Exotic Bhutan Tours and Treks

Prakhar & Jambay Lhakhang Festivals Cultural Tour


Masked festival dancer

Day 1: Arrive Paro
Arrive Paro. Receive by Tour Representative. Transfer to hotel. After lunch visit the National Museum (Ta-Dzong). The Museum was the former watch tower for the Rinpong Dzong. It was converted into the National Museum in 1968. The museum stands on a promontory overlooking the Paro valley. Visit Paro Rinpong Dzong. This is the seat of the district administration as well as the home for the monastic school. The Dzong was built in 1645 A.D. Overnight/Hotel

Day 2: Paro – Thimphu (2 hour drive)
Transfer to Thimphu En route visit an ancient monastery built in the mid 15th century by a Bhutanese saint “Thangthong Gyelpo” who introduced the iron chain bridges in Bhutan. Five kilometers from Thimphu lay the oldest fortress, Semtokha Dzong, built in 1629 by Shabdrung Rimpoche, a Tibetan Lama, who came to Bhutan in 1616. After Semtokha Dzong drive to Thimphu. We will visit the Weekend Market. This is a market for weekly vegetable shopping, handicrafts and people from all over the district gather to sell their wares; giving the market a festive air. Converse with local and enjoy this fun market! Bring your camera; many photo opportunities abound here. Check into our hotel; enjoy a leisure lunch and perhaps a stroll in Thimphu village. Tonight you will be received by your host In Bhutan, for a reception dinner.. Overnight/Hotel

Day 3: Thimphu – Wangdue/Punakha (3-4 hour drive)
Enjoy breakfast and check out of our hotel. We will now visit the Bank of Bhutan to exchange currency and visit the post office. Here you will find beautiful Bhutanese stamps for purchase; these stamps are exquisite in design and reflect on Bhutan’s history and beauty. Drive to Punakha/Wangdue. En route enjoy a short break for tea/coffee at Dochula Pass at 3150 m to view the Eastern Himalayan mountain ranges and walk around the 108 stupas built on the pass. Drive another two hours to Punakha and visit the Punakha Dzong. This is the winter residence of Bhutan’s spiritual leader, the Head Abbot, and the Central Monastic Body. The Dzong was built in 1637 A.D. and lies between two rivers known as “Phochu” (Male River) and “Mochu” (Female River). En route to Wangdue take a short hike to Chhi-Med Lhakhang in the picturesque Lobesa valley, to visit the temple of one of Bhutan’s foremost saints, Lama Drukpa Kunley, also known as the “Divine Madman”. Overnight: Hotel

Day 4: Wangdue - Bumthang
Drive to Bumthang (8-9 hours) after an early breakfast depart for Bumthang in Central Bhutan. The drive is through a scenic highway crossing the Pelila Pass 3420m between Wangdue and Trongsa and Yotongla Pass 3425m before reaching Bumthang. In Trongsa, visit the magnificent Dzong and its watch tower. The Trongsa Dzong was built by Chogyel Minjur Tempa, the Third Desi, in 1648 A.D. It is presently the administrative seat of the district and home of the monastic school. Built at split-levels on a narrow spur, the Dzong is an architectural wonder. Views from here are extensive creating strategic location of this Dzong. Over the Dzong is the medieval Watchtower. This ancient structure gives unobstructed views of the valley, and its Winding River and roads. The Watchtower is located strategically above the Trongsa Dzong. Overnight: River Lodge

After breakfast drive 12km to Chumey Valley to see the last day of the Prakhar Festival This is a unique village festival celebrated every year in honor of Lama Thukse Dawa, son of the Treasure Discoverer, Pema Lingpa who lived in Bumthang Valley in the 15th century. Full Day Prakhar Festival. Overnight River Lodge.

The festival will be held in the court yard of Jambay Lhakhang Temple located in the heart of Chokor Valley. This is one of the oldest temples in the country built around the 7th century by a Tibetan King, Songtsen Geombo. The festival dances symbolize the fight between good and evil and this is also time for thankful offerings for harvest to the local deities.Overnight: River Lodge.

