Bhutan Temple Festivals

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Bhutan Temple Festivals

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Length of trip:

12 days

Approximate price of this trip per person:

from $ 3795

Best travel dates to go:

Oct 06, 2008 to Oct 17, 2008;


Detailed Description of this trip:

Experience the most colorful and dramatic events of Bhutanese culture at the famous Tsechus. You will join an expert Bhutanese guide for a guided visit of the villages, valleys, historic sites and spectacular dzongs. This trip offers an intimate view of life in Bhutan from the religion to home life. Bhutan’s dzongs and monasteries are astounding architectural monuments. We will try to facilitate your access to some of the most amazing of these sacred places. You will meet Bhutanese in all walks of life and join in celebrations as a most welcome guest. Request the Trip Review written by Journeys Director Will Weber about the 2001 trip.



Trip Itinerary:

  • Day 1 - Paro

    Commercial Flight

    Fly on Druk Air from Bangkok to Paro. During this journey, you will experience breathtaking views of the Himalayan ranges including Mt. Jichu Drak and Chomolhari.

    After your arrival in Paro, you will be welcomed by your guide at the airport and then transferred to your hotel, where you will have a briefing by your guide.

    Sightseeing

    You will have the afternoon and evening free to rest or walk around Paro (7,380 ft.) and savor the feeling of a country that seems to be existing in an earlier century. From the dress of the people to the traditional architecture, you know you are in a different kind of place than exists anywhere else on earth.

    Hotel

    You will be amazed at the fresh, clean air and peaceful environment. Overnight at local lodge or hotel.
    Meals: Lunch, Dinner

  • Day 2 - Paro

    Sightseeing

    Spend a full day on a guided tour of Paro including the Drugyel Dzong, now in ruins, built to commemorate the victory of war against the Tibetan invasion.

    Sightseeing

    Afterward, visit Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the holiiest and oldest temples in Bhutan. This temple, built in the seventh century A.D., dates back to the time of the Tibetan King Songsten Gampo.

    Museums

    You also visit the National Museum and the Paro Rimpung Dzong, both very unique and beautiful structures. The museum houses an exceptional collection of art and ceremonial objects.

    Hotel

    Return to your hotel for dinner and overnight.
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Day 3 - Thimphu

    Paro/Thimphu.
    Hiking

    Enjoy a morning hike to Taktsang, the famous "Tiger's Nest" Monastery, a very sacred monastery built in the 17th century in memory of Guru Rimpoche. The monastery is now rebuilt after a disastrous fire in April 1998. This is a fairly vigorous hike and the trail may be a bit muddy. If you are unable to make the hike, we can hire a pony for you to ride, or you can view the monastery from the road below.

    Private Car Service

    After lunch, drive about two hours to Thimphu (7,710 ft.) for your overnight. Thimphu is a charming town that sits in the heart of the Himalays. Thimphus developement is strictly monitored and buildings cannot exceed a certain hight nor can they be designed in anything but the traditional Bhutanese style.
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Day 4 - Thimphu

    Thimphu Festival.
    Performing Arts

    Enjoy the colorful dances of the Thimphu Tsechu Festival. This is a festival in honor of Guru Rimpoche and is highlighted by 12 events of the Buddha Sakyamuni's life. The dances are performed by monks as well as lay people taking on the aspects of wrathful and compassionate deities, heroes, demons, and animals.
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Day 5 - Thimphu

    Thimphu Festival.
    Sightseeing

    Enjoy another day at the festival. Time permitting, visit Thimphu’s local sights such as the National Library, established in 1967 to preserve many ancient Dzongkha and Tibetan texts, Tashicho Dzong, the main Secretariat building, and Zelukha Nunnery.

    Shopping

    A great way to see local life up close is by taking a stroll to the weekend market. Here, the residents of Bhutan gather in Thimphu to sell their vegetables, traditional masks & textiles, incense and jewelry.
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Day 6 - Thimphu

    Thimphu/Trongsa.
    Private Car Service

    In the morning, drive to Trongsa (7,215 ft.), a 7-8 hour drive to the center of Bhutan across the Dochu-La & Peli-La passes from where one can enjoy the sight of the Himalayan Peaks on a clear day and the forests with their many different species of flora.

    Food and Dining

    Along the way, stop for lunch at Chendebje Chorten, a stupa with eyes similar to Buddhanath stupa in Nepal.

    Hotel

    Overnight at a hotel in Trongsa.
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Day 7 - Bumthang

    Trongsa/Bumthang.
    Sightseeing

    After breakfast, visit Ta-Dzong, the most impressive dzong in the kingdom and possibly one of the most aesthetic and magnificent works of traditional Bhutanese architecture. Afterwards, you will drive to Jakar, the major trading center of this region. If you have time, you may wish to walk along the road in the beautiful surroundings for part of the way.

    Private Car Service

    This four-hour drive will be across the Yotong-La Pass at an altitude of 11,685 feet and down the Chumey valley until you finally arrive in Jakar for your overnight.

    Sightseeing

    Enjoy an afternoon of sightseeing in and around the Bumthang area.
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Day 8-9 - Bumthang

    Bumthang Festival.
    Sightseeing

    These two days will be spent visiting sites around Bumthang and witnessing the Bumthang Festival at Tamshing Monastery.

    Performing Arts

    The festival is celebrated in honor of Pema Lingpa and you will have the rare opportunity to watch the mask dances performed by the monks of the monastery. This is a much smaller monastery and festival than the one you saw in Thimphu, but the monk-dancers are spirited and the setting is wonderful.

    Sightseeing

    During your stay, you may also be able to see a thangkha unveiling at another monastery.

    Hotel

    Overnights in a local hotel.
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Day 10 - Punakha

    Bumthang/Punakha.
    Private Car Service

    In the morning you depart for Punakha. It is a long drive, but with spectacular views.
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Day 11 - Paro

    Punakha/Paro.
    Sightseeing

    In the morning, you will visit Punakha Dzong, the second of Bhutan's dzongs, which served as the seat of the government for many years.

    Hotel

    Afterwards, return to Paro for your overnight.
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

  • Day 12 - Paro

    Paro/Onward.

    Transfer to the airport for your flight back to Bangkok.
    Meals: Breakfast

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