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April 26-29,2018 Bumthang Ura Yakchoe Festival

10 Nights 11 Days Bumthang Ura Festival (Ura Yakchoe)

About Ura Yakchoe

The beautiful Valley is home to mostly yak and sheepherders. It is home to one of Bhutan’s largest clustered villages, the most populated village in Ura gewog with about seventy households and over 400 residents. The beautiful place is widely known as the Ura, with intriguing narrow cobble stoned streets and ancient houses.   Women here traditionally cover their head with a white scarf to protect themselves from the cold wind and wear sheepskin shawls behind their back as a cushion as well as to protect their cloth from the loads they carry.

According to myth, one day an old woman was sitting outside her house and had a visitor (saint), asking for a glass of water. The old lady went to get water but when she returned the saint had disappeared leaving behind a sack outside her doorsteps. Filled with curiosity, she slowly opened the sack and found a statue in the sack, a relic, that is now displayed annually during Ura Yakchoe.This relic has been passed on from generation to generation and is still owned by the descendants of the woman.

Festival (Ura Yakchoe) Schedule: May 7-10,2017

10 Nights 11 Days Tour Itinerary

 

Day 01: Arrive Paro, Travel toThimphu (2Hours – 55KM)

The fresh start of your exhilarating adventure begins with the flight to Paro. Amidst the journey, one can see the magnificent mountain scenery encompassing the splendid view of the great Mt. Everest, Mt. Kanchanjunga, Mt. Makalu and other pinnacles in Bhutan such as Mt. Chomolhari, Mt. Jichu Drakay, and Mt. Tsherimgang. After your placid flight touch down at Paro Airport, you will be warmly welcomed by the representative of Advent Bhutan Tours who will be your Bhutan tour guide throughout your entire travel in Bhutan.

Voyage to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan, is an hourly drive journey.  The road runs down through the Paro valley, characterised by the narrow-gauged with high, rocky cliffs on the left. You can stop on the way to visit the magnificent Tamchhog Lhakhang, the hereditary place of worship for Bhutan’s iron bridge builder. Then passage through  Chuzom, is the entrance to the Thimphu valley,  the Confluence of Paro and Thimphu rivers. The road passes along the Simtokha Dzong, (Dzong means ‘castle-monastery’) – It is the oldest Dzong built in 1629 by Zhabdrug Ngawang Namgyal (who unified Bhutan). The Dzong functions as a monastic and as well as administrative centre. Today, it is one of the pre-eminent Dzongkha language (National Language) learning institutes.

On arrival at Thimphu check into your hotel and after breif rest and refreshment visit the following:

The Tashichho Dzong – It is a Buddhist monastery and fortress of the glorious religion on the northern edge of the city of Thimphu, built in 1641 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel. It was rebuilt into the present structure by the late King, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck in the year 1962-1969. It houses the secretariat building, the throne room and the office of the king, and the central monk body.

Then, stroll down the Handicrafts Emporium and local crafts shops, aligned neatly below Norzin Lam, opposite to Nehru Wangchuk Cultural Centre, to witness Bhutanese fine traditional arts. Here you can buy hand-woven textiles, thangkha paintings, masks, ceramics, slate and wood carvings, jewelry, and other eye-catching items made from local materials.

Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Thimphu.

 

Day 02: Day long Thimphu Sightseeing

After breakfast visit the following places:

The Kuenselphodrang (commonly known as Buddha Point) – The Great Buddha Dordenma is sited amidst the ruins of Kuensel Phodrang, the palace of Sherab Wangchuck, the thirteenth Desi Druk, facing towards the Southern approach to Thimphu. It is one of the largest Buddha statues in the world, at 169 feet (52 m) and contains 100,000 8-inch-tall and 25,000 12-inch-tall gilded bronze Buddhas.

The Bhutan Postal Museum (recently launched) -The Bhutan Postal Museum was launched on 7 November 2015 at the General Post Office building. The postal museum portrays the story of the evolution of communication, transportation and postal services in Bhutan’s history.

The National Textile Museum – Art of traditional weaving being kept alive and preserved through exhibition and has a good collection of old textiles which are rich in colours and designs.  The National Textile Museum is located near the National Library of Bhutan. It was established in 2001 and operated by the National Commission for Cultural Affairs. Ever since its establishment, the museum has gained national and international recognition and has generated a important collection of antique textile artefacts.

The Traditional Bhutanese paper making factory– Jungshi Paper Factory was established in November 1990 as an undertaking of the Royal Government of Bhutan.This small factory produces traditional Bhutanese paper handmade from the bark of the daphne bush. The unit now boasts as a major and sole dealer in handmade paper and its products.

The National Library– The National Library of Bhutan (NLB), which houses an enormous collection of ancient Buddhist texts and manuscripts, was established in 1967 under the patronage of Her Majesty the Queen Mother Ashi Phuntso Choden for the purpose of “preservation and promotion of the rich cultural and religious heritage” of Bhutan.

After lunch visit the following:

The Institute of traditional medicine– The Institute of traditional medicine sprawled on a hilltop with the Traditional Arts Center and National Library just below, was established in 1978. This institute collect medicinal plants from far-flung areas of the Bhutanese Himalaya, such as Lingzhi, Laya and Lunana, conducts research on Bhutan’s medicinal plants to identify the ingredients to help develop new health product and then dispense pills, tablets, ointments and medicinal teas to regional health-care units around the country.

The Takin Preserve, which houses the national animal, Takin (The national animal of Bhutan). The reason for declaring Takin as the national animal is attributed to a legend of the animal’s creation (goat’s head and cattle’s body) in Bhutan in the 15th century by Lama Drukpa Kunley. Drive further to Sangaygang to get a bird’s eye view of the beautiful Thimphu valley.

The National Memorial Chorten (stupa), Also known as the Thimphu Chorten, was built in 1974 to honour the third Druk Gyalpo, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck (1928–1972), who is regarded as “The Father of Modern Bhutan”.   Buddhist call the monument “The mind of the Buddha”. It is an honoured landmark in the city with its golden spires and bells, widely known as “the most visible religious landmark in Bhutan”.

In the evening stroll around Thimphu town.

Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Thimphu.

 

Day 03 Thimphu-Punakha-Wangdue (3Hours -76Km)

In the morning, travel to Punakha (2 ½ hrs Journey) via the Dochula pass. The Dochula Pass (3,088m/10,130ft) is a mountain pass, with the breathtaking view of 108 memorial stupas known as “Druk Wangyal Chortens”  built under the initiative of Royal Queen Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuk( the eldest Queen Mother), built in honour of the fourth Druk Gyalpo (head of the state of Bhutan), Jigme Singye Wangchuck.

Journey to Punakha, the old capital of Bhutan and presently the winter residence of the central monk body. It is also known as Pungtang Dewa chhenbi Phodrang (meaning “the palace of great happiness or bliss). It is the second oldest and largest dzong built in 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal (Unifier of Bhutan) to serve as the religious and administrative seat of the region. Visit the Punakha Dzong, majestically sprawl between the Pho Chu (Male River) and the Mo chu (Female River).

After lunch, drive to Metshina Village and take 15 minutes walk through the rice fields to the Devine Madman’s Monastery-Chhimi Lhakhang, famously known for its fertility shrine, where it is believed, one can receive special fertility blessings.

Afterwards, a drive to Wangdue (25 Minutes journey from Punakha). Visit Wangdue Dzong. It was founded by the Zhabdrung in 1638. In the 17th century, Wangdue played a critical role in unifying Shar Chog Khorlo Tsebgay (the western, central and southern regions of the country). It is one of the largest dzongkhags (districts) in the country covering 4,308 sq km and ranges from 800-5800 m in altitude. In 24 June 2012, the dzong caught fire and was burnt down.The renovation is still ongoing and is expected to continue until 2021.

In the evening you may visit Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendup Lhakhang Nunnery and enjoy the beautiful view of Punakha and Wangdue valleys.

Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Punakha/Wangdue.

 

Day 04: Punakha-Trongsa(5 hours-129 km)

Drive to Trongsa. The exotic journey will take you through freshly dense green forests of oak trees and rhododendrons, passing through the village of Nobding and Pele la pass (11,000ft). During the course of your journey, you will be accompanied by the beautiful sceneries of rural Bhutan, giving you a wonderful opportunity for photographing.

On arrival at Trongsa and after the refreshment visit the National Museum which is housed in the Ta Dzong (watch tower). A museum will give you an insight into the aspects of Bhutanese rich culture and heritage of the Kingdom. You can watch the Documentary of Bhutanese history and evolution of monarchy. And also visit the Trongsa Dzong, the most spectacularly sited dzong in Bhutan, with a sheer drop to the south that often just disappear into cloud and mist. It was built by the Zhabdrung in 1644. The dzong is an architectural masterpiece. Trongsa in the Bhutanese Context means “the new village” which comprises temples and retreat of monks. It was founded by the Drukpa lama, Ngagi Wangchuk (Ancestor of Zhabdrung Namgyal), who came from Ralung in 1541, made a small meditation room in 1543.

In the evening visit Trongsa downtown.

Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Trongsa.

 

Day 05: Trongsa-Bumthang(3Hours-68Km)

After breakfast, drive to Bumthang(Jakar). Bumthang valley is composed of four mountain valleys namely, Ura, Chumey, Tang and Choekhor. It is one of the most tourists visited place and a spectacular valley in Bhutan. It is popularly known as Switzerland of Bhutan- the heartland of Bhutan.

Bumthang, which means  “beautiful field” – thang means meadow or levelled place, and bum is an acronym of either bumpa (a vessel for holy water, characterised by its shape and nature of the valley), or purely bum (“girl,” indicating the valley of beautiful girls)

It is the most historic dzongkhag where this holy place is encompassed with several numbers of ancient temples and sacred sites.

Visit Yatha Weaving Center, a cooperative of the National Women Association of Bhutan. Women in central Bhutan are well known for their weaving talents, where the women of the region sell their beautifully produced textiles and Yatha. To explore more on this culture of weaving, you can visit Dorjibi Weaving Centre, which is based about 12 km north of Chamkhar town.

Weaving centre in Bumthang came into existence by the initiatives taken by a group of 33 enterprising women from three local villages. Due to the scarce agricultural fields, and limited income opportunities, this ambitious women, considerately came together and gave a start to weaving group with the financial support from Wangchuck Centennial Park (WCP), which helped generate income and gain self-sufficiency.

Check into hotel.

After lunch, Bumthang sightseeing includes the following:

The Jambay Lhakhang, is said to be one of the 108 temples built by Tibetan King Songtsan Gampo in the 7th century, in his effort to propagate Buddhism. It is told that 180 temples were built in a single day, to pin down evil spirits to earth forever.

The Kujey Lhakhang (Kujey means, “Body imprint”), the sacred place is the final resting place of the cadaver of the first three kings of Bhutan. The temple to the right is the oldest and was built by Minjur Tempa in 1652. It was built in the vicinity of the cave where Guru Rinpoche meditated and left his body imprint. A large tree behind one of the temple buildings is believed to be a terma (hidden treasure) that was left there by Guru Rinpochoe.

The Tamshing Lhakhang, a blessed land circled with numerous temples and monasteries. Tamshing Monastery in Bumthang is well known for its splendid and majestic beauty.It is one of the most historically, spiritually and culturally significant monasteries in Bhutan founded by Pema Lingpa (1450 – 1521), a great saint and spiritual master in both the Bhutanese and Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhist traditions.

The wall painting of the temple is viewed as one of the oldest in Bhutan. The temple houses the iron net made by Pema Lingpa when he was 8 years old, and also a great centre of Bhutanese sacred masked dance introduced by Pema Lingpa himself which has remained as a Vital part of the monastic dance. The fortress is now used as an administrative center of the valley and summer residence of Trongsa monks.

In the evening stroll around the beautiful landscape of the Bumthang Jakar valley.

Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Bumthang.

 

 Day 07: Travel to Ura Valley for Ura Yakchoe (Ura Festival)

After breakfast,  travel to the historic village of Ura. The journey is about 50 kilometres from Jakar the main town in Bumthang district. The beautiful Valley is home to mostly yak and sheepherders. It is home to one of Bhutan’s largest clustered villages, the most populated village in Ura gewog with about seventy households and over 400 residents. The beautiful place is widely known as the Ura, with intriguing narrow cobblestoned streets and ancient houses.   Women here traditionally cover their head with a white scarf to protect themselves from the cold wind and wear sheepskin shawls behind their back as a cushion as well as to protect their cloth from the loads they carry.

You will witness the first day of Ura Yakchoe ( Ura Festival). The Ura Yakchoe Festival is an annual event where the villagers, monks, nuns and folks from the village come together for the Festival where mask and historical folk dances are performed. The Bhutanese pray for a good year, good harvest and good health. During the festival, sacred relic is put on display so that the people can receive blessings from it.

 

According to myth, one day an old woman was sitting outside her house and had a visitor (saint), asking for a glass of water. The old lady went to get water but when she returned the saint had disappeared leaving behind a sack outside her doorsteps. Filled with curiosity, she slowly opened the sack and found a statue in the sack, a relic, that is now displayed annually during Ura Yakchoe.This relic has been passed on from generation to generation and is still owned by the descendants of the woman.

You will enjoy your picnic lunch here surrounded by joyful Bhutanese having lunch with their families. After the festival, you will travel back to Bumthang.

Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Bumthang.

 

Day 08: Bumthang – Wangdue Via Phobjikha valley (11Hours-313Km)

After early breakfast, drive to Gangtey Gompa which is about eleven hours journey (313km). Visit Gangtey Gompa, an important monastery of Nyingmapa school of Buddhism, is one of the main seats of the religious tradition based on Pema Lingpa’s revelations.It is the most tourists visited place during the winter season to see the magnificent black-necked cranes that migrate from far-flung remote parts of Tibet. The spectacular ambience surrounded by hills and mountains are home to wandering shepherds and yak-herders. The view is breathtaking.

In the late afternoon drive back to Wangdue. Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Wangdue.

 

Day 09: Wangdue -Paro ((3Hours21Minutes -127KM)

After breakfast, travel to Paro. After lunch visit the following Places:

The Rimpung Dzong, a Buddhist monastery and fortress which houses the district Monastic Body and government administrative offices of Paro Dzongkhag, a fine example of Bhutanese historic architecture.  It was built in 1645 to defend the valley against Tibetan invaders. From the Dzong, march further down to Nyamai Zampa, a traditional cantilever bridge which lies below the sheer walls of  Rinpung Dzong. Stroll through Rimpung Bridge ( The oldest bridge in Bhutan)

Then visit a farmhouse which gives good insight into the authentic lifestyle of a Bhutanese

In the evening walk around Paro downtown and you may visit local handicraft stores.

Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Paro

 

Day 10: Paro Excursion to Taktsang (3hours 30 minutes Walk)

Drive to Satsam Chorten and then hike to the Taktshang, the Tiger’s Nest. Normally it takes about three and half hours to complete the hike but might take longer depending on your fitness.  Paro Taktsang, also known as the Tiger’s Nest, is an important  Buddhist sacred site which clings to the rock face, 900 metres above the valley floor.To the rear of the Taktsang lies Senge Samdup cave where Guru Rinpoche is said to have meditated for three years, three months, three weeks, three days and three hours in the 8th century. Today, Paro Taktsang is popularly known for the thirteen Taktsang or “tiger lair” caves in which he meditated..it is believed that Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche) flew to Taktshang from Tibet on the back of a tigress from Khenpajong. This place was consecrated to tame the Tiger demon.

Refreshment will be served at View Point Cafeteria en route. After visiting the monastery, descend back to viewpoint cafeteria for lunch and then further descend downhill to the base. Then drive back to the hotel.

In the evening you may relax in the traditional hot stone bath.

Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Paro.

 

Day 11: Paro – Departure

Advent Bhutan Tours & Travels (your local Bhutan travel agent) will see you off at the Paro International Airport for your onward destinations.

End of the Tour

 

Bhutan Trip Cost for the  10 Nights 11 Days  Tour Itinerary

Travel Time

1 pax

2 pax

3 pax & above

High Tourist Season: May ,2017

US$ 2900/person

US$2800/person

US$2500/person


The above Bhutan tour package prices include the following:

  • Bhutan Government Royalty of US$ 65/person/night
  • FIT surcharges of US$40/person/night for a single traveler and US$30/person/night for a double
  • Twin sharing hotel rooms at 3 star hotels
  • All meals ( breakfast, lunch, dinner & light refreshments) with standard menu at 3 star hotels
  • English speaking tour guide service
  • All transfers and excursions by private vehicles
  • All entrance fees to museums and monuments
  • All internal taxes and fees
  • Mineral drinking water

 The above tour prices do not include the following:

  • Single room supplement of US$ 50/room/night (optional)
  • Bhutan Visa fee of US$40/person (must be paid in advance with tour cost)
  • Airfares (optional)
  • Travel insurance (recommended)
  • 4 star and 5 star accommodations and meals (optional)
  • Other personal expenses like overseas calls, laundry, etc

***Thank you & Tashi Delek***

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July 7-8,2018 Haa Grand Summer Festival

7 Nights 8 Days Haa Grand Summer Festival Tour

Brief Background

Haa valley is one of the most picturesque places in the Kingdom, spread over an area of 1706 sq. km. It is known as the valley of Guardian Spirit. The road stretches through the villages of Dogakha, Susana and Jabana composed of typical Bhutanese farmhouses along the way. You will see the spectacular view of Himalayan mountain peaks from Chilela pass. The Haa summer festival is a spirit uplifting celebration of traditional living-culture, nomadic lifestyles, unique Bhutanese cuisine, traditional sports and religious performances.

You will be overwhelmed by the experience getting to know the lives and traditions of Bhutan’s nomadic herders. You can enjoy playing the local sports, sampling the delicious home-cooked cuisine, enjoy listening traditional songs and enjoy watching cultural dances.

Festival Schedule: July 5-6, 2017

7 Nights 8 Days Tour Itinerary

 

Day 01 : Arrive  Paro

Fly into Paro by Drukair flight. After immigration and customs formalities, you will be received by the representative of Advent Bhutan Tours & Travels and driven to your hotel.

After checking into your hotel, you may have your delicious lunch and then visit the following:

The National Museum, housed in the Ta Dzong (watchtower). Ta Dzong- National Museum of Bhutan is a cultural museum in the town of Paro established in 1968. Built on top of the hill above Rinpung Dzong, it was originally used to defend Rinpung Dzong and the Paro valley during times of war.

Here, an intriguing collection of finest samples of Bhutanese art, including masterpieces of bronze statues, paintings, suitable galleries are elegantly displayed on scientific lines, which collectively will lead to the wonderful introduction to the rich culture and heritage of the Kingdom.March further down to Nyamai Zampa, a traditional cantilever bridge which lies below the sheer walls of  Rinpung Dzong. Stroll through Rimpung Bridge ( The oldest bridge in Bhutan)

Make a visit to a farmhouse which gives an insight of authentic lifestyle of a Bhutanese farming family.

In the evening walk around Paro downtown and you may visit local handicraft stores.

Overnight at a hotel in Paro

 

Day 02: Paro-Haa Valley (3Hours-70Km)

After breakfast travel to Haa. Haa valley is one of the most picturesque places in the Kingdom, spread over an area of 1706 sq. km.It is known as the valley of Guardian Spirit.The road stretches through the villages of Dogakha, Susuna and Jabana composed of typical Bhutanese farmhouses along the way.  you will be amazed by the beautiful ambience as you drive along the side of the mountain into the town of Haa. stop for a picnic lunch at Haa before nearing to Lhakhang Karpo (White Temple) and Lhakhang Nagpo (Black Temple). According to the myth, Buddha deities; Jamyang, Chana Dorji and Chenrizig(Jamyang, Chana Dorji and Chenrizig) helped construct the temple thus giving the name to Haa, meaning ‘surprise’.

In the evening explore the beautiful Haa Valley.

Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Haa.

 

Day 03: Witness Haa Summer festival

After breakfast, you will go and witness the Haa Summer Festival.

You will be overwhelmed by the experience getting to know the lives and traditions of Bhutan’s nomadic herders. You can enjoy playing the local sports, sampling the delicious home-cooked cuisine, enjoy listening traditional songs and enjoy watching cultural dances.

You will get to watch very skilled local craftsmen weaving yak hair into their traditional tents, enjoy listening lively songs, dances and sports

overnight at one of the local farmhouses.

 

Day 04: Haa Valley –Thimphu (3Hours-108Km)

After breakfast travel to Thimphu.The road stretches through the villages of Dogakha, Susuna and Jabana composed of typical Bhutanese farmhouses along the way. on the way, visit one of the farmhouses to taste locally brewed liquor called Ara. Then, continue voyage onto Thimphu.Then pass through Chuzom, is the entrance to the Thimphu valley,  the Confluence of Paro and Thimphu rivers. The road passes along the Simtokha Dzong, (Dzong means ‘castle-monastery’) – It is the oldest Dzong built in 1629 by Zhabdrug Ngawang Namgyal (who unified Bhutan). The Dzong functions as a monastic and as well as administrative centre. Today, it is one of the pre-eminent Dzongkha language (National Language) learning institutes. you will reach the confluence of Thimphu and Paro rivers and finally to Thimphu valley.

On arrival at Thimphu check into your hotel and after lunch visit the following:

The Bhutan Postal Museum (recently launched) -The Bhutan Postal Museum was launched on 7 November 2015 at the General Post Office building. The postal museum portrays the story of the evolution of communication, transportation and postal services in Bhutan’s history.

Traditional Bhutanese paper making factory– Jungshi Paper Factory was established in November 1990 as an undertaking of the Royal Government of Bhutan. This small factory produces traditional Bhutanese paper handmade from the bark of the daphne bush. The unit now boasts as a major and sole dealer in handmade paper and its products.

The School of Traditional Painting of Arts and Crafts – The traditional arts is known as zorigchusum (zo = the ability to make; rig = science or craft; chusum = thirteen). These traditional crafts depict hundreds of years of knowledge and ability that has been passed down through generations.The students undergo a six-year course to consummate learning the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan

The Tashichho Dzong – It is a Buddhist monastery and fortress of the glorious religion on the northern edge of the city of Thimphu, built in 1641 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel. It was rebuilt into the present structure by the late King, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck in the year 1962-1969. It houses the secretariat building, the throne room and the office of the king, and the central monk body.

Then, stroll down the  Handicrafts Emporium and local crafts shops, aligned neatly below Norzin Lam, opposite to Nehru Wangchuk Cultural Centre, to witness Bhutanese fine traditional arts. Here you can buy hand-woven textiles, thangka paintings, masks, ceramics, slate and wood carvings, jewellery, and other eye-catching items made from local materials.

Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Thimphu.

 

Day 05:Thimphu-Punakha-Wangdue (3Hours -76Km)

In the morning, travel to Punakha via the Dochula pass. The Dochula Pass (3,088m/10,130ft) is a mountain pass, with the breathtaking view of 108 memorial stupas known as “Druk Wangyal Chortens”  built under the initiative of Royal Queen Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuk( the eldest Queen Mother), built in honour of the fourth Druk Gyalpo (head of the state of Bhutan), Jigme Singye Wangchuck.

Journey to Punakha, the old capital of Bhutan and presently the winter residence of the central monk body. It is also known as Pungtang Dewa chhenbi Phodrang (meaning “the palace of great happiness or bliss). It is the second oldest and largest dzong built in 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal (Unifier of Bhutan) to serve as the religious and administrative seat of the region.

After lunch, drive to Metshina Village and take 15 minutes walk through the rice fields to the Devine Madman’s Monastery-Chhimi Lhakhang, famously known for its fertility shrine, where it is believed, one can receive special fertility blessings.

Afterwards, a drive to Wangdue (25 Minutes journey from Punakha). Visit Wangdue Dzong. It was founded by the Zhabdrung in 1638. In the 17th century, Wangdue played a critical role in unifying Shar Chog Khorlo Tsebgay (the western, central and southern regions of the country). It is one of the largest dzongkhags (districts) in the country covering 4,308 sq km and ranges from 800-5800 m in altitude. In 24 June 2012, the dzong caught fire and was burnt down.The renovation is still ongoing and is expected to continue until 2021.

In the evening you may visit Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendup Lhakhang Nunnery and enjoy the beautiful view of Punakha and Wangdue valleys.

Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Punakha/Wangdue.

 

Day 06: Punakha-Thimphu(3Hours-70km)

After breakfast, Visit Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten(stupa),(also known as Nyizergang Chöten and Punakha Zangdopelri). It was built in 2004 by the Queen Mother Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuck. The establishment of the stupa is to bring peace and firmness in the world. Enjoy the amazing view of Punakha and Wangdue valleys from there

Then travel to Thimphu with lunch en route. On arrival at Thimphu check into your hotel and visit the following:

The Centenary Farmers’ market – Thimphu weekend market is one of the largest domestic markets for Bhutanese farmers. Farmers sell their own produced vegetables, flour, rice, roasted rice, rice flakes, spices, fruits and livestock products (cheese and butter). And also sell wild ferns or bamboo shoots which are collected from forests. People from villages from different cities as well as from town come to this weekend market.

The Takin Preserve, which houses the national animal, Takin (The national animal of Bhutan). The reason for declaring Takin as the national animal is attributed to a legend of the animal’s creation (goat’s head and cattle’s body) in Bhutan in the 15th century by Lama Drukpa Kunley. Drive further to Sangaygang to get a bird’s eye view of the beautiful Thimphu valley.

Witness Archery game, the National sport of Bhutan.

 The Kuenselphodrang (commonly known as Buddha Point) – The Great Buddha Dordenma is sited amidst the ruins of Kuensel Phodrang, the palace of Sherab Wangchuck, the thirteenth Desi Druk, facing towards the Southern approach to Thimphu. It is one of the largest Buddha statues in the world, at 169 feet (52 m) and contains 100,000 8-inch-tall and 25,000 12-inch-tall gilded bronze Buddhas.

The Memorial Chorten– Also known as the Thimphu Chorten, was built in 1974 to honor the third Druk Gyalpo, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck (1928–1972), who is regarded as “The Father of Modern Bhutan”.   Buddhist call the monument “The mind of the Buddha”. It is an honoured landmark in the city with its golden spires and bells, widely known as “the most visible religious landmark in Bhutan”.

Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Thimphu.

 

Day 07: Thimphu-Paro(2Hours-55Km) & Paro Excursion to Taktsang (3hours 30 minutes Walk)

After breakfast, travel to Paro. Drive to Satsam Chorten and then hike to the Taktshang, the Tiger’s Nest. Normally it takes about three and half hours to complete the hike but might take longer depending on your fitness.  Paro Taktsang, also known as the Tiger’s Nest, is an important  Buddhist sacred site which clings to the rock face, 900 metres above the valley floor.To the rear of the Taktsang lies Senge Samdup cave where Guru Rinpoche is said to have meditated for three years, three months, three weeks, three days and three hours in the 8th century. Today, Paro Taktsang is popularly known for the thirteen Taktsang or “tiger lair” caves in which he meditated..it is believed that Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche) flew to Taktshang from Tibet on the back of a tigress from Khenpajong. This place was consecrated to tame the Tiger demon.

Refreshment will be served at View Point Cafeteria en route.After visiting the monastery, descend back to viewpoint cafeteria for lunch and then further descend downhill to the base. Then drive back to the hotel.

On the way visit the Kichu temple– It is one of the 108 temples built in the 7th century by the Tibetan King Songsten Gampo. The Jowo Temple of Kyichu is one of the oldest temples in Bhutan. To overcome a giant demon who prevented the spread of Buddhism, laid on the whole area of Tibet and the Himalayas, King Songtsen Gampo build 108 temples placed on all the points of her body.

In the evening you may relax in the traditional hot stone bath.

Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Paro.

 

Day 8: Paro – Departure

Advent Bhutan Tours & Travels (your local Bhutan travel agent) will see you off at the Paro International Airport for your onward destinations.

 

End of Tour Program

Bhutan Trip Cost for the 7 Nights 8 Days  Tour Itinerary

Travel Time

1 pax

2 pax

3 pax & above

Low Season: July, 2017

US$ 1680/person

US$1610/person

US$1400/person


The above Bhutan tour package prices includes the following:

  • Bhutan Government Royalty of US$ 65/person/night
  • FIT surcharges of US$40/person/night for a single traveler and US$30/person/night for a double
  • Twin sharing hotel rooms at 3 star hotels
  • All meals ( breakfast, lunch, dinner & light refreshments) with standard menu at 3 star hotels
  • English speaking tour guide service
  • All transfers and excursions by private vehicles
  • All entrance fees to museums and monuments
  • All internal taxes and fees
  • Mineral drinking water

The above tour prices do not include the following:

  • Single room supplement of US$ 40/room/night (optional)
  • Bhutan Visa fee of US$40/person (must be paid in advance with tour cost)
  • Airfares (optional)
  • Travel insurance (recommended)
  • 4 star and 5 star accommodations and meals (optional)
  • Other personal expenses like overseas calls, laundry,etc

***Thank you & Tashi Delek***

Read more

Dec 25-28,2017 Trongsa Tshechu Tour

 

10 Nights 11 Days Trongsa Tshechu (festival) Tour. 

Brief Background

The Tshechu(Festival) of Bhutan is held specifically to honour Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) and to celebrates his deeds through the performance of sacred dances. The Trongsa Tshechu festival takes place in Trongsa Choekhor Rabten Dzong. Trongsa Tshechu takes place annually for five days between 8th and 12th of the eleven lunar months. You will see Bhutanese people from all district dressed in their authentic traditional dress (Gho&Kira) to witness this festival. In the first day, you will witness mask dances, religious music played by long trumps, cymbals and flutes. The mask dances include those performed by monks and ones performed by lay people.

