Paro Spring Festival

Tour Name

Paro Spring Festival

 

Activities

Cultural, Festival, & Trek

 

Best Time

Spring

 

Tour Type

Culture, Festival & Trek

 

Duration

14 Days

 

The Paro Tshechu is the most popular religious festival drawing the largest number of tourists at a single time. The Tshechu offers the opportunity to see and mingle with the Bhutanese as they enjoy themselves in their finest attire after a year's hard work on the farm. The unraveling of one of the biggest Thangka (appliqué religious art) is the highlight of the Tshechu.  For those who are too much into the festival moods can enjoy the full five days of festival along with opportunities to visit families at the farm house and dine with them to share the experiences. For others the last two days should suffice to give the experience. After thoroughly enjoying and obtaining blessing from the display of great Thanka early in the morning  you can proceed to continue your tour. You can combine this festival tour with cultural and a small beautiful trek in Bumthang valley.


TOUR OUTLINE


Day 1: Arrive Paro
Day 2: Paro Festival
Day 3 : Paro-Thimphu
Day 4: Thimphu-Punakha
Day 5: Punakha-Bumthang
Day 6: Bumthang
Day 7: Trek to Ngang Lhakhang
Day 8: Trek to Ugyen Choling
Day 9: Conclusion of Trek at Jakar
Day 10: Bumthang-Wangdue
Day 11: Wangdue-Thimphu
Day 12: Thimphu-Paro
Day 13: Hike to Tiger's Nest Monastery    
Day 14: Depart Paro

DETAIL ITINERARY

Day 1: Arrive Paro
The flight to Paro crosses the Himalayan Mountains, affording spectacular views of the awesome peaks, including the sacred Jumolhari and Jichu Drake peaks in Bhutan. On arrival you will be greeted by Lonely Bhutan Tours guide and transfer to the hotel. After lunch, visit Kichu Lhakhang, the oldest temple in the country. From there you will be taken to the Drugyal Dzong (Bhutan Victory Fort), which was built in 1646 to commemorate Bhutan's victory over Tibetan invaders during the 1600s. On a clear day you can see Mount Jumolhari, Bhutan's second-highest mountain at 7,314meters. Overnight at hotel in Paro.
 
Day 2: Paro Festival
Attend full day Paro festival. In the evening you can explore Paro town. Overnight at hotel in Paro.
 
Day 3 : Paro-Thimphu
If you get up at 3:00am and head to Paro Dzong, you will be able to see the unfurling of the Throngdrel (a giant appliqué art) with the procession by monks and lamas. After lunch, you will drive to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. After lunch, you will visit King's Monument, children’s monastery, Nunnery Temple, School of Arts and Crafts (also known as the painting school), National Institute of Traditional Medicine, Textile Museum and Folk Heritage Museum and National Library. Overnight at hotel in Thimphu.
 
Day 4: Thimphu-Punakha
After breakfast this morning, enjoy the scenic drive to Punakha with a stop for tea at Dochu La (3,100 meters), where on a clear day you can get spectacular views of the Himalayas. From the pass, drive downhill through the forests of rhododendron, fir and hemlock. You will arrive at Punakha after traversing through rice field and along the bank of Punakha River. On the way, you will stop at Metshina Village and take a 20-minute walk through the rice fields to Chimi Lakhang, which is a fertility temple dedicated to the Devine Madman or Lama Drukpa Kuenley. If you wish, receive the blessing from the Lama’s wooden phallus! After lunch, visit the Punakha Dzong, which is stunningly situated in between the male and female rivers like an anchored ship. Overnight at hotel in Punakha.

Day 5: Punakha-Bumthang
After an early breakfast you will drive to Bumthang, the cultural heartland of the country. The route is along a spectacular winding road, crossing 3,300-meter-high Pele La pass, and at certain times of year it's possible to see yaks. You will stop in Trongsa for lunch. After lunch you'll visit Trongsa Dzong, the masterpiece of Bhutanese architecture. Then you'll proceed to Bumthang with lush valleys and hilly forests. Along the way you will stop at a yathra (textile weaving) factory, where the yathras are designed with patterns unique to Bumthang, and you can even watch some of the weavers at their looms. Check into hotel on arrival. Overnight at hotel in Bumthang.

Day 6: 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. You will also have a chance to tour Tamshing Lhakhang, a treasure house of interesting religious Buddhist paintings. In the evening you can visit local shops. Overnight at hotel in Bumthang.
 
Day 7: Trek to Ngang Lhakhang
You will begin trek today with a walk that covers about 12 miles in five to six hours. Your trial follows the Chamkhar Chu, a river known for trout. Stop for lunch at Thangbi Lhakhang. From here the trek enters the Ngang Yul (Land of the Swan), at the centre of which lies the Ngang Lhakhang (Swan Temple). In bygone days, the valley was populated by swans, and hence the name Ngang Yul. You will camp tonight at an altitude of 9500 feet.

Day 8: Trek to Ugyen Choling
Your walk today covers 14 miles in seven to eight hours. You will begin with a gradual climb to Phephe La Pass at an altitude of 11,000 feet, the highest point of the trek route. The trial passes through beautiful forested areas where many stops can be made to enjoy the natural beauty of the place. Along the way, you will visit the Ugyen Choling Palace, which a repository of artifacts of ancient nobility. Your camp tonight is at an altitude of 9300 feet.
 
Day 9: Conclusion of Trek at Jakar
Your trek today covers about 6 miles in two or three hours. The trial follows the Tang Chu, another trout-filled river. On the bank of the river is the Tang Rimochen Lhakhang, marking a sacred place where Guru Rimpoche meditated. The trek continues past the Mebar Tsho (Flaming Lake) to Pangshing, where you are picked up and driven the rest of the way to Jakar where you celebrate your return to civilization with a refreshing shower in hotel accommodations.
 
Day 10: Bumthang-Wangdue
You'll begin the day at the Bumthang market, and then drive to Wangdue. Along the way 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 at hotel in Wangdue.

Day 11: Wangdue-Thimphu
This morning you will return to Thimphu via Dochula Pass. On the way, you will visit the new Druk 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. Check into your hotel on arrival. Later in the evening, you will visit the majestic Tashichhodzong. Overnight at hotel in Thimphu.
 
Day 12: Thimphu-Paro
In the morning, 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. Later in the afternoon, you will drive back to Paro. Overnight at hotel in Paro.
 
Day 13: Hike to Tiger's Nest Monastery    
After breakfast hike to Taktsang (Tiger's Nest) Monastery, which is Bhutan's most famous monastery situated at 3180 meters. Guru Rinpoche (8th century spiritual master) is said to have flown on the back of a tigress to meditate in a cave where Taktsang Monastery now stands. Lunch will be served in the Cafeteria Restaurant, located about halfway up on the mountain. The monastery is perched on the edge of a steep cliff, about 900 meters above Paro Valley. After having explored the monastery, you will hike down to Paro. In the evening you can explore Paro town and visit a traditional farmhouse and, if you wish, enjoy "ara" a local wine produced by a brewery of wheat or rice. Overnight at hotel in Paro.

Day 14: Depart Paro
After breakfast, drive to the airport for departure. Our representative will bid you farewell.

ACCOMMODATION


Hotel / Resort