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Tour Name

Ura Yakchoe Festival

 

Tour Activities

Culture, Festival & hikes

 

Best Time

Spring Season

 

Duration

11 Days

 

 Ura is a beautiful village set amidst a pristine highland meadow. The village has retained its traditional character and holds its own festival that offers an insight into lives of the rural Bhutanese. A long time ago, an old woman was visited by a lama. This Lama seemed very mysterious and all he asked from the old lady was a glass of water. The old lady being kind as she was, she went to fetch water and when she returned the Lama was nowhere to be found. But there was a sack outside her door steps. She opened the sack out of curiosity and found a statue in the sack. The statue was no ordinary statue, for it was a relic. From that day onwards, the relic has been passed down from one generation to the other and today the same relic is displayed to the public during the festival.


TOUR OUTLINE


Day 1: Arrive Paro
Day 2: Paro-Thimphu
Day 3: Thimphu
Day 4: Thimphu-Wangdue
Day 5: Wangdue-Bumthang
Day 6: Ura Yakchoe Festival
Day 7: Bumthang
Day 8: Bumthang-Punakha
Day 9: Punakha-Paro
Day 10: Hike to Tiger's Nest Monastery
Day 11: Depart Paro

DETAIL ITINERARY

Day 1: Arrive Paro
Drukair flights to Bhutan provide the most fascinating views of Himalayan scenery. During the flight, on a clear day, you can see breathtaking views of the Himalaya Mountains, including the sacred Jumolhari and Jichu Drake peaks in Bhutan. On arrival you will be greeted by our representative and transfer to your hotel. After lunch, visit the Paro Dzong. It was built in 17th century and now houses government offices and religious institutions. Then you will visit Kichu Lhakhang, the oldest temple in the country built by the Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo in 8th century. In the evening you can stroll through the Paro market and town. Overnight hotel in Paro.

Day 2: Paro-Thimphu
After breakfast, you will drive to Thimphu the capital city of Bhutan. Check into your hotel on arrival. After short rest, you will visit the King's Memorial Chorten (built in memory of the third King of Bhutan who reigned from 1952-1972), nunnery temple and School of Arts and Crafts (also known as the painting school). After lunch, you will visit the National Institute of Traditional Medicine, a traditional Bhutanese paper factory and Kuenselphodrang overlooking Thimphu valley where giant Buddha statue is under construction. 169 feet statue is reputed to be the largest bronze Buddha statue in the world. You can also visit the majestic Tashichhodzong, seat of the national government. In the evening, you can stroll through Thimphu city and absorb the lifestyle of the people. Overnight hotel in Thimphu.

Day 3: Thimphu
Morning will be spent hiking to Wangditse Monastery. It is a one-hour walk on a leveled trail amidst pine forests with great view of north Thimphu Valley. On the way, you will also have an opportunity see Takins -- unique national animal that is found only in the Himalayas. After having explored the monastery, you will hike back to Thimphu town. After relaxing lunch, you will visit the busy Weekend Market at the bank of Thimphu River where people from nearby villages come here to sell their farm products. You can stroll through the market to 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. It's fun to wander the aisle, taking in the bustling atmosphere of the market. Perhaps this market scene offers wonderful opportunity for photographs and to mingle with local people. Overnight hotel in Thimphu.

Day 4: Thimphu-Wangdue
After breakfast, enjoy the scenic drive to Wangdue with a stop for tea at the Dochu La pass (10,170 feet), where on a clear day you can get spectacular views of the eight northern Himalayan ranges. From the pass we drive downhill through forests of rhododendron, fir and hemlock. You will arrive in Wangdue after traveling through rice field and along the bank of river. On the way, you will visit Chimi Lhakhang, which is a fertility temple dedicated to the Divine Madman (Lama Drukpa Kuenley). People across the country come to this special temple to get a fertility blessing. If you wish, receive a blessing from the Lama’s wooden phallus! Overnight hotel in Wangdue.

Day 5: Wangdue-Bumthang
After early breakfast you will drive to Bumthang, the cultural heartland of the country. The route is along a spectacular winding road, crossing 10,827-feet-high Pele La pass. At certain times of the year it is possible to see yaks here. You will stop for lunch in Trongsa and afterwards visit the Trongsa Dzong, the masterpiece of Bhutanese architecture. Continuing on to Bumthang, you will pass through lush valleys and hilly forests. Along the way stop at a yathra (textile weaving) factory, where the yathras are designed with patterns unique to Bumthang, and you can watch some of the weavers at their looms. Upon arrival you check into your hotel and enjoy dinner and overnight hotel in Bumthang.

Day 6: Ura Yakchoe Festival
Today you will drive to Ura crossing Ura la pass (3590m). Just before reaching this pass you can get a view of Mount Gangkar Puensum (7541m) to the northeast. Ura is a unique village with clustered of houses giving a medieval look because of the cobblestone streets, and the typical sheepskin shawl that women wear. Enjoy full day of festival dances and celebrations with the people of Ura and nearby villages. Later in the evening, you will drive back to Bumthang. Overnight hotel in Bumthang.

Day 7: Bumthang
Today's sightseeing in Bumthang includes Jakar Dzong, the administrative center of the valley; Jambay Lhakhang, one of the oldest monasteries in Bhutan, dating from the introduction of Buddhism in Bhutan; and Kurjey Lhakhang, one of the most sacred places, because Guru Rinpoche, a great 8th century spiritual master left his body imprint on the cave when he was meditating. From here you will hike through unpaved road to Thangbi valley crossing suspension bridge to visit the Thangbi Lhakhang built in 14th century. After lunch, you will also have a chance to tour Tamshing Lhakhang, a treasure house of interesting religious Buddhist paintings. Overnight hotel in Bumthang.

Day 8: Bumthang-Punakha
You begin our day at the Bumthang market, and then drive to Punakha. Along the way you will visit the typical Bhutanese town of Wangdue with its dramatic Dzong perched on a ridge at the bend of a river. The nearby villages are known for their slate and stone carvings. Overnight hotel in Punakha.

Day 9: Punakha-Paro
In the morning you will visit the Punakha Dzong, which is stunningly situated in between the male and female rivers like an anchored ship. Then drive to Paro via Dochu La Pass. On the way, visit the new Druk

Day 10: Hike to Tiger's Nest Monastery
Wangyal Monastery, which is the only of its kind in the country, with elaborate paintings depicting the lineage of the present monarchy and their visionary works. You will stop in Thimphu for lunch. Later in the afternoon, you will drive to Paro. Overnight hotel in Paro.

After breakfast hike to Taktsang (Tiger's Nest) Monastery, Bhutan's most famous monastery, which stands at 3100m gives you acclimatization for the next day’s trek. The 8th century Spiritual Master, Guru Rinpoche is said to have flown on the back of a tigress to meditate in a cave where Taktsang Monastery now stands. It is perched on the edge of a steep cliff, about 900 meters above Paro Valley. Lunch is served in the Cafeteria Restaurant, located about halfway up on the mountain. After having explored the Monastery hike back to Paro. In the evening you can visit a Bhutanese farmhouse to explore the lifestyle of a Bhutanese farmer. If you wish, enjoy an “ara” a local wine produced by a brewery of wheat or rice. Overnight hotel in Paro.

Day 11: Depart Paro
Early breakfast in the hotel, drive to the airport for flight to onward destination.

ACCOMMODATION


Hotel / Resort