Trongsa Dzong, the most spectacularly sited dzong in Bhutan, with a sheer drop to the south that often just disappear into cloud and mist. It was built by the Zhabdrung in 1644. The dzong is an architectural masterpiece

Festival Schedule: January 7-9, 2017

 

9 Night 10 Day Tour Itinerary

Day 01: Arrive Paro, Travel to Thimphu (2Hours – 55KM)

Your exciting journey into the peaceful land of Bhutan begins with a flight to Paro. You may enjoy the splendid view of the great Mt. Everest, Mt. Kanchanjunga, Mt. Makalu and other pinnacles in Bhutan such as Mt. Chomolhari, Mt. Jichu Drakay, and Mt. Tsherimgang. After your placid flight touch down at Paro Airport, you will be warmly welcomed by the representative of Advent Bhutan Tours who will be your Bhutan tour guide throughout your entire travel in Bhutan.

Voyage to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan, is an hourly drive journey.  The road runs down through the Paro valley, characterised by the narrow-gauged with high, rocky cliffs on the left. You can stop on the way to visit the magnificent Tamchhog Lhakhang, the hereditary place of worship for Bhutan’s iron bridge builder. Then passage through  Chuzom, is the entrance to the Thimphu valley,  the Confluence of Paro and Thimphu rivers. The road passes along the Simtokha Dzong, (Dzong means ‘castle-monastery’) – It is the oldest Dzong built in 1629 by Zhabdrug Ngawang Namgyal (who unified Bhutan). The Dzong functions as a monastic and as well as administrative centre. Today, it is one of the pre-eminent Dzongkha language (National Language) learning institutes.

On arrival at Thimphu check into your hotel and after breif rest and refreshment visit the following:

 

The Tashichho Dzong – It is a Buddhist monastery and fortress of the glorious religion on the northern edge of the city of Thimphu, built in 1641 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel. It was rebuilt into the present structure by the late King, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck in the year 1962-1969. It houses the secretariat building, the throne room and the office of the king, and the central monk body.

Then, stroll down the  Handicrafts Emporium and local crafts shops, aligned neatly below Norzin Lam, opposite to Nehru Wangchuk Cultural Centre, to witness Bhutanese fine traditional arts. Here you can buy hand-woven textiles, thangkha paintings, masks, ceramics, slate and wood carvings, jewelry, and other eye-catching items made from local materials.

Dinner and overnight at a hotel  in Thimphu.

 

Day 02: Day long Thimphu Sightseeing

After breakfast visit the following:

 The Kuenselphodrang (commonly known as Buddha Point) – The Great Buddha Dordenma is sited amidst the ruins of Kuensel Phodrang, the palace of Sherab Wangchuck, the thirteenth Desi Druk, facing towards the Southern approach to Thimphu. It is one of the largest Buddha statues in the world, at 169 feet (52 m) and contains 100,000 8-inch-tall and 25,000 12-inch-tall gilded bronze Buddhas.

The Bhutan Postal Museum (recently launched) -The Bhutan Postal Museum was launched on 7 November 2015 at the General Post Office building. The postal museum portrays the story of the evolution of communication, transportation and postal services in Bhutan’s history.

The National Textile Museum – Art of traditional weaving being kept alive and preserved through exhibition and has a good collection of old textiles which are rich in colours and designs.  The National Textile Museum is located near the National Library of Bhutan. It was established in 2001 and operated by the National Commission for Cultural Affairs. Ever since its establishment, the museum has gained national and international recognition and has generated a important collection of antique textile artefacts.

Traditional Bhutanese paper making factory– Jungshi Paper Factory was established in November 1990 as an undertaking of the Royal Government of Bhutan.This small factory produces traditional Bhutanese paper handmade from the bark of the daphne bush. The unit now boasts as a major and sole dealer in handmade paper and its products.

The Folk Heritage Museum– The museum was launched on 28 July 2001 under the initiative of founder Queen Mother Ashi Dorji Wangmo. The outdoor museum give an insight into rural life.The museum exhibit diverse materials associated with the Bhutanese culture and way of life.The exhibition comprises of rural households’ artifacts, equipment, objects and tools.

After lunch visit the following:

The Institute of Traditional Medicine– The Institute of traditional medicine sprawled on a hilltop with the Traditional Arts Center and National Library just below, was established in 1978. This institute collect medicinal plants from far-flung areas of the Bhutanese Himalaya, such as Lingzhi, Laya and Lunana, conducts research on Bhutan’s medicinal plants to identify the ingredients to help develop new health product and then dispense pills, tablets, ointments and medicinal teas to regional health-care units around the country.

The School of Traditional Painting of Arts and Crafts – The traditional arts is known as zorigchusum (zo = the ability to make; rig = science or craft; chusum = thirteen). These traditional crafts depict hundreds of years of knowledge and ability that has been passed down through generations.The students undergo a six-year course to consummate learning the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan

The Takin Preserve, which houses the national animal, Takin (The national animal of Bhutan). The reason for declaring Takin as the national animal is attributed to a legend of the animal’s creation (goat’s head and cattle’s body) in Bhutan in the 15th century by Lama Drukpa Kunley. Drive further to Sangaygang to get a bird’s eye view of the beautiful Thimphu valley.

The Memorial Chorten– Also known as the Thimphu Chorten, was built in 1974 to honor the third Druk Gyalpo, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck (1928–1972), who is regarded as “The Father of Modern Bhutan”.   Buddhist call the monument “The mind of the Buddha”. It is an honoured landmark in the city with its golden spires and bells, widely known as “the most visible religious landmark in Bhutan”.

Then, stroll down the  Thimphu town.Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Thimphu.

 

Day 03 Thimphu-Punakha-Wangdue (3Hours -76Km)

In the morning, travel to Punakha via the Dochula pass. The Dochula Pass (3,088m/10,130ft) is a mountain pass, with the breathtaking view of 108 memorial stupas known as “Druk Wangyal Chortens”  built under the initiative of Royal Queen Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuk( the eldest Queen Mother), built in honour of the fourth Druk Gyalpo (head of the state of Bhutan), Jigme Singye Wangchuck.

Journey to Punakha, the old capital of Bhutan and presently the winter residence of the central monk body. It is also known as Pungtang Dewa chhenbi Phodrang (meaning “the palace of great happiness or bliss). It is the second oldest and largest dzong built in 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal (Unifier of Bhutan) to serve as the religious and administrative seat of the region. Visit the Punakha Dzong, majestically sprawl between the Pho Chu (Male River) and the Mo chu (Female River).

After lunch, drive to Metshina Village and take 15 minutes walk through the rice fields to the Devine Madman’s Monastery-Chhimi Lhakhang, famously known for its fertility shrine, where it is believed, one can receive special fertility blessings.

Afterwards, a drive to Wangdue (25 Minutes journey from Punakha). Visit Wangdue Dzong. It was founded by the Zhabdrung in 1638. In the 17th century, Wangdue played a critical role in unifying Shar Chog Khorlo Tsebgay (the western, central and southern regions of the country). It is one of the largest dzongkhags (districts) in the country covering 4,308 sq km and ranges from 800-5800 m in altitude. In 24 June 2012, the dzong caught fire and was burnt down.The renovation is still ongoing and is expected to continue until 2021.

In the evening you may visit Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendup Lhakhang Nunnery and enjoy the beautiful view of Punakha and Wangdue valleys.

Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Punakha/Wangdue.

 

Day 04: Punakha-Trongsa(5 hours-129 km)

Drive to Trongsa. The exotic journey will take you through freshly dense green forests of oak trees and rhododendrons, passing through the village of Nobding and Pele la pass (11,000ft). During the course of your journey, you will be accompanied by the beautiful sceneries of rural Bhutan, giving you a wonderful opportunity for photographing.

On arrival at Trongsa and after the refreshment visit the National Museum which is housed in the Ta Dzong (watch tower). A museum will give you an insight into the aspects of Bhutanese rich culture and heritage of the Kingdom. You can watch the Documentary of Bhutanese history and evolution of monarchy. And also visit the Trongsa Dzong, the most spectacularly sited dzong in Bhutan, with a sheer drop to the south that often just disappear into cloud and mist. It was built by the Zhabdrung in 1644. The dzong is an architectural masterpiece. Trongsa in the Bhutanese Context means “the new village” which comprises temples and retreat of monks. It was founded by the Drukpa lama, Ngagi Wangchuk (Ancestor of Zhabdrung Namgyal), who came from Ralung in 1541, made a small meditation room in 1543.

In the evening visit Trongsa downtown.

Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Trongsa.

 

Day 05: Witness Trongsa Tsechu

After breakfast, you will go to Trongsa Dzong to witness the exhilarating Trongsa Tshechu Festival. The Tshechu(Festival) of Bhutan is held specifically to honour Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) and to celebrates his deeds through the performance of sacred dances.The festival takes place in Trongsa Choekhor Rabtentse Dzong. Trongsa Tshechu takes place annually for five days between 8th and 12th of the eleven lunar months. You will see Bhutanese people from all district dressed in their authentic traditional dress (Gho&Kira) to witness this festival.In the first day, you will witness mask dances, religious music played by long trumps, cymbals and flutes. The mask dances include those performed by monks and ones performed by lay people.

After the festival, explore interior part of Trongsa Dzong.

Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Trongsa.

 

Day 06: Last Day of Trongsa Tsechu and Trongsa-Bumthang(3Hours-68Km)

Early morning go to the Trongsa Dzong to witness the last day of the Trongsa Tshechu. The huge banner (thangka), called Thongdrel (liberation and blessings at the sight), is unfurled for public reverence. It is believed that it brings blessings to all who view it.

Then return back to your hotel and after breakfast, catch a sight of the last day of Trongsa festival and after lunch, Drive to Bumthang(Jakar). Bumthang valley is composed of four mountain valleys namely, Ura, Chumey, Tang and Choekhor. It is one of the most tourists visited place and a spectacular valley in Bhutan. It is popularly known as Switzerland of Bhutan- the heartland of Bhutan.

Bumthang, which means  “beautiful field” – thang means meadow or levelled place, and bum is an acronym of either bumpa (a vessel for holy water, characterised by its shape and nature of the valley), or purely bum (“girl,” indicating the valley of beautiful girls)

It is the most historic dzongkhag where this holy place is encompassed with several numbers of ancient temples and sacred sites.

Visit Yatha Weaving Center, a cooperative of the National Women Association of Bhutan. Women in central Bhutan are well known for their weaving talents, where the women of the region sell their beautifully produced textiles and Yatha. To explore more on this culture of weaving, you can visit Dorjibi Weaving Centre, which is based about 12 km north of Chamkhar town.

Weaving centre in Bumthang came into existence by the initiatives taken by a group of 33 enterprising women from three local villages. Due to the scarce agricultural fields, and limited income opportunities, this ambitious woman, considerately came together and gave a start to weaving group with the financial support from Wangchuck Centennial Park (WCP), which helped generate income and gain self-sufficiency.

In the evening stroll around Bumthang downtown and you may visit local handicraft stores.

Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Bumthang.

 

Day 07: Bumthang Sightseeing

After breakfast, visit the following:

The Jambay Lhakhang, is said to be one of the 108 temples built by Tibetan King Songtsan Gampo in the 7th century, in his effort to propagate Buddhism. It is told that 180 temples were built in a single day, to pin down evil spirits to earth forever.

The Kujey Lhakhang (Kujey means, “Body imprint”), the sacred place is the final resting place of the cadaver of the first three kings of Bhutan. The temple to the right is the oldest and was built by Minjur Tempa in 1652. It was built in the vicinity of the cave where Guru Rinpoche meditated and left his body imprint. A large tree behind one of the temple buildings is believed to be a terma (hidden treasure) that was left there by Guru Rinpochoe.

The Tamshing Lhakhang, a blessed land circled with numerous temples and monasteries. Tamshing Monastery in Bumthang is well known for its splendid and majestic beauty.It is one of the most historically, spiritually and culturally significant monasteries in Bhutan founded by Pema Lingpa (1450 – 1521), a great saint and spiritual master in both the Bhutanese and Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhist traditions.

The wall painting of the temple is viewed as one of the oldest in Bhutan. The temple houses the iron net made by Pema Lingpa when he was 8 years old, and also a great centre of Bhutanese sacred masked dance introduced by Pema Lingpa himself which has remained as a Vital part of the monastic dance. The fortress is now used as an administrative center of the valley and summer residence of Trongsa monks.

In the evening stroll around the beautiful landscape of the Bumthang Jakar valley

Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Bumthang.

 

Day 08: Bumthang – Wangdue Via Phobjikha valley (11Hours-313Km)

After early breakfast, drive to Gangtey Gompa which is about eleven hours journey (313km). Visit Gangtey Gompa, an important monastery of Nyingmapa school of Buddhism is one of the main seats of the religious tradition based on Pema Lingpa’s revelations.It is the most tourists visited place during the winter season to see the magnificent black-necked cranes that migrate from far-flung remote parts of Tibet. The spectacular ambience surrounded by hills and mountains are home to wandering shepherds and yak-herders. The view is breathtaking. In the late afternoon drive back to Wangdue.

Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Wangdue/Punakha.

 

Day 09: Wangdue -Paro (3Hours21Minutes -127KM)

After breakfast, travel to Paro. After lunch visit the following Places:

The Rimpung Dzong, a Buddhist monastery and fortress which houses the district Monastic Body and government administrative offices of Paro Dzongkhag, a fine example of Bhutanese historic architecture.  It was built in 1645 to defend the valley against Tibetan invaders. From the Dzong, march further down to Nyamai Zampa, a traditional cantilever bridge which lies below the sheer walls of  Rinpung Dzong. Stroll through Rimpung Bridge ( The oldest bridge in Bhutan) .Then visit a farmhouse which gives good insight into the authentic lifestyle of a Bhutanese.

In the evening walk around Paro downtown and you may visit local handicraft stores.

Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Paro

 

Day 10: Paro Excursion to Taktsang (3hours 30 minutes Walk)

Drive to Satsam Chorten and then hike to the Taktshang, the Tiger’s Nest. Normally it takes about three and half hours to complete the hike but might take longer depending on your fitness.  Paro Taktsang, also known as the Tiger’s Nest, is an important  Buddhist sacred site which clings to the rock face, 900 metres above the valley floor.To the rear of the Taktsang lies Senge Samdup cave where Guru Rinpoche is said to have meditated for three years, three months, three weeks, three days and three hours in the 8th century. Today, Paro Taktsang is popularly known for the thirteen Taktsang or “tiger lair” caves in which he meditated..it is believed that Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche) flew to Taktshang from Tibet on the back of a tigress from Khenpajong. This place was consecrated to tame the Tiger demon.

Refreshment will be served at View Point Cafeteria en route.After visiting the monastery, descend back to viewpoint cafeteria for lunch and then further descend downhill to the base. Then drive back to the hotel.

On the way visit the Kichu temple– It is one of the 108 temples built in the 7th century by the Tibetan King Songsten Gampo. The Jowo Temple of Kyichu is one of the oldest temples in Bhutan. To overcome a giant demon who prevented the spread of Buddhism, laid on the whole area of Tibet and the Himalayas, King Songtsen Gampo build 108 temples placed on all the points of her body.

In the evening you may relax in the traditional hot stone bath.

Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Paro.

 

Day 11: Paro – Departure

Advent Bhutan Tours & Travels (your local Bhutan travel agent) will see you off at the Paro International Airport for your onward destinations.

 

End of Tour Program

 

Bhutan Trip Cost for this  10 Nights 11 Days  Tour Itinerary

Tour Season

1 pax

2 pax

3 pax & above

Low Season: December  2015

US$2400/person

US$2300/person

US$2000/person


The above Bhutan tour package prices includes the following:

  • Bhutan Government Royalty of US$ 65/person/night
  • FIT surcharges of US$40/person/night for a single traveler and US$30/person/night for a double
  • Twin sharing hotel rooms at 3 star hotels
  • All meals ( breakfast, lunch, dinner & light refreshments) with standard menu at 3 star hotels
  • English speaking tour guide service
  • All transfers and excursions by private vehicles
  • All entrance fees to museums and monuments
  • All internal taxes and fees
  • Mineral drinking water

The above tour prices do not include the following:

  • Single room supplement of US$ 50/room/night (optional)
  • Bhutan Visa fee of US$40/person (must be paid in advance with tour cost)
  • Airfares (optional)
  • Travel insurance (recommended)
  • 4 star and 5 star accommodations and meals (optional)
  • Other personal expenses like overseas calls, laundry,etc

***Thank you & Tashi Delek***

Read more

Dec 13,2017 Dochula Druk Wangyel Festival

Brief Background

The Dochula Druk Wangyel Festival is held on December 13th at the Festival Ground near Druk Wangyel Lhakhang which is located at Dochula Pass. It started in 2011, in commemoration of His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo and the Armed Forces’ victory over Indian insurgent forces residing in southern Bhutan in 2003.

Druk Wangyal Lhakhang (temple) was built under the initiative of Royal Queen Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuk( the eldest Queen Mother),  in honour of the fourth Druk Gyalpo (head of the state of Bhutan), Jigme Singye Wangchuck. one of the greatest histories made by  His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck, apart from the development of the country, he led a successful operation against Indian militants who had occupied certain areas of Bhutan in 2003. The gallery of the Druk Wangyal Lhakhang has a breathtaking view of 108 memorial stupas.

Festival Schedule: December 13, 2017

 

Day 01: Dec 11: Arrive, Paro

On arrival at Paro airport and after completing your immigration formalities, you will be warmly welcomed by the representative of Advent Bhutan Tours who will be your Bhutan tour guide throughout your entire travel in Bhutan.

After a brief rest, start your mesmeric experience of Bhutan by first visiting the National Museum, housed in the Ta Dzong (watchtower). Ta Dzong- National Museum of Bhutan is a cultural museum in the town of Paro established in 1968. Built on top of the hill above Rinpung Dzong, it was originally used to defend Rinpung Dzong and the Paro valley during times of war.

Here, an intriguing collection of finest samples of Bhutanese art, including masterpieces of bronze statues, paintings, suitable galleries are elegantly displayed on scientific lines, which collectively will lead to the wonderful introduction to the rich culture and heritage of the Kingdom.

Walk down to Paro Dzong, a Buddhist monastery and fortress which houses the district Monastic Body and government administrative offices of Paro Dzongkhag, a fine example of Bhutanese historic architecture.  It was built in 1645 to defend the valley against Tibetan invaders. From the Dzong, march further down to Nyamai Zampa, a traditional cantilever bridge which lies below the sheer walls of  Rinpung Dzong. Stroll through Rimpung Bridge ( The oldest bridge in Bhutan)

Overnight in Paro

 

 

Day 02:  Paro Excursion to Taktsang (3hours 30 minutes Walk)-Travel to Thimphu (2Hours-55Km)

In the morning, drive to Satsam Chorten and then hike to the Taktshang, the Tiger’s Nest. Normally it takes about three and half hours to complete the hike but might take longer depending on your fitness.  Paro Taktsang, also known as the Tiger’s Nest, is an important  Buddhist sacred site which clings to the rock face, 900 metres above the valley floor.To the rear of the Taktsang lies Senge Samdup cave where Guru Rinpoche is said to have meditated for three years, three months, three weeks, three days and three hours in the 8th century. Today, Paro Taktsang is popularly known for the thirteen Taktsang or “tiger lair” caves in which he meditated..it is believed that Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche) flew to Taktshang from Tibet on the back of a tigress from Khenpajong. This place was consecrated to tame the Tiger demon.

Refreshment will be served at View Point Cafeteria en route.After visiting the monastery, descend back to viewpoint cafeteria for lunch and then further descend downhill to the base.

On the way visit Kichu temple. It is one of the 108 temples built in the 7th century by the Tibetan King Songsten Gampo. The Jowo Temple of Kyichu is one of the oldest temples in Bhutan. To overcome a giant demon who prevented the spread of Buddhism, laid on the whole area of Tibet and the Himalayas, King Songtsen Gampo build 108 temples placed on all the points of her body.

Then voyage to Thimphu.

Overnight at a hotel in Thimphu.

 

Day  03: Dochula Druk Wangyel Festival (45Minutes) and travel to Punakha(2Hours)

After breakfast, drive for about 45 minutes to Dochula Pass (3140 m) to attend the day-long Druk Wangyel Festival. You will be fascinated by the spectacular view of the Himalayan Mountain ranges and enjoy the unique, beautifully coloured mask dance and historical folk dances under the clear winter sky.

Druk Wangyal Lhakhang (temple) was built under the initiative of Royal Queen Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuk( the eldest Queen Mother),  in honour of the fourth Druk Gyalpo (head of the state of Bhutan), Jigme Singye Wangchuck. one of the greatest histories made by  His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck, apart from the development of the country, he led a successful operation against Indian militants who had occupied certain areas of Bhutan in 2003. The gallery of the Druk Wangyal Lhakhang has a breathtaking view of 108 memorial stupas.

Dochula Druk Wangyel Festival program

After the festival, drive to Punakha which takes about 2 hours drive from Dochula.

Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Punakha.

 

Day 04: Dec 14: Punakha Sightseeing

After breakfast, drive through upper Punakha valley and take a hike through farmhouses to the beautiful Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten(stupa),(also known as Nyizergang Chöten and Punakha Zangdopelri). It was built in 2004 by the Queen Mother Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuck. The establishment of the stupa is to bring peace and firmness in the world. Enjoy the amazing view of Punakha and Wangdue valleys from there.

Then visit the Punakha Dzong, majestically sprawl between the Pho Chu (Male River) and the Mo Chu (Female River). It is the old capital of Bhutan and presently the winter residence of the central monk body. It is also known as Pungtang Dewa chhenbi Phodrang (meaning “the palace of great happiness or bliss). It is the second oldest and largest dzong built in 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal (Unifier of Bhutan) to serve as the religious and administrative seat of the region.

After lunch, drive to Metshina Village and take 15 minutes walk through the rice fields to the Devine Madman’s Monastery-Chhimi Lhakhang, famously known for its fertility shrine, where it is believed, one can receive special fertility blessings.

Afterwards, a drive to Wangdue (25 Minutes journey from Punakha). Visit Wangdue Dzong. It was founded by the Zhabdrung in 1638. In the 17th century, Wangdue played a critical role in unifying Shar Chog Khorlo Tsebgay (the western, central and southern regions of the country). It is one of the largest dzongkhags (districts) in the country covering 4,308 sq km and ranges from 800-5800 m in altitude. On 24 June 2012, the dzong caught fire and was burnt down.The renovation is still ongoing and is expected to continue until 2021.

In the evening you may visit Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendup Lhakhang Nunnery and enjoy the beautiful view of Punakha and Wangdue valleys.

Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Punakha/Wangdue.

 

Day 05: Punakha-Phobjikha-Punakha( 2Hours30Minutes-64Km)

After breakfast drive to Phobjikha valley via Gantey village where you see the Gangtey  Monastery and visit the monastery. Gangtey Gompa, an important monastery of Nyingmapa school of Buddhism, is one of the main seats of the religious tradition based on Pema Lingpa’s revelations.It is the most tourists visited the place during the winter season to see the magnificent black-necked cranes that migrate from far-flung remote parts of Tibet. The spectacular ambience surrounded by hills and mountains are home to wandering shepherds and yak-herders. The view is breathtaking.

You will have refreshment and lunch at a resort/restaurant in this valley. Afternoon you can visit the Black Necked Crane Center and enjoy the fascinating sight of these birds in this beautiful scenic valley.

In the late afternoon drive back to Punakha and overnight at a hotel in Punakha.

 

Day 06: Punakha-Thimphu(3Hours-70km)

After breakfast, travel onto Thimphu.  After lunch at Thimphu visit the following places:

The Traditional Bhutanese paper making factory– Jungshi Paper Factory was established in November 1990 as an undertaking of the Royal Government of Bhutan.This small factory produces traditional Bhutanese paper handmade from the bark of the Daphne bush. The unit now boasts as a major and sole dealer in handmade paper and its products.

The National Textile Museum – Art of traditional weaving being kept alive and preserved through exhibition and has a good collection of old textiles which are rich in colours and designs.  The National Textile Museum is located near the National Library of Bhutan. It was established in 2001 and operated by the National Commission for Cultural Affairs. Ever since its establishment, the museum has gained national and international recognition and has generated an important collection of antique textile artefacts.

The School of Thangka Painting-The traditional arts is known as zorigchusum (zo = the ability to make; rig = science or craft; chusum = thirteen). These traditional crafts depict hundreds of years of knowledge and ability that has been passed down through generations.The students undergo a six-year course to consummate learning the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan.

The Folk Heritage Museum– The museum was launched on 28 July 2001 under the initiative of founder Queen Mother Ashi Dorji Wangmo. The outdoor museum gives an insight into rural life.The museum exhibit diverse materials associated with the Bhutanese culture and way of life.The exhibition comprises of rural households’ artefacts, equipment, objects and tools.

The Memorial Chorten– Also known as the Thimphu Chorten, was built in 1974 to honour the third Druk Gyalpo, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck (1928–1972), who is regarded as “The Father of Modern Bhutan”.   Buddhist call the monument “The mind of the Buddha”. It is an honoured landmark in the city with its golden spires and bells, widely known as “the most visible religious landmark in Bhutan”.

The Tashichho Dzong – It is a Buddhist monastery and fortress of the glorious religion on the northern edge of the city of Thimphu, built in 1641 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel. It was rebuilt into the present structure by the late King, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck in the year 1962-1969. It houses the secretariat building, the throne room and the office of the king, and the central monk body.

Then, stroll down the  Handicrafts Emporium and local crafts shops, aligned neatly below Norzin Lam, opposite to Nehru Wangchuk Cultural Centre, to witness Bhutanese fine traditional arts. Here you can buy hand-woven textiles, thangka paintings, masks, ceramics, slate and wood carvings, jewellery, and other eye-catching items made from local materials.

Overnight at a hotel in Thimphu.

 

 Day 07 :Thimphu Sightseeing (National Day Celebration) and Thimphu-Paro(

2Hours-55Km)

After breakfast, attend the National Day Celebration which will be held at Changlimithang Stadium.  After lunch, Thimphu Sightseeing includes the visit to the following places:

The Takin Preserve, which houses the national animal, Takin (The national animal of Bhutan). The reason for declaring Takin as the national animal is attributed to a legend of the animal’s creation (goat’s head and cattle’s body) in Bhutan in the 15th century by Lama Drukpa Kunley. Drive further to Sangaygang to get a bird’s eye view of the beautiful Thimphu valley.

The Kuenselphodrang (commonly known as Buddha Point) – The Great Buddha Dordenma is sited amidst the ruins of Kuensel Phodrang, the palace of Sherab Wangchuck, the thirteenth Desi Druk, facing towards the Southern approach to Thimphu. It is one of the largest Buddha statues in the world, at 169 feet (52 m) and contains 100,000 8-inch-tall and 25,000 12-inch-tall gilded bronze Buddhas.

In the late afternoon, drive to Paro.

Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Paro.

 

Day 08: Paro – Departure

Advent Bhutan Tours & Travels (your local Bhutan travel agent) will see you off at the Paro International Airport for your onward destinations.

 

End of the tour

Tour Price

Travel Time

1 pax

2 pax

3 pax & above

December,2014

US$ 1680/person

US$1610/person

US$1400/person


The above Bhutan tour package price includes the following:

  • Bhutan Government Royalty of US$ 65/person/night
  • FIT surcharges of US$40/person/night for a single traveler and US$30/person/night for a double
  • Twin sharing hotel rooms at 3 star hotels
  • All meals ( breakfast, lunch, dinner & light refreshments) with standard menu at 3 star hotels
  • English speaking tour guide service
  • All transfers and excursions by private vehicles
  • All entrance fees to museums and monuments
  • All internal taxes and fees
  • Mineral drinking water

The above tour prices do not include the following:

  • Single room supplement of US$40/room/night during low season and US$ 50/room/night during high season (optional)
  • Visa fee of US$40/person (must be paid in advance with tour cost)
  • Airfares (optional)
  • Travel issurance (recommended)
  • 4 star and 5 star accommodations and meals (optional)
  • Other personal expenses like overseas calls, laundry,etc

***Thank you & Tashi Delek***

Read more

Nov 3-6,2017 Jambhay Lhakhang Drup

A Brief Background on Jambay Lhakhang Drup Festival

Jampa Lhakhang is located in Bumthang.Jampa Lhakhang is one of the oldest temples in the kingdom. Jambay Lhakhang is said to be one of the 108 temples built by Tibetan King Songtsan Gampo in the 7th century, in his effort to propagate Buddhism. It is told that 180 temples were built in a single day, to pin down evil spirits to earth forever. The other is the Kichu Lhakhang in Paro, believed to have been built on the same day.

