Trip Overview

Destination: Bhutan with Festival (Paro Tshechu)

Duration: 10 Nights 11 Days


Highlights of Paro Festival: Paro festival is one of the most popular festivals in the country and amongst the tourist. Paro Tshechu Offers the best opportunity to witness the Bhutanese’s rich culture, history and religion that distinguishes the people and country distinctly from rest of the countries. This festivity brings you a closer contact with the people and gives you an insight into the Bhutanese lives, beliefs and more. During Tshechu the dances are performed by monks as well as by laymen. The Tshechu is a religious festival and by attending it, it is believed one gains merits. It is also a yearly social gathering where the people come together to rejoice dressed in all their finery.



DAY 1. PARO (2250 M)

Flying into the beautiful valley is breathtaking. As the plane approaches Paro, the pilot usually announces, the highest peaks in the world, including Mount Everest provided that the skies are clear. Then the plane enters the valley huge massive mountains will greet you on your sides. Don’t panic as you see the plane winding its way through these massive mountains, as it’s a normal procedure for landing at Paro International Airport. This is one of the most unique experiences for our travelers. The view from the plane is breathtaking, the clouds, clean air, forested mountains.

Paro is a beautiful valley, inheriting a rich cultural heritage. It is home to some of the country’s oldest temples and monasteries. The famous Tigers Nest (Taktsang Monastery) is located north of this valley, and up north the Mt. Jomolhari (7,300m) overlooks the valley. The glacial waters from Mt. Jomolhari flows through the valley. This valley is very fertile, in producing the famous red rice.

Upon your arrival our guide will receive you and drive you towards Paro Dzong to catch the festivity in full celebrations.


DAY 2. PARO (2250 M)

Witness Paro Tshechu.

After Paro Tsechu sightseeing in Paro valley.


DAY 3. PARO (2250 M) – THIMPHU (2300 M) APPROX 1HR DRIVE 65 KM

Being the capital of Bhutan, Thimphu offers unique opportunities to explore the Bhutanese culture and traditions in depth. Whether you are interested in spirituality, Buddhism or astrology, experiencing different aspects of the local culture such as weaving, sacred paintings or the local markets, or would like to gain an insight into the abundant flora and fauna of Bhutan, we will arrange that your curiosity and interests are satisfied.

Due to the high altitude, the sun is relatively strong and we would therefore recommend you carry sunscreen whenever you are outdoors. The Bhutanese are required to wear their national dress at all times, especially when visiting monasteries or government bodies, and are proud to do so as it is a reflection of their culture and way of life. This rule does not apply to foreigners; however admission may be refused if you are wearing clothes that expose your shoulders and legs.

We invite you to see the sights of the Kingdom’s capital with us. Below we have listed some of the experiences that we enjoy the most! After lunch we will spend our time circumambulating the sacred National Memorial Chorten. This is a Tibetan-style chorten built in 1974 in memory of the late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk who passed away in 1972. It is one of the most visible religious structures in town and for many people it is the focus of daily worship. Remember to walk around the Chorten at least once to gain merit and good luck. We will take in more of kingdom’s rich culture at the Folk Heritage Museum. The museum is a restored three story traditional rammed mud and timber house inaugurated as a museum by Her Majesty the Queen Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuk in 2001. It showcases the traditional artifacts used now and in the past, which helps connect people to the Bhutanese rural life. From the museum we will drive to the National Post office for stamps. Bhutan is famous for producing unique and innovative stamps. After selling peculiar “CD-stamps” Bhutan’s Post office now offers personalized stamps; we invite you to surprise your family and friends with your custom-made stamp made with one of your favorite holiday photographs! Next we will visit the Bhutanese Paper factory. The art of handmade paper in Bhutan dates back to the 8th century, although usage was limited mainly to religious purposes. Today it is considered an important element in the preservation of Bhutan’s cultural heritage. The factory allows guests to view the paper making process and purchase gifts from their show room.

Towards evening we will visit Tashichhoe Dzong and have glimpse of king Jigme’s Palace. The Dzong is popularly known as Thimphu Dzong. It is the seat of the government and the centre of all religious affairs of the Kingdom. It houses the office and the throne room of His Majesty King Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck. Just below the dzong we can have a glimpse of King Jigmi’s palace.



