Experiencing the Tshechu festival with David Suzuki, gaining insight to Buddhist beliefs, contemplating the meaning of it all at ancient monasteries and shrines, strolling through valleys, forests and mountain trails in one of the most beautiful places on Earth, Set departure March 23- April 3, 2013.
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Join award-winning scientist, environmentalist and broadcaster David Suzuki on this once-in-a-lifetime adventure and experience the pristine and peaceful nature of Bhutan while it’s at its most festive—during Tshechu! From March 23 - April 3, 2013 watch colourful Bhutanese dancers don masks and interpret the region’s history through dance. Beauty and wisdom will be revealed at each dzong, every Gompa and, most incredibly, in the eyes of every smiling Buddhist monk you meet. On gentle treks through remote trails and visits to Paro, Thimpu and Punakha, nature lovers, photographers and cultural junkies will uncover a purity of culture, traditions and kindness.
STARTING BID: $6,000/person. Auction closes November 16, 2012.
Arrive at any time, an arrival transfer is included.
Catch our flight to Bhutan where we visit Ta Dzong, an ancient watchtower, which now houses the National Museum. Later in the evening take a walk around the main street of Paro’s main shopping district.
Spend 2 days experiencing the sights and sounds of the Tshechu festival putting you in the middle of the colourful mask dances and religious art forms of Bhutan. The dances known as Cham, are said to bring blessings upon the onlookers, to instruct them in the teachings of the Buddhist dharma, to protect them from misfortune and evil influences. It is a spiritual festival where visitors are most welcome and it is believed one gains merit by attending. In the afternoon of Day 4 we also do some Paro valley sightseeing.
Flight to the Bumthang Valley where we visit the sacred Kurjey Lhakhang cave and the Zangdopelri monastery. After we hike to the Tamshing Monastery (one of the oldest monastic schools). We also visit Jambay Lhakhang and Jakar Dzong - the administrative centre and institute for Monks.
After breakfast drive over the Shengthala pass and hike through the dense forest of pine trees and rhododendrons until you reach the Ura valley. The trail descends a series of bends for 35 minutes until you finally reach Ura Lhakhang amidst the village of Ura. Visit with the Ura people who raise Yak and Sheep and farm Potatoes. Enjoy a picnic lunch, then drives back to Bumthang. This evening we visit the Chamkhar Bazar.
Enjoy the scenic drive to Gangtey in the Phobjikha Valley, thought to be the most beautiful valley in the Himalayas. On Day 8, walk to the monastery of Gangtey Goempa, which holds the most scared relics of Bhutan. Also visit the Community School of Gangtey, where we sit with the students through one of their classes, then enjoy a walk across Phobjikha Valley and into the Khewa Valley, where we visit an old temple and offer a donation.
Continue on to Punakha, the ancient capital of Bhutan where we take a short hike to Punakha Dzong, a monastery and fertility shrine. Later, walk through rice terraces and forest to Khamsum Yueley Chorten, a shrine built by the Queen of Bhutan.
Drive to Wangdue and a hike to Chhimi Lhakhang, visiting radar Nye and monastic central of Wangdue valley. Continue on to Thimphu for lunch and a visit to the National Memorial Chorten andt the Drubthob Goempa Nunnery and Institute of Traditional Medicine, where old healing arts such as acupuncture and herbal remedies are still practiced. Also visit the Folk Heritage Museum and Textile Museum, where the art of traditional weaving is still kept alive. Continue to Paro for the evening.
Flight back to Bangkok where we enjoy our final evening.
Depart at any time. A transfer to the airport is included.