Lyn Taylor Adventure Travel

Bhutan Festival Tour March 2013 Full

The Kingdom of Bhutan... the Land of the Thunder Dragon

Paro Festival tour

Nestled in the Himalayas is the idyllic nation of Bhutan - the world’s only democratic monarchy. Bhutan cautiously emerged from isolation in the 1970’s and has since embraced a policy of strictly controlled tourism and development.

Bhutan is a rare gem. In 2006 approximately only 12,000 tourists were permitted to enter and taste the delights of Bhutan’s wonderful Buddhist culture, marvel at her magnificent scenery, trek through a stunning array of mountains and valleys and to view some of the world’s rarest flora and fauna in a totally unspoiled environment. Bhutan offers sensational opportunities for Eco-friendly visitors and will continue to refrain from indulging in mass-market tourism, although a small increase in visitor numbers has been approved.

Bhutan has resisted globalization and therefore has protected its strong Buddhist culture and way of life. There is little crime, a stable government and exceptionally friendly people. Whether you are a bird-watcher, trekker, weaver, culture seeker or scenery lover… Bhutan is a must see destination, unlike no other.

The country boasts a glorious mosaic of botanical treasures and with its pristine environment these remain largely untouched and in some cases undiscovered. Bhutan is home to an enormous diversity of flora with over 50 species of rhododendrons alone and over 600 species of orchids. Bhutan is famous for the legendary Blue Poppy which blooms only once and then dies. With few people in the world ever setting eyes on it, a mystique surrounds this beautiful species and it is now the national flower of Bhutan.

Join this tour as it winds through breathtaking forests, lush valleys and alpine terrains for a unique journey into the countryside to witness stunning rhododendrums and alpine flowers. Visit monasteries along the way and marvel in the outstanding art and architecture in remote regions.

Geography  

The Kingdom of Bhutan, almost exactly the same size as Switzerland, lies east of the Indian state of Sikkim and west of the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. It is south of Tibetan region of China and north of the Indian states of Assam and West Bengal. Located in the heart of the high Himalayan mountain range, Bhutan is a land-locked country surrounded by mountains in the north and west.

Altitudes in the south range from 300 to 1370 mtrs. and in the more populated central region range from 120 mtrs. in the east around Trashigang to a high of 5190 mtrs over the highest pass. 

This exciting trip takes us to some of the most fascinating places within the majestic Himalayas renowned as The Last Shangri-La . 

As your aircraft approach Bhutan's Paro International Airport sets the scene for what is in store for those lucky tourists in one of the last great frontiers of world travel. Flying into Bhutan is an experience, from the aircraft it is hard to take in the sheer beauty of the scene below. The snow-clad slopes give way to beautiful forests of pine and rhododendron, and just below the tree line, verdant valleys and white water rivers give way to fields of green. There is a sense of timelessness as the plane makes a perfect landing. This is a medieval land, a Kingdom of dreams, dragons, legends and landscapes: of myth and legend: and people so fiercely proud of their history they wear their national dress as a symbol of their loyalty to the land they love. In this fascinating tour you see some of the remains of the Advent of Buddhism in Bhutan and the scenic hills around the valleys.

The architectural style is like non-other on earth and would have to be one of the most popular destinations of tourist today. With it is a land full of warm-hearted proud friendly people who go to unusual lengths to preserve each element of Bhutanese life. Bhutan follows the same principle of integrating traditional Bhutanese hospitality with the most up to date facilities. The hotels, houses and lodges across the country are built and decorated in traditional style and are the best that Bhutan has to offer. Traveler’s today can experience Bhutan by means of the most exciting in-depth group travel programs the travel industry has to offer. There are relatively few visitors to this remarkable land making it a unique and moving experience for the privileged few who venture into this hidden paradise.


Additional Info

March 26 2013
13day/12nights

 

Day 1  Arrive Paro with Druk Air Bhutan's National Air Carrier. The green wall of hills known as dooars, or gateways into Bhutan from the plains climbs continuously higher as the plane flies north towards the Tibet border. Silver rivers thread the valleys, waterfalls plunge down the forested mountain side, and to the north, the great snowcapped peaks of the inner Himalayas rise up into the sky. As the aircraft enters the Paro valley, look down and you will see the Paro Dzong overlooking Paro Chu (river) with Ta Dzong, watch tower, now the national a restaurant for lunch. After lunch we will witness performances at the Paro Festival. Check in hotel late afternoon.  26th March 2013 (BLD),

 

Day  2 Paro - 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. During this day we will also visit other interesting sights in Paro such as the Forte.   (BLD) 27th March Overnight Hotel 

