- Black-Necked Crane Festival is one of the most popular festivals in Gangtey Valley.
- It offers the best opportunity to witness the Bhutanese’s rich culture, history and religion that distinguish the people and country distinctly from rest of the countries.
- Bring you a closer contact with the people and give you an insight into the Bhutanese lives, beliefs and more.
- See Mask Dance /Traditional Dances/Folk Songs/ with black-necked crane themes
- 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.
- Visit one of the most remote country in the world
- Hike to Taktsang Goemba ‘Tiger’s Nest’ and thrilling cliffs
- Very special is a visit to the Cordyceps Tasting House, where you can learn more about the so-called ‘caterpillar mushroom’’, a traditional medicine valued more than gold
- Visit Golden Buddha Dordenma at Kuenselphodrang
- Visit 108 miniature chortens or stupa at Dochula pass
- See and Experience century old fortresses called Dzongs and temples
- Visit to Local Home stay to test local cuisines
- Experience the traditional Hot Stone Bath
The annual black-necked crane festival is organized to generate awareness and understanding on the importance of conserving the endangered Black‐necked cranes; to strengthen the linkages between conservation, economic welfare and sustainable livelihoods of the community; provide an avenue for the local community to renew their commitment to conservation of the black-necked cranes, and to showcase their cultural heritage and skills.
Kuzuzangpola-Welcome to Bhutan!
Day 01 Arrive Paro. The flight into Bhutan takes you the great Himalayas, offering you the most scintillating scenery of the world’s highest glacial peaks. As you enter Paro valley, you will see the silvery Pa-chu (Paro river) meandering down the valley with lush green paddy fields, pristine forest, incredulous fortress-like monasteries known as Dzongs and majestically flowing rivers. On arrival at the Paro International Airport, Away Smile Travels representative will welcome you.
Paro valley extends from the confluence of the Paro Chhu and the Wang Chhu rivers at Chuzom up to Mt. Jomolhari at the Tibetan border to the North. This picturesque region is one of the widest valleys in the kingdom and is covered in fertile rice fields and has a beautiful, crystalline river meandering down the valley. Accentuating the natural beauty are the elegant, traditional-style houses that dot the valley and surrounding hills. One of the distinctive features of Paro town is that it is situated in a flat valley bottom and follows a grid-like pattern.
Visit Kyichu Lhakhang. Built in the 7th century by the famous Buddhist Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo, Kyichu Lhakhang is one of the oldest temples in Bhutan. As the name suggests, the temple is a reservoir of peace, where you will really feel at peace.
Drive to Thimphu. (Drive 1 hour). Thimphu situated at an altitude of 2200 M. The Kingdom’s capital city is home to approximately 130,000 inhabitants including the Royal family. Thimphu is the most modern city in Bhutan. This bustling little city is the main center of commerce, religion and government in the country. The juxtaposition of ancient tradition and modernity make Thimphu the ideal location for visitors to break away from their tour itinerary to immerse themselves in the contemporary Bhutanese lifestyle.
Buddha Point: Drive up to Buddha Point. It has the largest statue of Buddha in the whole kingdom. You can get a very good view of Thimphu valley from here.
Visit Cordyceps Tasting House. Unique to the world, the Cordyceps Tasting Room offer a cozy room to taste a range of Cordyceps-infused tea. Our hostess will also perform a Cordyceps Tea Ceremoney. Cordyceps Sinensis is a unique and exoctic mushroom that grows in the mountains of Bhutan at an elevation between 14,500 feet to 17,000 feet below the snow line.
Visit Tashichhodzong. Tashichhodzong means ‘the fortress of the glorious religion.’ It is a majestic fortress in all its grandeur and serves as the seat of Bhutan’s government. The Dzong houses the secretariat, the throne room, the offices of His Majesty the King and the ministries of home affairs and finance. The fortress was initially erected in 1641 and later rebuilt in the 1960s by the third king, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. Overnight Hotel in Thimphu.
Day 02 Thimphu-Punakha (Drive 3 hours)
After breakfast transfer to Punakha Valley. Punakha, the former capital of Bhutan. Enroute stop at the Dochula Pass. Dochu La is a beautiful mountain pass (alt 3,140 m) fluttering prayer flags and a spectacular set of 108 miniature chortens (stupas). On a clear day, you will get awe-inspiring glimpses of the towering Himalayan peaks around.
Punakha situated at an altitude of 1200 M. Punakha Dzongkhag has been inextricably linked with momentous occasions in Bhutanese history. It served as the capital of the country from 1637 to 1950s. Punakha Dzong is not only the second oldest and second largest dzong, but it also has one of the most majestic structures in the country. Punakha Dzong was built at the confluence of two major rivers in Bhutan, the Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu, which converge in this valley. It is an especially beautiful sight on sunny days with sunlight reflecting off the water onto its white-washed walls.