After breakfast we will drive Phobjikha Valley via Punakha and Wangdue. Gangtey and Phobjikha Valley are some of the most stunning areas in the country; the wide flat valley without any trees after the hard climb through dense forest is an extremely rare experience in Bhutan. In contrast to some parts of Bhutan, where modern development is already very apparent, Gangtey is a place with natural beauty, untouched scenery, local traditions and culture, and unconstrained peacefulness. Unlike the rest of Bhutan where you walk from one stunning viewpoint to the next, in Phobjikha Valley you will have constant breathtaking views wherever you venture. We a variety of activities, hikes and bike ride that will allow you to experience the natural splendor of the valley and its surroundings.

The locals and the animals wandering from pasture to pasture have largely created the paths throughout the valley. For your own safety and convenience, we would suggest you keep to the recognizable footpaths and roads and always wear sturdy footwear or trekking boots. Please be advised that the paths can be quite muddy and wet during the rainy season. Due to the high altitude, the sun is relatively strong and we would therefore recommend you carry sunscreen whenever you are outdoors.



Local Hot Stone Bath (Recommended for Smaller Groups up to 6 Persons)

In Gangtey you have the opportunity to soak in a traditional wooden tub for a hot stone bath. A short drive into the valley will lead to the farmhouse where the hot stone bathroom is located in a simple wooden hut. The stones used to heat up the water will be red hot on the outdoor fire. Enjoy a cup of ara, sit back and unwind in the bath for as long as you wish. Your body will benefit from the minerals in the stones and the healing effects of the local herbs. On return to the lodge, you can prolong your experience with a relaxing massage in our spa as the perfect end to your rejuvenation.

Time: 20 minute drive (or one hour walk) to the village house where the hot stone bath is located

Price: USD 20 ++ per bath, and advance booking is requested, as it can accommodate 2 person at a time, and if in a group bathing will have to take in turns.

Visit to Yak Herder Camp

The Brokpas, Bhutanese yak herders, can be found at elevations higher than 3000 meters. Raising yaks has been and continues to be at the justify of their livelihood. Aptly referred to as the “camel of the snows,” the yak is a multi-purpose animal providing milk, meat, warmth and manure. The animals are also used for carrying loads and transportation in the high altitudes and rugged terrain. They also add to the aesthetic value of the Himalayas. From November to March, the yak herders keep their livestock in Phobjikha, and set up small camps in the yak fields where they stay throughout the winter season. Two such camps are located just below the Lawola pass. To provide you with insight into the life of a yak herder, we would be happy to take you there. You will get the chance to taste some of the yak products such as cheese, butter and milk, and learn about the nomadic existence of the herders.

Visit to the Royal Society for Protection of Nature

The Royal Society for Protection of Nature is commonly referred to as RSPN or The Crane Centre. The centre, located a 45 minute hike or 15 minute drive down the valley, is the centre for crane observation and conservation in Phobjikha valley. The black-necked cranes occupy a special place in Bhutan?s heart and folklore, and RSPN displays information on the cranes and the surrounding environment, in addition to conducting awareness campaigns which educates both locals and tourists about these endangered species.

The Black-Necked Cranes: Migrating in late autumn from Tibet, the rare birds herald the end of the harvesting season and indicate the time when farming families move to warmer climates in the lower valleys. Many legends and myths surround the cranes, which the Bhutanese call the Thrung Thrung Keh Narp, meaning thin, tall and black necked. About 360 birds spend the winter season, from November to February, in the valleys of Phobjikha. It has been observed that when the bird’s fly over Gangtey Goemba, they circle it three times, when both arriving and leaving. The Bhutanese believe this represents the honouring of the three sacred jewels of Buddhism and the request and gratitude for their protection during their stay. Each year a male and female crane are said to stay within the valley and offer themselves in gratitude for the food and safety their families received.

In additions to visiting the centre, lectures on the black-necked cranes, local culture and myths in Phobjikha can be arranged with staff of the RSPN either at the centre or the farm house.


