Matsutake Festival

Duration: 10 Days, 9 Nights.
Locations: Thimphu, Paro, Punakha, Wangduephodrang valley, Trongsa, Phobjikha.
Type of Tour: Cultural tour/Adventure/Hiking/festival

Highlight:
Visit to the Tashichho Dzong,Memorial stupa,Ta Dzong, National Museum, Punakha Dzong, Worlds tallest bronze Buddha statue, Tigers nest hike, 7th Century Jampa Lhakhang, Dochula mountain pass, Fertility temple, gangtey gompa monastery, matsutake mushroom festival etc

Description:
Bhutan is a land filled with snow-capped peaks, glaciers, sparkling lakes, raging rivers, green terraced fields and flower-strewn valleys. The North is dominated by the high peaks of the Himalayas. The inner Central region is filled with temperate valleys and the South is where the steamy tropical jungles are found.

Restrictions on the numbers of tourists help to preserve the country’s natural assets and a way of life that has remained unchanged for millennium. Visitors will see monasteries perched at the tops of mountain peaks, ancient Buddhist art and sculpture, dense forests and spectacular valleys. Bhutan is a country like no other. Welcome to the unique Kingdom of Bhutan.

Ura Matsutake festival is scheduled during the 4th weekend of August and takes place in beautiful Ura valley. Ura is renowned for being one of the most picturesque valleys in the entire kingdom. Its inhabitants, the Uraps are a cheerful, hospitable people. Ura provides one of the most authentic experiences of traditional rural Bhutanese life available.  At the festival, visitors will be learn to identify these fabled mushrooms as they embark on mushroom picking excursions around the pristine forests and hills.

Day 01: Arrival Paro.

Arrival at Paro visits the Paro Ta Dzong Museum and Rinpung Dzong. Drive from Paro to Thimphu is spectacularly scenic. Magnificent monasteries and stupas in the valleys and mountaintops. Overnight in Thimphu at hotel located in the center of town.

Day2: Thimphu sightseeing

  • Change money at the Bhutan National Bank.
  • Visit the Memorial Chorten.
  • Largest Buddha statue at Kuensel Phodrang.
  • Purchase world’s most beautiful postage stamps.
  • Visit the Painting School.
  • Visit the Textile museum where one can buy Bhutanese textiles and other arts and crafts.
  • Visit TashichhoDzong.
  • Visit the weekly farmers market.
  • Drive up to viewpoint and take a hike beyond to see the clear picture of Thimphu Valley.
  • Evening downtown Thimphu on foot visiting Handicrafts Emporium and other places.

Day 3: Thimphu – Punakha/Wangdiphodrang (77 kms)

After an early breakfast, drive to Punakha and Wangdiphodrang.

Hike to the Chimi Lhakhang “The fertility temple”. Later visit the Punakha Dzong, dominating the whole area, is the former winter capital and present administrative seat of the district, and also the winter residence of the central monastic body. Punakha. Overnight in Punakha.

Day 4: Punakha – Bumthang

After an early breakfast, drive to Bumthang valley, with lunch stop en-route at Chendebji Lhakhang and sightseeing. Bumthang is a heaven for hikers and trekkers, not to mention the numerous beautiful and important Buddhist monasteries and pilgrimage sites, making it the cultural and historic center of Bhutan. Overnight at Jakar Village Lodge.

Day5: Bumthang sightseeing and Matsutake festival.

Today we will drive to Ura Valley for the Matsutake Festival. Ura Valley is famous for one of the most unique and earliest settlements in Bhutan. The Matsutake Festival gives the cheerful Uraps a reason for celebration and to have some fun.

After an exciting day of picking mushrooms with the people of Ura, sampling some truly delicious meals, learning about their art and crafts, their traditional lifestyle, folk songs and dances, regional food and drink. Picnic lunch.Later walk through town.

Day 6: Bumthang sightseeing (65 kms from Bumthang).
Today we will visit the historical Jakar Dzong, “The Castle of White Bird”, built in 1646 A.D. by Minjur Tenpa, the third Druk Desi (Temporal ruler). In 1683 A.D. it was extended by Gyalse Tenzin Rabgay, the fourth Desi.

