Commencing our trip in the beautiful alpine valley of Paro, we take time to explore the areas rich cultural history and stunning scenery, including a day walk to the famous Taktsang Monastery. This prepares us for our trek, which winds through old growth forest to the capital of Thimphu, where the annual festival takes place. Bhutan is host to many cultural and religious festivals, and the Thimphu Tshechu is a spectacle of colourful celebration where onlookers are believed to be blessed with good fortune. Taking place over three days, there are a number of culturally and religiously significant dances. It is an exciting time to be in Bhutan, and the local people turn out in their best traditional dress and jewelry for the occasion. At the conclusion of the festival, we return to Paro via the Simtokha Dzong.
For solo travelers wishing to go on a private trip, there will be an extra cost of $400 USD.
You will take a scenic flight to Paro with great views of Mt. Everest, Kanchenjunga, Chomolhari, Tsrim gang and Jichu Drake. On your arrival, Bhutan will welcome you with cool and clean fresh air. You will meet with your guide and be escorted to your hotel. If time prevails you will visit the National museum & Rinpung Dzong.
The Paro valley is truly beautiful, being a location for farming activities, including asparagus, strawberries and shitake mushrooms for export, plus diverse grain and vegetable crops. It is a patchwork of colours delineated by well kept traditional design farm houses that are ornately decorated. All of the slopes surrounding the valley are forested and the hint of mountains beyond is alluring. Simply driving through the willow lined streets is relaxing and uplifting – there is no clutter of people, or traffic or rubbish. Our morning will be spent exploring and appreciating the Tigers Nest Monastery or Taktsang, as it is known in Bhutan, a short drive from our hotel. It takes about two hours to walk up the winding trail steeply through chir pine forest to a tea house and excellent vantage point. Another half hour walk leads almost directly opposite the cliffs where the monastery is set. The monastery is the divine resting place of the Guru Ringpoche, and although it was once accidentally burnt down, it has been reconstructed to it’s former glory. We will return back to our accommodation in the early afternoon.
After an early breakfast, we will drive to Ta-Dzong where we commence our trek to Jele Dzong. It will be a pretty short trekking day, giving you time to relax and enjoy the scenic beauty of the Paro vally. The hike is gradually uphill through pine forest. Camp will be at 3100m, next to a Dzong which was renovated.
The trek begins uphill through huge rhododendron trees. We may encounter yak herders during the winter season. Camp at 3650 meters.
The trail follows the ridge and in clear weather we will gain lovely views of the mountains. The path descends for sometime and our camp will be near a lake abundant with trout at 3600 meters.
We will trek through forests of dwarf rhododendron shrubs passing two lakes. After passing the second lake we will begin to ascend gradually. From the top of the ridge we enjoy the majestic view of Mt.Gangkar Punsum (7520m), the highest mountain in Bhutan. We will keep going for one and half hours before reaching the steep descend to Phajoding camp at 3500 meters. At night you can see the lights of the capital, Thimphu glittering in a bowl shaped valley.
This will be an easiest day of trekking. We will make our way for three hours down hill through pine forest. Upon reaching Motithang, you will be transferred to your hotel and given free time for the rest of the day.
The Thimphu Tsechu is held in the courtyard of the Tashichho Dzong, and the Bhutanese come from all over the country, dressed in their finest clothes to attend. It is believed that those who witness the festival will be brought much luck and their wishes and dreams realised. It is the biggest cultural festival in Bhutan, and we spend the entire day attending. Like most festivals in Bhutan, the Thimphu festival is held to honour Guru Rinpoche, who in the 8th Century contributed to diffusion of Tantric Buddhism in the Himalayan regions. It is held from the 9th to 11th of the 8th month of the Bhutanese Calendar in Autumn. The main attraction of the festival is the many colourful dances, each with a religious and cultural significance.
The morning will be spent attending the festival followed by sightseeing in the afternoon. We will visit the Memorial chorten built in the memory of the late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, 15th century Changangkha monastery, and Motithang mini zoo to see the rare “Takin” national animal of Bhutan. The rest of the day can be spent with free time in the market.
On our way to Paro we will visit the oldest building in Bhutan, the Simtokha Dzong. The afternoon will be spent in Paro with the visit of Taa Dzong and Paro Dzong. Overnight Kichu Resort.
Early morning transfer to the airport and back to Kathmandu.
What is Included
- Flight tickets Kathmandu-Paro-Kathmandu
- All necessary travel permits to Bhutan
- Entrance ticket fees for all the sight spots
- Private transportation in Bhutan
- English speaking local guide
- Accommodation and meals
- Lodging and meals for guide and drivers
- First aid kit
- Porters during the trekking days
- All camping equipement for the camping days
What is Excluded
- Your travel insurance which should cover emergency evacuation
- Your personal expenses like beverages, laundry, phone calls…
- Your personal activities like stone bath or archery
- Tips for the guide and driver (tipping is expected)