Visit Chhimi Lhakhang. This fertility temple is dedicated to the famous teacher, Drukpa Kinley (also known as the ‘Divine Madman’) with whom the phallic symbol is associated. The Divine Madman sits there though a statue this time. Do not miss the master’s deeds painted on the walls. Couples usually visit this temple to be blessed with children. Parents also take their babies here to get them named. Babies named here usually have ‘Kinley’ as their first name.
Visit Punakha Dzong: Placed strategically at the junction of the Pho Chu and Mo Chu rivers, the dzong was built in 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to serve as the religious and administrative seat of the region. It was here that the dual system of government was introduced in the 17th century and in 1907, the first King Gongsar Ugyen Wangchuck was enthroned. Damaged over the centuries by four catastrophic fires and an earthquake, the dzong has been fully restored in the recent years by the 4th King Jigme Singye Wangchuck. At the Dzong, enrich your trip with the opportunity to see the highest standards in woodwork. Overnight Hotel in Punakha.
Day 03 Punakha-Gangtey (Drive 2 hours)
After breakfast drive to Gangtey valley. 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, and extremely rare experience in Bhutan where most of the valley’s are tightly enclosed. A few kilometers beyond the Gangtey Monastery, on the valley floor lays the village of Phobjikha. 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.
Attend the crane festival. The Annual Black-necked Crane festival is celebrated in the courtyard of Gangtey Gonpa, in Phobjikha valley. The festival is an occasion for the locals to rejoice and celebrate the arrival of this endangered and majestic bird which becomes an inseparable part their daily lives during the winter months. The festival includes cultural programs such as folk songs and dances (some with black-necked crane themes) and mask dances performed by the local people, cranes dances and environmental conservation-themed dramas and songs by the school children.
Gangtey Natural Trail. The most beautiful and shortest of the existing nature trails in Bhutan. The trail hike starts from the mani (like Chhorten) stone wall to the north of the Ganagtey Gonpa and ends in Khewa Lhakhang. The hike takes about 1hr 30minutes through the pine forest and small bamboo plants. You can see the Phobjkha valley so beautifully from this hike. It is one of the best hike places for the Nature lovers. Overnight Hotel/Local Home Stay in Gangtey.
Day 04 Gangtey-Paro (Drive 4 hours)
After breakfast visit Black-Necked Crane Information Center. The Center has informative displays about the cranes and the valley environment.
Drive to Paro. Visit Ta-Dzong. The Ta-Dzong was originally the watchtower for the Paro Dzong and stands imposingly on a hillock overlooking the Paro valley. In 1968, it was inaugurated as the National Museum, and now holds a fascinating collection of arts, relics, religious thangka paintings, Bhutan’s exquisite postage stamps, coins, handicrafts, and a small natural history collection. A short visit here will give you an idea of the cultural and ecological richness of Bhutan.
Explore Paro Town. Overnight Hotel in Paro.
Day 05 Paro Sightseeing (Taktshang Goemba).
After breakfast drive to Ramthangka base and hike to Tiger Nest. Taktshang Goemba. Taktshang meaning the ‘Tiger’s Nest’ is one of Bhutan’s most venerated pilgrimage sites and a very popular site for all tourists visiting Bhutan. According to legend, Guru Rinpoche miraculously flew here on the back of a tigress, meditated in a cave here for three months and converted the whole of Paro valley to Buddhism. Resting at an altitude of 900 meters above the valley, Taktshang is an architectural wonder and the spectacular four-hour walk will be your most overwhelming experience ever. (Round trip hike 5 hrs)
After hike, you can experience the traditional Hot Stone Bath. Stones are handpicked from the river which is heated up in the open fire until they turn blood red. The traditional wooden tub is filled with cold water and then the red-hot stones are dipped in until the water warms up. It is a very natural experience that includes the elements of water, fire and earth. (Local Home Stay)
Traditional hot stone bath is a complimentary service arranged by Away Smile Travels. Overnight Hotel in Paro.
Day 06 Departure: After breakfast drive to the Paro International Airport where our representatives will bid you goodbye!
Thank you (Kardrienchhey) for visiting Bhutan with Away Smile Travels “Smiles for Miles “
Book This Tour
- Dochula Festival - 6 Days
- Jakar Festival - 10 Days
- Jambay Lhakhang Drup - 9 Days
- Paro Festival - 7 Days
- Punakha Drubchen - 7 Days
- Punakha Festival - 7 Days
- Rhododendron Festival - 5 Days
- Talo Festival - 7 Days
- Thimphu Festival Tour - 7 Days
- Trongsa Festival - 10 Days
- Ura & Domkhar Festival - 11 Days