Samlha Tours & Travels

Black-Necked Crane festival

Destinations: Thimphu, Punakha, Paro, Phobjikha

Max Altitude: 3120m/10,240 ft

Best Season: March to May and September to November

Meal: Full board (breakfast, lunch and dinner)

Accommodation: Government approved 3 stars hotels and above

Transportation: 4 wheel drive – suvs, tour vans & mini buses

Tour Overview

Experience the 4 valleys of Paro, Thimphu, Phobjikha, and Punakha after the fantastic flight into Paro. You will be astounded by the famed Black Necked Crane festival’s colours and spectacle. Additionally, there is a maximum of 8 people on this small group excursion. The distant beauty of the Phobjikha valley and the brilliance of the spectacular Punakha Dzong are also included as some of the most significant sights in Thimphu. Last but not least, a special pilgrimage trip to Paro’s Taktsang Monastery (Tigers Nest). The finest of what western Bhutan has to offer is included in this tour.

Tour Highlights

1. 2 nights in Thimphu with chances for shopping, hiking, and sightseeing.
2. Phobjikha Valley for 2 nights of hiking and exploring.
3. 2 nights in the Punakha Valley with visits to a monastery and a dzong.
4. 2 nights in the Paro Valley with a walk to the Taktsang Monastery, shopping, and sightseeing.

Detailed Itineraray

Day 1: Paro – Thimphu
Your guide and driver will meet you once you have passed through customs and immigration. Travel through the breathtaking countryside en way to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. Every home and structure in the Kingdom is decorated and built using traditional Bhutanese techniques.

When you get in Thimphu, eat lunch. Take advantage of the rest of the day to explore the renowned Royal Textile Academy, the National Memorial Chorten, and the Takin Preserve, which is home to Bhutan’s most peculiar national mammal.
Overnight stay in Thimphu

Day 2: Thimphu
Visit the magnificent Buddha Dordenma statue in Kuenselphodrang this morning. The statue is gold-gilded and composed of bronze. It is regarded as the largest statue of Buddha Shakyamuni in existence. Additionally, a fantastic 3-kilometer trip through Kuenselphodrang Nature Park is available and provides breathtaking valley views.
Continue on to the magnificent Tara Lhaden Zhingkham lhakang (temple) and the Trashichhoe Dzong. Visit the ‘Simply Bhutan’ traditional display village after which you will have lunch in Bhutan. You can taste ara (the native spirit), suja (butter tea), try your hand at archery, and take in a cultural performance of song and dance during lunch at “Simply Bhutan.”
Visit Zorig Chusom this afternoon; the Institute of the 13 Arts & Crafts of Bhutan is nearby. You can engage with the students here. Check out the nearby S. Bishwa art gallery and the Gagyel Lhundrup weaving facility, where you may engage with the weavers, if you’re interested in high-quality weavings and regional art. Finally, some free time to explore Norzin Lam, the main thoroughfare in Thimphu, which is home to the Craft Bazaar.
Overnight stay in Thimphu

Day 3: Thimphu – Phobjikha
You will go by road this morning to the Phobjikha Valley in the east. Pass the Semtokha Dzong on the way. The earliest stronghold of its kind that protected the Thimphu valley, it was constructed around 1629. It is a monastery today.
Continue climbing to Dochu La (pass) to see the 108 Stupas, which were built as a tribute to those killed in the low-intensity conflict in late 2002 at the request of a former Queen. At that time, Bhutan drove out Indian insurgents who had set up camp in the nearby bush along the border with India. You will experience a breath-taking panorama of the eastern Himalaya on a clear day. The view can change from alpine snow (November to February) to a riot of blossoms (March to May) depending on the season.
Observe the huge cacti that cover the hillside below as the Wangdue Phodrang Dzong emerges into view. These were established long ago to deter intruders from ascending the Dzong’s steep hill. View of Rinchengang from the road. Rinchengang is one of Bhutan’s oldest villages and didn’t have access to power, water, or education until the early 1990s. The proficiency with which the artisans of Rinchengang create Dzongs and Lhakhangs (temples) makes them highly sought-after. The main cash crop in Phobjikha is the potato, which is primarily exported to India. One of Bhutan’s most stunning open valleys is Phobjikha, a glacier valley on the western slopes of the Black Mountains. Additionally, it is one of the most significant wildlife preserves in the nation. It serves as the uncommon black-necked crane’s winter residence (from late October to early February), which flies in from Tibet every year. Additionally, there are red foxes, muntjaks (barking deer), wild boars, sambars, Himalayan black bears, and leopards. Enjoy a stroll along the Gangtey nature trail when you first arrive.
Overnight stay in Phobjikha

