Paro Tshechu is one of the biggest festivals in the country and is held over 5 days. It is full of Bhutanese cultural delight.
On the first day, all mask dances are held inside the courtyard of the Dzongs. On subsequent days, the festival will then be held at the courtyard outside the Dzong. A thongdrel (large tapestry) will be unfurled on the last day of festival. People’s deep faith and devotion make these festivals a special occasion. At the same time, it is also an opportunity to join hundreds even, thousands, of Bhutanese in taking part in an important religious and social occasion that often exudes a carnival atmosphere.
Along with festival you will also be detouring some of the popular destination like Thimphu, Punakha & Paro and visiting the landmark places.
Duration : 06 Nights / 07 Days .
Destination Covered : Thimphu- Punakha- Paro .
Fly to Paro, Bhutan, on Druk Air, the National airline of Bhutan. If you get a seat on the left side of the plane and the weather cooperates, you may have spectacular views of the high peaks of the eastern Himalayas.
After visa formalities at the Paro airport, your guide will meet you and drive you to Thimphu,On the way visit Simtokha Dzong. This is the first ever fort to be built in Bhutan the capital of Bhutan. It is believed to have been built over the demoness that is buried beneath the fort where it now stands. It was built in the year 1629 by the Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel. Later drive to Thimphu which is just 10 minutes drive from here. On arrival check in at the hotel.
Later if you are not tired you can pursue a beautiful short hike through ancient trails from BBS Tower to Wangditse Monasatry.From this hike you can behold the grand view of Thimphu Valley.
The rest of the day is at leisure to unwind and absorb the beauty of this isolated kingdom.
Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu
Today , following breakfast at the hotel , you will enjoy a full day guided tour of the capital city. The morning tour includes a visit to National Library, which houses an extensive collection of Buddhist literature, Institute for Zorig Chusum (commonly known as the Painting School),where a Six-year training course is given in the 13 Traditional Arts and Crafts of Bhutan.
Drive back to the town to have a good lunch at one of the restaurant designated by Bhutan Inbound.
After lunch proceed to your next sightseeing points. It includes a visit to Kuensel Phodrang, called as Buddha Point, where you will be visiting the World's tallest sitting Buddha Statue. Next visit is to the National Memorial Chorten where you can meet locals from various walk of life prostrating or circumabulating the Chorten.
Later in the evening visit the Fort (Tashichho Dzong) or the fortress of the Glorious Religion, and watch the impressive lowering of Flags
Overnight at hotel in Thimphu
Elevation at Punakha :1200 mts.
Following breakfast at the hotel, drive up to Dochula Pass(3,088m/ 10,130 ft) stopping briefly here to take in the view and admire the chorten, mani wall, and prayer flags which decorate the highest point on the road. If skies are clear, the following peaks can be seen form this pass ( left to right) : Masagang(7,158m),Tsendagang(6,960m),Terigang(7,060m),Jejegangphugang(7,158m),Kangphugang(7,170m),Zongphugang(7,060m),a table mountain that dominates the isolated region of Lunana - finally Gangkar Puensum,the highest peak in Bhutan at 7,497m.
Later proceed for sightseeing, It includes the hike to the famous " Chimi Lhankhang "called as “TEMPLE OF FERTILITY”. The hike is mild and it takes you through the valley of Sopsokha and its beautiful terraced paddy fields before reaching the spot.
Later on your way back have lunch at the cafeteria . Spend about an hour before proceeding to Punakha. On arrival at Punakha check in at the hotel.Later visit to Punakha Dzong, the 17th century fortress which has played important role in building up of modern Bhutan followed by visit to local market.
Overnight at the Hotel in Punakha.
Elevation at Gangtey:3000m/9845ft.
After the morning breakfast we will drive towards Sangchen Dorji Lhendrup nunnery which houses around 150nuns. You can enjoy the valley view of Punakha from here.
From here we will head towards Paro
On arrival to Paro, have lunch at the restaurant designated by Bhutan Inbound.
Aterwards we can do some sightseeing which can include visit to Dumtse Lhakhang, The architect of the temple is very rare & it is believed to be built "on the nose of a hill that looks like a frog in order to counteract Sadag (earth-owning spirit) and Lunyen (powerful naga spirit).
Evening you can stroll in Paro town
Overnight at the Hotel in Paro.
