Bhutan, a Buddhist kingdom on the Himalayas’ eastern edge, is known for its monasteries, fortresses (or dzongs) and dramatic landscapes that range from subtropical plains to steep mountains and valleys. In the High Himalayas, peaks such as 7,326m Jomolhari are popular trekking destinations. Paro Taktsang monastery (also known as Tiger’s Nest) clings to cliffs above the forested Paro Valley.
Paro Tshechu (festival) is the most popular religious dance festival in Bhutan. It has been held annually since the 17th century when Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel (the founder of the state of Bhutan) and Ponpo Rigzin Nyingpo initiated Paro Tshechu festival together with the consecration of Paro Dzong (fortress) in 1644.
Paro Tsechu is held for 5 days beginning on the 10th Day of 2nd Bhutanese lunar month every year. The Paro festival offers a best opportunity to witness the Bhutanese’s rich culture and history. 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.
On the last day of Paro Tsechu there will be a display of a gigantic thangkha (embroidered painting), the Guru Throngdrol.Thongdrols are especially impressive examples of Buddhist art and never fail to amaze viewers. They are considered so sacred that simply seeing a Thongdrol is said to cleanse the viewer off sin.
Event Date: 14March2019-20March2019
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Event Cost: SGD3260(*Signup before 30Sep2018 and save $100/pax)
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- First Term: Deposit $1000 for booking confirmation (Flight tickets will be reserved)
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14th march Day 1: Arrive Paro & Paro-Thimphu (Distance: 54 km, estimated driving time: 1 hr)
Fly into Paro by DrukAir / Bhutan Airline After completing your immigration formalities, you will be received by our representative who will be your tour guide throughout your tour.
Then drive to Thimphu,On arrival at Thimphu check into your hotel and after refreshment visit the following:
· Kuensel Phodrang and visit tallest buddha statue and enjoy the full view of Thimphu Valley below.
· National Memorial Chorten, chorten literally means ‘ seat of faith’ and Buddhists often call such monuments the ‘Mind of Buddha’. Meet the elderly local in circumambulation at the National Memorial Chorten.
Takin Preserve, which houses the national animal the Takin that is only found in Bhutan. This is an extremely rare member of the goat family. Found in herds in the very high altitudes (13,125ft and over). They live on a diet of grass and bamboo. It can weigh as much as 550 pounds.
· Tashichhoe Dzong, a fortress of the glorious religion. It was built in 1641 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel and was reconstructed into 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.
· Craft Bazaar -A one stop place to witness Bhutanese culture and buy Bhutan made art and craft product. The Bazaar in its 80 stalls covers all aspects of the traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan. At this Bazaar craftsmen and artisans from across the country display and sell their handicrafts. And also visit other handicraft stores.
Over night at Thimphu.
15th march Day 02 : Thimphu sightseeing
After breakfast visit following place :
Institute for Zorig Chusum
Commonly known as Arts & Crafts School or Painting School, the Institute offers a six-year course on the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan. On a visit, one can see students learning the various skills taught at the school.
Located on the banks of the river (near the city stadium), this 5.6 acres of parkland offer a pleasant and relaxing environment to stroll or to sit and watch the river flow by.
The Folk Heritage Museum (Phelchey Toenkhyim)
It is dedicated to connect people to the Bhutanese rural past through exhibits, demonstrations, educational programmes and documentation of rural life. The principal exhibit in the museum is a restored three storey traditional rammed mud and timber house, which dates back to the mid 19th century. The design and form of house is that of an average household in the Wang area during that era. The age of structure demonstrates the durability and performance of the building materials. From ground to top floor, household objects, typical domestic tools and equipments that would have been used by a family during that period are put on display. The museum is also developing some of the native trees and plants that were used for various domestic purposes in the rural households.
It is a fortress like temple and monastic school perched on a ridge above Thimphu, south of Motithang. The temple was established in 12th century on a site chosen by Lama Phajo Drugom Shigpo, who came from Tibet. The central statue here is Chenrezig in a manifestation with 11 heads. From temple courtyard, there is fascinating view of Thimphu valley.
Every Saturday and Sunday most of Thimphu’s scant population and many valley dwellers congregate on the banks of the river where weekend market is held. It is an interesting place to visit and provides opportunity to mingle with the local people.
Over night at Thimphu
16th march Day 03: Thimphu-Punakha (Distance: 71 km, estimated driving time: 2 ½ hours)
After breakfast, travel to Punakha through Dochula Pass 3140 m). In the clear spring sky, you can enjoy the panoramic view of the Himalayan Mountain ranges. . Then pass by the beautiful 108 chortens built on the hill by Her Majesty Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck (Queen Mother of Bhutan) for the security and well being of His Majesty, the King of Bhutan.
You will also visit Druk Wangyal Lhakhang (monastery) which was built by Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck ( the Queen Mother of Bhutan) as a tribute to His Majesty the fourth King of Bhutan, Jigme Singye Wangchuck and armed forces after His Majesty led a successful operation against Indian militants who had occupied certain areas of Bhutan. The gallery of the Druk Wangyal Lhakhang has beautiful murals depicting some of the important events in the reigns of the Kings of Bhutan.
Then travel onto Punakha. Punakha has been inextricably linked to some of the most momentous events in the Bhutanese history and deserves its reputation as one of the most beautiful and significant regions at the heart of Bhutanese culture. Punakha had served as the capital of Bhutan from 1637 till 1907. The dzong is historically important and stands as the symbol for a unified Bhutan.
