Suitable Months : All months
To witness festival coincide the travel plan with Festival Date: 11th November 2013
The Black-necked Crane Festival is held every year in Phobjikha on November 11th, coinciding with the birth anniversary celebrations of His Majesty the King. This crane festival is organized by Royal Society for Protection of Nature (RSPN) and the Phobjikha Environment Management Committee (PEMC), the festival started in 1998 and aims at spreading awareness on the cranes and the traditions as well as culture of local people.
Day 1 – Arrival in Paro, Bhutan (Altitude 2,320m)
Greetings and Kuzuzangpo!
Welcome to Drukyul, the Land of the Thunder Dragon landing at Paro International Airport, you will be received by your tour guide upon exiting the arrival hall. Then we will drive you to your lodge and you will have your first taste of the Bhutanese food. Depending on the comfort of your leisure, we will do some light sightseeing as follows:
Day 2 – Thimphu (Phajoding Trek) (Altitude 2,320m)
It takes 3 hours to trek up to Phajoding Monastery and 2 hours to trek back to Thimphu. At Phajoding, if we get more time then you can trek all the way up to ThujeDra till you can see the skull mountain. The view from Phajoding of Thimphu is simply breath taking. At the top of ThujeDra, we can see the Rhododendron bushes stretching all over the trek path. This trek is part of the Druk Path Trek.
Changangkha Monastery – ChangangkhaLhakhang built in 12th century, is oldest monastery in Thimphu. It is hovering over a ridge above Thimphu. Lama PhajoDrukgomZhigpo who came to Bhutan from Ralung in Tibet picked this site to build this lhakhang. The Lhakhang houses Chenrizig: an 11-headed, thousand-armed manifestation of Avolokitesawara as the central statue.
Day 3 – Thimphu to Punakha (Altitude 1,300m)
Day 4 – Punakha to Gangtey, Crane Festival (Altitude 3,000m)
The Valley of Phobjikha is well known as the winter home of the Black necked crane (GrusNigricollis). Bhutan is home to around six hundred black necked cranes with Phobjikha being one of the popular places that the birds migrate to in the winter months from the Tibetan plateau. The elegant and shy birds can be observed from early November to end of March.
Nature Hike along the valley of Phobjikha
Day 5 – Punakha to Paro (Altitude 2,280m)
Day 6 – Paro to Haa via Chele La(Altitude 2,280m)
Drive time 2 hours (one way)
Drive to Haa via Chele La (3,988m). From the Chele La pass you can view theParo valley on one side andHaa valley on the other. You can also have a great photo shot at Chele La overlooking other mountains. At Haa, we will do some sightseeing and then going to katsho village and visit the KatsoLhakhang. After the sightseeing, we return back to Paro for the night.
Day 7 – Bumdra Trek Day 1(Altitude 2,280m)
Hike from Sang Choekor Buddhist College (2,800m) to Yak Pasture below Bumdra Monastery (3,800m): The hike will begin early morning driving upto the Sang Choekor to meet our horses and while they are being loaded we may pay our respects at the Buddhist College. The initial 1-2 hour will be ascending of a ridge, which is steep at times though also in cool shade, brings us to a clearing with prayer flags and view down into both the Paro and Do Chhu valleys.
Day 8 – BumdraTrek Day 2 (Altitude 2,280m)
After breakfast it is either head straight back into the valley or hang some prayer flags. After that, we shall drop back into the pine and rhododendron forest on the zigzag trail for 1-2 hours, then we will catch the glimpses of the golden roofs of temples below.
The path zigzag across the mountainside between the monasteries and temples then we reach the gardens of Sangtopelri (Heaven on Earth) from which we can peer over edge and straight down onto the decorative roofs of Taktsang in the cliff down below.
After an hour later and we will be at the gates of Taktsang monastery.After visiting the monastery we will descent about 45 minutes to reach our vehicle and drive back to Uma Paro.
Taktsang Monastery: A one hour hike to the cafeteria is also a vantage view whereby you can enjoy the stunning view of the monastery. The name Taktsang came after Guru Padmasambhava landed on the back of a tigress in the 8th century.
Day 9 – Depart Paro (Altitude 2,280m)
We will drive you to Paro airport for your flight and you bid a farewell to the Kingdom of Bhutan.