As an avid APA traveler aptly said, “Bhutan is inarguably the most beautiful country on planet earth!” Immerse yourself in the festivities of its popular tshechu (festivals); genuine religious events the Bhutanese travel from across the country to participate in. Meet entire families attired in their exquisitely hand woven national dress. Rejoice amidst stalls laden with silver jewelry, textiles and the rare and mysterious Dzi bead! View flamboyant masked dancers and atsaras (clowns) amidst a fanfare of drums and cymbals, against a backdrop of mountains and monasteries – a photographer’s dream come true!
Be amongst the privileged few to experience Bhutan’s still pristine environment before it changes forever! Drive past scenic terraced valleys with brightly painted farmhouses. View winding rivers, deep canyons, alpine forests, stately dzongs (fortresses that are seat of government and armory) and goembas (monasteries). These architectural delights strewn throughout the countryside. Hike to the famous Tiger Nest Monastery perched high on a sheer cliff where Guru Padmasambhava, the great teacher is said to have landed here on a flying tiger and brought Buddhism to Bhutan in the 8th century. At the textile museum see the hand woven, museum quality textiles. Fortunately weaving still remains an intrinsic part of the Bhutanese culture. At the Thangkha (Buddhist paintings) Painting School observe the painstaking process of creating these beautiful paintings often used for meditation. See how rice paper is made and bring some home as gifts.
Enjoy a long but spectacular drive over the 10,000 ft. Dochu La Pass festooned with multicolored prayer flags. See wild cherry blossoms, silver langurs (monkeys), and a vivid patchwork of golden green rice fields. Descend into bright Rhododendron and Magnolia forests and the semi-tropical zone of oranges, bananas and cacti.
During the festival, watch dancers (monks and laymen) in brilliant costumes re-enact legendary events. The climax of some tshechus is the unfurling of a huge thangkha (Buddist religious painting). Festivals are immersive religious events, as well as major social gatherings. An atmosphere of convivial and slightly ribald, good humor prevails.
ACCOMMODATIONS: Stay in an eclectic mix of hotels ranging from charming traditional boutique hotels with Bhutanese architecture and décor to well-appointed modern upscale and superior hotels, some with rustic ski lodge type interior.
Paro * Thimpu * Punakha * Trongsa * Bumthang
April 15– 29, 2021 (Mask Dance Festival)
October 12 – 26, 2021 (Mask Dance Festivals)
2021 Land & Internal Air: $7,665 per person (6+ members)
2021 Single Supplement: $2,180
Easy / moderate. Suitable for families. Special local festival
Is a U.S. tour operator specializing in Small Group and Custom Luxury Tours throughout Asia since 1986. An Asia specialist - pioneering Cultural and Study tours to focus on hidden cultures, tribes, festivals and multi-country luxury trips! We are primarily referral based – proof of our dedication to clients' satisfaction.
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