Today is a special day for you as you will witness one of the most awaited festival for the Bhutanese.
You will see the local people wearing the traditional dresses called as “Gho” for men and “Kira “ for women with different designs and intricate patterns . The colors of the Mask dancer and the traditional folk music all makes it even more interesting to be there. The clowns called as Atsara ( Achariya for sanskirit meaning the master) will entertain you throughout the day with some objects in their hand and a phallus hanging from the top of their mask ready to fly over the women. Different kinds of dances will be portrayed followed by Traditional folk dance. You can mingle with the people and you can notice yourself not being able to keep your camera away from you.
Later head towards the town to have lunch at one of the restaurant designated by Bhutan Inbound.
If you like we can come back and continue watching the festival. Or choose to other sightseeing.
Overnight at hotel in Paro
Today you will be hiking to one of the famous site called as the Tiger’s Nest ( Taktshang ) perched at 900m above the Paro valley.
It is a pilgrimage site which the Bhutanese try to visit at least once in a lifetime. It is believed that Guru Rinpochhoe flew on the back of a tigress from eastern Bhutan to this site and meditated in a cave here for 3 months, hence its name, ‘Tiger’s Nest’ .
In mid way to Tiger Nest we will come across the cafeteria where we can stop for some tea or coffee .At this point some may be content to snap photos and return to cafeteria or continue your hike to Tiger Nest.
Once here we should be able to enter into the monastery and view the cave where Guru Rinpochhe meditated. (cameras are not allowed inside the monastery). After visiting the monastery we will return the same way back and stop at Cafteria for lunch.
Upon reaching Paro you can soak yourself in tradiional hot stone bath whereby you can rejuvenate your tired muscles.
We will have a farm house dinner tonight. If you like you can also try a hand on local archery.
Overnight at hotel in Paro
Our team will drop you to the airport and bid you farewell.
5.0 / 2 Reviews
I reached out to 4-5 different tour companies while planning our trip. From my first email with Bhutan's Best, I knew this was the place for us. We wanted to plan a customized trip for just my family with a lot of flexibility to stop and go as we choose. I sent over a long list of places I was interested in visiting and within a day, Thinley, the owner sent me a very thoughtful daily itinerary that covered all the spots I wanted to visit with other suggestions in the mix.
Thinley held my hand through every step of the booking process, making it so easy and worry free, from booking places we wanted to stay, getting plane tickets, the visa, and payment. It sounds like a lot, but Thinley pretty much takes care of everything, making this a seamless experience. No stress.
When we arrived in Bhutan, we met with our Guide, Tshendu and personal driver, who made us feel welcome and at home. We had a large comfy van just for the 4 of us (me, my wife, and 2 girls age 9 and 12). Tshendu was a perfect match for our family. He is incredibly kind, patient, peaceful, and knowledgeable. Let me emphasize this last point, Tshendu knew seemingly everything you could know about Bhutan, from the history, culture, crafts, nomads, architecture, symbols, sites, stories, etc. He knew the symbols and stories behind Buddhist paintings, in-depth stories of the monks and monasteries. He even helped us uncovered rare crystals on our hikes to temples, as he's interested in geology. I can tell you that very few people are uncovering crystals on the way to Tiger's Nest!
We saw everything on our itinerary and more. They were wonderful at recommending additional spots. We had plenty of time to explore things we were interested in and move on when we saw enough. We ate at wonderful places, and stayed at some magical spots. They were even flexible enough to change a stay last minute after we arrived and realized it wasn't the home-stay we were expecting. They rebooked a 150 year old farm house homestay with traditional hot stone baths. Amazing! This is the type of flexibility we love.
Lastly, I will say that not all tour operators are the same. We passed several other tours and each time my wife and I said, we lucked out with our tour company. Some guides we came across were quite loud and direct. Our guide was super easy and laid back. He was patient even if my kids started melting down or arguing.
Among other things, we love handicrafts and buying unique treasures and our guide helped us find the best spots for this, along with helping us negotiate prices.
I can't say enough about Bhutan Best. I highly recommend them. We will be back again and next time we hope to see Eastern and Northern Bhutan. We will book again through Bhutan Best/ Aargam.
Great Travel Group . Very happy with the itinerary and the service. Would recommend to one and all. Mr. Phurba n Ms. Chimmi , the guide n driver were very helpful. Kudos to them for a memorable trip.