- Trip Outline
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Jambay Lhakhang Drup festival is a five-day event grandly held around the beautiful valley of Bumthang in Bhutan. It is one of Bhutan’s most important festivals to commemorate an establishment of Jambay Lhakhang temple in 7th century and also to honor Guru Rinpoche. During this 10-day Jambay Lhakhang Drup festival tour, you can enjoy various interesting festivities like traditional mark dances, naked dances, as well as the highlighted fire blessing.
In addition to the festival event, you will also visit the major cities of Bhutan, like Paro, Thimphu, Punakha, and see scared monasteries and temples including Punakha Dzong, Chimi Lhakhang, Tashichho Dzong etc. Also, you will enjoy the fine natural landscape of Phobjikha Valley and Bumthang valley. Last but not the least, you will not miss the popular trek experience to Taksang Lhakhang (Tiger’s Nest), the holiest temple in Bhutan.
- Arrival at Paro International Airport.
Our representatives from Bhutan Laughingthrush Adventure will receive you at the airport.
After quick refreshment or Lunch –
Visit Ta Dzong (National Museum) and Rinpung Dzong (The Fortress built on the heaped of jewels) respectively, the fortress date backs to 17th century and the courtyard which was shot in Hollywood movie “little Buddha”.
Drive to Thimphu – 1hrs.
Quick stop at magnificent Tamchhog Lhakhang to see the oldest iron bridge built in 15th century by a Tibetan master and architecture.
Rest and acclimatize.
Overnight in Thimphu, altitude 2400m.
Thimphu Valley Excursion
Visit the National Memorial Chorten (the stupa built for the memory of our third king), and drive to Kuensel Phodrang to witness the mighty 51m tall sitting Buddha, and also visit the National Painting School to see different types of crafts in Bhutan and Changangkha Temple (13th century old temple).
Browse the striking collection of intricate textiles at the National Textile Museum and visit the Postal Museum.
In the evening you will visit Fortress of glorious reign (Tashichho Dzong) which also housed the office of His Majesty the Dragon King of Bhutan.
Walk around the craft market and main town with or without your guide to experience the tiny city of Bhutan.
Overnight in hotel at Thimphu,
Drive to Punakha
Punakha is considered as the old capital of Bhutan, and also the winter resident for monastic body, so it's warmer than Thimphu, you will drive via Dochula Pass (3100m), 2 hrs and stop for break to have coffee or tea at the high elevation with the view of 108 stupas and the Himalayan ranges.
After the break, continue the scenic downhill drive.
Visit Lamperi Botanical Garden that gives a wide knowledge of flora and fauna of Bhutan. Visit the most beautiful Punakha Dzong, showcase the finest example of the arts and crafts of Bhutan. Visit Chime Lhakhang (Temple of Fertility), built in the 15th century by the ‘Divine Mad Man’ (Lama Drukpa Kuenley). Join the nuns for evening prayer at Sangchen Dorji Lhuendrup nunnery which ends the day.
Overnight in a typical farm house, altitude 1250m.
Punakha to Phobjikha (The valley of Cranes)
So today you will experience the farm house, wake up with the alarm of a chicken and have a delicious butter tea with the host, after a sumptuous traditional breakfast with host, check out the organic grown vegetable garden and dairy farm,
Visit Punakha Dzong (the Palace of great bliss) beautiful and important fortress in the history of Bhutan.
continue your drive to Phobjikha 3 hrs.
Walk for about an hour to Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten stupa. It is a beautiful walk through the pine trees, the stupa is stunning and so is the view from there.
Enroute you will also be walking through a suspension bridge over the Puna Tsang Chhu – Punakha River.
Continue your drive to Phobjikha.
Nature trail hike at Phobjikha (1hr hike along the glacier valley and the roosting place for the mighty Black-necked Cranes)
Overnight at farm stay (optional).
Phobjikha to Bumthang via Trongsa
After your breakfast, visit the crane information center and the 16th century old monastery Gangtey Goenpa.
Drive to Bumthang (6 Hours). It is a scenic drive via Pelela Pass at 3400 meters and across quaint little highland villages of Sephu, Rukubjee, Chendebji, Tangsibji and many other small rural settlements along the way.
At the Trongsa viewpoint, enjoy the view of the majestic Trongsa Dzong/fortress of the vanguard of Warriors and the neighboring valleys, visit Ta Dzong which houses the ancient artifacts which date backs to 1st king of Bhutan.
After lunch, continue the drive to Jakar over Yotongla pass (3500m), stop at yatha wool weaving center, well known for woolen products, good place to buy woolen products.
Check into the hotel and later in the evening visit Jakar Dzong meaning white bird fortress.
Overnight in Jakar-Bumthang, altitude 2700m.
Bumthang Excursion and Naked Dance Festival.
