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Punakha Tsechu – 9 Days

The highlight of this tour is the Punakha festival consisting of typical masked dances which are very colourful and interesting, the events and enactments are different on each day. Punakha Dromchoe is a eight days

OVERVIEW OF THE TRIP

Trip:
Tour Type: Festival Tours
Trip Duration: 9 Days
Max Altitude: 3,050 m /10004 ft
Trip Starts From: Paro
Trip Ends At: Paro
Trip Region: Bhutan
Best Season:
Trip Level: Easy
Just about anyone can participate in one of these holidays. Minimum walking time is 2 hours and maximum walking time is approximately 5 hours a day. By the time you walk around a number of historical sites you’ll be surprised at how quickly the time passes. You do have the chance to take your time and there are plenty of places where you can rest if needed.
Trip Route: Paro-Thimpu-Punakha-Paro

Trip Information

The highlight of this tour is the Punakha festival consisting of typical masked dances which are very colourful and interesting, the events and enactments are different on each day. Punakha Dromchoe is a eight days long festival dedicated to the goddess Mahakala. The religious aspects are performed in the same manner as in early times. On the last day, a play of warriors going off to war is enacted.

The contrast between the climate and vegetation in Punakha at 1,800 metres and Thimphu and Paro valleys at 2,400m will be clearly felt as you spend a few days in Paro at the beginning of your trip and a few days in the capital city, Thimphu, at the end of the tour. In Paro you will visit the dzong, the museum, temples and farmhouses. The excursion to Taktsang Monastry is well worth the effort it is classed as Paro’s most famous and most deeply revered religious site. In Thimphu, you will spend a full day of sightseeing.


    ITINERARY

  • February 14 – Arrival at Paro Airport. Overnight at a hotel.

  • February 15 – Scenic drive from Paro to Thimphu. Overnight at a hotel.

  • February 16 – Drive from Thimphu to Punakha. Overnight at a hotel.

  • February 17 to 18 – Festival activities in Punakha. Overnight at a hotel.

  • February 19 – Hiking and village exploration in Gangtey and afternoon drive to Paro. Overnight at a hotel.

  • February 20 – Sightseeing around Paro. Overnight at a hotel.

  • February 21 – Excursion to the Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest). Overnight at a hotel.

  • February 22– Transfer to international airport for your final departure. Overnight at a hotel.


    TRIP DETAILS

  • February 14 - Arrival at Paro Airport

    You can take flight to Paro from Bangkok, New Delhi, Kathmandu, Dhaka etc. We recommend you to fly from Bangkok because Druk air offer everyday flight from Bangkok – Paro – Bangkok whereas Druk air do not operate everyday flights from other sectors.

    You will be met on arrival and transferred to your hotel to settle in. After the formalities we take a short drive to Paro town to stroll through Bazaar. We visit the Ta Dzong which houses the National Museum and visit Paro’s Rimpung Dzong , on the way down we cross the 16th century cantilever bridge. Also visiting the Drugyel Dzong victory fortress, built in 1647 which is 18 kms from the Paro town. Explore the magnificent ramparts of the erstwhile fortress which defended the country against several incursions. On a clear day one can also view the sacred Mount Jomolhari, from the northern battlements. We take a visit to a farm house and observe the traditional Bhutanese way of life and living. Overnight at a hotel.
    (Lunch and Dinner Included)

  • February 15 - Scenic drive from Paro to Thimphu

    Early morning we take a scenic drive to Bhutan’s capital, Thimphu, approximately 90 mins drive from Paro. Sightseeing in and around Thimphu valley we visit the National Library, which holds a collection of ancient Buddhist texts and manuscripts, as well as the institute for Zorig Chusum commonly known as Painting School, textile and Folk Heritage Museum which provides an insight into Bhutanese material culture and everyday way of life. Also visiting the National Memorial Chorten, Trashichho dzong an impressive monastery, Bhutanese Handicrafts displaying a wide range of beautifully hand-woven textiles and craft products. In the evening we explore the vibrant Thimphu Bazaar. Overnight at a hotel.
    (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included)

