Black Necked Crane Festival

Black neck crane festival is celebrated annually at Phobjikha valley during the month of November to welcome these migratory birds from northern India and Tibetan Plateaus for its winter roosting destination. Festival is initiated by Royal Society for protection of Nature (RSPN) to encourage and instill conservation values to the locality. Various folk dances by local communities are showcased during this festival. While enjoying a quality time in Bhutan, if you can time your visit to Phobjikha valley with this festival will be a great deal.

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  • Itinerary
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OverView

Duration : 8 days and 7 nights

Nature of tour : Festival and cultural exploration

Festival venue : Phobjikha valley

Departure date : 08 November 2019

Festival Date : 11 November 2019

Places covered : Paro, Thimphu, Punakha and Wangduephodrang.

Entry : Paro

Exit : Paro

Itinerary

Day 01 (08/11/2019): Arrival

There will be spectacular views of Mt Everest (8,848 m), Kanchenjunga (8,586m) and Lhotse (8,414 m); and a literal adrenaline-pumping landing on the roof of the world. Your flight to Paro, the country’s only international airport, will be an exhilarating experience, as the route traverses parallel to the mighty Himalayas enabling passengers to see the world’s highest peak, Mt Everest, and many more. The descent affords a panoramic view of Bhutan’s foothills culminating into a thrilling landing at what is considered one of the world’s most challenging airports. Our Company’s representative will meet you at the airport and lead you to the hotel for lunch.

Your first visit will be Paro National Museum, which was once a watch tower and today houses some of the Kingdom’s historical treasures. You will also visit Paro Dzong (Fortress), which is the head quarters of Paro District and Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 monasteries believed to be built in a day by the Tibetan Buddhist King Songsten Goempo in the 7th century. Then you will stroll through the town calling it a day. Overnight at hotel in Paro

Day 02 (09/11/2019): Paro to Thimphu

The drive from Paro to Thimphu is just under an hour. There are great many places to see in Bhutan’s capital. In the morning we will drive to Buddha Point which provides a spectacular 360 degree close quarter view of entire Thimphu and the adjoining areas. This is the site of the world’s tallest statue of Shakyamuni Buddha. Our next destination is the 12th century Changangkha Temple, Takin Zoo and the viewpoint at Sangaygang. On our way back, we stopover at a nunnery, the Folk Heritage Museum and the Textile Museum. After lunch, we will proceed to Tashichho Dzong, a 17th century castle-fortress which today houses the offices of the King, Chief Abbot and government ministries. We will also take the opportunity to see the nearby parliament complex, the School of Arts and Crafts, vegetable market, and then spend the rest of the day watching an archery match and strolling around the town.

Day 03 (10/11/2019): Thimphu to Phobjikha

After breakfast, we will start driving towards Phobjikha which is around 135 km from Thimphu. After reaching there we will spent rest of the hour enjoying the natural places around Phobjikha. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 04 (11/11/2019): Witness Festival

Today you will witness the highlight of your holiday, the black necked crane festival, which is held at the courtyard of Gangtey Monastery. It is a community based festival where all the locals come together to celebrate the arrival of this endanger bird. 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.

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, crane dances and environmental conservation-themed dramas and songs by the school children.  The program usually starts by 9:30 am and lasts till late afternoon.

Day 05 (12/11/2019): Phobjikha to Punakha

The drive from Phobjikha to Punakha will take around 3 hours. Once you arrive at Punakha you will be visiting Khamsum yuelly Namgyel and Punakha Dzong, which looks like a giant ship rocked on a still mass of water from far. Built on the confluence of two rivers, the Pho (male) and Mo (female) rivers, the Dzong served as the capital of Bhutan until 1955 and is still home of the Chief Abbot in winter months. It was built in 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and has played a prominent role in the civil and religious history of the Kingdom. Destroyed four times by fire and an earthquake in 1897, the Dzong has been now fully restored in its original splendor.

Day 06 (13/11/2019): Punakha to Paro

After having breakfast, we will start driving towards Paro. On the way we will visit Chimi Lhakhang, a temple where the Phallus is worshipped and associated with Lam Drukpa Kuenley, the “Divine Madmonk”, and this temple worship as the Temple of Fertility.