Bumthang is compared to Switzerland for its beautiful landscape and is the spiritual heartland of Bhutan. In the ancient times the people of Bumthang used to be frequently disturbed by demons, wandering ghosts and negative forces. Starting from the 8th Century, Guru Padmasambhava and numerous religious saints and monks visited Bumthang, subdued the demons and converted these demons into local protecting deities. Hence there are numerous temples and monasteries each with its own legend and significance.
Visit Jambay Lhakhang, one of the oldest temples built in the country. This is the home of the naked dance that is still performed annually. hike Kurjey temple, the site where Guru Padmasambhava left the body imprint on the rock behind the temple. One can either walk cross the suspension bridge to visit Tamshing Lhakhang.
Enjoy the visit to Swiss farm tasting red panda beer and Swiss cheese. Later join the monks of Kharchu Dratsang Monastery for the evening prayer. This is an amazing experience to see monks chanting the mantras.
Stroll in Jakar town and try some local pancake and noodles, and blend with Bhutanese people.
Later in the midnight wake up to witness the unique festival, in an open space of rice fields, a gate made entirely of leaves is set on fire. The villagers and spectators gathered around are required to run under and through the gate to be relieved of their sins, bad karma, and all evils. No, it’s not a circus, and yes, it’s safe.
This ritual, known as ‘mewang’, literally translates to ‘fire blessing’, and is an integral part of a dance called the ‘tercham’. Tercham is a religious mask dance observed once a year in central Bhutan, in an area known as the Bumthang Valley. The mewang and tercham are part of a popular Bhutanese festival known locally as the Jambay Lhakhang Drup.
Every year, thousands of devotees congregate at the valley to witness the unique festival and get blessings while tourists are drawn in by the unique dance. It’s important to note that jeering at or heckling the dancers and taking pictures is illegal.
Overnight in Jakar-Bumthang.
Drive to Tang Valley.
It is one of the four valleys of Bumthang and the most remote of all. The valley looks beautiful during the season of October as due to rich agriculture the valley turns pink with Buckwheat flowers. The inhabitants of this valley raise sheep and yaks mainly at higher altitudes.
Stop at Mebar tsho (Burning lake) date backs to 16th century when a saint Terton Pema Lingpa discovered a treasure from the lake.
Visit Tang Remochen Lhakhang (tiger stripe temple) built in 8th century and your last stop at the Ugyen Choling Palace, which is now a heritage house and a museum, a beautiful traditional house which gives you a lot of knowledge about the valley and its people.
We will be having lunch in the museum before we head back to Bumthang.
Overnight at Bumthang.
Fly to Paro (Domestic Airport)
Receive by a new set of guides and drivers, transfer to the hotel.
If you are a beer lover, we will take you to Namgay artisanal brewery to try the popular red rice beer and other different types of IPA and Ale, the brewery stands at the very top with a view of Paro international airport.
Afternoon Hike to Zuri Dzong and visit 8th-century Kyichu Lhakhang (the oldest temple in Bhutan).
Stroll around Paro town to check gifts for your love ones at home.
Enjoy the outdoor activities wearing Gho/Kira, play archery at the farm house.
Overnight in Paro, altitude 2200m
Tigernest Monastery Hike
After our breakfast, drive to the base camp, the eighth-century old monastery is perched on a rock overlooking a sheer drop and clings seemingly impossible to a cliff at 900 m above the valley.
Tiger Nest Temple is considered, one of the must-visit places around the world before we die. The hike is almost 5 hours back and forth at 30 to 40 degrees inclined, for an average trekker however it might take a full day for some depending on your pace.
First of half of the hike pulls up to the cafeteria feels never ending however from the half point due to magical structure at your close sight, you are energized to push further. You actually feel very near, push yourself a little further you are at the feet of the Tiger Nest, filled with joys and happiness never like before. And on the way back, you can run down, it's easy always.
After the trek, since you will be totally exhausted you will end the day with a perfect hot stone bath with dinner at the farmhouse. You will be saved for going expensive massage and enjoy the traditional therapy bath.
Overnight in Paro.
– Good Bye and Fly Back
After a breakfast your guide and driver will see you off at the airport
- 3 star hotel room
- All three meals (does not cover beverages)
- Bottled mineral water for the entire trip (except water ordered in the hotels and restaurants)
- Afternoon tea and snacks
- English speaking and knowledgeable guide
- Comfortable SUV and a reliable driver
- Museum entrance fees
- Visa fee and processing charges
- Tourism Development Fund
- Government taxes
- All administrative cost
- Full service & assistance before, during and after your Bhutan trip
- Airfare to and from Bhutan (we can arrange you tickets for you if you wish)
- Domestic flights
- Any other beverages (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) including water ordered in restaurants and hotels
- Travel or health insurance
- Wire transfer fee
- Gratuity/Tip for guides and drivers
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