The locals consider Bumthang as the spiritual hub of the country. The valley and many connecting ones are steeped in history and the expression of deep spiritual beliefs. Bumthang also houses many of the spiritual tests, which if you dare, show you how free of sin you are or aren’t, or whether you will (or have) lived up to the expectations of your parents. From chain mails that have to be carried around the alter room three times, to tunnels and holes in stones, that when found with closed eyes, will indicate whether you are honest – Bumthang has it all and more.

The four valleys of Bumthang – Choekhor, Tang, Ura and Chhume offer numerous experiences whether you want to hike, bike, discover temples, watch wildlife, or learn more about Bhutanese lifestyle and culture. We have discovered a number of exciting things to do in the area and gathered the following information for you so that you can get a better idea of all the possibilities. We hope that we can tempt you to discover the valley with us, and that this will help you get the most out of your time in Bumthang. We would be very happy to give more information or help tailor make the experiences even further should you wish. We hope you will enjoy exploring the magical Bumthang Valley.

The Tower of Trongsa Museum Visit

On our way to Bumthang upon reaching Trongsa we will visit Trongsa museum which is definitely worth a stop. The museum was inaugurated late 2008 and is located in the Taa Dzong or “Watch Tower”, with splendid views of Trongsa and the Trongsa Dzong – the longest fortress in the Kingdom. The exhibition covers all aspects of Bhutanese culture, history and Bhutan?s monarchy, with some rare and beautiful objects on display. Some of the statues and religious paintings have been moved from the temples of the Dzong and some are recent copies of the old sacred images. One of the galleries is dedicated to the history of the kings of the Wangchuck dynasty and houses a selection of clothing, ritual and everyday objects donated by the royal family to serve as an illustration of their past and current lives. Taa Dzong also houses two temples and serves as a sacred place of encounter with the gods.

The museum also host a cafeteria where, and it’s a perfect way to rest after a long drive and a visit to the museum. We suggest spending more time at the museum.



Today’s expolaration of the Bumthang valley begins with visit to Jakar Dzong. The Dzong was founded by Ngagi Wangchuk as a small hermitage in 1549. It was expanded in 1646 to help consolidate the Zhabdrung’s expanding power into the eastern region. Scouting for a place for the dzong, a small white bird was seen perched on a hill, which was taken as an auspicious sign, and hence the name Jakar, meaning the “white bird”. The dzong is now the seat of district administration and monastic body of Bumthang valleys. We will then visit the auspecious Jampa Lhakhang. The monastery is believed to have been built in the year 659 by the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo, on the same day as Kyichu Lhakhang in Paro, in order to subdue a Tibetan demoness. It was here that Guru Rinpoche conducted the first sermon on Tantric Buddhism for his host King Sindhu Raja, the local ruler and his family. The place where Guru Rinpoche sat during the sermon can still be seen. Every year in October, the temple hosts a spectacular festival, the Jampa Lhakhang Drup. Two of the main attractions are the fire dance and the treasure dance or ‘naked dance’, and the fertility blessings for women. And later we will visit Kurjey Lhakhang. The monastery is named after the body (kur) print (jey) of Guru Rinpoche who was invited to meditate here in 746 AD to subdue evil spirits and demons. There are three temples; the oldest temple was built in 1652 on the rock face where Guru Rinpoche meditated. The body imprint of the great master can be seen distinctly in the rock cave enshrined in the temple. The second was built in 1900 by the first King when he was still the Governor of Trongsa. The third temple was built in 1990 with the support of the Queen Mother Ashi Kesang. A wall of 108 chortens surrounds the temple grounds and symbolizes Buddha’s victory over the evil spirits. The Cypress tree which is seen near the temple is believed to have grown from the Guru’s walking stick. After the visit we will take a short walk to the Kurjey Drupchhu (holy water). During the 8th century Sindhu Raja, the King of Chakhar invited Guru Padhma Sambawa from Yangleyshey in Nepal (meditation cave of Guru Rinpoche) to cure his prolonged illness. The Guru meditated at the present Guru Lhakhang and subdued the Demon of Dragmar Dorji Tsegpa, known as Shelging Karpo, responsible for the sickness of the Raja. Drupchhu was made available at the end of Guru’s meditation with his spiritual power to celebrate the victory over the Demon and to cure the illness of the King. Therefore it is believed that this water is holy and cures all our sins and illnesses. In the afternoon, we will visit Tamshing Lhakhang (temple of good message). The monastery is located in a village across the river from Kurjey. It was built by Pema Lingpa in 1501 and is the most important Nyingma Lhakhang in the Kingdom. Being a skilled tantric master and an artist, Pema Lingpa sculpted the main statues and painted the frescoes, which can be seen even today, mostly in original state. He also created a 25 kg suit of chain-mail armour and it is believed that you will be freed from your sins if you carry it around the lhakhang three times.