On the way, stop for lunch at Metsina village and then visit the Devine Madman’s Monastery-Chhimi Lhakhang, famously known for its fertility shrine, where one can receive a special fertility blessing.
Then visit the Punakha Dzong, located on the island of the Pho – Chu (male river) and the Mochu (female river). The dzong was built in 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to serve as the religious and administrative seat of the region. At the dzong, you can see the highest standards in woodwork.
In the evening visit Rinchengang & Lobesa villages where you will take a short walk through the village and have free interaction with the villagers.
Over night at Punakha
17th march Day 04 : Day Excursion to Gangtey Valley (Distance: 80 km, estimated driving time: 3 hours)
After breakfast, embark on a fascinating excursion to Gangtey. The valley of Gangtey is one of the most beautiful spots in Bhutan. The surprise of finding such a wide, flat valley without any trees after the hard climb through dense forests is augmented by an impression of vast space, an extremely rare experience in Bhutan where most of the valley’s are tightly enclosed.
Visit here the Gangtey Gompa : Perched on a small hill that rises from the valley floor, the Gangtey Monastery is the only Nyingmapa monastery on the western side of the Black Mountain’s and also the biggest Nyingmapa monastery in Bhutan. The Monastery is surrounded by a large village inhabited mainly by the families of the 140 Gomchens who take care of the Monastery.
Then explore the fascainting Phobjikha Valley. This place is the winter home of black necked cranes that migrate from the arid plains in the north to pass winter in milder and lower climate. Phobjikha, at an altitude of 2900 m, falls under the district of Wangduephodrang and lies on the periphery of the Black Mountain National Park.
Also visit Black Neck Crane Information Centre. Situated on the edge of the forest and wetland along the main road of Phobjikha valley, the black-necked crane information Centre has an observation room equipped with high power telescope and spotting scopes for catching the best view of the cranes. The centre also offers display information that outline the natural and cultural history of the area. There is a small gift shop, which sells handicrafts produced by the local people.
Later in the afternoon drive back to Punakha / Wangduephodrang, overnight stay.
18th march Day 5: Punakha-Paro (Distance: 135 km, estimated driving time: 4 hr) & Witness festival
After breakfast travel to paro. On arrival at paro check into your hotel and drive to paro Dzong to witness the festival
· In the evening stroll through the Paro town and visit local handicraft stores.
Over night at Paro
19th march Day 6: A Day Hike to Taktsang Ghoempa (Tiger’s Nest Monastery)
After breakfast, drive to Paro which takes about 1 hr and then hike up to Taktsang Monastery, also known as ‘Tiger’s Nest’. The walk up to the viewpoint will take about 1 – 1 ½ hrs depending on your fitness and from View Point you will enjoy a spectacular view of the monastery clinging to the side of the cliff. Stop for refreshment at the View Point Cafeteria. Then walk further up to the monastery which will take about 1 hour. It is said that in the 8th century Guru Rinpoche flew on the back of a tigress from eastern Bhutan to this place and meditated in a cave here for 3 months. The principal Lhakhang (monastery) of the present monastic complex dates from 1692. Taktsang was damaged severely by fire in 1998 but has now been fully restored to its former glory.After visiting the monastery, walk downhill back to the road on the way stop for lunch at the view point cafeteria and then walk further downhill to the road point. Then drive back to hotel. On the way visit Kyichu temple,one of the 108 temples built in the 7th century by the Tibetan King Songsten Gampo. The story goes that a giant demon lay across the whole area of Tibet and the Himalayas and was preventing the spread of Buddhism. To overcome her, King Songtsen Gampo decided to build 108 temples, which would be placed on all the points of her body. Of these 108 temples, 12 were built in accordance with precise plans. Thus, it happened that in about the year AD 638 the temple of Jokhang in Lhasa was built over the very heart of the demon.
Over night at Paro.
20th March Day 7: Paro Departure
TIME TO SAY GOODBYE:
In the morning after breakfast your tour guide will escort you to the Paro airport for your flight to your onward destinations.
BEST WISHES – TASHI DELEK
TOUR PRICE INCLUDES:
- International Airfares (Singapore-Paro- Singapore) *Subjective to availability
- Accommodation under twin sharing basis
- All 3 meals for the day
- Experienced English speaking Tour Guide licensed by Tourism Council of Bhutan.
- Private transport within Bhutan (Toyota coach / Tucson / Santafe / Eco Sport) as per itinerary.
- Museum & Monuments entrance fee.
- Bottled water during the tour.
- Government Royalty of USD 65 per person per night
- Tourism development fund of USD 10 per person
- Visa Fee of USD 40 per person
- Government surcharge USD 40 per person / night for single traveler and USD 30 per person / night for 2 pax.
TOUR PRICE EXCLUDES:
- Air ticket Surcharges (*Approx $110/pax) will be advised during booking
- Travel Insurance
- Gratuities, bar bills, telephone bills, personal expenses, and laundry
- Single room supplement of SGD50 will be charged per room per night
- Any food/drinks other than specified in the itinerary
3 Star Hotel We Provide:
- Thimphu : Hotel Migmar or similar
- Paro: Tenzinling Resort or similar
- Punakha : Hotel Lobesa or similar
14March2019 (KB501) Singapore (Depart 0630) – Paro (Arrive 1045)
20March2019 (KB500) Paro (Depart 0720) – Singapore (Arrive 1535)
TERMS & CONDITIONS : http://sgtrek.com/terms-conditions/
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Phone: +65 92700908 (Watsapp)
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This trip is organised by :
SGTREK PTE. LTD.
Reg. No. 201816267K
STB License No. 03160