According to the myth, Guru Rinpoche visited the site several times and regarded it exceptionally sacred. In the 8th century AD., Chakhar Gyab (the king of the Iron Castle of Bumthang) renovated the temple.

The Lhakhang stores the main relics of the future Buddha, Jowo Jampa (Maitreya), from whose the present name of the temple is derived. In 1887,  more than one hundred statues of the gods of Kalachakra were built by the first king.

Jambay Lhakhang Drup festival is hosted for continues five days beginning from Nov 14-17, 2016.

 

Festival Schedule: Nov 3-6, 2017

10 Night 11 Day Jambay Lhakhang Festival Tour Itinerary

 

Day 01: Arrive Paro

Fly into Paro by Drukair flight. After immigration and customs formalities, you will be received by the representative of Advent Bhutan Tours & Travels and driven to your hotel.

After checking into your hotel and after lunch visit the following:

The Paro Dzong, a Buddhist monastery and fortress which houses the district Monastic Body and government administrative offices of Paro Dzongkhag, a fine example of Bhutanese historic architecture.  It was built in 1645 to defend the valley against Tibetan invaders. From the Dzong, march further down to Nyamai Zampa, a traditional cantilever bridge which lies below the sheer walls of  Rinpung Dzong. Stroll through Rimpung Bridge ( The oldest bridge in Bhutan)

Make a visit to a farmhouse which gives an insight of authentic lifestyle of a Bhutanese farming family.

In the evening visit Paro town.

Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Paro

 

Day 02: Paro – Thimphu (2Hours-55Km)

After breakfast, travel to Thimphu. The road runs down through the Paro valley, characterised by the narrow-gauged with high, rocky cliffs on the left. You can stop on the way to visit the magnificent Tamchhog Lhakhang, the hereditary place of worship for Bhutan’s iron bridge builder. Then passage through  Chuzom, is the entrance to the Thimphu valley,  the Confluence of Paro and Thimphu rivers. The road passes along the Simtokha Dzong, (Dzong means ‘castle-monastery’) – It is the oldest Dzong built in 1629 by Zhabdrug Ngawang Namgyal (who unified Bhutan). The Dzong functions as a monastic and as well as administrative centre. Today, it is one of the pre-eminent Dzongkha language (National Language) learning institutes.

check into your hotel. Then visit the following as per your interest and time availability:

The Bhutan Postal Museum (recently launched) -The Bhutan Postal Museum was launched on 7 November 2015 at the General Post Office building. The postal museum portrays the story of the evolution of communication, transportation and postal services in Bhutan’s history.

The National Textile Museum – Art of traditional weaving being kept alive and preserved through exhibition and has a good collection of old textiles which are rich in colours and designs.  The National Textile Museum is located near the National Library of Bhutan. It was established in 2001 and operated by the National Commission for Cultural Affairs. Ever since its establishment, the museum has gained national and international recognition and has generated an important collection of antique textile artefacts.

The Folk Heritage Museum– The museum was launched on 28 July 2001 under the initiative of founder Queen Mother Ashi Dorji Wangmo. The outdoor museum gives an insight into rural life.The museum exhibit diverse materials associated with the Bhutanese culture and way of life.The exhibition comprises of rural households’ artifacts, equipment, objects and tools.

The Centenary Farmers’ market – Thimphu weekend market is one of the largest domestic markets for Bhutanese farmers. Farmers sell their own produced vegetables, flour, rice, roasted rice, rice flakes, spices, fruits and livestock products (cheese and butter). And also sell wild ferns or bamboo shoots which are collected from forests. People from villages from different cities as well as from town come to this weekend market.

The Memorial Chorten– Also known as the Thimphu Chorten, was built in 1974 to honour the third Druk Gyalpo, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck (1928–1972), who is regarded as “The Father of Modern Bhutan”.   Buddhist call the monument “The mind of the Buddha”. It is an honoured landmark in the city with its golden spires and bells, widely known as “the most visible religious landmark in Bhutan”.

The Tashichho Dzong – It is a Buddhist monastery and fortress of the glorious religion on the northern edge of the city of Thimphu, built in 1641 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel. It was rebuilt into the present structure by the late King, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck in the year 1962-1969. It houses the secretariat building, the throne room and the office of the king, and the central monk body.

The Takin Preserve, which houses the national animal, Takin (The national animal of Bhutan). The reason for declaring Takin as the national animal is attributed to a legend of the animal’s creation (goat’s head and cattle’s body) in Bhutan in the 15th century by Lama Drukpa Kunley. Drive further to Sangaygang to get a bird’s eye view of the beautiful Thimphu valley.

The Kuenselphodrang (commonly known as Buddha Point) – The Great Buddha Dordenma is sited amidst the ruins of Kuensel Phodrang, the palace of Sherab Wangchuck, the thirteenth Desi Druk, facing towards the Southern approach to Thimphu. It is one of the largest Buddha statues in the world, at 169 feet (52 m) and contains 100,000 8-inch-tall and 25,000 12-inch-tall gilded bronze Buddhas.

Then, stroll down the  Handicrafts Emporium and local crafts shops, aligned neatly below Norzin Lam, opposite to Nehru Wangchuk Cultural Centre, to witness Bhutanese fine traditional arts. Here you can buy hand-woven textiles, thangka paintings, masks, ceramics, slate and wood carvings, jewellery, and other eye-catching items made from local materials. Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Thimphu.

 

Day 03: Thimphu-Punakha-Wangdue (3Hours -76Km)

In the morning, travel to Punakha via the Dochula pass. The Dochula Pass (3,088m/10,130ft) is a mountain pass, with the breathtaking view of 108 memorial stupas known as “Druk Wangyal Chortens”  built under the initiative of Royal Queen Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuk( the eldest Queen Mother), built in honour of the fourth Druk Gyalpo (head of the state of Bhutan), Jigme Singye Wangchuck.

Journey to Punakha, the old capital of Bhutan and presently the winter residence of the central monk body. It is also known as Pungtang Dewa chhenbi Phodrang (meaning “the palace of great happiness or bliss). It is the second oldest and largest dzong built in 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal (Unifier of Bhutan) to serve as the religious and administrative seat of the region. Visit the Punakha Dzong, majestically sprawl between the Pho Chu (Male River) and the Mo Chu (Female River).

After lunch, drive to Metshina Village and take 15 minutes walk through the rice fields to the Devine Madman’s Monastery-Chhimi Lhakhang, famously known for its fertility shrine, where it is believed, one can receive special fertility blessings.

Afterwards, a drive to Wangdue (25 Minutes journey from Punakha). Visit Wangdue Dzong. It was founded by the Zhabdrung in 1638. In the 17th century, Wangdue played a critical role in unifying Shar Chog Khorlo Tsebgay (the western, central and southern regions of the country). It is one of the largest dzongkhags (districts) in the country covering 4,308 sq km and ranges from 800-5800 m in altitude. On 24 June 2012, the dzong caught fire and was burnt down.The renovation is still ongoing and is expected to continue until 2021.

In the evening you may visit Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendup Lhakhang Nunnery and enjoy the beautiful view of Punakha and Wangdue valleys.

Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Punakha/Wangdue.

 

Day 04: Punakha/Wangdue-Trongsa(5Hours-129Km)

Drive to Trongsa. The exotic journey will take you through freshly dense green forests of oak trees and rhododendrons, passing through the village of Nobding and Pele la pass (11,000ft). During the course of your journey, you will be accompanied by the beautiful sceneries of rural Bhutan, giving you a wonderful opportunity for photographing.

Check into the hotel in Trongsa. After the refreshment, visit the National Museum which is housed in the Ta Dzong (watch tower). A museum will give you an insight into the aspects of Bhutanese rich culture and heritage of the Kingdom. You can watch the Documentary of Bhutanese history and evolution of monarchy. And also visit Trongsa Dzong, the most spectacularly sited dzong in Bhutan, with a sheer drop to the south that often just disappear into cloud and mist. It was built by the Zhabdrung in 1644. The dzong is an architectural masterpiece. Trongsa in the Bhutanese Context means “the new village” which comprises temples and retreat of monks. It was founded by the Drukpa lama, Ngagi Wangchuk (Ancestor of Zhabdrung Namgyal), who came from Ralung in 1541, made a small meditation room in 1543. It was believed that One day while Ngagi Wangchuk was meditating nearby in a village called Yuling, he had witnessed a light (“from a body of lamps”) at the furthest point of the spur. He believed this to be an auspicious sign and erected a temple on the spot, on a mountain spur high above the gorges of the Mangde Chhu.

Dinner and overnight at hotel in Trongsa.

 

Day 05: Trongsa-Bumthang (3Hours-68Km)

After breakfast, drive to Bumthang(Jakar). Bumthang valley is composed of four mountain valleys namely, Ura, Chumey, Tang and Choekhor. It is one of the most tourists visited place and a spectacular valley in Bhutan. It is popularly known as Switzerland of Bhutan- the heartland of Bhutan.

Bumthang, which means  “beautiful field” – thang means meadow or leveled place, and bum is an acronym of either bumpa (a vessel for holy water, characterised by its shape and nature of the valley), or purely bum (“girl,” indicating the valley of beautiful girls)

It is the most historic dzongkhag where this holy place is encompassed with several numbers of ancient temples and sacred sites.

Visit Yatha Weaving Center, a cooperative of the National Women Association of Bhutan. Women in central Bhutan are well known for their weaving talents, where the women of the region sell their beautifully produced textiles and Yatha. To explore more on this culture of weaving, you can visit Dorjibi Weaving Center, which is based about 12 km north of Chamkhar town.

Weaving center in Bumthang came into existence by the initiatives taken by a group of 33 enterprising women from three local villages. Due to the scarce agricultural fields, and limited income opportunities, this ambitious women, considerately came together and gave a start to weaving group with the financial support from Wangchuck Centennial Park (WCP), which helped generate income and gain self-sufficiency.

Afternoon, Bumthang sightseeing includes visit to the following holy places:

Sightseeing includes visit to the following:

The Jambay Lhakhang is said to be one of the 108 temples built by Tibetan King Songtsan Gampo in the 7th century, in his effort to propagate Buddhism. It is told that 180 temples were built in a single day, to pin down evil spirits to earth forever.

The Kujey Lhakhang (Kujey means, “Body imprint”), the sacred place is the final resting place of the cadaver of the first three kings of Bhutan. The temple to the right is the oldest and was built by Minjur Tempa in 1652. It was built in the vicinity of the cave where Guru Rinpoche meditated and left his body imprint. A large tree behind one of the temple buildings is believed to be a terma (hidden treasure) that was left there by Guru Rinpochoe.

The Tamshing Lhakhang, a blessed land circled with numerous temples and monasteries. Tamshing Monastery in Bumthang is well known for its splendid and majestic beauty.It is one of the most historically, spiritually and culturally significant monasteries in Bhutan founded by Pema Lingpa (1450 – 1521), a great saint and spiritual master in both the Bhutanese and Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhist traditions.

The wall painting of the temple is viewed as one of the oldest in Bhutan. The temple houses the iron net made by Pema Lingpa when he was 8 years old, and also a great centre of Bhutanese sacred masked dance introduced by Pema Lingpa himself which has remained as a Vital part of the monastic dance. The fortress is now used as an administrative centre of the valley and summer residence of Trongsa monks.

In the evening stroll around the beautiful landscape of the Bumthang Jakar valley.

Overnight in Bumthang.

After dinner,  witness the first day of Jambay Lhakhang festival.

It starts in the evening around 8:30 pm. Following are the events that you will witness on the first day of the festival :

The Black Hat Dance (Shana) and of the Gings (emanations of Guru Rinpoche). This dance is performed to purify the ground and to drive away evil influences. Dance of Offering (Tshogcham): The body of the evil spirits is offered to the deities. After it is done,  the crowd goes outside to the temple where an arch of pine bushes has been set up.Fire Dance (Mecham): The arch of pine is put on fire. It is believed that the fire purifies the earth from the evil spirits. The crowd passes through the arch as it is believed that one who passes through to have cleansed their sins. A dancer chases away the evil spirits.

Overnight at hotel in Bumthang.

 

Day 06: The Second Day-Long Bumthang Jambay Lhakhang Festival

After breakfast, you will go and witness the second day-long  Jambay Lhakhang Drup (festival) in the courtyard of Jambay Lhakhang. Many ritual dances are performed subdivided into three categories.The main reason is to give moral instruction designed to drive away evil spirits and to celebrate the Buddhist faith in its many guises. Following are the events you will be witnessing:

Dance of Singje Yab Yum (Lord of death and his consort): The Lord of Death and his consort perform this dance to protect the four realms over which he has power.

Dance of Nyulema and Peling Ging Sum (Three kinds of Ging): The Nyulema is an evil spirit represented by a boy in a skeleton mask.

Dance of the Jachung Bochung (Two mythical birds): Dancers wearing masks representing the auspicious birds perform the dance.

You will see the local people with their family dressed in their finest clothes to attend the festival with packed lunches. You will come across local business running selling craftwork, jewellery, religious artefacts and thangkas.

Overnight at hotel in Bumthang.

 

Day 07: The Third Day-Long Bumthang Jambay Lhakhang Festival

After breakfast, attend the third day-long of Jambay Lhakhang Drub. In the third day, you will witness the dance of the four stags (Shacham), the dance of Ging Tsoling, Dramitse Ngacham (Dance of the drums from Dramitse), Packham (Dance of the heroes) and Phole Mole(The nobleman and the lady).

Overnight at hotel in Bumthang.

 

Day 08: Bumthang – Wangdue Via Phobjikha valley (11Hours-313Km)

After breakfast drive to Phobjikha valley via Gantey village where you see the Gangtey  Monastery and visit the monastery. Gangtey Gompa, an important monastery of Nyingmapa school of Buddhism, is one of the main seats of the religious tradition based on Pema Lingpa’s revelations. It is the most tourists visited place during the winter season to see the magnificent black-necked cranes that migrate from far-flung remote parts of Tibet. The spectacular ambience surrounded by hills and mountains are home to wandering shepherds and yak-herders. The view is breathtaking.

You will have refreshment and lunch at a resort/restaurant in this valley. Afternoon you can visit the Black Necked Crane Center and enjoy the fascinating sight of these birds in this beautiful scenic valley.In the late afternoon drive back to Punakha and overnight at a hotel in Punakha.

