Trip Length: 11 days
Activity Level: Easy to Moderate
Our journey begins in the beautiful agricultural valley of Paro, where we will watch the spectacular Paro Tsechu, the country’s largest religious festival, and the unfurling of an enormous and sacred tapestry. Immerse yourself – comfortably – in the serene Buddhist culture and exceptionally pristine beauty of the “Kingdom in the Sky”. This will be an unforgettable and intimate adventure for serious photographers, birders and naturalists, with a top Bhutanese guide. We’ll see one of the world’s most endangered herons and many other spectacular birds. We’ll travel by road and trail into dense broadleaf forests, visit a remote village, camp in style along a pristine whitewater river in a National Park, on a traditional farm, and in the Royal Botanical Garden. We’ll see gorgeous Buddhist temples and fortified monasteries before reaching the fascinating capital city of Thimphu, with its unique mix of culture, art, and architecture. This is an excellent introduction to the land of Gross National Happiness.
• Paro Tsechu festival
• Dochula Hike
• Royal Botanical Garden/Birdwatching
• Punakha Dzong
• Tours of monasteries and sacred sites
• Thimphu Cultural Centers
Trip Cost: $4,800 based on double-occupancy
Temperatures will vary greatly based on our altitude and current weather. In general, weather is mild. Temperatures ranges from high 70’s to low 40’s. Wildflowers are in bloom and birdlife is abundant
Arrive in Paro. Check into Kang Khu or other hotel.
Watch Paro Tsechu. Return to hotel.
In the early morning, we’ll see the unfurling of the thongdrel. In the afternoon, hike to Tiger’s Nest (optional) or drive to the National Museum.
Drive to Dochula. Hike downhill (roughly 3,000 ft) through cool broad-leaf forest to Royal Botanical Gardens at 7,300 ft. Camp at RBG.
Drive to Punatsang Chhu valley. Explore and birdwatch along Pho Chhu, looking for White-bellied Heron. If time permits, walk along upper stretch of Pho Chhu beyond Samdingkha. Lodging at Zangtopelri Hotel, Kuruthang.
Stop at Punakha Dzong. Drive up Mo Chhu valley to Tasithang camp to birdwatch and relax. Overnight at Tasithang camp.
Walk and birdwatch along Mo Chuu. Hike to Damji Village. Drive from Damji Village to Gasa. Camp below Gasa Dzong where we may catch an archery tournament.
Explore Gasa Dzong and local forest. Return to Wangdi to lodge at Y-T or other hotel near Mesina.
Visit Sopsokha village and rice paddies. Return to Thimphu to explore sites, museums, Memorial Chorten, the new goempa and National Zoo. Lodge at Ser Nya.
Visit Thimphu for shopping, birding and hiking. Afternoon drive to Paro. Lodge at Kang Khu or other hotel.
Depart Paro for BKK.