Day 7: Bumthang sightseeing
Bumthang Sightseeing. Bumthang altitude 2600m, has an individuality that charms its visitors and separates it from other regions. Comprised of four smaller valleys, the deeply spiritual region of Bumthang is shrouded in religious legend. Here tales of Guru Padmasambhava and his re-incarnation known as Tertons still linger in most nooks and corners. It is also known for its woolen material (yathra) which can be seen hung outside of houses for sale. Sightseeing - Visit the Jakar Dzong, 7th century Jambay Lhakhang, Kurjey monastery, Tamshing and Kunchosum monastery. This sightseeing is most interestingly done on foot. Overnight: River Lodge

Day 8: Tang Valley
Bumthang to Tang Valley. Tang valley is located in the eastern part of Bumthang Dzongkhag and has an area of about 511 square kilometers. It is bordered by Lhuentse Dzongkhag to the north and east, Ura Geog to the south and Chhoekhor Geog to the west. The altitudes of the Geog ranges from approximately 2800-5000 meters above sea level. Our day hike takes us through beautiful pastures dotted with Bhutanese farmhouse and livestock. Water prayer wheels along our path lead us up the gradual hilltop climb to tour Ugenchholing Dzong. Ugyenchholing Dzong overlooks Tang valley and was built in the 18th Century by Trongsa Penlop (Governor of Trongsa). Chokey Dorji who was a descendant of Terton (treasurer discoverer) Dorji Lingpa who lived in the 13th Century (around 1251 A.D). Chokey Dorji spent his remaining days in Ugyenchholing after his retirement. Here you will enjoy spending time visiting this medieval living museum. On our return down our path we will stop to visit a local Bhutanese Farmhouse for yak tea and Bhutanese hospitality to River Lodge.

Day 9: We now depart Bumthang in central Bhutan and begin our scenic drive westward to Wangdue; arriving at our resort we relax and refresh followed by an evening drive to the impressive and strategic Wangdue Dzong; perched on a hilltop between two rivers. This Dzong which was built in 1638 A.D. also houses the District Administration office and the district monk body. Overnight resort.

Day 10: Thimphu sightseeing
Departing Wangdue we drive to Thimphu and check into our hotel. After lunch we visit the following places: Textile Museum; Zorig Chuksum – School for Thirteen Traditional Arts and Crafts; Tarkin Zoo; the National Animal of Bhutan; Traditional Paper Making factory and House of Incense; The Emporium. Evening; leisue time to visit Thimphu town and explore shops. Overnight: Hotel

Day 11: Drive from Thimphu to Haa
Drive to Haa valley. (Distance 75 Km, time 3- 4 hours one way)Haa is western-most valley in Bhutan bordering on the Tibet region of China. The valley is traversed by the Haa Chhu (river) and its characteric features are the three almost conical shaped hillocks considered to be holy by the local people - the first hillock is dedicated to Ap Chhundu, the supreme local protective deity of Haa. Returning from Haa Valley to Paro Village & your overnight hotel.

Day 12: Tigers Nest - Excursion to Taktshang Monastery
In the morning we drive to our path to hike Taktsang Monastery. The name Taktsang means "Tiger's Nest'. The monastery is perched on a rocky ledge with a sheer drop of nearly 800 m. It is said that in the second half of the 8th century, Guru Padma Sambbava alighted here upon the back of a tigress. Picnic Lunch at Taktsang cafeteria. The round trip hike takes about 4 hrs. After Tiger’s Nest. Visit the Drugyel Dzong - ruined fortress. The Dzong, although in ruins, holds great historical significance. It was from this fortress that the Bhutanese repelled many Tibetan invasions. On a clear day this spot offers a magnificent vista of Mount Jumolhari, "Mountain of Goddess" (Alt. 7329 m). Tonight you may want to indulge in a Bhutanese Hot Stone Bath! Enjoy a farewell dinner in quaint Paro village.

Day 13: Departure Day to your next destination!
After breakfast we drive to Paro airport for your departure from Bhutan. We hope you have enjoyed your Bhutan Adventure!

Tashi Delek!