The Haa summer festival is one of a kind festival that highlights the tradition of the nomadic lifestyles, religious performance, traditional sports and unique Bhutanese cuisine. You will gain insight into the lives and traditions of Bhutan’s nomadic herders. You can play local sports drinking the relatively strong local liquor (Ara). You will taste delicious home-cooked cuisine and enjoy traditional songs and dances.
Travel to Haa is thrilling as you must travel two hours by road and cross the Chelela mountain pass, Bhutan’s highest road pass. With its pristine forests and rugged hills Haa is an excellent location to enjoy some of the best hiking to be found in the Himalayas. You will be absorbed amidst dense forests of fir trees, fields of white poppies and crystalline streams brimming with rainbow trout.
You will be able to see the rare White Poppy (Meconopsis superba). This flower typically grows to 1-1.5 m in height at high altitudes around 4000 m. The White Poppy is endemic to Haa and cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Soak yourself up in the incredible expedition into the Mythic Valley of the Guardian Spirit.
DAY 01: Arrive Paro & transfer to Thimphu (55km, 1 ½ hour)
Your exciting vacation in this land of happiness begins. After completing your immigration formalities, you will be received by Pinehill Bhutan Travels representative who will be your tour guide throughout your tour. Then drive to Thimphu and check into hotel.
Thimphu is a unique city and it is perhaps still the world’s only capital city without a traffic light. Evening an exploratory walk around Thimphu main street and market area. Overnight in Thimphu. (Altitude 2,320 m).
DAY 02: Thimphu
You will visit Kuensel Phodrang (tallest Buddha statue) and enjoy the full view of Thimphu valley below. Thereafter, visit National Memorial Chorten (stupa), Textile Museum and Folk Heritage Museum.
Post lunch; visit the National Library and the Institute for Zorig Chusum (Painting School). Then, drive to Takin Preserve. The Takin is national animal of Bhutan, and looks like a cross between a cow and goat. Later in the afternoon visit Trashichhoedzong (fortress of the glorious religion). Evening time can be spent strolling through the government-run Handicrafts Emporium and local crafts bazaar, to browse through example of Bhutan’s fine traditional arts. Overnight in Thimphu.
DAY 03: Thimphu to Punakha & Wangduephodrang (75 km, 3 hours)
Drive to Punakha across Dochu La. Located at a height of 3,088 m, Dochula is a scenic location with chorten, mani wall, and prayer flags which decorate this highest point on the road. If skies are clear, it may be possible to see the following beautiful mountain peaks.
In the afternoon, we visit Punakha Dzong (Palace of Great Happiness). Thereafter, excursion to Chimi Lhakhang situated on a hillock in the centre of the valley. It is also known as the temple of fertility. A walk through the village near the temple will give you rare glimpses into the daily life and lifestyle of the villagers. Overnight in Punakha/ Wangduephodrang. (Altitude 1,300 m).
DAY 04: Punakha & Wangduephodrang (excursion to Gangtey)
You will embark on a fascinating excursion to Gangtey. The valley of Gangtey is one of the most beautiful spots in Bhutan. Then explore the fascinating Phobjikha valley (2900 m). This place is the winter home of black necked cranes that migrate from the arid plains in the north to pass winter in milder and lower climate.
Also visit Black Neck Crane Information Centre. Later in the afternoon drive back to Punakha/ Wangduephodrang for night halt (Altitude 1,300 m).
DAY 05: Punakha & Wangduephodrang to Paro (125 km, 4 ½ hours)
Drive back to Paro. En route visit Simtokha Dzong, one of the oldest fortresses of the country and known as the place of profound tantric teaching.
After reaching Paro proceed to visit Ta Dzong, originally built as Watchtower which now houses National Museum. Then walk down the trail to visit Rinpung Dzong (fortress of the heap of jewels). Overnight in Paro. (Altitude 2,280 m)
DAY 06: Paro Takshang
Today is one of the hallmarks of the tour. You will drive to base of Takshang Monastry which takes about 1 hr and then hike up to Taktsang Monastery, also known as ‘Tiger’s Nest’. The round trip will take about 5 hours hike with rest and lunch. You will enjoy a spectacular view of the monastery clinging to the side of the cliff. On the way back, you will visit Kyichu temple built in the 7th century. We will take an exploratory walk around Main Street and market area in the evening. We call the day off after the visit.
DAY 07: Drive to Haa for festival
After breakfast, we will drive to Haa valley for the festival. Haa summer festival was held with the intention of reaching the benefits of tourism to the local community. Details about the festival are highlighted in the introduction. Return back to Paro in the evening for night halt.
DAY 08: Depart Paro
Drive to the airport for flight to your onward destination. We hope to serve you again with our other exciting tour packages in the future.