Visit several ancient and sacred Monasteries such as the Jambay lhakhang, Kurjey Lhakhang, Kencho Sum Lhakhang, Tamshing. A trip to the Bumthang Swiss farm is also interesting.

Day7: Early breakfast, drive to Gangtey (174 kms from Bumthang).

Gangtey is a beautiful meadow situated at an altitude of 3000 m. It promises breathtaking views of the Black Mountain range.

Early morning after breakfast, drive to Gangtey and Phobjikha, on the way visit the Trongsa Dzong (fort), one of the largest in the country. Overnight at the farm guesthouse, Gangtey.

Day 8: Gangtey Gompa sightseeing and drive to Paro.

Today we will visit the Nature Education Center, the carpet factory and the famous sacred Gangtey Monastery, which dominates the Valley,and driveback to Paro Dzongkhag with some short sightseeing. We will be staying in Paro for the night.

Day 9. Visit Taktsang Monastery (10 Kms) from Paro Town.

Morning, hike up to the view point of “Taktsang” popularly known as Tiger’s Nest Monastery. The name Taktsang means “Tiger’s Nest”. It is said that in the second half of the 8th century, Guru Padma Sambhava alighted here upon the back of a tigress. Visit the 7th century Kyichu Lhakhang on the way to Hotel.

Evening: Casual stroll through Paro Town for shopping or visit some village homes. Fare well dinner and Private Cultural programs in the evening.

Day 10: Morning departure from Paro Airport.

After breakfast at the hotel we will drop you to the airport for the departure flight.

Tour Cost including Bhutan Visa Fees ( Not including Bhutan air fare)

High Season: March, April, May, September, October & November
Single traveler: US$ 2436 per person
2 person: US$ 2166 per person
3 plus person: US$ 2076 per person

Low Season: January, February, June, July, August & December
Single traveler: US$ 1986 per person
2 person: US$ 1806 Per person
3 plus person: US$ 1716 per person

Tour Discounts:

  • No charge for children under 5 years. 50% discount for children in age group 6-12 years and accompanied by their guardians
  • 25% discount on daily rates to full time students below the age of 25 years with valid identity cards
  • 50% discount on daily rates to one person in a group of 11 to 15 people.
  • 100% discount to one member in a group exceeding 26 persons.

Please Note: The rate may go higher depending upon the nature of services desired beyond specified details above

Air Fare

  • Bangkok-Paro-Bangkok = US$ 660
  • Singapore-Paro-Singapore = USD$ 860
  • Delhi –Paro-Delhi = USD$700
  • Kolkata-Paro-Kolkata= USD$410
  • Kathmandu-Paro-Kathmandu = USD$410

(Note airfares are subjected to change as per the notice by Druk Air and Bhutan Airlines)

Airfare Discount
• Infant under the 2 years pay 10% of airfare plus relevant taxes.
• A child’s between 2-11 years inclusive of 67% of the quoted fare.
• Full time Students under the age of 25 years with identity cards may receive discount up to 25%.

Included

  • Deluxe rooms on twin sharing basis.
  • Meals (Breakfast; Lunch; Dinner, Tea/Coffee with snacks as and when required)
  • Accommodation in the best 3-4 star Resorts/hotels in Bhutan.
  • Brand new Bus, SUVs’ (not exceeding 4-5 years)
  • 1 complimentary Bhutan air ticket if group exceeds 17 Pax
  • Tea, coffee and snacks during the long drive and tour.
  • Complimentary 1 Hour cultural program and farewell dinner for 8 plus pax.
  • All Trekking Equipments (2 men sleeping tents, Kitchen Tents, Dining tents, Toilet Tents, Cooking Utensils etc.
  • Trekking Guide and trekking cook along with supporting staffs
  • Medical Facilities on free of cost (consulting doctors & medicine)
  • Mineral water on long trips both on trek and cultural tours
  • Museum fees and other special entry fees.
  • A sustainable tourism Royalty of $65. This Royalty goes towards free education, free healthcare, poverty alleviation, along with the building of infrastructure.

Excluded

  • Airfare
  • Laundry/Drinks / Telephone calls and any personal expenses.
  • Travel Insurance (Recommended but not available in Bhutan)
  • Excess baggage charges.
  • Single room supplement USD$40 per night.
  • Tips and Gratuities