Tour Price: $3859 September 23rd to October 1st 2020
This remote kingdom, is a place of ancient monasteries, fluttering prayer flags and staggering natural beauty.
Join us for our Festival Tour of Bhutan
Bhutan is known for its unique culture and tradition. We have been leading spiritual journeys to Bhutan with our guide Tshering Jamtsho for the last 10 years. Tshering has won the hearts of our many travelers with his laughter, gregarious nature and in depth of knowledge of Vajrayana Buddhism along with his personal contacts with the many Llamas through out the kingdom.
For years, Bhutan has deliberately isolated itself from the outside world and has only recently opened its borders to visitors. Since then, Bhutan has gained almost mystical status as a real life Shangri-la. In Bhutan, the Vajrayana Buddhist culture is integrated into every aspect of daily life, and those fortunate enough to visit describe it as a unique, mystical and deeply spiritual experience.
Day Sept 23 Arrive Bangkok and check into the Best Western Amaranth Hotel. We will have our pretrip meeting and welcome dinner.
Day 2: Sept 24 The flight from Bangkok into Bhutan will take you over the vast plains of the Indian subcontinent and then over the dense green vegetation of the Kingdom’s sub Himalayan ranges. You will get breathtaking views of the world’s highest and most majestic peaks. As the plane approaches the Dragon Kingdom’s cloud scraping airstrip at the Paro International airport, you will arrive at an altitude of 7330 ft. Our Bhutanese guide, will be at the airport to receive us after we have completed the necessary immigration and visa formalities. The first part of the journey will follow the Paro river and provide plenty of photo opportunities. After about half an hour’s drive you will reach the confluence of two rivers, one flowing from Thimphu and the other from Paro. After checking into the hotel we will visit the Thimphu Memorial Stupa, a beautiful landmark built in memory of the late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck.
Day 3: Sept 25 After breakfast and morning meditation we will visit the Thimpu Dzong, a Buddhist monastery and fortress on the northern edge of the city, on the western bank of the Wang Chu river where we will visit the Tshechu festival. The Tshechu is a festival in honor of Padmasambhava (one born from the lotus flower) and popularly known as “Guru Rimpochey” the precious teacher. Religious festivals, or Tsechus, are held annually in Dzongs (fortress monasteries) throughout the country. After visiting the festival we will travel to the Buddha Dordenma, a bronze statue, a ‘Vajra Throne’ Buddha overlooking Thimphu city, about 100 meters (330 ft) above the Wang Chuu River. The statue will house over one hundred thousand smaller Buddha statues, each of which, like the Buddha Dordenma itself, will be made of bronze and gilded in gold.
Day 4: Sept 26 Early Morning Meditation with the monks at Changangkha Lhakhang monastery, from the 12th century, perched upon a hill overlooking the city. We will chant with the monks and visit the temple. Then we will drive from Thimphu to Punakha. On the way, we will cross the Dochula Pass (3050M), where we will view the Eastern Himalayas, which is also marked by 108 Stupas, dedicated to world peace by her majesty the queen of Bhutan. Then, we will stop at Sobsokha Village and take a stroll through agricultural fields to Chimi Lhakhang monastery, built in 1499 by the 14th Drukpa hierarch. The site was blessed by the “Divine Madman” the maverick saint Drukpa Kunley. Afterwards we will check into our hotel and we will rest from the days’ travels.
Day 5: Sept 27 After breakfast we will visit The Punakha Dzong, built in 1637, for the Punakha Teschu festival. These festivals are held in honor of Guru Rinpoche, the saint who introduced Buddhism to Bhutan in the 8th century. Tsechus are held on auspicious days and months in the Bhutanese calendar and last up to four days in which a highly stylized mask dance ritual are performed.
Day 6: Sept 28 We will rise early and take a short drive to the Sangchen Liendrup Choling nunnery for an early morning meditation with the nuns. Afterwards, you will have an opportunity to take a stroll back down to our hotel (walking optional). After breakfast, we will travel back across the Dochula Pass to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. After lunch we will visit Kichu Lhakang temple in Paro, which was built in 659 (7th century) by the Tibetan King Tshongtsen Gampo. It is believed that he built 108 temples across the Himalayas and that Kyichu happens to be one of the last remaining. The Jowo Temple of Kyichu is one of the oldest temples in Bhutan, originally built in the 7th century by the Tibetan Emperor Songsten Gampo.
Day 7 : Sept 29 After breakfast, we will hike to Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) Monastery, which is the most famous monastery in Bhutan. Guru Rinpoche, an Indian saint, is said to have flown on the back of a tigress from Singye Dzong in Lhuntse to meditate in a cave where Taktsang Monastery now stands. It is perched on the edge of a steep cliff, about 900 meters above Paro Valley. The hike to reach the viewpoint of the monastery makes for a nice day excursion.That evening we will have our farewell dinner together
Day 8: Sept 30 Today we will have our farewell meeting and depart for the airport to Bangkok. Transfer to our airport hotel in Bangkok
Day 9: October 1st Our final day in Asia, we will return to the airport for our flight home
Chanting with the monks and nuns at Buddhist monasteries
Guided services provided by Bhutan expert, Tshering Jamtsho
Includes all meals, hotels, tours and Visa/daily tourist fee in Bhutan
Visit the Thimphu Festival
Hike to Taktsang Monastery (The Tiger’s Nest) founded in 1692
Amaze at the Punakha Dzong, at the site of the old Capital of Bhutan
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