Bar Hopping in Jakar Town

From day to night, Jakar town changes dramatically. The Bumthaps love their bar cum shop cum restaurant cum hotel and they all meet in town to share a few beers, whiskies and momos in the evenings.

We would like you to experience the town after dark, and have handpicked a few of our favorite places. Our recommendation starts with a visit to the local bars and restaurant where you can get some of the best momos in town

If you are still up for it, the tour ends with karaoke and dancing. After seeing the Bhutanese on the stage in their ghos and kiras, your perception of Bhutanese dancing will be changed forever! If you want to try out your singing and dancing skill, you can make a song request, enter the stage, and sing along to a song of your choice before returning for a good night?s sleep.

Price: Please carry some local change to pay for your drinks and snacks.


DAY 7: BUMTHANG (2600) – PUNAKHA (1310M)

Punakha sits on an elevation of 1250 meters (4100 feet) in a fertile, warm and beautiful valley at the junction of the Mo Chhu (Female River) and Pho Chhu (Male River). The sub-tropical environment allows the cultivation of rice and numerous fruits such as oranges, mangoes and bananas. The valley and the surrounding mountainsides offer a large variety of attractive places to hike and bike. You can also explore monasteries and Bhutanese farming traditions as they have been carried out for centuries.

Visit to the Fertility Temple – Chime Lhakhang

If you are wishing for a child, it is believed by the Bhutanese that a visit to the Divine Madman’s temple, Chime Lhakhang, might help increase your chances! Thousands of people visit this temple on pilgrimage and numerous couples visit the lhakhang to pray to become pregnant and receive a wang (blessing) from the saint with the “magic thunderbolt of wisdom?. Many parents also bring their newborn children to receive the baby’s name from the local lama. While you are there, you can also ask the lama for your personal Bhutanese name with its own very special meaning. The 20-minute walk from the road to the lhakhang is through open farmland and rice paddies. Chime Lhakhang: It is believed that a demoness who had been terrorizing the valley transformed herself into a black dog to escape the wrath of Drukpa Kuenlay, the Divine Madman. However, he caught the dog and buried it under a pile of earth shaped like a woman’s breast. He then built a chorten on top of this mount and prophesied that a temple would one day be consecrated over it. True to the prophecy, his brother, Lam Ngawang Chogyal, built Chime Lhakhang in 1456 on a hillock in the centre of the valley below Metshina.

Time: 20-30 minute walk through the village to and from Chime Lhakhang


DAY 8: PUNAKHA (1310M)


Sunrise Breakfast at Khamsum Yuelley Namgyel Chorten

After a good night?s sleep, get an early start to witness how night slowly turns into day as you venture on your morning walk towards the extraordinary Khamsum Chorten. Trail takes you through farmyards and rice paddies and offers a wonderful opportunity to experience the local farming traditions. While you enjoy the superb views of the valley from the chorten rooftop, our guide will have found the perfect picnic spot in the gardens surrounding the chorten and laid out your continental breakfast for you to enjoy in the morning sun. Khamsum Yuelley Namgyel Chorten is 30 meters (100 feet) tall and can be seen in the distance when driving or walking up from the footbridge towards the lodge. The three-levelled chorten took eight and a half years to build and was consecrated in 1999. Dedicated to the Fifth King, it was built to remove negative forces and to provide peace, stability, and harmony in an ever-changing world. It is therefore filled with every form of colorful protector imaginable.

