Day 1: Paro
Thimphu Festival Tour
Day 1: Paro
Arrive at Paro Airport and your tour guide will meet you and take you to your hotel. Stroll around Paro town and visit the impressive Paro Rinpung Dzong, one of the finest examples of Bhutanese architecture. You can also visit Ta Dzong (‘the watch tower’) now housing the National Museum. Night at Paro
Some of the sights might close at the time of festival. However, we will suggest an alternative plan for you. After breakfast visit to the National Memorial Chorten, Gaind Buddha statue, Tazin zoo and Changangkha Temple. After the lunch, visit to Simtokha Dzong (one of the oldest in Bhutan, dating from 629 AD) and National Textile Museum. Night at Thimphu
Day 3: Thimphu Festival
After breakfast you will visit Thimphu festival. Festival is showcase in courtyard of Tashichho Dzong. The Dzong is office of His Majesty the king of Bhutan and other secretaries of Bhutan. on the festival you can able to see people dressed in finest colorful cloths. People come to watch mask dance and get the blessing and also to pray. While the underlying purpose of the festival is spiritual, dances are more often like plays, telling stories where good triumphs over evil, or depicting significant historical events, especially surrounding the life of Bhutan’s patron saint, Padmasambhava (also known as Guru Rinpoche). There is inevitably a great deal of socialising as well. The occasion provides an opportunity for people to relax and forget the daily routine, and to dress in their finest clothes and jewellery, but it is also an occasion for prayer and blessings.
Day 4: Thimphu-Punakha
In the morning drive to the old capital, Punakha, via Dochu La pass at 3050 metres, where we will stop for a hot drink and enjoy spectacular panoramic views of the Eastern Himalaya ranges. In the afternoon visit the imposing Punakha Dzong, and Chimi Lhakhang (Temple of Fertility) which was built in the 15th century by the ‘Divine Madman’ (Lama Drukpa Kuenley).
Day 5: Punakha - Gangtey
Drive to Gangtey (at 3500 metres). Enjoy the views of the immense and remote Phobjikha valley and the black mountain ranges. Visit Gangtey Gompa (one of Bhutan’s oldest monasteries and currently under renovation). Overnight in Gangtey village where the villagers continue to live a traditional Bhutanese rural lifestyle.
Day 6: Gangtey - Paro
Return to Paro via Wangdi, originally considered Bhutan’s secondary capital and commanding an important central position. We will stop for lunch or a drink in Wangdi although sadly the Dzong, built by the Shabdrung in 1638 on an auspicious site where four ravens were seen flying in four different directions, was badly damaged in a fire in June 2012 so there is not much to view until renovations works are complete. After lunch continue on your way. There may be time this afternoon to visit Drukgyel Dzong (‘fortress of victory’), and the sacred Kyichu Lhakhang (temple).
Day 7: Hike to Tiger Nest
Take a day walk to the ‘Tiger’s Nest’, the sacred Taktshang monastery which clings to the rock face 900 metres above the valley floor. Guru Rinpoche is said to have flown to the site riding on a tigress. He subsequently meditated here for three months. You can have lunch at the Taktshang cafeteria from where you get a spectacular view of the monastery.
Day 8 Departure