Day 4: Phobjikha
The Black Necked Crane festival is being hosted at the revered Gangtey Goenpa today, and you are free to spend as much time as you like observing it. On the way to the festival, stroll through the charming Gangtey village.
Maybe go to the Crane Information Centre this afternoon and observe the cranes from the hide. In this lovely valley, there are other walks you may take, and your guide will choose the best ones for you.
Overnight stay in Phobjikha

Day 5: Phobjikha – Punakha
Go to the Punakha valley this morning. Due to its milder environment, this holds the distinction of being the winter capital. When entering the valley, go to Mesina’s marketplaces first. After that, we take a lovely 20-minute walk across rice fields to Chimi Lhakhang, a monastery constructed by Lama Drukpa Kuenley (also known as the Divine Madman). Visitors to the temple with no children are said to conceive after getting a “wang” (blessing) from the local monk.Take a trip to the incredibly traditional village of Talo after lunch at a nearby restaurant by travelling down a picturesque rural road. You can take a stroll through the area monastery’s lovely & peaceful grounds here. Visit the Sangchen Dorji Lhuendrup Lhakhang & Nunnery, if time permits.
Overnight stay in Punakha

Day 6: Punakha
Enjoy a brief climb this morning before visiting the spectacular Punakha Dzong, which formerly served as the capital. It continues to serve as the Dratsheng (Central Monk Body)’s winter home. This is a great illustration of how a mediaeval fortress—which served as a hub for both monastic and administrative activities—has been modified for contemporary usage.
We hike to Khamsum Yulley Namgyel Chorten after eating lunch at a nearby eatery. This is a lovely stroll through little villages, vegetable gardens, and rice paddies. The Chorten is extremely significant because it was dedicated in 1999. It is devoted to ensuring the safety of the present King, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, a former Crown Prince.
Overnight stay in Punakha

Day 7: Punakha – Paro
Early in the morning, depart Punakha for your transfer to the Paro Valley in the west. You’ll cross Dochu La once again on the way there, and you’ll be in Paro town in time for a late lunch at one of the nearby eateries.
Enjoy a tour of Paro’s main attractions this afternoon, including the Paro Dzong and its cantilever bridge as well as the National Museum, where you can see a great collection of antique Thangkha artwork, textiles, weapons, and other relics. Finally, we suggest taking a stroll through the main thoroughfares, which are great places to browse for jewelery and handmade goods.
Overnight stay in Punakha

Day 8: Paro
Trek this morning to the Tigers Nest-known Taktsang Monastery. All Bhutanese aim to visit this monastery at least once during their lifetimes because it is the most revered in the country. Each step taken during this visit earns merit points for the upcoming stage of life’s journey, making it much more than “just a hike.” Choose between a lengthier, more difficult, 5-hour climb into the monastery itself or a shorter, 2-hour roundtrip hike to the monastery viewpoint. Tigers Nest, where Guru Rinpoche soared on the back of a tigress to slay the local demons before spending three months in a cave still visible in the monastery, clings precariously to a granite cliff 800 meters above the valley floor. The monastery suffered severe fire damage in 1998; it was painstakingly restored to its previous state and dedicated by the 4th King in 2005.
Visit Kyichu Lhakhang, one of Bhutan’s oldest and most stunning temples, for lunch at the Viewpoint Cafe on the hiking trail, then spend the afternoon admiring the temple’s perennially fruit-bearing orange tree. The rest of the day is yours to enjoy.

Overnight stay in Paro

Day 9: Depart
You will say a sad farewell to this lovely Himalayan nation today and board an aircraft to your future location. We hope that at this point you have made some friends and have many wonderful images and memories of Bhutan. And we hope to see you again in this lovely country of limitless enchantments! Delek Tashi!

Cost Details

Package costs will be in addition to the SDF of USD 200 per person per night to include hotel accommodations, meals, admission fees, a guide, and a private tour vehicle. Email us a booking enquiry, and we’ll create a package just for you based on your preferences and price range.

More Festival Tours

Thimphu Tshechu

Paro Tshechu