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Bhutan Thimphu Festival & Trek

 
  • Attend the colourful and vibrant Thimphu Festival, Bhutan's biggest cultural event
  • Trek in the Bhutan Himalaya from Paro to Thimphu
  • Fully supported camping based trek
  • Stunning mountain views
  • Takstang Monastery
  • Sightseeing - Paro National Museum, Thimphu & Simtokha Dzong

 

TOUR DESCRIPTION 

Commencing our trip in the beautiful alpine valley of Paro, we take time to explore the areas rich cultural history and stunning scenery, including a day walk to the famous Taktsang Monastery. This prepares us for our trek, which winds through old growth forest to the capital of Thimphu, where the annual festival takes place. Bhutan is host to many cultural and religious festivals, and the Thimphu Tshechu is a spectacle of colourful celebration where onlookers are believed to be blessed with good fortune. Taking place over three days, there are a number of culturally and religiously significant dances. It is an exciting time to be in Bhutan, and the local people turn out in their best traditional dress and jewelry for the occasion. At the conclusion of the festival, we return to Paro via the Simtokha Dzong.

WHAT'S INCLUDED

 

  • 10 breakfasts, 9 lunches and 10 dinners
  • Airport transfers (day 1 and 11 only)
  • Expert bilingual guide
  • Group medical kit
  • Good quality accommodation in towns
  • The use of a world expeditions trek pack which includes a quality sleeping bag, down or fibre fill jacket and insulated mat valued at us$500
  • Souvenir world expeditions kit bag
  • All group camping equipment
  • Private transportation
  • All park entrance fees and trekking permits
  • Pack animals to carry all your personal equipment

 

ITINERARY

Day 1 - Join Paro
Arrive Paro by Druk Air flight which will offer you great views of Mt. Everest, Kanchenjunga, Chomolhari, Tsrim gang and Jichu Drake. The moment you step out of the plane you will see the difference . Bhutan welcomes you with cool, clean fresh air. Peace and quietness is just another bonous. ITT representatives will escort you to Kichu resort. If time prevails visit the National museum & Rinpung Dzong.
Day 2 - Taktsang Monastery hike
The Paro valley is truly beautiful, being a location for various farming activities, including commercial quantities of asparagus, strawberries and shitake mushrooms for export, plus various grain and vegetable crops. It is a patchwork of colours delineated by well kept traditional design farm houses that are ornately decorated. All of the slopes surrounding the valley are forested and the hint of mountains beyond is alluring. Simply driving through the willow lined streets is relaxing and uplifting – there is no clutter of people, or traffic or rubbish, (Plastic bags are banned). Our morning is spent exploring and appreciating the Tigers Nest Monastery or Taktsang, as it is known in Bhutan, a short drive from our resort. It takes us about two hours to walk up the winding trail steeply through chir pine forest to a tea house and excellent vantage point. Another half hour walk takes us almost directly opposite the cliffs where the monastery is set. The monastery is the divine resting place of the Guru Ringpoche, and although it was once accidentally burnt down, it has been reconstructed to it's former glory. We return back to our accommodation in the early afternoon.
Day 3 - Commence trek to Jele Dzong (3100m), walk approx 4-5hrs.
We rise early and after breakfast drive to Ta-Dzong where we commence our trek to Jele Dzong. Today is rather a short trekking day so you can relax and enjoy the scenic beauty of the Paro vally. The hike is gradually uphill through pine forest. Camp will be next to a Dzong which was renovated recently. Camp is at 3100 meters.
Day 4 - Trek to Jangchulakha (3650m), walk approx. 3-4 hrs.
Jele dzong to Jangchulakha. Today the trek begins uphill through huge rhododendron trees. We may encounter yak herders during the winter season. Camp at 3650 meters.
Day 5 - Trek to Jigmelangtsho (3600m), walk approx. 5-6 hrs.
The trail follows the ridge and in clear weather we will gain lovely views of the mountains. The path descends for sometime and our camp will be near a lake abundant with trout at 3600 meters.
Day 6 - To Phajoding camp (3500m), walk approx 6-7hrs.
We trek through forests of dwarf rhododendron shrubs passing two lakes. After passing the second lake we begin to ascend gradually. From the top of the ridge we enjoy the majestic view of Mt.Gangkar Punsum (7520m), the highest mountain in Bhutan. We continue for one and half hours before reaching the steep descend to Phajoding camp at 3500 meters. At night you can see the lights of the capital, Thimphu glittering in a bowl shaped valley.
Day 7 - Trek to Thimphu
Today is the easiest day of trekking. We make our way for three hours down hill through pine forest. Upon reaching Motithang, we will be met and transferred to our hotel. Afternoon at leisure. Overnight hotel.
Day 8 - Thimphu Festival
The Thimphu Tsechu is held in the courtyard of the Tashichho Dzong, and the Bhutanese come from all over the country, dressed in their finest clothes to attend. It is believed that those who witness the festival will be brought much luck and their wishes and dreams realised. It is the biggest cultural festival in Bhutan, and we spend the entire day attending. Like most festivals in Bhutan, the Thimphu festival is held to honour Guru Rinpoche, who in the 8th Century contributed to diffusion of Tantric Buddhism in the Himalayan regions. It is held from the 9th to 11th of the 8th month of the Bhutanese Calendar in Autumn. The main attraction of the festival is the many colourful dances, each with a religious and cultural significance. Have your camera at the ready to document this colourful once in a lifetime experience!
Day 9 - Morning Thimphu Festival, afternoon sightseeing.
The morning will be spent attending the festival followed by sightseeing in the afternoon. We visit the Memorial chorten built in the memory of the late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, 15 century Changangkha monastery, and Motithang mini zoo to see the rare "Takin" national animal of Bhutan. The remainder of the day can be spent with free time in the market.
Day 10 - Return to Paro (drive 1-2hrs), afternoon sightseeing.
En-route to Paro we visit the oldest building in Bhutan, the Simtokha Dzong. The afternoon will be spent in Paro where we will visit the Taa Dzong and Paro Dzong. Overnight Kichu Resort.
Day 11 - Trip concludes
Early morning transfer to the airport.



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