  • February 16- Drive from Thimphu to Punakha

    Driving about 3 hours, leaving Thimphu the road climbs steeply through a forest of pine and cedar, festooned with hanging lichen high up near Dochula pass (3,050m). This pass offers panoramic views of the Himalayan mountain ranges on a clear day. You will see Rhododendrons, Magnolias, Junipers and pine forests with chirping sounds of the many rare species of birds found in Bhutan. We then drive onto Lobesa where you take a short hike to Chimi Lhakhang Temple. This temple is on a hill top and it is dedicated to the great Yogi known as Drukpa Kuenley or popularly known as “Divine madman” of the 14th century. It is believed that this temple blesses women who seek fertility. Overnight at a hotel.
    (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included)

  • February 17 to 18 - Festival activities in Punakha

    Enjoy the festival of Punakha Domchoe. Overnight at a hotel.
    (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included)

  • February 19 - Hiking and village exploration in Gangtey and afternoon drive to Paro

    Follow the same route, then drive back to Paro. Overnight at a hotel.
    (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included)

  • February 20 - Sightseeing around Paro

    Sightseeing once again in Paro. Overnight at a hotel.
    (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included)

  • February 21 - Excursion to the Taktsang Monastery (Tiger's Nest)

    Excursion to Taktsang Monastery (Tigers Nest).The trail to the monastery climbs through beautiful Pine and rhododendron forests. We stop at the tea house for rest and refreshments, the tea house offers magnificent up close view of the tigers nest and continue the hike for short while until you see, clearly and seemingly within reach, the imposing Taktsang monastery. Built in 1600s, this incredible monastery clings to the edge of a sheer rock cliff that plunges 900m into the valley below. History states that Guru Padmasambhava, the Tantric mystic who brought Buddhism to Bhutan, landed here on the back of a flying tiger and meditated here for three months. It is regarded to be one of the most venerated cultural heritage sites in Bhutan. People from all over the Himalayan Diaspora frequent this place on the pilgrimage trail to Bhutan. Overnight at a hotel.
    (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included)

  • February 22 - Transfer to international airport for your final departure

    After breakfast our airport representative will drop you to the Paro International Airport for your flight departure from Bhutan.
    (Breakfast Included)


    COST INCLUDES

  • Pick up from and drop off at the hotel and the airport on a tourist car / van /minibus.

  • Standard government-approved accommodation (in twin sharing rooms) for the duration of the tour.

  • Full-board meals - breakfast, lunch, dinner and tea & snacks - for the duration of your stay.

  • Drinking water for the duration of the tour.

  • Country presentation and tour Briefing on the evening of Day 01 with welcome drinks.

  • Licensed English-speaking Bhutanese tour guides.

  • Private transportation and a designated driver within Bhutan. Toyota 4WD luggage vans and light trucks for group travel. Luggage will be hauled by horses, mules or yaks at higher elevations, if required.

  • Monument and museums entrance fees at all sightseeing locations detailed in the itinerary.

  • Cultural afternoon/evening sessions with traditional mask and folk dances (with beverages). Only for group tours.

  • Bhutan visa fees and processing assistance.

  • Government royalty (35% of $200), which goes to the country's health and education projects.

  • All route access and monument entry permits and fees.

  • All government taxes, official expenses and tourist service charges.


    COST DOES NOT INCLUDE

  • International airfare and airport departure tax. (Please see the Druk Air flight info below)

  • Your travel insurance (mandatory for the trip,see the travel insurance page).

  • Expenses of personal nature, such as laundry.

  • Alcoholic and cold drinks.

  • Personal clothing and equipment. (See the equipment tab for detail information)

  • Tips for tour guides, porters, driver, hotel lobby and in restaurants. (Tipping is expected)

  • Other expenses not mentioned in the Price Includes section.


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