Dzong. This event signifies the final day of the annual festival. After some rest back at the hotel, we drive to the capital, Thimphu (1.5 hours). We stop on the way to take in the magnificent Tamchhog Lhakhang. Overnight at hotel in Thimphu.
We will give you a tour of whole Thimphu exploring the most famous tourist spots around, most famous of all being The Memorial Chorten, Buddha point, Farmers’ Market, Folk Heritage Museum, Thimphu Tashichho Dzong and more. Overnight at your hotel in Thimphu.
DAY5: Thimphu – Phobjikha
Drive from Thimphu to Phobjikha (5-6 hrs) over the Dochu-La pass (3,100m), which is marked by 108 little Chortens and prayer flags. On clear weather we can enjoy the view of almost all snow-covered mountains including highest mountain Gangkar Puensum (7740m). We will take a short walk to stretch legs to Chimilhakhang temple. After lunch at Chimilhakhang café, continue our drive crossing over Puntsangchu River at Wangdiphodrang via old town. In Phobjikha we will visit Gangtey monastery before we check into our hotel. Overnight at hotel in Gangtey/Phobjikha.
DAY6: Phobjikha – Punakha (Shasila hike from Phobjikha to Kheleykha)
This hike shortens your driving time towards Wangdue by about one hour. The trail is the migration trail for the Gangteps to the lower valleys in the fall. This beautiful hike starts from Gangtey monastery and continues through Tokha village and slowly upwards through Rhododendron forest. From here, the trail continues downwards through stunning old-growth Rhododendron forest all the way to Phama Hotel in Khelikha on the main Wangdue Phodrang road. From here, it takes one hour to drive back to Gangtey.
While in Punakha, we will visit the Chorten Nebu Temple. Time permitting, we can visit Punakha Dzong, the “Palace of Great Happiness” built in 1637 by the Zhabdrung, the ‘Unifier of Bhutan’ as predicted by the great Guru Rimpoche (Padmasambhava). It is situated at the confluence of the Mo Chu and Pho Chu (Mother and Father Rivers) and is the winter headquarters of the Je Khenpo and hundreds of monks who move en masse from Thimphu to this warmer location.
DAY8: Punakha – Paro
After leaving Punakha, end-route to Paro you enjoy a walk through a forest with temperate vegetation. Arriving at the royal botanical garden, which is 8,800 feet above sea level, you will enjoy Rhododendron festival performed by local people in and around Hongtso and Thinleygang village. Take a short walk around the small lake and you may spot a red panda, one of the rare animals in the Himalayas. Then we continue our drive to Paro. Overnight at a hotel in Paro.
DAY9: Depart Paro
Breakfast in the hotel, then drive to the airport for flight to your onward destination.
hotel_class Minimum of 3 star rated accommodation
restaurant All meals (excluding alcoholic beverages)
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approval Government fee, royalty and surcharges
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