Day 07(14/11/2019): Paro Taktsang hike

After breakfast, we drive for half an hour and start the hike, which is about 5 hours (round trip.) The trail is along an ancient path marked by river powered prayer wheels. As you reach Taktshang you will be struck by the architectural wonder of this most pious Buddhist shrine in Bhutan. Perched some 1000m, 3000ft on a cliff overlooking the valley, it would justifiably qualify as one of Bhutan’s wonders. Tragically wrecked in a fire early in 1998, it has been rebuilt to its original glory. It is said that the legendary Indian saint, Guru Padma Sambhava, flew from Tibet on the back of a tigress to tame five demons, who were opposing the spread of Buddhism in Bhutan in 746 A.D. Hence the name, Taktshang, or the “Tiger’s Lair”. On our way back, we will visit another symbolic structure, which is now in ruins, the Drugyel Dzong, or “Castle of the Victorious Drukpa,” which was also built by the Shabdrung to commemorate Bhutan’s victory over the Tibetans in the 16th and 17th centuries. From here, the Jomolhari Peak (“Mountain of the Goddess”) can be seen on a clear Day (Alt. 7,329m/24,029ft.). The next stop will be at Kyichu Monastery, one of Bhutan’s oldest, built in 659 A.D. by the Tibetan King Songsten Goembo. On arrival at Paro, we will visit the Paro Rimpong Dzong (Fortress), which was built in 1646 and also ta Dzong, the watch tower. Overnight at hotel in Paro

Day 08 (15/11/2019): Departure

After your breakfast we will drive towards Paro international airport for your onward destination.

More Info

Meals during the tour

Some may find food in Bhutan monotonous with the same menu being offered in every restaurants and hotels but these foods are true to Bhutan, unique in its own way, different from anywhere else in the world.

Bhutanese people are very fond of spicy foods and chili lies in the center of every cuisine as its main ingredient. A proper meal from the Bhutanese point of view is a plate full of rice with curry prepared either of vegetable or meat items.

    Different types of curry that one can enjoy along with a plate full of rice (red or white) while in Bhutan are as follows:
  • Jasha Maru (chicken curry)
  • Phaksha (pork curry)
  • Sikam (dried pork)
  • Beef curry
  • Ema Datshi (Hot chili and cheese); refer to as Bhutan’s national dish.
  • Kewa Datshi (Potato and cheese)
  • Fish curry
  • Mix vegetables

Bhutan being cultural destination rather than a culinary, there are not much to choose from but whatever that are offered are authentic and native.

Other than rice and curry, Momo is a popular snack that one will enjoy in Bhutan. Momo is a Tibetan originated dumpling stuffed with cabbages and onions along with beef, pork or cheese.

Other than Bhutanese cuisine, restaurants in Bhutan also serves Chinese and Indian dish such as noodles and Roti. Popular drink one must try while at Bhutan are Suja, the salted butter tea, Ara the locally brewed wine from rice, maize or millet and Bangchang the rice, millet or maize beer. It will be quite a task to get Ara and Bangchang at western parts of Bhutan but are easily available if you are visiting some of the far away villages in eastern parts of Bhutan; they will even offer to you for free as a gesture of hospitability.

Refrain from drinking water directly from tap or streams. Bottled water will be provided everyday by the tour operators.

Tour Vehicle

    Tour vehicles are prearranged by your respective tour operators and its costs are covered by the minimum daily packages that are paid prior to your arrival in Bhutan. Depending on the size of travelers tour vehicles are arranged as follows:

  • 1-2 travelers – SUV cars
  • 3-8 travelers – Mini Bus
  • 8 and above – Coaster Bus
Tour Guide

Tourists to Bhutan are not allowed to travel on their own and it is mandatory to use the service of a professional guide trained and certified by Tourism council of Bhutan. Guides in general speak English but language speaking guides are also available for few languages such as French, German, Chinese and Japanese. Your guide and driver along with tour vehicle will be waiting for you at the port of entry.

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Mobile number: +975 77374799 (24/7)

Office Number: +975 2 339170 (9am – 5 pm Bhutan Standard Time)

We organize Cultural sightseeing tour, Trekking, Mountain biking tour, Festival tour, Luxury tour and White water rafting tour within Bhutan.

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info@seebhutantravels.com (975)17514347

All three meals (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner)
Accommodations in 3 star rated hotels in twin sharing basis. (4 Stars and 5 Star available on paying extra premium)
Licensed English speaking guide
Transportation in a comfortable SUV cars, Mini Bus and Medium size Buses depending on the number of travelers
Experienced driver
Sustainable Development Fee of $65 per person, per night stay in Bhutan, which goes for infrastructure development, free education, free medical services and reducing poverty
All government taxes
Bhutan visa fee
Entry fee to all the tourist visiting sites and museums.
Tea and snacks.
Bottled water during the day.

what's Not Included

Flight tickets (both international & domestic)
Beverages, Laundry & personal shopping
Travel insurances
Tips and gratuity for guide and driver
Cost incurred due to road blockage, flight cancellation, rescue operation and any cost beyond our control
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