 

 Day 09: Punakha-Paro (3Hours-71Km)

After breakfast, drive through upper Punakha valley and take a hike through farmhouses to the beautiful Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten(stupa),(also known as Nyizergang Chöten and Punakha Zangdopelri). It was built in 2004 by the Queen Mother Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuck. The establishment of the stupa is to bring peace and firmness in the world. Enjoy the amazing view of Punakha and Wangdue valleys from there.

Then travel to Paro with lunch en route. On arrival at Paro visit

In the evening, visit a farmhouse which gives good insight into the authentic lifestyle of a Bhutanese.

Overnight at a hotel in Paro

 

Day 10: Paro Excursion to Taktsang (3hours 30 minutes Walk)

Drive to Satsam Chorten and then hike to the Taktshang, the Tiger’s Nest. Normally it takes about three and half hours to complete the hike but might take longer depending on your fitness.  Paro Taktsang, also known as the Tiger’s Nest, is an important  Buddhist sacred site which clings to the rock face, 900 metres above the valley floor.To the rear of the Taktsang lies Senge Samdup cave where Guru Rinpoche is said to have meditated for three years, three months, three weeks, three days and three hours in the 8th century. Today, Paro Taktsang is popularly known for the thirteen Taktsang or “tiger lair” caves in which he meditated..it is believed that Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche) flew to Taktshang from Tibet on the back of a tigress from Khenpajong. This place was consecrated to tame the Tiger demon.

Refreshment will be served at View Point Cafeteria en route.After visiting the monastery, descend back to viewpoint cafeteria for lunch and then further descend downhill to the base. Then drive back to the hotel.

On the way visit the Kichu temple– It is one of the 108 temples built in the 7th century by the Tibetan King Songsten Gampo. The Jowo Temple of Kyichu is one of the oldest temples in Bhutan. To overcome a giant demon who prevented the spread of Buddhism, laid on the whole area of Tibet and the Himalayas, King Songtsen Gampo build 108 temples placed on all the points of her body.

In the evening you may relax in the traditional hot stone bath.

Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Paro.

 

Day 11: Paro – Departure

Advent Bhutan Tours & Travels (your local Bhutan travel agent) will see you off at the Paro International Airport for your onward destinations.

End of the Tour…

Bhutan Trip Cost for this  10 Nights 11 Days  Tour Itinerary

 
Travel Time 1 pax 2 pax 3 pax & above
High Season: November,2016 US$2900/person US$2800/person US$2500/person

The above Bhutan tour package prices includes the following:

  • Bhutan Government Royalty of US$ 65/person/night
  • FIT surcharges of US$40/person/night for a single traveler and US$30/person/night for a double
  • Twin sharing hotel rooms at 3 star hotels
  • All meals ( breakfast, lunch, dinner & light refreshments) with standard menu at 3 star hotels
  • English speaking tour guide service
  • All transfers and excursions by private vehicles
  • All entrance fees to museums and monuments
  • All internal taxes and fees
  • Mineral drinking water

The above tour prices do not include the following:

  • Single room supplement of US$ 50/room/night (optional)
  • Bhutan Visa fee of US$40/person (must be paid in advance with tour cost)
  • Airfares (optional)
  • Travel insurance (recommended)
  • 4 star and 5 star accommodations and meals (optional)
  • Other personal expenses like overseas calls, laundry,etc
***Tashi Delek & Thank you***
Read more

Feb 24-27,2018 Punakha Festival Tour

8 Night 9 Day Punakha Drubchen and Punakha Tshechu

Brief Background on Punakha Drubchen and Tshechu

Punakha is located in the western part of Bhutan and it is the winter residence of the Je Khenpo (the Chief Abbot of Bhutan). Punakha has been of critical importance since the time of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel(Unifier of Bhutan and one who gave Bhutan and its people the distinct cultural identity that identified Bhutan from the rest of the world) in the 17th century. Today, Punakha is known as the old capital of Bhutan.

During the 17th century, Bhutan was invaded several times by Tibetan forces seeking to seize a very precious relic, the Ranjung Kharsapani.  Headed by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, led the Bhutanese army against the rival Tibetans, resulting in victory. To Honour, in tribute to victory, he introduced the Punakha Drubchen. Since then Punakha Drubchen (also known as Puna Drubchen) became the annual festival of Punakha Dzongkhag.

Punakha Dromchoe is a five-day long festival dedicated to the goddess Mahakala.  Typical and colourful masked dances are performed during the festival.

The Punakha Drubchen is a unique and fascinating festival to witness as it hosts a dramatic amusement of the scene from the 17th century battle with Tibetan army. The local militiamen dress in traditional battle gear and build up an impression of the ancient battle scene on the last day of Punakha Drubchen.

For the preservation of Buddhist teachings and to keep alive the noble deeds of Zhabdrung Rimpoche, on request made by Punakha District Administration and local people, Punakha Tshechu was introduced in 2005.

Schedule of Punakha Tshechu : Feb 25-27,2018

 

8 Night 9 Day Tour Itinerary

 

Day 01: Arrive Paro, Travel to Thimphu (2Hours – 55KM)

On arrival at Paro airport and after completing your immigration formalities, you will be received by your tour guide from Advent Bhutan Tours and Travels. Then Voyage to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan, is an hourly drive journey.  The road runs down through the Paro valley, characterised by the narrow-gauged with high, rocky cliffs on the left.

You can stop on the way to visit the magnificent Tamchhog Lhakhang, the hereditary place of worship for Bhutan’s iron bridge builder. Then passage through  Chuzom, is the entrance to the Thimphu valley,  the Confluence of Paro and Thimphu rivers. The road passes along the Simtokha Dzong, (Dzong means ‘castle-monastery’) – It is the oldest Dzong built in 1629 by Zhabdrug Ngawang Namgyal (who unified Bhutan). The Dzong functions as a monastic and as well as administrative centre. Today, it is one of the pre-eminent Dzongkha language (National Language) learning institutes.

On arrival at Thimphu check into your hotel and after brief rest and refreshment visit the following:

The Tashichho Dzong – It is a Buddhist monastery and fortress of the glorious religion on the northern edge of the city of Thimphu, built in 1641 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel. It was rebuilt into the present structure by the late King, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck in the year 1962-1969. It houses the secretariat building, the throne room and the office of the king, and the central monk body.

Then, stroll down the handicrafts Emporium and local crafts shops, aligned neatly below Norzin Lam, opposite to Nehru Wangchuk Cultural Centre, to witness Bhutanese fine traditional arts. Here you can buy hand-woven textiles, thangkha paintings, masks, ceramics, slate and wood carvings, jewelry, and other eye-catching items made from local materials.

Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Thimphu.

 

Day 02: Day Long Thimphu Sightseeing

After breakfast visit the following:

The Kuenselphodrang (commonly known as Buddha Point) – The Great Buddha Dordenma is sited amidst the ruins of Kuensel Phodrang, the palace of Sherab Wangchuck, the thirteenth Desi Druk, facing towards the Southern approach to Thimphu. It is one of the largest Buddha statues in the world, at 169 feet (52 m) and contains 100,000 8-inch-tall and 25,000 12-inch-tall gilded bronze Buddhas.

The Bhutan Postal Museum (recently launched) -The Bhutan Postal Museum was launched on 7 November 2015 at the General Post Office building. The postal museum portrays the story of the evolution of communication, transportation and postal services in Bhutan’s history.

The National Textile Museum – Art of traditional weaving being kept alive and preserved through exhibition and has a good collection of old textiles which are rich in colours and designs.  The National Textile Museum is located near the National Library of Bhutan. It was established in 2001 and operated by the National Commission for Cultural Affairs. Ever since its establishment, the museum has gained national and international recognition and has generated a important collection of antique textile artifacts’.

Traditional Bhutanese paper making factory– Jungshi Paper Factory was established in November 1990 as an undertaking of the Royal Government of Bhutan. This small factory produces traditional Bhutanese paper handmade from the bark of the daphne bush. The unit now boasts as a major and sole dealer in handmade paper and its products.

The Folk Heritage Museum– The museum was launched on 28 July 2001 under the initiative of founder Queen Mother Ashi Dorji Wangmo. The outdoor museum give an insight into rural life. The museum exhibit diverse materials associated with the Bhutanese culture and way of life. The exhibition comprises of rural households’ artifacts, equipment, objects and tools.

After lunch visit the following:

The Institute of Traditional Medicine– The Institute of traditional medicine sprawled on a hilltop with the Traditional Arts Center and National Library just below, was established in 1978. This institute collect medicinal plants from far-flung areas of the Bhutanese Himalaya, such as Lingzhi, Laya and Lunana, conducts research on Bhutan’s medicinal plants to identify the ingredients to help develop new health product and then dispense pills, tablets, ointments and medicinal teas to regional health-care units around the country.

The School of Traditional Painting of Arts and Crafts – The traditional arts is known as zorigchusum (zo = the ability to make; rig = science or craft; chusum = thirteen). These traditional crafts depict hundreds of years of knowledge and ability that has been passed down through generations.The students undergo a six-year course to consummate learning the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan

The Takin Preserve, which houses the national animal, Takin (The national animal of Bhutan). The reason for declaring Takin as the national animal is attributed to a legend of the animal’s creation (goat’s head and cattle’s body) in Bhutan in the 15th century by Lama Drukpa Kunley. Drive further to Sangaygang to get a bird’s eye view of the beautiful Thimphu valley.

The Memorial Chorten– Also known as the Thimphu Chorten, was built in 1974 to honor the third Druk Gyalpo, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck (1928–1972), who is regarded as “The Father of Modern Bhutan”.   Buddhist call the monument “The mind of the Buddha”. It is an honoured landmark in the city with its golden spires and bells, widely known as “the most visible religious landmark in Bhutan”.

Then, stroll down the  Thimphu town.Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Thimphu.

 

Day 03 Thimphu-Punakha-Wangdue (3Hours -76Km)

In the morning, travel to Punakha via the Dochula pass. The Dochula Pass (3,088m/10,130ft) is a mountain pass, with the breathtaking view of 108 memorial stupas known as “Druk Wangyal Chortens”  built under the initiative of Royal Queen Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuk( the eldest Queen Mother), built in honour of the fourth Druk Gyalpo (head of the state of Bhutan), Jigme Singye Wangchuck.

Journey to Punakha, the old capital of Bhutan and presently the winter residence of the central monk body. It is also known as Pungtang Dewa chhenbi Phodrang (meaning “the palace of great happiness or bliss). It is the second oldest and largest dzong built in 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal (Unifier of Bhutan) to serve as the religious and administrative seat of the region.

After lunch, drive to Metshina Village and take 15 minutes walk through the rice fields to the Devine Madman’s Monastery-Chhimi Lhakhang, famously known for its fertility shrine, where it is believed, one can receive special fertility blessings.

Afterwards, a drive to Wangdue (25 Minutes journey from Punakha). Visit Wangdue Dzong. It was founded by the Zhabdrung in 1638. In the 17th century, Wangdue played a critical role in unifying Shar Chog Khorlo Tsebgay (the western, central and southern regions of the country). It is one of the largest dzongkhags (districts) in the country covering 4,308 sq km and ranges from 800-5800 m in altitude. In 24 June 2012, the dzong caught fire and was burnt down.The renovation is still ongoing and is expected to continue until 2021.

In the evening you may visit Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendup Lhakhang Nunnery and enjoy the beautiful view of Punakha and Wangdue valleys.

Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Punakha/Wangdue.

 

Day 04: Witness the Final Day of the Punakha Drubchen

After breakfast, witness the last day of Punakha Drubchen The Punakha Drubchen is a unique and fascinating festival to witness as it hosts a dramatic amusement of the scene from the 17th century battle with Tibetan army. The local militiamen dress in traditional battle gear and build up an impression of the ancient battle scene on the last day of Punakha Drubchen.

You will also visit the Punakha Dzong,visit the Punakha Dzong, majestically sprawl between the Pho Chu (Male River) and the Mo chu (Female River).It is the second oldest and largest dzong built in 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal (Unifier of Bhutan) to serve as the religious and administrative seat of the region. The dzong was built in 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to serve as the religious and administrative seat of the region.

 

After lunch, drive through upper Punakha valley passing through farmhouses and take a leisure walk through farmhouses and then Visit Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten(stupa),(also known as Nyizergang Chöten and Punakha Zangdopelri). It was built in 2004 by the Queen Mother Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuck. The establishment of the stupa is to bring peace and firmness in the world. Enjoy the amazing view of Punakha and Wangdue valleys from there.

Dinner and overnight at hotel at Punakha.

 

 Day 05: Witness the first day of  Punakha Tsechu

After breakfast, we will go and attend the first day of Punakha Tsechu which will be held in the courtyard of Punakha Dzong.We will witness a day-long festival till the end.

In the evening, stroll down around Punakha town and market.

Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Punakha.

 

Day 06: Punakha-Phobjikha-Punakha( 2Hours30Minutes-64Km)

After breakfast drive to Phobjikha valley via Gantey village where you see the Gangtey  Monastery and visit the monastery. Gangtey Gompa, an important monastery of Nyingmapa school of Buddhism, is one of the main seats of the religious tradition based on Pema Lingpa’s revelations.It is the most tourists visited place during the winter season to see the magnificent black-necked cranes that migrate from far-flung remote parts of Tibet. The spectacular ambience surrounded by hills and mountains are home to wandering shepherds and yak-herders. The view is breathtaking.

You will have refreshment and lunch at a resort/restaurant in this valley. Afternoon you can visit the Black Necked Crane Center and enjoy the fascinating sight of these birds in this beautiful scenic valley.

In the late afternoon drive back to Punakha and overnight at a hotel in Punakha.

 

Day 07: Punakha Tsechu and Punakha-Paro (4Hours-124Km)

Early morning go to the Punakha Dzong to witness the unfurling of Thongdroel (giant silk Thangkha).The huge banner (thangka), called Thongdrel (liberation and blessings at the sight), is unfurled for public reverence. It is believed that it brings blessings to all who view it.

Then return back to your hotel and after breakfast get a glimpse of the last day of Punakha tsechu and then travel to Paro with lunch enroute.

On arrival at Paro visit The Rimpung Dzong, a Buddhist monastery and fortress which houses the district Monastic Body and government administrative offices of Paro Dzongkhag, a fine example of Bhutanese historic architecture.  It was built in 1645 to defend the valley against Tibetan invaders. From the Dzong, march further down to Nyamai Zampa, a traditional cantilever bridge which lies below the sheer walls of  Rinpung Dzong. Stroll through Rimpung Bridge (The oldest bridge in Bhutan)

In the evening walk around Paro downtown and you may visit local handicraft stores.

Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Paro

 

Day 08: Paro Excursion to Taktsang (3hours 30 minutes Walk)

Drive to Satsam Chorten and then hike to the Taktshang, the Tiger’s Nest. Normally it takes about three and half hours to complete the hike but might take longer depending on your fitness.  Paro Taktsang, also known as the Tiger’s Nest, is an important Buddhist sacred site which clings to the rock face, 900 metres above the valley floor. To the rear of the Taktsang lies Senge Samdup cave where Guru Rinpoche is said to have meditated for three years, three months, three weeks, three days and three hours in the 8th century. Today, Paro Taktsang is popularly known for the  thirteen taktsang or “tiger lair” caves in which he meditated. It is believed that Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche) flew to Taktshang from Tibet on the back of a tigress from Khenpajong. This place was consecrated to tame the Tiger demon.

Refreshment will be served at View Point Cafeteria en route. After visiting the monastery, descend back to viewpoint cafeteria for lunch and then further descend downhill to the base. Then drive back to hotel.

Then drive to your hotel. On the way visit Kichu temple. It is one of the 108 temples built in the 7th century by the Tibetan King Songsten Gampo. The Jowo Temple of Kyichu is one of the oldest temples in Bhutan. To overcome a giant demon who prevented the spread of Buddhism, laid on the whole area of Tibet and the Himalayas, King Songtsen Gampo build 108 temples placed on all the points of her body.

In the evening, you can relax after your tiresome journey in the traditional hot stone bath.

Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Paro.

 

Day 09: Paro – Departure

Advent Bhutan Tours & Travels (your local Bhutan travel agent) will see you off at the Paro International Airport for your onward destinations.

End of Tour Program

 

Bhutan Trip Cost for this  8 Nights 9 Days  Tour Itinerary

Travel Time

1 pax

2 pax

3 pax & above

High Season: Feb 2018

US$1920/person

US$1840/person

US$1600/person

 

The above Bhutan tour package prices includes the following:

  • Bhutan Government Royalty of US$ 65/person/night
  • FIT surcharges of US$40/person/night for a single traveler and US$30/person/night for a double
  • Twin sharing hotel rooms at 3 star hotels
  • All meals ( breakfast, lunch, dinner & light refreshments) with standard menu at 3 star hotels
  • English speaking tour guide service
  • All transfers and excursions by private vehicles
  • All entrance fees to museums and monuments
  • All internal taxes and fees
  • Mineral drinking water

The above tour prices do not include the following:

  • Single room supplement of US$ 40/room/night (optional)
  • Bhutan Visa fee of US$40/person (must be paid in advance with tour cost)
  • Airfares (optional)
  • Travel insurance (recommended)
  • 4 star and 5 star accommodations and meals (optional)
  • Other personal expenses like overseas calls, laundry,etc

***Thank you & Tashi Delek***

Read more

March 27-31,2018 Paro Festival Tour

8 Nights 9 Days Paro Festival Tour

Brief  background on Paro Tshechu (festival)

Paro Tsechu is held for 5 days beginning on the 10th Day of 2nd Bhutanese lunar month every year, which falls on March 27-31. The Paro Tshechu is held annually dates back from the time of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel (the founder of the state of Bhutan) and  Ponpo Rigzin Nyingpowas in the 17th century.

The Paro festival offers the best opportunity to witness the Bhutanese’s rich culture and history. While you enjoy the festival, you will notice an annual social gathering dressed in their finest clothing and jewelries. The experience being surrounded by the Bhutanese people will give you an insight into the Bhutanese way of life and belief. The Tshechu is a religious festival and by attending it, it is believed one gains merits.

On the last day of Paro Tsechu, the sacred Thongdrol of Guru Rinpoche is unfurled early in the morning on the last day of Paro Tshechu. It is believed that the Thongdroel is unveiled at dawn to bring blessings to all who view it

Paro Festival Schedule: March 27-31, 2018

Paro Festival Tour Itinerary

 

Day 1: Arrive Paro

Your exciting expedition to the land of Drukyul begins with a flight to Paro. On arrival at Paro airport and after completing your immigration formalities, you will be received by your tour guide from Advent Bhutan Tours and Travels. Then check into the hotel. After a brief rest and refreshment, visit the following places:

A farmhouse which gives good insight into the authentic lifestyle of a Bhutanese.

The Kichu temple– It is one of the 108 temples built in the 7th century by the Tibetan King Songsten Gampo. The Jowo Temple of Kyichu is one of the oldest temples in Bhutan. To overcome a giant demon who prevented the spread of Buddhism, laid on the whole area of Tibet and the Himalayas, King Songtsen Gampo build 108 temples placed on all the points of her body.

In the evening, stroll around the Paro town.

Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Paro

 

Day 2: Witness Paro Tshechu

Today you will go and witness the Paro Tshechu Festival.  Monks and lay people, dressed in beautifully coloured silk brocade costumes perform festive dances of good triumphing over evil to the haunting sounds of trumpets, cymbals and flutes.The Paro festival offers a best opportunity to witness the Bhutanese’s rich culture and history. During the festival, you will notice an annual social gathering dressed in their finest clothing and jewellery. The experience being surrounded by the Bhutanese people will give you an insight into the Bhutanese way of life and belief. The Tshechu is a religious festival and by attending it, it is believed one gains merits. You will witness many religious dances performed today like Lords of the Cremation Grounds, Terrifying Deities, Heroes, Novel Man, Ladies Lenham, Stag and Hounds. The dances are accompanied by historical folk songs.

Amid the ongoing festival, we will visit the interior of Rinpung Dzong, a Buddhist monastery and fortress which houses the district Monastic Body and government administrative offices of Paro Dzongkhag, a fine example of Bhutanese historic architecture.  It was built in 1645 to defend the valley against Tibetan invaders. From the Dzong, march further down to Nyamai Zampa, a traditional cantilever bridge which lies below the sheer walls of  Rinpung Dzong. Stroll through Rimpung Bridge (The oldest bridge in Bhutan).

Dinner and overnight in Paro.

 

Day 3: Paro Excursion to Taktsang (3hours 30 minutes Walk)

Drive to Satsam Chorten and then hike to the Taktshang, the Tiger’s Nest. Normally it takes about three and half hours to complete the hike but might take longer depending on your fitness.  Paro Taktsang, also known as the Tiger’s Nest, is an important  Buddhist sacred site which clings to the rock face, 900 metres above the valley floor. To the rear of the Taktsang lies Senge Samdup cave where Guru Rinpoche is said to have meditated for three years, three months, three weeks, three days and three hours in the 8th century. Today, Paro Taktsang is popularly known for the thirteen Taktsang or “tiger lair” caves in which he meditated..it is believed that Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche) flew to Taktshang from Tibet on the back of a tigress from Khenpajong. This place was consecrated to tame the Tiger demon.

Refreshment will be served at View Point Cafeteria en route. After visiting the monastery, descend back to viewpoint cafeteria for lunch and then further descend downhill to the base. Then drive back to the hotel.

Night halt in Paro

 

Day 4: Paro Tshechu and Paro-Thimphu ( 2Hours-55Km)

Early morning before the dawn of the day, attend the Thongdrel to receive a blessing. The huge banner (thangka), called Thongdrel (liberation and blessings at the sight), is unfurled for public reverence. It is believed that it brings blessings to all who view it. It is the most important and auspicious day of the festivities. You will witness the religious dances and religious songs of the hero, Ging and Tsholing, Eight Manifestations and the Sixteen Fairies.

After witnessing the unveiled Thongdroel and receiving the blessing, you will return to your hotel for breakfast. After the breakfast, we will visit the National Museum, housed in the Ta Dzong (watchtower). Ta Dzong– National Museum of Bhutan is a cultural museum in the town of Paro established in 1968. Built on top of the hill above Rinpung Dzong, it was originally used to defend Rinpung Dzong and the Paro valley during times of war.

Here, an intriguing collection of finest samples of Bhutanese art, including masterpieces of bronze statues, paintings, suitable galleries are elegantly displayed on scientific lines, which collectively will lead to the wonderful introduction to the rich culture and heritage of the Kingdom.

After the visit, you will go to the festival ground to get a glimpse of the last day of Paro festival.

In the evening travel to Thimphu.

Dinner and night halt at a hotel in Thimphu

 

Day 5: Day-Long Thimphu Sightseeing

After breakfast, visit the following:

The Bhutan Postal Museum (recently launched) -The Bhutan Postal Museum was launched on 7 November 2015 at the General Post Office building. The postal museum portrays the story of the evolution of communication, transportation and postal services in Bhutan’s history.

The National Textile Museum – Art of traditional weaving being kept alive and preserved through exhibition and has a good collection of old textiles which are rich in colours and designs.  The National Textile Museum is located near the National Library of Bhutan. It was established in 2001 and operated by the National Commission for Cultural Affairs. Ever since its establishment, the museum has gained national and international recognition and has generated an important collection of antique textile artefacts.

The Folk Heritage Museum– The museum was launched on 28 July 2001 under the initiative of founder Queen Mother Ashi Dorji Wangmo. The outdoor museum gives an insight into rural life.The museum exhibit diverse materials associated with the Bhutanese culture and way of life.The exhibition comprises of rural households’ artifacts, equipment, objects and tools

The School of Traditional Painting of Arts and Crafts – The traditional arts is known as zorigchusum (zo = the ability to make; rig = science or craft; chusum = thirteen). These traditional crafts depict hundreds of years of knowledge and ability that has been passed down through generations.The students undergo a six-year course to consummate learning the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan

The Centenary Farmers’ market – Thimphu weekend market is one of the largest domestic markets for Bhutanese farmers. Farmers sell their own produced vegetables, flour, rice, roasted rice, rice flakes, spices, fruits and livestock products (cheese and butter). And also sell wild ferns or bamboo shoots which are collected from forests. People from villages from different cities as well as from town come to this weekend market.

The Memorial Chorten– Also known as the Thimphu Chorten, was built in 1974 to honour the third Druk Gyalpo, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck (1928–1972), who is regarded as “The Father of Modern Bhutan”.   Buddhist call the monument “The mind of the Buddha”. It is an honoured landmark in the city with its golden spires and bells, widely known as “the most visible religious landmark in Bhutan”.

The Tashichho Dzong – It is a Buddhist monastery and fortress of the glorious religion on the northern edge of the city of Thimphu, built in 1641 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel. It was rebuilt into the present structure by the late King, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck in the year 1962-1969. It houses the secretariat building, the throne room and the office of the king, and the central monk body

The Takin Preserve – which houses the national animal, Takin (The national animal of Bhutan). The reason for declaring Takin as the national animal is attributed to a legend of the animal’s creation (goat’s head and cattle’s body) in Bhutan in the 15th century by Lama Drukpa Kunley. Drive further to Sangaygang to get a bird’s eye view of the beautiful Thimphu valley.

The Kuenselphodrang (commonly known as Buddha Point) – The Great Buddha Dordenma is sited amidst the ruins of Kuensel Phodrang, the palace of Sherab Wangchuck, the thirteenth Desi Druk, facing towards the Southern approach to Thimphu. It is one of the largest Buddha statues in the world, at 169 feet (52 m) and contains 100,000 8-inch-tall and 25,000 12-inch-tall gilded bronze Buddhas.

Centenary Farmers’ market – Thimphu weekend market is one of the largest domestic markets for Bhutanese farmers. Farmers sell their own produced vegetables, flour, rice, roasted rice, rice flakes, spices, fruits and livestock products (cheese and butter). And also sell wild ferns or bamboo shoots which are collected from forests. People from villages from different cities as well as from town come to this weekend market.

Then, stroll down the  Handicrafts Emporium and local crafts shops, aligned neatly below Norzin Lam, opposite to Nehru Wangchuk Cultural Centre, to witness Bhutanese fine traditional arts. Here you can buy hand-woven textiles, thangka paintings, masks, ceramics, slate and wood carvings, jewelery, and other eye-catching items made from local materials.

Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Thimphu.

 

Day 6: Thimphu Short Trekking to Tango Monastery (45Minutes from the base)

After breakfast, drive to the base camp of Tango Monastery and hike up to the Monastery. Tango is the highest centre of Buddhist learning for monks in the country. It is believed that almost every Je Khenpo (religious head of Bhutan) accomplished the 9-year program there. After completing that program, monks traditionally spend years meditating at the nearby Cheri Goemba retreat, built in 1619 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal(unifier of Bhutan).

The climb aloft will take approximately about 45 minutes. The view from Tango Monastery is breathtaking, which shall rejuvenate your soul surrounded by the calm ambience.

Drive back to Thimphu. In evening, you can relax /stroll around Thimphu town.

Overnight at hotel in Thimphu.

 

Day 7: Thimphu-Punakha-Wangdue (3Hours -76Km)

In the morning, travel to Punakha via the Dochula pass. The Dochula Pass (3,088m/10,130ft) is a mountain pass, with the breathtaking view of 108 memorial stupas known as “Druk Wangyal Chortens”  built under the initiative of Royal Queen Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuk( the eldest Queen Mother), built in honour of the fourth Druk Gyalpo (head of the state of Bhutan), Jigme Singye Wangchuck.

Journey to Punakha, the old capital of Bhutan and presently the winter residence of the central monk body. It is also known as Pungtang Dewa chhenbi Phodrang (meaning “the palace of great happiness or bliss). It is the second oldest and largest dzong built in 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal (Unifier of Bhutan) to serve as the religious and administrative seat of the region.

After lunch, drive to Metshina Village and take 15 minutes walk through the rice fields to the Devine Madman’s Monastery-Chhimi Lhakhang, famously known for its fertility shrine, where it is believed, one can receive special fertility blessings.

Afterwards, a drive to Wangdue (25 Minutes journey from Punakha). Visit Wangdue Dzong. It was founded by the Zhabdrung in 1638. In the 17th century, Wangdue played a critical role in unifying Shar Chog Khorlo Tsebgay (the western, central and southern regions of the country). It is one of the largest dzongkhags (districts) in the country covering 4,308 sq km and ranges from 800-5800 m in altitude. On 24 June 2012, the dzong caught fire and was burnt down.The renovation is still ongoing and is expected to continue until 2021.

In the evening you may visit Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendup Lhakhang Nunnery and enjoy the beautiful view of Punakha and Wangdue valleys.

Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Punakha/Wangdue.

 

Day 8: Punakha-Paro (3Hours-71Km)

After breakfast, drive through upper Punakha valley and take a hike through farmhouses to the beautiful Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten(stupa),(also known as Nyizergang Chöten and Punakha Zangdopelri). It was built in 2004 by the Queen Mother Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuck. The establishment of the stupa is to bring peace and firmness in the world. Enjoy the amazing view of Punakha and Wangdue valleys from there.

Then travel to Paro with lunch en route. On arrival at Paro, drive 18km up to the Drukgyel Dzong.The Dzong was built by Tenzin Drukdra in 1649 at the directive of  Zhabdrung Rinpoche, to honour victory over an invasion from Tibet.

