Punakha Festival Tour

Punakha Festival Tour 11 Days / 10 Nights

Trip Code: HAT79

Trip Type:
Bhutan Festival Tours

Maximum Altitude:
3,000 m

11 Days

Trip Starts:
Paro, Bhutan

Trip Ends:

Hotels and guesthouses

Best Time For Travel:
Autumn (September-October)

Trip Over View

Festivals in Bhutan are like mirror reflecting the affluence of the Bhutanese cultural heritage and are very special for both Bhutanese and tourists who visit Bhutan. Festivals have a vital role in providing with an opportunity for prayer and pilgrimage to the devotees.

Festivals are also one of the best ways to explore deep into the Bhutanese culture and way of life. Punakha festival is a festival of intense color, horns, drums, and mystical mask dancers. Deities are invoked for the peace and prosperity and all the misfortunes and sins will disappear.At Punakha festival you will have an opportunity to socialize in with the locals and join in the celebration and seek blessing. Also witness sacred dances and rituals performed by monks and laymen and also their attractive colourful costumes. Later you will also relish on picnic lunch.

In this Punakha festival tour, also covered are the cultural and historic highlights of the Western Bhutan including some fine hikes and village visit. You will visit spectacular places like Buddhist monasteries and temples, medieval Dzongs. The hike is going to be adventurous part as you pass through beautiful landscapes from lush valleys to dense forests.

Attending Punakha festival helps you to better understand the background, meaning and significance of this festival. So at High Asia Tours, we have very carefully designed this tour to give you the best of 11 days not letting you regret on your choice.

Outline Itinerary

Day 01: Flight to Paro, Bhutan.

Day 02: Paro Sightseeing.

Day 03: Drive to Punakha and Wangdue.

Day 04: Attend Punakha Festival.

Day 05: Attend Punakha Festival.

Day 06: Punakha-Gangtey.

Day 07: Gangtey-Thimpu.

Day 08: Thimpu Sightseeing.

Day 09: Phajoding Excursion and return drive to Paro.

Day 10: Haa Vally excursion.

Day 11: Depart Bhutan.

Day 01: Flight to Paro, Bhutan
Upon arrival at Paro airport, you are met by our representative and get transferred to our hotel. After lunch, there is an opportunity for a quick stroll to the nearby ruins, a visit to some of the valley's oldest and holiest religious monuments or a stroll down Paro's main street. Paro valley sits at an elevation of 2,250 meters (7,382 feet).

Day 02: Paro Sightseeing
After breakfast in the hotel, we take Takstang Monastery hike which is a 4 hours out and back trip that offer spectacular views of this sacred monastery perched on a cliff face 900m above the valley floor. Where time permits, we can pay a visit to the national museum, housed in Ta Dzong (watchtower) and dominating Paro Dzong. It is a fine example of Bhutanese historic architecture. We can also take an opportunity to visit a farm house.

Day 03: Drive to Punakha and Wangdue
After breakfast, we depart Thimpu for Punakha and Wangdue Phodrang, across Dochula Pass at 10,500 ft. After lunch at Lobesa, we will take a short hike to Chhi-Med Lhakhang in the picturesque Lobesa valley. We visit the temple of one of Bhutan's foremost saints, Lama Drukpa Kunley, also known as the "Divine Madman". Continuing our drive to Wangdue, we then stop to visit the Fertility Temple Chimed Lhakhang. Check in our hotel, relax and enjoy views from our balcony room overlooking Wangdue Phodrang and the pristine river flowing through the valley. In the near distance we can see Wangdue Phodrang Dzong strategically located on a hilltop watching over.

Day 04: Attend Punakha Festival
Today we attend Punakha Festival in the impressive courtyard of Punakha Dzong - which was the former winter capital and today hosts administrative seat of the district. Today, we are here to witness and capture the events and essence of Punakha festival. It’s a different experience to be amongst the local Bhutanese who come from different areas to attend the festival, dressed in their finest outfit and jewelries. You will be amazed at the attachment of the Bhutanese people have towards their culture and tradition even in this modern era. Arrays of colorful brocades whirl through the air as the dancers spin and dance the "thunderbolt step". Masks of glorious demonic demons and animals arouse your senses as you watch the purification take place. You are transposed. Picnic lunch will be served. In the evening we return to Wangdue for dinner and overnight hotel.

Day 05: Attend Punakha Festival.
After breakfast, we return to Punakha festival. One more opportunity to revile in this glorious festival, full of colour, horns, drums, mystical dance, costumes, masks and intensity. Festival deities are invoked through benediction and as luck gets better, misfortunate disappears. If you do not want to attend the festival whole day, we can arrange alternative tours or hikes. Overnight hotel in Punkha.

Day 06: Punakha-Gangtey
We drive to Gangtey, stopping in the picturesque village of Wangdue for a visit to Wangdue Phodrang Dzong and Radak Naktshang the village temple. We continue on the highway following the scenic Dang Chhu (river) before climbing through forests of bamboo and oak. Just before crossing the Pele La pass, a small side road splits off to the hidden Phobjika valley. At an altitude of 3,000 m (9,842 feet), this glacier valley is home to the rural settlement of Gangtey. After lunch, we visit this striking Gangtey Goemba sitting at the head of the valley and then a stroll through the quaint Gangtey village.

Day 07: Gangtey-Thimphu
Today's journey back to the capital is lengthy but the treasures that wait should be much anticipated. Upon arrival in Thimpu, we visit national textile museum, folk heritage museum, and perhaps even kora the memorial chorten. Time permitting; a short drive up to the BBS tower affords a magnificent view across the Thimpu valley.

Day 08: Thimpu Sightseeing
Today, we visit the Memorial Chorten (a huge stupa) built in the memory of the third King of Bhutan, National Library with its ancient manuscripts, Wood Craft and Painting Schools, handicrafts Emporium with Bhutanese textiles and other traditional arts and crafts and the Simtokha Dzong - the oldest fortresses of Bhutan. In the evening, we stroll in the township.

Day 09: Phajoding excursion and return drive to Paro
We take a day excursion to Phajoding which lies on the west of Thimpu at an altitude of 3,700m. It is about three hours walk from Thimpu and this is considered one of the most enjoyable short hikes in the area. From Phajoding, we have a beautiful view of the Thimphu valley and the surrounding mountains. A picnic lunch is served at Phajoding. In the afternoon, we hike back to Thimpu and drive to Paro for overnight stay.

Day 10: Haa Valley excursion
Haa valley was recently opened to visitors and remains one of Bhutan's most pristine areas. The road into Haa climbs slowly through quaint villages and thick conifer forests before opening onto the long, spectacular valley dotted with fields of millet, barley, potatoes and wheat. The unique architecture throughout the valley is reflected in large farmhouses beautifully adored with intricately painted cornices and framing and three tiered windows. Quick visits to both Chhundu Lhakhang and Lhakhang Nagpo provide interesting insight into the history of the valley and its religious founding.

Day 11: Depart Bhutan
After breakfast, you are transferred to airport for your flight to next destination.

  • Includes

    • Accommodation on twin sharing.
    • All transfers and sightseeing as on itinerary.
    • Three meals a day.
    • English speaking local Tour Guide.
    • Sightseeing admission fee.
    • Bhutan visa fee.


    • Airfare to and out of Bhutan.
    • Expenses of personal nature such as drinks, tip, laundry, phone etc.
    • Extra expenses due to nature and unforeseen events.
    • Travel Insurance.