Day 3  Paro – Thimpu After breakfast you will hike to the famous Taktsang Monastery. It’s a good half day hike, but as we have special permission to visit the monastery the tour should take between 4-5 hours. After lunch at a local restaurant we will then drive to Thimpu and check into our hotel.  After a short rest we will visit the Paper Factory.  28th March  (BLD) Overnight Hotel  

Day 4  Thimpu After breakfast our Bhutanese host will join us and we will drive through beautiful scenery to the start of our hike to the Cheri Monastery one of the most popular monastery’s in Bhutan, on the return journey you will be taken to see Bhutan’s National animal the Tarkin.  Return to Thimpu for lunch we will have an in depth sightseeing tour of Thimpu taking in such sights as the Cultural Museum and the School of Fine Arts  O/N Hotel (BLD)  March 29th (BLD) Overnight Hotel

Day 5  Thimpu - Wangduephong  After breakfast we will depart for Wangduephong  and en route we will stop at Dochula Pass (3050 m) where we will have a fascinating view of the snowcapped eastern Himalayan mountain peaks. In the afternoon we will visit Chimi Lhakdang, the divine mad monk’s temple. It is a beautiful walk through a lovely village. The temple can be visited and there is a tree outside which is supposed to have sprouted up after Drukpa Kunley sent a thunderbolt from an adjoining valley to kill some evil spirits who had gathered at the site.  Return to our hotel overnight (BLD) March 30th

Day 6 Wangduephong – Punakha Dzong – Wangduephong   This morning we will have an early departure form our hotel to visit the  sacred Punakha Dzong, a superb example of Bhutanese architecture. Fire, earthquake and floods have inflicted their devastating influence on this Dzong which under the direction of the king has been restored completely. We will then continue to the Dochula Pass were we will enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before travelling to Thimpu then to Paro. Overnight Paro (BLD)  March 31st  

Day 7 Wangduephodrang – Gantey 3 hour drive After breakfast you will depart from the group with your driver and personal guide for your drive to Gantey which will take approximately 4 hours. You will pass through dense forests of oak trees and rhododendrons and on arrival in Gantey village where you will visit Gantey Gompa, the only Nyingmapa monastery in western Bhutan. From Gantey, you can see the picturesque Black Mountain range as well as Phobjika Valley, the winter habitat of the black-necked cranes. In the afternoon we will take a 2 hour  hike in this beautiful valley. Overnight in a hotel in Gangtey.  

April 1st  

 Day 8: Gangtey – Bumthang 5 hours drive This morning you will start early for our 5 hour drive to Bhumtang which is located in the heart of Bhutan, and is one of the Kingdom’s most attractive destinations for hiking, visiting interesting places or just relaxing. On the way we will stop at Trongsa, the ancestral home of the royal family. The route is along a spectacular winding road, crossing 3,300-meter-high Pele La, and at certain times of year it's possible to see yaks. On the way we will visit the Trongsa Dzong, the masterpiece of Bhutanese architecture, and you'll also see Ta Dzong, the watchtower built to defend this dzong. After lunch, you'll proceed to Bumthang, the religious heartland of the nation, with lush valleys and hilly forests. Along the way you will stop at a yethra (textile weaving) factory, where the yethras are designed with patterns unique to Bumthang, and you can even watch some of the weavers at their looms. You can spend the evening relaxing or strolling through Bumthang town. Overnight in Bumthang Guest house 2nd April

Day 9 Bumthang sightseeing After breakfast you will have the morning sightseeing and the afternoon you will have a 3 hour hike along the river. Overnight in Bumthang Guest house. 3rd April  

Day 10 Bumthang –Wangduephodrang  7 hours Today you will depart after breakfast for your return journey to Wangduephodrang . Today is a long drive you will stop on the way at a local restaurant for lunch. Transfer to your hotel. 4th April

 Day 11 Wangduephodrang – Thimphu- Paro This morning you will return to Paro via Thimpu. Plenty of time to have lunch in Thimpu and maybe do some shopping. On your arrival in Paro you will be taken to the old Watchtower which is now a Museum.  . Overnight Hotel Paro. 5th April

Day 12 Paro After breakfast you will hike to the famous Taktsang Monastery. It’s a good half day hike, but as we have special permission to visit the monastery the tour should take between 5-6 hours. The remainder of the day is free you may wish to take a hot stone bath please suggest this to your guide. There will also be time to stroll around the town of Paro. Overnight Hotel Paro 6th April

 

Day 13 End Paro – Transfer to the airport for your onward journey to  Bangkok  7th April

US$3150
Introductory

*All Airport Transfers *Excellent ground transport in Bhutan, *clean comfortable traditional hotels and guest houses twin share accom. *3 first class meals per day whilst in Bhutan *Bottled Mineral Water *Bhutan Visa *All Sightseeing *Entry into all Monasteries *English speaking Bhutanese Guide. *Comprehensive Trip Notes: Entry permit