Time: 1 Hour walk to/from the chorten, recommended start before 06.00 a.m. if you wish to see the sun rise.

Visit to Punakha Dzong

The Punakha Dzong is considered one of the most important and also one of the most beautiful Dzongs in the Kingdom. It was built by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel in 1637, and was the seat of the government every winter until Thimphu was established as the permanent capital in 1955. It is still the winter residence of the Dratshang (Central Monastic Body). Take time to admire the impressive, colourful and detailed artistry of the surroundings, including huge statues of Buddha, Guru Rinpoche and Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel, as well as paintings of one thousand Buddha’s. Time: 15 minute drive from the lodge (5 km), 30-minute bike ride, or 1-hour walk.

NOTE: Your husband is driven back to Paro for overnight stay at Tenzinling resort to depart on the 4TH April morning from Paro International Airport


DAY 9: PUNAKHA (1310M) – PARO (2250 M)

Paro Cultural Tour should always start with a casual browse through the National Museum, housed in the Ta Dzong (Watch Tower) of the Rinpung Dzong, where an intriguing collection of artifacts serves as a great introduction to the rich culture and heritage of the Kingdom. Just a short stroll below lies the dominating Paro Dzong, a premier example of Bhutan’s architecture. From the Dzong, a leisurely walk back into town crosses the scenic Nyamai Azmpa, a unique model of Bhutan?s traditional cantilever bridge. Continue to the town temples, Tshongdue Lhakhang and Drukchholing Lhakhang, with its fascinating altar and paintings. The wall paintings and unique design of Dungtse Lhakhang plus a visit to the revered Kyichu Lhakhang, which pins down the left foot of a treacherous Ogress, are a great finish to this day of cultural immersion.


Insight to Bhutanese Farming Traditions

Paro Valley is often known as the “rice bowl of the Kingdom as it produces a bulk of red rice from its fertile terraced fields. Paro is also known for production of wheat, millet, potatoes, apples and seasonal vegetables, which are grown mostly on a commercial scale. To experience how farming is done without the use of machines and modern technology, we can take you to our friend’s farmhouse, where you can practice your traditional farming skills. During the month of May, you can join the locals in rice or maybe chili planting. In the autumn months of October and November, you can help harvest the season’s crops. Throughout the year, the fields need to be ploughed and a helping hand is always appreciated. Should you also wish to try Bhutanese food in authentic surroundings, the locals will proudly prepare lunch for you to give you a real taste of the local cuisine.


DAY 10: PARO (2250 M)


Taktshang (Tiger’s Nest)

Tiger’s Nest or Taktshang Goempa is one of Bhutan’s most revered monuments. It literally hangs off the face of a cliff 900 meters (2952 feet) above the valley floor. The legend states that Guru Rinpoche flew into Bhutan on a mythical tigress and meditated in a cave before bringing Buddhism to Bhutan. The Taktshang Goempa is built around the cave, which is opened to the public once a year at the end of August. The four-hour round trip hike offers spectacular views of the Goempa and the valley below. Horses or mules can be arranged on request to help lighten the journey.

Time: 15 minute drive to the base, 2 hour walk one way. Difficulty level – Moderate to Strenuous

Sunset at Drukgyel Dzong

A wonderful way to spend a late afternoon/early evening is by visiting Drukgyel Dzong – “The Victorious Fortress”. A thirty-minute walk across open fields and village houses takes you to this historically significant structure where you can stroll around while your guide will give you insight to the history of Bhutan. As the sun sets, we will arrange for some light refreshments just below the fortress overlooking the village and the river. Drukgyel Dzong was built in 1649 to celebrate a decisive victory over Tibetan forces and to curtail further invasions. Under the leadership of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the Bhutanese fought twelve battles with the Tibetans in different parts of the country, whereof one took place in Drukgyel Dzong. In the later years, the Dzong became an administrative centre under the Dzongpon (Lord of the Dzong) until gutted by a fire in 1951.



Festival Tours