Dinner and overnight at hotel in Paro.

 

Day 9: Paro – Departure

Advent Bhutan Tours & Travels (your local Bhutan travel agent) will see you off at the Paro International Airport for your onward destinations.

End of Tour Program

 

Bhutan Trip Cost for this  8 Night 9  Day Bhutan Tour Package Price

 
Travel Time 1 pax 2 pax 3 pax & above
High Season: April 2017 US$2320/person US$2240/person US$2000/person

The above Bhutan tour package prices includes the following:

  • Bhutan Government Royalty of US$ 65/person/night
  • FIT surcharges of US$40/person/night for a single traveler and US$30/person/night for a double
  • Twin sharing hotel rooms at 3 star hotels
  • All meals ( breakfast, lunch, dinner & light refreshments) with standard menu at 3 star hotels
  • English speaking tour guide service
  • All transfers and excursions by private vehicles
  • All entrance fees to museums and monuments
  • All internal taxes and fees
  • Mineral drinking water

The above tour prices do not include the following:

  • Fee of US$20/person for Mules/horse ride to Tiger’s Nest Monastery (Optional)
  • Single room supplement of US$ 50/room/night (optional)
  • Bhutanese Visa fee of US$40/person (must be paid in advance with tour cost)
  • Airfares (optional)
  • Travel insurance (recommended)
  • 4 star and 5 star accommodations and meals (optional)
  • Other personal expenses like overseas calls, laundry,etc

***Thank you & Tashi Delek***

Read more

Sept 30-Oct 2,2017 Thimphu Tsechu Tour

 

7 Nights 8 Days  Thimphu Tsechu Festival Tour Sept 30-Oct 2,2017

Brief intorduction on Thimphu Tshechu

Thimphu Tshechu is held in Thimphu for 3 days beginning on the 10th day of the 8th month of lunar calendar.  The 4th Desi, Gyalse Tenzin Rabgay,  initiated Thimphu Tsechu in 1867. In 1950, the third King of Bhutan, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck (Father of Modern Bhutan) initiated small changes to Thimphu Tshechu.

Thimphu Drubchen is celebrated 3 days before the Thimphu Tshechu. It was first introduced by Kuenga Gyeltshen (reincarnation of Jampel Dorji, son of Zhabdrung Nawang Namgyel) in 1710.

During the Thimphu festival,  thousands of people from all over Bhutan gather, dressed in their finest clothing and jewellery and receive blessings and pray for health and happiness.

The experience being surrounded by the Bhutanese people will give you an insight into the Bhutanese way of life and beliefs.

Thimphu Tshechu is held at Tendrel Thang ( Festival Ground in front of Tashichhoedzong).  Beautifully coloured mask dances and historical folk dances are performed during the festival.The sacred Thongdrol of Guru Rinpoche is unfurled early in the morning on the last day of Thimphu Tshechu. It is believed that the Thongdroel is unveiled at dawn to bring blessings to   all who view it

 

Thimphu Tshechu Schedule: Sept 30-Oct 2, 2017

7 Night 8 Day Thimphu Festival Tour Itinerary

 

Day 01: Arrive Paro, Travel to Thimphu (2Hours – 55KM)

Arrive at Paro International Airport. After completing your immigration formalities, you will be warmly welcomed by the representative of Advent Bhutan Tours who will be your Bhutan tour guide throughout your entire travel in Bhutan.

Voyage to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan, is an hourly drive journey.  The road runs down through the Paro valley, characterised by the narrow-gauged with high, rocky cliffs on the left. You can stop on the way to visit the magnificent Tamchhog Lhakhang, the hereditary place of worship for Bhutan’s iron bridge builder. Then passage through  Chuzom, is the entrance to the Thimphu valley,  the Confluence of Paro and Thimphu rivers. The road passes along the Simtokha Dzong, (Dzong means ‘castle-monastery’) – It is the oldest Dzong built in 1629 by Zhabdrug Ngawang Namgyal (who unified Bhutan). The Dzong functions as a monastic and as well as administrative centre. Today, it is one of the pre-eminent Dzongkha language (National Language) learning institutes.

On arrival at Thimphu check into your hotel and after brief rest and refreshment visit the following:

The Tashichho Dzong – It is a Buddhist monastery and fortress of the glorious religion on the northern edge of the city of Thimphu, built in 1641 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel. It was rebuilt into the present structure by the late King, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck in the year 1962-1969. It houses the secretariat building, the throne room and the office of the king, and the central monk body.

Then, stroll down the Handicrafts Emporium and local crafts shops, aligned neatly below Norzin Lam, opposite to Nehru Wangchuk Cultural Centre, to witness Bhutanese fine traditional arts. Here you can buy hand-woven textiles, thangka paintings, masks, ceramics, slate and wood carvings, jewellery, and other eye-catching items made from local materials.

Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Thimphu.

 

Day 02: 1st Day of Thimphu Tshechu (Festival)

Time: 9.am – 4.30 pm

After breakfast, you will go to witness the 1st Day of Thimphu Tshechu (Festival) .Thimphu Drubchen is celebrated 3 days before the Thimphu Tshechu. It was first introduced by Kuenga Gyeltshen( reincarnation of Jampel Dorji, son of Zhabdrung Nawang Namgyel) in 1710.

During the Thimphu festival, thousands of people from all over Bhutan gather, dressed in their finest clothing and jewellery and receive blessings and pray for health and happiness.

The experience being surrounded by the Bhutanese people will give you an insight into the Bhutanese way of life and beliefs.

Thimphu Tshechu is held at Tendrel Thang (Festival Ground in front of Tashichhoedzong).  Beautifully coloured mask dances and historical folk dances are performed during the festival.

In between the ongoing festival, we will visit The Tashichhoe Dzong, It is a Buddhist monastery and fortress of the glorious religion on the northern edge of the city of Thimphu, built in 1641 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel. It was rebuilt into the present structure by the late King, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck in the year 1962-1969. It houses the secretariat building, the throne room and the office of the king, and the central monk body.

After the festival you will visit the following:

The Kuenselphodrang (commonly known as Buddha Point) – The Great Buddha Dordenma is sited amidst the ruins of Kuensel Phodrang, the palace of Sherab Wangchuck, the thirteenth Desi Druk, facing towards the Southern approach to Thimphu. It is one of the largest Buddha statues in the world, at 169 feet (52 m) and contains 100,000 8-inch-tall and 25,000 12-inch-tall gilded bronze Buddhas.

And The National Memorial Chorten (stupa), Also known as the Thimphu Chorten, was built in 1974 to honour the third Druk Gyalpo, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck (1928–1972), who is regarded as “The Father of Modern Bhutan”.   Buddhist call the monument “The mind of the Buddha”. It is an honoured landmark in the city with its golden spires and bells, widely known as “the most visible religious landmark in Bhutan”.

Overnight at a hotel in Thimphu

 

Day 03: Witness the Thimphu Tsechu (2nd Day)-Thimphu sightseeing -Short Hike to Tango Monastery

After breakfast, the visit includes the following places:

The Centenary Farmers’ market – Thimphu weekend market is one of the largest domestic markets for Bhutanese farmers. Farmers sell their own produced vegetables, flour, rice, roasted rice, rice flakes, spices, fruits and livestock products (cheese and butter). And also sell wild ferns or bamboo shoots which are collected from forests. People from villages from different cities as well as from town come to this weekend market.

Go to Tendrel Thang and witness about an hour, the 2nd Day of Thimphu Festival. Then, we will make a visit to the following places:

The National Textile Museum – Art of traditional weaving being kept alive and preserved through exhibition and has a good collection of old textiles which are rich in colours and designs.  The National Textile Museum is located near the National Library of Bhutan. It was established in 2001 and operated by the National Commission for Cultural Affairs. Ever since its establishment, the museum has gained national and international recognition and has generated an important collection of antique textile artefacts.

Simply Bhutan– It will give you fascinating insights into the Bhutanese unique culture and way of life.

After lunch , drive to the base camp of Tango Monastery and hike up to the Monastery. Tango is the highest centre of Buddhist learning for monks in the country. It is believed that almost every Je Khenpo (religious head of Bhutan) accomplished the 9-year program there. After completing that program, monks traditionally spend years meditating at the nearby Cheri Goemba retreat, built in 1619 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal(unifier of Bhutan).

The climb aloft will take approximately about 45 minutes. The view from Tango Monastery is breathtaking, which shall rejuvenate your soul surrounded by the calm ambience.

Drive back to Thimphu. In evening, you can relax /stroll around Thimphu town.

Overnight at hotel in Thimphu.

 

Day 04: Final Day of Thimphu Tshechu

After breakfast, we will go to the Tendrel Thang (festival ground) to attend the last day of Thimphu Tsechu. You will witness most religious mask dances, historical folk dances and dance of Bhutanese warriors.

After the festival, visit the following places:

The Traditional Bhutanese paper making factory– Jungshi Paper Factory was established in November 1990 as an undertaking of the Royal Government of Bhutan.This small factory produces traditional Bhutanese paper handmade from the bark of the Daphne bush. The unit now boasts as a major and sole dealer in handmade paper and its products.

The Takin Preserve, which houses the national animal, Takin (The national animal of Bhutan). The reason for declaring Takin as the national animal is attributed to a legend of the animal’s creation (goat’s head and cattle’s body) in Bhutan in the 15th century by Lama Drukpa Kunley. Drive further to Sangaygang to get a bird’s eye view of the beautiful Thimphu valley.

Changankha Lhakhang (temple): This holy temple(spiritual home of children born in the Chang valley) was built by the illustrious Lam Phajo Dugom Zhigpo in the 13th century.

Overnight at a hotel in Thimphu.

 

Day 05: Thimphu-Punakha-Wangdue (3Hours -76Km)

In the morning, travel to Punakha via the Dochula pass. The Dochula Pass (3,088m/10,130ft) is a mountain pass, with the breathtaking view of 108 memorial stupas known as “Druk Wangyal Chortens”  built under the initiative of Royal Queen Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuk( the eldest Queen Mother), built in honour of the fourth Druk Gyalpo (head of the state of Bhutan), Jigme Singye Wangchuck.

Journey to Punakha, the old capital of Bhutan and presently the winter residence of the central monk body. It is also known as Pungtang Dewa chhenbi Phodrang (meaning “the palace of great happiness or bliss). It is the second oldest and largest dzong built in 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal (Unifier of Bhutan) to serve as the religious and administrative seat of the region. Visit the Punakha Dzong, majestically sprawl between the Pho Chu (Male River) and the Mo chu (Female River).

After lunch, drive to Metshina Village and take 15 minutes walk through the rice fields to the Devine Madman’s Monastery-Chhimi Lhakhang, famously known for its fertility shrine, where it is believed, one can receive special fertility blessings.

Later on, drive to Wangdue (25 Minutes journey from Punakha). Visit Wangdue Dzong. It was founded by the Zhabdrung in 1638. In the 17th century, Wangdue played a critical role in unifying Shar Chog Khorlo Tsebgay (the western, central and southern regions of the country). It is one of the largest dzongkhags (districts) in the country covering 4,308 sq km and ranges from 800-5800 m in altitude. In 24 June 2012, the dzong caught fire and was burnt down.The renovation is still ongoing and is expected to continue until 2021.

In the evening you may visit Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendup Lhakhang Nunnery and enjoy the beautiful view of Punakha and Wangdue valleys.

Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Punakha/Wangdue.

 

Day 06: Punakha-Paro (3Hours-71Km)

After breakfast, drive through upper Punakha valley and take a hike through farmhouses to the beautiful Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten(stupa),(also known as Nyizergang Chöten and Punakha Zangdopelri). It was built in 2004 by the Queen Mother Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuck. The establishment of the stupa is to bring peace and firmness in the world. Enjoy the amazing view of Punakha and Wangdue valleys from there.

Then travel to Paro with lunch en route. On arrival at Paro visit

In the evening, visit a farmhouse which gives good insight into the authentic lifestyle of a Bhutanese.

Overnight at a hotel in Paro

 

 

Day 07: Paro Excursion to Taktsang (3hours 30 minutes Walk)

Drive to Satsam Chorten and then hike to the Taktshang, the Tiger’s Nest. Normally it takes about three and half hours to complete the hike but might take longer depending on your fitness.  Paro Taktsang, also known as the Tiger’s Nest, is an important Buddhist sacred site which clings to the rock face, 900 metres above the valley floor. To the rear of the Taktsang lies Senge Samdup cave where Guru Rinpoche is said to have meditated for three years, three months, three weeks, three days and three hours in the 8th century. Today, Paro Taktsang is popularly known for the thirteen Taktsang or “tiger lair” caves in which he meditated..it is believed that Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche) flew to Taktshang from Tibet on the back of a tigress from Khenpajong. This place was consecrated to tame the Tiger demon.

Refreshment will be served at View Point Cafeteria en route.After visiting the monastery, descend back to viewpoint cafeteria for lunch and then further descend downhill to the base. Then drive back to the hotel.

On the way visit the Kichu temple– It is one of the 108 temples built in the 7th century by the Tibetan King Songsten Gampo. The Jowo Temple of Kyichu is one of the oldest temples in Bhutan. To overcome a giant demon who prevented the spread of Buddhism, laid on the whole area of Tibet and the Himalayas, King Songtsen Gampo build 108 temples placed on all the points of her body.

In the evening you may relax in the traditional hot stone bath.

Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Paro.

 

Day 08: Paro – Departure

Advent Bhutan Tours & Travels (your local Bhutan travel agent) will see you off at the Paro International Airport for your onward destinations.

End of Tour

 

 

 

Bhutan Trip Cost for this  7 Nights 8 Days  Tour Itinerary

 
Travel Time 1 pax 2 pax 3 pax & above
High Season:Sept & Oct 2017  USD2030 USD1960/person USD1750/person

The above Bhutan tour package prices includes the following:

  • Bhutan Government Royalty of US$ 65/person/night
  • FIT surcharges of US$40/person/night for a single traveler and US$30/person/night for a double
  • Twin sharing hotel rooms at 3 star hotels
  • All meals ( breakfast, lunch, dinner & light refreshments) with standard menu at 3 star hotels
  • English speaking tour guide service
  • All transfers and excursions by private vehicles
  • All entrance fees to museums and monuments
  • All internal taxes and fees
  • Mineral drinking water

The above tour prices do not include the following:

  • Single room supplement of US$ 50/room/night (optional)
  • Visa fee of US$40/person (must be paid in advance with tour cost)
  • Airfares (optional)
  • Travel issurance (recommended)
  • 4 star and 5 star accommodations and meals (optional)
  • Other personal expenses like overseas calls, laundry,etc

***Thank you & Tashi Delek***

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